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act 153 · individual · 180 bullets per man · cd

tracklist:
military circus, no retreat, paths of glory, camouflage, officials of crime, battlenaut, the lookout, technique du coup d'etat, 180 bullets per man, fall out.

deconstructed in the grey area, late 2002
in battle there is no law. (bolt thrower)

the open minded listener knows marc medea as one half of the belgian duo, silk saw and now the listener will also know marc medea as the man behind individual. individual, medeas solo project, debuted on ant-zen with his appearance on the 'daruma' compilation'. the compilation featured the short version of '180 bullets per man' - the title track of individual's first album, also presented by the antz.

medea's definition of this album:
'an abstract battlefield combining subbasses & furious rhthms, low wavelengths & sharp metals, dry kicks & pricks. declined in multiple layers of sonic masses, from the slowest organic mood to the fastest cold grinding, these resonating terrorbeats have to be understood as a refusal of all compromises and the expression of a methodic anger.'

individual's focus is that of using rhythmic patterns to create a psychic (or even maybe a psychotic) mood - if you are willing and able to discover this listening experience then you will find yourself trapped in a complex building of rhythms and drones.

'180 bullets per man' is a subliminal war against your aural senses.

discography individual 01.2k4
180 bullets per man. cd. ant-zen. 2004

reviews:

brainwashed
i was immediately a little confused upon popping individual's new disc into the cd player because it sounded almost like the cd was skipping through a copy of pan sonic's "osasto ep" on fast forward. actually, as i grew to understand, that's a lot of what can be expected from this album of minimal, deconstructed technoise. each song has a particular rhythm that it exploits for a set duration and the dynamics are created by filters, lfos, and subtle delay effects more than flourishes of arrangement. most of the parts of each track subtly fade in and then gracefully exit over time. for this reason, i'd say that 180 bullets... takes more after the minimal techno and trance mom's side of the family than it does after dad's unruly noise side. such a simple formula works for individual though, and the repeating patterns of thumpy kick drums and static bursts begin to behave the way a multisyllabic word does when you say it over and over and over. are there new rhythms constantly bubbling up to the surface or is my brain just latching on to different parts of the same loop to keep from feeling bored? either way, it works and none of the tracks ever seem too long. in fact, a few end abruptly on the short side, begging the question of how to tactfully end a piece of music that relies on its monotony and microscopic shifts in scope for its drama. the track titles have an obsessive militaristic theme that i don't really pick up from the music itself, but if it takes reflection on war and bullets for individual to come up with tracks like these, i hope he keeps at it. (matthew jeanes)

vital weekly
last year's tenth anniversary compilation "daruma" from the ant-zen label presented the musically wide range of artists that over the years has been signed on this essential label within harsh electronics. one of the names that especially caught my attention on this great compilation was the debut-project individual who appeared with the short but intense track titled "180 bullets per man". apparently this track turned out to be an outtake from a new full-length album carrying the same title. individual is a project by belgian artist marc medea who is best known as one half of the belgian project silk saw. what characterizes the style of individual is the strange world of hyperspeed beat-patterns not sounding too far away from the earliest suicide-albums. otherwise the overall rhythmic texture on the album has been based on multiple layers of rhythmic patterns. as said, first of all ultra-fast beat-pulses spreading like bullets of a machine gun, but once in a while slower rhythms sounding like the heart pulse of a human body penetrate the soundscapes. that multi-layered rhythmic cocktail gives a great but far from pleasant trance-inducing effect. the atmosphere is definitely more fascinatingly strange and unpleasant than beautiful. side by side to the complex beat textures marc medea works a lot with ambient expressions first of built on noise drones that mostly remains subtle but once in a while turns out like outbursts of more aggressive noise. the excellent mixture between subtle hyperspeed rhythms and rumbling noise drones makes "180 bullets per man" a great and quite unique sound experience...like a subliminal war against your aural senses! excellent stuff! (nmp)

medienkonverter
hinter individual steckt niemand geringeres als marc medea, der auch beim belgischen duo silk saw seine finger im spiel hat. erstmals mit seinem soloprojekt auf dem daruma-sampler von ant-zen vertreten, will medea nun mit dem debütalbum "180 bullets per man" seine songs der öffentlichkeit präsentieren. medea versteht die musik seines albums als ablehnung jeglicher kompromisse und als ausdruck systematischer wut. genau das manifestiert sich auch auf "180 bullets per man". das fehlen fast jedweder art von melodie und die gnadenlose konzentration aller tracks auf den beat bzw. rhythmus macht das album zu einem mekka für puristen. fast schemenhaft breiten sich die meisten der songs von einem anfänglichen, leisen dröhnen zu ihrer vollen pracht aus. so fängt "military circus" noch recht verhalten mit einem einzigen, metallenen ton an, wird jedoch kurz darauf vom rhythmus durchsetzt und schliežlich ganz übernommen. medea schreckt vor nichts zurück. einem maschinengewehr gleich, bahnt sich der takt immer weiter seinen weg, bis er schliežlich in massiven technobeats dumpf vor sich hin grollt. ähnlich auch bei "no retreat", nur dass hier der beat durch ein brummendes dröhnen abgelöst wird. die songs von individual bleiben zwar stets in den grenzen von industrial, techno und ambient, bedienen sich aber auf so ungewöhnliche weise derer elemente, dass man nach dem ersten hören von "180 bullets per man" mit einem verstörten eindruck zurück bleibt. das von individual eröffnete schlachtfeld mag nicht jedermann betreten, zu gefährlich und süchtig machend sind die rhythmischen songstrukturen. wie im drogenrausch hämmern, rumoren und klicken sich die tracks ihren weg ins freie. "180 bullets per man" ist nichts für nervenschwache mitmenschen und man benötigt schon ein wenig zeit, sich dieses minimalistische universum zu erobern.

this is the perfect soundtrack on walkman for bus-riding... the playing time is about 43 minutes, so that a c90-tape offers the possibility to copy the album twice - on each side. so non-stop your hallucinated bullets will fly where you want them to fly to... imagine you're looking around in the bus, and all you think is "shot in the head, shot in the head, shot in the head..." the people will not notice, so this music is a kind of subversive - with the machine-gun-firing in slow motion. yes, a bit of rhythm-industrial is part of this album, but the slow-paced-rhythmic-firing exchanges with calm parts that sedate coz of their trancey loops... then, again, armed forces move through your head in your phantasy. you may wish to have a real gun, but see it as training without the bloody result it would have, then... an important note: listening to 180 bullets per man on your stereo, is different. the low frequencies create a different atmosphere, and they're sensed by the body, too, so that it's another kind of listening... (decadence designs 2004)

radium
individual, the solo project of marc medea, also known as the second half of the silk saw duo, made its debut on the daruma compilation. now mr. medea presents us with individual's first full-length cd which goes by the name of 180 bullets per man. the basic idea behind the release is evident once its title sinks in. this is a collection of songs that all share a common tempo: 180 bpm. printed in dark grey over a light background on the back cover of the cd (along with an adorable rifle-toting silhouette bunny), the tracklist promises a steinklangish militaristic experience with such song titles as military circus, paths of glory and battlenaut. however, instead of a tight-lipped "uniforms, discipline and silly tattoo drums" approach, the contents of the record are a series of peculiar, cold and technoid tracks. truth to be told, every single track on the album can be described with the same words, because they are all droning pieces built of small sounds and repeated structures, into which variation is induced by constant addition and subtraction of sounds. the tracks progress slowly, using heavy repetition to create a very hypnotic mood. the building blocks of these pieces are high frequency hums, hihats (both distorted and dry), synth sweeps and soft bass drums. even though a sizable portion of the sounds used seems to originate from drum machines, it's difficult to call the structures they form beats. it's more like every sound heard from the tiniest hihat to the most resonating kick is only a part of the whole, undividable into the more generic concepts of drum tracks, lead synths or basslines. this may sound a bit odd, but i must confess i've never heard something like this before. the songs seem mostly guided by lfos. this creates an odd, circular sound; a feeling that is further amplified by slow, steady and gliding changes in the volume and filter parameters of the instruments. sudden changes are few and far between. at its best 180 bullets per man is an interesting, captivating and fascinating record; a truly enjoyable listening experience that rewards attention by filling the ears with constant minute changes. this does require some patience however, and some might find the album annoying instead. the album is well produced and mastered, as is usual for metarc, and the sound is clear and noise-free. actually the album could have been mastered as one long track since the disc sounds like one long piece instead of a number of shorter compositions. it's a bit difficult to recommend 180 bullets per man to anyone but those with adventurous tastes, for i wouldn't wonder if someone saw this album as an incredibly boring affair. my own initial reaction was also rather negative, but that might have been because i was expecting something else entirely. to be brief, 180 bullets per man is a disc that may be difficult to take a liking to, but which offers a very unique experience when listened to at the right moment.

infratunes
une nouvelle guerre, un nouveau champ de bataille. celui emprunté par individual se veut plus sensoriel que physique. pour l'écoute de 180 bullets per man, le casque est très vivement conseillé. entre indus tranchant et electronica froide se trouve la machine de guerre, le char d'assaut sonore, impassible et monstrueuse artillerie lourde de sons métalliques coupants et acerés, d'une robuste force motrice industriallo-technoïde, dont la frappe généreuse fend l'espace, creusant alentour les cratères béants de silence qui précède chaque nouveau morceau. au lointain, ronronnants et plus proche, grondants de centaines d'imposantes vibrations, les différents rythmes utilisés semblent tout droit provenir des enregistrements intra-corporel d'un coeur tourmenté et malade, ou dans une version plus synthétique, d'une inquiètante et musicienne auto-proclamée machinerie sans (états) d'âme. en fait assez proche d'un "4th dividers" de silksaw, 180 bullets per man se distingue de son prédescesseur par un go×t moindre du hasard et de la complexité. chaque titre est élaboré, quasiment à chaque fois, de la même manière : un groove soutenu et martelant en quasi-retrait, une enveloppe digitale de sonorités mâtes et millimètrées, une production impeccable et soignée et pour finir un choix de tonalités parfaitement adapté à ce genre musical. décidemment, ant-zen frappe fort avec individual et son expression personnelle de la colère, expliquée en 10 leçons. a suivre ...

black
als hätten orphx 'ne gabbaplatte eingespielt, wummert und knirscht sich marc medea, sonst auch hälftig bei silk saw beschäftigt, durch pulsierende droneschwälle und hämmernde noiseschwaden. eigentlich eine löbliche, weil hypnotisch-brummige angelegenheit, aber so richtig zufrieden bin ich damit nicht. zu sehr setzt nach der hälfte des albums geistige erschöpfung ein, rein biologisch wie auch konzeptionell. jedenfalls bei mir, denn das muster drone, beat, tektonische schmirgeleien und sich verdichtende soundummantelung ändert sich nicht. eine ep oder 3" cd dieses gratigen ambient-trance gebräus in 1990er industrialsoundästhetik (inklusive sprach und kriegssamples) wäre mehr als genug gewesen. da wäre das konzept des auf- und abschwellens auch besser aufgegangen. bei 10-maligen schwellvorgängen auf dem album ist man einfach ausgelaugt. fazit: texturen schnieke, länge ermüdend. (tô)

wreck this mess
le projet solo de marc medea, un des deux duettistes de silk saw et ultraphonist. avec cet album, il revient à des choses un peu plus rythmées et tourmentées╩; comparé aux élucubrations abstraites dans lesquelles les dernières productions de ses collaborations l'avaient (et nous avait) entraöné. il y a beaucoup plus d'épaisseur au niveau des textures, beaucoup plus séquences avec des loops et des breakbeats. il y a surtout un équilibre entre divagations bruitistes et rotations des drones, dissections sonores et répétitions abrasives, qui donnent à cet album une bonne facture tek-indus. et puis, quelqu'un qui prend pour titre d'un morceau, celui du fameux manifeste de malaparte (technique du coup d'etat), mérite toute notre sympathie... (ld)

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