Stunning, flexible and spontaneous works from the archives of the Maciunas Ensemble - heavily influenced by minimalist rock and post-punk but highlighting the full spectrum of their sound and showcasing their capacity to operate a third-eye-blinding array of instruments, structures and renegade recording techniques. Honestly, if you've not encountered the Maciunas before - prepare to have your head blown clean off.
Originally recorded in 1983, the opener 'Ice Cream Man' kicks it all off in what initially feels like a sort of twang-jangle fuck-around (in a good way!) that quickly develops into a frantic, expressive steam train of piano, guitars and cello - immediately screaming similarities to the Necks, although closer to their more contemporary sound of total ASCENSION as on 'Mindset', Van Noorden’s cello hitting high, soaring notes.
'Toxic Metals' sees the troops tear up the pedal steel in a fuzz’d out, steadily deepening, densifying 10 minute passage which for all its blown-out thrashing and guitar pick-up stutters, feels extremely dynamic, extremely vulnerable. 2002’s 'Stamples' although recorded some 20 years later, recalls the cavernous, haunting tones of their work on the 1986 LP Music For Everyman, a heavy sample layer-cake that basks you in a dark and lonely rock pool, these Dutch doom-druids laying down their instruments and using only the textures of their own voices - spooky music!
Still, there is so much on offer here, the eerie skulking of 'ZENder' and it’s menacing concoction of mandolin and psaltery, the twitching, rhythmic spontaneity produced by four tubular monochords that the Maciuni are triggering with flashlights (!?) as on 'Russolution'. An exhilarating collection, impeccably put together by Editions Telemark.