Antlers Mulm – Silbergrauer Staub

Not a recent release (October 2003), but one which I listened to quite often recently. The productions of Antlers Mulm and its label Sonderübertragung, both run by Hans Johm, sound and look just a little different. The limited releases, both on vinyl and cd, are always packaged in cardboard boxes, which are functional, yet stylish. The music of Antlers Mulm contains many nostalgic references to older electronic music, without becoming a pure retro act.

The music on “Silbergrauer Staub” does not sound very complicated at first. Nevertheless there is a lot of tension in the music and often an otherworldly and melancholic feeling. Pioneers like Kraftwerk come to mind, as well as underground minimal electro from the early 80’s, but there are also clear connections to dark ambient / industrial circles. I have to think of Coil, Column One or Predominance. Despite experimentation, the melodic soundscapes are quite accessible, even meditative at times.

Most tracks have an atmospheric electronic sound with clear keyboard melodies, subtle samples and sparse speech vocals, often slightly distorted. Percussion does not play a dominant factor, though there is some ritual, almost martial percussion here and there, like on ‘Gipfelsturm’. In general the music is not particularly dark, there are no deep basses or cliche rumbling machineries. Some tracks sound a bit more threatening though, like ‘c3’. Most of the 15 tracks move forward rather slowly, though a track like ‘Out of line’ has a pumping electronic beat.

For me “Silbergrauer Staub” is a stirring listening experience. If you want to delve deeper into the world of Sonderübertragung: apart from this cd Antlers Mulm has also released three cassettes and a 12″. Antlers Mulm can be seen as the continuation of another project called Radio Eichenlaub, which made a cd, a tape and a 12″. Futhermore there is a cd-ep by Beachhead, which is a collaboration of Antlers Mulm with Boytronic singer Holger Wobker. Another related project is Lovespell, which released the album “Symmetric Poetry” last year.

artist: Antlers Mulm
label: Sonderübertragung
details: 15 tracks, 74 min, 2003, lim. 541 copies. [Sü 07]