act 93 Š pŠaŠl Š release Š cd / special edition
1 intro/talking to a stranger, 2 discoroad, 3 crash the party, 4 death is a drum machine, 5 welcome to annexia, 6 bang your box, 7 in the now, 8 move!, 9 reborn, 10 leeste, night.
'release' is a caustic bubble of beats and sub-bass sounds mixed with electronic weirdness and mechanical brilliance. a gently controlled chaos is layered upon a cloud of subliminal melodies and dark hypnotic textures with analogue bleeps and warbles. 'release' is refreshingly simple and complex in its construction by combining pounding, bass-heavy rhythms and hammering taps with fragmented noises and vocal samples. this is pure soundscaping, layering to silence and back. 'release' is the third full-length album by pŠaŠl and so far it's the most personal one.
release . cd (jewel-case packaging) . ant-zen act93
release . cd/3"cd special edition . ant-zen act93.9. limited 749 copies.
incl. 'release' cd, 'three inch' cd (cont. 4 exclusive tracks, collaboration work w/ synapscape), postcard & sticker, packed in black leather bag. deleted
pŠaŠl discography 02.2000
concrete rage. c-46. 1993 (ev.)
plugged/live. c-46. 1994, lim. 120 ex. (ant-zen act 07)
consent. 7". 1994, lim. 300 ex., clear vinyl, 50 w/ inlay (ant-zen act 13)
after-hour sounds. c-46. 1994, lim. 50 ex. (ev.)
initiation. c-46. 1995, (sssm-016) lim. 300 ex.
sacred women. mcd. 1995, (steinklang records sk 06) lim. 500 ex.
signum. cd + lim. ed. box 100 ex. 1995, (ant-zen act 33)
reel. mcd. 1996, (ant-zen act 55)
deutsch nep-a.l. 7". 1996, (ant-zen act 56), lim. 487 ex.
remote. 7". 1997 (hands v009)
m@rix. cd. 1997 (ant-zen act 63) + lim. ed. bag 349 ex, (ant-zen act 63.6)
after-hour sounds. lp. 1997 (dark vinyl, dv-lp-05) lim. 499 ex.
live punishment 03 (w/ andxesion). lp. 1997, (ant-zen act 73), lim. 496 ex.
m@rmx. lp. 1998, (hymen, ī005)
play at 2:00 a.m. 12". 1999, (megahertz)
p.a.l/ah cama-sotz. 7". 1999 (spectre/nocturnus, noc 2), lim. 399 ex.
spectrum issue 4
this, p.a.l’s third cd, is my first introduction to this group; yet i have the feeling that this may be the most commercially accessible ‘release’ given previous reviews i have read. each of the tracks encompress layers of persussive up tempo beats, synthesiser lines and programmed sound textures, done in a way that is reasonably straightforward, gradually morphing through various segments of each. after a short layered synth/answering machine message intro, ‘discoroad’ roars into existence in the guise of a driving bass sonic piece with an overload of mechanically driven beats and minimalist melody. the following track, ‘crash the party’, continues with a similar driving feel of bass sonics that, with slightly less emphasis on the beats, opts instead for a heavy focus on the programming side of things. a much harder edged beas-and-machine driven rhythmic clatter is found on the approximately entitled ‘death is a drum machine’, heading towards the territory inhabited by label mates converter and imminent (starvation). ‘welcome to annexia’ is a more personal track, containing a slow minimalist dirge of programming with hints of buried beats, sub-bass melody and scattered noise. amping up the mood again, ‘bang your box’ is an absolut stomper of a track which has a hell of a groove to the driving bass current, complete with harsh (straight up) percussion, resulting in it being one of the definite highlights of the cd. ‘in the now’ has a weird (repeated) cigarette dialogue vocal sample layered over a reasonably dark, brooding piece (with limited slow beats), providing a bit of down time between the faster tracks (which incidentally is the next track, ‘move!’). this piece creates a good suspenseful atmosphere via the gradually layering programming, increasing the intensity before the full beat/noise programming kicks in. ‘reborn’ mixes up the sound palate considerably, containing a massive surging (down tuned) guitar riff alongside mid tempo pounding beats and programming being refreshing in its simplicity. ‘leeste, night’ is the lengthy closer to the disc, commencing with sampled angelic vocals later moving into a darkish synth line, continuing over a 7 minute span until the conclusion – acting as a coming-down track considering the over-the-top energy displayed on the majority of the 51 minute disc. one last comment would be that there is the element of humour evident in the music, given the use of vocal samples taken from cartoons and episodes of faulty towers, among others. while not too abtrusive, they slightly detract from the overall feel in that it for me it gives a gimmicky edge which i tend to dislike when associated with hard-edged electronic music. (richard stevenson)
it’s always fascinating to hear what a new record label has to offer and this release from p.a.l has turned out to be a great find. mechanical-industrial would be good words to describe release, it has the rhythmical elements of canadian’s download, but an inexplicably and refreshingly unique style of its own. the intro talking to a stranger is a typical moody, atmospheric opener, paving the way for some awesome perfunctory mechanics on discoroad. death is a drum machine provides stop start hammering industrial beats with inventive interludes of ebm pounding and fragmented synth scratches on a scale that at times matches the likes of aphex twin or autechre in their exactness. refreshingly p.a.l manage to put a whole new angle on the genre and it’s a release that not only gives vent to reminiscent feelings of days gone past but simultaneously reminds you that with effort and imagination anything is possible regarding the future of industrial too. the hammerjack bang your box is a pulsating blast of mechanical industrial brilliance which invokes excitement that i genuinely haven’t felt within the industrial genre for years. best of all these guys firmly keep their hands well and truly on the reigns, never allowing the album to slip into a messy cacophony of sound. the tracks are all instrumentals with a consistant pattern running throughout and this might be the only things that prevents p.a.l from reaching greater heights, a charismatic vocalist such as trent reznor might have had a field day here. however, there is no point trying to mould p.a.l into something they have probably have no intention of becoming although the final track leeste, night does cry out for some vocal intervention to liven it up a bit. that apart i can highly recommend this release. (dt)
auf abwegen #29 sommer 00
mit kultigen bookletgreetings versehen gibt es pals neues oevre, schlicht release betitelt. pal nähert sich mit immer geschickterer technik den beatgeflechten experimenteller tanzmusik. ebm-poltereien früherer tage sind vorbei. die wucht der wirkung muß nicht mehr mit einer wucht in der musik korrelieren, sondern kann auf längere zeitliche abschnitte in verschiedenen facetten des sounds realisiert werden. mal können dies dunkel gefärbte atmosphärische passagen sein, dann wieder präzise programmierte beatabfolgen. pal hat den bogen raus, soviel steht fest. (zipo)
equinoxe ausgabe 12
wer die letzte reguläre p.a.l-veröffentlichung kannte und mochte, der mag auch mit dem neuen album ‘release’ sehr zufrieden sein, da es übergangslos an dessen vorgänger anknüpft. die entwicklung vom klassischen rhythm-industrial weg hin zu technoideren gefilden wird konsequent weiterverfolgt, allerdings auch hier nur in einem maße, das noch genügend berührungspunkte mit älterem material zulässt. die cd beginnt mit einem sehr dezenten flächensound, der eine gesampelte nachricht von einem anrufbeantworter untermalt. aber schon der darauffolgende titel ‚discoroad’ kündigt in einem sich steigernden tempo an, in welche richtung p.a.l mit ‚release’ will. die folgenden titel sind allesamt irgendwo zwischen electro, techno und noise angesiedelt und dürften dank einiger intelligenter breaks und teilweise überraschender strukturwandel auch beim tanzen keine langeweile aufkommen lassen. die vielen samples aus film, funk und fernsehen sind für p.a.l ein markenzeichen und gehören somit zu einem weiteren album dazu, so überholt sie auch sein mögen. der letzte track auf ‚release’ zeigt den münchener dann noch mal von seiner eher entspannten und melodischen seite und wäre ein netter ausklang, wenn er mit seinen ca. acht minuten nicht etwas zu langatmig wäre. das letzte p.a.l-album konnte in sachen popularität nicht ganz an den ersten longplayer ‚signum’ heranreichen. ‚release’ sei es gegönnt, diesen rückstand fürs erste wieder wettzumachen. (uwe schneider)
textundton #33 april 2000
das hier ist ant-zens erste technoplatte. dieses album hat sowas von gar nichts mehr mit „signum" zu tun, daß man denken könnte, zwei verschiedene bands zu hören. gut so, man kann ja nicht immer nur noch pioniergelöbnisse samplen. schon der erste track „discoroad" hört sich an, als hätte man die sounddatenbanken von front 242s „mixed by fear" derartig geplündert, daß „dsmo05" rausgekommen ist. und richtig funky wird es erst mit dem vernoisten detroit techno von „crash the party". aber die technofizierung trügt, denn bei „death is a drum machine" hammert die power noise rhythmusgruppe
unbarmherzig drauf los und serviert das wohl erste wahre scratch industrial stück, wenn man mal von kode ivs „scratch attack" anfang der 90er absieht. überhaupt ist „release" so dermaßen mit bezügen vollgestopft, daß man sich ständig fragt, woran erinnert mich das nur. es hört sich wirklich an, als hätte pal die gesamte härtere elektronik der letzen 10 jahre durchforstet, gefiltert und in seine sub-bass noisekorrosionsschutzmittel getunkt. dabei ist viel sprödigkeit verloren gegangen, aber viel eingängigkeit hinzugewonnen worden, die nicht einmal vor einem kitschigen depeche mode instrumental halt macht („leeste, night"). hut ab vor dem mut, dem ganzen erlangten ruhm im rhythmusindustriallager kein gewicht beizumessen und unbeirrt das eigene ding durchzuziehen. und wer bei „bang your box", „move! oder „reborn" ruhig bleiben kann, dem kann einfach nicht geholfen werden. long live technoise! (till schröder)
endlich ist nach fast zwei jahren das dritte album von p.a.l erschienen und meiner meinung nach ist es der absolute hammer geworden! wartete ja das zweite album "m@rix" mit (für fans des ersten albums "signum") krassem richtungswechsel vom rhythmus industrial zum intelligent techno auf, so erschienen die tracks mit etwas abstand gesehen zu clean und ließen doch ein wenig atmosphäre vermissen. doch schon im vorfeld von "release" zeigte die 12' "play at 2:00 a.m." auf, das ihm jetzt die fusion von drum'n bass, techno, industrial und ambient mit p.a.l'scher prägung gelungen ist. der drum'n bass wurde auf "release" zwar wieder ausgeklammert, aber die tracks "crash the party", "bang your box" und "move!" haben einen ähnlichen aufbau bzw. dynamik wie rave-tracks. uferlos atmosphärisch wird es bei "intro/talking to a stranger", "welcome to annexia", "in the now" und "leeste, night" - wirklich phantastisch das zusammenspiel von samples und hypnotischen klangfeldern! "reborn" rockt dagegen mit gitarren aus dem sampler ordentlich los und "discoroad" vermittelt auch so etwas wie electro-rock'n roll-feeling. letzterer basiert übrigens (auch wie die vier tracks der bonus-3'cd aus der limitierten lederbox) auf soundmaterial von synapscape und stellt somit eine gelungene kollaboration dar. die schon erwähnte box ist diesmal eine praktische ledertasche mit 3'cd, aufkleber und postkarte, limitiert auf 749 stück und war schon am veröffentlichungstag beim label ausverkauft! das "release" auch eine sehr persönliches album von p.a.l geworden ist, kann der geneigte leser im interview irgendwo im heft erfahren. (m.f.)
of the acts which are readily associated with the german label ant-zen it seems like p*a*l is perhaps one of the least predictable. a fact evident when comparing his third album release with the previous full-length albums signum and m@rix. though there are elements of signum and the more recent 12" play at 2am, it is clear that release is its own thing. the special edition comes in a leather pouch, embroidered with the p*a*l logo. with this comes the usual postcards and a collaborative 3" featuring 4 tracks with synapscape. release starts with the tape machine message and drone of intro/talking to a stranger. a rich sound which shifts easily while a woman talks, leaving a message on the p*a*l answering machine. the intro is then followed by a reconstruction of synapscape's discorrode, re-titled for the redesign of discoroad. "nice tune, but you can't dance to that", where as you very much can dance to this - release's most obvious club track. hard looping beat layers backed by the addition of smoothly flowing bass scapes and rigid scraping levels. the third track is crash the party which starts by a wavering buzz, slowly a crackling of interrupted beats are added to the sustained initial sounds. the form becomes increasingly electro - layering a bubble of beats and techno peaks. on a time scale release was recorded in the same period as play at 2am (hence the similar artworks) - leading to the observation of some similarities in this track. while discoroad maybe and obvious club track, i suspect that i would opt for the easy, sustainability of crash the party. a subtle, but ultimately satisfying "up". a vocal sample discussing being a human torpedo starts the blunt static beat form of death is a drum machine. the discord of the dying drum machine harking in some way to the more chaotic/experimental moments of signum. percussive layerings impacting off each other in a heavy mix of sounds that ends with an observation from john cleese. also starting with a vocal sample is the hallucinogenic welcome to annexia, with references to bug powder, junkies and centipedes i'd reckon those were naked lunch samples. the sound is a wash of pitter-patter electroscape - the core a consistent melody across which occasional beats and rattles shift. the 5 odd minutes of the scape that is welcome to annexia is followed by the short bubbles of bang your box, a slow build. textures add to this, rising in a straining manner past the first minute to break free. melody is cycles of smooth and sharp wave rhythms with a constant burble of beats and round warm electro beats. a more plinking beat is added to the easy infection, on the dance floor you'd easily lose your focus. with only one mission - gotta bang your box!! too damn easy! from your box you find yourself in the now a slow extension of drifting sounds. drones loop, punctuated by a sample from a 50's commercial, the key line duplicated on the spine of the case "this is a man who smokes marlboro cigarettes. what kind of man is he?" good question it would seem. the sound grows steadily, more complex, bubbles reaching the still surface and popping in little flurries. with that the drone intensifies and the sample continues to loop. this is followed by the light beats and the short bass pulses of move!. a clean line of electro is added and then punctuated by ellipses of a similar tone, but higher pitch. dull thuds are lain over the layers of increasingly complex sound. again this has a dance floor potential - but is more trancey than techno, though in a way that is entirely aware of itself and its environment. reborn is the penultimate track and returns to a more pronounced percussive structure, at least for its intro. moving on, the bass pulses become the forefront, but the beats won't stand for that, man. beefed up the beats return, a churning caterpillar trail, rumbling through the punctuating hihat. in some ways reborn is a little flat, and is release's weakest moment. which can't be said of leeste, night the conclusion of release, though its intro distracts you from what lies ahead. the cartoon sample is playful and enters a drawn out tone and an "ooohing" voice, that reminds of 70's rock extravaganza ala queen. hitting 1.15 the track shifts on the turn of a second, a burbling, warm electro-melody, with a solid bass underneath the plinking delicacy. in some ways the body ways the body of leeste, night strikes as simple, but is perhaps more to do with the ease of p*a*l's presentation - regardless for me this is simply gorgeous. despite its long length leeste, night simply isn't long enough and half the time i'll be hitting repeat straight away! while the special edition of release may have sold out from ant-zen on pre-sales alone, it is no doubt at this time still available from somewhere. the extra cd s the p*a*l three inch or ''' described as "basic material by synapscape. abuse and constructed by p*a*l". the disc starts with re-launcher - a spinning high tone and a wavering drone. percussive pulse adds to this along with a series of rapidly triggering beats. a deep, pure bass pulse is shot beam like through the core. upbeat in an easy fashion, summed up by the warm bass and snapping beats. this is followed by a harder, brittle and bass techno structure that is trapeze id. the beats covering buried vocal loop and drawn out by bass bloops. higher toned beats are little electro rhythms, to the swirling motions that have emerged. slow fade leads to the roar of distortion of passion a spiralling roller coaster of sound. forming a tireless, hypnotic loop. this leaves the ironic meshing of corrupted beats that is nervous breakdown. rumbling collapses and ever extended swirling loop - progress becoming looser with each cycle. while the special edition of release is desirable the standard edition is still worth having. intro, discoroad, death is a drum machine and welcome to annexia are all good tracks. while crash the party, bang your box, in the now, move! and leeste, night are, as far as i am concerned, frankly outstanding. definitely enjoyable and striking with its bright red cover.
diese scheibe ist für mich ein zweischneidiges schwert: da sind zum einen ebm-artige stücke und rhythmus-noise-ergüsse, die man eigentlich schon kennt und die nicht gerade überwältigen. die andere seite aber sind tracks, die auf fast schon meditativen rhythmen basieren, die gepaart mit gelungenen klangteppichen, sehr wohl überzeugen können. ich sehe die stücke, die mir gefallen als absoluten gewinn an und sehe über die anderen hinweg. versteht das jetzt nicht falsch, die anderen stücke sind nicht schlecht, sondern solide rhythmus-tracks mit technoiden, ebm-lastigen und noisigen einflüssen, aber mehr von "crash the party"oder "in the now" hätte diese veröffentlichung sicher vergoldet
with an unvarying regularilty, ant-zen manages to publish highly expected and anxiously waited for material. this is this time the turn of pal's new album, "release", whose limited edition (containing the 4 track collaboration with synapscape "three inch") was sold out before the release date. "release", with its very simple name and design, represents a huge evolution for pal. this project, which got his first recognition because of his co-working on :wumscput:'s :concrete rage" and then with the world famous dancefloor hit "geloebnis", had become a synonym of complex and slightly distorted rhythms. even if pal had always be considered as one of the most avant-garde artists on ant-zen, he was still part of this wagon of rhythmic and danceable noise bands which include imminent, hypnoskull, converter and many more. however, with "release", things have changed. pal's music is almost distortion free and has slowed down a lot. more sounds have been added and they seems more worked out, more original than in the past. the tracks rely more on the catchiness of the sounds than on the rhythms, and there is no long rhythmic pattern like before. the atmosphere is not industrial at all,.but it's very subtle and well crafted. pal still has a heavy consumption of samples, may it be from various movies, from a strange message on his answering machine (the intro track) or from a marlboro add from the 50's. however, most of these inputs stay confined to the introduction of the tracks, which do not really need them. i had never been a big pal follower, since i thought that his albums tends to be too long, but this one is really different. it is by far my favorite work from this artist. songs like "crash the party", with this very techno analog sound, or "bang your box" or "discorde", a remix of synapscape's "discorrode" are excellent songs. they may not fit the industrial dance standard anymore (and it is quite different from the rest of the current ant-zen releases), but they sound far more mature than before. "three inch" is a 3" cd (of course) coming with the already out of print limited edition of "release". the four songs on this item are tracks done by pal with basic sounds provided by synapscape. the result is good but very different from the "release" cd, and probably less original. the sounds are more distorted, and are quite close to those used by pal one "m@trix". all instrumental, these songs are well structured but maybe not catchy or original enough to get distinguished from the mass of rhythmic noise tracks currently released. compared to the recent collaboration between synapscape and imminent, these songs are less distorted than the "screewalking ep", and more straight-forward. so, if you have not been able to get the limited edition of "release", i don't think you missed that much. keep your money and buy synapscape's "so what" plus this "release", you'll get even more satisfaction. "release", a very original and perfectly subtle cd, is something you won't stop listening for a long time. this is undoubtedly great music, and i hope your shopping is about to begin.
pŠaŠl, being one of the older active ant-zen icons, releases this first full-length cd after "m@rix". the audience has been prepared for the new sound of "release" after appearance of "play @ 2am" and "remote". thus, the dark minimal techno blended with sparse noise elements on this disc were not unexpected. more of a surprise came the tracks like "leeste, night" with its definite "electro" feel and lack of techno elements that dominate the rest of the cd. "death is a drum machine" is yet another unexpected track that at first scares you away with its twisted dislocated drum'n'bass lacking any melodies, but then turns out to be strangely appealing and interesting. i can't help but mention the theme of half-a-century old tobacco commercials going through the cd reflected in the samples and the sleeve design. dark repetitive drones and unchanging pulse go through most of the tracks on cd, hypnotizing and enchanting the listener. these elegant rhythmic textures are the new fascination of pŠaŠl. corroded noisy drones are merely a background for the strong percussion. the distortion is subdued and perfectly controlled, never being released on the foreground. among the noisiest tracks on cd is "discoroad" where powerful heavy beats are clashing with swirling chaotic noises and distorted percussion, retaining the constant pulse of the track creating the densest sound on the disc. "bang your box" is another strong track with fast-paced rolling percussion backed by layers of thick repetitive noise - dynamic rhythm'n'noise workout. the mesmerizing quality of new sound is apparent on "crash the party" - clean and simple percussion-oriented track with unchanging beats and distorted stretched lines going along with the rhythm. pulses, buzzing drilling noises, twisted bass lines combined with monotonous clean percussion bring up comparisons with voltaic or even latest vromb. "welcome to annexia" and "in the now" both are almost atmospheric with dark drones and slow percussion, full of distant noises and samples. "move!" is built on slowly evolving graceful beats with a strange electro edge; wet pulses and building intensity make this track a stylish background dance music that occasionally grabs your attention with unexpected dislocated passage. the new pŠaŠl might lose old fans, that will fail to find the experimental sound of early releases, but will undoubtedly gain new followers with its "cleaned-up" minimal techno that still possesses dark noisy edge.
after three years of vinyl ep releases, p.a.l. returns to assault the industrial/power noise scene with "release." for those who found 1997's "matrix" at all disappointing (i was not among those people), "release" is a very different album. it combines the heavy minimal rhythms of "matrix" with the sampling experiments of "signum," but introduces more eerie ambient electronics. this time, the samples range from anti-smoking campaigns to looney tunes to the classic david cronenberg flick, "naked lunch." p.a.l.'s trademarked ferocity comes through on this album on a few of the tracks. "reborn" combines catchy percussion with distorted machine noises, creating a real industrial vibe. the "drums" on "death is a drum machine" are heavily treated with some beastly distortion. the hard-edged brutality and infectious vibes of "bang the box" could make it the next power noise dancefloor anthem for p.a.l., which happened previously with "metrum" off of "matrix." however, the other styles represented on "release" are what make it such an excellent disc. "discoroad" and "crash the party" are minimalist, experimental techno a la pan sonic, building upon simple beat structures into head-bobbing, groovy songs. more dark ambient pieces like "talking to a stranger" and "leeste, night" dominate this disc. the creepy feedback loops and spoken samples on "in the now" and "welcome to annexia" are the highlights of this album. "release" represents a bit of a break away from the brutality of "matrix," but that shouldn't put off anyone from picking it up. for those of you who find power noise getting stagnant, p.a.l. is doing his best to keep things interesting
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