A horrible hack

Negru Voda

Vald De Luxe

Year Released: 2011
Format: 3xCD
Label: Malignant
Reviewed by Captain Fidanza on Nov 2, 2011
A few years ago a good friend of mine asked me if I'd ever heard of a film director called Béla Tarr, I hadn't, so he described to me a film of his he'd just watched called 'Satantango'.

"It lasts seven and a half hours and starts with an eight-minute, unbroken tracking shot of a herd of cows walking through a field," he said.

Fifteen minutes later when I had finally stopped punching him and we were in the back of the ambulance speeding toward casualty, he remarked that perhaps I should start my exploration of Tarr's oeuvre with a later work called 'The Wreckmeister Harmonies'.

"What happens in that one?" I enquired.

"It's about a small, Hungarian town which descends into chaos when someone leaves a dead whale in the town square," he said, before adding that it lasted two and a half hours, was subtitled and was in black and white.

After knocking the paramedic unconscious in order that I might give my friend several dozen elbow drops, I calmly left the ambulance which by then had arrived at the hospital and made my way home.

Several months passed and although I had re-watched all my Seagal, Lundgren and Van Damage films, my friend was still not out of the coma he had fallen into following the sustained physical assault I had subjected him to. I rang Blockbusters but they weren't expecting any new Seagal, Lundgren or Van Damage for at least another week so I finally decided to watch some Béla Tarr.

This morning, an eight panel digipak, three-disc retrospective of the solo work of Peter Nystrom arrived at my house courtesy of the good people at Collective and I was instantly transported back to the moment my best friend first mentioned Béla Tarr to me. Three hours of multi-layered, Swedish industrial noise recorded and programmed by a man who worked in a steelworks for thirteen years.

To try and describe this music with words would be like trying to describe the experience of watching Béla Tarr for the first time, so let's just say that's it's extremely difficult but if you approach it with the right kind of mind, an experience like no other awaits you. Be warned however that the first two tracks on the second disc comprise seven and a half minutes of what amounts to little more than static interference.

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