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Vidna Obmana – “1984-1986 [Testament of Tape] 1″ – [Vinyl on Demand]

testament of tape

Vidna Obmana (Serbian for ‘optical illusion’) is the pseudonym of Belgian musician Dirk Serries. This 12″ is the first in a 3-volume retrospective collecting tape works recorded between 1984+1986 (fucking obviously). It’s much darker and more demented than the nondescript album art would have you think, drawing on old skull industrial sounds a la SPK etc. as well as the more alienating strains of Krautrock and (a little bit of) New Wave. Often mixing pounding beats with power electronics tones and panicked vocal attacks, this work seems to prefigure the death industrial sound. Serries variously used a “Corgi MS20 + M1, Dr. Rhythm 110, tapeloops, effects, turntables, shortwave radio and vocals.” The only two tracks that do not feature the drum machine are A3+A4, which impressively layer shifting and interlocking Whitehouse drones. A3, B1, B3 + B4 are instrumentals, the best of which is probably B4, which uses some kind of fragmented orchestra sample very effectively (might be the shortwave radio). ‘Deathstep’ (B1) does actually sound a little bit like dubstep. Some of the other beat-driven tracks are perhaps like a harsher Smersh. B2 could be a Deutsch Nepal demo. B3 is by far the most melodic. A2, A4, B2 + B3 are previously released and B1 is “from personal archives.” A1, A3, B4 + B5 are from the ‘private collection’ of a friend for whom the original tapes were personally made. The vocals are pretty hostile throughout. I don’t know what he’s screaming and/or chanting about but it all sounds seditious and filthy. Fantastic forgotten industrial madness.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on January 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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