act 141 · ars moriendi · in memoriam · 7"
füttern, früchte des schmerz, es schreit.
ars moriendi was founded in 1989 by p. münch (rhythm, synths, metals), a. schramm (guitar, voice), s. pügge (voice, metals) and u. münch (bass, voice). in march 1990 they released their first tape (dildo), which was a strange mixture of punk, new wave and experimentation. during the summer of 1990 u. münch left the band due to the fact that a.m.'s style became more electronic orientated. after their second tape (freudentränen), a.m.'s music developed into a darker and more ritualistic sound. in 1991 a. börner (synths, voice) joined the band and they spent a lot of time developing a new direction. a direction that could be heard on the tapes 'über-leben' (1993) and 'boom survivor' (1994), in addition to their more song orientated work they did the 'hexass' project. this project only used tapes/effects and the result was a noisier and more collage oriented work. in the end of 1994 a.m. came to an end because the solo-projects of all the members became more important. their first vinyl release, 'the final document', was also their last official one. the cd+lp set 'memorandum' was a final retrospective of the work that ars moriendi did between 1990 and 1995. in short it was a collection of tracks previously released on different tapes. "endlich - es ist vorbei!" (a.m.).
hmmm... or was it? it seems not. the announcement of an a.m. live performance that features almost all of the original members at maschinenfest in aachen was the initial surprise, and now ant-zen presents a 7" containing three songs already released on tape but re-recorded this year!
compared to the a.m. members' other projects (synapscape, asche, morgenstern, templegarden's, the rorschach garden, m.o.a.t.a. omen...) ars moriendi is the most 'band oriented' project to date. you can even find guitars on this 7" and the distorted strings add almost a 'rock' feeling to the harsh power-rhythms and the german vocal screams. their ambient roots are replaced here with some good, rough, dirty e-rock'n'roll (or maybe punk?). enough to keep your party going!
ja, es schreit - and it's limited !
in memoriam. 7" vinyl. ant-zen act141. 2002
memorandum. cd+12" vinyl. ant-zen act61 .1997
last documents. 7" vinyl. ant-zen act16 . 1995
boom survivor. tape. fich art. 1994
über-leben 1. tape. fich art. 1993
fun-dust-trial. tape. fich art. 1992
hexass (split w/ monokrom). tape. fich art. 1991
schlachtgesänge. tape. fich art. 1991
freudentränen. tape. fich art. 1990
dildo. tape. fich art. 1990
more infos on ars moriendi: www.ant-zen.com/synapscape
since their demise ars moriendi have attained almost legendary status in the industrial music scene. this is mainly due to the fact that they were the band that spawned such remarkable acts as synapscape, asche, morgenstern and templegarden's. evolving from organic art-rock, through to noisy experimentation with synthesizers and metal objects, ars moriendi shaped the way that industrial music was perceived and performed. releasing tapes on their own fich art label, they garnered a cult following which eventually led to a release on the groundbreaking ant-zen label called "the last document" in 1997. this, bar a retrospective compilation, was to be their last release as the group disbanded to work on their own individual projects. five years later and the band, to everyone's surprise and excitement, announce their participation at the maschinenfest festival in aachen along with a newly recorded release on ant-zen. no one precisely knows the reasons behind this reformation (the bands' websites are suspiciously quiet about the whole affair) and whether the reunion is permanent, or merely a one-of event. however, these questions are irrelevant to the music, which is presented to us on a 7-inch platter with rich, yet horrific, artwork seeming to depict the bloody, mutilated head of an animal. knowing the very minimalist aesthetic of the acts that grew out of ars moriendi, this was slightly shocking and seemed a tad incongruous...until i listened to the music, that is. the first side erupts with "füttern"s wailing wall of white noise and distant metallic clanking. this builds to a frantic level before descending into a thick, distorted rhythm that hearkens back to the early days of the ant-zen label, before the idm influences found their way in. it is brutal, deafening and unrelenting. on top of this we find a very simple bass melody and thin, screeching vocals. these more conventional elements frequently give way to spaces of high-pitched noise that evolve as the track progresses, eventually becoming contorted into a powerfully resonating harmony. unexpectedly, the track suddenly grinds to half its original pace; the low end slowly fades out until all that is left is the original abrasive noise. side b begins no more softly with the discordant air of an electric guitar and a flurry of pounding, analogue beats. this is a different sound to the first side, reminding me less of embryonic industrial and more of early new wave and punk bands such as joy division and the birthday party, especially with the addition of mournful and tortured, echoing vocals. there is very little variation in the track, relying heavily upon the vocals to create the melody and counterpoint to the music. the final track comes in the form of "es schreit", another song that sounds more punk than anything else, with guitars, distorted rock rhythms and heavy, galloping bass. this track contains more variety and breaks than its predecessor, rendering it all the more effective. it is, though, a fairly short composition (possibly due to the constraints of the vinyl medium) and i don't feel it is given enough room to fully develop. its abrupt climax, however, does provide a poignant and fittingly unnerving end to the release, which almost seems to challenge the listener to put stylus to vinyl once more. surrounded by ant-zen's other releases of 2002, "in memoriam" certainly sets itself apart as something truly distinctive through its utilisation of real instruments and punk stylings in a scene that now seems to be dominated by laptop artists and minimalist glitches. of course, this is not a manifesto for a new direction in music, not by any manner of means. it is merely a reminder of the roots of the current industrial scene, and perhaps a slight mourning for the old ways of craft and musicianship. (gavin lees)
trotz auftritt beim maschinenfest und neueinspielung dreier tracks für diese 7" - die bielefelder industrial keimzelle ist und bleibt geschichte bzw. heißt heute z.b. morgenstern oder synapscape. deshalb hier die wohl letzte gelegenheit den dunkel zermalmenden lärm-orgien aus elektronik und gitarrensounds, zwischen schlachthaus und punk-attitüde, zu gedenken. toller blick zurück im zorn. (sascha bertoncin)
the legendary project, whose members all rose to become staple names in the industrial scene with their own projects (synapscape, asche, morgenstern), forming a backbone of ant-zen's initial success, is back. back at least for one impressive live show at this year's maschinenfest, that blew everybody away with its unexpected blast of organic, rockin' noise, and this limited 7" which features recently re-recorded versions of three tracks off their former tape releases. prominent characteristics are rumbling walls of noise and the use of guitars which give all the tracks this ministry/revolting cocks/pigface feel. the electronic buzzing clashes with guitar wailings and screaming vocals. a true industrial band and not just people twisting knobs, ars moriendi keeps it old school, but shows that old school does not necessarily mean toothless paper tiger. if you loved mid-period wax trax and can handle dark ambient and ritual textures, this one is for you. a nice nostalgic infusion which makes you yearn for the good old days when industrial meant noise'n'punk and not just a distorted techno rhythm. (till)
philipp münch scheint unermüdlich zu sein. nach der veröffentlichung des fünften synapscape albums "raw" bringt er auch noch mit dem projekt ars moriendi die limitierte 7"-vinylscheibe "in memoriam" heraus. münch gründete ars moriendi 1989 zusammen mit den herren pügge, schramm und u. münch. das projekt wurde jedoch 1995 aufgrund der zunehmenden soloaktivitäten der mitglieder eingestampft. als ars moriendi 2002 plötzlich im line-up des aachender maschinenfests auftauchte, war die verwirrung groß. nun ist bei ant-zen die erste neuveröffentlichung seit 7 jahren erschienen: "in memoriam". die drei auf "in memoriam" enthaltenen songs wurden bereits auf tape veröffentlicht, wurden aber für die miniplatte neu aufgenommen. alle drei erzeugen durch die verbindung von gitarren und elektronischen, rhythmischen klängen sowie extrem verzerrten gesang eine teils verwirrende teils überwältigende wirkung. dicht gepackt sind die soundcollagen, sodass es dem hörer schwer fällt, die einzelnen elemente auseinander zu halten. heraus gekommen ist eine perfekte mischung von kaum wahrzunehmenden rock-elementen und elektronischen soundtüfteleien. jeder der drei tracks kann vollends überzeugen. da wird das häufige umdrehen auf dem plattenteller schnell lästig... (veit)
back - next - overview