RareNoiseRecords Releases 'Anguish' in November, All-Star Outing Features Key Members of Dälek, Faust, and Fire! Orchestra

The dark, impossibly intense dirges, industrial noise onslaughts and banshee-like free jazz wailing heard throughout Anguish could be an imposing soundtrack for a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future. This powerhouse, inter-generational offering and RareNoiseRecords debut brings together an unlikely gathering of members of the New Jersey-based experimental hip-hop group Dälek (rapper Will Brooks, guitarist-keyboardist Mike Mare), the Swedish free jazz group Fire! Orchestra (tenor saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, drummer Andreas Werliin) and the classic '70s German krautrock band Faust (keyboardist and 68-year-old founding member Hans Joachim Irmler).

But as Brooks points out, "Mike Mare and I work together in our group Dälek, Mats and I have been friends since meeting at the Nickelsdorf, Austria Konfrontationen Jazz Festival back in 2007, and Joachim and I collaborated on 2004's Faust vs. Dälek project, Derbe Respect, Alder. So this collaboration is not as unlikely as it might seem." Adds Werliin of this cooperative venture, "In this age of time these things are very common. You hear of some new player, dream of playing with some old legend, you have a record label that supports the project and then before you know it you're in a room making it happen."

Recorded in just three days during the summer of 2018 at Faust's Scheer, located in a former factory perched on the banks of the Danube in Swabia, Germany near the Swiss border, Anguish stands as a hard-hitting manifesto for the next evolution in the hip-hop legacy. "This project is quite special, " says saxophonist Gustafsson, who has appeared on RareNoise projects by The End, Slobber Pup and in various collaborations with Japanese noise music icon Merzbow (aka Masami Akita). "It is all about creative music and interaction on a music level and on a human level. Interaction and sharing is the only way to go."

Irmler explains that the seeds for Anguish were planted several years ago. "About 15 or 16 years ago I was told by (guitarist) Christoph Lindner that there is a hip-hop band living in New Jersey that knew a lot about Faust, and I was really wondering about this. So I decided to invite them to come to my place. This is how I met Will and Mike and the others from Dälek. We had a great time and we decided to meet again together with the guys from Faust. And we made an album, Derbe Respect, Alder, which means 'respect the old guy.' And this album, in my eyes, is a really great album because the hip-hop was done totally different than ever before. The two worlds came together on this project and it's still a mark in the world of prog-rock and hip-hop."

Anguish is a logical extension of that initial 2004 collaboration, reuniting key members of Faust and Dälek with core members of the Swedish improvising outfit Fire! Orchestra. As Irmler explains, "We decided to do a totally new constellation. And what a remarkable thing it is! In fact, when you listen to Anguish, you can't really be sure who is playing what. It was such an immense swallow of sounds merged together that you can't possibly know. It is really on the cutting edge of great stuff."

"Anguish was created in a fierce improvised blur, " adds Werliin. "There were noises coming out from the headphones and we started to make more noises. It was like instant composing. We were all in the same room, close enough to see facial expressions but still on a safe distance from each other. And Joachim, who also made fantastic food for us during the session, was strolling between his kitchen and homemade synthesizers."

Gustafsson says that collaborating with rapper Brooks has been something he's had in mind for years. "I was deeply aware of Dälek since almost 20 years back. They are one of the most creative units there is on planet Earth no matter what genre you consider. It has really been inspiring to see them developing to something so very, very heavy. It's creative music with very great lyrics that really means something, both politically and ideologically. We have just been waiting for the right possibility…and now was the time! After meeting in Belgium last year — and again realizing how much we NEEDED to work together — there was no way back."

Adding Faust's Irmler, Dälek's Mare and Fire! Orchestra's Werliin to the mix gave the perfect balance they were looking for on Anguish. "It gave us really an endless amount of possibilities, and it's been so freakin' inspiring to work with, " said Gustafsson, who also has high praise for his Fire! Orchestra bandmate Werliin. "Andreas is the best drummer in the world when it comes stop-time related drumming. The way he deals with time and punctuations and variations…he's like the most dynamic clock ever. For me, he is the ONE. And what he brought into this session is magic."

What all the members have in common is a hard-edged sensibility, a rebellious streak and an urge to explore. "It is all about creative music and interaction on a music level and on a human level, " says Gustafsson. "It's the only way to go."

From the droning opener, "Vibrations, " fueled by ambient loops and sparked by Gustafsson's cathartic, blast furnace intensity on tenor, to the slamming, industrial-tinged closer, "Wümme, " Anguish is an iron fist upside the head of complacency. "Cyclical Physical" is the sound of rage with an in-your-face rap from Brooks while the moody title track features a jazzy backdrop that has Gustafsson nimbly shadowing Brooks' pointed spoken word rap. "Gut Feeling" is a hard-edged noise rock / metal romp with Brooks shouting the combative refrain: "Fuck your frail feelings!"

The instrumental interlude "Brushes for Leah" is a dark, imposing soundtrack underscored by drummer Werliin's subtle brushwork while Brooks spits thought-provoking verse with flowing aplomb on the ambient backdrop of "Healer's Lament." As Brooks explains, "'Healer's Lament' is actually a cover, at least lyrically, of a poem by Los Angeles poet Kamau Daáood. I don't usually do covers, but his lyrics spoke to me. Like many elements of this album, its inclusion seems like it was meant to be. I was introduced to the poet's work through his book 'The Language of Saxophones' by a close friend Hans Falb just a few days before we began the recording session. When we composed the music, it was amazing how the lyrics fit perfectly."

Gustafsson erupts with caustic abandon on the throbbing instrumental "DEW" then blows sinuous lines around Brooks' vitriolic rap on the low-end industrial groover "A Maze of Decay." Werliin's thunderous backbeat drives the kinetic closer "Wümme, " a krautrock flavored instrumental named for the rural German town where Faust formed in 1971. Says Irmler, "Will decided to call it 'Wümme' because it's the place where Faust was formed and it was the beginning of the prog-rock in Germany. So it is, in a way, a 'hello' to Faust and the whole prog-rock movement."

"It was a very creative process in the studio, " says Gustafsson of this Anguish session. "Some music was just improvised in the studio and some was very much prepared. And we all brought in ideas or just a skeleton of an idea. Everyone really contributed equally here and the music just made itself. That we could finish the album in just a couple of days without any compromises is astounding! And I can't wait to do this live! I'm very psyched about that."

"I think this album has so many layers to it, you can hear and feel the elements of every member that played on the album, " adds guitarist and Dälek co-producer Mare. "The different worlds we are all a part of musically synched perfectly as soon as we started playing in the same room together. Me and Will have played with Joachim before and we also played two live shows with Mats only a few days before we started recording this project, so Andreas was the only person we hadn't worked with yet."

Mare points out the basic differences between this RareNoise recording and his previous sessions with Dälek: “I think Anguish is different from Dälek because everything was written live in the studio with minimal post production. So instead of spending weeks or months working on sounds, etc., we spent only a few days doing everything. We were able to approach the album as a live band instead of a studio project. So I think the energy is completely different from any Dälek album, even if some of the same darker/heavier elements creep into the songs.”

“Anguish is a true collaboration, ” says Brooks. “All the songs were basically crafted from all of us playing together in the same room. It is a separate entity from Dälek. Obviously, I am the vocalist and a music producer in both, but this is a completely different beast. It draws from each members varied talents and styles to create something new. And though I had previously done some ‘spoken’ passages on the project I did with Faust (Derbe Respect, Alder), Anguish allowed me to try new styles and approach songs from new directions.”

As for what to call it, Brooks says, “I think it takes the separate elements we each bring to the equation and elevated them to create something new. It has the elements of Noise, Free Jazz, Hip Hop, Kraut Rock... but its sum... its sum is something else. I don’t even know what to call it. It’s just Anguish. It’s a record that needed to happen. The way it all came together. The ease in which it was composed. Honestly, It was one of the best sessions I’ve ever been a part of. I truly cherish this music. I hope that translates to the listeners.”

“Anguish is one of my favorite projects to have worked on, ” adds Mare. “Everything came together so naturally and we worked with an exceptional engineer named Johannes Buff who made the entire recording and mixing process seamless. I have been listening to the album almost everyday since we left the studio in Germany trying to pace my finger on where it lands in a genre. I think it has elements of hip hop, jazz, rock, noise, experimental, it really shows elements of everyone involved. So it's tough to nail down a genre.”

Scheduled for a November release on RareNoiseRecords, Anguish promises to blow minds and provoke thoughts. “The world is upside-down at the moment, driven by shortsightedness, egocentric behaviors and political and mental meltdowns all over the place, ” says Gustafsson. “So it’s about time to fuck some things up! We need music and lyrics right now that can shake things up!”

Anguish may indeed be a cathartic healing balm for these troubled times.

1. Vibrations
2. Cyclical/Physical
3. Anguish
4. Gut Feeling
5. Brushes for Leah
6. Healer’s Lament
7. DEW
8. A Maze of Decay
9. Wümme

Will Brooks (Dälek) - vocals, SAMPLER, Eventide/Elektron effect pedals, 1 note on MOOG rogue, 3 notes on grand piano
Mats Gustafsson - tenor saxophone, live electronics, 3 notes on grand piano
Hans Joachim Irmler - synthesizers, vocals
Mike Mare - guitar, electronics, synthesizer
Andreas Werliin - drums, percussion

Recorded and mixed by Johannes Buff.
Assistant Engineer: Jan Wagner.
Recorded at Faust Studios , Scheer, Germany July 14 - 19, 2018.
Mixed at END NOTE, Bayonne, Basque Country July 23 - 27, 2018.

Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper. Mastered at Turtle Tone Studios, NYC, NY.

All songs composed by Will Brooks, Mats Gustafsson, Hans Joachim Irmler, Mike Mare, Andreas Werliin.
All song published by Mayan Ruins Music (SESAC), Mike Mare Music (BMI).
All lyrics by Will Brooks, Mayan Ruins Music (SESAC) except “Healer’s Lament” by Kamau Daáood..
Executive Producer for RareNoiseRecords: Giacomo Bruzzo.
Design & Layout by Paul Romano.
Sculpture by Darla Jackson.

ABOUT THE LABEL – RareNoiseRecords was founded in 2008 by two Italians, entrepreneur Giacomo Bruzzo and music producer Eraldo Bernocchi. Located in London, the label’s mission is to detect and amplify contemporary trends in progressive music, by highlighting their relation to the history of the art-form, while choosing not to be bound by pre-conceptions of genre. It seeks to become a guiding light for all those enamored by exciting, adventurous and progressive sounds. For further information and to listen please go to


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