Genre: Noise / Power Electronics
01 Bemessung des Wertes Eines Menschen an der Höhe Seiner Wertschöpfung
02 Arm the Unemployed!
03 Massnahmen Zur Begrenzung der Reproduktion des Asozialen Millieus
You know, it never ceases to amaze me how any one genre can continue to produce endless variations on a theme time after time. Take Power Electronics as a sterling example of this; to all intents and purposes it is just random granular noise for the most part, occasionally with the addition of distorted incomprehensible vocals, yet I have found, even within the limitations implied by that definition, that the ingenuity of some artists results in the boundaries being pushed ever-outwards and onwards. This three track 3” CD EP from Germany’s Noisewerrrrk is an exemplar of a band attempting, and succeeding I might add, to do just that.
Having reviewed their ‘Misanthropy is a Virtue’ CD recently, with its blistering set of acidic hate-filled electronic hymns, I was expecting a noise barrage of the same species from this one – but not a bit of it. While indeed travelling the same paths as the other example, it displays less of the all out skin-peeling and senses shredding annihilatory blast of ‘Misanthropy...’, instead injecting the three pieces with some structure and subtle loop-begotten rhythms, both of which help to add depth and dimension to them. This is carefully constructed and deliberately composed chaos, and judging by the clues given to us in the form of the cover images along with the quote from Karl Marx printed in the inside, we are meant to infer that this is something of a call to arms to those lost souls, the homeless and penniless victims of the capitalist system. It is as well to remember, though, that my German language skills (just like my Latvian, as my regular readers will know...) amounts to nought, and so my interpretation is ultimately nothing more than an educated guess.
Track one, ‘Bemessung des Wertes..,’ sounds like the calm before the storm, that moment just as the forces of militant uprising begin to make their moves upon the established oppressive order – the crowds congregating, by some mysterious psychic sense, in some square of some industrial heartland, ready to shout and act out their defiance. The voices of the milling crowd are heard against a backdrop of buzzing expectancy, the atmosphere crackling with pent-up nervous energy looking for an outlet. ‘Arm the Unemployed’ is pretty self-explanatory; no longer are these same crowds just a rabble but have metamorphosed into a veritable armed fighting machine – the repetitive machine loop underpinning the sense of structure beneath the apparent chaos. Finally, in ‘Massnahmen Zur Begrenzung...,’ we have the point at which everything boils over into all out noisy explosive confrontation, the massed ranks of the Liberators crashing against the bulwark of the Old Guard, in a bloody fight to either wrest or retain control of the prevailing social order.
Music has always been coerced into spreading a political, even revolutionary, message during its existence and Power Electronics is no exception – pity then that PE doesn’t possess a broader constituency, as in many respects it has something of relevance (even, dare I say it, urgency) to say about the modern world and its governing institutions. Regardless of this fact, it is still more than possible to enjoy what’s going on here, even if the message itself runs counter to one’s own beliefs. I am perhaps more inclined to the apolitical point on the scale, having been disillusioned by ALL political systems, from ultra-rigid and orthodox conservatism, and right along the scale to ultra-leftism and anarchy. Despite that, it doesn’t inform my taste in music, certainly not to the extent of denying that I really enjoyed this particular slice of nasty dirty electronics.