Serge Marinec/Andrei Vasiljev: Control Agents
I received this album before our current 'Age of Terror' began. The nightmarish theme of the album, if you access the website addresses in the liner notes, was that the Government, specifically the CIA, was planning to use electronic mind control on ordinary citizens, and in fact had already used drugs, brainwashing, and other mind-altering techniques on many people, both voluntarily and involuntarily. The 'survivors,' like alien abductees and "ritual abuse survivors," were now telling their stories.
It took 5,000 deaths and Ground Zero to make public reality even more nightmarish than these stories. Now we are horribly aware that there WAS a secret international conspiracy out to destroy us. And though conspiracy theorists will obviously attribute the megadeath of 9/11 to the American government's secret programs (America is always at fault), the reality is that mind control was already here, long before the CIA, and it doesn't involve microwave beams or electronic brain stimulation' just twisted religious and political ideologies, many of them not even American, which work just as well to brainwash people into mindless violence and suicide terrorism.
But having said these uneasy things, I must get back to the sounds. Marinec and Vasiljev came to my attention with their outstanding cut, 'Entered Apprentice,' on a Dark Duck Records compilation from 2000, Ambient Landscapes 2. The duo, based in the Netherlands, creates an industrial-Gothic ambient soundtrack using a combination of metallic clanks and groans, altered voices and sound effects, electronic beeps and squeals, growling airplane engines, samples of church chant, and drones. They move this digital dungeon along with a powerful techno beat, echoing in huge reverb, which gives the listener the feeling of being in a torture chamber turned into a rave club. They alternate rhythmic cuts (which I think are the better pieces on the album) with snarling slow ambient. It's frightening, and quite trendy, and entirely fitting for our new era, as flaming electronic noise crashes into a virtual city of darkness.
Record Label: Triumvirate