Boomkat Product Review:
This is a total find - ‘Tanz Und Andacht’ (Dance and Devotion) is a mouth-wateringly rare and otherworldly missive from Hamburg’s cult, highly enigmatic label/band Werkbund, a bizarre, crazily ahead-of-its time project that finds the sweet spot between Coil and Torsten Pröfrock's work as Dynamo / Various Artists, now reissued on vinyl with two bonus tracks to the pleasure of weirdos across the world, more than 20 years after the long sold-out original 2x7” release.
Since 1987, Werkbund have remained a riddle to practically anyone outside their studio. Between the late ‘80s and the ‘00s, they released a handful of LPs and CDs on the enigmatic Walter Ulbricbht Schallfolien and the related Abraum label, including some extraordinary electronic recordings by Mechthildt Von Leusch, a properly shady character, who, if Google is translating correctly, would also appear to be behind this 1997 album, ranging from beautifully windswept synths and airborne waltzes to deeply creepy horror themes.
We won’t front - Werkbund and their related projects are relatively new to us, but we could tell from only a few bars of this LP, which somehow fathoms everything from widescreen ambient to proto-T++ style metallic dubs, that they’re a seriously special project, and the kind of stuff we dream about discovering every day. And in the strangest way, to our ears their music feels uncannily familiar, like the illusion of Déjà entendu, yet somehow utterly fresh and unique at the same time.
‘Tanz Und Andacht’ very much plays into its own schism with one side full of inquisitive and rhythmic electronics, and the other dank and cranky as your life. Spine-chills cascade from the front in ‘Lichtregen’ triggering a surreal, warped side that bends between the sort of slow, minimal but generous polyrhythms favoured in Vladimir Ivkovic DJ sets, and pockets of genuine mystery such as the head-licking ‘Allseele’, which is perhaps best compared with the best of Leyland Kirby’s ‘Intrigue & Stuff’ volumes.
The flipside however is much starker, traversing the vinegary, vintage Lynchian tone of ‘Perl Weiss’ and ice palace harmonics of ‘Im Heiligen Hain’ alongside the carmine seep and trailing fade-outs of ‘Eine Von Diesen’ and the chthonic breaths of bonus piece ‘Die Abendburg.’
Fair to say that with original copies now going for the prices of a week’s rent in Manchester, there’s probably a lot of industrial/ambient fiends gleefully rubbing their hands over a pot of beans right.