> MAUTHAUSEN ORCHESTRA – Retrospection by Pure Stench
A misanthropic appeal, the converse to quiet, a pull away from the simmering shit of mainstream music. The deafening structure of Noise is more than art to many. Not even the catch term “acquired taste” will fit each and every time down here. Sound documentation that comes in many forms – sometimes loose and chaotic, sometimes structured and tense, other times playful and settled, always unmitigated evidence that pleasure is in the ear of the beholder. Industrial has been around awhile and, because I become bored easily, I thought that I would take a stab at showing some of the best from the past. A retrospection of sorts starting with my favorite “old-school” act.
1982, Italy. Pierpaolo Zoppo starts releasing his own tapes of his project Mauthausen Orchestra under the label “Aquilifer Sodality”. Combing through topics such as sexual violence, perversion, torture and murder and picking them apart with the right maneuver as to not come off as cheap and careless is not an easy task. Where the people of one decade find their horrific scenery another decade finds its jokes. Mauthausen Orchestra’s atmosphere, one of true debauchery and calculated sickness, coalescing with the sobering awe of his industrial racket blanketed by the 80’s true lo-fidelity, raw recording procedures has yet to truly be matched. His early sound traversed a good deal of ground from the sharp and violent piles of feedback and synth work forcefully fed to you, to long chapters of grinding precision and tape manipulation pulling pieces out of itself and building upon it. Maurizio Bianchi was such an obvious influence on most of his work, especially up until “Bloodyminded”, that it would be impossible to write anything on Mauthausen Orchestra without mentioning his name at least once. In all of these early recordings one thing can be agreed upon, it was always dirty. My introduction to this project was “Anal Perversions” and it displays Zoppo’s range perfectly in two lengthy and harsh tracks. Some may prefer more variation of material such as “Murderfuck”, or the damaging assaults of “Uneasiness”, so I also recommend that everyone go out and find “5 Year of Slaughter”, or even better, “Gravitational Arch of Sex”. Both of which collect the assortment of material from his 3 greatest sound periods (check the link at the bottom of this article to download material from 1982-1986).
The project took a rest in 1986 and besides re-releases of the 1982-1986 collection, M.O. didn’t wake back up until 1997 with the creation of “Raising Vapors” co-released by Body and Blood and Bloodlust! records. The sound of “Raising Vapors” took a lot from the old Italian sound they helped create and added variation to it. The violence was not as heavy and brutal as it was before, instead it was more minimalistic, the discipline was more exacting. “Lost Boys In Town” displayed a lot of the same characteristics as the previous works but, to me, it seemed even more relaxed. The reason for the change in name, from Manthausen Orchestra to M.O., is unknown to me but the change in sound is very apparent and it is often argued whether or not these two releases should even be considered “Power Electronics”. In 1999 M.O. released one of their most talked about LP’s, “Kiss The Carpet”,an extremely violent and heavy look at human dysfunction. Wherever the last two releases lacked virility and sheer brutality, “Kiss the Carpet” displayed it in spades. From this point on I lost interest in M.O.’s material. Later material such as “Smooth Hate” and “Where Are We Going?” plays on minimalistic Noise with a deep and, in my opinion, boring ambiance.
A good number of acts followed including his country-mate Atrax Morgue who re-releases many of M.O.’s tapes during the 90’s. Later on, groups such as Taint, Liver Mortis and Pleasure Fluids, some of my current favorites, took note and began to dust off the old niche.
Luckily for me, I don’t have to do the work. You can download the early M.O. discography here: