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¥730 snog. beyond the valley of the proles. cd. february2k3




bad planet
fill my hole
the master
welcome to adelaide
justified homicide
into the light
playstation blues
the fruits


download pressrelease.pdf


david thrussell’s snog project has always been a meme complex - a series of critical cultural concepts that suggest an alternative worldview is necessary. yet the composition of its payload has shifted into a far more seductive form than it’s ever been before.

once a harsh, post-industrial harbinger of the western world’s cultural and economic imperialism, snog is now simply western. sorta. beyond the valley of the proles leverages the anthemic sagas of johnny cash, roger miller and johnny horton - the hard-strummed western epics of the 1950s - in turning out superb moments of social commentary on a post-pop chassis. in crafting
an entire album of richly detailed western ambient and broken beat grooves, snog has raised the bar far above the confrontational, one-dimensional
message music of consolidated or the sample-collage and noise terrorism of the beta bodega label. beyond the valley of the proles is electro-western manna for progressive political consciousness.

why snog is now all western and not the ebm or machine noise of the excellent 1999 album, third mall from the sun, is a long story, says thrussell. “the short answer is that beyond is where i'm at right now. i don't want any distance; i want the ‘message’ upfront - clothed with some sincere attempt at emotion and communication.”

the message of beyond the valley of the proles is if nothing else a smoldering bitterness about the deplorable state of popular and socio-corporate culture. thrussell plies his maple-coated baritone voice - akin to leonard cohen, the the’s matt johnson, or even the church’s steve kilbey - over jangling western melodies and crisp percussion to decry mass consumption (“fill my hole”) and soul-crushing careerism (“businessman”). "the master," with its strident low guitar and cavernous electronic ambience, will make you feel like you’re in the front row of hell’s main theater with johnny cash as the opening act. as on previous snog albums, there’s one gem that always stands out, and on beyond the valley of the proles it’s the stunning “into the light,” an eloquent revelation of what happens when modern society’s macabre machinations transmogrify human compassion into zealous terrorism and mass violence.

yet beyond the valley of the proles isn’t all doom and gloom. snog’s trademark satirical bent is well represented in “welcome to adelaide” and “justified homicide,” both of which make mince-meat of the presumed moral rectitude of governments and laws and such.

to be sure, beyond the valley of the proles is pure snog: insightful odes with a healthy dose of humor to go along with the cultural criticism. beyond the valley of the proles is therefore the quintessential snog album - if not for the music than at least for its name. “a friend of mine said it was the best title for the album because he thinks i'm pretty much a cross between
george orwell and an anarchic russ meyer,” says thrussell with no small amount of glee, “which i took as a supreme compliment.”

the vinyl version includes all cd tracks plus the bonus vinyl entitled 'your favourite electro folk swingers', featuring remixes by end, black lung, shaolin wooden men and others.
more info at ¥406 snog. beyond the valley of the proles . 2x12" vinyl



this is definitely one of the best albums i own. mixing the acoustic structure's and sounds of country music with idm electro-scapes, it is phenomenal. a stirring use of country music to evoke passion in the electronic listener. and the country used is quite incredibly, the vocals at points evoking the manner of country singers: businessman totally reminds me of marty robbins, or attempting to use the techniques of country vocals. the disc is overall fairly mellow, and the lyrics are of course highly critical of contemporary society, which further adds to my love of this album. however it is the sound itself which truly hooks me. while incredibly adept electronically with breakbeats and interesting soundscapes beeps and bites, we also have the raw emotional appeal of the evoked cowboy, at home on the electronic terrain. perhaps a soundtrack for the new wild west of the internet, the lawless landscape that is increasingly difficult to police, although probably not for much longer (and honestly there really isn't much to see... other than porn). i think snog though has successfully made a contemporary country album, one that appeals to the inhabitants of the information age and the pointless electronic frontier. as we hurtle towards an unknown space in time, and refuse to contemplate the increasingly complex behaviour in society, and the solid loss of the self, snog reminds us that all music is based in folk traditions. and as we lose these folk traditions, we become increasingly automated, remembering useless numbers and pointless secret codes. so really beyond the valley of the proles is an interesting exploration of the emotional content that is missing in most contemporary music. the use of electronics and acoustics really reminds of our organic selves. the fact that we do not need regulated and repetitive beats and mind-numbing narcotics to be human, just some acoustic variants and some nice folk songs explaining it all to us. we are all products of this broken era and snog likes to remind us of this, but things are not totally hopeless yet, as long as we remain human and aware we can break the tyranny of the machines. and stop focusing all our attention on the newest useless invention. ummm... well, a great cd anyway. and truly intellectually stimulating, bringing us back from the valley of the automatons, we are all useless followers or a karaoke culture, mimicking celebrities as well as the human essence. the modern human condition is that of loss, the loss of the self. yet we are all built on the past, thus we can never escape it. much as we would like to ignore the acoustic and folk traditions and pretend all our music is new, or perhaps newest, we must accept the glory of the old. the old can create new, and even if it doesn't, it's sometimes better. snog reminds us wonderfully of this. (vizgig)


i'm lovin' the new snog; i don't much care if it doesn't fit into the industrial regimen - it's a lot of fun. it's more acoustic than the last album, but is very catchy and clever. i had a bunch of people over after a concert one night, and we got into a big debate over it; what it meant, was it good, what's with the country music anyway; and then someone put our questions into perspective by pointing out that we wouldn't be having the discussion at all if it had no depth or substance to it. feels like fluff, falls like bricks. (barb)


bereits mit "the voices of reason" hat david thrussells organ dazu geführt, dass sich die atmosphärische tiefe einer stimme so in meinen schädel gebohrt hat, dass das verlangen nach worten dieser art groß wurde. unter einem weiteren seiner pseudonyme - snog - kommt nun das album "beyond the valley of the proles" und bringt eine weitere, bisher unbekannte dimension ans licht: westernsoundalike elektronik. zu einer mixtur aus akustisch/elektronisch erzeugten westernballaden passt thrussells sonore stimmgewalt wie die faust des saloonsäufers auf's auge des sheriffs. und ebenso nackt und geradeheraus sind die sarkastischen aussagen, die sich hinter den auf das erste ohr scheinbar romantisch klingenden songs. beim hören drängen sich ebenso die helden johny cash oder leonhard cohen auf und gesellen sich zu der düsternis, die nick cave oder the thes matt johnson ihrem sound verleihen und heben somit snog auf einen podest, auf dem nur gerade so viel platz ist, dass es einer gehörigen frechheit bedarf, sich dort zu halten. david thrussell kann's. ... (carsten bäumer)


one of the undoubted highlights of snog's career was when they turned away from standard electro stylings and brought an acoustic, country and western influence into their sound on buy me…i'll change your life. this was somewhat lacking from their last effort, third mall from the sun (also released on hymen) that displayed a pleasant, but ultimately homogenous sound. now, with beyond the valley of the proles, we have a true return to form with the balladry and jangling guitars taken to their logical limits. however, it would be unlike snog to leave well enough alone and to this acoustic mix they have added a liberal dose of idm electronics (courtesy of label-mate and fellow antipodean, end). the result is a bizarre fusion of acoustic and electric, past and present, mainstream and underground sensibilities, producing what, for me, must be one of the albums of the year. the thematic content of the songs is very typically thrussellian: anti-corporate, mock-apocalyptic consumerist wit and observation (also reflected in the wonderful cover art by chris woods, who was also responsible for third mall… and relax into the abyss.) this produces some wonderful lyrical gems, such as "welcome to adelaide"'s scathing account of the city's justice system, "they've got judges too / they'd like to butt fuck you / but only if you're under nine" or the anti-establishment lilt of "justified homicide", "now i wouldn't want to advocate / violence or bloodshed against the state / but if some fiendish criminal mind / were to contemplate actions of a similar kind…" this, coupled with the sugarcoated sheen of the music gives the overall impression of pop music gone horribly wrong. other highlights from this catalogue of subversion include "businessman", an ironic ode to corporate mentality and slavery to one's wage and "the fruits", a wonderful reworking of a track from the veruschka 10" (another thrussell project released on ant-zen in 2001) drenching the previous orchestral strains with the gliding tones of country guitar. as a companion to the main album, hymen have also released a double 12" set which, aside from the benefit of seeing that sumptuous artwork rendered ten times the size, also contains a bonus platter of remixes and reworkings of tracks from the album, such as end's dancefloor recontextualisation of "businessman" and black lung's masterful off-beat deconstruction of "justified homicide". however, the true show stealer is closing track, "hooray!! (live from the verandah)" which transmutes this classic snog track into a hillbilly-death-metal acoustic sing-a-long that is as masterful as it is ridiculous. those who have been disenchanted with snog's last offerings would be well advised to investigate beyond the valley of the proles. it manages to carve itself an unclassifiable niche in the ever-burgeoning electronic music scene and make everything you hate about music suddenly seem fresh, exciting and fun. it's unbelievable to me that industrial and country manage to meld together so perfectly…next thing you know we'll have johnny cash playing nine inch nails songs… (gavin lees)


...the discerning & the disturbed". david thrussell hat sich langsam, aber stetig zu einem der gewissenhaftesten politisch motivierten acts auf im elektronik lager gemausert und steht, mit blick auf seine lyrics und das artwork seiner tonträger, noam chromsky mittlerweile vermutlich deutlich näher als den hedonisten, die das genre ansonsten größtenteils bevölkern. parallel zur inhaltlichen entwicklung, hat snog im laufe seiner existenz auch eine musikalische durchlaufen, die auf den ersten blick kaum bizarrer erscheinen könnte. weg von elektronischer, wenn auch immer schon intelligent gemachter, tanzmusik, hin zu etwas, was wohl ehesten unter "digital country" oder "electrofolk" firmieren könnte. wobei, mit hinblick auf das großartige western-dub-album "the inner cinema" des thrussell/bourke projektes soma vielleicht doch keine so seltsame entwicklung. vom vörgänger "third mall from the sun" hängengeblieben, ist auf alle fälle thrussell's charmant trockener humor und seine fähigkeit, sich in seinen texten nicht in einfach gestrickten parolen zu verlieren. kein wunder also, daß "beyond the valley..." mehr fragen eher anspricht, als antworten zu liefern, auch wenn in "justified homicide" z.b. wenig zweifel übrigbleiben, wer für thrussell allerlei fehlentwicklungen mitzuverantworten hat. die doppel 12" version des albums beinhaltet übrigens neben sämtlichen tracks der cd das bonus album "your favorite electro folk swingers" einen stapel remixe (siehe trackliste), was die entscheidung, welches format ins haus kommt, für viele deutlich vereinfachen dürfte. (sascha bertoncin)


radical mais pas politique, cynique mais jamais désespéré, l'australien david thrussel s'impose depuis 1992 comme l'un des acteurs les plus engagé de la scène électro indus. par le biais d'images choc (les ahurissantes pochettes et livrets de "third mall from the sun", "relax into the abyss" et celle-ci, toutes trois réalisées par chris woods, série de peintures hyper-réalistes aux relents consuméristes dénonçant la world company), et de compositions aux influences étonnantes (de john carpenter à ennio morricone en passant par les swans et lassigue bendthaus), snog est sans conteste le plus bel ovni que la scène électronique ait jamais recensé. quatre ans après son album le plus électro/dansant, l'excellent "third mall from the sun" (depuis lequel sont sortis discrètement en 2001 le single "justified homicide" ainsi qu'un album de spoken words sous le nom de david thrussel "the voices of reason" et l'ep "profound and sentimental journey" de black lung), david thrussel propose avec ce nouvel album de snog un disque plus surprenant que jamais. si les influences habituelles du bonhomme répondent toutes présent, avec ce mélange si personnel entre électronique, industriel, folk et musique de film, le ton est cette fois-ci plus apaisé que jamais, et david thrussel fait preuve d'une tranquillité et d'un flegme déroutants. les sons sont toujours aussi précis, l'arrière-plan toujours bourré de sonorités électroniques digne d'uwe schmidt, mais on a cette fois-ci l'impression de pénétrer dans un univers plus improbable que jamais, où le prodige australien se serait entouré de douglas pearce et de wall of voodoo. adoucissant le ton, david thrussel fait une halte surprenante, ajoutant une pièce de choix à sa discographie interminable. (christophe labussière)


quelle maturité et quelle classe. snog frappe fort avec ce nouvel album. au programme : electronica grand cru, instruments acoustiques bien présents et bien vivants, discours virulants et, bien entendu, la voix sensuelle comme une poignée de ronces de monsieur david thrussell. les empêcheurs de tourner en rond australiens sont de retour avec une production moins axée sur la musique électronique pure et simple, mais encore plus aboutie et encore plus riche. une poigne de fer dans un gant de velours. le genre de son qui pourrait passer à la radio, mais qui risque d'être censuré à cause (ou grâce..?) de ses paroles plutôt sarcastiques et toujours aussi anti-culture socio-populaire. la similitude pour mieux se singulariser, la séduction pour mieux toucher. derrière les 11 titres de beyond the valley of the proles se cachent 11 bombes prêtent à exploser, dont certaines risquent de faire de gros dégâts, dès la première écoute. bad planet et son petit air de the human germ tout en soft-electronica, calme et triste. businessman, véritable hymne à l'horripilante rock-pop des années 80, parfaite bande-son d'une improbable publicité ventant les mérites de téléphones portables ultra tendances thrussell inc. fill my hole et son ambiance bluesy, avec batterie jouée aux balais, claviers ringards et choeurs soul.welcome to adelaïde, caustique au possible, ridicule et déjanté. un bijou. justified homicide avec son groove noisy sur fond de guitare blues. rock psychédélique et atmosphère maladive durant citizens, puis orgue hammond, violons mélo-dramatiques, downtempo et voix féminines de circonstance pendant le sublimissime into the light. nouvelle version electro-pop de the fruits, qui apparaissait initialement sur le très rare lp the secret de veruschka. enfin, l'immonde waiting achève l'album, avec son mélange indigeste de country et sonorités artificielles poussièreuses. des musiciens qui s'en donnent à coeur joie, de l'electro première pression à froid, et un david thrussell au sommet de son art. mais que demande le peuple blasé et avide de délivrance que nous sommes ?! les gens veulent du bonheur et les gens ont raison. snog : un rayon de soleil dans votre ciel capitaliste.


snog discography on hymen records. 02.2k3
i snog, therefore i am... 2cd. hymen records ¥704. 1999
i snog, therefore i am... 2x12". hymen records ¥015. 1999
third mall from the sun. cd. hymen records ¥707. 1999
third mall from the sun. 2x12". hymen records ¥401. 1999
relax into the abyss. cd. hymen records ¥711. 2000
relax into the abyss. 12". hymen records ¥402. 2000
beyond the valley of the proles. cd. hymen records ¥730. 2003
beyond the valley of the proles. 2x12". hymen records ¥406. 2003

find more about snog on david thrussell's imcc site: