V/A - "Totentanz Vol. II: The History of Zoth Ommog"
By Dan Century
Sometime between 1988 and 1992 "industrial
music" hit its peak. Bands like Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly,
Liabach, Clock DVA and Ministry ruled the clubs and better college radio
stations. I remember a show at the Ritz in New York instead of a DJ they
were playing a Wax Trax compilation video. Videos like Liabach's Life is
Life and Clock DVA's Sound Mirror captivated your eyes while they
pummeled your soul with raw, pounding beats. This was strong, dark, powerful
and otherworldly music the type of music that rattles right through you
best listened to in a dark club, with a great sound system, in the
winter, wearing black leather, inebriated...
One by one the better bands dissolved, disappeared, became
weak parodies of metal bands or kicked the habits that fueled the passion
behind their music. By the end of 1992 it seemed all was lost...until a few of
the better DJs, who hadn't given up hope, started playing bands from the Zoth
Ommog record label bands with strange names like Armageddon Dildos, X
Marks the Pedwalk, Leather Strip and Klute. Totentanz Vol. II is a
retrospective of that era.
The key to listening to Zoth Ommog music is listening to it
loud as possible, in a dark room, while inebriated (I'm repeating myself).
Listening to Zoth Ommog music through head phones is a crime...it's just wrong.
You need to experience the deep synthesized bass and pulsing beats. You need to
share the screaming vocals and piercing, bubbling synths with as many drunken
dancing freaks as possible! It's 1992 and you're at the fucking Limelight,
you've just had your 8th shot of Yagermeister, there are Go-Go dancers in cages
hanging above your head and the floor is shaking, your bones are shaking and
you're loving every minute of it.
Japanese Bodies and Torment Me by Leather
Strip and Desert Storm by Klute are three of the best tracks on this two
disc compilation. Klute and Leather Strip are essentially the same band
masterminded by the always political Klaus Larsen. Listen for the George Bush
samples. This music is dated, but it still sounds great, especially when you
compare it to the weak crap that passes for music today.
Politically correct white rappers Consolidated are a cheese
that definitely got better with age, but you can still check out their debut
track, Consolidated, on disc one. Bigod 20, a Front 242 side project,
also debuted on Zoth Ommog with The Bog, a gurgling sonic quagmire that
threatens to drag you to the bottom. X Marks the Pedwalk, Psychpomps and the
Armageddon Dildos (!) were all staple Zoth bands that filled the aggro-electro
void as Skinny Puppy disintegrated and Ministry detoxed.
The standout track on the album is the 8 minute and 23 (!)
second long Zoth Mega mix which, you guessed it, mixes all the songs on the
comp into a massively radio unfriendly electro-aggro masterpiece. Damn, I wish
it was '92 again, if just for a day.
I was disappointed with the liner notes. There are no
pictures, band information or even a brief history of Zoth Ommog. If you decide
to pick up the comp, and you like it, I suggest picking up any Leather Strip,
Klute or Psychopomps album too. If you want to hear more of this kind of raw,
soul crushing music check out the Emperor's radio show on Thursday nights on
WRSU, 88.7, on your FM dial (that is if you live in New Jersey and close enough
to New Brunswick to pick up the signal).
Click to Buy!