Paul Schütze

The Annihilating Angel

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After the thick and rather somber sound collages of the Deus Ex Machina soundtrack, this is a much more rhythmic and forceful affair, and at times it approaches the gripping intensity of later Schütze recordings such as Site Anubis. The prevailing style here is muted but somewhat edgy worldbeat, with more than a touch of trumpeter Jon Hassell's mysterioso "fourth world" sound. Schütze's early musical training was as a percussionist, and the percussion on this CD is uniformly excellent, groove-oriented and compelling, and making use of a sensuously rich mixture of metal, wood and skin. Spacious synthesizer drones create a feeling of vastness, and the use of separate and distinct instrumental voices (guitar, trumpet and sampled bass) represents Schütze's first movement toward a collective sound which reaches full development some years later with his group Phantom City. The occasional use of trumpet creates a strong parallel at times with Miles Davis in his early electric phase, and also with Hassell's treated trumpet, but Schütze may have felt that the parallels were too obvious, because he uses trombone on several subsequent recordings, but doesn't use a trumpet again until a live Phantom City concert seven years later. Other characteristic Schütze touches include otherworldly vocal choruses, occasional slabs of howling guitar feedback and, on pieces like "Reign of Ashes" and "Cities of the Red Night," an industrial vibe which is created by ominous mechanical pounding, hoarse metallic cries and strange electronic scraping and grinding.

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