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act 255 · philipp münch · into the absurd · cd

tracklist:
01 the anachronist
02 sinister romance
03 duotone
04 grindermen
05 relentless soul
06 into the absurd
07 bloody head
08 dragging me down
09 thermal devastation
10 roses, red and black
11 here are the wreckers
12 itching on wounded skin

written and produced by philipp münch
recorded between 2008 and 2010 at bielewelt
with occasional help by babsi teichner and tim kniep
artwar by salt

philipp münch has worked as an active musician since the beginning of the 90s and has formed countless projects covering all facets of electronic music like ars moriendi, the incredible three, monokrom and synapscape. during the last two years he has recorded the first album to be released under his full name: into the absurd.

the sound design shown here certainly contains repetition, but intelligent and well thought out repetition. a masterful demonstration of minimalism and animalism initially designed to rethink the boundaries of popular music and influenced by pioneering groups of the british industrial music scene in the mid 70's, such as throbbing gristle, cabaret voltaire and clock dva. these artists were the genesis of the sound that legions of followers would mutate in a myriad of directions into genres that you know and love. pulsing drones, dark ambient soundscapes, analog style drum machines, hard dark synth lines and monotonous bass loops distorted to the point where it borders on harsh noise. these sounds merge together with treated voices and samples. occasional distortion gives the music a rough edge, but elements of beauty are also expressed within the landscape philipp paints.

this album will take you to amazing places. play it in the dark, or set your analog television between channels and watch the static while listening.

discography 01.2k11:
into the absurd. cd. ant-zen act255

reviews:

connexion bizarre
there is no secret to me being really good friends with philipp, and so to start out this review i will have to write a disclaimer to him: "don't be mad, i'm all honest and i couldn't refuse our editor-in-chief's begging and pleading when when we talked about who of the staff was to review this album." and secondly, to the audience in general, i have to emphasize that i'm being all honest and straightforward in these writings, not letting the friendship i have with him influence this review. philipp münch is relatively well known and widely respected as a musician from the many (over ten!) projects that he is a part of. and where there are artists who have side projects which are quite close to each other - i.e. jungle versus d'n'b or black metal versus death metal - philipp's projects are truly different from each other. there is the rhythmic noise from synapscape, the synthpop from the rorschach garden, the soundscapes from templegarden's as well as the wave-influenced ars moriendi. so it's with a certain honesty we can describe phillipp münch as a musical centipede. with "into the absurd" he has made an album where he melted influences of all his projects together, leaving us with probably the utmost personal approach to his musical past. at moments the music is noisy '70s industrial, other moments emphasize the catchy '80s. and there are moments that elaborate on the unstructured or chaotic '90s but, most of all, the honesty and intensity of the '00s are audible in all tracks. so the result is an album where you can hear all the things philipp münch has ever done, but in a very different perspective than what might be expected from him. this unexpected personal story which can be read between the lines of "into the absurd" makes me admire the album as a whole, and love the artist as a person even more. granted the sound may seem a bit dated from time to time, but it's all in a good way. be honest: when you play some old throbbing gristle or cabaret voltaire (strangely enough the comparison that often comes to mind when listening to "into the absurd") you're also not complaining about them using an older drum machine. so it's enough to say that 'dated' is not the word; this is called 'vintage'. the "tron"-like artwork by salt enphasizes the vintage feel of the sound, and the final result is a very strong, personal and complete release which is an absolute tip for those who are - like me - eager to look beyond the limits of musical styles. musically , "into the absurd" reaches the eight-point mark easily, and the guts it takes to release a document this personal would be worth nine points, so the overall score is nothing less than...[8.5/10]. (bauke van der wal)

a review in russian language can be found on the machinist's webpage:
www.machinistmusic.net

der medienkonverter
schon lang gab es kein album mehr, das mit einem derart beeindruckenden artwork daher kam wie "into the absurd". dabei hat man es hier nicht mit einem 20-seiten-digipack mit pin, aufkleber, bastelbogen oder bauanleitung zu tun, sondern mit der von ant-zen gewohnten, schlichten aufmachung. aber die bilder von salt sind wirklich beeindruckend. und wenn das artwork schon solche maßstäbe setzt, ist man natürlich umso mehr auf den inhalt gespannt. der kommt, auch ant-zen-typisch, aus der bielefelder ecke, genauer von philipp münch, seines zeichens mitglied bei synapscape, monokrom, the rorschach garden, templegarden's, the incredible three und ars moriendi. teilweise mitgeholfen haben zwei alte bekannte, nämlich philipp münchs gattin babsi teichner und sein langjähriger freund und band-kollege tim kniep, die beide nicht minder in die oben genannten projekte involviert sind. was philipp münch auf dem ersten album unter seinem eigenen namen präsentiert, ist gar nicht mal so sehr eine bisher an ihm nicht gekannte oder vermutete facette seines musikalischen schaffens. vielmehr ist es ein querschnitt davon mit einer sehr persönlichen note. vieles erkennt man wieder, anderes erscheint differenzierter. sowohl titel als auch inhalt des ersten songs "the anachronist" scheinen bezeichnend dafür. die in die luft geblasene und formlose drone- und noise-wolke von "the anachronist" wirkt wie der dampf einer lokomotive. nicht mehr ganz zeitgemäß, aber trotzdem kraftvoll und imposant. referenzen zu alten industrial-pionieren werden auf "into the absurd" ebenso herangezogen, wie die zu philipp münchs eigenen werken und kollaborationen. so lässt der harsche synapscape-sound ebenso grüßen wie der poppige von the rorschach garden. man muss schon genauer hinhören, denn oberflächlich betrachtet scheint das album stringent das wiederzugeben, was man von herrn münch bereits kennt. das besondere an "into the absurd" liegt aber weder in der bloßen darbietung seines bisherigen musikalischen werkes, noch an irgendwelchen gegenläufigen extremen. es sind bisher unbekannte variationen und interpretationen, sozusagen der münch'e kosmos in seiner vielgestaltigkeit, der den charme des albums ausmacht. den hörer erwartet kein rorschach-garden-pop-album, kein noise-massaker a la monokrom oder ein industrial-ausritt der incredible three, sondern alles zusammen. synthies treffen auf noise und drones und der hörer auf einen philipp münch, den er in dieser form zwar vielleicht vermutet, aber bisher noch nicht gehört hat.

vital weekly
german artist philipp münch has been an extremely productive artist since he began his first explorations back in the early 90's under a number of different flags such as ars moriendi, monokrom and probably most well-known projects such as synapscape and the rorschach garden. the two last mentioned projects was first of all rhythm-driven with two different approaches to expression, synapscape working in the powernoise-style and the rorschach garden focusing on electropop-expressions. under his own name mr. münch moves into more experimental and abstract spheres with both elements of rhythm-texture and pure ambience. his album "into the absurd" draws attention towards the early scene of british industrial with the mixture between semi-harsh textures and minimalist electronics. especially early throbbing gristle crosses my mind thanks to drone-based minimalist industrial-noise reminiscent of earliest efforts from the industrial pioneers. there is a great cinematic feeling upon the album with frequent use of ambient textures and distant samples of voices. awesome album that deserves close attention with headphones. (nm)

igloo
opening with a harsh environment of scraping noise, philip münch's appetite for the crustier side of post-industrial is severely subtle and effective on the latest release with ant-zen entitled into the absurd. vocodered lyrics and manipulated samples weave their way into backdrops of militaristic beatwork while abrasive analog buzzing slides across the floor. it's the nostalgic, cold, and vintage quality of into the absurd that elevates itself amongst the pioneers of industrial sound manglers (ie. clock dva, cabaret voltaire, throbbing gristle). without a moment of breathing room, thick sheets of alien morse-code are spread across twelve tracks, a mixture of classic audio carving with just the right amount of rhythmic flexibility to keep the entire package en route. philipp münch definitely has a knack for extracting the grit, mud and dust from broken-down synth machines creating sonic shadows that blur the lines between aggressive and sparse.

enochian apocalypse
you may recognise philipp from the countless works he has done under the guise of other names such as monokrom and synapscape to name a couple. this is his first solo attempt and i am sure it won't be his last. 'the anachronist' opens up the proceedings with a blistering display of electronics that surprisingly is followed a by a more subtle affair in 'sinister romance' with its warm bass line and scratching underhand vocals and mildly distorted electronics. i was expecting a rather harsher distorted beat affair overall and was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a minimal electronics release with careful attention paid to slight changes and subtle tweaks to monotony that adapt and evolve over the course of each track. all corners are covered here with a nod to power electronics, to ambient and old school industrial whilst retaining a modern edge, and as simple an affair as this is, it never strays into boredom and that my friends is the true magic with this album. 'relentless soul' bounces along in analogue almost pop like fashion and then playfully just changes shift into the almost dark ambient title track, and this change is welcome as this genuinely engages the listener and keeps you waiting just as to the direction of the next track as you play this release in its entirety. absurd maybe; but overall as peculiar as this album is there is more than enough here for many an ear to take in and even though you will have heard a lot of these sounds before i just can't help but feel a spark of originality when everything is compiled together like this and it feels fresh and new; i love the artwork as well. (tony young)

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