Lassigue Bendthaus :: Matter (Dark Entries)

Genres blend and melt, without ever being forced.

It’s fascinating to see what some electronic artists did musically before taking on their better known mantles. Biosphere with his textured ambient soundscapes started out with synth-pop minimalism as E-Man. Techno stalwart Lagowski began his sonic career with the Industrial outfit of Nagamatzu, a duo that have graced Dark Entries twice. Now the San Francisco imprint is looking to another well-known name for some lesser known material. Uwe Schmidt—aka Senor Coconut and Atom Heart—started making electronic music in the 80s and has clocked up a seriously formidable back catalog. For Dark Entries the German virtuoso is under his Lassigue Bendthaus moniker for some early 90s Industrial Electro.

Matter first came out in ’91, so it is a relatively contemporary release for the audio archaeologists of Dark Entries. “Automotive” opens the record, an analogue pressure crushing all before the break as a juddering piece of EBM funk unfolds. The influence of Belgian body music is plain to see, crunching drum segments, hollowed vocals and ricocheting melodies reaching some decent velocity. Electro rises and falls, coming to the fore in tracks like “Transitory” and “Static.” “Mortal Immortal” blurs into New Beat, sharpened snares and burgeoning acid lines pushing dissolved lyrics. The LP is full of surprises, Schmidt shifting sounds and sidestepping genres for the ambient fuzz of “Rotation Mecanique.” “Injured (Pink Elln Mix)” is a work of stymied aggression. Arpeggios battle against collapsing rhythms, drums doubling into one another as bars bulge. The record is incredibly diverse, perhaps characterized in the fledgling piece of IDM that closes. “Relate” is a dubby and crunched beat cleanser, a superb crossover between Electronica and Industrial.

The breadth of Schmidt’s discography is, well, breathtaking. I have only come across him in some of his better known guises, but I’m very happy to have been introduced to Lassigue Bendthaus. Matter criss-crosses, like much of Schmidt’s material, style boundaries. Electro, EBM, industrial, IDM and even ambient all on one piece of vinyl. Genres blend and melt, without ever being forced. Fair play Mr. Coconut.

Matter is available on Dark Entries.

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