five years of hymen records - we think this anniversary should be celebrated with a 'bang'! so for the listener and the collector, hymen records present this compilation on two cds and a limited four vinyl albums' boxset edition. the intentional idea of this label has been modified, although we still release "technoid noises for collapsing people". our 12 inch records, originally an 'addition' to our album releases, became more and more independent 'stand-alone' albums. and sure there was a challenge since 1997 - the technoid, ambient and drum'n'bass scene improved as much as we did - so enjoy this compilation of mostly unreleased tracks of artists we already signed and of hymen-related artists. check out the masonry's stability!
|m2 > annihilating rhythm|
|neutral > blue paper (a neutral rmx)|
|dead hollywood stars > dreamland's burning (ao23m remix)|
|beefcake > ct2|
|lusine icl > sin|
|funkstörung > beinh (33rpm mix)|
|imminent > vinvyt|
|baracuda > vek vex chapters|
|scorn > the distance between|
|venetian snares > parasitus|
|frz & blue baboon & etereo expandeum club > slalome|
|fourplay > autumn (black lung rmx)|
|solar-x > da stick up - rmx|
|sonic dragolgo > sister|
|gridlock > 36:6:115|
|xingu hill > lone star|
|lilienthal > hero anthem|
|bochumwelt > neutron|
|substanz t > urban t subground|
|starfish pool > variation and structures|
|noosa hedz > sunooza|
|somatic responses > whatever|
|xanopticon > phase|
|k_chico > gooappen|
|red sparrow > les arbres|
|llips. > one please|
|trifid project > psalm 66|
|end > global media engine|
|so fuckin' jazz (david thrussell & darrin verhagen) > cantata della paura no. 1|
|fanny > witches v2|
double cd. hymen records Y719
4 x 12" vinyl with covers in semi-transparent plastic box. hymen records Y404
m2 > annihilating rhythm (exclusive track)
this is experimental post-techno, an up-and-coming genre of sound, and it is intended for the listener who can appreciate its bold sense of exploration, as well as the surreal beauty of the world it evokes. it's the fragile line between dark and light, between noise and silence, between infinity and nonentity. complex digital sound-samples are immaculately re-constructed to feature a subtle interference of sub-tone minimalism. pushing the envelope while keeping full control and animate the auditory senses.
neutral > blue paper (a neutral rmx)
since her entry into this crazy world in 1974, neutrals nicole elmer has seen the bulk of human existence in an intense light. anyone familiar with her well-received 1999 debut as neutral, font translation errors, knows this straightaway-as will those who subsequently came across her compilation appearances for component and n5md, or her successful 7-inch on mike µ-ziq paradinas planet-µ imprint as well as the driving backwards ep and the motion of fulltime cd for mad monkey/hymen in 2001. an intense amalgam of industrial passion, classic electronic sounds, and anti-folk emotional rawness for which 'blue paper' excerpted from font translation errors is a good example.
dead hollywood stars > dreamland's burning (exclusive remix)
john sellekaers (xingu hill, ammo, ambere, snog...), c-drik (ammo, ambre...), hervé thomas (fragile, hint...) and j-r rob(u)rang and m. medea (silk saw...) create a bizarre mixture of country, folk and idm - yes, it works! check out their fantastic debut 'gone west' on mad monkey records and enjoy this mix!
beefcake > ct2 (exclusive track)
beefcake stands with its own unique style - the beefcake sound collage universe.
it is the means by which beefcake approach sound. working mainly as djs, their most used instrument is a sampler. nearly everything imaginable in sound is being collected, deconstructed and rebuilt afterwards. a unique and vast collection of sound ranging from catchy melodies, voices and samples mercilessly interrupted by distorted beats without losing the initial idea - reconstructing and building music. beefcake create such a versatile style that it is hard to find a short (and binding) description of their music - there is only beefcake's chosen path leading to one formula:
the square root of architecture plus inventiveness divided by aural feast equals beefcake. or to put it shortly, electronic chamber music for the eclectic listener.
lusine icl > sin (exclusive track)
jeff mcilwain aka lusine (icl) explores different styles of electronica such as dark-ambient, minimal music and idm, but doesn't limit himself to these genres actually there is no limit. the tracks become a trip that stands far beyond the average electronic outputs from the u.s.
funkstörung > beinh (33rpm mix) (first appearance on cd)
munich's funkstörung crept down into the dance music underground in the early '90s with a six-pack blitz of 12-inches appearing all at once through the acid planet, bunker, and inter-ferred communications labels. the funkstörung lp artificial garbage hinted at a level of sophistication and ingenuity that would engage increasing numbers of listeners into the latter part of the decade. through the group's musik aus strom label -- begun by michael fakesch, a student, and chris de luca, owner of munich's delerium record store, to release their "favorite music" -- more than a dozen eps have appeared, packaged in distinctively stamped cardboard sleeves, and including two funkstörung releases, three solo fakesch records, a solo de luca ep, two collaborations between fakesch and andre esterman (as aemic), and several releases by new or relatively unknown artists. each release has been a quality outing, with the common thread of musical fracture taking abstraction to new levels while maintaining a subtle melodic balance.
this mix was previously released on m.a.s. 2.09 .
imminent > vinvyt (exclusive track)
imminent forges industrial-strength techno with barbaric schizophrenia, constructing impenetrable walls of distorted technoid rhythms underlaid with a foundation of horrific and otherworldly soundscapes. embedded in this surreal foundation lies the true genius of this psychotic musician. nightmarishly hallucinogenic, exploring the darkest reaches of the psyche; blurring the lines between your darkest fantasies and your most dreadful fears.
baracuda > vek vex chapters (exclusive track)
baracuda is making music for approximately ten years with a little help from waldorf microwave xt, yamaha a-5000 sampler, korg prophecy, yamaha rm1x sequencer, yamaha promix 01 mixer and
a bunch of computers. his' earliest influences were old videogames (the lo-fi crunchy atari sound,c64 unique oscillation,rumbling base and crap drum, nintendo, amiga.....all that stuff played hours and hours in his' walkman. there are two full-time baracuda releases so far on the hybrid structure label and we are happy to present this mainly unknown artist on this compilation.
scorn > the distance between (exclusive track)
introducing mick harris aka scorn is somehow like carrying coal to newcastle, or birmingham, if you like. being a member of various bands and projects like quoit, painkiller, lull, napalm death, just to name a few, we are now concentrating on scorn and here are the bare facts: founded by mick harris in 1991 to create rhythmic, hypnotic drum and bass music. since its inception, with its throbbing low end, ethereal sounds and big beats, scorn has explored previously uncharted musical territory and, in the process, has redefined the world of ambient dub. scorn has emerged as the vanguard of both the post-rock and isolationist aesthetics; appropriating such distinctly communal music as hip hop and dub to extreme individualistic ends.
venetian snares > parasitus (exclusive track)
a hybrid of monstrous breakbeats and drum and bass ... a terrorising wall of sound, a splatter mix of broken drill and noise, tweaked frequencies, cut-up noises, bizarre funky samples, and straight noise attacks. it rattles the speakers, shatters the windows, drives your adrenaline to all-time high and then pins you to the floor with the thunderous percussion attacks. heavy corroded beats and constantly spinning, breaking, crushing and rolling breaks, noises, screeches, cut-up speedcore textures constantly mutate and span multiple genres with only few things remaining in common - speed, aggression, and fun.
frz & blue baboon & etereo expandeum club > slalome
a collaborative work featuring french artists frz (aspic records), blue baboon and etereo expandeum club. the 3 electro-boys melted their style in a very interesting manner, with a constant research of new soundscapes while respecting their initial work. their tracks have been developed around a specific idea bringing the listener to a wide range of sonorities : from dub to deep drones, broken vibes, frozen guitars, minimal pop interludes, 8 bit technology and beats from this machine that also let you draw...
frz runs the aspic records project, releasing compilations entitled esprit III aspic projects. aspic released various personal releases, such as 10' may the sun shine bright for you'. blue baboon is also a member of aspic records, and was involved in ultra milkmaids at their beginning. he appeared on the ultra milkmaids' disco 2k_ep (ant-zen) for a collaboration with y. blue baboon also runs the digital baobab project on zone51.com. etereo expandeum club have been releasing 2 cd albums on noise museum records, "apheer vibe" in 1998 and at hi-fi home" in 1999.
this track was previously released on vacuum records v4.0 .
fourplay > autumn (black lung rmx) (exclusive remix)
the sydney-based band fourplay started life as a classical string quartet, originally made up of friends from the australian youth orchestra. inspired by the kronos, balanescu and brodsky quartets blurring of the boundaries between classical and rock music, they began playing rock covers for friends. in early 1995 they bought pickups, and transformed themselves into an electric string quartet.
they're probably the first string quartet to have inspired moshing and crowd surfing. sets include covers of songs from a wide range of (mostly "alternative") bands such as pop will eat itself, the beastie boys, the beatles, jeff buckley, depeche mode, metallica, ned's atomic dustbin, the police, suede, this mortal coil, the clouds, and the velvet underground, some contemporary classical music, and originals inspired by the different types of underground electronic, indie and avant-garde music around at the moment.
solar-x > da stick up rmx (exclusive remix)
roman belavkin, solar x, has been described by the face magazine as "a stereotypical russian genius", a statement that's hard to argue, as apart from being russia's own "aphex without a tank" (de-bug), he has also achieved gold medals at martial arts championships of russia and europe, a ms degree in physics, and he is currently pursuing a phd in artificial intelligence. the unprecedented for russia in those days 12" of solar x, that had been cut and pressed in detroit, put him immediately in the centre of attention of a new post-perestroika media, and soon he became an icon of russian underground electronic scene making mind-blowing and sometimes controversial live performances from clubs in siberia and nuclear reactor in crimea, to trendy nightclubs in london and vienna. his' second album xrated was re-released on cd in 1997, and it made the wire to "pronounce the former soviet union a goldmine of undiscovered talent". in 1998 roman signed to london's label worm interface, and his last album "little pretty automatic" was named many times as one of the best albums in electronic music for many years.
roman is a founder of the russian art-tek records label bringing to the world some of the best artists from the post-soviet space. recently the ptuch, the main club culture magazine in russia, has named solar x as the most influential person in modern russian electronic music.
sonic dragolgo > sister
kozaburo narita, so sonic dragolgos civil name, is creating a kind of hardcore-melody-punk-rock-electronica for the 21st century. catchy songs, enriched with dirty metal guitars, euphoric noise attacks and really thick, hyped-up beats. 'sister', an excerpt of his' first cd release on klangkrieg, "don't stop the music", is one of the all day's faves at hymen records' office. you can't beat this - recommended!
gridlock > 36:6:115
gridlock has been walking the fine line between electronic music. they continue leaving it's former self behind. mike wells and mike cadoo push their programming talents to the next level, bringing their gridlock project to new heights. heavy, emotional, quality electronic music. the featured track was originally released as part of a split-7" with o2 on unit records.
xingu hill > lone star (exclusive track)
xingu hill is john n. sellekaers, well-known as creative collaborator with projects like torsion, black lung/xingu hill, snog, urawa, ambre, & nternal and chief of the audiomastering-studio metarc in brussels. his' sound travels through groovy ambient tunes with surrealistic atmospheres to chaotic soundscapes towards slower, more experimental pieces which however form an intimate coexistence. the complex melting of these different styles emphasises xingu hill's sound with a special, unique character, which may first appear with a strange affection but gets familiar the more attentive you listen. deeply fractured sonic mutations build up their own morphogenic aesthetics. it's unalterable giving a mindfully listening to enjoy a more experimental side of electronic music and assimilate the full potential with access to an exceptional sound experience! it exists in its own space and with its own rules!
lilienthal > hero anthem (exclusive track)
the music arrow "lilienthal" kleeman from new york makes is based on shimmering and sparkling melodies, carried by some complex rhythms. lilienthal's style has been described as a mixture of mouse on mars, solvent and most often autechre. lilienthal's is a constantly evolving region where intricate rhythms, lush melodies, warm textures, deep bass tones, and polished mechanical sounds combine and recombine into complex, ever-changing arrangements. lilienthal's works defy musical
classification, but one can definitely hear elements of jazz, electronica, dub, drum'n'bass, and techno.
bochum welt > neutron
bochum welt is an avant garde composer who has been releasing pioneering electronic music since 1994 on the respected rephlex label. his fascination with technology and multimedia is evidenced by his cd-rom release of the 16 bit videogame soundtrack "desktop robotics", and by his use of the leading-edge beatnik interactive audio system to deliver innovative audio content via the internet.
minimalistic electronics with it's heart-tugging melodies are the characteristics of bochum welt's familiar musical sensibility. bochumwelt in fashion - a timeless pleasant taste. 'neutron' is an outtake from the deleted hymen records 3" cd release 'fashion'.
substanz-t > urban t subground (exclusive track)
substanz-t from frankfurt/germany create an stereophonic universe of smoth break beats and trip hop, covered with urban ambient soundscapes and hypnotising melodies. tripped experience is a soul inflected unreal landscape of slow-motion cyber vibrations - leaded, disrupted and broken with stirring basslines & breaks. the journey continues on with rhythmic trance themes adding touches of and drum'n'bass elements that dirge forward with immense dark demand of detail. those details - dreamed voices, slow glacier melodies - low drones flows in a beautiful manner. a collection of awesome dreamscapes perfumed by the shadowplay of dance polyrythms, warm synthesizer pulses, and spoken, sung and atmospherically implied snapshots of life in the global urban jungle. every tune is very carefully created and integrate itself very well in an orchestra of percussions and slow analog progressions and additionally enriched by the vocals of christophe demarthe, astrid köpfler, mc ronin, iris orasjärvi. gentle floating electronic structures. you knew substanz t - you never know...
starfish pool > variation and structures (exclusive track)
starfish pool is the electronic project of koen lybaert. a project where rhythm will appear in, in all its aspects. since the very start it is the manipulation of loops - the basic idea of the way tracks were created as starfish pool. this concept that has nothing to do with the sound but more with the way that tracks are practically made. a mixture of dark ambient soundscapes, hypnotic drum patterns, an impressive stylistic range, emotional minimalism and timbral sophistication. harsh sound-structures unfold a new chapter for smooth atmospheric noise.
noosa hedz > sunooza (exclusive track)
what originally started as a collaboration in 1999 between celluloid mata and ultra milkmaids, later evolved into a project entitled noosa hedz. their tracks generate a chilling psychedelic mood with constantly changing loops that are supplemented with noise clicks and minimal rhythm dots. this is the finest in electronica. this is not a ten-minute-static-ambient-one-rhythmic-pattern, as there is always a slight change with new details that do not interrupt the entire composition. even while you concentrate on the "catchy" details, the melodies creep up on you subliminally.
somatic responses > whatever (exclusive track)
the brothers john and paul healy, collectively known throughout the world as somatic responses, are still native residents of a small industrial mining community snugly located in the southwest region of wales. somatic responses are into complex dislocated & broken beats, distorted intelligent constructions, fascinating sonic structures, force and sweetness that is rarely matched by anyone else. they mix rotary beats form rhythmic regularity, dense waves of electronics with layers of little blips & breaks and turns of melody. twisted drum&bass layers are filled up with abrasive crashes and exploding substances. an unidentified atmospheric spike of subtle piercings or just a calculated assault of an sonic weapon.
xanopticon > phase (exclusive track)
xanopticon is ryan friedrich. xanopticon is distorted cut-style + kickin' hard noise. xanopticon is a young upcoming artist who already made several live shows with the peaceoff crew and venetian snares. xanopticon's music is as hard and as brutal as we were when we were young...!
k_chico > gooappen (exclusive track)
as soon as a musical thought turns through his' brain, kristians alter ego k_chico awakes. yet another proof that a non-sampled slide guitar and electronics work perfectly together. relax and get some gooappen!
red sparrow > les arbres
matthias spittler has already been working on his project called red sparrow for quite a few years; the result: endless loop, his debut album. moreover, the band works on sounds for waldorf, the world-wide reputated company. endless loop´s topics are to sleep, to dream and to nightmare - topics inpired from the texts and interviews from franz kafka, charles bukowski and other writers. a video from the song les arbres, taken from endless loop has already been made.
llips. > one please (first appearance on cd)
the belgium/us/mexico collective llips. with key-members koen lybaert, jeff mcillwain, esther santoyo rio, steven lambrechts, ivy smits, geert mets, chantal yzermans, stefan alt (artwork) and guest members dave vanderplas, dimitri daggelincks, boots, jonah lybaert, luther van hoof, laura rebuttini, diana rayón have been creating an impressive catalogue in a very short period. they've explored a range of musical forms, enjoyed making music for this project, and came with new ideas and experiments with each release always trying to bring something beautiful that could touch peoples senses. at least we can present 'one please' as a first-time-on-cd track!
trifid project > psalm 66
james plotkin & matthieu maire first met in early 1999, which quickly led to a collaboration perpective a few times later. james, matthieu, & 3 others french fellows, marie and yves daubert (my), sheila mata (hita corporated) worked together at james's studio in new jersey and released a surealistic electronica music, melting dark soundscapes with fluffy athmospheres and even instrumental surf influences : trifid project was on. an incredible complexity of sounds, where melodic, evilish guitar strings meet dark-heavy rhythmics, blips and scratches giving an answer to lost hidden female voices.
previously released on vacuum records v3.0 / v3.1 .
end > global media engine (exclusive track)
this is the second appearance of end on record - and on hymen, because he showed up first on the 'relax into the abyss' release by snog. we think after listening to 'global media engine' you will agree that there is a lot to expect from this project in the future. maybe on this track there are comparisons with beefcake... maybe ... more...
so fuckin' jazz > cantata della paura no. 1 (exclusive track)
start of a long-awaited collaboration between darrin verhagen (shinjuku filth & label manager of dorobo records) and david thrussell (snog, black lung, soma). an exclusive track - definitely not jazzy!
fanny > witches v2 (exclusive mix)
fanny is fraser runciman and began his musical career twenty years ago in the deconstructed rubble of the british punk rock explosion. playing guitar for countless edinburough bands fusing everything from the banshees to def jam, stravinsky to punk, fanny's exploits brought him to the attention of local punk rock legends the exploited, whom he joined in 1993. he toured europe and south america as the guitar player of the exploited, he also co-wrote and recorded their "beat the bastards" lp but subsequently quit the band before the album could be released. wattie replaced him in the credits with his unborn baby son. that's punk for ya! fraser left scotland to join canadian funk rock icons bootsauce and moved to montreal shortly after. despite their numerous gold records, incessant touring and a hardcore loyal following, bootsauce was a star struck band, doomed by an inept record label. when they folded, fraser found himself in winnipeg, of all places, with a new musical ambition and vision. having tired of guitars and rock clichés, fanny returned to his sampler experiments that he first began in the eighties. trading in his guitars for synths and a pc, fraser was freed at last to fully explore his musical ideas. the result was "come and get it up yer," a limited release cd of fanny's raucous booty house. not long after, he met aaron funk, aka venetian snares, and the affect of his music was enormous. fraser found a new playground and began pushing his material in bold and often ridiculous directions. weekend trips to wisconsin and the legendary barn parties in east troy further seeded his ambitions. it was there that he caught the attention of zod record boss destro and widerstand kingpin eiterherd from austria and plans were quickly made to release his new tracks. collaborating with his small black dog puff, squealing under his chair, frasier went on an intense writing binge in an effort to develop a new and original music. important to him also, is having something to say with his music, be it an emotional impression or a concrete idea. as a result, his music stands out in the anonymous electronic world for his personality, wit and humor.
fünf jahre hymen sind wahrlich ein grund zum feiern und so läßt sich labeloberhaupt stefan alt nicht lumpen und packt gleich zwei cds beziehungsweise vier lps mit neuen und alten, raren & problemlos zugänglichen tracks aus dem hymen universum und dessen nachbargalaxien zusammen. was ursprünglich mal als ant zen outlet für technoiden "lärm" gedacht war, hat sich mittlerweile weit davon entfernt, um es sich bei intelligenter electronica jenseits von schwarzer electro-dancefloor-kompatibilität bequem zu machen. sonar in barcelona statt wgt in leipzig sozusagen und damit ein rechtzeitiges erkennen (und vermeiden) von sackgassen, in welche sich schon das eine oder andere label manövriert hatte. daß dabei nicht nur von denjenigen teilnehmern großartige beiträge zu hören sind, von denen man auch nichts anderes erwartet hätte (funkstörung, sonic dragolgo mit der übernummer "sister" und m², um nur einige wenige zu nennen), sondern auch echte überraschungen dabei sind, erfreut um so mehr - als beispiel dafür sei nur "vinvyt" von imminent genannt. etwas getrübt wird der ansonsten durch und durch positive eindruck höchstens dadurch, daß es ausgerechnet vom trifid project und frz & blue baboon & etereo expandeum club nur bekannte kost zu hören gibt. (sascha bertoncin)
the long-awaited follow-up to the genre-defining teknoir compilation is every bit as good, even though it's very different. veering away from the rhythmic industrial and dark ambient end, it charts the evolution into soft electronica, break beat excursions, glitch aesthetics and electro-acoustic experimental techno following the example of the last hymen releases. picking out bands is useless, as all artists involved present strong material. some lifted from previous releases, some new or remixed, the compilation might not flow as gently as teknoir, but the bandwidth of styles and artists (fortunately also outside the label's roster) would not permit nor want homogeneity. instead it offers glimpses of bands as diverse as squaremeter and venetian snares, bochumwelt and scorn without sounding forced. a mandatory purchase. and to push you over even more quickly here the list of artists besides the ones mentioned: neutral, dead hollywood stars, beefcake, lusine icl, funkstörung, imminent, baracuda, frz& blue baboon & etereoexpandeum club, fourplay, solar-x, sonic dragolgo, gridlock, xingu hill, lilienthal, substanz-t, starfish pool, noosa hedz, somatic responses, xanopticon, k_chico, rd sparrow, llips, trifid project, end, so fuckin' jazz, fanny. (till)
doppio cd o quattro 12, si festeggia un lustro di 'technoid noises for collapsing people', cinque anni di hymen records, complessivamente ben trenta tracce, che testimoniano nuove evoluzioni sui diversi versanti dell'elettronica, distorti beat in odore di post-techno e dark ambient, ma anche ibridi d'altro tipo, ad esempio le contaminazioni espressive miste a suoni punk metal di sonic dragolgo con 'sister', l'attitudine post rock e isolazionista degli scorn, la bizzarra mistura di folk, country-western e trattamenti digitali dei dead hollywood stars in 'dreamland's burning', le elettroniche ed eclettiche armonie da camera di beefcake, compiaciute fra suoni naturali e ritmiche ossessive. tutte le sfumature dell'arcobaleno digitale sono ampliamente esplorate, tra cultura industriale ed ipnotici trattamenti, annettendo dub, jazz e drum'n'bass, bassi ancestrali e rumori claustrofobici, atmosfere slabbrate ed influenze melodiche. impossibile individuare linee evolutive certe in tale sarabanda di malsane sperimentali circonvoluzioni, resta il piacere di una militanza estrema, condotta con multiforme coerenza ed oltranza. musiche del caos da maneggiare con cura. (aurelio cianciotta)
this collection of 30 tracks from the current industrial/techno underground celebrates five years of "technoid" releases by the cutting-edge german imprint hymen records. with their associated label, ant-zen, hymen has been exploring the darker side of the electronic scene, where industrial, idm/techno, ambient and drum 'n bass converge into interesting shapes. available as a nicely priced double disc cd or as a four piece vinyl set in a semi-transparent plastic box, masonic features many exclusive tracks from prolific producers such as mick harris aka scorn, panacea, funkstorung and italy's bochum welt. winnipeg's groovily-named aaron funk is also among the label's featured artists, with another slice of his hard-hitting breakbeat sound that has won him fans all over the world. (chris twormey)
toronto industrial kollektive
for some, a reaction very similar to that of pavlov's dog will occur at the very sight of this, a double compilation in celebration of hymen's five years of existence. the names of the bands involved will just confirm the necessity of owning this (see below). hence, a review for them is unnecessary: it's is guaranteed to please. this review may merely serve to let some people know that this cd is out there and that they should begin to hunt it down. some mention of this compilation, however, should be made for those who are growing weary of the straight format techno of the ebm ruled club scene, for these cds are made not only for those die hard hymen addicts, but for those who wish to broaden their horizons of what electronic music can offer. hymen's mission statement seems to have changed, and grown with their development. their earlier claim of supplying "technoid noises for collapsing people" has evolved with the growth of ambient, idm and drum and bass inspired 'industrial' music. strange it may seem that hymen is an industrial label, because there is a pretty good chance that both people who listen to industrial (with a focus on ebm) and people who listen to more experimental non-'industrial' idm will agree that this music shouldn't fit within that categorization. however, hymen's work embraces the very ideas that make industrial so great, a need for experimentation often by embracing other styles of music. this compilation manages to embrace so many different sounds and yet, draw them all together. the key element to this is that they all strive to reach out beyond the conventional. the non-traditional sounds found here run a gambit of styles you would not normally associate with industrial, such as country and folk. hymen is a sister (or brother?) label of ant-zen, but their sounds are different. the rhythmic noise of ant-zen gives way to a more mellow idm sound in hymen's releases, this is apparent in the masonic double compilation release. even the track by ant-zen act imminent is less abrasive than usual on this release. highlights are too many and writting about them would be only slightly less boring than reading them. but i'm sold on the country western/idm merging of dead hollywood stars, and the crazy break beat noise of venetian snares. there's also a bunch of new bands that have now caught my attention (especially sonic dragologo and new david thrussel vehicle, the amusingly ill named named so fucking jazz) and will force me to pay more attention to hymen for the next five years. a great cd, something everyone should own. (squid)
marking five years of hymen records, "masonic" is a follow-up of sorts to the label's first compilation, "teknoir". while the former was a mission statement for the newly formed sibling of ant-zen, "masonic" is a summary of how far the label has come in it's half-decade, as well as a comprehensive who's-who of industrial techno. there are a few familiar names from hymen's back catalogue, but on the whole "masonic" provides a taster for the future of the label. at first, the sheer volume and diversity of the artists is a little overwhelming - ranging from the frenzied breakcore of fanny and venetian snares to the delicate emptiness of squaremeter to the downright insanity of sonic dragolgo. on the whole though, the standard of the material present is very high, but i feel that it lacks the freshness of "teknoir", in that, many of these tracks are available elsewhere and that many of the new tracks and remixes are a little too familiar at times; dead hollywood stars and beefcake being two very guilty parties. nevertheless, there is some genuinely new and exciting material on offer here. the first track to truly grab my attention on the first disc was the track by imminent [who is no longer starving] that displays a dramatic change in direction for this act. gone are the thundering, distorted rhythms and instead we have a more involved, yet smaller sound of micro-beats, glitches and processed samples. this track shows that imminent are never one to flog a dead horse and the reassuring gap between his last release and this track means we can expect great things from his next full length album. also worthy of a mention on the first disc is sonic dragolgo. even though this track is available on his debut album, its inclusion here shows that hymen do have a fun side to them, as you would be hard pushed to find a more original, humorous or zany track than this. japanese bubblegum pop and filtered disco collide with industrial strength gabber beats to create a sound that, by rights, should be criminal but somehow works perfectly. it's also the only track on "masonic" that you can sing in the shower - forget vnv nation and apoptygma berzerk, this is future pop! the second disc kicks off as it means to go on with the relaxed, crystalline electronica of gridlock whose new direction finds them perfectly at home on hymen. in recent years, it has been hard to fault gridlock, following their stunning "trace" lp and the "engram" ep; this track is no exception. intricate, powerful beats drive the track along, underpinned by lush, harmonic pads and synthetic squelches in a style that so many have dabbled in, but only gridlock have perfected. the next track to really grab my attention was "hero anthem" by lilienthal, an act with whom i am not familiar and that, for me, is one of the joys of this track, since it comes so unexpectedly. undoubtedly on the back of the whole electroclash scene, this track starts with a simple analogue synth melody that could be taken directly from an old nes game as it still holds a great deal of power, not through complex synthesis, but through good old fashioned musicianship. this "anthem" drives the track along as syncopated, distorted percussion is brought in, resulting in a brilliant slice of liminal electronica. these for me are the truly stunning moments on "masonic" and perhaps it is not fair to single them out in this fashion, as there is no doubting the talent of the other acts present on the compilation, but in all honesty, it felt as if many were merely going through the motions and not delivering anything really special. the end product is still a great compilation and i wouldn't say there was a single bad track on it, but i don't feel it is as forward thinking as it would like to be. (gavin lees)
das label hymen records feiert sein fünfjähriges jubiläum mit einer doppel-cd bzw. einer limitierten 4-lp-box mit meist unveröffentlichten tracks von hymen-künstlern. und das ist eine geballte ladung, die einen auf diesem sampler erwartet. von xingu hill über somatic respones bis hin zu lusine icl und m2 ist alles vertreten, was rang und namen hat. "masonic" bietet eine breite palette an ambient- und industrialsounds. den auftakt macht squaremeter (panacea), mit gewohnt minimalistisch dunklen tönen. und auf diesem hohen niveau bleibt der ganze sampler. nicole elmer (neutral) beweist z.b. mit "blue paper", dass sich industrial auch mit gitarrensounds zu einem harmonischen gefüge verbinden lassen. dem gleichen beispiel folgt "dreamland's burning" von dead hollywood stars. dass hinter diesem projekt john sellekaers (xingu hill, ammo etc.), rob(u)rang, c-drik (ammo, ambre), hervé thomas (fragile, hint) und m. medea (silk saw) stecken, sagt wohl alles. eigentlich müsste man sich mit jedem song eingehend befassen, jeder ist ein knüller für sich. denn schon beefcake fasziniert mit einer ruhigen mischung aus saxophon, klavier, didgeridoo und dracula-soundtrack-sample. "sin" von lusine icl ist dann fast der letzte mitreißende ambienttrack der ersten cd. danach geht es etwas härter oder abgefahrener zu sache. baracuda entstellt in "vek vex chapters" die eingespielten samples und eingeworfenen töne derart, dass man meinen könnte, sie würden rückwärts gespielt (vielleicht werden sie das ja auch?). mit fetten beats und einer kakophonie aus gitarren- und sonstigen samples sowie einer ordentlichen portion noise bereitet sonic dragolo dem ersten silberling ein bombastisches ende. das hört sich alles noch nicht verrückt genug an? wofür gibt's denn auch die zweite cd? auch diese beginnt mit besinnlicheren tönen. doch die halten mike cadoo und mike wells alias gridlock gerade mal knappe 4 minuten beim ersten track durch, bevor "36:6:115" zu einer richtigen stampfnummer ausartet. xingu hill wartet danach mit trip-hop und dub-beats auf. wer alten kraftwerknummern nachtrauert, sollte sich mal "neutron" von bochumwelt anhören. kein wunder, dass der mann mal einen soundtrack für ein videospiel komponiert hat. eigentlich könnte ich endlos so weiter machen, ohne wirklich jedem track gerecht zu werden. egal ob substanz t, nooza hedz oder end, hinter fast jedem song verbirgt sich eine neue exploration elektronischer und phantastischer gefilde. (veit)