Yet again Berceuse Heroique can take credit as a champion of the obscure and weird. Apart from supporting the brilliant Ekman, who at times sounds like Gesloten Cirkel on industrial strength steroids, the London label has now delved into the vaults of Danny ‘Legowelt’ Wolfers’ back catalogue to reissue The Age of Candy Candy. Recorded under his Smackos name and released on the Dutch producer’s own Strange Life CD-R label back in 2004, Berceuse Heroique is now putting it out on vinyl for the first time.
Wolfers’ love of movie soundtracks is well-documented; apart from naming some of his biggest records after cult stars – e.g. The Klaus Kinski EP – he also did his own horror disco soundtrack as Squadra Blanco. The Age of Candy Candy sees him go further down that path. Supposedly inspired by a Japanese historical drama – this being Wolfers, it might be prudent to take such pronouncements with a very large handful of salt – it mainly stays away from the dance floor, instead delivering freeform synths, slow-motion pulses and liberal doses of unintelligible, stream of consciousness spoken word.
“The Age of Candy Candy” and “The Countess Visits the Town” set the tone with their layered, cosmic textures and subtle filters, while “Journey Through the Swamp” and “The Self Sacrifice Of Irena Karlstein” see Wolfers drop low-tempo pulses, the murky bass on the latter provides the backing for a breathy French vocal as it almost reaches Suburban Knight style levels of paranoia. There are also a few genuinely chilling tracks on this album, like the discordant tones of “Forbidden World” or “Candy Sells Her Body”, where the end of innocence is marked by a low voltage hoover drone and a tortured young girl’s cries.
In the main though, Wolfers has again concocted a parallel universe where the atmospheric textures of “Codex Calixtinus” and jazz-infused cosmic jams like “The Hunting Accident” are the dominant soundtracks. Let’s hope he continues to explore and document these strange worlds.
1. The Age Of Candy Candy
2. The Countess Visits The Town
3. Romantic Smack
4. Candy Sells Her Body
5. Forbidden World
6. Journey Through The Swamp
8. Codex Calixtinus
9. A New Romance
10. The Hunting Accident
11. A Defeatistic Love
12. The Self Sacrifice Of Irena Karlstein
13. Loneliest Girl In The World
14. Escape From Captivity
15. Look Beyond The Stars Candy