Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review: Pankow – 'Throw Out Rite'

'Throw Out Rite'

Pankow may not be a household name but they are certainly an important band. This electro industrial act from Italy was an integral part in the early evolution of industrial music. Starting with a palette of sonic experimentation reminiscent of contemporary acts such as Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten and Clock DVA and pre-dating the likes of Coil, the band quickly enjoyed a cult status in the early movement, and have seen consistent album releases right up until 2013's 'And Shun The Cure They Most Desire' on Out Of Line.

'Throw Out Rite', the band's début album released in 1983 had only been available as a cassette at the time and has never seen a CD or even a vinyl run. Until now. Thanks to Canadian label Artoffact who continue their run of re-releases of rare but nonetheless important albums.

With a familiar early ebm sound underpinning the album it's liberal experimentation has ensured that the album still has a fresh and interesting even after 30+ years. There is a level of innovation and variety that is sadly lacking in modern artists. And while the results aren’t always user-friendly, they are still highly cerebral.

Songs such as 'Das Vodkalied', 'Rendez-Vous Dans Un Bois' (featuring Blixa of Einstürzende Neubauten), 'Zz Walhalla', 'Destiny', and 'Voce' in particular mix everything from ebm, ambient, industrial and minimalism in a way that is pretty hard to pin down and classify from a modern perspective where genres have diverged and homogenised.

In terms of production it is what it is. A re-release cultivated from an experimental cassette tape from the early 1980s is going to still sound of its era whether you remaster it or not. There's no way around that. But when presented as an artefact of an early genre still prising experimentation, innovation and the DIY punk attitude it still sounds great.

'Throw Out Rite' is a re-release that makes sense. For fans of early industrial music this is the kind of release that is craved, especially on vinyl. Pankow's legacy may have been eclipsed in recent years, but 'Throw Out Rite' shows just how integral they were to the early industrial scene. 

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