Ancient Methods a.k.a Michael Wollenhaupt is a name requiring very little presentation. A pioneer in the field of modern techno-industrial music, his series of EPs and his recent album The Jericho Records profoundly influenced the scene establishing a sound often imitated, but never truly matched.
Originally a duo with Conrad Protzmann, the outfit soon became a solo act mixing industrial and EBM ethos with oldschool techno. The result has always been something quite unique, a rhythmic affair keeping an important aspect of techno music that many industrial techno projects seem to forget: the attention toward the groove and the crescendo, often with even funk elements. All of this, fused with the typical dungeon-like atmosphere which characterize the sound and the aesthetics of the project.
A personal sound, but rendered in new ways through time with a professional evolution which keeps the core elements while adding something new or tweaking already established aspects. This is the route Ancient Methods has been following since its inception, and the new EP The Loud Age – The Second Siren is no stranger to that.
The 7-track double vinyl reinterprets the sound of early 90’s techno with cosmic undertones, sculpting the various episodes via eerie synth sounds and compulsive rhythmic mantras. The opening Sur la maladie (part. 1) is a perfect example with its evocative sampled speech in French and distorted kicks, and it grows into a sea of melancholic retrò melodies. The second part Die Unzeitgemäßen follows suit with its accordion and sudden distortions, giving us a mutant structure intermixing bursts and suave synth sounds underlined by steel-like rhythms. The two parts of A Revelation Of Nothingness go well beyond the concept of club music, and techno itself, featuring beat-less music with more of an ambient and experimental nature – Downwards employing shrilling notes in a lysergic soundscape, The dream using placid and delicate melodies amidst creepy vocal samples and darker parts.
All in all, another example of Ancient Methods style: elegance, a bit of experimentation, proper techno tunes, melodies, and a strong sound-design give us a top notch release once again leading and not following.
Release date: May 15th, 2020.
Text: Davide Pappalardo