- During the infamous orgy scene at the end of Caligula, the eunuch Longinus answers, "Everything and nothing, Caesar," to the question, "What is your preference?" The dangerously insane and megalomaniacal leader quickly retorts, "You can't get both for the same price." Well, maybe even mad Caligula would have answered differently had he lived another 2,000 years to see the arrival of the double disc/triple vinyl set of mostly unreleased tracks that celebrates Shitkatapult's 100th release.
In this case, everything is everything: A range of styles from ambient to pop, dub to Johnny Cash, pastoral to industrial, drifting to abstract feature here from a gamut of big names, both homegrown and on loan. And that means nothing too: There's an absence of fixation with a scene or a style in Shitkatapult's time-honoured two-fingers-up stance towards cool. But even as it's sometimes hard to understand the wild shifts in tone between tracks, Strike 100 is a surprisingly cohesive set.
That's because Strike 100 is almost totally ambient and beatless, something that's somewhat surprising given many of the rougher edges and adrenaline-filled homages of the label's past. There are still indie/pop beats on Pluramon's magical shoegazer opener, Fenin's "Lastkahn," DJ Flush's remix of Krater or The Ag Penthouse remix of Tom Thiel and Daniel Mateo's Bus project all on the second disc, but overall, there's no approaching overt dance floor fodder. At times, the set almost comes across as a long-lost cousin to Kompakt's Pop Ambient series—no surprise given the presence of The Orb, Peter Grummich and Jörg Burger (in his Ag Penthouse guise with Stefan Scwandler).
With no dance floor to worry about and taking "everything" as its scope, the ambient moods have free range and no thematic ties to bring them down. There's bucolic moments like Felix's "Outside on a Cold Day" or Richard Lautenschläger's "Melodie," alongside the more abrasive abstractions of Warren Suicide's unsettling and paranoid "Picnic on a Minefield" or Kero's "Noisenov10." Chris Douglas under his Dalglish moniker takes the overall prize for darkness, though, with his teeth-grating apocalyptic soundscape "Inoktu." In contrast, Sun Electric's Tom Thiel manages to fuse ambient dub techno with shimmering Chris Rea-esque country guitars for one of the album's highlights. And The Orb, bizarrely enough, manage to somehow combine all the above elements into one seamless track.
It wouldn't be Shitkatapult without founder T. Raumschmiere—and he makes two appearances on Strike 100, opening the set with a short, nutty drone as well as collaborating under the Shrubbn!! name with Ulli Bomans of Schieres. Apparat, meanwhile, contributes a haunting and echoing remix of a Johnny Cash classic. The true highlights, though, are Frank Bretschneider's epic, throbbing and live glitch rendition of Jan Jalinek's "happening tone" and Das Bierbeben's "Delirium." The latter is a taster from their forthcoming album and is as brilliant as the mix of apparent influences is beguiling: part krautrock, part beatless acid techno, part Spacemen 3. If they can pull off an album in this style, it will be one of the revelations of the year. But until then, there's Strike 100 and the pleasure, whatever your preference, is all yours.
T.Raumschmiere - Lass Knattern!
Johnny Cash – I Heard The Lonesome Whistle Blow (Apparat Rmx)
Tom Thiel – Laissez Faire
Felix - Outside On A Cold Day
Ismael Pinkler – Escapismo
Das Bierbeben – Delirium
The Orb – OOPA
Kero - Noizenov10
Ben Lauber - Die Seele
Judith Juillerat - Bo-Peep
Warren Suicide - Picnic On A Minefield
Daniel Meteo - The Forest
Jan Jelinek - Happening Tone (played live by Frank Bretschneider)
Pluramon + Julia Hummer - If Time Was On My Side
Krater - Viscosity (DJ Flush Remix)
Schieres – All
Dalglish – Inoktu
Soap & Skin - Brother Of Sleep
Richard Lautenschläger - Melodie (In Abwesenheit des Komponisten)
Anaphie – Schubräuber
Shrubbn!! - -73°C
Fenin – Lastkahn
Peter Grummich – Solarain
Anders Ilar - 1003 Lullabies
Bus – Westen (Ag Penthouse Rmx)