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INTERSTELLAR CEMENTMIXERS / HISTORY

The Interstellar Cementmixers
deep space electronics from Nottingham


 

 

Nottingham's cosmic ooze masters, The Interstellar Cementmixers are pioneers of a unique branch of synthesizer based music, one part melodic Teutonic (i.e in the spirit of Berlin masters Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Conrad Schnitzler in the 1970s) and one part an explorative innovation that's all their own. We first reported on them way back in 1990 in Audion when their music was a kind of primordial industrial electronic soup, more akin to some Throbbing Gristle or Konstruktivits, if more freeform and unfocused. After that the duo of Rich and Dump, advanced in leaps and bounds, largely leaving such industrial roots behind, and heading more in the direction of what their name suggested. Much of their later work can be compare to French space explorers Lightwave, or the early 70s Berlin kosmische sound, sometimes with vocal effects and guitars added to the rich tapestry of analogue and digital synthesizers. They were most prolific in the late 1990s, but have carried on, now only releasing new music when they believe they've come up with something they haven't done before. A new album is apparently "in preparation".

 

These Auricle discs (available via this web site) are reissues of mid/late 1990s cassettes and unreleased archives - all for the fist time as quality CD issues! Two of these are special releases: CATACOMB DISCORD was a c90 on tape, and thus was too long to fit on one disc, so a bonus 36 minutes of unreleased material was added. DIMENSION Z is yet more unreleased material, chosen by myself (Alan Freeman) from their vast archive of unreleased recordings, and features some tracks that explore regions never visited on any of their previous releases. There is also the sideline project Cell Block Z, which revisits their early more industrial realms, but with a more technically proficient and original style. All these discs are carefully remastered for authentic sound and detailed clarity, initially issued as limited editions which should be welcomed by all fans of the darker regions of synth music. All these six releases can be sampled via the ELECTRONIC RAIN download compilation.

 

Our first encounter with the music of The Interstellar Cementmixers was reported on in the "Cassettes Round-Up" in Audion magazine #15 (7/1990) of which was said "Friends of ours from Nottingham: The Interstellar Cementmixers (!) have a wild tape of disorganized sounds and free electronic improvisation entitled ZIRCON 87. As I said, it’s extreme and chaotic, and the guitar sounds like left-overs from the first Nurse With Wound album. Interested?"
    Several years and a few releases later, I had a much more positive report on them in Audion #38 "The latest tape to beam over here via the GPO from Planet X, is another Interstellar Cementmixers excursion weirdly titled MANEQUIN AMBERGINE, an oozing slab of synths and dark soundscaping. Typical of their style, although a bit more melodic than previously, getting closer to some earlier works by Nightcrawlers and Lightwave." I should really have done a full, more in-depth review of that, but those were the days of being swamped with releases and a lot of things that should have been never even got a review, so The Interstellar Cementmixers were lucky, and suitably impressed we now started to stock some of their releases in the Ultima Thule shop.
    In Audion #40 I was even more enthusiastic "Nottingham's Interstellar Cementmixers' ENCAPSULATED TURQUOISE VOID (Planet X PX2027) offers another of their weird sound-worlds in the nether regions beyond synth music, with bubbling electronics and sub-rock avant-garde structures. It's deep stuff, and amongst the best I've heard from them, being just five long tracks."
    Since then The Interstellar Cementmixers continued with several more impressive releases. And, as I write this they are still active today "working on a new album". These two mid/late 1990s cassettes though, that sit between their noisy roots and their more atmospheric later work, have stood the test of time well. Having never been reissued nor available on anything but cassette (and out of print for years) they were prime contenders for CD reissue. Carefully transferred to digital and only slightly remastered for better detail and dynamics, Auricle proudly present the fascinating dark and mysterious The Interstellar Cementmixers as special limited numbered editions. Get your space ticket today!

liner notes by Alan Freeman (2 Feb 2017)

 

Remember how exciting your first listens to the early electronic space bands like Tangerine Dream, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, and Klaus Schulze were? No, The Interstellar Cementmixers aren't a long lost classic from 1972, but a duo project from UK musicians Stephen Martin and Richard Collins. With an arsenal of Moogs, Korgs, Tascams, and other keyboards, effects, and guitars, the Cementmixers serve up heaping portions of all the great sounds that the ambient space Krautrock pioneers created so beautifully. Multiple layers of textured ambient waves and drones weave their mystical way through a cosmic primordial stew that will entrance you into a state of cosmic bliss.

review from: Aural Innovations

 

A review by Andy G...

INTERSTELLAR CEMENTMIXERS: Dimension Y CD

Brand new 74 minute studio CD and it's another triumph. Featuring three lengthy and five shorter tracks, it is the most varied and most satisfying of their albums to date. Starts with this five minute track, 'Blue Brick', where a huge swirling electronic drone weaves all around the soundscape as echoed drums and percussives, squalls of electronics and layers of drones all combine to produce a setting that is pure early Cluster, circa the legendary 'Cluster II' on the Brain label, and this whole album can rightly be viewed as equal to anything on that album, similar in feel, fuller in sound, greater on ideas and just as fantastic to hear.

'Underwater Inferno' provides us with a multitude of deep, resonant, excellently produced drones and electronic textures where nothing stands still, and extra layers are constantly coming in and out, as the heart of the composition drives on, no rhythm, no melody, no tunes, buty way more than mere "space" or "cosmic" music, although this sums up the essence that was the highly regarded "Kosmische Musik" movement that came out of the seventies German underground, in all, eight minutes of strong soundscapes that are dark, Kraut and Kosmik in nature - just superb.

The 18 minute 'Methane Collision' is a giant among soundscapes, conjuring the very essence of the early seventies electronic pioneers such as Cluster & Tangerine Dream, with a myriad shifting soundscapes, drones, layers, textures and more, in a dense, incredibly sounding multi-electronic environment. All the other tracks are up to this standard of composition and playing, each with its own unique set of sounds, layers and drones, each a sea of "real" exploratory, inventive and strong-sounding Kosmik Musik, and every one utterly engaging. As I said, a gem of an album from a band who can do no wrong.

circa 2004, on http://deadernest.geeforcemusic.co.uk/individ2004.htm

 

tags: ambient atmospheric abstract cosmic ethereal dark electronic analogue synthesizer keyboards music tonal slow floating drone melodic noise

RIYL: Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Conrad Schnitzler, Cluster, Lightwave, Endgame, Nightcrawlers, improvised Throbbing Gristle, Morphogenesis, Michael Stearns, Zanov, etc.

discography...

OR SAWDUST - MC Planet X PX 2001 (1987)
IONISED OBERFLÄCHE - 2MC Planet X PX 2002/3 (1988)
KIESELGUHR ASPHYXIATION - MC Planet X PX 2004 (1988)
HEADSTRETCHER - MC Planet X PX 2005 (1988)
OESOPHAGUS 5 - MC Planet X PX 2006 (1988)
OESOPHAGUS 6 - MC Planet X PX 2007 (1989)
ELECTROLYSIS - MC Planet X PX 2010 (1989)
CONCRETE VOLCANO - MC Planet X PX 2011 (1989)
FOSCILLIZED FUME - MC Planet X PX 2013 (1989)
ILLUSTRATED SMALLSPACES - MC Planet X PX 2015 (1989)
ZIRCON 87 - MC Planet X PX 2017 (1990)
POD OF THE TROPICAL DISHCLOTH GOURD - MC Planet X PX 2018 (1990)
ANOMALISTIC MOTH - MC Planet X PX 2019 (1991)
HYSTERIS CALYX - MC Planet X PX 2020 (1993)
PHOBOS
- MC Planet X PX 2021 (1994)
WEBBED PENDULUM VAPOUR
- MC Planet X PX 2022 (1994)
MAGNETIC SUBSIDENCE ‎
- MC Planet X Records PX 2023 (1995)
MANEQUIN AMBERGINE ‎- MC Planet X Records PX 2025 (1996), CDR Auricle AMCDR 252 (2017)
ENCAPSULATED TURQUOISE VOID
- MC Planet X Records PX 2027 (1996), CDR Auricle AMCDR 253 (2017)
CATACOMB DISCORD ‎ - MC Planet X Records PX 2030 (1998), 2CDR Auricle AMCDR 261/22 (2017)
DISLODGED RESONANCE ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2031 (1999), CDR Auricle AMCDR 278 (2017)
SUNGRAVE CORPUSCLE ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2032 (1999)
MONOCHROME GRAVITY ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2034 (1999)
NIGHT RADIATION ‎‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2035 (2001)
DIMENSION Y ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2036 (2004)
RED EARTH ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2037 (2005)
SUBMERGED REALITY ‎- CDR Planet X Records PX 2038 (2011)
DIMENSION Z ‎- CDR Auricle AMCDR 266 (2017)

compilations...
1ST ANNIVERSARY ALBUM - MC
Planet X PX 2008 (1988)
ELECTRONIC RAIN ‎- DL Auricle AMDLS TIC1 (2018)

related...
CELL BLOCK Z: SPLINTER RECESS ‎-
CDR Auricle AMCDR 282 (2018)
LIQUIFICATION PROCESS: LIQUIFICATION PROCESS
‎- CDR Auricle AMCDR 295 (2019)

The Planet X label archive also includes demos and releases by the following artists:
It, Dump/Rich, Liquification Process, Cell Block Z, and The Did.

The Interstellar Cementmixers reviews in Audion - #15/34, #30/30, #34/36, #38/4, #40/18, #42/33, #45/32, #51/33, #52/32

 

The Interstellar Cementmixers, Planet X & Auricle Archives page at Bandcamp: https://planetx-auricle.bandcamp.com/

 

 

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