Various Artists - Wilde Jaeger [Percht/ Ahnstern - 0000]This is a superb, varied and near faultless double disk compilation from the German/ Austrian Percht/ Ahnstern label, which I’m sure long term MM readers will have heard me rave about before. This is an ideal primer for the uninitiated and a welcome back to old friends alike as it a mixes together already released material and with exclusive material for this compilation.
The label specializes in a very distinctive, creative and one-off take on folk, industrial, ritual music- often with imagery and texts heavly influenced by traditional Austrian & Germanold pagan gods, ritual, etc. Wilde Jaeger (English translation Wild Hunter) is the first part of Men, Masks & Myth, which is an audio- visual project which intends to bring alpine mythology and alpine paganism to a worldwide audience. Part two will be a large colour book, due to be published towards the end of 2008 with a cd of Field recordings relating to Alpine regions. You can get a indication of how impressive the book will be from the 24 page booklet that comes with the two disk set- illustrated with strange & beautiful landscape, masks and costumes of the Alpine regions.
The tracks on the two cd set takes you across a huge range of different styles and sounds from; folk, prog, ritual, soundart, electronica, traditional Alpine music, Black metal, ambience and many other genre traits. Often mixing many genres together to get that distinctive earthy, eccentric Percht/ Ahnstern sound. Each disk lasts around 70 minutes a piece. A few strand out moments for me here in this really faultless collection would be; Allerseelen's Rauhnachtmaske which comes off like a demented German cabaret meeting ritual elements, jazz and electronics- if your feet don’t vaguely shuffle to it’s demented/ sinister groove your already dead. Hamram's-Werden which mixes together field recordings that sound like they originate from a Alpine mountain top with a mixture of fire sounds, hunting horn, wind and horse sounds. Distant march music, chanted blacked monks call and very theatrical German/ Austrian dialogue . All finishing off with a strange and heady mix ritual drums and crowded, grunted & chanted voices & wolf howls.
The rich jigging and thigh slapping vibe of Sturmpercth -das letzte Zapfenmanderl with accordion, acoustic guitar, whistle and voices. The Chugging/ discordent blacked horror theatrical metal/ industrial/ ritual vibe of Elli Riehl - wildes Kraut. Really I could literally go on and on, as there is some much strange, wonderful, different and special on offer here, taking you through a myriad of different genres and sonic emotions. Really and truly one of the most quality bound compilations you’ll have come across – I cant praise this highly enough and encourage anyone and everyone to at least give this a try & step into Percht/ Ahnstern very different and highly rewarding world Roger Batty