Music en Berlin – Animal

8.12.22 by Matty McPherson

As an uncultured American swine, I had a simple desire. I wanted to understand “the music in Berlin.” However, when I whispered this into the monkey’s paw I bought off etsy, the paw reached into my pocket. It pulled out Music en Berlin’s Animal, an Orb tapes release from last year that I must’ve seemed to sleep on. Perhaps I was being too zealous, making oversights on tapes literally right under my nose!

When he’s not striking up the visuals for Daft Alliance, Nathan Berlinguette has started publishing his “new musics” under this Music en Berlin moniker. He’s been at the wild n’ crazy ass world of “end time” music for over 25 years, dating back to 5/5/2000s prophetic guitar wails. Different collaborations of all sorts of sounds have appeared in its wake, while Berlinguette’ has shared the stage with numerous names and line-ups (Ms. Pharmakon anyone?). This newfangled solo endeavor is more dream-like and unfiltered. Animal’s single-sided run time emphasizes a seven part story, with these seven tracks acting as an imagined soundtrack for his pulp slasher sonics.

It feels apt, considering that these pieces have a sense of foreboding crevices and boogeymen-esque movement. It may take a moment to find its way towards those sounds, with Scenes 1 & 2 practically opening en media res with hemorrhaging generator feedback–itself a burgeoning star making ample yet welcome appearances throughout the tape. Yet, by Scenes 3 & 4, the noise atmospherics are leveraged for dubbed-out surveillance type beats. These tracks lurch and roll, an unending uneasy paranoia. Scene 4, in particular, weaponizes that feeling of being hunted down on a submarine in lockdown when you’re the last alive. After Scene 5’s brief detente though, Nathan closes with Scene 6’s evanescent illbient, a sudden spurt of claustrophobic tension that (naturally) allows one last revving of the generator noise out for great propulsion. You’ll be deep in a comfort coma after it all concludes with the brief popcorn clatter of Scene 7’s popcorn handshake miasma.

For a single-sided adventure, it’s never so gritted it feels unapproachable. A nifty addition to the Orb Tapes tapestry.

Professionally dubbed in real-time green shells tapes, with 2-sided white pad print. Limited to 75 copies available at the Orb Tapes Bandcamp Page