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 1995 cassette Fangs Of An Angry God was also issued on Monotremata Records, and showcased five more lengthy tracks of psychedelic harsh noise and brutal feedback ecstasy from Korperschwache; this reissue adds on a sixth bonus track that was recorded in 1996. This second tape continued to move the band's sound further into a grueling smashup of grinding amp abuse, industrial noise and psych guitar meltdown, unleashing clanging guitar chords that ring out over smoldering black lavaflows and brutal clank and screech, the axe strings slipping wildly out of tune. Tracks like "The drowning pool" and "Hands of stone" are formless masses of squirming slack guitar slime and crackling distorted filth, the sound moving slowly, like sputtering magma waves of incinerating speaker vomit, flesh-rending cable noise and sheet-metal drag. RKF constantly spews fried-out psych guitar leads through waves of stentorian drone that rise and fall, while blasts of metallic crush reverberate in the distance, later transforming into massive, almost doom metal-like riffage that appears briefly beneath the noise. The rest of Fangs has cloudscape of feedback and droning buzz and grainy distortion, delay effects speeding up and slowing down amid snarls of cable buzz, and flashes of human voice and melodic guitar drift that become swallowed up in a viscous mass of heavy guitar drone and industrial-strength amplifier noise. The final bonus track "Vinyl Fetish" (carrying on the theme from the previous reissue Ovencleaner) matches juddering machine noise and diffused glacial guitar sludge beneath an array of electrical detritus and controlled fx-pedal mayhem. This ranks as one of the nastiest and gnarliest of Korperschwache's pre-Y2K cassette releases.
released June 28, 2012
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