Schwefelgelb
Den Umgekehrten Atem


3.5
great

Review

by Arche CONTRIBUTOR (82 Reviews)
September 26th, 2017 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Den Umgekehrten Atem feels like the loss of urban innocence, condensed into a 21 minute potted history.

Considering Dahinter Das Gesicht preceded Schwefelgelb’s August release by a meagre six months, it’s all the more notable how much of a continuation Den Umgekehrten Atem is not – at least initially. While hardly out of form for the duo when taking their back catalogue into consideration, across such a short time frame the change is jarring. Gone is the four-to-the-floor gutpunch of sub-bass, and gone are the hypoxic industrial synths that paint imaginations with shades of grey and bottle green. Instead, gated snare, distant calls and twinkling, crystalline melodies are the order of the day for opener ‘Im Wasser’; while not exactly bubblegum pop, the busy throwback to Kraftwerk’s traditional EBM is light enough that Schwefelgelb fashion an optimism akin to the exponentially booming cities of yore.

That is, however, until around the 3:30 mark, where this optimism proves to be artifice. The hitherto sparingly-used low-end doubles up, bringing with it morbid swells that bleed the track of discernible joy, or passion. Oppressive encroachment, as it happens, charts Den Umgekehrten Atem’s general direction. Gaining a few industrial quirks yet still fundamentally mid-register, ‘Das Ärmellose Hemd’ retains a cursory similarity to ‘Im Wasser’s original tone. It takes little further investment, however, to note much of the 80’s joie de vivre has been stripped; an exercise in minimalism, its energy feels hollow, triggering involuntary movement yet little in the way of emotive response. Joined once more by an unflinching kick drum, ‘Stillhalten’ asks sordid, nay sick enjoyment from the listener. With every strike of what sounds like PVC pipes, images of subterranean orgies are conjured by its repetitive, percussive bassline; each permutation realises a strange fetish of the unexpected, as the body writhes to fall in line. By the time ‘Um Meine Haut’ comes around, Den Umgekehrten…’s reversion to stifling industrial techno is complete. Sid Lamar’s drowsy announcements become lost in the constant decay of metallic clangs (the usurper of the gated snare), ambient whooshes and deep stabs of synth, like a rail announcer reduced to insignificance by the bustling masses, going through the motions like an automaton. Den Umgekehrten Atem feels like the loss of urban innocence, condensed into a 21 minute potted history.



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user ratings (4)
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3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2017


5471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been meaning to do this for a while, thought I had writer's block. Turns out, I was just being lazy :3 Good release, tracks 3 and 4 in particular are well-worth checking. Any comments, corrections and suggestions as always welcomed



https://schwefelgelb.bandcamp.com/album/den-umgekehrten-atem

adr
September 26th 2017


11853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review, both ep's are dank

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2017


5471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah they are. I prefer Dahinter to this a bit cos I like the heaviness of it more, but of the 2 EPs Stillhalten is my fave track so it kinda balances out



Thanks :]

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2017


5965 Comments


not my thing musically, but great review, Arch!

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 26th 2017


5471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you! ^ ^

Evokaphile
September 26th 2017


6393 Comments


Ooof what a glorious review. Big ups

Digging: Woe - Hope Attrition

clavier
September 27th 2017


470 Comments


an aaron review! nice

EphemeralEternity
September 27th 2017


3004 Comments


splendid review - i'm sure you have but check their 2016 EP 'Wie Die Finger Durch Den Nebel' if you've not yet.

BlushfulHippocrene
September 27th 2017


2061 Comments


What a fantastic review. Great work, Aaron. This actually somewhat interests me, so I'll give it a listen sometime soon.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 27th 2017


5471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you everyone :]

@EE - Yeah man, that one's great. Not quite so fussed about Da Könnte, but Balancier Dich in particular has got that EBM groove which feels so visceral

@Blush - Let me know how you get on!

Chortles
September 27th 2017


20885 Comments


well done man, really like the imagery of the hustle and automatic nature etc of urban settings at the end, very much get that vibe with a lot of music in this vein. need to chekkkk

Digging: Burger / Ink - Las Vegas



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