Joke Lanz, turntables and electronics; Christian Weber, bass and sub structural noises; Bruno Amstad, vocals and electronics
Law and Disorder is a challenging listen, something I would never myself pick up off the record store shelves, yet as I sat with it and listened I found I was drawn to its deceptively simple music and my interest has continued to grow with repeated listens. WAL as a group are masters of creating moods and feelings inside the listener. This ability is a gift and yet not always a pleasant journey. For instance, as much as I hate listening to all four minutes of the opening track I must admit that even sitting alone in the middle of the day it is capable of scaring you, and rightfully so, the title of the track is "Good Morning Nightmare." WAL employs droning bass lines, shouts and chants, and a minimalist electronic presence to create grooves often using only one simple line to hold it down while the other members bring contrasting ideas that weave in and out of the music.
This is an album similar to that of Picasso's most childish paintings. At first listen it would be easy to dismiss the music as contrived, simplistic, and even as simply a noisy collection of sometimes disturbing sounds, yet with each listen it becomes apparent that there is a wealth of intention and emotion within the music. The standout track is without question the thirteen minute "Pequod." Ambitious and symphonic in its scope building early to low chanting that sounds like an early morning Muslim call to worship and slowly morphing into a thick dance beat reminiscent of DJ battles. An honest listen by even the most skeptical listener cannot help but admit the talent and emotion behind this music, but WAL are incredibly left of center and very difficult to listen to. Recommended to those interested in the boundaries creative minds can push music towards.
by Brian Hull
New Sounds - CD Reviews