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act 61 á ars moriendi á memorandum á cd+lp

memorandum is the final retrospective of ars moriendi 's work between 1990 - 1995. a collection of tracks which had been previously released on different tapes. tribal trance & powerelectronic-rhythms & dark ambient. deleted.
tracklist lp:
der schlŸssel, meiner selbst, fŸtter' mich, mutterliebe, erste liebe, innenansichten

tracklist cd:
dreamwalking, armageddon, the lack ov light, into nothing, macht angst, preciousness, tease you, conscious, dream on, hexass it. V, endlich! (version)

ars moriendi were founded in the end of 1989 by p. mŸnch (rhythm, synths, metals), a. schramm (guitar, voice), s. pŸgge (voice, metals) and u. mŸnch (bass, voice). in march 1990 they released their first tape (dildo) which was a strange mixture of punk, wave and experimentation. during summer 1990 u. mŸnch left the band, because a.m.'s style became more electronic orientated. after their second tape (freudentrŠnen) a.m.'s music developed into dark and ritual sound. during the autumn 1991 a. bšrner (synths, voice) joined the band. she spent a lot of time in developing a new sound which could be heard on the tape 'Ÿber-leben' (1993) and 'boom survivor' (1994). beneath their more song-orientated work she did the 'hexass'-project in which they only used tapes and effects. so this one was more noisy and collage-like. in the end of 1994 a.m. was deleted, because the solo-projects of all members became more and more important. the spirit of ars moriendi lives on in the projects synapscape, asche, morgenstern, templegarden's.

ars moriendi discography:
dildo, c-60, fich art, deleted, 1990
freudentrŠnen, c-90, fich art, 1990
schlachtgesŠnge, c-60, fich art, 1991
hexass/ monokrom, c-60, fich art, 1991
fun- dust- trial, c-90, fich art, 1992
Ÿber- leben 1, c-60, fich art, 1993
boom survivor, c-60, fich art, 1994
last documents, 7", ant-zen, 1995
memorandum cd+12", ant-zen, limited 501 copies

synapscape webpage


culture shock nr. 5, spring 98
once, ars moriendi had to die, that bands like synapscape, asche, morgenstern and templegarden's were given it's birth. ars moriendi did exist between 1990 - 1995 and this release is the estate of there works. it is a cd+lp set, limited to 501 copies which was designed by salt... and it looks really unusual: the cd is put into a printed paperjacket, which is sticked directly on the record. fortunately there is also a whole in the cd-papercover, so you can put the complete item directly on the turntable. and you can listen it it.... on the lp you'll find the early tracks ('90-'92), which could be described as anarchic electro - reminding a little bit to the early 80ies electronics like snowy red, force dimension, but a little bit harsher and more noisy. the cd includes the last two years of their work ('94 - '95) which sounds definitely more complex structured - from dark ambient with drowning bass percussions to hard rhythmic noise. the track 'armageddon' could have been from mother destruction - very tribal and hypnotising. the only difference is that the female singer andrea boerner (today she's running her own project morgenstern) is shouting and screaming with her devil's voice, which gives the song a much more aggressive and powerful force. some other tracks are done in the mood of dive, but ars moriendi are much more complex structured, not that minimal and they use a nearly endless variety of sounds. especially the track 'endlich!' with german vocals is getting a club-hit for noisy industrial clubs here (in germany). banging yourself into the galaxy of harsh powerrhythms. there was a band named memorandum on cold meat industry, which released a cd called ars moriendi? but this is a different story.... my desire for more ars moriendi work is finally over, because this is the last release. but their spirit lives on in synapscape, asche, morgenstern, templegarden's.... giving them all my points: 6/6

Re:Mote Induction
Ars Moriendi were a four piece experimental band who released a number of cassettes and vinyl, but split up before releasing any CDs. This is a memorial release to their legacy - Memorandum. The release is a six track vinyl compilation of their early work with a CD sleeve stuck to the center of one side - in which there is an eleven track CD containing later material. The package is limited edition and as I order this from the record company, Ant Zen, I am told this is the last copy they have. But I'll review it anyway, as you never know where a release may crop up. Another reason for reviewing it is as a mark of my continuing exploration - part of which involves going backwards sometimes, which may also allow to go forward. As I have already indicated, Ars Moriendi have a legacy - this is represented by the other projects of the members. I am most aware of Synapscape which features Philipp Munch; Synapscape have two albums on Ant Zen and have an increasingly high profile in terms of this type of music. Also from Ars Moriendi we have Asche, Moata Omen, and Templegarden - all of whom I have heard little by as I purchase this. Though since then I have found Asche - Non Apocalyptic, so watch for a review of that in the near future.
The first side of Memorandum has two tracks - the grooves of which go round the CD sleeve in the centre, which depicts an x-ray outline of four people. Der Schlissel is the first of the two and is a fairly minimal piece, which seems shorter than the time listed. This gives way in bridging ghost beats, echoing the sound of Meiner Selbst. Having bridged the gap the beats transform into reality - up and rhythmic. Caustic, but with a certain accessibility - vocals groan, fading into peaks. One can hear some of the sound here that carried into Synapscape.
The second side of the record has the next four tracks. Of these four I enjoy Mutterliebe and Innenanichten the most. Mutterliebe features the oscillating back beat which becomes more familiar the more I hear work by these four people. This is very reminiscent of Synapscape - layering of elements providing an interesting, if cacophonic, content. Innenanichten, which finishes the record, starts with a guitar strum - punk epic echoing potential. Reverb off the strums seeming to focus a light and warbling experiment. In the background we can make out a clear strong spoken dialogue - which is a contrast to the more frequently distorted voices.
A voice style which is used in Futter Mich - muffled and distorted, emerging to the accompaniment of an industrial clatter. The body which births from the well paced, reasonably mellow electro beat which is the intro. and foreground to hell let loose. Erste Liebe has a similar feel - growling beats, an accordion being physically abused and a siren warning of the coming holocaust.
On to the CD - we have the start with a subdued movement from speaker to speaker gaining the momentum to fade in from ear to ear. Then there is a pulsing beat and the track gains consciousness. Scraping sounds off the teeth within the half perceptions of Dream Walking. Followed by Armaggedon and a background beat - steps forward - steps back - before the sound evens out. The track is utterly minimal until the vocals start. The vocals are nice - shouting, presumably provided by Andrea. Another reviewer compared this album to Mother Destruction, and from the Mother Destruction I have heard I would presume this tracks combination of rhythm and vocals is what prompted that comparison.
Later on we have Macht Angst which starts with a looping and seemingly distressed vocal. Which is fleshed out by whirring clicks and electrical discharges - providing a foreground awash with the everyday sounds of electrics/machines working. The background provides something varying from soaring midpitch drone and majestic chaos. Part of the charm of Macht Angst is that it never goes over the score - allowing the listener to savor what they hear, whether it is pure sound or impure noise. Slow hypnotic oscillations.
Tease You starts with a rising and falling sound which has the feel of searching something out. Then the Ars Moriendi pulsing rhythm, which I mentioned in Mutterliebe returns - a sound which I love. This is again accompanied by Andrea's vocals - which include the line "I want to tease you" reaching out of whatever dark void contains her presence. Further on, immersed in the rhythm, a high pitched voice contrasts the wailing repeating the same phrase. This is followed by Conscious, which starts with its first layer being floaty. The second is then a slow drone, higher pitched than most drone tracks. There is something wet and dreamlike in the combinations of sounds. With this track I can hear vague similarities to Coil.
The last two tracks are Hexass Pt V and Endlich (Version). Hexass Pt V sounds like a "calm before the storm" ending - the rumbling of thunder clouds. Throughout there are muttering voices or clattering noises - seeming to be threat - the moment before anything actually happens and more tense for that. Endlich is the only track by Ars Moriendi that I have actually heard before. Endlich is a dancefloor slab - a slap in the face with all the realisation of the latent brutality so often hinted at. A strong, storming conclusion to this collection.
RVWR: PTR, December 1998

black #10
ars moriendi mu§te sterben, damit synapscape, asche, morgenstern und templegarden's leben kšnnen! dieses lp/cd set enthŠlt nun als eine art nachruf die besten tracks der vielen tapes (einige sind Ÿbrigens noch bei artware erhŠltlich) des gemeinsamen vorgŠngerprojektes aus den jahren zwischen 1990 und 1995. das vinyl beherbergt die Šlteren tracks und die cd, welche etwas unglŸcklich auf die lp aufgeklebt ist, die letzteren aufnahmen. in bayrischen fachkreisen wurde ja der sound von ars moriendi immer als anarchistisch bezeichnet, welcher aber gerade jene vielschichtigeit bzw. verschachtelungen aufweist, wie eben auch die debŸt cd von synapscape. leider lie§ das zweite album gerade diese intensitŠt vermissen und so kommt dieses "memorandum" gerade recht, doch nun zur musik: der erste track der cd hat den titel "dreamwalking", aber in diesem traum mšchte ich nicht gerade wandeln, da sich hier wilde stereoeffekte mit einen wummernden bassrhythmus und verzerrter drumbox mischen - klingt nach einem extrem guten bzw. alten dive! "armageddon" ist dann der beste song, den mother destruction nie geschrieben haben - absolut extatisch treibend und mit der schreienden sirene andrea bšrner am mikro = ein richtiger hit! die nŠchsten zwei tracks pendeln dann zwischen ambient und noise, gefolgt von (wie schon oben bemerkt) etwas anarchistischeren klŠngen mit einem gewissen 80'er jahre minimal electronik einschlag. diese 74 minutige cd endet dann so, wie sie begonnen hat ... mit donnerdem dive sound! die lp mit ihren Šlteren und deutsch betitelten tracks ist etwas noisiger bzw. experimenteller ausgefallen, aber nicht weniger interessant! am ende gibt es dann auf der lp seite mit der aufgeklebten cd (aufpassen beim wenden!) endlich, endlich, endlich (ups, so hei§t ja auch der letzte track auf der cd) eine endlosrille bei ant zen vinyl! wem die -rage- cd von synapscape nicht so gut gefallen hat, hier ist das futter nach dem er hungert, denn der sound tut hier noch bzw. wieder weh! ps: vielleicht ist dem einen oder anderen schon aufgefallen - die schwedischen memorandum nannten ihre cd auf cold meat industry -ars moriendi- und wie hie§ dieses auf 501 einheiten limitierte set gleich noch mal ...?! (m.f.)

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