CD (ltd. 300)
DMT "Ultimatum" is the second album in "Die Zeichen" series run by kultFRONT and ZHELEZOBETON labels. The first part was released in 2013 - Sal Solaris "Die Scherben 2004-2010". The new album is a tribute to Dmitriy Tolmatskiy who unexpectedly left us in 2009. Dmitriy was one of the few journalists who popularized the alternative culture in Russia. In late 90-ies he created the web portal RWCDAX and his famous "Industrial Culture Extended FAQ" which unveiled previously unknown layers of post-industrial art for many Russians.
"Ultimatum" shows the varied musical and stylistical planes of DMT. It mainly consists of compositions never officially released before, taken from CDRs which Dmitriy gave to his friends. There are also a few tracks from the compilations he had time to participate. Unfortunately not always were there notes and years of recordings. One track was digitized from an untitled audiocassette kept by the musician's friends in his native city of Saratov. The album provides a glimpse into various periods of DMT's sonic experiments from 1999 to 2008. It also features fragments of a live performance together with Alexei Borisov in St. Petersburg in December 2005.
For bandcamp users there is a bonus archive of three compositions. One remix by DMT of the Species Of Fishes track. One remix of DMT track by the Ghost Reflection project. And an extended version of the title track from the unreleased album "Cold Autumn in Belgrade" recorded in 2000.
The artwork is done by the famous visual artist and media philosopher Oleg 'cmart' Paschenko (http://humanimalien.ru | http://www.conclave.ru).
From the Russian desolate landscape we land in social realist industrial workforce with DMT, whose 'Ultimatum' is the second release in a series called 'Die Zeichen' (the signs), which is, if I'm correctly informed, to 'publish the archival works of Russian post-industrial projects' (and done along with kultFRONT) and this time it's the music of Dmitry Tolmatskiy, who died in 2009. In the 90s he was very active as a journalist, but privately occupied himself with electronic music. This compilation spans sixteen of these pieces from 1999 to 2008, including a live piece with Alexei Borisov. This is quite a mixed bunch of pieces. Rhythms play an important part in this music, hard and vicious like a solid industrial dark wave act, but then also at times, rhythms are shut down and there is more room for electronics and experiments. The balance however is in favour of the loud rhythmic pieces, which remind me at times of Esplendor Geometrico, but some of these pieces are perhaps a little bit disorganized: once a rhythm is set in motion, add some sounds while this goes, but that in itself doesn't bring a great piece of music, necessarily. At close to seventy-five minutes and some of these pieces being a bit overlong, it is quite a stretch, but it surely has it's moments.
Manche Werke sind anfangs nicht wirklich durchschaubar, so wie auch das vorliegende von DMT. "Funeral" ist ein ordentlicher Opener, der etwas schleppend aus den Boxen kommt, aber anderseits auch nichts Besonderes vorzeigen kann. Mit dem folgenden "Helter Skelter (Passage I)" kann man diesen Eindruck schlagartig revidieren, denn es wird bedrohlich, finster und "Cambodia" zeigt dann eine recht lebendige Seite. Ein Hauch von Death Industrial liegt da gelegentlich in der Luft, aber auch elektronische Einflüsse kommen mitunter merklich zum Tragen, wobei diese Fusion allerdings etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig klingt. So ist das Titelstück und das anschliessende "My God" im Grunde genommen reine Techno Nummern und der zwischenzeitlich gute Eindruck erhält einen irgendwie merkwürdigen Beigeschmack. Mit DMT täte man gut daran, sich auf eine Ausrichtung festzulegen, denn so wird "Ultimatum" schon fast für jede Zielgruppe zur Herausforderung. Gute Ansätze sind hier definitiv gegeben, aber das die Aufnahmen aus verschiedenen Perioden stammen, ist hier stark hörbar. "Happiness In Pride" birgt zum Beispiel Umbrüche, die ehr störend wirken, als das sie den Song bereichern und auch der Spannungsbogen flacht manchmal etwas ab, weshalb für meinen Geschmack die Stärke eindeutig im harschen Spektrum liegt. Gesamt gesehen bildet jener aber (leider) die Ausnahme.
Fazit: Wer elektronische Klangwelten mag und sich nicht daran stört, auch mal mit dunklen und bedrohlichen Welten konfrontiert zu werden, der kann hier ruhig mal reinschnuppern. "Ultimatum" ist dabei als Tribut an DmitriyTolmatsky zu verstehen, einem russischen Journalisten, der die alternative Kultur in Russland populär machte und 2009 unerwartet verstarb.
DMT's 'Ultimatum' is the second album in "Die Zeichen" series run by kultFRONT and ZHELEZOBETON labels. The first part was released in 2013 - Sal Solaris "Die Scherben 2004-2010". The new album is a tribute to Dmitriy Tolmatskiy who unexpectedly passed away in 2009. Dmitriy was one of the few journalists who popularized the alternative culture in Russia. In late 90's he created the web portal RWCDAX and his famous "Industrial Culture Extended FAQ" which unveiled previously unknown layers of post-industrial art for many Russians. The album mainly consists of compositions never officially released before, taken from CDRs which Dmitriy gave to his friends. There are also a few tracks from the compilations he had time to participate. The album provides a glimpse into various periods of DMT's sonic experiments from 1999 to 2008. It also features fragments of a live performance together with Alexei Borisov in St. Petersburg in December 2005.
As you might expect, this is a very mixed bag of compositions, and as such, cannot be expected to have much in the way of thematic, or musical unity. The first couple of tracks- "Funeral" and "Helter Skelter[Passage 1]" are very much industrial noise pieces, the first with a somewhat slow-paced drum track, the second with monstrous industrial percussion. (The latter is a fragment from a live performance at the Thalamus III festival from 2005 in St. Peterburg.) Both are very heavy on noise chaotics, but somehow there is still a degree of control. I initially listened to these tracks before knowing anything about the CD, and feared this was going to just be a juggernaut of constant noise. Fortunately, such was not the case. "Cambodia" is a bit more ambient, with moody industrial electronic background and and gnashing metallic sounds before some thick ominous chordal pads herald in a freight train of pounding percussion which soon passes. Eventually a less obstreporous industrial rhythm is settled on with menacing electronics over the top. "Waiting for the Rest" offers a kind of industrial ambience with a somewhat martial beat. "Think About It" has some echoed electronic sounds playing over an industrial beat, and the voice sample ("think about it") is repeated often. The next four tracks - "DA 8," "The Call," "Ultimatum," and "My God" are all previously unreleased. "DA 8" has a nice strong industrial rhythm component; "The Call" begins in a kind of orderly fashion with a rhythm track akin to a certain type of pressurized lawn sprinkler, and then is overtaken by hyperactive snare shooting off into oblivion. Title track "Ultimatum" sounds old-school all the way, from the programmed drums to the synths, and even the spoken-word lyrics (in Russian of course). "My God" struck me as a bit ridiculous with an ever more frantic voice babbling away in Russian over an increasingly noisy industrial music background. Disaster? Calamity? Probably, but perhaps not the kind the artist had in mind. "Helter Skelter [Passage II]" also from the Thalamus III festival begins with a sample of the chorus from the original Beatles song, but is soon drown in a miasma of electronics, noise and vocal moaning. "Are You Ready to Die" copiously samples Timothy Leary's dialogue with Ralph Metzner from his 'Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out' album over DMT's electronic psychedelic ambience. A bit rough, but still interesting. "Happines in Pride" is one of the earliest (1999) and also one of the weirdest tracks on this compilation. Its main component is an ascending LFO pitched noise sequence over early Scorn-like percussion. It's repeated nearly over the entire track, and has the effect of being deviously hallucinatory. "Main Stream" is a cacophony of radio voices(at first) and noises, then settles down to a minor roar of industrial and electronic drones and noise. "Lynch," appropriately dedicated to David Lynch is an unsettling but low-key piece of pulsing dark ambient electronica that's relatively easy to digest. "Desert Noise" is black industrial dark ambient reminscent of Lustmord. Final track, "Escape" is the calmest piece on the album, but in its own way, perhaps the eeriest. A nice way to end it.
As I said in the beginning, 'Ultimatum' is a mixed bag, but a good chunk of it will appeal to noise enthusiasts, while industrial and experimental electronica fans should also check it out. It's a shame that Dmitriy had to shuffle off this mortal coil. Who knows what DMT might have been capable of, but at least this as a kind of memento mori. Limited to 300 copies.