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 majority 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.
2001's Tumescent Love Songs For Psychotic Drifters is another previously unreleased disc that was recorded right when Korperschwache was evolving into a new level of heaviness, mixing the harsh noise aspects of the earlier material with more Skullflower-style guitar noise and ultra distorted industrial sludge, a super heavy and noisy assault that RKF would continue to shape all the way up to the latest album Evil Walks. Beginning with "The last vision of timothy mcveigh", the band drops a skull-rupturing din of roaring psych-guitar overload and amplified buzz that is super distorted and blown out, the Skulllflower-esque dirge made up of heavy wrecked riffs and clusters of high-end melodic keyboard-like notes, jittery electronics and sludgy guitar chords awash in massive amounts of distortion and feedback. A crushing wall of noise and apocalyptic keyboard drone is erected for "Cold fusion device", and is shot through with buried guitar melodies and blasts of metallic percussion, evolving into a slow, excruciating noise dirge that starts to resemble the likes of Wicked King Wicker or Hedorah or some similar industrial noise-damaged mecha-sludge heaviness. The next three tracks are all likewise crushing and blown out and speaker wrecking, but these overloaded noise-dirges are much more melodic, with shoegazey chord progressions uncoiling beneath immense layers of howling hiss and swirling static and distortion, at times resembling a Jesu song being remixed by Incapacitants, the rhythmic pounding seeming to come from sheets of scrap metal being pummeled by sledgehammers in slow motion, a syrupy Godflesh-like machine grind. Then there's the immense blastfest of "Scenes from the Navidson House", a vast furnace of harsh noise roaring over buried blasting drum machines, industrial rumblings and staticky voice transmissions. The closer "Nyarlathotep (reprise)" finishes the album off with a short return to the earlier track with a raging storm of white noise and static swirling around a slow heavy drumbeat and droning keys.
released June 29, 2012
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