Barbarossa Umtrunk

Album Title: 
La Fosse De Babel
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Review Type: 

For quite some time, and through different releases, French outfit Barbarossa Umtrunk gives its specific view on humanity (anti-Liberalism and searching the truth behind totalitarism in a democratic society; or am I misinterpreting the concept?) by means of quite unusual and eerie sonic escapes. This solo-project by Baron Von Stenay appears on splits especially, and now they return with a new full length, La Fosse De Babel (‘the tomb of Babel’). It’s a lengthy ten-tracker that brings more than seventy minutes of ‘Martial Music for Eurasian Youth’ (and Eurasian Older Ones too, I’m sure). And completely in the vein of most past releases, this one too is quite apart. Main issue is the use of many samples from speeches by e.g. Putin, Al-Assad or Chavez, as well as some philosophers, theoreticians, sociologists and political / sociological criticasters.

Opening track The 4th Political Theory starts with a very short neo-folky passage and some demonstration shouts, before getting into a bizarre mixture of hypno-energetic viola-lines and throaty voices. It’s a co-operative effort with same-minded project TSIDMZ, quite bizarre, highly varying, with inclusion of different sounds and samples (by sociologist and philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who sort of ‘invented’ the fourth political theory, following Communism, Fascism and Liberalism), bombastic orchestrations and martial percussion. La Structure Absolue sounds more mesmerizing, almost the creepy way, with some philosophical sub-theological narration samples by Raymond Abellio (it’s he who wrote the roman La Fosse De Babel; on the minimal-industrial yet quite mesmerizing track Vers Un Nouveau Prophétisme, Baron Von Stenay reads a piece of a text by this writer / philosopher, by the way). Ricardo V. of Vir Martialis fame contributes on the very lengthy piece In Bashar We Trust and Syria, including vocal samples of Bashar and Asma Al-Assad respectively. Music-wise, there are prominent Arab / Persian melodies (cf. the chants) and very asphyxiating structures, balancing in between martial bombast and neo-classical integrity, yet whole the time with an energy that marches on and on. Other compositions too come with middle-Eastern melodies or samples (Army Of Mahdi (Walked In Line) with its Hezbollah shouts). Actually, this whole sonic journey is a structured amalgam of (spoken) samples (with 20th century’s folk-song tunes, diverse chants, extracts from public gatherings all around the world, and historical / political quotes), elements from Martial Industrial, Electronics and Drone-Ambient, aural experiments, esoteric chants (cf. Ungern Khan, Le Cavalier De Vril, for example, with those shamanistic voices by Ra Kha and Maya M., who did co-operate with Barbarossa Umtrunk before) and noisy additions.