Taking that whole thing together is like listening to a good radio station for 43 minutes. You’ll smile, you rock out, you’ll say ‘what the hell is this?” – Jayson (To Eleven)
Schlumpf 23 – To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect when this free release was announced. I had expected a collection of various grind & noise bands, there were some, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. To describe this release as eclectic is an understatement, we have everything from hardcore & drone to the purely experimental. I was also very surprised at the strength of the release, the quality of the music was, on the whole, excellent! I have to admit that apart from 80s & 90s hardcore, my real musical interests lie within industrial music, i.e. neo-folk, martial & power electronics. Although I have listened to my fair share of grind & death metal.
I’ve listened to the album three times this morning alone, including B-sides & edits. Each time I listened I took some notes & tried to identify what really stood out for me. I found that every time I listened my list & notes grew more extensive, surely an indication of the quality of the release? Indeed, a number of the tracks on the B-sides & edits were definitely strong enough for the main release.
Given that we’re talking about a release that includes 41 tracks, it would be impossible to review every track! On the main album there were four stand out tracks for me. Firstly Rectum – ‘Etal’, an experimental track, an industrial soundscape, which has tremendous impact given that it’s only one minute long. Rectum are a band I’ve never previously heard of, but I will be checking them out.
My next stand out track is False Awakening – ‘The Beast’, perhaps it’s because it’s got a neo-folk feel, the music is sparse, with a spoken work sample with a very strong apocalyptic feel, excellent stuff! I really intend to listen to more of these guys & highly recommend them, as much as one can, based on a one minute track. Next comes Tigon – ‘Teenage Black Hole’, an excellent hardcore track with a lot of originality. Again, highly recommended & I will definitely be checking out more of these guys stuff.
The stand out track on the B-sides & edits has to be Guanoman – ‘Kaiseki’. I’m a little at a loss to describe this genre wise, experimental grind? I could detect a certain martial element to it as well, which obviously went down well. As with the previous three, I highly recommend checking out these guys also.
In truth, there wasn’t one track on the release that I didn’t like. If this is indicative of the strength of the US experimental & underground scene, then it certainly appears to be in good health. If you haven’t downloaded this already, do yourself a favour & get it, an excellent release.