Art Abscons/Gabe-Unruh – Split (SkullLine)


This split CD collects some new and old tracks from two of the leading lights of the current underground German music scene.

‘Tochter Feuer’ is a suitably dramatic opener for the second release from German wunderkind Art Abscons. Spoken word vocals are framed by stabbing strings, tympani crashes, air raid sirens and more. The Grandmaster (as he likes to be known) then ups the ante with ‘Killing Time’ – a Faust-like industrial loop soon gives way to sampled metal powerchords and a chanted chorus which could give Rammstein a run for their money. Also included on this disc are two Gabe Unruh remixes of ‘Somnium 1’ (from Spektral Magik) and a remix of ‘Roses of Picardy’, AA’s masterful deconstruction of the World War I ballad.

Gabe Unruh’s half of the disc kicks off with ‘Gedankenpolizei’ – imagine a gloomy cross between Kraftwerk and DAF, with a shelf-ful of David Icke paperbacks, and you’ve got some idea what this sounds like – echoing four-on-the-floor beats, deep sampled voices, happy/sad melodies, and a powerful sense of nostalgia for the pre-Internet age. ‘Das Pendel’ is a brooding tribute to Edgar Allan Poe (which originally appeared on the V/A collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque II). In a return of the favour on the first half, AA contributes a lovely remix of ‘Gedankenpolizei’, in which he manages to successfully ‘absconify’ the original. Atmospheric remixes from Zr19.84 and Strydwolf round out the package.

Ewan Burke


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