Bow Gamelan Ensemble – Great Noises That Fill The Air (CD Album – Cold Spring)

By Feb 16,2019

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Genre/Influences: Industrial, experimental.

Background/Info: We’re used to Cold Spring re-releasing ‘old’ and sometimes ‘legendary’ albums on CD format. Bow Gamelan Ensemble was active during the 80s featuring a collective of ‘noise-makers’ and sculptors. They released “Great Noises That Fill The Air” in 1988 as vinyl- and cassette format on Klinker Zoundz. Several guests contributed to this ‘live’-album. The most famous name among the contributors was Z’Ev (who passed away in 2017).

Content: This album has to be put again in the right context. We’re in the 80s and industrial music was something totally different from today. The music and ‘noises’ were created by percussions played on metal objects, electric motors that were placed on stage, power saws and all kinds of objects that could produce noise. It often was pure improvisation, but such an industrial band on stage was a real event. “Great Noises That Fill The Air” brings this spirit back to life.

+ + + : This is ‘the’ real industrial sound from the 80s. It was something abstract and hard to figure, but still very artistic. Bands were more creative, creating their own ‘instruments’ and producing a kind of ‘anti-music’ against the established music styles. This album is a testimony from the early industrial years featuring the contribution of the one and only Z’Ev.

– – – : The sound formula becomes a bit repetitive after a while. It first of all remains an extreme sound sensation for a very limited number of fans.

Conclusion: This re-issue –released at the end of 2018, was meant as a celebration for the 30th anniversary of this unique album. The front cover perfectly illustrates what this spirit was all about: industrial fireworks!

Best songs: “Thundersheets/Sirens/Baths”, “Two Marimbas”, “Glass Chimes”.

Rate: (7).

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