Split - Pogrom & Body Cargo
The sonic roots of both artists have always had a very obvious European style. Sharing an atmosphere and the self-sufficient creative spirit of everyone from M.O. to Grunt, spotlighting the great parts of both stylings. On this split CD you get 10 tracks, 4 from each artist respectively, and then 2 where they alternate sounds and vocals, e.g. Pogrom doing vocals over a Body Cargo track and vica-versa (both titled "Resistance"). The sounds have a palpable duality, something like up and down or "active/passive", but it is not overdrawn. Actually, the production from both artists is almost identical. I would assume this to be the case if they shared equipment and recorded with similar productions standards/settings. The idea behind this CD and the content is also shared by both units, yet the ideas and cultures being addressed are both continents away, figuratively and literally. Body Cargo is giving an insightful look from an outside perspective into the cannibalism in Papa New Guinea, and the tribes who maintain these traditions by resiting outsiders from effecting their culture. Then you have Pogrom who speaks proudly of his home turf, Lithuania, and the resistance of the guerrilla warriors of the country. The idea carries over perfectly from Pogrom's last release, "Multicultural Degeneration", where he gave a similar intelligent backed voice against the removal of a people from their roots. Ideas both easily reflective to anyone.
Opening tracks belong to Body Cargo. The style here has been establish on prior releases which have emerged from Body Cargo's slowly growing catalog. The material has matured with the artist, as any good material should. It also seems as though he has taken on less outside influence, removing pieces instead of adding, so now his style has fermented into a purely refined breed of "post-mortem Industrial" and Power Electronics that can only be fashioned by this artist himself. With Body Cargo the low frequencies tend to hold reign. Movements of sound mutating at a deliberate pace is the glue that bonds these sounds together on each track without falling into the pitfall of "repetition without progression". Tracks like "Gutpath" and "Resistance (Survival Methd)" are BC at his true auditory apex. By the time Pogrom comes around you are heavily weighed down by the previous experience pushed upon you by Body Cargo's relentlessness.
Pogrom seems, at times, ultra-aggressive due to the way this split worked out. I find this to probably be completely subjective and I think if Pogrom went first it wouldn't have had the same effect which actually made it work out well for both artists. In any case, Pogrom now takes up the duties and gets to it without time wasted. Pogrom takes an approach somewhat akin to what is happening in Finland, and by a small group of active American artists, but with Pogrom's own brand of complete authenticity and native concoctions. If I were to make any comparisons to give a potential buyer an idea as to the sound of Pogrom, I would say it is something like the rough cuts and junk of Mania meets the pounding compositions of artist like Concrete Mascara with a Grunt vibe, yet composed in a totally original manner. To put it clearly you just simply get a good range when it comes to any Pogrom release and this is no exception. Pogrom saves the best for last, something to remember him by, with the closing piece "Girioj Gules", which is rather fucking amazing to my ears. It's a unique thread of sounds starting out with a long chant which I assume is in Lithuanian. This goes on for some time before slowly mixing with, from what I can discern, a blurry distorted scrap metal loop, although I don't know if using the word "loop" fits here, I believe it to be more like a stream of the same source played for a decent length of time as if it were a live setting. And then, as promised in the label description, a piano pops up and plays a disjointed melody atop this beast. Truly an amazing piece of Power Electronics.
The first time I spun this I thought it existed in 2 separate, but equal, spheres of appreciation. On one hand an almost passive listening experience, to an active one (as I mentioned earlier in this review). But the more I sat down with this CD, which I have now listened to it in depth quite a number of times, I realized my prior assumptions were not wholly accurate. The appeal here can be measured within both modes which is ideal. It's low and textural where it needs to be and is also hyperactive at times (a few times both exist within the same space and time frame). Drawing a bottom line: this is a truly great CD that I recommend to anyone just looking for a great Industrial/PE CD.