Von Einem - The Von Einem Tapes [2CD]

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Von Einem - The Von Einem Tapes [2CD]

13.00

Label: Index Clean

Year: 2015

Format: 2CD

True crime aficionados might be familiar with Australia’s claim to more than a few particularly gruesome cases. A recording project that upon first assessment: (a) takes its inspiration from one of said horrors, and (b) has “Power Electronics" in its Discogs entry, would normally be something of a red flag. Fortunately, for his Von Einem recordings, Mark Groves eschews the myopic view of a gore-obsessed stompbox jockey in favor of an approach that’s more akin to late night research and amateur sleuthing. There’s no pretense of a cheap persona that begs the listener to imagine he’s in some way closer to the carnage than he actually is. Granted, there’s an abundance of text and artwork pointing to the motif throughout the whole package (the two pills inside the digipak being a particularly nice touch), the project isn't exactly married to the events surrounding Bevan Spencer von Einem. Groves casts a wider net for source material while sustaining the mood of combing through unsettling local newspaper clippings. Facts are disseminated in a cold, matter-of-fact tone that steers clear of any ghoulishness. The text is arranged in a way that only raises more questions for the listener: a warbled voice draws one closer, cryptically doling out information in measured increments, leaving us to ponder what's being left out. Tape wrangling, synth-padded backgrounds, well-governed feedback, and a drenched rhythm box populate the setting—all texturally dynamic on their own, but often times in service to the corrupted voice transmissions. Speech is gracefully woven through rising and falling noise elements, giving the impression that someone’s always dutifully manning the controls, and total cacophony is rarely indulged—but the segments nearing that pack a mean punch. Tracks like “Vigil” and “Scripted Phrases” lean on a click-driven groove for a nice change of pace, highlighting the natural tape compression and hiss factor that forms a really satisfying mechanical breathiness. I don’t think it would be as engaging to hear Von Einem one tape at a time, so this comprehensive retrospect is the perfect way to go. Aside from the difficulty in procuring every micro-edition, the aesthetic wouldn’t track as well as it does here. Top it off with a quality mastering job by Joe Talia, and you've got yourself a finely directed tour of South Australia's most lurid, mysterious, and dark corners.

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A two compact disc collection of the Von Einem cassettes released from 2011 - 2014 on Australian based labels Solar Anus, Mazurka Editions, Altered States Tapes, Cantankerous Records, Virulent Rationality and Future Archaic. Over two hours of material. Mastered by Joe Talia. 6 panel wallet with 8 page booklet.