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act 123 · converter · asche · morgenstern · erode · cd-ep

tracklist:
gray formicular, in hell, monster, impiety, hypnotism, hunt, erosion, another monster, loss

erode is a collaboration project of the bands converter, asche & morgenstern. sounds, samples & structures have been constantly exchanged to construct a collection of songs for one united project. this recording combines everything from dark ambient drones, hard pounding rhythms with processed. samples and harsher noises. a 57 minute ep.

reviews:

side-line no.37 october/november/december 2001
this is a surprisingly diverse mix of hard and soft. i had expected nonstop boom-boom beats, but the disc is dominated by mostly soft and subdued rhythmic moments. it really does sound eroded. lots of scraping and wafting moods, brittle sample sediments and dilapidated sound residues (even field recordings) which are only occasionally interrupted by blasting tracks. i like the droning dark ambient better than the dance tracks, which do not rise above the plethora of mediocre tracks in this genre. they are in any case party material (and prove by their vocal sample selection alone that humor is still to be found in this genre full of sad-faced apocalyptics), but they are way too fucused on one-dimensional stompiness, and are thus uneventful. much more is happening in the drilling and scraping ambient tracks. they posses more personality even though it is all very much so hidden in their lemur-like development. they are nevertheless rhythmically hypnotic, but not as dancefloor compatibly simple, and that i am thankful for. all in all i am disappointed in half of the tracks (average dance stompers) and pleasantly surprised at the other half (moody ambient pieces). fortunately, the ep did not turn into an incoherent something which often happens with such collaborations as the protagonists get loss in the innumerous possibilities of their combined talents, but sadly enough it did remain average. ÔerodeÕ is a very solid effort and as a whole a pleasant listen, no doubt, but the aha-effect is missing, not one catchy track that makes you go ÔwowÕ. maybe next time. (ttm)

orkus nr.11 november 2001
das gewisse etwas der 57 minuten-ep ist mit sicherheit, dass sie in einer transatlantischen kooperation entstanden ist, zwischen dem bekannten amerikanischen industrial-projekt converter und den beiden deutschen formationen asche und morgenstern. die teilnehmer tauschten sounds, samples und songstrukturen aus und entwickelten sie dabei immer weiter, bis zu den insgesamt neun tracks, die jetzt auf erode das licht der šffentlichkeit erblicken dŸrfen. das âviele kšche...Õ-sprichwort trifft auf das resultat jedenfalls nicht zu, denn neben den unvermeidlichen industrial-techno-gewittern fanden auch etwas subtiler gestrickte exkursionen in das ambient- und ritual-genre statt. im hinblick auf die gebotene abwechslung und die technische umsetzung gibt es nicht viel zu meckern, und besonders den schnellen, technoiden rhythm-noise-nummern merkt man die handschrift von scott âconverterÕ sturgis deutlich (und positiv) an. erode ist kein absoluter megahit des genres, der mit všllig neuen einflŸssen oder ideen aufwarten kšnnte, aber solide und moderne industrial-kost, die vor allem auf der tanzflŠche ihre volle wirkung entfalten dŸrfte, ist sschlie§lich auch nicht zu verachten. (alexander maciol)

black #25
das ist ein Ÿberraschend diverser mix. ich hatte eigentlich non-stop ballerbeats erwartet, aber es gibt vorrangig ruhige und unterschwellig rhythmische momente. das hšrt sich wirklich erodiert an. viel schabende und wabernde stimmung, brŸchige schichten und verfallende klangreste (bis zu field recordings), die nur manchmal von wegfegenden tracks unterbrochen werden. der dronige dark ambient gefŠllt mir eigentlich besser als die tanztracks, die sich nicht sonderlich von der masse des genres abheben. sie sind auf jeden fall partymaterial (und beweisen durch die auswahl der stimmsamples den leider viel zu wenig vorhandenen humor im genre), aber sie sind zu geradlinig stampfig und unspannend. in den bohrend-kratzigen ruhigen tracks passiert mehr, ist mehr stimmung, auch wenn das alles sehr geruhsam verdeckt ist. dabei sind sie auch rhythmisch-hypnotisch, nur nicht so tanzflŠchenmŠ§ig simpel, was ich als angenehm empfinde. insgesamt bin ich zur hŠlfte enttŠuscht (durchschnittliche tanztracks) und zum anderen positiv Ÿberrascht (ambienttracks). die ep ist zum glŸck nicht zu fahrig geworden, was ja oft bei solchen kollaborationen passiert, wenn man sich vor lauter talent in den unzŠhligen mšglichkeiten verlŠuft, aber leider etwas durchschnittlich. ?erode ist sehr solide und als ganzes schšn zu hšren, keine frage, nur fehlt der knalleffekt, der eine ohrwurm, der einen anspringt. vielleicht beim nŠchsten mal. (t™)

wet-works
when i first heard about this collaboration ep from ant-zen records, i was excited, to the say the least. converter, being my favorite rhythmic noise act on ant-zen, and having already loved the last asche album, distorted disco, i was almost salivating with anticipation of how awesome this cd could be. starting off the cd is the track "gray formicular," with a quiet sound of wind shifting over some desert as the track slowly builds with vocal samples, what sounds like air raid alarms and that crunchy rhythmic punch we've come to love from converter. slowly adding new elements as the track progresses, "gray formicular" engulfs the listener in a slow, mellow, rhythmic trance. a fractured beat loop takes us into "in hell" and ups the pace a bit, becoming more dancefloor-friendly. heavy beats pound away with an amusing sample of a girl talking about hell and mechanical elves. "monster" is about as fast-paced as rhythmic noise gets, in my opinion. insanely beat-heavy, the music here almost puts your head in a dream-like trance. a steady beat rhythm continues to pound away with episodes of various other percussive rhythms bleeding in only to be interrupted by a vocal sample that repeats throughout the track. after the aftermath of "monster," c-a-m slows things down quite a bit and create a more droning ambient noise vibe. this is where i feel the morgenstern influence comes in to effect, with converter and asche adding the high-frequency squeals. this is like an interlude track so you can catch your breath. the following song, "hypnotism," strangely enough reminded me of nkvd. every sound is saturated and blurred, like the feeling of your head being buried in sand. the vocals in this track are heavily distorted and are used more as a texture than actually something you should pay attention to and try to decipher. after another short interlude -ype track, "hunt," the heavy cut-up rhythms are back ,and this time accompanied by harsh distorted vocals on "erosion." a remix of "monster" follows with the song "another monster," which is very similar to the first, before closing the album with the mellow track "loss." fans of all three bands presented on this collaboration will love every minute of erode. mostly for the dancefloor, erode is quite heavy on the beats but also contains a few tracks that would be great for home or with a good pair of stereo headphones. if you like rhythmic noise you'll want to definitely pick up this album. (gunhed)

l'ame electrique #2 november 2001
without a doubt, this cd is a perfect example of how collaborations should be: take the best elements out of each individual and melt them together so that the final mixture will have its own taste and still remind you of the initial ingredients. so, to cut a long story short, in 'erode' we have stressful and semi-paranoid beats and loops, a good taste in distortion and brutal vocals scattered here and there. overall, you will get a 57 minutes long cd that offers excellent power noise, so get it while it's hot. one of ant-zen's finest cds, that's for sure. (monsieur x)

spectrum magazine
converter/ asche/ morgenstern (usa/ ger/ ger) "erode" cd 2001 ant-zen three way collaboration by three of the well know artists on the ant-zen roster has created a rather eclectic release spanning tense ambience, rhythmic noise and death industrial genres. static swirling textures and a tongue in cheek sample (referencing the label name) commences the cd, with the piece gradually morphing towards a mid paced rhythmic industrial groove. a whiplashing beat oriented affair on track two to my mind has a heavy converter stamp on the sound Ð if not just a touch quirkier then normal which has much also to do with the use of another humorous sample. another industrial dance floor oriented track is toyed with again on track three, whereby direction is forged with beat and rhythm as opposed to tune. morgenstern comes to mind on the forth piece where slow rising ominous textures eventually combine with mid paced modulating distortion to create a cavernous yet tense edge, whilst pulsing programming, distorted death industrial vocals, and amply static noise is the recipe for the fifth piece. track 7 is another fine mixture of a death industrial undercurrent, overlaid with a rhythmic noise framework and distorted vocals in order to create another complex piece that is clearly far from being one dimensional. on the other hand the ninth and final track is a fantastic piece of tense cavernous ambience, intermixed with metallic clatter, vocal samples and death industrial programming. intense does not begin to describe this, with it being quite reminiscent of the sound approached on morgensternÕs ÔzyklenÕ cd. overall i feel that fans of the general ÔsoundÕ of these three ant zen artists should not be disappointed with this collaborative effort.

toronto industrial kollektive
another split release for ant-zen. despite trepidations due to the fact that the last ant-zen split that i bought (imminent/synapscape) was, in retrospect, slightly disappointing, the presence of converter makes erode' another matter entirely. it's not like i'm going to blow off a scott sturgis release. this cd was constructed in the same manner as the more recent 'panacea shares needles with tarmvred', in which each of three bands send each other samples that are then used to construct original tracks. the cd has nine tracks, and, although the songs are not labelled, i believe that the first three are due to converter, the second triplet to morgenstern and the final three songs are due to asche. the converter tracks are remarkable if only for their dedication to the dance floor. very simple, repetitive rhythmic structures pound away under simple, undistorted voices and various noisy effects. "in hell" and "monster" are pretty typical converter dance floor fodder (think 'death time'), whereas "gray fornicular" is more of an ambient/noise-oriented introduction: slow, crunching beats enter the mix near the end. definitely my favourite of the three. morgenstern provides us with somewhat more texture-oriented offerings. 'impiety' is very nice indeed, based on a very noisy, effectively beatless loop. one is forced to listen to it pretty loud to understand the appeal of the driving low end however. i'm tempted to use the phrase "power electronics" in my description of 'hypnotism', what with the unintelligible screams, screeching noises and erratic beats. i very much enjoy the unsettling, atonal synth washes present both here and on the next track, 'hunt'. the real surprise of this release are the last three tracks, however, which i believe to be due to asche. i wasn't the biggest fan of 'distorted disco', in fact i thought it was a pretty weak release. the asche tracks found here seem to be significantly more listenable, however, and with the exception of the seemingly-redundant 'another monster', i enjoy them quite a bit indeed. 'loss' is a quiet, ambient offering, and like the ambient track that opened 'distorted disco' is an effective piece of mood music. all in all, a strong release. recommended. (drew)

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