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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

GROSSKOPF/BALTES/HEILHECKER: Viermal Drei (4x3) (2004)

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

A splendid CD filled of composite tones and which is leaning on wild rhythms

1 Blue Lake 19:38

2 Crazy Snake 7:29

3 White Deer Skin Dance 14:25

4 The Long Walk 12:44

Manikin Records MRCD 7056

(CD 54:18) (V.F.)

(Progressive EM & Krautrock)

First released on Manikin Records label in 2001 and rereleased by Groove nl in 2004, VIERMAL DREI (4x3) from Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker, is a pure extension of Ashra's works, but with a more industrial touch, always binding itself within psychedelic approach on a fine technoïd structure. A great album which contains 4 extremely interesting tracks.

A desert wind which is transforming into a hoarse apocalyptic siren opens Blue Lake. It’s an acid lake with heavy and metallic waves which hems in a prehistoric atmosphere, although very progressive. A forgotten world. An industrialized universe which hops on nervous sequences, in a sea of squeezed strata which crisscross an increasing and frenzied rhythmic. Harald Grosskopf's percussions draw an atmosphere of carnival, while slowly; the loops of Axel Manrico Heilhecker guitar merge with this celebration rhythm under hot breezes of a discreet, but very effective, synth. This musical set up makes us forget the rhythmic progress of Blue Lake, so much our ears are invaded by an unimaginable sound horde. A vicious progression, under guitar loops à la Ashra and percussions more and more frenzied with tom-toms which are stirring up beneath striations of a six-string filled with heath. And yet, we only are at the 8th minute point. Minutes which increase constantly under an intense musical influx where guitars and percussions are in the front-scene. Grosskopf takes the control and beats the skins of its drum furiously beneath a hiccoughing guitar and an apocalyptic synth, announcing a rhythmic fracture under a solo of percussions …before the tempo explodes in a soft techno movement à la Juno Reactor, under an avalanche of striations, coming as much from the synth as the six strings. A guitar that roars and shoots magnificent solos, below a frenetic rhythm. Blue Lake is a magnificent opening, as sublime as Echo Waves and Niemand Lacht from Ashra in Japan or Sauce Hollandaise.

Crazy Snake starts without ambiguity. A strange rhythm, without movement but noisy, with metallic percussions flickering under a static and booming guitar. Suddenly the rhythm is shaping under a fuzzy guitar which hems under a storm of industrial sound percussions and effects. A heavy title, less technoïd but more fluid than Blue Lake, which soaks in a surrealist atmosphere. Very good and especially very audacious. I like this metallic frog which caws in this musical shanty town. A fine low pulsation opens White Deer Skin Dance's tempo. Striation of guitar and synth brood the progression of this track which borrows a nervous rhythm under guitar jerky chords. Less laborious than Blue Lake, White Deer Skin Dance remains very interesting; wild rhythm, bordering techno atmospheres, under a psychedelic industrial sound fauna. The work of Grosskopf is splendid and takes all its excess in the 2nd part. Another very good track that gets closer to the subdivided paces of Blue Lake. The Long Walk is a more static track which begins in a paralyzed atmosphere where guttural vocalizes are molding to metallic thunders. The wind there is dark and the lightning stream beneath a deaf increasing pulsation and strata of a misty guitar which floats as a ether perfume in a magnetic desert. In middle course, the piece livens up with a heavy slowness, under strident guitar loops, stowed to percussions which run lazily on a more " psychoprogressive " than electronic musical structure.

Grosskopf, Baltes, Heilhecker's VIERMAL DREI (4x3) is a splendid album filled of composite tones and which is leaning on wild and indefinite rhythms. Hard and pure rhythms, with a technoïd approach which made the delights of Sauce Hollandaise and the 2 Ashra albums in Japan. A loud, musical and rhythmic album that I recommend without hesitations.

Sylvain Lupari (September 4th, 2009) *****

Available at Groove nl

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