A Fistful of Nihilism

by KORPERSCHWACHE

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about

Going back to the mid-90's, the obscure Austin, TX outfit Korperschwache (German for "organic decay") has issued a steady stream of releases into the deep underground that showcased a distinctive sound sitting at the strange nexus between the early UK noise rock scene, the skull-rupturing power of Japan's more extremist noise artists, the massive gravitational pull of the formless guitar crush of bands like Earth and the Melvins at their most art-damaged, and, in more recent years, a filthy, blackened, low-fidelity underbelly that hints at the mutated black metal of bands like Abruptum, Necrofrost, and Vondur. From the beginning, Korperschwache has consisted of mastermind RKF on guitar, noise and vocals, assisted by the loyal mechanical timekeeping of Doktor Omega and occasionally joined by outside contributors. Korperschwache first took form as a side project of RKF's droning industrial rock band Autodidact, but became a primary concern soon thereafter, releasing a steady stream of releases over the years on cassette, Cd-r and digital download on labels like Peasant Magik, Inam Records, Colony, Dark Winter Moon, Public Guilt, Cut Hands and our own sub-label Crucial Bliss, to name a few, usually in extremely limited editions made available to the band's small but loyal cult of followers. The majorioty of these older releases have long been out of print, especially the extremely limited cassette releases from the early days of the band; a longtime Korperschwache fan, I myself never had an opportunity to get my hands on those early tapes, which featured some of Korper's harshest noise-based material.

Now, in conjunction with the brand new Korperschwache album Evil Walks that has just come out on Crucial Blast, we've assembled a series of reissues of early Korperschwache releases, some of which have never been heard by anyone outside of the band's immediate circle. The early cassette releases that have been excavated here are very different from Korperschwache's newer Loop-meets-Abruptum industrial blackpsych sound, many centering around brutal, high-volume noise assaults heavily influenced by both classic UK power electronics (Whitehouse, Ramleh, etc) and Japanese harsh noise (Merzbow, Masonna, Incapacitants, Contagious Orgasm). The later releases from this period began to creep into more guitar-focused dronepower and hypnotic amplifier bludgeon, with material like that of Night Country Fog (Korperschwache's previously unreleased collaboration with Smolken of Polish avant black metal/doom folk band Dead Raven Choir) beginning to direct the sound into the often melodic, always twisted psychedelic heaviness of it's current incarnation.

The 1996 Monotremata cassette A Fistful Of Nihilism is the third release from Korperschwache's early devestating guitar-noise/power electronics mode, remastered for maximum skull-blasting power. RKF and the good Doktor erect more crushing monoliths of amp abuse here, starting with the churning black furnace of harsh murky noise of "Waiting for the number five", wading through low end rumble as they build a wall that stretches out for almost half an hour, forged out of swirling oceanic distortion, crackling bass frequencies, monstrous howling feedback, and titanic drones, a combination of harsh wall and industrial guitar drone with undercurrents of monstrous writhing doom. Total amp immolation that's part Total, part The Rita. It's trailed by the short harsh noise blast of "LOve Song", a screeching cacophony of demonic howls, droning feedback and crashing metal all drenched in delay, then returns to the massive flanged wall of distortion and amp noise for the third track, teeming with shrill high pitched feedback and spluttery low end crackle, emitting a vintage power electronics vibe of absolute bleakness and despair. "Discussing structure" continues with this, drowning the warbling bass tones in filthy feedback and pitchshifted vocalized horror, chunks of mangled guitar noise, juddering low end rhythmic rumble and brain-drilling feedback drone, which after a minute or so reveals an almost musical structure. "God of feedback" is another monstrous distorted wall, but beneath it can be heard bits of cinematic minor key melody on the verge of being obliterated by the inferno, almost like shades of a John Carpenter composition struggling to surface beneath an ocean of furious roar. The bonus track here is the delicately titled "Fistfucking hippies", which takes a very different approach; it's a mix of manipulated found sound and horrific vocals, a heaving, gasping industrial nightmare alive with panic-stricken voices being run backwards alongside stark metallic drones and hissing pneumatic pulses.

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released January 1, 2011

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Crucial Blast Hagerstown, Maryland

Crucial Blast is an independent underground label and online shop specializing in cutting edge, experimental heavy music and related cultural artifacts, with a particular focus on blackened avant-metal, nihilistic noise/industrial, dark ambiance, infernal psychedelia, and hardcore improv/free-jazz. ... more

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