act 203 · p·a·l · modus · cd
intro / billy cross, agentenfister, overlap, jobs, dl7vdx v2.0, flood, delusion, playtime, artist, ritus, gone, do nothing
"we'd like to play somethin' for ya"
2006. six years have passed since 'release'. long awaited - by
listeners, by fans, by myself - modus.
"i hate this place. this zoo, this prison.... i must get out of
changes in my persona life occurred: quit a job that was assaulting my
nerves for almost two decades. found a new, much much better job. if
you have a problem - then the company has a problem. 'agentenfister' -
a relic of past rhythmic industrial rage. the sampled copy machine
serves as a reminder.
'overlap' - a dedication to a fantasitc musical project. the electric
piano and acoustic bass might imply a style that you don't like, but
maybe you have never heard the good stuff. pauses are as just as
important as the music. keep it slow. keep it dark. keep it up.
"come writers and critics who prophesise with your pens...."
'jobs' - a bass line made out of a single note. a driving
four-to-the-floor beat. slight distortion. random synth blasts. there
have been those who have said that 'one of the progenitors of modern
industrial and rhythmic noise' has lost it completely'. blow me.
'dl7vdx v2.0' - first version was made for a compilation (not yet
released). an ambient piece. let yourself go. the title is the
e-mail-identity of the person who made the samples accessible. thanks.
"looks like we get a little bit of rain, so you'd better cover up..."
a slow rhythmic one. emerging to a climax, but if you think really hard
then maybe we can stop this rain.
"ich erinnere mich der dinge lieber auf meine art."
another dedication - to a forgotten belgian project - that i have
appreciated for many years. slow, calm and symphonic. also dedicated to
a person who will realize this while listening.
'playtime' - maybe a bit irritating - yes these are actual guitars.
keep it calm. one more dedication, this time to some people who have
"you have to make your reputation on being honest and unmerciful."
a slow, long, heavy one. even some of the music you listen to was built
on rock. take it or leave it. the war is over - they won. but who cares
'ritus', a short attempt to merge ethnic music with electronics while
preserving the mood.
"has it been five years? it seems like a lifetime..."
'gone', the most personal track on this most personal album. also a
subliminal musical dedication to an important techno project. a slow
one with beats that are unusual when compared to my previous works.
"this prison's not here."
for years it seems that i ran into walls - until i realized that
they're just made out of paper. this album's recording process took a
few months; the preparation took nearly five years. if you don't know
what to do then do nothing. finally i knew *how* to do it. the final
track is another dark one. slow beats, strings, electronics. i hope you
have enjoyed listening.
discography p·a·l on ant-zen 05.2k6:
modus. cd. ant-zen act203. 2006
retro. cd. ant-zen act133. 2004
release. cd. ant-zen act93. 2000
m@rix. cd. ant-zen act63. 1998
reel. cd-ep. ant-zen act55. 1996
signum. cd. ant-zen act33. 1995
consent. 7" vinyl. ant-zen act13. 1994
plugged/live. k7. ant-zen act07. 1994
p·a·l on the web:
a review in russian language can be found on the machinist's website:
at last; 6 years after the album release there is a new studioalbum of industrial noise pioneer christian pallentin aka p.a.l. it has already been 10 years ago that the clubhit 'gelobnis' was released on the signum album as well. in recent years it was pretty quiet around p.a.l regarding releases, of course with the exception of the compilation cd retro and two years before that the live cd. this new album, entitled modus, has a truly delicious atmosphere with which classical and jaaz avantgarde-ambient atmopsheres combine excellent with cold industrial sound. listen for instance to 'overlap'. p.a.l doesnt need to keep the crowd going on a dancefloor with fast pounding tracks but just does what he likes and this is creating great industrial soundscapes. sometimes with an ambient character and sometimes ritual. this does not mean there is nothing to gain here regarding the dance factor. jobs' has a plain bass line, driving 4/4 beats and sligtly distorted synths and this is usable in clubs a bit. the same goes for the rhythmic industrial track 'agentenfister'. most of the tracks on modus however are slow and ominous, such as the ambient piece 'dl7vdx v2.0', the climaxing 'flood' and the symphonic melancholic sounding 'delusion'. there are however even more devious influences here on this new p.a.l release. 'playtime' is a song build on guitar sounds. and 'artist' is a slow, yet forceful industrial vehicle based on rockmusic. 'gone' has pretty interesting different kind of beats for p.a.l standards. modus is a mature sounding industrial album with which p.a.l says fuck you to all of those who had expected a rhythmic industrial club album. (teknoir)
nach quälend langen 6 jahren ist es nun soweit: mit "modus" steht das neue album von p.a.l in den regalen und manch eingefleischter fan wird so manche überraschung erleben. normalerweise sind sätze wie "der sound ist erwachsener geworden" nur von klischees behaftet und sagen eigentlich nicht wirklich etwas über den vorliegenden tonträger aus, aber dieses mal möchte ich gerne auf eine solche aussage zurückgreifen, denn in diesem fall macht "modus" wirklich diesen eindruck. aus genialen beats und hämmernden rhythmen sind nicht minder geniale basslines, ambiente drums und sounds geworden, die nicht minder anzustecken wissen als die vorgänger. ausflüge in den ambientbereich sind für p.a.l nichts neues und er weiß auch auf diesem sektor voll zu überzeugen, doch handelt es sich bei "modus" nicht einfach nur um ein ambient-album sondern mehr um ein musikalisches gesamtkunstwerk und dem, nach eigenen aussagen, persönlichstem p.a.l-album. p.a.l präsentiert intelligente, durchdachte und genial konstruierte elektronische musik, die, auch wenn brachialität und aggressive rhythmen nicht mehr primär im vordergrund stehen, p.a.l's handschrift trägt... eine handschrift, die nur er hat was gerade bei meinen persönlichen lieblingstracks "jobs" und "agentenfister" deutlich zu lesen ist. "modus" weiß genauso wie sein schöpfer p.a.l zu überraschen und anzuecken, aber mehr noch zu überzeugen. (andreas davids)
6 jahre sind nun schon seit dem letzten regulären album "release" von p.a.l vergangen, in denen die stille gerade mal durch eine live-cd und eine art best of-werkschau namens "retro" unterbrochen wurde. man könnte das cover-artwork auch als "das licht am ende des tunnels" bezeichnen und die 12 neuen tracks sprechen dafür eine deutliche sprache. p.a.l hat hier scheinbar zu sich selbst gefunden und liefert mit "modus" ein introvertiertes werk ab, welches klarmacht, daß die zeiten von "gelöbnis" endgültig vorbei sind. auf der suche nach sich selbst ist er dabei wohl auch bei seinen alten jazz-platten hängengeblieben, denn ein großteil der samples stammt hörbar aus diesem genre und verleiht dem album eine gewisse "noir"-stimmung. dichte atmosphären werden hier mit eher dezenten rhythmen und langen sprachsamples unterlegt, wobei letztere keinesfalls als aufhänger, sondern mehr als unterstützung dienen. ein vielschichtiges, stimmiges und letztendlich zeitloses album, welches eher im rhythmischen ambient, als im rhythmischen industrial anzusiedeln ist und über dessen hintergrund wir im nächsten black beim interview mit p.a.l sicher mehr erfahren werden. (m.f.)
vital weekly 539
german industrial-artist p.a.l. (pronounced "pal") is one of the true legends on german label ant-zen recordings. he had his first release in 1993, the same year as stefan alt established ant-zen recordings. that was the five-track tape titled "concrete rage". after a six years break p.a.l. (a.k.a. christian pallentin) has finally released his follow-up to his 2000-album "release". "modus" is quite a step away from the industrial/power noise-oriented release. in fact it is not an easy job to pigeonhole the expression on this very mature album. mature because there is a great span in emotions and expressions throughout the 50 minutes playtime. tracks like "gone" and "playtime" certainly demonstrates the musical skill of p.a.l. in how to write music that floats far beyond the home-territories of industrial/power noise. on the other side he convinces any misbeliever that he still knows how to create heavy pounding industrial/power noise on tracks like "jobs" and "agentfister". the track with the, extremely hard to memorize, title "dl7vdx v2.0", is a nice piece of chilling ambient. in other places of the album there is a sense of punk attitude saturating the expression. "modus" is a very pleasant album that will satisfy the long time waiting fans of p.a.l. for sure, but also novice listeners of this true legend should give the album a try. it certainly is worth it! (nmp)
this time around, power noise pioneer christian pallentin delivers a surprisingly contemplative 12 tracks that offer more beauty than bluster.christian pallentin's work as p.a.l. has helped to define the genre of power noise, filling dance floors with the harsh but eminently rhythmic power of such classic tracks as "concrete rage" and "gelobnis," but on his first new studio album in six years, pallentin takes a completely different direction. though the minimalist inclinations and distorted drum machines are still in place, modus is set to a different tempo, better suited for quiet meditation than sweaty club stomps. though it's a definite change of pace, it's surprisingly beautiful in many places. "delusion" is an extended ambient track, not the unsettling industrial ambient you might expect, but the regular soothing kind, and on "playtime" harmonic arpeggios ascend a gentle hill of warm pads. pallentin also makes exceptional use of samples to get his points across; although the agent smith monologue from the matrix seems like an easy choice, it fits in well on "agentenfister," which pallentin wrote to celebrate his resignation from a particularly miserable day job. even better is "flood," which creates a wonderful sense of impending disaster by layering crowd control attempts from a late '60s music festival over slow, ominous rhythm, and "artist," which layers philip seymour hoffman's wonderful rant about rock 'n' roll from the film almost famous over a droning distorted loop of echoing guitar. "gone" creates a sense of nostalgia with soft, vaguely jazzy chords, gentle beats, and hunter s. thompson (as played by johnny depp in the film version of fear and loathing in las vegas) reminiscing about the san francisco counterculture, while "do nothing" finishes things off with a more chaotic ambient collage that derives a sense of vague existential dread thanks to some well-placed samples from jim jarmusch's avant garde jailbreak film, down by law. no longer content to merely assault your senses on the dance floor, pallentin seems to have been doing a lot of thinking over the past few years, and modus is his most philosophical album by far. (matthew johnson)
p.a.l is somewhat a mini legend in the scene, and has been around for the long haul. fair to say i was extremely interested in what to expect with this latest affair. a short intro leads into 'agentenfister' which kind of made me think of what it would be like if whitehouse chilled out and went all musical on us. strangely enough, next on the agenda is some far out cod jazz ad ambient. it's a quirky mix and one which i am rather fond of. there isn't much in the way of aggression on modus. okay, maybe it's an enforced, restrained aggression. modus, for the majority of the album is relaxing, simplistic, and an almost gentle affair. take in 'delusion', with its strings and meandering beat. a genuine surprise in all its soundtrack attire. an oddly sparse album, but an enjoyable, mature and immersive journey, nonetheless. (tony young)
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