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Schuster - Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon

Schuster made an impressive occultic ambient contribution to the Adeptsound compilation Bacterium. I was keen to hear more and Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon doesn't really fail to disappoint. It is a darker, more industrial sound stretched over 11 tracks. Schuster are masters of unease, some of this points to the dark ambient genre but Schuster bring with it a heavy dose of early industrial. This is perhaps not surprising, as Tim Bayes the protagonist of Schuster was a member of Dieter Müh in their earliest formation. Bayes brought the "ter" from Schuster to Dieter Müh, while Dave Uden brought the "Die" from Diet of Worms and Steve Cammack the "Müh" from Mühviertel. Before relocating to Australia Schuster were active in the heyday of "cassette culture". Blac Flies... follows two low-key releases from this revitalised project.

Blac Flies... opens with the dark undertakings of 'Bellerophon', a cinematic black atmo-hum punctuated by the buzz of a fly, and interspersed with molten stabs. The whole track is imbued with the feel of a mystical horror film. Much of Blac Flies... is taken up with Schuster's musings on the dark drone theme. There's none finer than 'The Second Moon (Sepharial)'. Here the sound flows from twisted dark electronics and scraping tones with melodic synths seeping out into swingeing arcs of grating tones. And just when you think they can't take it any further the sound swells into a string section set against the discordant tones. 'Submerge (Drawing Down The Moon)' plays out in slow-motion, with the hum of a ghostlike voice, drenched in rippling water effects. Things become more ominous when you realise the liner quotes carry the last words made in a distress call from Australian kayaker Andrew Mcauley. It's not all dark drones. The pummelling industrial rhythm of 'Stubborn' blasts along like early 23 Skidoo, drenched in feedback, as the rabid unintelligible chant become increasingly animalistic and ravenous. Great stuff.

It isn't all instrumental Blac Flies... features vocals or sampled dialogue on a number of tracks. 'Sulk' unfurls to backward loops and folded tones, as a hesitant voice mumbles, surrounded by the soft pound of drums. 'The Last Breath of the Matriarch', also features the voice of Tim Bayes. Here though the voice is reduced to short phrases amidst blistering sheets of noise and intermittent clatter. 'Giving' the only other track with a narrative appears to give the confession of contract killer Richard Kulkinski. Serial killer schtick has been done to death (ho hum) but the spoken voice delivered in calm measured tones is well placed and contrasts nicely with the churning synths and incessant metallic percussive chatter. Schuster play it well, although it's one they could easily have expanded upon.

Blac Flies... wrap up elements of 23 Skidoo and Lustmord into their ritual dark ambient music and much else of old school industrial music. It is by no means a hackneyed effort. Blac Flies Resplendent On The Blak Moon weaves the melodic with harsher textures into a deeply immersive whole. With his relocation to England it looks like a reacquaintance with Dieter Müh is on the cards too. In addition to the Adeptsound pro-pressed CD-R a limited cassette version in a tin box is available from Licht Und Stal. For more information go to or