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act 188 · morgenstern · two different faces · cd

tracklist:
railing, faces of phobia, new day, looking down a hill, viewer, longing for sand, beasts, frozen moments, memories, radio rip, viewer (sonar rmx).

morgenstern (morningstar): mace - a club-like weapon with blades or points protruding from a heavy head. the morningstar consisted of a spiked metal ball attached by a chain to a wood or metal handle. by extending the weapon' s center of gravity far from the hand, the wielder created a great deal of momentum in a swing. the increased force of impact upon the target was devastatingly effective against armored and unarmored opponents alike.

"yes, the project name's inspiration is the weapon. it might sound a bit curious that i am fascinated by that weapon, although i am not into fighting and killing, but i have to confess that there is a fascination for that device. besides that, it's truly interesting seeing the arsenal of weapons constructed by mankind - and the 'necessity' for it's usage - and after all, the word itself sounds really pretty!" (andrea börner)

morgenstern was founded as andrea börner's solo project in 1994. for the previous two years she had been the keyboardist, vocalist and percussionist for ars moriendi. andrea börner's early musical influences range from classical music to kraftwerk and killing joke. morgenstern was also inspired by her friends' musical collectives: asche, synapscape and templegarden's. these influences became important to morgenstern's works.

andrea börner has been working as a theatrical actress and director's assistant for the last few years. as such, the world of theatre and movies is a big non-musical inspiration for this project. it is no wonder that that the dark edges (f.e. vampirism) have become important to her. listening to morgenstern should result in a 'hypernoid state' - hypernoid means a state of 'hypnosis' and 'hysteria'; that is being relaxed on the outside and restless on the inside - all at the same time. this reaction is her intention.

on the first morgenstern tape releases, percussive tribal influences could be heard and on the 'other side' (a split lp with asche released in 1996) dark ambient-industrial oriented soundscapes, were presented. asche (andreas schramm) also supported andrea during live performances and in the studio. with this new release, morgenstern are officially andrea börner and andreas schramm.

over the years, both the tribal, rhythmic and the dark, atmospheric facets of morgenstern's work fused together. the separation of beat-oriented tracks and soundscape pieces disappeared and the fusion of different styles took their place. 'two different faces' is the perfect proof that this merging of styles is possible. ritualistic beats meet dark and drony loops. surrealistic samples are added with merciless noises and dark collages. morgenstern's voices on one side, ear-drilling subbasses on the other. two different sides - two different faces - one perfect instrument to reach the hypernoid state. once you are done with the 10 regular tracks then you can go and enjoy the brilliant heavy 'viewer' remix by sonar.

"this cd is dedicated to my two different faces & to all who enjoy life. listen up!" (morgenstern)

morgenstern discography. 02.2k5:
2005: two different faces. cd. ant-zen act188
2001: cold. cd. ant-zen act118
1999: zyklen. cd. ant-zen act88
1997: that loop in my eye (split w/ asche). c-60. cling film records cf05
1996: split w/ asche. lp. ant-zen act40
1994: split w/ mandelbrot. c-90. fich art fich031

also available: morgenstern. t-shirt. ant-zen ikon49
black high quality shirt w/ silver print. morgenstern logo on front and morgenstern font on sleeve.

official morgenstern website: www.ant-zen.com/morgenstern

reviews:

vital weekly 475
Morgenstern is a German project originally established by sound artist Andrea Börmer who is also known for her membership in the legendary project Ars Moriendi. I was quite impressed by the second album of Morgenstern titled "Cold" released back in 2001. With its explorations into rhythm-driven destructive power electronics it certainly lived up to its album-title. Asche-soloist Andreas Schramm supported Andrea Börmer during the development of "Cold". On this new release of Morgenstern titled "Different faces", Andreas Schramm has not only been a support, he has become an essential part of the Morgenstern-weapon. Thus "Two different faces" uses the nice blend of Andrea Börmer's mercilessly dark brutality and Andreas Schramm's ability to create energetic rhythm textures of an almost danceable kind. The mix of these two elements works quite well! Heavy machineries of crushing electronics and eerie drones of low frequency sounds creates a sinister atmosphere meanwhile the interventions of powerful rhythm textures by Asche add a nice supplement to the aggressive expression. An excellent joint venture-project released by Germany's power electronics-label number one. (NMP)

funprox
if i would describe this record in one word it would be: intense. not just because of the loud noises and harsh distorted beats, but also because of its atmospherical, even ritualistic aspects. two different faces is a very well chosen title for this album. the rhythmic noise side of morgenstern is fully integrated with their dark melodic side. raison d'être-like atmospheres are at times combined with chaotic industrial noises, like on 'faces of phobia'. there are also some pure noise tracks like the over the top loud 'viewer', and also some completely tranquil pieces like the tribal 'looking down a hill'. because of this mix of sounds and moods the record stays interesting to listen to fom beginning to end. but, as said, it is an intense listening experience for sure. (mvg)

unmute
a quattro anni di distanza dal suo precedente e acclamato "cold", la compositrice industrial noise andrea börner torna sulle scene presentando un nuovo lavoro incentrato su due differenti livelli emozionali. andrea, attiva sotto il moniker morgenstern dal 1993, ha collaborato in passato come tastierista negli ars moriendi e successivamente ha stretto rapporti di amicizia con i progetti conterranei templegarden, synapscape e asche. il titolare di quest'ultimo, andreas schramm, si unisce ufficialmente alla 'stella del mattino' per questo nuovo album. negli anni la musica di morgenstern ha sperimentato linee tribali e ritmiche unendole ad atmosfere darkambient, questa volta la commistione stilistica raggiunge il nome di "hypernoid state", che come definisce la stessa andrea unisce la dimensione hypnosis con l' hysteria. due differenti volti, da un lato una vitalità dirompente caratterizzata da una creatività aggressiva ed esplosiva, dall' altro si nascondono riflessioni cupe e sibilline che stazionano all'ombra della psiche. il brano introduttivo "railing" serpeggia di ambientazioni oniriche, ornate di voci di infanti, e ritmiche striscianti. un presagio iniziale che sfocia nelle successive abrasioni micronoise di "faces of phobia", un sommesso delirio areato da ipnotiche voci messaline. il livello ritmico si alza con la morbosa marcia technoid che prende il nome di "new day", un'asfissia neurale lacerata da evocazioni sinistre. "looking down a hill" è un lungo interludio darkambient ricco di basse frequenze e monocromatiche forme cinetiche. implosioni ferrose e patterns contratti dissolvono le ombre con la trascinante e stridente "viewer", emissioni acute addomesticate per pungere e deviare ogni movimento (sonar ndr). si torna ad osservare il canto di una lounge nera con le note di "longing for sand", intricati fermenti di sottofondo e invisibili pannelli risonanti colorano l'aria di una sottile tensione magnetica. "beasts": macchine nefaste sorgono con sinuosi movimenti gassosi, per aggredire l'atmosfera con beats ruvidi e decisi (synapscape ndr) che trasfigurano poi in linee piť dirette e pressanti, rapidi spots vocali, urgenze ritmiche libere di deragliare su fobie psichiche di ogni genere. nella misteriosa narrativa di "frozen moments" i suoni cercano di collegarsi i primi vagiti dell'industrial ambient, effetti essenziali per suggestioni profonde. in "memories" esplode la forza ossessiva dei beats tribali e meccanici protagonisti del brano cardine dell'album, una traccia arricchita dalla sensualità dannata della voce di andrea, e da rutilanti impulsi psicomotori per spingere il corpo dentro un tunnel di vertigine. con "radio rip" riprende nuovamente il gioco del dualismo sensitivo con disturbate radiofrequenze dalle cadenze retrofuturibili. lo svolgimento del tema termina qui, ma nei titoli di coda troviamo il remix di "viewer" ad opera dell'insigne progetto fiammingo sonar, non poteva essere piť appropriata la scelta di rielaborare questo brano (già molto sonar-iano di suo) da parte dei due disturbatori belgi, il nuovo volto di viewer possiederà una silhouette percussiva piť severa e corrosiva. (francesco gentile)

igloo
morgenstern's two different faces is a ritual record that blesses, smudges and exorcises. a break from the blistering noise of cold and zyklen, two different faces cleanses the atmosphere before it burns the sky. distant ritual voices drone in the background against an assembly of rattling cow bell, shadowy drones, and long tones ("looking down a hill") while "railing" circles around the drain in an endless loop of spooky organ tones and intermittent samples from passing trains, aborted electrical signals, and lost children. "looking for sand" groans with the pained exhalation of a shattered tenor, the dismal drone of an abandoned string quartet and the distant rumble of bombers. these atmospheric tracks leave the listener in a hypernoid state; a state, as andrea börner -- founder of morgenstern -- defines, of hypnotic paranoia: slumbering on the outside, jumping at shadows on the inside. however, there are tracks like "viewer," "beasts" and "faces of phobia," where the beats bite back. "beasts" begins with a cathedral choir, a host of heavenly cherubs who single suspended note is stretched unto infinity. the horizon splits, allowing the dissonant thunder of rhythmic noise to flush the sky and rain hot stones down on the cathedral chorus. this is the fusion of börner's two different faces -- the atmospheric and the caustic -- bringing drone to noise and hyperkinetic beat movement to dark ambience. unsettling samples swirl in the mix, voices crying out "corruption!" and "hypocrisy!" on the one hand and whispering "this will only stick a minute" on the other. the hypernoid state is both liberating and frightening. it is what i like best about ant-zen and the entire style of music that this -- and a few other like-minded labels -- have as an aesthetic: compressed energy that both sizzles with kinetic fury and that bubbles with subterranean mischief. while some records veer to one extreme or the other, dulling themselves with their relentlessness, börner's morgenstern has discovered the fine balance that makes for a very listenable record. two different faces is neither all noise nor all ambience; it is a dark miasma that suffocates and stings like a shadowy jellyfish. you can feel its presence all around you but you can't make out its shape against the black backdrop of the water, and then it touches you and the world is lit with its electric discharge. recommended. (mark teppo)

gothtronic
een passende titel. two different faces. deze cd heeft ook twee verschillende gezichten want morgenstern staat er bekend om dat ze zowel ritmisch industriele stukken als sferische ambient stukken produceert. morgenstern is andrea boerner en andreas schramm (ook bekend van asche) en morgenstern bestaat sinds 1994. daarvoor was andrea betrokken bij ars moriendi als toetsenist en percussionist en zij is muzikaal met name beinvloed door klassieke muziek, kraftwerk en killing joke. dit hoor je natuurlijk niet direkt terug in de muziek van morgenstern, maar het geeft wel de reikwijdte qua interesse aan waarbinnen deze muzikante opereert. muzikaal kun je goed een vergelijking maken met bevriende projecten als asche, synapscape en templegarden. na het eerste nummer met aparte ritmes en sfeer, start een meer noisy track met etherische spacey geluidslagen en sereen vrouwengezang. de derde track is een heftig spektakel van beats. 'new day' zal ik zeker in mijn dj sets gaan opnemen als dat uitkomt. dit heeft de perfecte mix van sfeer en beats. hierin komen de twee gezichten van morgenstern tezamen. 'looking down a hill' komt erg indrukwekkend over met haar stemsamples en aanzwellende geluiden, het is ook net alsof je boven op een berg staat en het hele landschap kunt overzien. apart. de muziek van morgenstern kan vrij diep gaan, als je je er voor open stelt. 'viewer' is een stevige powernoise track en deze komt later weer terug als een remix door sonar. 'longing for sand' bezorgt me op de een of andere manier middeleeuwse associaties, ondanks de moderne electronica en geluidstechnieken. dat komt vast door de suggestie die de geluiden en stemmen overbrengen. 'beasts' opent weer met serene koorzang, ditmaal mannelijk, waarna er een heftige repetitief stuk muziek uit de speakers knalt. 'frozen moments' klinkt ook echt ijskoud. knap gedaan. 'memories' bevat zeer sferische klanken en gezang die haast soulful klinkt en dat gecombineerd met harde beats met een rituele inslag. zeer geschikt dansvloer materiaal is dit! 'radio rip' is een powernoise stuk met effectief samplemateriaal. zoals eerder opgemerkt sluit de sonar remix van 'viewer' deze cd af. dit is een zeer goed geslaagde cd van morgenstern. wie zich kan vinden in bovenstaande omschrijving kan deze plaat zonder te luisteren aanschaffen. (teknoir)

a fitting title. two different faces. this cd does have two different faces as morgenstern is known for producing rhythmic industrial tracks and spherical ambient tracks as well. morgenstern is andrea boerner and andreas schramm (also known from asche) and morgenstern exists since 1994. in the previous years andrea was involved with ars moriendi as a keyboardist and percussionist and musically she is influenced by classical music, kraftwerk and killing joke. this, of course, you won't hear back that directly in the music of morgenstern, but it does point out the musical horizon of morgenstern is pretty wide as far as interests are involved. musically one could very well make a comparison with befriended projects like asche, synapscape and templegarden. after the first track with deviant rhythms and atmosphere, a noisy track kicks in with ethereal spacey sounds and serene female singing added to that. the third track is a heavy showcase of beats. 'new day' will certainly be used in my dj sets whenever that fits in. this has the perfect mix of atmosphere and beats. in this track the two faces of morgenstern come together as one in a perfect manner. 'looking down a hill' comes across very impressively with voice samples and sounds that increase and decrease in impact, and it also almost feels like you are standing on a hill and have a good overview of the surroundings. special. the music of morgenstern can go very deep, if you are open to that. 'viewer' is a harsh powernoise track which later on comes back in a remix by sonar. 'longing for sand' gives me medieval associations in some kind of way, although the instruments and sound techniques used are modern. this probably is caused by the samples of voices and various suggestive sounds. 'beasts' again opens with seren choir singing, male vocals this time, after which a heavy and repetitive piece of music bursts from the speakers. 'frozen moments' does sound like it's title: cold as ice. very well done. 'memories' has a atmospheric sound and singing that almost sounds soulful, this time combined with heavy beats and a ritual touch. very explosive dancefloor material! 'power rip' is a harsh powernoise track with suitable sampling. as mentioned earlier the cd closes with the sonar remix of 'viewer'. this cd by morgenstern is a very good achievement. whoever can relate to the above description could very well buy this cd without even a pre-listening. (teknoir)

terrorizer
describing anything as two faced has always been an insult, but with this latest work from industrial button pushers morgenstern it's a compliment. one face of this being is that of the dark ambient void dweller. all spooky samples and dark electronic swoops, the other is the pounding mechanical monster that stomps across ocean floors and cities. on this disc is where they meet in a perfect marriage of hammered intensity and brooding beauty. (alex boniwell)

resurrection:dead
die kreative um morgenstern ist keine andere als andrea börner, welche sich schon durch die industrial-punk combo ars moriendi und das dark-ambientprojekt templegarden's einen bekannten namen gemacht hat. sie veröffentlichte nach über 4 jahren ein neues album mit dem namen two different faces. unterstützt wurde sie dabei von andreas schramm (asche), welcher sich seit diesem album offizielles bandmitglied von morgenstern nennen darf. das album enthält 11 tracks, wobei der letzte ein sonar-remix des stückes viewer darstellt. das komplette album hat eine gesamte spieldauer von etwas über eine stunde. das cover erinnert an gestein, wobei es sich in einem rostähnlichen farbton hält. das booklet ist eher schlicht gehalten und bietet wenig visuelle eindrücke. dafür wurde der musikalischen darbietung deutlich mehr aufmerksamkeit geschenkt: das erste stück railing, als intro anzusehen, führt durch seine berauschenden darkambientähnlichen klänge mit verzerrten sounds und einer sich steigenden klanggewalt in viereinhalb minuten zum ersten noisigen track faces of phobia ein. railing wird dabei durch mystische töne und verschwommenen vocals sehr düster gehalten. der übergang in das nächste stück faces of phobia gelingt perfekt. sich immer weiter verzerrende töne dringen in den vordergrund und bohren sich aufdringlich in das auditive wahrnehmen ein bis es dann in faces of phobie noisig zur sache kommt. ein weicher und zugleich dunkler bass unterstützt in faces of phobia die verzerrten sounds während zur mitte hin andrea börner einen emotionalen und mystischen gesang erklingen lässt. die atmosphäre ist trotz oder gerade wegen den noiseelementen sehr hoch. durch den gleichzeitigen einsatz von darkambiente, noise und ihrem gesang ergibt sich eine klanggewaltige aura, die auf meiner haut sich aufrichtende haare und einen leichten schauer erzeugt. auf diesem album wechseln sich noise- und ambientstücke ab, wobei sich die stile leicht vermischen. in so manch ruhigen part verstecken sich verzerrte klänge, sowie sich auch noisestücke mit atmosphäre anreichen liesen. das eine gesicht entsteht durch mystisch-dunkle sphären, während schwer verdaubare krachelemente das zweite gesicht erschaffen. der viewer-remix von sonar ertönt hart und laut. jedoch erzeugt er leider nicht die atmosphäre wie das original von morgenstern. dennoch fügt er sich qualitativ gleichwertig in das eigentliche album ein. wer sich auf eine reise durch noise und darkambiente begeben will, sollte sich unbedingt an two different faces von morgenstern herantrauen. (user-un-friendly)

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