CD Review

The Ancient Gallery – “Was Wir Wollen”

By Marcus Pan

Was Wir WollenComing right off of the heels of their last full length, Alles Ist Nichts(1), Germany's The Ancient Gallery kick out a single CD with four remixes of Was Wir Wollen, originally off of Alles Ist Nichts. Since I recently reviewed Alles Ist Nichts, I'm not going to get too heavy into a discussion of TAG's history, since those of you who read Legends – and of course you all do – already know that.

The album version of Was Wir Wollen is true to the Gallery's usual upbringing – Rammstein like and easily confusable as such, with crunchy guitars and powerful German vocals and lyrics. Chorus breaks are full-chorus endeavors, with a strong anthem like sound. At the end of the album is Nirgendwann, a B-side of this single, also from the Alles Ist Nichts release. It's good, but it's what you'd expect and nothing more.

The following three tracks are remixes of this track, my favorite being track two's remix by underground favorites In Strict Confidence. Other remixers include Haujobb and Leahakim as well. The ISC version adds a significant club/dance appeal to the heavy fair of The Ancien't Gallery's original. Completely removing the guitar riffs and replacing them with electro-static backgrounds, pulsing beats and melodies and a significantly well done drum 'n bass introduction that is nothing but groovy. In Strict Confidence create an all but completely different song here, turning Was Wir Wollen into a new-wave dark electro tune. Now you have the first track here for the industrial/cyberpunk basement floors and the ISC remix for the upper electro-gothy floors.

Haujobb on the other hand infuse a deeper darkness into the song and keep the guitars about, even increasing their intensity and changing some of the movements of them. Leahakim, who I'm not familiar with until now, make Was again completely different. The guitar structures are almost grunge like in make-up and they add static overlay to the vocals with the exception of a female vocalist who comes across sounding like she's twelve years old, surrounded by a childlike and airy melody. An interesting combination inside a dark-contentual track.

The nice thing about this single is that, while many are wastes of my listening time, Was Wir Wollen has talented bands creating very differentiating mixes of the song. Other than lyrical and vocal content, the entire song is mixed up and recreated time and again to the point where each is solid on its own. And with names like In Strict Confidence and Haujobb on the bill you can be sure they're done well. It looks very much like Was Wir Wollen is going to be the only single on my personal CD rack.

(1) Reviewed in a previous issue.
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