DIETER MÜH - HETERODOXIE (LP by Verlautbarung)
Its fair to say that Dieter Müh is one of the older groups from the
third (fourth?) wave of power electronics that came to us in the mid
to late 90s. Too late for the cassettes of the 80s, too obscure to be
part of the whole retro noise scene and perhaps, simply (but better
yet), not enough power electronics/noise based. So over the years
there have been a bunch of releases, but not a lot, and they are
always quite interesting. Dieter Müh played at the Broken Festival in
London last month and its not difficult to see where they did in. Not
because they play very loud music, but rather densely knitted, rough
patterns of drone noise, along with primitive (casio) sampling of
rhythms and cheap sound effects. Not that their music is cheap, by now
means. Its music that takes out the best of industrial music and
combines it with the more adventurous sounds of ambient music. Layered
sounds of those wind pipes that children swing above their heads (no
craze these days but I am sure
it will return), along with the sampled percussion of something highly
obscure, a bit of sound effects - music that stands in one form or
another in the long tradition of Giancarlo Toniutti, Andrew Chalk and
Controlled Bleeding, or, but this requires an in-depth knowledge of
the Broken Flag catalogue, say Ain-Tow. It doesn't sound like them,
but its part of the whole esthetic of working with ambient sounds and
electronic music. Music with a long tradition, like cogs in a machine.
Dieter Müh is one of those cogs. Not the most essential one, but
nevertheless one that forms part of the family, so that you have the
complete picture. 'Heterodoxie' is a nice record. Not great, just
pleasant electronic music - noise but then one I like. (FdW)
This is a review by Frans De Waard at Vital Weekly.
Just to clear any confusion, I did not perform at the Broken Flag Festival in May I just helped out on the door, humping tables and spinning discs on the Saturday night.....
Cari Saluti Frans.
After the departure of Dave Uden it was unclear as to whether Steve Cammack would take up the Dieter Müh reins or just jack it all in to spend more time with his family, disgraced MP style. Having been involved in the same bands since the 80’s it was quite some schism and then news began to filter through of gigs being booked, new works in the pipeline. A live appearance at this March’s Nottingham’s Rammel weekender sealed it when Cammack treated us all to what we knew Dieter Müh did best; industrial ambience, ritualistic rhythm and the sound of Maureen Long describing how she survived a Ripper attack in Bradford.
Since Rammel Dieter Müh have returned to Stockholm and the Fylkingen but more importantly have released their first serious vinyl outing since the 2008 classic ‘The Call’. I felt ‘The Call’ to be one of their best works; featuring the dulcet tones of Enochian OTO’er Lon Milo DuQuette it created a deeply mystical feeling that mixed subtle industrial rhythms with some superb production work. it was also the last to feature Uden so when I got Heterodoxie shoved under my arm at the last night of the Broken Flag event I was curious to hear how, if at all, the Dieter Müh sound had evolved during these last four years.
Gone has the ‘I really like sex’ sample, along with it the eerie ‘We’re not happy, until you’re not happy’, two decidedly unnerving motifs that lit up many a DM show but which I assume are best left int he past. Gone too are the frantic rhythms that made up one half of the live bootleg ‘Stockholm Monsters’. In comes ‘Illuminati Humillati’ an opener that somehow manages to evoke a medieval banquet due to its neo-folk like drumming and the use of two slightly phased acoustic guitars. Eerie vocal samples are still there of course as are the muted, pulse like industrial rhythms; on ‘Intruder’ a distressed female 911 call begins the piece by telling us how she thinks there’s somebody in the building, in come the feint beats, voices break up and become indistinct, the denouement comes when the caller finds she really isn’t alone. Voices return on ‘Helescum’ a short display of Arctic waste wash that ends with an American B-movie actors muffled voice looping the words ‘you sons of bitches’. Urgent factory rhythms push ‘Mixed Discard’ along as do more of those distressed voices, presumably all real, presumably meant to convey distress and heighten the feeling of unease.
These old school Industrial motifs are the clues that give away Dieter Müh’s heritage. A background in which the eighties output of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse are the leading lights. its seen not just on ‘Intruder’ but on ‘Mixed Discard’ too and more prominently ‘The Culling is Calming’ not only a nod to 23 Skidoo but the longest and most involved track here. Taking up most of side two its a slow ascent courtesy of some arterial like throbs submerged beneath an analogue groan that builds as it goes. The rhythm’s are chest deep, recordings amplified just loud enough for you to get a feel for thing, at its start you hear what appears to be the sound of a piece of plastic tubing being whirled around over somebody’s head, it could be aboriginal or it could be a Glaswegian sink estate ned fucking about with his mums Dyson vac. Muddying the waters is all part of the appeal.
And lets not forget all the whistles and burrs, the weird humming that brings in ‘Illuminati Humillati’, the cicadas on ‘Intruder’, the flow of blood through ‘Mixed Discard’.
Adding to all this mystery is the fact that this record appears on a German label that appears not to exist except as a name on this record. Distribution is through a Swedish company. There’s some meshed copper wire on the sleeve. Mines already disintegrating through wear.
Review from Mark Wharton of Idwal Fisher. Cari Saluti Sir Mark.