These two releases showed up at about the same time recently. In Transit was a straight download, while Taushiro came via snail mail (just so I could see the glorious double flexi-disc presentation for myself, I suppose).

German Army
In Transit
(Dub Ditch Picnic)
(Weird Ear)

You read that right. Taushiro's physical release is on two pieces of lo-fi, square-shaped, ultra-thin plastic. There's also a download link. I used that to actually get the music, as I was afraid my ancient (and cheap) turntable would tear a hole in the beautiful acetate.

As for the music, German Army is one of the most creative electronic outfits I've heard in ages. No sound escapes untouched, as everything is bent and twisted to the will of the collective. In Transit trends toward the dub, but that's just the starting point. The depth of sound is simply astonishing. For those keeping track, this CD release collects a number of songs released on various tapes over the last few years.

Taushiro is much peppier but just as warped. Taushiro is an indigenous language from a region in Peru, and perhaps German Army is attempting to channel that in some way. I say perhaps, because I would hate to have to ascertain any intent from anything these folks do.

What's most arresting about each of these releases is how different they are. The only real connection is the amount of meddling that has been done to the"original" sounds. A couple of reviews I've seen compare this to Cabaret Voltaire, and I can certainly hear that. But thirty years ago there weren't the tools to make such subtle sonic adjustments. This stuff makes the trippy industrial (a terrible description, I know) of yesteryear sound like something being punished by a caveman's club.

I don't know exactly where or what German Army is, and based on these two releases I can't really guess where it might be going. But if you're looking for music that pushes against every boundary in sight, this is a good place to start. My brain is alive.

Jon Worley

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