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Philipp Münch – Into the Absurd

Philip Münch - Into The Absurd

CD, Ant-Zen, 2001

There is no secret to me being really good friends with Philipp, and so to start out this review I will have to write a disclaimer to him: “Don’t be mad, I’m all honest and I couldn’t refuse our editor-in-chief’s begging and pleading when when we talked about who of the staff was to review this album.” And secondly, to the audience in general, I have to emphasize that I’m being all honest and straightforward in these writings, not letting the friendship I have with him influence this review.
Philipp Münch is relatively well known and widely respected as a musician from the many (over ten!) projects that he is a part of. And where there are artists who have side projects which are quite close to each other – i.e. jungle versus d’n’b or black metal versus death metal – Philipp’s projects are truly different from each other. There is the rhythmic noise from Synapscape, the synthpop from The Rorschach Garden, the soundscapes from Templegarden’s as well as the wave-influenced Ars Moriendi. So it’s with a certain honesty we can describe Phillipp Münch as a musical centipede.
With “Into the Absurd” he has made an album where he melted influences of all his projects together, leaving us with probably the utmost personal approach to his musical past. At moments the music is noisy ’70s industrial, other moments emphasize the catchy ’80s. And there are moments that elaborate on the unstructured or chaotic ’90s but, most of all, the honesty and intensity of the ’00s are audible in all tracks.
So the result is an album where you can hear all the things Philipp Münch has ever done, but in a very different perspective than what might be expected from him. This unexpected personal story which can be read between the lines of “Into the Absurd” makes me admire the album as a whole, and love the artist as a person even more.
Granted the sound may seem a bit dated from time to time, but it’s all in a good way. Be honest: when you play some old Throbbing Gristle or Cabaret Voltaire (strangely enough the comparison that often comes to mind when listening to “Into the Absurd”) you’re also not complaining about them using an older drum machine. So it’s enough to say that ‘dated’ is not the word; this is called ‘vintage’. The “TRON”-like artwork by Salt enphasizes the vintage feel of the sound, and the final result is a very strong, personal and complete release which is an absolute tip for those who are – like me – eager to look beyond the limits of musical styles.
Musically , “Into the Absurd” reaches the eight-point mark easily, and the guts it takes to release a document this personal would be worth nine points, so the overall score is nothing less than…


— Bauke van der Wal

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