3 CD, Black Rain, 2006
Where more and more self-styled EBM acts of today come dangerously close to the darkwave and futurepop genres, these re-releases of Tyske Ludder’s first three records – “Bombt die Mörder?” (1994), “Dalmarnock” (1995) and “Creutzfeld” (1996) – will no doubt please any fan of harder dark dance music with an industrial edge to it. The albums are available separately, or as a boxed “Trinity” set. Old tracks have been remastered, giving a crisp punch to the songs, and new remixes bring added value to the package.
From a production viewpoint, the recordings maintain a typically 90s industrial minimalism: drumkit, bassline, two or three synthesizers and the inevitable vocal movie samples thrown in. This is not to say the music is primitive – rather, in an age where computers can handle any number of virtual synths effortlessly, it is refreshing to hear EBM recorded off live instruments. In fact, where many bands rarely, if ever, leave the studio, Tyske Ludder (currently touring with industrial legends Feindflug) consider live performance an integral part of their creative process. This lends their recorded music a rich depth that virtual instruments can never duplicate – creating a unique sound that swings between traditional EBM and modern technical industrial, relying more on percussion than melody to deliver their scathing criticisms on society.
Individually, each record stands alone as a complete entity: “Bombt die Mörder?” is unmistakeably a debut album, following a simple recipe of bombarding the listener into submission then ordering him directly onto the dancefloor. “Dalmarnock”, the second release, exhibits more variety – more dynamic synthesizer lines, a greater range of generated sounds and a definite increase in atmospheric pad work. A lot more layering and texture is also noticeable, like with the addition of electric guitar stabs on “Extrem” and “Hexenjagd”. The “Creutzfeld” EP builds on this experimentation without losing itself in studio technicality, resulting in a masterpiece of a disc that no EBM DJ should be without. The “Zeichen der Zeit” remix by Wertstahl, in particular, had me wishing for strobe lights and a smoke machine in my living room. In fact, my only complaint would be this: there isn’t enough diversity in the music. For club purposes, this is no problem. If, however, you want to really listen to the music for any length of time, everything does start to sound similar after the fifth or sixth track. More experimentation with downtempo arrangements, for instance, would be interesting to hear.
Taken separately, these three discs each display a different developmental facet of one of the best-kept secrets of German EBM in the mid-90s; as a whole, the back catalogue can be assimilated into the collections of EBM and industrial fans alike, in preparation for the forthcoming album, “Sojus”. Older industrial afficionados, in particular, will appreciate the nostalgia the music delivers.
— David vander Merwe