Cromagnon
Orgasm


1.5
very poor

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
April 22nd, 2011 | 52 replies | 6,715 views


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist


5 of 7 thought this review was well written

Cromagnon's Orgasm is an album that makes me RAGE. Once, it did not. I even found it a musical curiosity of sorts, much like other fans of underground music who had come across this oddity. What happened?

Well, Cromagnon were an experimental music group active in the middle to late 60's who shat out a single album and disappeared. This probably wouldn't be notable at all, if it wasn't for the fact that it seems that every single critic who has listened to Orgasm claims it to be some sort of musical anomaly that is industrial music before there even was industrial music. Sometimes the connection made is far too vague for my liking, but semi-acceptable at least comparing Orgasm to first wave industrial groups such as Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten. Worse, it has been compared to Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy. No, no, no! I am here to attempt to shatter this delusion, and claim that this album was absolutely of its time and could not have been produced in any other era. Also, it's a pile of ***.

Well, let's define industrial music. Most music listeners nowadays relate the term to industrial rock or industrial metal bands such as the previously mentioned work of Trent Reznor, Al Jourgenson's Ministry, Skinny Puppy and KMFDM. This is fair, as genres do evolve over time and often deviate cleanly from their roots but in truth these bands are technically post-industrial in nature. This music goes way back to the 70's, to a UK label known as Industrial Records. The artists who belonged to this label, such as Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and SPK, had a certain agenda to create a kind of anti-music fueled by a political and philsophical ambiguity focusing on taboo topics for shock value. Coinciding with the rise of British post-punk, much of the sonic exploration to come out of this era overlapped with it and took influences from the developing sounds of electronic music still based in analogue technology, musique concrète and found sounds which could be found in Krautrock and the work of Pierre Schaeffer, the harsh, unpleasant sounds of noise which the Futurist movement were flirting with as early as 1913, and dark ambient of which the "Godfather of Ambient" Brian Eno is responsible but which it would take other artists such as Coil and Zoviet France to truly further the concept of exploring sinister, gloomy soundscapes for. In any case, much like any genre there was a logical development that can be traced from early works by certain artists, some of which could be labelled "proto-industrial", if you are so inclined to use such a term. Cromagnon is not one of them.

Most of this industrial talk (in fact, probably ALL of it) comes from the first track on Orgasm, Caledonia. I'm not gonna lie, I like this song. Let's break it down into it's components though. Alright, it opens with swirling tape noises and horn samples. Crickets chirp in the background. Then suddenly, IT'S ON. Punishing drums, bagpipes and sinister, whispered vocals. There is nothing industrial about bagpipes. Quote of the ***ing year ladies and gentleman. However, the drums have a certain distorted, soaked in reverb quality, which is actually incredibly powerful. This is one weird, curiously fascinating track. But, save for the vaguest connection due to affected percussion and the experimental nature of it all this sounds nothing like anything ever released by the first wave industrial groups, let alone Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy. One reviewer even went so far to claim that "Now, when you stick the needle into the groove that is opener, "Caledonia", you'll immediately think you're listening to Einsturzende Neubaten gone black metal, then you'll realize you're WRONG and that there was no reference points such as that available in 1968". Ugh. I maintain this an enjoyable song, however, even if I don't agree with this sentiment. Unfortunately, it is all downhill from here.

Think of a bunch of stoned art students clapping wooden sticks and shaking coins in a jar, whilst one of them incoherently records himself making sounds like he either needs to vomit or is seriously straining to take a dump. This is Ritual Feast Of The Libido, which is possibly the worst thing I have ever heard. Organic Sundown is kind of like this but with more intricate percussion, whilst Fantasy introduces vocal harmonies and is a kind of dark ambient precursor with it's gloomy, swirling electronic effects, of which Genetalia is similar. Crow Of The Back Tree is a weak, weak nod to psychedelic rock. The final two tracks are probably the best of the rest though, Toth, Scribe I and First World Of Bronza. These hint at further ambient excursions, the latter sounding a lot like a weaker Death In June track with noodling psych rock guitar. Toth, Scribe I is the closest the album gets to sounding industrial, much more pure noise than anything else on here. Other stuff such as Luigi Russolo's Veglio Di Una Citta (1913) and Robert Ashley's The Wolfman (1964) preceded this though, and did it much, much better which makes it seem unremarkable. The more I delve into compilations of old avant-garde electronic music such as OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music, it seems there were many, many artists who were doing things like this.

Orgasm is no musical anomaly, just a headache of an album to listen to. I have to begrudgingly admit it is no coincidence people connect this with the first wave of industrial music, though. After all the genre had it's roots in several esoteric branches of music, many of which Orgasm does tip it's unfashionable hat to. But please, if anybody ever compares this to Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy again i'm going to kick them in the dick.



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You call THIS an orgasm?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
April 22nd 2011



5524 Comments


Caledonia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPiO_G-DEHs
Ritual Feast of The Libido - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On_PEjaNGDs

Tyrael
April 22nd 2011



20394 Comments


Review is kinda conversational, but you manage to pull it off nicely. Pos.

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Mordecai.
April 22nd 2011



8255 Comments


thoroughly enjoyed reading this

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
April 22nd 2011



6734 Comments


This is a very different take on reviewing. Fun to read.

Lelle
April 22nd 2011



2146 Comments


Ritual Feast of The Libido must be some of the most retarded shit I've had the displeasure of hearing

Meatplow
April 22nd 2011



5524 Comments


Ritual Feast of The Libido must be some of the most retarded shit I've had the displeasure of hearing


It makes Moëvöt sound refined

i'm not kidding

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2011



6073 Comments


I have this album and I do not know why. Review sounds about right. Meatplow 4ever

North0House2
April 22nd 2011



5613 Comments


Very nice review.
Sounds like nothing but a piece of garbage.

Digging: Horseback - Piedmont Apocrypha

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2011



10001 Comments


hahaha the artwork is hilarious

Itwasthatwas
April 22nd 2011



729 Comments


cool review, and this record is so bad that it's hilarious
i listen to it sometimes for a laugh

WeepingBanana
April 22nd 2011



9897 Comments


i heard of these guys in a Cracked article once. it was weird

Kris.
April 22nd 2011



11372 Comments


woah this sounds exactly like nine inch nails

vaporandsmog
April 22nd 2011



34 Comments


I've never read about anyone connecting this to industrial music. Caledonia is more like early black metal than industrial.

lancebramsay
April 22nd 2011



1585 Comments


Cool read - pos

You should really fix the run on in the third paragraph
though. I also thought you spent too much time
focusing on the industrial aspect. That should have
been a side note at most.

Still awesome read regardless.

Bitchfork
April 22nd 2011



7584 Comments


i thought you left us haz.
anyways review wolfman

Bitchfork
April 22nd 2011



7584 Comments


i thought you left us haz.
anyways review wolfman

Meatplow
April 22nd 2011



5524 Comments


Caledonia is more like early black metal than industrial.


it is neither

i've been reviewing on and off here b4k, will probably review Wolfman at some point I thought you would have had that covered

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2011



23649 Comments


I am in love with this review

best parts:

Then suddenly, IT'S ON. Punishing drums, bagpipes and sinister, whispered vocals. There is nothing industrial about bagpipes. Quote of the ***ing year ladies and gentleman.


and


But please, if anybody ever compares this to Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy again i'm going to kick them in the dick.




Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Meatplow
April 23rd 2011



5524 Comments


lol, thanks

my english skills are admittedly weak sometimes I find it best if I write this way

YankeeDudel
December 1st 2012



9291 Comments


good find potsy this is some wacky ish

Digging: Ravi Shankar - Three Ragas



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