12 July 2006

Movies + Music =

Graf Orlock - Destination Time Yesterday
Level Plane Records
13 June 2006
4 stars

LA's Graf Orlock—fittingly named for the vampire in the film Nosferatu—specialize in what they've dubbed "cinema grind." This is infectious grindcore that, while not absurdly technical, is advanced in its production and presentation. The "cinema" aspect? Well, leave it to a bunch of Angeleños to gain inspiration from late 80s and early 90s action flicks. Each track on Destination Time Yesterday begins with a sample to introduce chaos. Surprisingly this tactic doesn't get old and this can probably be attributed, actually, to each song containing a sample. In that manner the samples seem to be more integrated into the overall album structure.

Now, the question should be raised, "Do you know which films each of the samples comes from?" And I must answer, "Certainly not." I've never been much for action movies, but I will say that I completely understand the use of the motif. Most of the films from this era were apocalyptic, dystopian and "Futuristic" (as in technologically-engaged). Graf Orlock has taken these themes and run with them to create an album that is brutal (there's that word again!) and totally unsentimental from the lyrical content through the instrumental attack. The fantastic album art is also similarly in"spy"red (hint, hint). Overall another great release from level-Plane that adds diversity to their label lineup.

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