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act 164 · black lung · the grand chessboard · cd/lp

tracklist 'the grand chessboard':
autocratic zeit shift, the zone of percolating violence, geostrategic phantasmagoria, the dilemma of the one alternative, the multiple contest, despotic heroic diversion, sickly seratonin squeeze, neither dominion nor exclusion, the faux bridgehead, grandeur and redemption.

special edition:
the grand chessboard cd + the sound of meat cd-ep. ant-zen act164.1
limited edition of 501 copies.

tracklist 'the sound of meat':
introduction by dr. johnathon cavendish, first movement, second movement (choirs of cattle), third movement (fields of flesh), fourth movement (the silent abattoir).

unlike the last black lung release, 'the sound of meat', david thrussell's new opus is strictly instrumental - no voices will be heard except for philipp glass-like samples on 'neither dominion nor exclusion'. the grand chessboard's message: the united states' "divide and rule" strategy - as represented by z.brzezinski's quotes (which are displayed in more detail on the record cover). this message is subliminally transmitted through sound.

the early description of black lung's music, "ultra-distorted sound and darkest ambient", has become quite obsolete. the music is less distorted and much more electronica oriented. 'the grand chessboard' is a multilayered masterpiece with a huge variety of rhythmic structures, subliminal dance tunes and precisely set samples. which in turn makes this record a treasure chest for all sound enthusiasts.

packaging:
6-page digipack cd packaging
lp with fullcolour cover
also available: 'the grand chessboard' together with a cd version of 'the sound of meat' (cd + slimline case cd-ep). 501copies

"america's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival - would produce massive international instability. it would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)

"...to put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)

"it follows that america's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p148)

"in the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. hence, america is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)

all quotations taken from 'the grand chessboard - american primacy and it's geostrategic imperatives'. (zbigniew brzezinski, basic books, 1997)

black lung discography on ant-zen 10.2004
2004. cd. the grand chessboard. ant-zen act164
2004. 12 inch. the grand chessboard. ant-zen act164.4
2004. cd-ep. the sound of meat. ant-zen act164.1
2003. 10 inch. the sound of meat. ant-zen act147
2002. cd. the andronechron incident (w/ xingu hill). ant-zen act132
2001. cd-ep. profound and sentimental journey. ant-zen act119
2001. 12 inch. profound and sentimental journey. ant-zen act119.1
2000. 12 inch. rhic-edom. ant-zen act97
1999. 10 inch. the andronechron incident (w/ xingu hill). ant-zen act92
1998. 12 inch. silent weapons for quiet wars. ant-zen act84

black lung information: www.worldwentdown.com/imcc

reviews:

chain d.l.k.
the never resting david thrussell's latest effort as black lung is represented by "the grand chessboard", an instrumental album of glitchy and saturated electronic textures that comes with or as a definite political statement (thrussell-style!). consistently less distorted and dark-ambient oriented, thrussell's work as black lung is much more intellegible and structured. it appears to be increasingly based and inspired by rhythm noise while redefining its musical collocation maintaining an overall endeavoring and challenging free spirit, as one would expect in the least. "the grand chessboard" contains no vocal parts whatsoever and comes with quotes of zbigniew brzezinski (from his 1997 "basic books"). there is a regularly issued 6-page unfolding digipack cd release, but there is also a full colour cover lp and a cd+cd ep slimline case version of it (the latter is limited to 501 copies and contains the cd ep "the sound of meat"). (marc urselli-schaerer)

funprox
david thrussell always puts politics into his music. this time the cover is filled with quotes from brzezinski's the grand chessboard: american primacy and it's geostrategic imperatives, on which the americans based their 'divide and rule' strategy. however, in the music there are no references to these quotes (except for the song titles). the grand chessboard is an instrumental album, which is very much rhythmic orientated. most tracks are dance tunes, a-typical dance tunes, but still dance tunes. 'the zone of percolating violence' and 'the multiple contest', for example, could do very well on a wide range of dancefloors, from elektro to industrial. although many tracks have a dance feeling, the tracks have many layers which makes this album also a very interesting listening experience. thus 'despotic heroic diversion' could have been a classic rave track if it wasn't for the freaky sounds and rhythms. there are also hints of ambient on the grand chessboard. 'neither dominion nor exclusion' and 'grandeur and redemption' are ambient orientated tracks. hectic and distorted rhythms are placed on top of the tranquil sounds, just to keep your attention. this new black lung album is an excellent piece of cutting edge electronic music. recommended to fans of almost all electronic music genres. (mvg)

black
die treibend technoide klangwelt black lungs wird immer facettenreicher. war seine letzte ep "the sound of meat" noch eine noiseschlacht sondergleichen (die übrigens einer limitierten auflage des neuen albums als mcd beigelegt ist), so ist "the grand chessboard" diesmal eine kreuzung aus akademischem minimalismus und stickstoffgekühlter hard-electronica. es gibt trotzdem noch das bekannt düstere funkeln, diesen geheimbündlerischen odem, der alles so mysteriös und spannend klingend läßt, aber es ist bei weitem nicht mehr so spacig autark oder technoid knüppelnd. elektrosplitter, geisterhafte choräle, entschleunigter gabba, musique concrete geknirsche, dieses und noch einiges mehr lockern die monokromen töne erheblich auf. es entspinnt sich mehr noch als vorher als musikalische illustration des sozio-politisch aufgeladenen konzeptes, das ein jedes black lung produkt dominiert. diesmal das titelgebende buch über die geostrategischen intentionen und zwänge der usa nach dem zusammenbruch der su. und das ohne stimmsamples. nur allein über die stimmungen und sounds. kann nicht jeder. "the grand chessboard" ist nicht unbedingt der rhythmische abräumer wie klassische black lung alben vorher, dafür aber eine höchst applaudable synthese aus seiner technoiden geradlinigkeit und dem starken interesse david thrussels an soundtrackarbeit. je mehr ich es höre, um so mehr bin ich in die sounds um die beats drum rum verliebt. elastisch, emotional, noisig, gut. (tô )

igloo
david thrussell has a new approach to biting political commentary: acts of instrumental subterfuge. unlike his previous releases (both as black lung and snog), the grand chessboard is strictly instrumental; all commentary is implied through the track titles and subliminal information transmission straight through the protruding bump of your tailbone. the title of his latest black lung release is taken from zbigniew brzezinski's 1997 book, the grand chessboard: american primacy and its geostrategic imperatives, and it is a dance record for the dissolution of the last global empire. loop structures gyre around each other while hard rhythms break against your ears like oil-drenched waves on a polluted shoreline. bubbles of caustic fluids boil through "the dilemma of the one alternative" and "geostrategic phantasmagoria" like the sizzle of super-heated liquids scorching off red-hot machinery. "the multiple contest" veers towards mlada fronta territory, the churning pistons of machinery marching across sand-chewed desert sands while "despotic heroic diversion" vibrates with a white noise crackle beneath a pumping house beat, veering from epileptic breakdown to brittle ambience. thrussell never lets the dance beats persist for any duration; he keeps the party flavor going only long enough to find the sweet spot before he shatters it with an abortive barrage of noise or fractious ambience. "sickly serotonin squeeze" snaps with whiplash regularity between boogie-friendly beats and the harsh gibbering of noise. "neither dominion nor exclusion" scampers and shivers with sparking electricity and guttural synthesizer melodies while a ligeti-esque choir tries to attain escape velocity in the background. the grand chessboard capers around the pyre of the fallen empire like a madman, its rhythms adding fuel to the prancing idiot and its chaotic constructions unhinging the mentally terrified wallflowers clustered at the edge of the firelight. david thrussell's work as black lung has always been music on the edge of extinction, soundtracks for the disintegration of society. with the grand chessboard, he's given you a reason to dance as it all comes down. (mark teppo)

this must just be on of the most difficult reviews i have ever had to write. but why? is it not just another music cd? there are no vocals, so no need to get philosophical... oh, but this is just the point. it is not "just another cd". the pr-sheet from ant-zen talks about a "multilayered masterpiece". i think that is a very correct statement. the grand chessboard is the work of either a barking mad genius or a - well, actually black lung must have been barking mad while making this piece. can you see how much difficulty i am having writing this review? maybe writing it in point-form will help and make things somewhat clearer. - this cd is danceable. for those who know black lung's earlier work, this must come as a surprise. - black lung has not totally escapes from the past. the atmosphere we know so well and have come to love is all still there. - political statements put to music. - order and chaos are one. - the variety of sounds is amazing. from dark "ghost like" sounds through cracks going on to amazing electronic sounds. this cd is impossible to write about. it is very philosophical in one way and on the other hand it is just amazingly beautiful rhythmic music. it can make you feel like you are in a trance; it takes you on a mind-trip through many places. from the dance floor to the white house. the cd cover is somewhat like a painting by kandinsky - complimenting the music to an extent! ten out of ten! (ms. poly-ester)

neural.it
puė contare al suo attivo non poche uscite l'australiano david thrussell con svariati cd e produzioni sparse per etichette come nova zembla, dorobo, iridium, metropolis, hymen ed ant-zen (sulla quale ricordiamo recentemente la partecipazione in daruma con čautocratic zeit swiftä), modulando suoni ultra-distorti ed influssi industriali venati da connotazioni dark. questa volta le atmosfere diventano meno crude e dissonanti (pur tenendo alta la soglia di radicalità rispetto alle sfere del mainstream elettronico) conservando tuttavia la struttura strumentale dello scorso album (the sound of meat). il risultato è una sorta di experimental dance dalle corpose ed eterogenee tessiture ritmiche affiancata nell'ispirazione (e nei contenuti dell'artwork) da ricercate citazioni di natura geostrategica sul ruolo degli stati uniti d'america come potenza egemone nello scacchiere internazionale (tratte per l'appunto da čthe grand chessboardä, un articolato saggio del professor zbigniew brzezinski, punto di riferimento delle čelitésä culturali nordamericane attive nelle istituzioni no-profit a favore di libertà e diritti civili). con titoli come čthe zone of percolating violenceä, čsickly seratonin squeezeä, čneither dominion nor exclusionä, potete facilmente immaginare quali siano i messaggi subliminali (e politici) che agita questo efficace artista. (aurelio cianciotta)

octopus
la musique de black lung est aussi bavarde que les livrets qui l'accompagnent. the grand chessboard est une nouvelle pierre à l'édifice militant de david thrussell, qui, depuis la création de ce projet, ne cesse de dénoncer les manipulations politiques et les complots qui gangrènent la planète. ce grand échiquier, c'est celui dont les etats-unis ont noirci les cases blanches, en redistribuant les cartes géopolitiques. c'est, dans le discours, l'un des disques les plus radicaux de black lung. dans sa conception sonore aussi : pas de voix, des sons moins écorchés mais plus arides, des rythmiques percutantes, un déroulement imposant, une mécanique plus que jamais huilée. paradoxalement, c'est aussi l'un des plus accessibles, par les bribes de mélodies, les riffs électroniques qui cohabitent avec les basses distordues, avec les beats syncopés. black lung devient moins sombre, s'accroche aux perches electronica et parfois drum'n'bass que l'inspiration lui tend au-dessus de sa rotation électro-industrielle. mais cette apparente ouverture ne doit pas cacher la détermination de thrussell, qui dénonce par écrit la division qu'opèrent les usa sur le monde. la musique n'est alors que le médium qui, selon l'australien, doit apporter le message de façon subliminale. elle n'en demeure pas moins persuasive, stimulante par sa précision millimétrique, provoquant le balancement rachitique, le réveil du corps devant celui de la conscience.

medienkonverter
david thrussell ist wohl einer der auffälligsten künstler im industrial-bereich. weniger durch seine erscheinung, sondern vielmehr durch seine werke. stets mit einem sozialkritischen aspekt unterlegt, schreibt thrussell soundtracks oder widmet sich seinem projekt black lung. sein neuester output "the grand chessboard" nimmt bezug auf das gleichnamige buch von zbigniew brzezinski (auf deutsch: die einzige weltmacht - amerikas strategie der vorherrschaft). kein wunder also, dass das booklet/cover der cd gespickt ist mit zitaten und auch die songtitel dem buch entnommen sind. ganz im gegensatz zu dem informativen cover handelt es sich bei "the grand chessboard" um ein reines instrumentalalbum. die musik behandelt das thema des buches, die "divide and rule"-strategie der vereinigten staaten, daher vielmehr intuitiv. david thrussell tobt sich so richtig aus und spielt mit jeglicher art von rhythmus. im unterschied zu seinen bisherigen veröffentlichungen als black lung ist "the grand chessboard" stellenweise sogar für die clubs geeignet, denn die rhythmen sind zwar teilweise ziemlich verrückt und verspielt, verlassen aber nie den bereich des ertragbaren, sondern sind sogar äußerst eingängig. man muss nicht erwähnen, das black lung auch hier wieder mit allen möglichen sounds arbeitet und sie in seine musik integriert. "the dilemma of the one alternative" stampft wuchtig vor sich hin, nur noch übertroffen durch das folgende "the multiple contest". während im hintergrund seltsam anmutende samples aufheulen, verändert sich der rhythmus schleichend. man hat fast den eindruck, als ob die tracks lebendig sind. "sickly seratonin squeeze" geht fast schon ein wenig in richtung techno. nur am ende des songs geht es mit black lung durch und die beats werden erst verzerrt und hören dann abrupt auf, um einer mischung aus seltsamen orgelklängen und wildem rauschen platz zu machen. "the grand chessboard" ist ein äußerst vielseitiges album. wem das noch nicht reicht, der kann sich auch die limitierte version besorgen, bei der es noch die bisher nur auf vinyl erhältliche platte "the sound of meat" in einer überarbeiteten version dazu gibt.

liability
david thrussel, cet activiste paranoïaque, nous aura, depuis bientôt dix ans, abreuvé de ses productions que ce soit au sein de soma, snog, veruschka ou le pseudo qu'il prend ici : black lung. et c'est sans doute sous ce pseudo que d.thrussel a été le plus productif, donnant le plus régulièrement possible de ses nouvelles. sa volonté obsessionnelle de voir des complots un peu partout (en même temps c'est un peu sa marotte) a conduit notre homme une musique électronique hautement expressive. cet énième album n'en est que plus révélateur. ce disque a ici comme point de départ l'œuvre de zbigniew brzezinski, « the grand chessboard », qui traite de la « primauté américaine et de ses impératifs géostratégiques ». inutile de dire que le point de vue de z.brzezinski est assez critique vis à vis des etats unis. le fait que d.thrussel s'y intéresse, le contraire eusse été étonnant, n'est pas vraiment un hasard quand on connaĒt ses penchants pour la contestation tout azimut. alors quand on peut taper sur l'ogre américain, pourquoi s'en priver? a vrai dire quand on voit les gens qui y sont actuellement au pouvoir on peut facilement comprendre le point de vue de thrussel. de là à y adhérer il n'y a pas loin. de ce fait cet album de black lung est pour le moins agressif. chaque morceau est comme un martèlement qui se veut comme une agression à l'image de ce que serait la politique extérieure des etats unis. un point de vue radical pour une musique radicale. par certains moments on n'est pas loin de penser à une musique martiale qui tendrait vers les concepts totalitaires un comme à l'instar de ce qu'avait fait 300.000 vk (laibach) sur l'album « also spracht johann paul ii » : une musique technoïde brutale et hypnotique qui du fait de sa répétitivité n'en n'était pas moins le reflet d'une vision critique sans concessions et qui ne laisse place à aucune indulgence. black lung après tant d'années d'activisme n'est donc pas près de baisser la garde et manifestement il ne semble pas avoir épuiser toutes ces ressources. quand ce sera le cas ce sera bien parce que notre bonhomme n'aura plus rien à dire. a priori c'est loin d'être le cas.

vital weekly
my first knowledge of the black lung-project came back in 1995, with the release of the amazing sampler "the year of silence" from legendary australian label dorobo. like other artists on the dorobo label (alan lamb, paul sch?tze, shinjuki thief etc. etc. ) black lung is a project that is connected with innovative sound experiments. sound artist david thrussell (a.k.a. black lung) is also the brain behind projects like snog and soma that also manage to rise far above the average level on the experimental electronic scene. black lung though remains the harshest and most complex project of the three. twentieth shot from black lung titled "the grand chessboard" takes a step away from the usual ultra-distorted black lung-expression and further towards an electronica based soundsphere where a wide range of electronic styles have been integrated to create the piece of art. overall the album greatly balances between energetic industrial based rhythm textures and complex soundscapes of icy drones added precisely set samples. what first of all characterizes the album though is the strong political manifestation that lies underneath the work. a tendency that previously first of all have been connected with david thrussell's snog-project. the album title refers to the written work "the grand chessboard" by zbigniew brzezinski, which focuses on the problems behind the unilateral role of the u.s. as a sovereign global superpower nation. as the album works as a subliminal transmitter of the message behind the book it isn't surprising that the atmosphere of album is saturated by a dark and aggressive expression. ultimately this is a strongly mature album that easily reveals the truly talented sound artist behind the project. a highly recommended work of dark electronics. (nmp)

brainwashed
in a just world david thrussell would be one of hollywood's top paid film score composers. in our world, however, he remains confined to relative obscurity, although he has several musical projects operating concurrently. his latest solo album as black lung, the grand chessboard, could easily be the soundtrack to a science fiction film. although he often addresses social and political topics directly in his lyrics, this time thrussell has chosen to present political issues only in the liner notes (in the form of several quotations dealing with america's place in the overall global structure, from the book "the grand chessboard" by zbigniew brzezinski). by making an instrumental album, he has allowed the music to be timeless. it would have been easy to use samples of speeches made by world leaders, or other obvious reference points. thrussell seems to understand that issues he has addressed in the past, such as capitalism and vegetarianism, are ongoing issues, and therefore music which deals with these topics directly won't sound dated ten years from its creation. however, if he had referenced the problems in today's global structure within the music directly, it may have reduced the life span of the album. musically, most of the album is based around repetitive, heavy, danceable rhythms, although there are abstract, beat-less sections, such as the last two minutes of "despotic heroic diversion." thrussell holds my interest, however, with the multitude of sounds and textures that he places on top of the beats. the music sounds linear in structure, yet it is constantly changing. during "sickly seratonin squeeze," patterns shift and electronic sounds ooze out from all places within the stereo field, while a constant 4/4 techno beat propels the track forward. the male and female choir voices used on "neither dominion nor exclusion" reveal that thrussell has a wider range of influences than most electronic producers. these voices bring to mind both greek theatre productions and the exotica of les baxter and martin denny. after almost five minutes of industrial techno beats, the last 30 seconds of "the multiple contest" give way to percussion samples that recall jerry goldsmith's soundtrack to "planet of the apes". at 51 minutes, the grand chessboard is just the right length to hold my interest for its entire duration. thrussell resists the temptation to fill the compact disc's 80 minute capacity. instead he has presented his ideas in a concise ten tracks which are at once forward-thinking and highly enjoyable to listen to. (jim siegel)

wreck this mess
du david thrussell pur jus ! il y a le son, tout d'abord, que l'on retrouve à l'identique; c'est-à-dire un enchevêtrement d'éléments aux textures contrastées qui donnent un relief pour le moins escarpé à l'ensemble du disque. découpées au scalpel par françois tetaz, qui assure comme toujours le mastering de black lung, ces sonorités tourbillonnent sans relâche et l'on passe de séquences acérées et cassantes à des passages plus tempérés, voire étranges ou insidieux pour cause d'aigus crissant et de basses parfois à la limite de la saturation. cette configuration n'exclue pas également un côté "dancefloor" assez perverti ("despotic heroic diversion", "sickly seratonin squeeze"). à cela s'ajoute des points de rupture et autres de cuts intempestifs ("the dilemma of the one alternative")... et puis il y a la thématique du complot cher à david thrussel qui a choisi cette fois de prendre pour cible la géo-politique hégémonique américaine de l'après-guerre froide - en particulier par rapport au moyen-orient et vis-à-vis à l'eurasie oĚ se concentrent pratiquement tous les conflits actuels - telle que l'a énoncée zbigniew brzezinski dans un "bréviaire de la peur" qui donne son titre à cet album redoutable. (ld)

side-line
david thrussell's latest release as black lung is a politically inspired opus inspired by zbigniew brzezinski's 1997 book "the grand chessboard", with which it also shares its title. although the artwork of the album features 3 panes of quotes from brzezinski's book, the political characteristics of his influence are not obvious in the music. there are no words or lyrics and the album is purely instrumental, with only a few samples included on occasion. musically, "the grand chessboard" is a collection of tracks that fuse smooth rhythmic noise beats with dark ambience to form a hybrid of the two which is darkly energetic but not overly aggressive. throughout the album there are a combination of trance inducing bass tones, subliminal dance tunes and very dark interludes featuring distorted voices and disturbing dark ambient passages. at other points industrial clatters augment the bassy pulse, "autocratic zeit shift" and "despotic heroic diversion" for example. thrussell's work here however is more than just industrial or dark ambient, he draws from varying styles of electronic music from experimental electronics to techno to ambient to form a dark hybrid sound of his own. (pl)

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