act 100 á salt á re.wasp á 3"cd + postcardset
3" cd + 13 postcards. special cardboard box w/ embossing. limited 606 copies. deleted
tracklist: re.wasp part 1 & 2
no, no, no ... release 100 is not the typical various artists releasing one unreleased and / or remixed track compilation in a special package. release 100 is to celebrate and to commemorate the label founder and master of martial ants - salt himself. rarely has a label and the people working behind it gained such success over the years without losing the spirit, the identity and the idealism searching for innovative sound artists and providing them with a platform to release their work - on the visual as well as on the audio side. the, of course, specially designed record features the long-awaited live performance from the maschinenfest 1999 - slightly re-recorded but still a gem among the past releases from your favourite label. for those having missed the live performance - two longer tracks starting off with chilling drones based on various loops later interrupted by feedback, sound experiments and disturbing noises. furthermore 're.wasp' features a set of postcards with 13 full-coloured
motives with the concept as a whole to display the correspondence of colour and structure as well as sound and structure. let's have a drink on another 100 ... ants up!
after five years, finally: ant-zen's 100th release. much has changed since the label's early tape compilations... the esoteric ambient and industrial releases of the first seventy acts or so have given way to a more electronic, beat-oriented ant-zen. with this change came a large surge of popularity, and after a long period in the underground, ant-zen is finally being thrust into the limelight. to celebrate all this, stefan alt - label mastermind and occasional musician - has released a beautiful and captivating box set with a three inch cd of his aural compositions and thirteen minimalist postcards. admittedly, i wasn't really expecting much from this release. salt's music hasn't really captured me at all prior to this, and the packaging sounded sort of quirky. everything changed once i got it in my hands, though; the beautiful cardboard (well, it's a lot harder than cardboard.. same stuff the escaped from room 7 2lp is made of) box houses the disc and postcards immaculately. overall, a stunning presentation that is one of my favorites from ant-zen. the music was what surprised me. most salt tracks i had heard before this were short, stuttery "noise" pieces - nice buildups but i wasn't very impressed. so, i was a bit skeptical when i put in the cute little 3" disc, but my initial listen turned into repeated listens and this thing is growing on me like mad. two ten minute long tracks start quiet, build up, and then explode in a torrent of noise. the tracks are called re.wasp for a reason, and after listening to it a few times, i got this weird visual of a horde of giant wasps attacking a village and setting it on fire. interesting stuff, to say the least. aurally, visually, and presentationally, (i just invented that word) this is one of my favorite ant-zen releases. a very slick, very smooth statement by the man who started it all that hopefully will commemorate five (or hell, more would be nice) more years and one hundred more releases. don't miss out
this rare already rare boxset carries a proud number of 100 (ant-zen act 100). the fact that it has never been advertised too much and appeared a little after many 100+ acts saw the light of day, makes it even more special. it is a good way to commemorate not only ant-zen as a label, but also its creator and a force behind the whole label - stefan alt. this release consists of a small paper box that together with a two-track "re.wasp" 3" contains numbered postcards with salt's photographs. few of the photos were used on some of the label's releases, the rest are probably released for public for the first time. two tracks (named "one" and "two") are dense corroded beatless textures that feature colliding frequencies, static-filled noisy passages and advancing drones. analog torn cuts and clicks among sparse vibrating frequencies on "one" reminded me of pan sonic's stuff without the techno edge, while "two" immerses you into the dense and corroded, yet not overly noisy or abrasive textures that move and develop in a slow gradual manner. obviously, this is a release that has to be perceived not only for its musical merits, but as an item that has visual, musical and conceptual value. and the ones that have been following ant-zen for a while, should get this just as a recognition of salt and ant-zen
ant-zen has always been equally known for their unique cd designs as well as their technoid music, and to celebrate the 100th release, label head and chief graphic master stefan ant presents us with a small grey box. inside are thirteen full-color postcards highlighting the proximal aspect of the s.alt design philosophy. gorgeous in their coloration and detail, these pictures are the ant's-eye view of the human world--our mechanical constructs so magnified as to become unknowable objects yet still mesmerizing in their shape and coloration. snuggled in with these cards is a 3-inch cd which contains music slightly revised from s.alt's live performance at maschinenfest 1999. these two tracks pulse and growl and hiss with feedback and rattling noises like contact mics buried deep within a furious anthill. this is the manifesto of ant-zen: design and music that makes you think microscopically while still overwhelming you with the expansive spaces that can be found in every surface and beneath every sound.
After having been delayed for about a year, here comes the hundredth release from Ant Zen, the most influential industrial label of the moment. A lot of speculations have circulated about this "act 100" and, finally, this is not a new label sampler, but in fact a truely audio and visual release by Stefan Alt, head of Ant Zen. "Re.Wasp" is a heavy cardboard box that contains 13 color postcards of Stefan Alt's photos, focusing on tiny details of machinery and organisms, as well as a 3" CD featuring 2 tracks. Music-wise, this is more or less based on S. Alt's performance at the Maschinenfest 99 festival (the compilation of this festival already featured a track called "Re.Wasp"). These two long tracks are calm layers of distant statics, light drones, echoes and distorted bleeps. The songs contain a lot of variation, even though the change are subtle. The atmosphere is less dense and asphixiating than what Stefan Alt used to release, but it has a more experimental / ambient side. In a way, this could remind of the recent "Schneegarten" LP by Xabec on Hands. The photos coming in the box are splendid, but suffer from the relatively small size of the postcards. In contrary to the prominent industrial imagery, a lot of colors are used, and the dark/rusty/destroyed aspect of the genre is also avoided. "Re.wasp" is a very nice item. Even though this is not the "all stars" release that some expected, it shows that Stefan Alt has a very cohesive vision of where he is taking his label, bot musically and artwork-wise. Fans and collectors will appreciate, while everybody will enjoy for sure another hundred Ant Zen releases.
orkus nr.02 februar 2001
ant-zen feiert seine hundertste verffentlichung, und die hat labelvater salt ganz sich selbst und seiner arbeit als au§ergewhnlicher graphik-designer und soundtftler gewidmet. in der auf 606 exemplare limitierten box aus rauer, anthrazitfarbener pappe findet sich nicht nur eine sammlung von 13 verschiedenen postkartenmotiven in typischer ant-zen-qualitt, sondern auch eine kleine 3"-cd mit zwei jeweils zehn minuten langen tracks. die dster wummernden ambientteppiche stammen aus salts 1999er maschinenfest-performance, die bisher nicht auf tontrger erhltlich war. fr re.wasp wurden die stcke noch einmal in hoher qualitt und nahezu unverndert neu aufgezeichnet. natrlich ist diese edle box auch etwas fr den reinen freund dunkler drones und sperriger noises, aber doch vor allem ein niedliches geschenk fr alle freunde des regensburger ameisenhgels. (alexander maciol)
pour fter la 100e parution de l'tiquette ant-zen, stefan alt, connu aussi sous le nom de salt, qui est aussi le fondateur de ce label, sort une bote spciale comprenant une exprience audio-visuelle, comme c'est le cas pour tous les boitiers spciaux d'ant-zen. aprs avoir t retard plus d'un an et que les rumeurs ont circul sur ce disque, re.wasp a t sorti. ce n'est pas une compilation, mais un 3" comprenant 2 chansons cres par le fondateur stefan alt, entendues, en partie, pour la 1re fois au maschinenfest 1999. re.wasp est un objet cartonn comprenant 13 cartes postales faites des photos de stefan alt ainsi qu'un minuscules cd 3". la composition musicale de ces 2 chansons ressemble vaguement la chanson re.wasp sur la compilation maschinenfest 1999. mais elles sont beaucoup plus longues, plus de 10 minutes chaques, puis elles se situent entre le power electronics et le dambient. les chansons sont remplies de sons de statique, de bourdonnements et de ronronnements, de clignotement auditifs et de bips. par moments, on pense entendre des cratures mystrieuses, des sectes innomables, adoratrices de cthuhlu qui dort dans les abmes de la terre. un objet de collection, limit 606 copies, qui est en ralit une oeuvre d'art ralise par un artiste avangardiste. acheter le s'il est encore disponible. re.wasp intressera surtout les fans de l'tiquette ant-zen
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