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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

['ramp]: - verbrannte erde (2003)

“ - verbrannte erde is a dark and stifling album that is imbued with a molten metal atmosphere”

1 kaeltekrieg 4:48

2 antistatik 10:39

3 kryogen 1:39

4 freundliches feuer 7:49

5 kaelteinduktion 8:40

6 reizgas 12:12

7 gefrierbrand 14:20

(CD 63:32) (V.F.)

(Dark Ambient EM)

(This is one of my very first reviews)

Recorded during a concert in Dorsten, Germany, - verbrannte erde has only been released in a limited edition of 300 CD. It is now available since 2018 in downloadable format on the Bandcamp site of ['ramp]. And so much the better, cause this album was very representative of Frank Makowski and Stephen Parsick, a German duo who was strongly influenced by the dark and ambient works of another German band; Tangerine Dream.

A concept album, - verbrannte erde is a slow industrial procession that flirts with a highly progressive abstract music approach. kaeltekrieg presents a very obscure introduction. The synth pads are frozen in suspension, barely moving in an atmospheric heaviness. We perceive weak modulations, annihilate by dark throbbings that settle as the masters of places. Velletic and static, the ambience is dark. The wrinkles of metal wings scrape these in a heavy incomprehensible silence and increase this uncomfortable apocalyptic vision of a field of sonic battles where the notes seem to agonize. We are in the oppressive world of ['ramp]! This strange duo enjoys modeling atmospheres twisted by mechanical and metallic sound effects. Without specific rhythms, but we always have the feeling of being in motion even as sometimes the implosions of ambiosonic masses seem to forge its ambient and evasive rhythms. A sequence buzzes in the distance on riffs spread out in cascades. Quietly, antistatik is dragging us in a world teeming of a mechanical life where motley percussions and steel dust are pushing a rhythm waving like strange modulations. A sinister choir hums a secret incantation, while industrial sounds emerge everywhere. They modulate a tempo without structure spitting scattered percussions on airs of a guitar well tapered and a panoply of sound effects that are not foreign to this fascinating procession of metals, as for an industrial Mass. It's a fusion of madness and weirdness that we hear and that will be hear throughout this unique show.

If kryogen is an endless breath, it is only to recover from the invasion of antistatik and to rest our ears from the decibels to come with freundliches feuer; a highly mechanical title with good rhythmic modulations. It's like groans of wrought iron in a high distortion that molds and merges at a hesitant pace that is holed by of synth and/or guitar in an ambience eroded by the cold metal. It's with this impression well sunk in the ears that kaelteinduktion arrives. And even if the vibrations of the pulsations at the end raise our eyebrows, since as reizgas already agitates its pulsations in a disordered way on dense layers of synth linked between flexible modulations. But the movement of reizgas remains static and freezes with those eclectic industrial tones that we crossed on kryogen. Without being completely identical, Reizgas confirms the thesis of a concept album even with these more toxic passages. Gefrierbrand is a slow movement of auditory sobbery. It's soft, even cosmic, and it stretches to the edge of an industrial mechanical system.

Bold and disconcerting, Frank Makowski and Stephen Parsick make no compromises in transcending this vision of dark ambient music. - verbrannte erde is a dark and stifling album that is imbued with a molten metal atmosphere. We imagine very well floating in the heights of a steel mill, when in fact we are inside the beast. Inside ['ramp]!

Sylvain Lupari (10/03/06) ***½**

Available at ['ramp] Bandcamp

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