INTERSTELLAR CEMENTMIXERS / HISTORY
The Interstellar Cementmixers
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?"
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.
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.
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.
OR SAWDUST - MC Planet X PX 2001 (1987)
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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