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act 234 · black lung · full spectrum dominance · cd

01 the imperial march
02 the hostmen of tyne
03 full spectrum dominance
04 the territorial imperative
05 the regulator plot
06 the great unconscious
07 the wonderful wizard of ounce
08 the world without us
09 the feminine void
10 the neuroses of nostalgia

packaging: 6-panel digipak
released in collaboration with tympanik audio -

download the promo-sheet as pdf

full spectrum dominance sounds more like black lung than any previous record: a unique and powerful mixture of electro textures perforated by sudden breaks and lashing aural outbursts. pounding synthetic and acoustic beats carry a heavy load of variety ranging from clicks'n'cuts, cinematic soundscapes and dub-oriented sub basses up to complex sequential patterns qualified for any kind of motion.

march 2008, in one of the most unusual events in contemporary music history, notable electronic/alternative musician david thrussell is commissioned by darpa (the defense advanced research projects agency - a funding body of the u.s government and the pentagon) to produce a recording that reflects the ideals and reality of vision 2020, a futuristic military strategy program that first saw the light of day in may of 2000.

"the design was twofold," says darpa media liaison thomas steele, "to deliver to the men and women working in some of the pentagon's most challenging fields an inspiring soundtrack to their daily working lives, but also to present to the general public information and a view hitherto unconsidered of some of the lesser known branches of our military."

working with a sizeable budget and unprecedented access to defense installations and personnel, thrussell took over a year to complete the project and wove many field recordings as well as the sounds of sensitive hardware and technology into the final product. "one of the greatest thrills for me," says thrussell, "was setting up a full p.a. inside one of the icbm silos at vandenberg air force base, california to run and record the final mix on the title track full spectrum dominance - room ambience and all!" incorporated also are actual recordings of top secret military activities in the upper ionosphere generated from the haarp base in gakona, alaska, "if i told you what they were up to there, not only would you not believe me, but i'd still have to shoot you!," chimes in thrussell with a wry smile.

asked if he sees any conflict between his latest project and his past stance as a sometimes critic of government and military activities thrussell is quick to retort, "no, not at all. i see my role first as a musical journalist - to present the information - there's plenty of time for editorialising later. and...," he continues enthusiastically, "i've even invented my own sub-genre to describe the album's unique, crunchy, downbeat sound - grave-step...." he smiles another beatific smile without the faintest trace of irony.

the project, comprised as it is of both motivational tunes and immersive soundscapes, has already been deemed a success by the personnel at vandenberg, if play counts on ipods and over the base address system are anything to go by. the darpa arts liaison fund is proud to present the new black lung album full spectrum dominance. available to the general public june 2009 through all discerning music outlets.

1. the imperial march
let's start at the beginning. a tribute to those who inspired our noble project - the brave men and women of the first colonial era - who sought to unify the globe under the harsh but righteous yoke of imperial tutelage.

2. the hostmen of tyne
little known today, the hostmen were notable pioneers in the field of aggressive resource management. one of the very first large energy cartels to deliberately engineer calculated energy shortages for fun and profit. the oil and other resource giants of today have modelled their business plans after the hostmen with great success.

3. full spectrum dominance
our great, golden goal that grows closer with every day. the ability to manipulate, frighten and cajole "the great unwashed" (and the "heathen hordes") into any thought, any action or inaction (no matter how inimical to their own true interests). the "war on terror" (accomplished with the aid of the massive "black budget" funds of our intelligence services and the collusion of our dear friends in the mass media) and "global warming" (furthered through impressive weather and drought manipulation technologies like haarp and, again, our dear friends in the mass media) are just two of the most obvious examples of the masterful "sleight-of-hand" that sends the slovenly herd in the direction of ultimate control and the mass culling we require under our grand project.

4. the territorial imperative
that blessed urge. as the somnambulistic herd scratch and scrape through their indentured servitude (forever chained to the worthless "suburban dream") the grand project continues apace. reanimated colonialism conquers lands and peoples with a fluctuating currency and a fractional reserve where powder and shot once scuffled through the heartlands of darkness. for whom will renounce serfdom, if the vassal be ignorant of his slavery?

5. the regulator plot
the "free market" is best regulated and caressed, pumped and primed to expand and contract thus delivering its vast pyramid scheme of riches to those at the top, those that can best utilize them. shrouded behind veils of jargon and obfuscation the inner mechanisms of control, while obvious to the enlightened, are a mystery to the enthralled chattel.

6. the great unconscious
without whom the grand project would never have left the gate. swamped in an ocean of trivia and titillation, of "politics" and provocation, the bovine mass sleeps through its bondage. we, the great shepherds, through our think-tanks, institutes, "public education" and the soporific haze of the mass media, steer the herd into the valley of death.

7. the wonderful wizard of ounce
from behind his curtain the venerable banker pulls at levers and punches at buttons to generate the illusory lifeblood - money. worthless, mythical and addictive, these tallies have captured the survival instinct of the species. not bad work, for what is in essence a piece of paper or a collection of pixels on a computer screen. through methodical, tireless manipulations, those that pronounce and celebrate their "freedom" the loudest are indeed those most bound. hypnotised and enthralled as the wizard waves his wand.

8. the world without us
we are told that one day the sun will expand and extinguish all life on this planet. so in a historical context fear of extinction is an illogical luxury. the grand project proposes the extinction of many for the betterment of the few. a noble design that seeks to purify the species of some of its more redundant branches - so that those more able and best qualified by breeding and refinement can enjoy and exercise prudent stewardship over spaceship earth and its environs.

9. the feminine void
naturally, all good things must pass. after a golden age of productive totalitarian control over a cowered and fearful populace, the planet will eventually collapse into dust and disperse back amongst the cosmos that spawned the entirety of our creation. aeons of warm silence await us.

10. the neuroses of nostalgia
the future beckons with open arms, and only the foolish or the benightedly ignorant resist her welcoming advances. as society re-orientates itself toward a more streamlined, efficient model only those blighted by sentimentality will look back upon those gone or about to be liquidated with affection. history favors the bold, and we have mobilized and acted daringly, devoid of the shackles of unsustainable compassion and quivering humility, to produce a "near present" of full spectrum dominance, ensuring control rests with those most capable to exercise it.

black lung discography on ant-zen 06.2009:
2009. cd. full spectrum dominance. ant-zen act234
2006. 12 inch. concrete octopus. ant-zen act204
2005. cd. the new dark age. ant-zen act194
2005. 12 inch. karmageddon. ant-zen act184
2004. cd / 12 inch. the grand chessboard. ant-zen act164 / 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 / 12 inch. profound and sentimental journey. ant-zen act119 / 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:


a review in russian language can be found on the machinist's website:

black lung is of course the project of sound maverick david thrussel. after 'the coming dark age' he is now he is back again with a release for ant-zen and musically the album is all over the place. not someone who dislikes a concept in his albums, thrussel delivers an album that justifies its title; the album is a full spectrum dominance! but there is far more concept to it, since the back-story of this album is rather interesting. david thrussel was "commissioned by darpa (the defense advanced research projects agency - a funding body of the u.s. government and the pentagon) to produce a recording that reflects the ideals and reality of vision 2020, a futuristic military strategy program that first saw the light of day in may of 2000." so can be read on the ant-zen album info page. the title 'full spectrum dominance' can be more closely explained as the manipulation by mass media, among other things, of the rest of the world. the "war on terror" and "global warming" are artificially created. global warming is something the u.s. government changed with the haarp institute. in short; creating artificiality to dominate the world. the album starts off with 'the imperial march', which indeed sounds like an electro-rock march. 'the hostmen of tyne' sounds like a very effective chemical technoid trip-hop, something that would be totally in place to the soundtrack of fight club. the hostmen supposed to be notable pioneers of aggressive resource management. 'full spectrum dominance' is again technoid with a lot of chemical electro sounds. 'the regulator plot' is about the free market and sound very rhythmic with a lot of bleeps and cut-up sounds. 'the great unconscious' is a dark and disquieting soundscape with some eerie melodies. 'the world without us' is again a dark and uneasy soundscape which places itself after the apocalypse, with most of humanity gone. only a select worthy few may survive for the better of the earth. 'the feminine void' is the place when the world has gone to dust, only silence and endless emptiness remains. the dark and somewhat abrasive soundscape perfectly represents this feeling. this track also made me think of propergol's sideproject unknown, with the album 'cosmos entropy'. we end the album with 'the neurosis of nostalgia', which has again very chemical melodies, but also uses some soundscapes and samples. this seems to be a very important recording in the career of david thrussel, considering the initiators of the project. also thrussel had great access to defense installations and personnel. this recording is therefore also very ambiguous. though at first listen it may not be totally unlike something you haven't heard before, upon closer inspection there's a lot of subtle details to be heard which created a more unique sound. the overall music is a combination of chemical electro tunes and dark soundscapes. overall a very good and an especially interesting release! (fabian)

connexion bizarre
accompanied by an almost-plausible text explaining how it was funded by darpa as a musical accompaniment to the state of the art in american military technology, this unsettling and rarely predictable album offers another glimpse into the paranoid imagination of the manically productive david thrussell. if you're used to black lung sounding rather like dadaist techno, some of the apparent influences here may come as a bit of a surprise. the early tracks boast a surprising number of major-key progressions, with a hint of danny elfman, healthy dollops of kraftwerk and add n to (x), and a lingering aftertaste of electro, but the pulsing synth lines are as bold and clear as ever, and the changes of pace and musical asides are delivered with thrussell's characteristic abruptness and disregard for conventions of song structure. after a hectic, near-chaotic first half, track 6 takes a sudden plunge into deep space with "the great unconscious", a glorious ambient number which sounds like it escaped from a late-night session in carl sagan's observatory, and sets the tone for a much mellower and more reflective stretch. the timing is spot-on. the trademark jump-cut arrangements of the first five tracks are entertaining, for sure, but there's only so much musical adhd you can take before getting twitchy and yearning for something more fluid. but soon the restfulness soon evolves into hallucinatory claustrophobia, and closing number "the neuroses of nostalgia" brings in an anthemic lead line which reprises the stridency of the earlier tracks. perhaps what's most refreshing about black lung is thrussell's lack of interest in following musical trends. he has always set his own agenda without any regard for what's zeitgeisty in the wider world of electronica, and that, along with the jaw-dropping clarity of production, gives black lung a certain timelessness. releases of ten years ago don't sound remotely dated today, and i doubt "full spectrum dominance" will prove different. (andrew clegg)

enochian apocalypse
the inner parts to the artwork of the sleeve to this album read like a government conspiracy document from darpa commissioning david thrussell to complete the soundtrack to their military operations; in a word the concept is barking, but panders to those that relish the mans works under the lung and his main project 'snog' and for all its tongue in cheek ridiculous statements it does give an overall concept into this musicians state of mind. opening up with basic electronic rock with 'the imperial march' this album isn't going to challenge you as a listener straight away, its way too simplistic for that but rather it's a run romp that livens things up from the word go. bordering on chaos at times, thrussell manages to combine industrial shenanigans alongside straight electronic numbers that edge towards the bombastic and clinically nuts. this is tempered down somewhat in the later stages of the release with glorious rich almost dark ambient numbers that drive home just what an array of talent lies beneath this project once you sit back and give it the opportunity to sink its hooks in gradually leading to the final stages of the album where the chaos of the earlier tracks combine with the richness of the middle stages to pan out into something quite special overall. there is no doubt that black lung aint gonna appeal to everyone, but this project was never about pandering to genre's and whatnot, and its this sheer abandon in the approach to full spectrum dominance that's probably going to let it rank along with all his previous releases and remain timeless in their own fashion and never outdated. (tony young)

chain d.l.k.
one half of the harsh industrial band snog, the provocative australian musician david thrussel finally comes back with another of his shrubby and scathing releases by which he's able to shrivel the most raving aspects of contemporary human history, most humans sometimes ignore, as well as to have a squint behind controller's curtains through the use of musical language inheriting elements both from ebm, techno and scattershot electronica, a plenty of references running on the razor-sharpened edge of conspiracy theories and political matters and by which he manages to move the listener's mind up without using any lyrics. the plot standing behind this new release entitled full spectrum dominance ' issued by ant-zen in collaboration with the seminal tympanik audio -, like the ludicrous military doctrine inspiring the american department of defense according to which a joint military structure should achieve control over all elements, including not only the classical air, land and maritime warfare, but also information space (the so-called cyberwarfare) and electromagnetic spectrum and what is known as joint vision 2020, the famous plan for world hegemony developed by joint chiefs of staff and supported by darpa, acronym for the defense advanced research project agency, a funding body of the us government and the pentagon, mentioned as the fake client of this release, intended according to the fictitious words of a darpa's officer 'to deliver to the men and the women working in some of the pentagon's most challenging fields as inspiring soundtrack to their daily working life, but also to present to the general public information and a view hitherto unconsidered of some of the lesser known branches of our military' and the booklet included with this record explains the references of each track, alternatively quoting some chomsky inspired anti-capitalist issues, the hostmen of newcastle upon tyne ' being maybe the first example in human history of energy cartels controlling resources and inventing shortages in order to appeal to the unmerciful market rules, inspiring according thrussel's words the nowadays cartels' -, the manipulations of world bankers in order to generate illusions and hypnotize markets (the wonderful wizard of ounce is definitively the funniest and most bitter title david could choose for 'affording' this theme!!!), neocolonialism, the inner mechanism of the so called 'free market', contemporary fears about forthcoming future and other actual more or less paranoid arguments. his provocative joke seems consisting of wearing the mask of the controllers, spreading messages to the bovine masses in a witty and almost dramatic way, by using sounds as theatrical gesture and creating implicitly a possible soundtrack of our dark ages. from the musical viewpoint, full spectrum dominance looks like an exhaustive summary of the previous breathings by the black lung, but i mostly prefer those tracks showing some ambience and atmospheric gears, such as the thoughtful and disquieting worried whispers of the great unconscious, an evocative collage of synthetic melodies standing as one of the best piece thrussel had ever composed and which perfectly rendered the most buzzing divergence and the implicit imperfectness of any ordering supreme will, the disquieting beauty of the already mentioned the wonderful wizard of ounce, the swarming concinnity of the bass intertwining some bizarre sounds in the hostmen of tyne, the dark sound granules of the feminine void which is going to carry your mind in the outer dumb spaces (!) and the gentle martial core as well as the stirred sounds on a disassembled march of the neuroses of nostalgia (another great immersive track!), but the most ominous techno crunched sounds you're going to hear in other appreciable tracks ' more easy to recognize by all those listeners which already tasted black lung's previous records ' should be considered just as parts of a whole. maybe full spectrum dominance is not so epic as other releases, but in my modest opinion it's the definitive proof that thrussel's sound forging skills as well as its provocative grip reached some interesting peak indeed! (vito camarretta)

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