Schloss Tegal - Oranur III [Cold Spring Records - 2012]Oranur III "The Third Report" originally appeared back in 1995, and has since been heralded as one of the key dark ambient albums. This reissue on the always dependable & quality bound Cold Spring records sees the album getting a slight re-worked & re-mixed, and also adds in a few new bonus tracks too.
Schloss Tegal are a two piece American project, who take their unusual name from the hospital castle near Berlin, that served as a psychiatric clinic treating soldiers with art and music therapy during WWII. The project started in 1991, and this was their 4th release.
The album is themed the work of Wilhelm Reich(controversial Austria Psychoanalysis & scientist) and his encounters with UFOs. The albums 11 tracks are built around a dense, unnerving and unsettling mixture of layers of grey often angular drones, alien abductees & similar dialogue samples, and a genreal feeling of deep pressing unknown dread. The drones used here are deeply sinister & un-harmonic in their feel & execution, and very much suggest: the slow droning of alien space craft, the eerier/ clinic sounds of other worldly machines, the sounds of strange un-human breathing & movement, mixed in with all manner of unsettling human sounds too.
The whole album has such an oppressive, unsettling & at times very chilling air to it. The pair manage to capture the feeling of alien dread & fear perfectly, and I can’t really think of another release that mangers to capture that vibe in quite the same way as this does.
I was lucky enough to buy the original edition of this on the bands own Tegal label when it first came out in 1995. This new reissue sees the albums artwork & booklet getting updated to a more sinister black & white colour scheme(the original release featured faded colour pictures of UFOs). The new artwork takes in various UFO photographs ect, plus most of the text from the original booklet which discusses Reich's theories & encounters with Aliens. Sonically the album sounds even more grey, enclosing & oppressive than it ever did. A few of the tracks here have seemingly had a few more subtle layers & elements added, but mostly this is the same as the original release. That is save for the extra two tracks that are added to the albums original nine tracks, and these appear towards the end of the album as track eight & nine, and they are entitled“Orena Orop Terria” & “The Core Men”. Both of these track follow a similar feel & vibe to the other orignal tracks here with a mixture of sinister & darkly space bound dark drone layers that have a slight industrial feel to them, and are layered with subtle ‘n’ sinister dialogue sample/ space recordings
It’s great to see this dark classic alien/ UFO themed industrial dark ambient back in print finally- so if you have any interest in either the dark ambient scene or dark brooding & sinister sonics this is a must have item. Kudos to Cold Spring from making this available once again, and lets hope more reissues of Schloss Tegal back catalogue are planned for the future.Roger Batty