I Cum Blood In The Think Tank Reviews

Heathen Harvest
Hebrew for the grand measurement of one liter of semen, Lietterschpich’s ”I cum blood in the think tank!!!!!!!!” is a punishing excursion into an audio experience akin to laughingly rolling about in barrels of barbed wire. And thoroughly enjoying it. Lietterschpich’s brand of frollicking, mad-scientist grindcore is a trip to the dentist after pints of Lsd, and they seem to frighten and thrill everyone who they come across. Check their Myspace blurbology : “The 8-piece group of Lietterschpich has been boiling down foul language, obscene noise, primitive rituals and perplexing visual propaganda to their imitating core, since 2004. Comprised of local veterans of the Israeli post-punk, industrial and electronica scenes, they quickly gained cult status in the Israeli underground. They’ve released “Quasi”, A 3″ black cdr in 2005, before calling it a night and taking a year break. They are back now with their first full-length CD titled “I Cum Blood in the Think Tank” to hostile the cultivated majority that got away last time.”

Rhythmic industrial is becoming quite bass heavy and dubby, or at least some of the Cds passing over my desk are, which is a relief from processed ham radio workouts and being nibbled at by speedy, skipping breakbeats. Just for a change. Lietterschpich pours threatening, heavily reverberant howling into an abyss of glitched loops and rhythmic samples of god-knows-what, straddling dense, nailed-down death-dubs. My fave lyrics were definitely “Arrrggghhh”, followed closely by “Ooahhhh”. Stand out tracks were definitely “Mud and fun!!!” and “Ziz!!!”, which means I’m showing my grind favouritism, but Lietterschpich have brought together the raw experimentalism of say, Whitehouse, or even a young SPK, and tied it down with necrotic, bass-heavy doom-tronics. Apocalyptic, and a lot of fucked-up fun(?). A great fusion of sounds, anti-styles and experimental grindcore from this bunch of action-packed Israeli mentallists.

The six members who comprise Lietterschpich have produced a sort of reverse mutation throwback, a welcome sort of caveman stomp backwards into days of less-digital noise. Using drums, vocals, tape loops, no-input mixers and crusty electronics, the crudely-named I Cum Blood In The Think Tank is a dankly organic album, filled with slow hum and a buzzing, hazy filter obscuring unfriendly screams and primitive thuds. This is no laptop-driven computer noise band, and there are no crisp digital edges here.

The songs all boast brief titles, each appended with one or more exclamation points. From “Mud and Fun!!” to “Mire Blot!!” and the sarcastically-titled “Cookies Downtown!!!” the titles are mere footnotes, and for all the clarity they offer, the songs might as well have been labeled with numbers. It’s possible that the lyrics have something to do with the song titles, but since the vocals are all distorted, reverberated and effected beyond all hope of understanding, it’s a moot point.

“Stockfish!!” and “Malevolent Re-Creation Celebration!!” share a stomping smash-and-crash rhythm, with synth squiggles, low-end buzz, and crazed shouts that bring to mind the late, great Missing Foundation. Though Lietterschpich have a less-confrontational, more Benzedrine-soaked aesthetic. “Ventilation!” approaches Wolf Eyes territory, with rock-style drums holding up the shouts and bursts of noise.

The 12-minute center of the album, “A Horse and a Walk in the Park!!!,” opens with screams and reverberations, reminiscent of old-school noisers like Grey Wolves and Con-Dom, and even a distorted vocal feel akin to vintage Master/Slave Relationship. The achingly slow rhythm and desultory hiss blends with some unexpectedly melodic organ, finally dissolving into stumbling, crashing drums and buzzing noise tones. The organ appears again on the final track, “One Thing Led to the Hit!!,” a dramatic organ-led liturgy overlaid by layers of scuzz and grime.

The foggy, drugged haze overlaying Lietterschpich’s noise does suck some of the power from it, but in place there’s a palpable feel of human hands guiding things. The mysterious blend of shadowy cracked electronics, throat-ripping yowls and pounding drums is at once forbidding and appealing, a paradox lying at the root of one of the best noise albums I’ve heard in some time.

Connexion Bizzare
In 2004 a few friends who wanted to start an industrial noise collective must have been thinking about what to call themselves. One will have to admit that the name they thought of gives a certain, well, “sarcastic” view of their world because the Hebrew ‘Lietterschpich’ – they are from Israel – translates to “a liter of cum”.
So far not much clues on what to expect on their first album, released on the also Israelian Topheth Prophet label. And being released on Topheth doesn’t lead to any expectations because you can expect a lot of different styles on there. So I’ll try something …
Their website at myspace, which is the only website they have, can be found at http://www.myspace.cum/doomdub and within the term ‘doomdub’ also is a core of truth. Even though there is only one true dub track on there (ok, forgive me, but I’m not that much into dub) the slow rhythms and ‘doom’ factor will give an insight an what to expect.
On first listening I wrote down harsh industrial in a mix with power electronics and slow throbbing metal. And to throw in a few names, I could compare their sound with Mental Destruction, really old and harsh SPK, a little bit of Godflesh. An emotional state of agression we can only hear in NTT allthough Lietterschpich is a bit more rhythmic in nature. And at times the sound and structure reminds me of some Haus Arafna, but also more from an emotional point of view, not particulary soundwise.
The 12 tracks on the album have titles which don’t broadcast one particular view on the world. Some seem to be really silly, for example “Stockfish”, “Mud and fun”, “A horse and a walk in the park” and “Cookies downtown”, while there are a few that at least in their title show a certain level of engagement (“Malevolent recreation celebration”, “Petty bourgeois (word of a fraud)” or “Segregation”.
Still after several listenings I do very much like this album. It’s slow and heavy, noisey and nicely layered, full of agression and other emotions and actually good to play an several occasions. Best would be if you have the feeling the world is against you and you just want to react. You’ll find soulmates in that by playing this album.

Musique Machine
I cum Blood in the think tank is seriously punishing and bleak industrial noise punk doom. Built around crude and swarming synth overload and face slamming beat patterns, with overloaded nasty hardcore punk growls and bleeding lungs shouts over the top.

There’s a really unpleasant crude undercurrent running through out the album- it throbs buzzes and chugs along, synths often threaten to drag to a stop as the pound out discordant, wonky and cruel melodies. This is music for year zero, when the streets lay piled with human faeces, broken and smashed technology, dieing men,women and child gurgle out their last vomit breath. This really will be one of the most hopeless, painful and unforgiving album that will squeezes it’s slimy discharged covered self out of your speakers and pin you to the floor in grim wonder and punish you again and again. The mood is slightly ruined by the second to last track that decides to introduce happy sounding dub reggae type elements and naff lo-grade DJ samples- really feeling complete out of place in all the albums despair and cruelties.

An album that charges at you hitting, hurting, and vomiting on you over and over again.

The first thing that caught my attention when I looked at this cd, recorded in 2005 and released two years later by Heart & Crossbone, from the Israeli industrial dub combo Lietterschpich, was the excessive use of exclamation marks in the album and song titles. I’ve been so bold as to simply ignore those. The band name happens to be Hebrew for a liter of ejaculate, which sounds like a well filled sperm bank account.

Delectable yet adhesive details aside, what truly matters is what’s being presented here. Well, the power electronics and death industrial on this cd sound like Skin Chamber, Irm and Master/Slave Relationship crashed into each other head-on, afterwards the broken and mangled remnants were used as good or as bad as it went to build a new vehicle. The tortured electronica hums, growls and fluctuates; the slow and refractory music with sluggish rhythms has been outfitted with distorted, mentally deranged sounding vocals of the kind that instigates nightmares to boot. One track even inclines towards breakcore, but the insanity on this disc is quite different from the madness of Venetian Snares or Hellfish. Besides Merzbow-style white noise there are also discernible structures apparent in the sonic waves, this makes “I Cum Blood In The Think Tank” a listening experience which is all the more imperative. Drone lovers might want to check this out as well, by the way. This is digital doom for advanced nihilists.

Now this debut record creates expectations for the future. Maybe Lietterschpich will be named in one breath with Brighter Death Now and Dissecting Table in a few years time, but that’s just oracling. In other reviews the band has been compared with Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle, which certainly aren’t lesser gods when it comes to grating electronic noise. Therefore I would advice to keep an eye on this group!

Deaf Sparrow
From the first second on I knew I was in for a treat. And despite the violence ahead, I wasn’t about to back down. I have been dipping my toes in some of those exhausting Troniks releases, and though my tolerance for such extremity isn’t exactly legendary I’ve been known to withstand such outages. The sort of noise that Lietterschpich makes is more structured than the work released by Troniks; there is more of a functional body at play here. Even when totally discordant, tone deaf, pitch less and seemingly random, as on the second track “Calsgigglestick”, where the drums are played with the skill of a lobotomized mental patient, you can hear that there is an awaken intelligence making things move. Purposely, this chilling and defiant record sounds like a crumbling wall. Matter of fact, I Cum Blood in the Think Tank sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a sped up reel of an aging structure that finishes in its collapse.

Scary too, the vocals of Zazbendoom are so extreme and raw, I wish he’d start giving lessons to aspiring and why not, established metal, metalcore and black metal vocalists. “In Finkel Stein Digit” and “Alconsole” he is destined to bring more hands to an ear than Roseanne’s legendary delivery of the American anthem. I am floored by some of this material. There are no beats, and those that resemble them could be more accurately described as unbeats, or beats with no insides. I am also surprised to find out that Lietterschpich hail from Israel of all places. The band has been together since 2004 and I am actually not surprised to find out that members of it have done time on post punk, industrial and electronic bands. It sort of makes sense, as Lietterschpich certainly brings all those potions to the table, ads a couple of buckets of fowl moods and obscene ideas and spits out some of the most radical music I’ve heard this year. Very freaky stuff. Puzzled by their moniker? Be puzzled no more. It means ‘1 liter of cum’ in Hebrew.


Environmental Meditations Reviews

Vital Weekly
The fact that Maurizio Bianchi is back is something that is known. I think the new age muzak he created right after his return should be seen as a false start, as since quite some time now, he returned to the world of noise and that is a territory that we can safely call his territory. Bianchi here teams up with one Maor Appelbaum, who is a member of various Israeli project such Poochlatz, Vultures, IWR and who has various solo projects Screening , Vectorscope and Plated Steel – not that I heard any of these. “This work provides profitable logicality to the futuristic aversions, subjecting the deprecared barins marketing to an elistist unpretentiousness”. In case you didn’t know. The music are six lengthy slabs of noise. Feedback crushes into each other, and is fed through a bunch of synthesizers and sound effects. At times things ‘mellow’ out just a little bit and goes into some ambient industrial area. It has that same unfocussed sound that is the trademark of Bianchi. It goes on and on, but it has something captivating. Quite alright this one, but it seems to me that the production could have been better. The sound has more potential than is shown here.
From Israel comes Igor Krutogolov, who is besides
a musician also the designer for Topheth Propeht. Apparently he is mostly known for his ‘klezmer core’ project Kruzenshtern & Parohod but also a ‘toy orchestra’ Igor Krutogolov’s Karate Band as well as various collaborations he has done with people like Chaos As Shelter, Agnivolok, Bastard Noise, Tidal and Darkwood. For ‘White’, which comes with a booklet with white pages (funny or arty) he plays bass with bow and strings, voice, keyboards, objects, flute and birds and gets help from somebody playing bells and someone delivering a tape of rain sounds. Divided into seven parts, this is however very much one piece. The musical theme’s re-occur in every track, the rain sounds return every now and then. The label compares this is to Colin Potter and Andrew Liles, which, especially in the case of Liles, I can see some parallel. The drone like sounds form the backbone of the piece and with irregular intervals, real instruments are added. Unlike Liles however, Krutogolov doesn’t dwell that much of sound effects, and rather uses them in a more natural sounding way. Quite hypnotic and engaging at times, this is surrealist music, with a built in tension that keeps lurking around the corner, and the listener is waiting for something to happen. Wether or not it happens I won’t reveal, but it’s a pretty strong CD. (FdW)

Cyclic Defrost
Maurizio Bianchi is an Italian noise music legend, who has been making records since 1979, and has amassed a discography of over 50 releases, both solo, and in collaboration with other artists. Maor Appelbaum is an Israeli musician/producer/sound engineer who has been involved in numerous solo and band projects.

Environmental Meditations sees the two collaborate on an album which is themed around the physiology of the human brain. The oxymoronic album title suggests both a looking outward to the environment, and also a looking inward, perhaps in contemplation. This is a demanding, dark listen – and yet one which offers rich rewards for the patient listener.

Across six long tracks deep waves of scarlet sound ebb and flow in rich stochastic movements. Sit down and listen to this with your full attention, and time is suspended – your very being is caught in the swell and roar of the sonic maelstrom. It’s almost as if Bianchi & Appelbaum have captured the sound of our own blood rushing and pulsing through our veins. I found listening to this had an almost narcotic effect – the paradox being that this noise could induce a state of deep relaxation in me.

Heathen Harvest
The story of Maurizio Bianchi is a fascinating one. I’ll give you a condensed version here because it’s worth telling. Maurizio, we’ll call him MB from now on, first started recording music in the late 70’s / early 80’s under the name Sacher-Pelz. He then signed a rather dubious contract with Whitehouse’s William Bennett who released two recordings on the Come Organisation record label under the new name of Leibstandarte SS MB which MB himself knew nothing about. These recordings were tampered with by Mr Bennett to such an extent that MB to this day disowns them. You can hear the results on the Susan Lawly Anthology 2 release if you can track down a copy. MB continued releasing music in vinyl and tape until 1984 when he disappeared off the radar. Legend has it that MB discovered religion and lived in a monastery for many years. Fourteen years later he resurfaced and has continued releasing music to this day. To try and list all his recordings is something best left for another day. He is considered by many in the know to be one of the great forefathers of Industrial music with his early works regarded as some of the finest you’ll ever hear. Search out EEs’T, MB’s own record label, for the ArcheoMB 1-5 releases which collates these exceptional works. Also worth considering, for your listening pleasure, is the Akifumi Nakajima (Aube) releases ‘Reworks MB vol 1 & 2’ on the Silentes Record label. One master paying his respects to another.

Maor Appelbaum also has a fascinating history. Once more condensed due to space restrictions. A well respected producer and sound and lighting engineer and multi talented musician he has been heavily involved in the Israel music scene for many years. He is a member of Poochlatz, Vultures, IWR amongst others and as a solo artist goes by the names Screening, Vectorscope, Lunisolar and Plated Steel. He is also a DJ and writer for Metal Hammer Israel and the web based A very busy man in other words.

‘Environmental Meditations’ is a collaboration between these two, feel free to use the word legends, artists on a recording that surpassed expectations. First though a little test. Decipher the following: ‘The hydrocephalic meditation comes from discriminatory in-coherences in the minimized environment of mediatic insubstantiality. This work provides profitable logicality to the futuristic aversions subjecting the deprecated brains marketing an elitist unpretentiousness.’ If you understood any of that then this release will have further deep meaning for you. I got lost just after the first ‘the’ at the start. I realise it must mean something but I’m buggered if I can figure it out. Thankfully you don’t need a University degree in English to enjoy the elaborate sound sculptures these two seminal, and highly prolific, artists have created. The six tracks on ‘Environmental Meditations’ are what I would class as Noise Ambient music. I’m not sure this genre actually exists but for this review it does. You see both artists have managed to record music that, although at first listen is a mass of disturbing and darkly horrific electronic assaults, actually becomes very meditative and reassuring after a while. Thus Noise Ambient. I happily fell asleep drifting off to its layers of discordant resonance’s…which probably says more about my state of mind rather the music itself. Underneath the massive squalls of phenomenal scorching electronic patterns, that continually evolve and transform, the faint patterns of melodic touches that lay submerged start shining through fighting for recognition. It’s these hidden features which make ‘Environmental Meditations’ so different from other ‘noise’ excursions you may have listened to in the past. By investigating the sounds more closely, preferably through headphones…or cans as they are sometimes called….the true mastery and ingenuity of these pieces becomes clearly apparent.

Which isn’t to say that ‘Environmental Meditations’ is for everyone. The initial force and thrust of the music as it rages forth on a torrent of electronic voraciousness will take many aback. Which would put you in the category of ‘wimp’ in my eyes. Sadly even reputations of the worth of MB & MA means little nowadays to the ever fickle music, and not very knowledgeable if truth be told, buying public. To have these two virtuoso’s together on a recording is an event worth shouting about. Be part of it. Experience it to the fullest. Enjoy the aural gratification whilst you can. The Legends live on. Exceptional and worth every dime or penny or whatever it costs you in the end.


It’s time again for a new release from the Israelian Topheth Prophet and this time the result is asthonishing … The last couple of weeks this CD has been in my player over and over again simply because everytime I discovered new layers and new dynamics. Whereas some CD’s are obvious the 2nd time around, this one is a little piece of constant magic.

This is a collaboration between the godfather of avant-gardistic noise, Maurizio Bianchi, and the quite active though still relatively unknown Maor Appelbaum. The latter is a member of the Israeli projects Poochlatz, Vultures and IWR as well as sole member of the projects Screening, Vectorscope and Plated Steel. And yes, there are even MORE projects in which he is involved …

But back to this release. Titles like ‘Synapse’, ‘Thalamus’ and ‘Hypothalamus’ (all parts of what is inside your head) as well as a little knowledge of what mr. Bianchi is all about, make it obvious that it’s not easy listening. These are noisey soundsculptures with a high production level, weird ambiences which definitly trigger your mind (as they are supposed to do).

There is actually a quite elequent release note to this CD. Written too beautiful to keep it from you. “The hydrocephalic meditation comes from discriminatory incoherences in the minimized environment of mediatic insubstantiality. This work provides profitable logicality to the futuristic aversions, subjecting the deprecated brains marketing to an elitist unpretentiousness.”

If we translate that to proper English the result is “This CD contains some gorgeous crossover between noise and ambient and it will make you think. Buy it!”

You know what? He’s right.

Connexion Bizarre
Maurizio Bianchi is a name I have heard many times, considered legendary among noise musicians, he has been recording music since 1979 and has an impressive discography including over 50 releases. Maor Appelbaum is an Israeli who works as a musician/producer and sound engineer who has been involved in numerous releases of his own.
Enviromental Meditations may be a “noise” album for the most part it was a very “relaxing” experience for me (at least most of it). This is also one of those discs you want to devote your full attention to and not merely use as background noise, otherwise you won’t get anywhere near the full extent of it.
“Synapse” starts with noise joined by what sounds to me like a wall of reverb. With what I’m assuming is a much quieter synth played next to the noise which changes it from confrontational to ambient. Towards the end the noise starts to dwindle out and let the ambient bits soak in. When the twelve minute mark hits there is a perfect transition into the next piece.
“Thalamus” is less noisey and the electronics are far more sophisticated sounding. rather than two opposing walls of sound we have organic sounding electronics that transform as they go. The is a noise quality to some of the frequencies in this track, as well as some of the backing noises, it does however have the same “ambience” quality of the previous track, just with a lot more seeming to be going on.
The third track, entitled “Mesencephalon” is the longest piece on the disc (clocking in at nineteen minutes). Harsher noises return once more in a cycle similar to the first track but anything but the noise and reverb that might be there is subtle. One thing I do have to point out is that this track, at least to my ears is extremely repetitious and 19 minutes seems far too long for it to go on. If it were to develop out in different ways it might be alright but I found myself wondering if anything different was ever going to come about.
My personal favorite track would probably “Hypothalamus” the final one. The album’s theme continues with it but there are layers of harsh noise that come and go leaving it a bit unpredictable and I think the textures used in this composition are the most interesting of the disc. Saving the best for last apparently.
In the end we have 6 tracks of what can perhaps be described as “meditative noise”. There is a lot of good here in sound design and layering though some of the pieces seem a bit long and repetitious after awhile. Overall, I think it’s a fairly good effort from both contributors and I would not hesitate to say it is a lot more interesting than most the “noise” polluting CD and CD-R format these past few years… Reviews

aural pressure
Topheth Prophet aren’t the most prolific of record labels. This is only the 7th release since the labels inception in 2002. Quality not quantity seems to be their mantra. You only have to check out their back catalogue to see what I’m getting at. Releases by Chaos as Shelter, Grundik & Slava, Barzel (who appears here) and Der Blutharsch sums up their ethic to a tee. Everyone one of those releases pretty much essential listening deserving a place in your record collection. Well you can add “Noise.IL” to that illustrious list.

” Noise.IL’ features the following artists: Mortalmanifest, Drone Lebanon, Gedem, GAOP Vs Aboolele, Wreck & Drool and Barzel all of whom inhibit the noise spectrum of music. Some of these acts you may recall from previous AP reviews (GAOP Vs Aboolele and Barzel) whilst the others mark their debut on this site. But fear not… for not everything here will have you reaching for the glass of water and Hedex. Although you may like to keep them close at hand… just in case. It all depends on your own pain threshold. The music features the usual high frequencies and thundering blasts of electronic punishment with some unusual samples thrown in for good measure. Which actually makes it sound rather run of the mill. And which…if truth be told…it occasionally falls into. This cannot really be helped as there’s only so much you can achieve when you venture into creating music of the power / extreme electronic variety. Here’s some noise. Here’s some samples. Here’s one I baked earlier. Listen closely though and you’ll actually find some neat touches throughout the release. Very neat touches that separates this release from the usual V/A fair that gets released. Even though I’ve struggled previously with some the music by GAOP Vs Aboolele, their tracks contributed here put them in a new light. Mortalmanifest were a revelation. Absolutely adored their first track. Drone Lebanon impressed. Wreck & Drool had me doing just that. Gedem…. come on down. Barzel was… well typical Barzel in many respects… and for that I’m very thankful.

The question, I suppose if there has to be one, is: Why should I buy this when there’s so many other compilations out there like it? Three answers. First: “Noise.IL” is on the Topheth Prophet record label. Which is reason enough. Remember… this is the label that brought you the “Tel-Aviv Aftermath” compilation. Once heard, never forgotten. Secondly: The acts involved are diverse enough in style and approach to make this stand out. Lastly: Because I recommend it. “Noise.IL” puts Israeli noise music firmly in the spotlight. Shine on you crazy diamonds.

Alternative Zine
The genre of music I find most difficult to write about is noise; be it ambient, harsh, industrial, drone, power electronics, glitch, experimental or any other sub-genre out there. It’s as hard to write about as it is hard to listen to, it’s mostly a type of music you’ll get into late (after experiencing various different kinds, and mostly if you started off with Hardcore or Metal) and for a pretty good reason too… noise (in general) is as experimental as it gets, there are no rules or boundaries within this genre and as a direct result of this it can be very unpleasant to most people – having said that I can now try to tackle this collection on noise.

Israel has a growing noise scene with a growing number of artists, who from time to time organize noise nights/shows – such as the one recorded here on “Noise.IL”, sometime in the summer of 2005.
While not as large as the Japanese or anywhere near as large as the American noise scene, the Israeli scene is alive and kicking in various styles. Each one of the six artists on this nine-track album shows a different part of the spectrum, from easy-listening tracks such as the bizarrely dramatic opening track, MortalManifest’s “Fear establishment for Lucifer Jupiter”, or the foggy closing track, Barzel’s “Rebuild the temple now” (who weren’t a part of the live show), to harsh and complex tracks such as Gedem’s “My Bleeding Ears” or Wreck & Drool’s “Idle Petitions”.
There is no place to actually describe each of the nine tracks, for each is a separate experience and can be described in numerous ways; surprisingly enough, the album does manage to flow from one track to another despite the differences.

Highlights in my opinion are Gaop and Aboolele’s “Telemarketing the temple of hatred 2005” due to the combination between the buzzing background, low-pitch electronic drones and the high-pitched squeals, glitch, and narration which create an overall apocalyptic feeling, as well as Drone Lebanon’s “Zionistzermatism” where the religiously-connected speech is swallowed by a wave of electronics – as if the world itself is saying how insignificant one being (or on opinion) is, as if zooming in and out of earth.

Many interpretations can be come with this kind of music; each track is a combination of ideas, repetitions and variation, stripping down to minimalist primal beats and building up effects and layers to a wall of noise. One way or another, this is a fine representation of the noise scene here in Israel, and certainly pins the aforementioned artists on the map. A small proof for this is the reviews worldwide, a larger (and much more important) one is the existence of more and more noise artists, albums and events such as the one that resulted with this collection.

Israel is not the first country we think of when we talk about noise and dark ambient music. So this album has eight new names for me, all projects from Israel and Chaos as Shelter isn’t even amongst them!

The tracks range from minimal electronics over power electronics to harsh noise, and it’s definitly an album which gives you the oportunity to explore.

During listening I wrote down the tracks that impressed me most on a personal level, and – though there isn’t a real ‘bad’ track to be found on it – both numbers were collaborations between or remixes by Gaop and Aboolele. Coincidence? No idea, but it seems I DID discover something! *happyboy*

So I clicked to the website from the Topheth label and checked out the links to the pages from these and the other bands. Most both of them have one or more online albums available. Free and good.

I can’t emphasize it enough; This is a corner of the world where there is still a lot to be discovered and therefore it’s almost a ‘must have’ !

At the Gaop Myspace site it’s very well put into words: “sounds like noise .. power electronix .. dark ambient .. post industrial .. experimental .. avantgarde but its all of them combined together with a touch of sadness and a hint of hatred.” But this goes for the whole CD, not just his tracks.

White Reviews


“White” is an unusual, often frustrating, sometimes aimless but occasionally very beautiful recording. Essentially a single 77-minute piece (though divided into seven tracks), it’s also in some ways almost a solo effort. While the bulk of the sounds derive from Krutogolov (credited with “bass with bow”, strings, voice, keyboards, objects, flute, birds “…”), Yariv Talmor’s “rain” makes up a substantial component of the piece time-wise. Ido Azaria is also credited for bells.

But let’s back up. “White” comes in a handsomely designed package with the image of a tree and grazing horse printed in very light gray on a white background. Inside, there’s an eight page booklet with the tree on the front and back, the interior six pages…all white. Well, OK, getting twee on me here, but we trudge onward. It opens with a dreamy mélange of sounds: a sort of Riley-esque organ, rain, thunder and random scrapings, most prominently a carillon-like tone whose quasi-melody is very reminiscent of an early Art Ensemble piece I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe a portion of “The Spiritual”. A flute enters playing languidly, perhaps a mandolin, sounds of children playing–all very pastoral, settling into a space somewhere between Bryars and the Penguin Café Orchestra, though far looser than either. When an (artificially?) high voice appears, the music teeters dangerously on the precipice of sappy and it balances there for much of the first three sections, really just wallowing in the goo with nothing much happening. But just when you’re about to give in to exasperation, suddenly things congeal in the fourth track, the keyboards layering gorgeously, the accompanying chatter of flutes beginning to make “sense”. The whole thing takes on much the character of a John Cale piece circa “The Academy in Peril”, except with the richness of arrangements heard in someone like Simon Fisher Turner. It’s a very attractive combination. Audible weather returns and the work subsides a bit for the fifth portion, more or less returning to the sounds of the opening, but about midway through the sixth track, heralded by a far-off child’s cry that has been resurfacing throughout, some beautiful, ethereal strings appear, again reminding me of some of Turner’s work (say, on the “Last of England” soundtrack) but even more romantic and evocative, embedded in rain. The strings intensify and deepen, producing a strikingly effective slab of sound until Krutogolov suddenly pulls out the rug.

The final section takes up fully half the disc, some 38 minutes. After a little bit of the by now familiar ringing tone and the odd tootle of a flute, we’re left with almost only the rain, which continues pretty much through the concluding half hour. There is a very faraway voice singing, you hear the flute now and again, but gradually it’s just the rain, waxing and waning. The drops actually disappear entirely at a couple of points, returning a bit more hushed the first time, with muffled thunder the second. It’s a risky gambit as the sound itself is simply laid out there bare. Attractive enough on its own, when considered in conjunction with the music that came before, both the aggravatingly meandering and the romantically passionate, it somehow works. Not a yin/yang, black and white deal but two (or more) surprisingly related tones of gray.

If the stalwart listener can be patient, “White” offers unique rewards. Not your typical electro-acoustic mishmash by any means, it’s an eccentric offering that surprises as much as it annoys. Worth a shot.


Israelian busy bee Igor Krutogolov has yet another project on his hands which is in many respects the opposite of his band Kruzenshtern i Parohod. The artwork of White is very much what the title indicates: white. Musically, it’s not that sparse, but still the music is quite smallsounding and very atmospheric. The seven untitled movements are always calm and serene, with the sound of rain as a recurring element. The album feels very much like a pleasant dream. A dreamy, swirling organ functions as drone similar to an Indian tambura. That sound will be the flying carpet, so to speak, on which you will be taken on an interesting trip. Some parts, like the third movement, have a playful feel similar to the the ambient excursions of the The Boredoms. This will be augmented by medieval stringwork and harpchords, that have the ancient sense of some of Arvo Pärt’s work to it. Ceremonial bells tingle and flutes chirp like birds while you can imagine yourself in a garden, which is finally getting the rain it had been thirsting for and soon everything will blossom up and fill your nostrils with heavenly scents. Then, in part seven, all sounds slowly disappear until your left with the sound of the rain. The friendly drone music reminds of (partly) Icelandic projects like Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sigur Rós and Eyvind Kang’s Virginal Co-ordinates, so if you enjoy those I’d recommend this. If you don’t know any of them I’d recommend them all, on top of this one.

Vital WeeklyFrom Israel comes Igor Krutogolov, who is besides
a musician also the designer for Topheth Propeht. Apparently he is mostly known for his ‘klezmer core’ project Kruzenshtern & Parohod but also a ‘toy orchestra’ Igor Krutogolov’s Karate Band as well as various collaborations he has done with people like Chaos As Shelter, Agnivolok, Bastard Noise, Tidal and Darkwood. For ‘White’, which comes with a booklet with white pages (funny or arty) he plays bass with bow and strings, voice, keyboards, objects, flute and birds and gets help from somebody playing bells and someone delivering a tape of rain sounds. Divided into seven parts, this is however very much one piece. The musical theme’s re-occur in every track, the rain sounds return every now and then. The label compares this is to Colin Potter and Andrew Liles, which, especially in the case of Liles, I can see some parallel. The drone like sounds form the backbone of the piece and with irregular intervals, real instruments are added. Unlike Liles however, Krutogolov doesn’t dwell that much of sound effects, and rather uses them in a more natural sounding way. Quite hypnotic and engaging at times, this is surrealist music, with a built in tension that keeps lurking around the corner, and the listener is waiting for something to happen. Wether or not it happens I won’t reveal, but it’s a pretty strong CD. (FdW)

Dawn Syndrome Reviews


In a splendid crafted cardboard packaging with bright orange and green colours, i find the disc of Chaos as Shelter from Israel, whose sounds are led out of my speakers straight into my ears for some days now, especially in the late hours. My brain then starts shaping very strong images in which i find myself somewhere in the Middle-East, sitting beside a river and watching the local population carrying water out of a dwelling and drying the clay in the hot sun. A little further an old tredmill is being operated and the sqeezing sound has a relaxing effect on my mood, due to which the heat of the burning sun is surprisingly good to bear. Then vocals sound from a villager that is cattling his goats and passes by my place. In the booklet it is stated that this is an outtake from a vinyl home recording dated from 1950 on which one Isaac Goldfield can be heard who is reciting a Kaddish. If the end of Kali Yuga is announced with this, i wouldnt even have noticed it. The sound of an accordeon is heard. A contribution of Vera Agnivolok. Another contribution is of Helena Dorsht, who sings on one of the tracks. By now the time has come to devote myself to my afternoon prayers. Hypnotized by the contrasts of the all encompassing shrill sound to the other sounds of the near vicinity, i stand still to listen to it…

Chaos as Shelter have made a masterpiece this time. In the ritual ambient on this album the organic and electronic sounds perfectly merge and result in strong imaginative soundcollages. Dawn Syndrome is dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga, the age of iron, which is the final and most negative of four evolutionary Yugic cycles, the end of the world, and the dawn of a new golden age – Sataya Yuga (the age of purity).

Heathen Harvest

Vadim Gusis is the man responsible for the musical flow of Chaos As Shelter and this Russian born musician has risen to become one of Israel’s premier post industrial musicians. Vadim is a very prolific artist having released more than eleven albums since 1999. Dawn Syndrome is a recent recording made avaliable through the upcoming Israeli label Topheth Prophet. Dawn Syndrome is the fifth official release of Topheth Prophet following previous releases by Israeli musicians Barzel and Grundik & Slava.

Dawn Syndrome sees Chaos As Shelter delving deeply into ritualistic ambient music as Vadim constructs a soundtrack for the final cycle of the Kali Yuga. The Kali Yuga is part of the Hindu cosmology belief system and it is explained as:

“According to the Hindu tradition of cosmology, we are now nearing the end of the Kali Yuga (the Age of Iron) which is the final and most negative of four evolutionary Yugic cycles.

Each Yuga is like the season of a super-cosmic year, even greater than the cosmic year of the precession of the equinoxes. When the Earth came into its current phase of manifestation and the first Yuga began (‘Satya’ Yuga, meaning ‘Purity’) humanity was barely removed from its original state of God-like innocence. This was the original Golden Age. As time progressed the planet underwent the influence of a negative descending spiral, and the quality of life in each successive Yuga became further and further removed from the knowledge of truth and natural Law (in other words, ;’Reality’).”

The Dawn Syndrome attempts to capture this cosmological evolution and give it expression through music. Accompanying Vadim on this spiritual endeavor are guest musicians Helena Dorsht (Voice), Vera Agnivolok (Piano Accordian), and the sampled voice of Isaac Golfield taken from a home recorded vinyl disc recorded in 1950.

The music on Dawn Syndrome is a mutating mixture of sacral sound cultivated from acoustic instrumentation and electronic sound manipulations. The album is dominated by singing bowls which when struck with finesse and skill unleashes high pitched resonating whines. This unique instrumental sound embellishes the entire album giving the music a very distinct personality. Alongside the singing bowls is a myriad array of sounds ranging from vintage voice recordings to unidentifiable percussion and sound concrete.

The atmospheres invoked are sacral in nature and communicate a deep sense of reflection and at other times a sense of colliding impressions that give voice to the cosmic forces and currents that define the Kali Yuga. There is a definitive Middle Eastern identity to the music that inspires images of dry wind swept deserts, hard baked clay homes, veiled women, and religious devotion.

When listening to Dawn Syndrome the listner must abandon their sense of control and suspend the rational mind in order to allow you to become fully submerged in the aural atmospheres. With this accomplished Chaos As Shelter gently leads you through carefully constructed songs that bleed together offering a fluid listening experience that though subtle in nature is still grossly engaging. With the right setting you are able to feel the music striving towards the coming age as it sheds layers of illusion while seeking the light the dawn promises. Murky atmospheres slowly part allowing light to stream through the dark hours. Just as the dawn’s first rays begin to penetrate the night the music becomes muddled and abstract once more as forces gyrate and mutate rotating in incessant cycles within cycles.

The music also embodies a vague sense of progression. Rather than feeling as if you are on a linear journey it feels as if you are suspended in a calm center which offers you the vantage point of watching the cosmological evolution evolve, gyrate, disintegrate and reconstruct all about you. Vadim does an excellent job of balancing the sound so none of the atmospheres ever feel heavy or suffocating but rather remain crystalline like clear water. Metaphors of light and water are fitting descriptors to try and identify the music.

Music listeners who enjoy ritualistic and experimental music will enjoy Dawn Syndrome. And it is very likely that this album will bare no comparisons to other music in your collection. This is not your standard dark ambient album. Indeed the music bares little resemblance to other albums I am aware of. Chaos As Shelter has successfully constructed an aural journey that transports the listner outside time and space while navigating towards inner regions waiting to be unearthed. For those of us who reside a world away from this region the music of Dawn Syndrome delivers a dreamlike journey capable of tuning the listeners subconscious into to the subtle vibrations and unique identity of this geographical region and its spiritual culture.

Chaos As Shelter have been around for a decent amount of time, but I think this is the first full length album of theirs I’ve heard. The majority of stuff here could be described as ambient, though the type of ambience that occurs and the sounds used vary throughout the disc. Some of the songs have more of a really ominous and brooding vibe, others are weird collages of drones and chimes, some tracks have middle eastern vocals and instrumentation, and others consist heavily of found sound, and some tracks even have some (evil) accordion sounding stuff in them. But all of the material here is some type of ambient, and the mood created overall is rather dark, if somewhat more cheery at times. The amount of variety makes this disc really nice, and none of the 9 tracks here really sound the same. This disc spans about 70 minutes, but you never really notice, and you’re actually sad to see it go, which is always a sign of a good album.

To go off on somewhat of an unrelated tangent, it says in the liner notes that this album is dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga. From what I’ve gathered, Kali Yuga is a Hindu belief that basically represents a long span of time where the world is decadent, and when the Kali Yuga ends, the world will be more or less paradise. This sounds rather silly to me, being as I am of a pretty nonreligious persuasion, but I find it interesting, and I figured it was interesting enough to mention. Also interesting is that some of the vocals from this album were recorded by a guy named Isaac Goldfield in the 50’s, and Chaos As Shelter somehow accidentally came upon a vinyl record of this recording.

Anyways, to get back to the music, I like this disc a lot. The drones and ambience it creates are really nice; it manages to be soothing without fading into the background at all. This is smart and diverse ambient music that strays somewhat towards the darker side of things, with the occasional ethnic bent included in as well. Recommended for sure.

aural pressure

The first review for a Chaos as Shelter release to hit this website…which is a surprise considering how long this Russian artist living in Israel has been around…but better late than never I suppose. With some very compulsive releases on CD / CDR already under his belt…check out “Dead Air Broadcasts” which is highly recommended…”Dawn Syndrome” follows with the tradition of releasing sound sculptures made from varying sources. Dedicated to the end of Kali Yuga and the dawn of Sataya Yuga…kind of negative vs. positive cycles…the nine tracks on this release is more ritual based ambience for which he has gained a sizeable following.

Steeped in religious imagery and mysticism, the music encompasses organic and artificial sources to create a deeply profound journey into the soul. The sounds of chants used over water bowels being struck in harmony is just one of the components that sets the scene for this rather unnerving recording. The use of almost Middle Eastern musique concrete…where sounds devolve and dissolve…helps brings forth the light from the darkness. Semi experimental in vein, where modern equipment and traditional musical instruments clash head to head, helps the music to mutate in various directions whilst still retaining a sense of balance. Add in the guest vocal talents of Helena Dorsht and Isaac Goldfield, who add a suitable layer of emotional discord, and what you end up with is a recording that reaches deeply into the human psyche.

There’s much to tell about this recording but so little space left to tell it that only by investigating it yourself will you have the full insight into what “Dawn Syndrome” achieves. Mark my words though. Although dark and ritual it may not appeal to everyone. “Dawn Syndrome” needs time to get under the skin. You have to be 100% focussed to get the most from it.
Vadim Gusis doesn’t just create music. He lives and breaths it and this is amply shown here. Pilgrims willing to follow his path will be suitably rewarded for their time and effort.

Frogs Reviews
To the best of my knowledge, “Frogs” is the first I’ve heard of Grundik + Slava. I definitely had no clue what to expect, but I more or less took the cute frog drawing on the cover as an indication that it would either be really good or really bad. Luckily, this record falls into the latter category.

The audio here is a really cool take on the experimental ambient genre, creating beautiful soundscapes using dark synth sweeps, found sounds, guitars and a bunch of other things. There are a few tracks where they go into completely different territory- especially the second track, ‘a frog gets over his fear of water’, which sounds like some aliens kidnapped a funk band- but mostly they stick to the really experimental ambient stuff. “Frogs” also features the talents of Chaos As Shelter, Igor Krutugolov and Victoria Hanna, the latter of which contributes vocals on half of the tracks, giving them a really weird feel, adding a somewhat playful side to the darker tracks. I especially love her vocals on the fourth track, “women of rain forest”. imagine if the vocalist from melt banana took a lot of lithium and really sang; it’s bizarre and cute, but undeniably beautiful.

There are some more traditional middle eastern elements here and there, but mostly this disc keeps to its really nice experimental dark ambient textures with the previously mentioned hanna’s vocals popping in to add even more texture. There are always new sounds coming into the mix, it never gets boring. In a lot of ways this makes me think of Throbbing Gristle’s more soundscape driven works, because it has that definite vibe to it.

This album rules! Go embrace the frog now, motherfucker!

Grundik and Slava, the highly respected and fruitful duo that originated in Israel in 1994, currently share their time navigating their music between Israel and New York. On Frogs, they benefit from the undeciphered vocals of Victoria Hanna (at times whispering in a Gilli Smyth manner), and some bass work by Kruzenshtern & Parohod’s Igor Krutogolov; but most of all they rely on their own vision and their own means (such as computer, guitar, drum machine and field recordings, not to forget their skills) to execute it.

Frogs is to electronic music what Egberto Gismonti’s Danca Das Cabecas (1977) is to jazz and Peccatum’s Lost in Reverie (2004) is to metal: a journey that stretches beyond the boundaries of a genre, avoiding preconceived limitations and definitions, and bridging between the tangible and the metaphysical, while navigating between the structured and unstructured.

The music presented here is a carefully unfolding organic adventure with its background and foreground merging into a single entity, making each listening equivalent to a trip in wild nature, ranging from the tribal and eerie to the meditative and relaxing, and with so much finesse that it can only be partially absorbed on each trip; hence, remaining fresh with every listen.

Frogs is one of the most articulate electronica offerings I have ever heard, and a must have for anyone with even a mild interest in avant-garde electronica that is completely free of commercial considerations. (9.5/10)


After “For electronics and birds” the album “Frogs” is the second in Grundik + Slava’s fauna series. As the title presumes, all the music is dedicated to frogs. The titles of the songs enhance this presumption even more. As on it’s predesessor “For electronics and birds” the electronic music is amplified by sound of nature on the eternal quest towards the ideal sound.

The electronic music of Grundik + Slava always been defined by orginality and “Frogs” can’t be anything else but again a real gem. The natural sound of frogs, birds and the rainforest combined with the experimental electronica gives the listener enough impact to wish there actually are raindrops falling on your head. A refreshing shower would lighten up the music even more, but even without there is enough life to be seated inside.

On “Frogs” Grundik + Slava choose to be accompanied by the female singer Victoria Hanna. With her frail but very beautiful voice she can be heared on many songs. This creates an extra soundlayer with give the idea of the fauna in the music an even greater edge. One doesn’t feel love for frogs to find the gem in this album. For the lover of experimental electronica this is an absolute musthave.

Grundik + Slava are pioneers on the erea of israelic/american electronic music and “Frogs” shows they still reside at the top. The joint release between Auris Media Records and Thophet Prophet made it possible this gem could be released.

Flirting with issues of fascism, race and religion is hardly anything new to the genre. Take seminal act Mental Destruction for example whose rhythmic poundings try to reign down some old Testament fire and brimstone upon all the sinning unbelievers. Genocide Organ take on the role of the ultra-right and despite being commonly mistaken for the real thing, do so purely as a postmodern attack against. Detecting when the uniform is worn with burning sincerity versus being a disguise for subversive intent is often difficult if not impossible as well as being highly dependent on the political bent of the listener. With Barzel I myself detect zero sarcasm making this militant Jewish industrial the perfect soundtrack for Israeli settlers dabling in ethnic cleansing or those just yearning for some ideological pornography to get beneath their thick skin.

The 9 tracks here (plus a short intro blurt) blast through 48 minutes filled with burning oil and billowing smoke. As one would hope from the byline, the focus here is on martial music based around heavy industry and themes of racial / religious pride. Lyrically the tracks are crammed with historical references to the birth of Israel, go words like “honour” and “Zionism” and the same sort of creepy hate fueled fanaticism that drives both the JDL and WAR alike. Still, there is less focus on the “other” and more on self agrandizment, militant empowerment and nationalism.

Instrumentation is formed using rough loops and line noise in the finest industrial traditions and bears an immediate gritty authenticity sometimes missing from our progressively more software driven scene. Structurally songs roll along like bulldozers through a refugee camp with the destruction sometimes painfully close while at others as if seen via a poorly recepted newscast on pirate television. It’s all very noisy, crude and with particles of sand and ash irritating any and all smooth surfaces.

The sound quality on this disc works both ways. Its lo-fi, at times utterly bombed out profile mixed with the thematic hate spewing forth like hornets from a disturbed nest is at times almost frightening in how it displays raw malice with so little emotion. The lack of full spectrum oomph however makes this world a little smaller and distant, like driving by a serious accident instead of being spattered across the wreckage at its epicenter.

Comparisons would immediately lead off to acts like Survival Unit though the level of rhythmic structure adds some MZ.412 like momentum to the power electronics and old school industrial. While I think a different approach at the mastering stage might have increased the circulation to the extremeties, what’s here is still quite effective as a (perhaps unsavory) motivational tool.

As I tend to follow events in the middle east, I’m not a disinterested bystander which means that ideologically I see zero difference between Likud and the Gestapo besides surface dress code aesthetics. For me Barzel fill the jack boots of an anti-hero which does lend the work a forbidden taste I am not immune to. For hardcore Zionists from the JDL mold this release may provide the equivalent service that Resistance Records does for dented head neo-nazis. But unlike every bit of bonafide white pride flotsam I’ve heard, Barzel places art high above the politics. So even if your point of view is from beneath the butt of an Israeli rifle, it is hard to resist this call to arms.

aural pressure
Jewish culture and history, I’m shamed to say, I know very little about. I know that for some reason, which I still can’t fathom out, the Jews have been persecuted since the beginning of time. I’m also aware of the atrocities and genocide that the Jews have had to tolerate in the 20th century and that hatred hasn’t disappeared even today. That is the sum of my pitiful knowledge.

When I saw the cover stating “Militant Jewish Industrial” I was slightly worried that here might be a propaganda exercise put to music that would be off-putting to those intolerant of all things Jewish. Forget those preconceptions. Put aside your religious bigotry and just enjoy a great piece of power electronics. Barzel work very much within the styles of Propergol, Folkstorm, Today I’m Dead etc. Utilising samples from radio / film and distorted vocals over ear crunching noise this recording will go down as a classic amongst fans of this genre. Huge waves of reverberation threaten to blow up the speakers as the sonics go into overload mode. Throbbing with the power and energy of a nuclear blast the music of Barzel deserves a place within anyone’s collection. Awesome in other words.

Clear your mind, clear your room of precious ornaments, and be prepared to experience the second coming in power / noise electronics.

The Geometry Of Soul Reviews

Nothing less than two of the most acclaimed acts out there nowadays, together in a collaborative project with a new attractive artist, such as Igor Krugutolov, and a young label with an outstanding prior release and a promising future added to the mix, and the cocktail can do no wrong! This collaboration CD was created by Bastard Noise, Igor Krugotolov, and Chaos as Shelter. Bastard Noise is the noise project of ex-Man member Eric Wood, Igor Krutogolov is known for his project Agnivolok, and Chaos as Shelter is known for their multitude of releases on various labels such as Crowd Control and Drone. This CD contains a strange mix of noise and folky sounds (singing and traditional instruments). An interesting scheme composed of 5 tracks with an interesting progressive content where the Pythagoras-inspired channel between geometry and inner/outer harmony finds its way. With more than an hour of recorded stuff and such a small number of tracks, you can easily infer that all of them are long ones. All but the introductory one, where we can find some static noise, scrap manipulation and serene, ritualistic, monastic-like male chants that increase its intensity along the almost 4 minutes it lasts. Surpasses expectations.


First Impressions being what they are tend to form the cast you use to mold any subsequent encounters. With Chaos As Shelter this means that memories of “Midnight Prayer / Illusion” prime my instincts for a descent into some dark and spiritual waters. The scent of age and runish script is not all that unfamiliar to “The Geometry of Soul” but the shapes and angles are much more obtuse than expected, no doubt due to the influence of the other two collaborators. Bastard Noise is quite self-evident, his name a truism as far as his sonic outline is concerned. Igor Krutogolov is an unknown element to me so the exact nature of his contributions are not well determined.The disc opens with “Point Of No Return” which in different circumstances could suggest an odd mastering related accident at the pressing plant. I say this because the components fit easily into the Chaos As Shelter mythos – hymns, resonant low end swells, found sound, mostly what one would expect from prior interactions. What is less familliar is a frequency dependent distortion that lays fully across the the peaks of the recording like a crispy coasting of charcoal and shiny aluminum shards. I like it, the dryness and sparkle it adds lends a certain stress to the piece but it is very much an external treatment as opposed to an integral component.

The liner notes nor the label’s website expand at all on the process leading to this release but I am going to risk eating my own sweaty foot by laying the core of the second track at the doorstep of Bastard Noise. The microphone dangling in front of the PA monitors here seems thoroughly uncomfortable staying put in any position for than a brief moment. The resonant frequency locked onto my by the wandering mic placement is constantly whipping about but if you can brave the initial invasiveness of it, it becomes more glassy and musical as the track’s other components move up through the ranks into the foreground. Around this squeaky merry-go-round is a gang of slowly lumbering swells which meet with a burst of distortion before going their separate ways to the holy lands.

“Triangle” is like the blowback from Genocide Organ with its high voltage thronging and reek of heavy industry. Perhaps this is Igor’s stylistic contribution and if so, bless his black heart for the much needed catharthis. Red eyes glowing through billowing acrid smoke this one is (and any other pretentious but satisfying phrases you like to use when describing pure industrial musics).

“Live” delves into drone based microsound and easily eats up two minutes before the listener is particularly aware of it. Tack on another 7 or 8 before it becomes apparent that this is a tricky deconstruction of some of the underlaying vocal samples throughout the disc. Overly glacial perhaps but hypnotic and if you have the patience to wait through the development cycle of tones that might have been programmed using a TI graphing calculator, you will find it quite beautiful.

The final track exits the previous calm immediately with a death industrial type seething that merges a low slung dread (hard and auto-panned sinusoids through a very digital sounding plate reverb) with a blurbling inner voice of irregular distortion squashed into the little bit of space at the back of the eye sockets. It’s quite menacing at times, not from any in your face aggro but due to the suggestion that you are about to lose mental control of normally repressed thoughts. Subtle and not without a lingering strength.

Chaos as Shelter were definitely the draw for me when I first pulled this from the envelope but the mingled influences here have created an equally satisfying hybrid of noise, pure industrial and spiritual ambient music. The range is wide enough to be hard to pitch this in a single direction but even without a super tight focus, it is a satisfying stylistic collision that has me circling the block for yet another look.

Tel Aviv Aftermath Reviews

A showcase for new music from Israel, Tel Aviv Aftermath is a mixed bag of noise, industrial, electronic and avant-garde music which, although at times it wallows in self-indulgence, at others has the power to intrigue and to captivate. The minute’s silence “for the memory of all those who violently lost their lives in the Middle East conflict, except those who took other lives while losing theirs” would be the collection’s low point, were it not succeeded by an utterly dreadful seventeen minute live improvisation by an underground supergroup calling themselves The Crossfishes. This is a shame, as the nine preceding pieces are all pretty much OK – and none better than the New Jerusalem Defense Forces’ ‘Make Law’, a bitter slab of grinding power electronics that appears to be punctuated by the sound of a nearby firefight. Never mind that NJDF personnel Igor Krutogolov and Vadim Gusis also work out with the aforementioned Crossfishes (as well as both having good individual tracks on the compilation), they also find time to contribute to the wonderfully weird ”The Golden Skull’, as backing group to Vera Agnivolok, a singer capable of raising the hairs on the back of anybody’s neck. The other standout track is VectorScope’s ‘No Way To Deny The Dream’, which, with its pounding industrial rhythm through as swirling soup of synth sounds, had me in mind of the Aphex Twin, c.1993. New label, interesting material, worth a listen.

STEWART GOTT – 8 August 2002

All Music Guide
The first release from the Israeli label Topheth Prophet was, as is often the case for small independent labels, a compilation album of local talents. But behind the two handfuls of acts featured on Tel Aviv Aftermath hide only a few artists, namely Igor Krutogolov (aka Igor18), Vadim Gusis (aka Chaos as Shelter and HU), Maor Appelbaum (aka Screening and VectorScope), and Ant Weiss (aka Forma). All of them plus a couple more musicians get together as the Crossfishes for the final 17-minute live performance. The music ranges from pensive electronics (Grundik and Slava’s opening piece) to experimental electroacoustics (HU’s “The Helmet,” in which Gusis explores the spiritual energy of a helmet by playing it, dixit his liner notes), to harsh noise (New Jerusalem Defense Forces, a duo of Krutogolov and Gusis). Some tracks are unremarkable chunks of experimental drone/noise, but there are some stunning contributions. Igor18 and Chaos as Shelter’s solo tracks live up to the quality of their full-length collaborations (with Tidal and Bastard Noise, to name but two). Agnivolok’s song — yes, song, actually a litany — provides a moment of quiet beauty: gripping voice, simple accordion, very tasteful arrangements, a clear standout track. After a minute of silence (a cry for peace coupled to a political stance) comes the Crossfishes track. If anything, the first three quarters of the album announce that gathering all these musicians on the same stage could result in thundering chaos. On the contrary, the piece is rather quiet and very disciplined (I don’t think the six improvisers ever play all at once), dominated by repetitive motifs and Weiss’ disembodied wails. Tel Aviv Aftermath is not an essential album, but it offers a nice occasion to get acquainted with the Israeli experimental underground. ~ François Couture, All Music Guide

To my surprise I received a cd out of Israel, a country of which you usually only hear news related to the tragic conflict with their Palestinian neighbours. My musical encounters with Israel are mostly confined to their contributions to the Eurovision Song Contest. So I was pleasantly suprised to find out that there is an interesting experimental/industrial scene in Israel. On “Tel Aviv Aftermath”, of which the artwork shows a militant and apocalyptic style, are ten different acts compiled. Of these I have only heard music of Chaos as Shelter in the past. The booklet of the compilation is quite nice and informative, with background info about all the performing artists.

Grundik-Slava, a long-time collaboration between two composers/sound artists, gives us a experimental electronic composition, which is rather strange and inacessible, reminding a little of old krautrock. The music of New Jerusalem Defence Forces sounds just as threatening as their name: a noisy powerful wall of sound, extreme frequencies and harsh distorted vocals. Igor18, a solo project of Igor Krotolov who is also involved in the previous act, brings us to experimental territories again, with distant voices, an unorthodox treated bass and strange effects as the main ingredients. Chaos as Shelter contribute an estranging soundscape, lead by ongoing drones and a sampled female voice. I quite like the track ‘Outlaw’ by Screening. According to the booklet the music of this act is solely created by (manipulated) bass guitars. the song has an ‘ethnic’, meditative feel.

The song of Forma is called ‘ma bella chaotique’ and indeed it sounds like a chaotic, randomly created composition. Another interesting soundscape is contributed by HU, with tools as sand, cellow bow, hands and a wood hammer. After this tranquil piece comes the beat-driven track by VectorScope as a surprise. A nice micture of monotonous industrial rhythms and floating, atmospheric electronic layers. Another highlight is ‘The Golden skull’ by Agnivolok, a wonderful traditional folk song, reminding me of street musicians from eastern Europe which I sometimes hear, with a melancholic and nostalgic feel. It also has something of the ritual aspect of Hagalaz Runedance. A variety of traditional instruments is used, and the female singer has a peculiar but not unpleasant voice. The last track is a very long and chaotic live improvisation by various underground musicians under the name of The Crossfishes, but in my opinion not one of the most memorable tracks on the album.

This compilation is certainly an interesting and varied showcase of the Israeli experimental music scene, which seems to be quite lively. Musically there a few quite nice contributions, overall “Tel Aviv aftermath” is quite hard to digest though. This is also the debut release of the label Topheth Prophet, it will be interesting to follow what they will be up to in the future. The mood on the album is dominantly quite grim, which is perhaps not so surprising in view of the political climate in the Middle-East. The most direct reference to the conflict is of course the ‘One Minute Silence’, ‘for the memory of all those who violently lost their lives in the Middle East conflict, except those who took other lives while losing theirs’.

TP013 Drone Lebanon \ Wertham – Roma & Yerushalayim cd

the battle between Rome & Jerusalem continues through the ages.
spirituality vs. Materialism , Civitate Dei vs. Sin City
but where is Rome ? and where is Jerusalem…
and which is which ???

a new release by the promising newcomer , Drone Lebanon and a scene veteran , Wertham.