Die Warzau started life as the Die Warzau Synfony, an industrial music group formed in 1987 by performance artists Jim Marcus and Van Christi. Disco Rigido
is the groups first album, released in 1989. Its emergence at the tail-end of the 80's is important, as the first wave of industrial was clearly coming to an end just before the industrial metal boom in the 90's via acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and KMFDM. Electronic Body Music, or EBM for short, was reaching something of a peak before it would become dominated by coldwave and eventually the bland futurepop acts of today as groups such as Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and Klinik were gaining popularity. Several industrial groups were flirting with the New Wave trend around this time, and Die Warzau happened to be one of them.
is one of the most unique industrial recordings I have heard, and I attribute this to its existence just before the turnover of the decade. Opener Welcome To America
features slinky beats and hip-hop scratches, for instance, still its synth lines are pure New Wave. The vocals of Jim Marcus are very in your face, with lyrics that could be considered "socially conscious" as he touches on themes of racism over the decades, a trend which occurs throughout the rest of the album. Strong, pulsating rhythms and wavering synth elements seem to dominate the majority of Disco Rigido
, songs such as Man Is Meat, Bodybag, Strike To The Body, I've Got To Make Sense
and Shake Down
all feature powerful beats with varied sonic textures, my favourite of these by far being Jackhammer
. Still, the band sees fit to throw in a number of curveballs which seem designed to catch you off guard such as the piano intro to Money After All
, ambient and sample based interludes such as Sexus
and National Security
, and Y Tagata En Situ
, an hypnotic percussion centered instrumental with chanting which has to be one of the most impressive cuts here.
is certainly a peculiar album, trying to describe Die Warzau doesn't really do them justice but they manage to combine several influences to make a unique whole which is both danceable enough for an industrial dancefloor and varied enough in sound to be engaging to listen to in one sitting. It is EBM with a little bit of a cheesy New Wave influence, still this slightly misleading when you hear tracks such as the hip hop flavoured Welcome to America
, National Security
which sounds like a J.G. Thirlwell ambient piece and Y Tagata En Situ
which is more akin to something that might belong to an obscure African subgenre of world music. Still, given a bit of time it reveals itself as one of the best industrial releases from the late 80's.