Category Archives: German Army

A Field in Boston

Featuring : German Army

Fallout-4-Boston-Wasteland-Freeway

As avid readers will be aware, 20JFG is rather partial to transformative videogame experiences.  2008’s Fallout 3 being one of them.  Strolling along the post apocalyptic highways to 50s pop staples, killing super mutants and dicing with the crypto fascist Brotherhood of Steel…well maybe not so crypto.  It was the best of times.

So it’s no surprise that another trip to the wastelands of America was pretty appealing.  Fallout 4, seven years later, has been duly consumed.  Seven years hasn’t changed all that much though.  Some of the blasted fields of Boston are beautiful in their stark way.  Like some meta commentary on the retro-futurist nostalgia the game itself trades on, the rest of the game feels just like seven years ago.  The radio too’s just as (gloriously) incongruous as ever, blasting out oldie hits while you dispatch Raiders with your cobbled together arsenal.

Which got us hankering for a different sort of apocalypse simulator.  One perhaps stripped of the rich tradition of gallows humour that runs through (post)apocalyptic fiction.  One that stands blankly in the burning street going mad as the tooled-up, existential hero brushes past with his grating ‘jokes keep me sane’ attitude.  It’s the end of the world and it’s ok not to feel fine.

The complete breakdown of civilisation is, in fact, the perfect time to ponder the bonds between worlds.  The sky is on fire and everything that you’ve loved is dead or dying.  It’s an atomic rapture and while your cells rapidly die your mind is free to ascend to the orange sky.

We need a radio station for that apocalypse.  Handily German Army have delivered.

German Army – Tuareg Woman

This is taken from the album Kalash Tirich Mir.  It’s out now on Yerevan Tapes both digitally and on vinyl.  You can get it direct right here.

The Other Jungle

Featuring : German Army

JivaroWitnesses

German Army are back.  Oh happy days.

German Army are back.  Bringing with them those tape delayed vocals.  Those drum machines on the verge of oscillating themselves into a heap of splintered circuits.  Those synth washes that speak in the words of confused androids, gazing on a leather clad world of indifference (like that version of The Terminator from 1960 starring Alain Delon).  That reassuring bass guitar, sitting under it all and holding the whole thing together.

Stone Walls is one of those moments when German Army concentrate their fearsome power through the lens of pop.  That they bring with them part of the indistinct darkness from the rest of the album just makes the whole thing more unsettling.  Like being greeted with a forceful rictus and a handshake dripping blood.  Which is, I suppose, a mildly preferable scenario to the head-shrinking, unknowable horror they’re capable of conjuring.  Personally, I love them either way.

German Army – Stone Walls

Stone Walls is taken from the album Jivaro Witnesses which is available on Burka For Everybody right here for digital and here for physical.

The Fall-Outer Church

Featuring : Europ Europ + German Army

germanarmylast

This is the tenth time that 20jazzfunkgreats features German Army in its pages. Let’s have a party!

And what would this party be like?

A literal interpretation of their music brings to mind images of slowly turning wheels that propel instruments whose purpose is to cut your flesh.

A mythical interpretation involves glimmers of H.R. Giger-esque avatars circulating in silence over devastated badlands.

A socio-economic interpretation would see parallels between their sluggish doom and roll and the complex circumvolutions with which technological trajectories tear civilisations apart like exterminating angels. The clatter and click of multifaceted insects spying on your every act from their information hives.

These implications and suggestions metamorphose across domains like multi-dimensional homometabolous slake moths. And they add up to a post-punk party of politicised ambient, existential horror and vicious jacking. The kind of party that Throbbing Gristle would have thrown if they had been more into dub-reggae. A party where movement is to dance what J.G. Ballard is to sci-fi.

Our kind of party.

German Army – Communion Arm

German Army’s Last Language was featured in our 2013 adventure. But perhaps you died before getting to them. So here goes. You can purchase the record from A Giant Fern.

Here is the video Major Outlet, also in the record, which we are proud to premiere. You can watch previous German Army videos here.

europeurop

Listening to Europ Europ’s ‘Repeating Mistakes in Life’ is like spinning the dial of a radio to surf the ether above Interplay Entertainment interpretation of Central-Europe’s apocalypse, just before venturing out of our nuclear shelter.

The songs portray landmarks in an uncanny valley between melody and noise, structure and entropy, man and machine. All sense becomes dissonance. Is that a number station or an obsessive ritual? A desperate lullaby morphs into a synthetic shriek, blades of distortion an acid house bass-line. Shit gaze is flayed, its entrails displayed in a metal table, where they transform into iron filings and dust.

There becomes here. The shadows that live in these places outside spill into our refuge and engulf us. We become a moment of beauty drowned in noise, the spectre of a song playing in someone else’s radio.

Europ Europ –  Not The Best Lie I’ve Had

Repeating Mistakes in Life is coming out on Enfant Terrible in the middle of February.

Oncoming Storm

Featuring : German Army + Lark

germanArmyEndlessPonics

German Army have long laboured to perfect their nightmare jungles.  Conjuring claustrophobic scenes of light and (mostly) shadow.  A glimpse of their sun would fill your vision with grain and noise.  Theirs is a world calibrated for the perpetual gloom of infinite shade; any squawk of civilisation echoing endlessly off the thick tree branches. The leaves sway slowly but through the accumulation of their layers the sun strobes in hyperactive, Harding Test crushing ways.

German Army – Literacy in Opium

Literacy in Opium is taken from German Army’s LP Endless Phonics, out on Monofonus Press.  You can buy it here.

Lark

This one we’ve slept on for a while and what strange and terrible sleep it was.  It was a sleep of minimal drum machine cold sweat; Carpenter worshipping guitars; and a Codine-Psycobilly spirit guide.  It was a sleep of possession: bodies controlled by faceless forces as we battle internally for control.

Lark’s Goodbye Man forms the theme tune for an opium den on the other side of Lamarchand’s Box.

Lark – Goodbye Man

Goodbye Man came out digitally on Care in the Community Recordings back in May.  You can get it from iTunes here.  You can get the 7″ via Norman Records, right here.

 

Last For Us

thelastofus2

You step into a world collapsed. It is as if you were the only thing mobile in the still nature of this city possessed by tendrils of green, sunk under surfaces of water that reflect a clear sky.  It is also as if, allowed to take its time in the canvass of this world in stasis, reality had managed to invent some new colours for you to get lost on. Gradients of fungal grunge in the skin of collapsed skyscrapers, dusk playing a frantic platformer over labyrinths of glass.

There is no-one home, home is so beautiful.

Gustavo Santalaolla – The Quarantine Zone (20 Years Later)

But stasis is an artefact of your senses maladapted to a world marching at a different pace. A pace where the blades of glass trembling, a beetle conquering a hill, the slide of the sun past a murder of loitering clouds, the metronome of water dripping, and the far-away caw of a nameless bird are epoch-defining events, waves of an earthquake that opens rifts into the mantle of epiphanies.

Your heartbeat dissolves into a drone.

Blanck Mass – Chernobyl

When you awake it is night. It is cold. You are alone. You realise that everyone you love is dead.

Every single individual gesture of every single person who ever cared for you accretes into a mound of insurmountable sadness. You know you are walking over the mulch of their bodies after they were hunted by a killer virus escaped from a biotech lab or an evolutionary dead-end. After they were murdered during the chaos following whichever flavour of apocalypse created this world where you now grieve.

Ben Crossbones – Everybody I Love Is Dead

Or maybe you aren’t alone. And maybe being alone wasn’t such a bad thing. Isn’t the ground where you had collapsed a pyramid of  skulls prised open?

First one, then another, then many lights flicker palely in the darkness like evil fireflies. A covenant of witches atop every decayed ruin. Humming of the hymn of a new republic fuelled by extreme violence. You hear a band marching over the rubble to your left, you hide under the skeleton of an office den, and hold your breath.

For a moment you entertain the idea of announcing yourself to them, but then they walk inside the white moonlight.

They look in your direction with blank headhunting eyes, rotting teeth grimace through poorly stitched gashes in emaciated cheeks, everything about them is serrated, implies fine gradations of depravity and pain.

You gasp, they head towards you.

German Army – Communion Arm

You spell yourself into nothingness with Dutch’s Bane, and scamper away.

Ahead of you, two houses.

On the left, there is a compound surrounded with a metal fence garlanded in barbed wire and topped with stern looking totems. Go there.

On the right, a decrepit manor with hollow eyed statues gazing blindly from its shattered portico. Go there.

2013 References

The apocalypse didn’t go out of fashion in 2013. We are starting to get a bit sick of the sickness, but we nevertheless loved the Last of Us (wonderfully soundtracked by Gustavo Santaolalla) and resource-management trek past Zombie-ravaged America in Organ Trail.
Blanck Mass didn’t release Chernobyl this year, but this song sound-tracked an incredible scene in Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. German Army’s Last Language infected the end of our 2013 with beats which are to dance music what J.G. Ballard is to Sci-Fi. We will probably be re-reviewing it in 2014, just because we can.

Pick a Face, Make some Damage

Featuring : CoConut + German Army

hotline

The most gruesome moments of Hotline Miami are not those spent redecorating lurid condos, motels and discotheques with splotches of arterial blood and flecks of brain matter. Those moments are a fever of pumping adrenaline & thumping disco, they are the fun moments.

The horror comes later, those times spent in your apartment in between phone calls, while it steadily descends into awful squalor and the walls close in on you like a Roman Polanski fantasy, this is horrible even before the actual hallucinations kick off – the pile of discarded clothes in the bathroom, reeking of gore, faecal matter and that pungent scent of fear you brought with you ‘from the job’,  the tabloids whose headlines read like second-hand memories of what happened last night, the VHS tapes of video nasties whose drilling-killing characters & silent hit-men have nothing on you.

But then, who are you?

A cypher with a jacket, awaiting for a phone call, while a row of animal masks grim like Polynesian totems glare from the shelves, they are you – Rasmus, with an eye for secrets, Wilem, who rips and steals, Aubrey, the gun swine. All different, all brothers in episodes of violence that are the fun bit, and the self-reinforcing coping strategy you have devised. Blood washes blood, now that’s a control system out of control.

And then the telephone rings, pick a face, make some damage.

Coconuts-Silver Lights

You can get Hotline Miami & its soundtrack from Steam. Check out the rest of the incredible soundtrack here. CoConuts website is here.

dubditch

German Army are one of 20JFG’s favourite bands in the world. Their releases describe mutant strains of a virus originally engineered in the laboratories of the COUM conspiracy, and released into the world as a sonic code for the mass metamorphosis of people into drones, the painful integration of flesh with metal and plastic, an account of the first stages in the evolution of a hegemonic species of insect.

In Holland Village, the insinuations of beats in previous releases become a reality, the rumble of the viral machinery pumping copies of itself and massing them up in the cellular borders of invaded territories. If these armies had camps, and in their camps they burned fires, and around their fires they sang songs and danced dances, Abbasid Golden Age would be heard loud and terrible, the microscopic fractal of the Human League’s Being Boiled & other Electronic Body (emphasis on Body) anthems, a battle hymn for armies with that have no mouths, yet do scream.

German Army – Abbasid Golden Age

Buy Holland Village from Dub Ditch.

Darkly Takeover

Featuring : Axis Sova + German Army

(An instance of assimilation through 50Watts)

We broadly agree with James Murphy’s recent statement– “I like pretty music by people who make ugly music. I don’t like pretty music by people who make pretty music very much – it smells like a scented candle.

That is the reason why we love German Army and other Kill Shaman peeps. Kitsch is a collateral victim of their quest for something else. Beauty, Truth, the American Dream? All of these things can be defined by what they are not, ghosts haunting the grotesque tapestries they make with materials harvested from the night, and from the dead interstices between local TV stations.

Those places where the seams of reality bulge the ugliest, like festering wounds.

(This is the artwork for the tape btw).

The holy patrons of Kosmische spent decades hurling messages into Central-European skies. This was a low-tech blueprint for SETI, and also the Voyager probe. It ignored the warnings of H.P. Lovecraft aficionados fearful that these foolish signals would act as beacons for the world-destroyers and soul-devourers that lurk in interstellar space.

They may have had a point.

German Army’s music spills insidiously into our wholesome homeland like the whispering of shady agents preparing the grounds for invasion, would we by any chance be interested in joining their fifth column? Before we have a chance to answer (or contacting X-COM), we are strung by a synthetic monofilament vibrating with the echo of that old Kosmische howl, arrived after a journey into the Uncanny Valley and back.

We lay still, as our pupils fill with ink, truly sold on the idea of a better-integrated future.

German Army – North Small Map

Which is included in the nicely artworked & possibly quite sold-out Cattle Border tape in Clan Destine Records.

Axis Sova pull a similar trick in a different ecosystem. Their masters are not sidereal monstrosities, but the disembodied spirits that organised religion kicked out into the wilderness – the brotherhood of possessors that David Lynch has pointed his finger at in several occasions.

They await for their chance in the great hinterland, building traps like Mega-Satanic versions of Coyote with an exclusive line of ACME ordnance designed by H.R. Giger.

They transmogrify into hitch-hiking Baba Yagas, and thumb up their fleshless fingers in the middle of the night.

They inject sonic viruses in the brains of travelling rockers as they sleep in their touring trux, to make them make music that lures innocent listeners into the Great Nothing.

They ride in there, and return ridden. Just like this.

Axis Sova – Raising Hell

You can acquire Axis Sova’s fantastic ‘Weight of a Colour’ LP from Kill Shaman.