Saturday, 27 January 2018

THE NAZGÛL - THE NAZGÛL (Mental Experience LP, CD, D/L).

The latest release from Spanish crate diggers Guerssen Records of their planned reissue of the entire back catalogue of the Pyramid label is a album of experimental Kosmische soundscapes from The Nazgûl. First released in 1976 with a CD reissue in 1998 on Psi-Fi records, this strange Avant-Garde artefact gets proper re-release on the Guerssen imprint Mental Experience, remastered and with extensive sleeve notes from Krautrock connoisseur Alan Freeman (Ultima Thule, The Crack In The Cosmic Egg). Recorded and produced by Toby ‘The Mad Twiddler’ Robinson in Cologne circa 1975, like most Pyramid releases, The Nazgûl’s self titled LP is shrouded in mystery with the musicians who played on this Tolkien inspired oddity known only as Frodo, Pippin and Gandalf. The music itself is an almost beat free mix of Stockhausen inspired Musique Concrète and leftfield Krautrock by bands such Kluster and Faust blended with the more experimental side of early Pink Floyd/Tangerine Dream, with treated percussion, gongs & guitars, trippy Hammond & Mini-Moog, tape loops, weird noises and drones that together create a sinister/ ritualistic atmosphere which would today be filed under Dark Ambient.

The Nazgûl LP is effectively four long pieces of abstract percussion workouts and improvised soundscaping that touches the edges of Krautrock, Free Jazz, Space Rock and Avant-Garde experimentation which could be compared to more modern day adventurers in the “Out There” such as Nurse With Wound. The two tracks on side one, ‘The Tower of Barad–Dûr’ and ‘Shelob’s Lair’ are both 12 minutes of Kosmische ambience with other worldly organ and guitar punctuated with clattering percussion that sounds not unlike Pink Floyd at there late 60s experimental wig out period best. The opener on side two, ‘The Dead Marshes’, features Free Jazz trumpet while the rest of The Nazgûl hit anything that goes clang. It really is from the seriously strange end of the Krautrock spectrum and no doubt not to everybody’s taste but in the sphere of electronic avant-garde it is high quality deep esoterica of the weird and spooky kind. The album closes with ‘Mount Doom’ which is full of electronic hiss and tape manipulation which sounds not unlike the very early Cabaret Voltaire experimental recordings. Sounding way ahead of it’s time (if it is from 1975, some rumors suggest otherwise) The Nazgûl, although of limited appeal, is an excellent Dark Ambient record…………possibly more suitable for music at a black mass than a polite dinner party.

The Nazgûl is out NOW and available on LP, CD and download from all the best record shops, online retailers or direct from the Guerssen web shop. Stream the whole album here https://guerssenrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-nazg-l.

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