The mighty Flutwacht returns once again; this time with a new CD release, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale, Puls, courtesy of Mask of the Slave Records.
I’ve been a huge fan of Flutwacht for a little while for two reasons; 1.) they aren’t abrasive simply for abrasiveness’ sake and 2.) the complexity and depth of their pieces.
Take track 1, “Missgeburt,” for example; rhythmic feedback loops set against an unrelenting furious wind of disruption with sporadic vocal samples-typical Flutwacht diversity – samples, noise wall, cut-ups, screwed up frequencies, feedback and samples. Flutwacht are masters of creating complex and diverse noise-scapes.
Track 2, “Brachlan,” starts with rhythmic static eruptions and then proceeds with what sounds like electroshock therapy and a distorted high-pitch frequency. In Flutwacht fashion, diverse loops, statics, samples and noise usage is layered into an overwhelming force the likes of which noise legends have trouble contending with. Track 3, “Kommunikationsfehler,” introduces a black ambient/death industrial background with drone and low-end rumbling that sounds like the muffled sound of a moving train; more of a subdued track but again, displaying more levels of diversity that Flutwacht possesses. Back to low-end bass and a harsh noise wall with track 4, “Flugrichtung.” Layers of noise and static are build up both rhythmically and with improvisation it appears. By the end of the track, we have a very dense wall of high and low abrasiveness. Track 5, “Brache,” is a very thick, low-end vacuous track with some distant winds of static looming in the backdrop. This track is a great example of Flutwacht’s ability to merge their high/low dynamics into one whereas some of their tracks focus on either.
Speaking of low-end…an extremely deep, pulse of static bass introduces track 6, “Monstermaschine,” A noise resembling a moaning monster comes and goes with rhythmic muffled industrial samples (at least it sounds like). It’s almost as if Flutwacht is experimenting with the subduing of sounds rather than an abrasive barrage. Back to black ambience/death industrial we go with a more up-front approach in “Rauperband. ” This quickly changes to a very uncomfortable low noise loop against a drone funnel in the background; a great track that merges the up-front and static with the fluid/moving of dark ambient.
A rising noise wall it is with a metallic strike to bring us to track 8, “Sinnlos.” This track appears to focus on more of an “industrial” side rather than strictly noise. But then again, Flutwacht is so multi-dimensional, there really is no “strictly” about them. Finishing out the Puls album, is track 9, “Endphase,” a track that signals the end of the album and serves as a candidate for apocalypse soundtrack. Here we have the mixing used to its fullest potential. Sounds in the front, distance and going from front to back in both left and right channels all but pull the listener in the middle of the hypnotic death industrial scene. Most of the noise drops off at about 5:30 gives rise to a thin but harsh wall just before 6:00. Then??? Dead silence… until 11:30 when a swirling industrial sound is followed shortly thereafter by a wind of noise and some gritty high frequency. The listener remains entranced by the combination of frequencies and noises and industrial hits until the end at 19:58.
Puls is a perfect example of why Flutwacht is the best noise artist in Germany and one of the very best in their craft. Undoubtedly one of the most criminally underrated noise artists in existence today. Not only does Puls contain everything that Flutwacht is capable of, it leaves the listener wondering where in the world these German masterminds could go next.
Puls is available now but limited to only 300 copies. Check out Mask of the Slave Records and Tourette Tapes for more information.