Schloss Tegal is, unquestionably, one of the most significant bands creating music today - or ever! Through releases steeped in intelligence, research, deft sound manipulation, and the most distinct use of obscure samples, they have created a body of work almost unequaled in the realm of dark, cryptic, discomfiting designs.
Black Static Transmissions Live, features four extensive doses of live assaults from the Black Static Transmissions tour. It's a showcase for the extraordinary breadth and intense singular focus that this band has always exhibited. "Oranur III - The Third Report", the shortest track, sets the mood with haunting, elastic tones corrupted by alien electronics. Sounds shift with vibratory tenacity, a tone like the pounding and scraping of a metallic heart adding a particularly coarse edge. The ambience of unease, a specialty for Schloss Tegal, has been set. A large chunk of "Black Static Transmissions" follows, opening with the eerie "I've come to tell you what I have seen" sequence (a personal fave), that leads into an ever-shifting avalanche of tones, timbres, and illusory samples. It captivates via sheer disparate focus, sounding as though dimensions are being bent, warping under the heavy weight of drones adorned with agitated cilia and mutilated by fluttering sunspots (there is a sense of kinetic life eradiating from a hole in the pocket of an unknown region of ectoplasmic origin); looped voice samples that hint at mysterious allegiances and, more so, mysterious intentions; Morse codes from the outer reaches of the universe that tap out messages of an ambiguous nature; and the moon's lunar attraction, generating cosmic tidal waves that swell and recede in an otherworldly nod toward discomfort of an almost spiritual, albeit alien, foundation. The edge of the seat is where these sound manipulations reside, as a para-psychological force rumbles through the panoramic Chaos like an icebreaker through the frozen Arctic tundra. It never sounds as though Schloss Tegal create music so much as channel sounds from the great beyond.
"Toxified System Resistor" clocks in at 30 minutes, stretching out the droning mix of tones in a way that fortifies their strength. The samples that are sprinkled throughout disorientate via subject matter (...vs. technology vs. reality vs. perception vs....) and a drugged, incomprehensible maneuvering of voices as the track progresses, sounding like the utterances of putty. The layered drones, aligning cadences in an extremely concentrated fashion, scratch at the perimeters, warding off hope for the embrace of an undefined distress. There's an overwhelming dose of cataclysmic Pandemonium present during "Blind Fault Upheaval," along with a taut tension of the trapped-in-the-cabin-waiting-out-the-monsters variety. At one point, wood smacks down and splints on the backs of howling demons, while later, the edge of sanity is massaged by talons of dread. The tension is occasionally tapped, dispersed in spurts of swirling, screechy (unnerving!) agitation. The all-around mood is fraught with fear, horrific and fascinating all at once. Black Static Transmissions Live is only available through the website (www.interzonemusic.com) and, needless to say, I highly recommend it.