Kongo – Blubber

[Reviewed by stark]

You open the digipack and see the names Bjorkk and Nystrom. You think of the highest class dark industrial. You recall the old covers of classic Megaptera or Mz.412 albums, the creepy scarecrow and the burning churches. And then, you check their joint project moniker? Kongo? And the front cover picture being a mashup of faces of two middle-aged Swedes. Are you confused already?

Don’t be. Think of these two guys as a normal human beings, not the icons, monuments or symbols of the musical genres of which they’re one of the pillars. They’re just guys with huge imaginations, the will to do something different and – believe it or not – with a decent dose of sense of humor. Check the titles: “Albino Krampus”, “Al-Gadaffi Bike Gang (Giganten Ganja Smoke)”. Really? And where’s the “Vampiir Of The North”, “Satan Jugend” or the “Sludgy Heads Found In A Handbag” (I always loved this title). All this rather reminds of the titles like “Hamburger Lady” or “Gasoline In Your Eye”, the ones which made you expect the unexpected, though never 100% serious nor dedicated to a certain dark or disturbing idea.

In the press note they refer to the early industrial classics like Cabaret Voltaire, Severed Heads or En Halvkokt I Folie which I’m not familiar with at all – they released albums for Cold Meat Industry in the early nineties though. Indeed it has an analogue oldschool spirit, the surreal collages often with experimental touch, the loops, a whole bunch of samples. It all turned out quite natural, with the feeling that it was made by guys who grew up with these projects, not by someone who discovered those bands just a few months ago and now tries to re-create it in the contemporary digital environment. It’s as if Henrik and Peter simply brought some old, vintage equipment back from the basement or cellar, got some beers and whiskey and check if they still feel that spirit. And they do alright.

Won’t be lying, at first I thought it wouldn’t be anything more than a curiosity, something that has been released only for the musicians’ own pleasure. And since in my personal ranking it’s rather far from the legendary albums of both artists, it may give a few moments of listening pleasure. Mostly because of the honesty of these sounds, where you can feel that they came straight from their hearts (and some obscure parts of their memory). No calculation, just nostalgia infused fun.

Kongo – Blubber
Ur Muzik, UR010
CD 2016

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