IM NAMEN DES VOLKES Aus Den Anti-Imperialistischen Tagebüchern CD
Peripheral Minimal is proud to present, 'Aus Den Anti-Imperialistischen Tagebüchern', by In Namen Des Volkes.
INDV is the brainchild of Hamburg resident Matthias Schuster (also of Bal Paré, Das Institut, Geisterfahrer and others), and creates a more heavy-weight style of Minimal Synth in the spirit of D.A.F., or even early Front 242. The tracks were taken directly off cassettes and reworked with added vocals, whilst maintaining the original 80s recording techniques of 4-track and purely analogue instrumentation, strictly no plug-ins or digitalism here!
Matthias has been actively producing complex synthetic sounds since the late 1970s, having released seminal albums and singles on respected labels such as, Plastic Frog, Minimal Wave and Medical Records. His passion for all things analogue seems to be irrepressible, devoting a considerable amount of time to myriad projects each with their own unique qualities and sonics. He musically switches from Neue Deutsche Welle stylings, to Minimal Synth and proto-EBM with great dexterity and a rare continuing dedication.
The album is presented in a luxurious digipak and limited to 300 copies. Recorded between 1980 – 2015. Artwork by Kilgore Trout.
While it was perhaps justifiable to approach the EBM/coldwave/synthwave revival of a few years ago with suspicion, seeing as much of it seemed to consist of raking up a lot of substandard seven-inches and adding little or nothing to the existing canon, theres no denying some felt satisfaction (not to mention vindication) in seeing new audiences getting excited about sub-zero sequencer patterns and Belgian accents again. Better still is this highly likable release of lean, inventive proto-EBM on Peripheral Minimal by a scene original, rather than a fresh-faced new kid.
Matthias Schuster was an early electronic experimentalist contemporaneous (if not exactly parallel) with Cabaret Voltaires mid-seventies provocations and with whom he shares a formative influence in Dadaism and, more broadly, surrealism. Its easy, then, to see how Schuster was a willing convert from hippie-leaning progressive rock to the nervous, abrupt energy of punk upon his unplanned exposure to it in London. Easier to perceive, perhaps, is how this simple recipe leads us into Aus den Anti-Imperialistischen Tagebüchern (From the Anti-Imperialist Diaries), which takes as its palette the analogue contortions of electronic pops murkiest ancestors. A core member of a number of German synth groups such as Bal Pare, Geisterfahrer, and Das Institut, Schuster cut his teeth on these projects as early as 1979 and has been producing music ever since. Thus, hes not exactly a newcomer to the sound.
Surprisingly, for so-called machine music, whats immediately clear in these recordings is how fluid, organic, and alive so much of it is. While loops, rhythm, and repetition are used to great effect, Schuster rarely allows the pieces to stand still for long, managing to nudge them onward without overcomplicating or sacrificing the tracks consistency or character; for bare-boned synth n drum compositions, this is a delicate balance between maintaining interest and purity of form.
Trainspotters will find plenty to keep them busy with this record, but to do so would be to miss the point: Schuster cannot be accused of being retro for retros sake or merely regurgitating sound-alike references. His own artistic gestation means that he has as much ownership over the sweaty, grinding bass line on Bio-Hacker as Gabi Delgadoand Robert Gorl do. Arguably, many of electronic musics renowned pioneers got there first and styles were appearing spontaneously all over, all sprouting from similar sources and influences. Thats not to say that Schuster doesnt evoke other groups in a knowing fashion, but he does so with his own fresh interpretation. Instead of pulsating with the restless male energy of actual DAF, Bio-Hacker instead sounds like the group at the end of a marathon electro-jam session, all aching muscles and half-conscious delirium, barks reduced to atrophied mutters and where even the machines are on the point of total collapse.
Elsewhere, as on the charmingly pastoral Im Deutschen Wald, the sing-song vocoder sections never approach parody or imitation but achieve the required effect without flying too close to the Dusseldorfian sun. Similarly, the relatively straight-up proto-techno of Entfuhrt (Kidnapped) feels like an entirely justified lurch forward in evolutionary time.
Perhaps a fair summation of Im Namen des Volkess sound would be that, in his dedication to a niche stage in electronic pops development, he has, like any true master, teased and unearthed fresh nuances of interest from ground long-thought barren. Its a bumper crop too: nineteen tracks and almost seventy minutes of ideas, rarely repeating himself even when revisiting certain stylistic areas (e.g. the woozy sequencer-drum machine humping). That hes weaving this alchemy using the original tools and practices of the era (Schuster works only with analogue equipment and records to tape) is still more impressive.
For those of you enamoured with the earliest burblings in chilly European electro-punk and still willing to believe theres life in the old circuits yet, Aus den Anti-Imperialistischen Tagebüchern should more than satisfy your needs.