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The Flying Luttenbachers - Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder

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Artist: The Flying Luttenbachers

Album: Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder

Label: Troubleman Unlimited

Review date: Dec. 17, 2003

Weasel Walter is the epitome of a renaissance man. Not only is he arguably one of the most accomplished percussionists of his time, he is more than adequate on bass, guitar, saxophone and piano. The Flying Luttenbachers have been showcasing a heady mixture of free-jazz and death metal for years now, including last year’s Infection and Decline, but on Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder, Walter has finally outdone himself, dispensing of the reeds in favor of double bass and his always stylish drumming to create a symphonic masterpiece too skewed to fit comfortably ino any one genre.

The album enmeshes a heavy diet of electronic noise and the same bass/guitar play that people have come to expect from Walter, and in exhilarating fashion. Walter has never surrendered to cheap hooks or clap-along’s and this album is no different; in fact, Systems Emerge could be strict improvisation, as these spastic rhythms would be tough to repeat on cue.

The Flying Luttenbachers have tackled the epic free-form masterpiece track before with little to no avail. On the album Alptraum, the finale “the green glow” clocks in at 23 minutes, but grows tiresome quickly due to its lack of structure and monotony. On Systems Walter unleashes “Rise of the Iridescent Behemoth,” a 20-minute long indulgence of complicated piano, guitar, bass and sax. Weasel’s up-tempo drumming never dissipates and at times can be slightly overwhelming, but worth experiencing nonetheless. It’s a surreal and alien track, and a testament to Weasel’s deranged but deft psyche.

Walter has conceptualized his entire catalog into a storyline that, strangely enough, does not come off as pretentious or contrived. Every album since Revenge of the Flying Luttenbachers helps tell a story of robots dealings with the earth’s destruction, and the genesis of a “planetoid being” from atomic chaos. Normally, apocalyptic storylines of death and destruction come off as adolescent, but Walter succeeds with some intricate, almost silly, details and makes the end of the world more than just Swedish death metal fodder.

While Walter’s last three albums have fallen into the strict categories of garrulous improv or complex composition, Systems Emerge’s tone toes the line between both. It’s hard to decipher what is improvisational and what is just mind-boggling songwriting. If this album is improvisational, it easily bests Alptraum and Trauma. Infection and Decline’s repetitive compositions sometimes grew redundant, and there is still a certain amount of repetition found on this album, but Infection sported multiple writers and musicians that, frankly, aren’t as talented as the original Luttenbacher. With Walter in complete command here, redundancy is never a problem.

Systems Emerge from Complete Disorder is not an easy album to forget. It could be one of the most important and urgent album of 2003, but it could just as easily be passed up as another zany Luttenbachers album. Make sure the latter never happens.

By Andrew Sadowski

Other Reviews of The Flying Luttenbachers

Infection and Decline

The Void

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View all articles by Andrew Sadowski

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