[ reviews ]


THOMAS BRINKMANN - WHEN HORSES DIE [Track 01, "Words"] *Remixed samples of lyrics by Winston Tong

"Germany's legendary label-owner, remixer and prolific experimentalist Thomas Brinkmann presents the follow-up to Klick Revolution. The source of inspiration is a strange mix between Suicide, Joy Division, old Tuxedomoon, and Another Day On Earth-era Brian Eno. Ten tracks start up with piano and the broken arrangement between distorted guitars and bass -- no drums, no beats, just lyrics from Tuxedomoon's Winston Tong."





[ live review ]

12-05-2003 | The Lab | San Francisco


“...what I guess you’d call the "Super Group" of the evening: Winston Tong backed by Bond Bergland and Joseph Jacobs from Factrix, and LX Rudis of the Units and various later projects. And man, was the evening suddenly worthwhile. They did, oh, four or five numbers, somehow managing to sound exactly like the sum of their parts; which meant, since this lineup never existed before, we were hearing things that were comfortably in gamut for what we came for – but it was a combination that was also new and vital. The songs were built on frameworks that sounded like Tong’s later era material, but considerably tougher given the backup: Jacobs’ bass a thick mass spending most of its time roiling in the deep end, a thick sound but propulsively rhythmic; Bergland pulling all his patented gestures – the shrieking birds and psychedelic crocheting, the squirming serpent-wrestling ... it was such a pleasure to see these guys playing together again! At one point about halfway through the two of them were off to the left hand side of the stage, facing each other, locked in this riff, all the overtones clotting up over them so you couldn’t tell who was doing what it was just this thrashing fuzz-ball reeling around over the synth and wrapping itself around the vocals, and their whole posture and attitude to each other saying 'Oh. Yeah.' LX’s synths were better than I’d hoped, meshed with the beat box providing the rhythmic armature, with smears and bleeps filling in holes. This was a full sounding band, top of the spectrum to the bottom, second to second, there was something going on; and there was a sense of authority onstage, like the one you’d see in a late Swans show, of people doing their job professionally – “professional” not in the sense of the slickness of a studio whore, but in the sense of a master carpenter finishing his 10,000th joint: utter control, no slips, no extra effort.

For what was by all appearances a pickup band, this was fucking amazing. I couldn’t tell early on if the material was new or not as I couldn’t distinguish the lyrics from the back of the room; if they were old songs they were utterly reworked anyway ... they finished with what I finally realized was “No Tears,” only Winston’s barking delivery of the chorus carrying on in what had become a brawling chaos. New material or old, these guys really need to record this set before they go their own ways again. Have I made it clear enough that my ass was well and truly kicked?

And when that was over, Winston handed the mic off to Cole Palme and we had (with LX still on stage) a one-song, 5-minute Factrix reunion. What am I supposed to say? It was too short, I’d have been happier with an hour, but they sounded just like Factrix. What more do you need to know?...” 


((Excerpt from a review posted at “A Placid Island of Ignorance”))

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