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OAKE – Auferstehung

With so many dark, gritty records released in the past few years, does contemporary techno really need more earnest young men and women? Auferstehung is the work of OAKE, an unnamed German man and woman, and the accompanying black and white press shots would suggest that they aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs. The same can be said about the opening tracks on this, their debut album. “Vorwort Umiha Sien”, “Kapitel Eins: Edunien Edreue” and “Erstes Buch: Desterieh l’Remm” all sound like textbook industrial/drone/gloom workouts, with fog horns and middle eastern drones unfolding over jittery broken beats and gut-busting bass licks.

OAKE - Auferstehung
Artist
OAKE
Title
Auferstehung
Label
Downwards
Format
2LP
Buy vinyl

Thankfully, they begin to hit their stride soon afterwards. “Zweites Buch: Var Genstien”, which envelopes the listener in plumes of atmospheric textures, hints at what’s to come. “Drittes Buch: Graevann Grewen” follows and features chilling woodwind and insistent guitar riffing mixed with the duo’s fondness for indistinct tones and sonic murmurings. Both tracks are preludes for the album’s two highlights. “Viertes Buch: Mortre Wrid” starts with queasy bass riffs that feature throughout the arrangement, but they soon fade into the background following the arrival of banshee wails and chants from an unnamed woman. The vocals become more and more intense and, accompanied by crashing drums, bring the listener to a thrilling but soulful finale.

The other high point is “Fuenftes Buch: Dreloi Wechd”. Again, OAKE use vocals that wail against the backdrop of spiraling guitar riffs. As the instrumental squalls are matched with crashing, tribal drums, the banshee steps from the shadows to utter unintelligible incantations and utterances. Not even the terrifying drum patterns and murderous bass of “Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht” or the Demike Stare-style dark ambience into white witch chants of “Siebtes Buch: Drestan Sened” can detract from the power and intensity of “Fuenftes Buch”. After a sluggish start, OAKE’s debut album shows their satanic majesties’ potential.

Richard Brophy

Tracklisting:

A1. Vorwort: Umiha Sien
A2. Kapitel Eins: Edunien Edreue
A3. Erstes Buch: Desterieh l’Remm
B1. Zweites Buch: Var Genstien
B2. Drittes Buch: Graevann Grewen
B3. Kapitel Zwei: Brachem Dest
C1. Viertes Buch: Mortre Wrid
C2. Fuenftes Buch: Dreloi Wechd
D1. Kapitel Drei: Rechs Zegon
D2. Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht
D3. Siebtes Buch: Drestan Sened