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act 118 · morgenstern · cold · cd

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tracklist:
cold, horny being, hypnotized, blow away my reason, insight, interlude, hinrichtung durch raum und zeit (re-edit), combat zone, eye, over

the listener is drowning slowly inside morgenstern's frightening atmosphere and once he dives into it, he's lost in a vibrating and bassy drone of tribal power-electronics & dark ambient, full of coldness and thorns. heavy death industrial tunes are layered in while tortured vocals are dominated by corrosive industrial clatters. bass-riddled cavernous drones ensure beautiful low-end rumbles and subtle machinery beats. aurally piercing textures containing a distorted surrealistic edge.

morgenstern was founded in '93 as the solo project of andrea börner, who was also a member of the legendary project 'ars moriendi' (1990-95). she's still a part of the ambient project 'templegarden's'. two fellow members of ars moriendi/templegarden's provide supporting roles on this 'cold' - a. schramm (asche) and p. münch (synapscape).

morgenstern discography. 2.2k1:
2001: cold. cd. ant-zen
1999: zyklen. cd. ant-zen
1998: morgenstern. c-90
1996: split with asche. lp. ant-zen. sold out
1994: split with mandelbrot. c-90, fich art.

additional information about morgenstern & synapscape, asche, ars moriendi:
www.ant-zen.com/synapscape

reviews:

recycle-your-ears
Two years after the release of Morgenstern's debut, "Zyklen", Andrea Börner, A. Schramm (Asche) and P. Münch (Synapscape) are back with a follow up which is very different from their calm, ritual and dark first born. "Cold", bearing a much more modern looking cover, is also noisier, more rhythmic, and somewhat less original. This album starts quite well, the drone-based title track, and is followed by the long voice sample of "Horny Being" (already on the Maschinenfest 1999 sampler). On the third track, "Hypnotized", the beats kick in a piece that sounds like Asche's music with Synapscape's voice. Not bad, but really far from the soundscapes of "Zyklen". In a way, this could describe the whole CD. On "Cold", Morgenstern have tried to put on disc their live show, rhythmic and noisy. In consequence, the CD sounds a lot like the recent Asche "Distorted Disco", slowed down and without the club appeal. The scraping sounds are more or less the same, and are enriched by the spherical beats of Synapscape. Not badly done, but very linear, repetitive, and leaving space for the deepest aspect of the band only for the outros. Fitting well with some of the rhythmic noise acts of Ant Zen (Asche and Synapscape, once again), This CD is not uninteresting, but, even though I have listened to it again and again, it never grew on me (apart from "Hypnotized" and "Combat Zone", nothing really captured my attention for long) For some reason, theses beats, this voice and these scapes didn't work well on me, and I find myself wishing the band hadn't evolved that much.

black ausgabe 23 ­ frühjahr 2001
scheint die sonne? geht es dir gut? keine probleme und so? beende deinen glückszustand und lege ’cold¹ in den player. verkriech dich in einer ecke deines zimmers und dann kommt sie ­ die furcht! auch das zweite cd-album (nach ’zyklen¹, 1999) der ex-ars moriendi-frau andrea börner ist keine leicht verdauliche kost und braucht schon einiges an nervenstärke bzw. durchhaltevermögen. dumpf grollende death industrial-sounds, strange stimmsamples, mörderisch vibrierende bass-schallwellen und die typisch zerrigen rhythmusloops lassen einen schwer zugang zum album finden, doch wenn man es einmal geknackt hat, dann läßt es einen nicht mehr los! gewidmet bzw. beeinflußt ist das album vom ’kalten jahr 2000¹ und in diesem scheint für frau morgenstern doch einiges schief gegangen zu sein?! anders ist dieser harsch-pulsierende alptraumsound nicht zu erklären oder? zentrales herzstück des albums ist der track ’hinrichtung durch raum und zeit¹, welchem samples aus dem film ’shining¹ von stephen king als grundlage dienen und gut einen eindruck von klaustrophobie und wahnsinn vermittelt. mit ’cold¹ im player kann die sonne nur noch heller und wärmer werden... (m.f.)

orkus nr.04 ­ april 2001
ars moriendi, templegarden¹s, morgenstern, und kein ende in sicht: man kann die in hamburg residierende andrea börner guten gewissens als alten hasen der industrial-szene bezeichnen. abgesehen von zwei tapes und einer längst vergriffenen lp ist cold das zweite reguläre cd-album ihres solo-projekts morgenstern, das immerhin schon seit 1993 existiert. das neue werk lebt vom spannungsfeld zwischen atmosphärischen dark ambient-passagen und hypnotischen, tribal-artigen rhythmen, die durch den einsatz von verzerrter stimme und wuchtigen noiseloops noch in ihrer intensität verstärkt werden. cold ist dank der komplexen strukturen weit vom typischen dancefloor-industrial entfernt, und nicht zuletzt wegen der schreienden monotonie scheint sich eher ein einsatz als soundtrack für endzeitphantasien oder ähnliche liebreizende tagträumereien anzubieten (8) (alexander maciol)

blackharvest 4.0
tribal power electronics, harsh cavernous rhythms and noise crash through your speakers, while low end vocals weave through the bass structures and pulsating drones. maybe its because i¹m from england but i couldn¹t keep a straight face while listening to the sample on track 2 of the man from birmingham wittering on. apart from this little mishap, ant-zen have unleashed another barnstormer of an album upon us. a pattern emerges here... quality. its becoming a bit of a trend with this label. morgenstern¹s founder andrea börner yet again shows us that the scene is not entirely populated by men, and is all the better for this fact. a frightening atmosphere textured in the soul of a machine. (tony)

prospective 1/2001
today¹s power electronic bands appear to have a much more healthy attitude that before. the usual walls of harsch noise are now being made accessible for the more untrained ears. we got more Œeatable¹ rhythms and varied sounds that before. what was considered extreme is on its way to be Œmainstream¹ and indeed tolerated. morgenstern and asche together with a few other power bands show the way for a lot of younger and up-coming artists. morgenstern¹s cold serves a real massive dish with heavy distorted vocals/voice sections and a repetitive wall of wonderful sounding noise. while listening to this album, i am being brought up and down, back and forth, kissed and torn apart. thrilling! asche are probably the most commercially eatable one here. everything from deep ambient parts, via pure power electronics to heavy gabber-like beats with extreme power. if you haven¹t tried some of this music and usually prefer more massive electronics, i can only recommend these bands. future rave for really boiled minds! (atle marcussen)

side-line no.35 april-may-june 2001
it¹s not always easy for a productive label as ant-zen to reach highlights with every releases and i fear that this new album by morgenstern is their weakest release this year. only the simple but efficient sleeve disign of the cd could save it, but the rest is a very rough and unpolished cocktail of distorted noise. there¹s no challenge, no technique, no production, no concept behind it. it¹s noise for noise and ant-zen have made use used to more intelligent and high-tech stuff. if you like noisy tape sounds with distorted vocals in the background, maybe you¹ll like it. (tsf)

la defuncion
empezaré el comentario admitiendo que no soy un fan aferrimo del sello ant zen, pero bajo mi entender a veces sacan alguna joya como la que nos ocupa.
morgenstern ya había sacado su primer trabajo, ''zyklen'' en este mismo sello y fue este álbum precisamente el que les diferenciaba de la mayoría de las bandas que tiene el sello. el sonido de ese trabajo era denso, contundente pero nunca rítmico, caracteristica que engloba perfectamente a las otras bandas del sello. en este segundo álbum, sin embargo la banda incorpora temas rítmicos, como ellos mismos dicen '' temas que nos ayudan mucho para el directo'', nos podemos encontrar con temas como ''hypnotyzed'' o ''blow away my reason'', de marcado corte industrial rítmico, extructuras ya conocidas para cualquier seguidor de estos sonidos. pero la banda hacen mucho más que eso, más bien podriamos decir que este ''cold'' es un paso intermedio entre el ritmo industrial y el death industrial. bajo mi entender es una banda de esas tocadas por las musas y que no tendrán ningun problema en consolidarse como una de las mejores bandas dentro del panorama industrial, porque ganas no les faltan y lo que es más importante, calidad tampoco.

tentacles
morgenstern is the solo project of andrea borner, who is also a member of a couple of projects, one of them, Œars moriendi¹ is labeled Œlegendary¹ in promotional items, but unfortunately, in poor isolated canada, unknown. this will have to change, i think. cold, the third (?) album by morgenstern is a rather intense album, and also a bit of a ride. ranging from ambient tracks to harsh electronics, it does covey its title well, there is a dark coldness here, the music creates images of barren wastelands, cavernous pits, icy sharpness and a ever present chilling sensation. i have to say, i now kind of like bands that can take their time with songs, manipulating them slowly, and steadily, building their intensity over a long period. morgenstern are able to do that expertly. and it is in those songs, that they really get my attention. "hinrichtung durch raum und zeit (re-edit)" (track 7) is a prime example. sitting up, late at night, typing, it is only about four minutes in that i realize how amazing the song is. i¹d been enjoying it at a subconscious level up till then, and then i¹m delighted with the next five minutes of it. the complex textures rise and fall, creating a strange, exotic atmosphere. still impressed with track 7, track 8, "combat zone", comes along with its Œaurally piercing textures¹ and i¹m totally blown away. heavy droning in the background with waves of sonic needles repeatedly fly overhead. i¹m left with nothing to say, impressed beyond all doubt: this is good shit. too often bands want to impress the dancefloor, so... bang, start their song with their pounding 4/4 beats, putting everything they got into their track right from the beginning. people on the dancefloor have less than 10 seconds to decide whether to dance to the next song, or go get another beer. sadly, this successful trick creates more than a few Œclub smashers¹. morgenstern are totally above that. the songs on this album are to be enjoyed right through. sit back and get into the music. this needs to be heard loud. it needs to be appreciated by more people. as a final note, supporting roles are also played by members of ars moriendi/templegarden, asche, and snapscape. if that isn't a selling point, i don't know what is. (squid)

Vital Weekly 281, co. Staalplaat
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had a theory saying that blending extremes of beauty and brutality opens into some of the most powerful emotional expressions. That theory is certainly supported by third call from Morgenstern - a German project headed by Andrea Borner (ex-member of legendary Ars Moriendi) with assistance by label-mates, A. Schramm and P. M¸nch of respectively Asche and Synapscape. Crushing electronics rumbles while machineries of heavy noise loops creates an almost rhythmic structure in the otherwise ambient sound expression. Eerie drones of low frequency sounds, suppressed to the lowest level of the sonic expression, function as an extreme contrast to the massive wall of tribal noise. Thus Morgenstern's frightening noise-sphere gets even more frightening while the eerie sound of beauty only seems necessary to complete the journey through the threatening universe of Morgenstern. An evil masterpiece from Morgenstern released by Germany's power electronics-label number one.(NMP)

moving hands
morgenstern is sort of an ambient power noise band, belonging to the famous ant-zen label. one of the two band members is also the brain behind asche, belonging to the same label. morgenstern are an experience live, despite the non-existing live show. they build up an attractive atmosphere with the scary soundscapes and the hypnotizing loops forming some kind of repetitive mantra. this atmosphere doesn't really come alive on your home stereo. this is probably because this music needs to be played at loud volume, unless you use it as a background soundscape. although, it gets better when the faster noisy loops and the female distorted, almost unrecognisable, vocals kick in. this music is pretty good, but it is probably necessary to play it at the right occasion. (johan astemark)

infratunes
amis de la finesse et du bon goût, passez votre chemin. ici rien n'est prévu pour vous. en revanche, bienvenu à tous les amateurs de bruit, de très gros son et d'electro extrêmiste. tout débute avec "blow away my reason", et déja, tout est dit. groove lourd et linéaire, atmosphère surchargée d'électricité et nappe diffuse très lointaine, à peine audible. "cold" s'enfonce lentement dans une abîme de saturation, dénuée de sens, sourde et inhumaine. "combat zone" n'a plus rien d'humain. indéscriptible magma ultra-sombre, éprouvant pour les oreilles et pour le cerveau. "eye" s'ouvre doucement sur un ambient relativement clair, puis, peu à peu un rythme tribal et noisy vient faire décoller le morceau, sans pour autant le transformer en chaos bruitiste. "hinrichtung durch roum und zeit (re-edit)" retourne cependant aux murs de bruit, roulant comme des vagues déchaînées, entêtantes et écrasantes. "horny being" suit en tous points la même voie, dans une tonalité légèrement plus aigüe et simple. "hypnotized" retrouve un tempo rapide. groove indus poussé à l'extrême, fracas métalliques, et saturation massive. du très grand art. "insight" perpétue la tradition, augmenté de hurlements tellement noyés dans la distortion, qu'il faut plusieurs écoute pour les remarquer. "interlude" quand à lui distille une atmosphère noire et malsaine au travers 4 minutes de suffocation ambiente. "over", qui clôt l'album, démarre sur un rythme electro impérturbable et robotique, avant de s'achever, de façon maintenant acquise et normale, dans le bruit et le froid. rien à ajouter à tout ceci, sauf peut être qu'il s'agit là d'un des albums le plus démonstratif et réussit, pour un genre musical en court d'expansion, malgré sa destination à un publique bien particulier et ciblé.

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