Glad I finally get the chance to review this tape, one that actually came in my last box of stuff to review for my humble employers at Foxy Digitalis months ago. At first, the tape was just too much to handle – horrible screeching noises, static… just sounded like nothing to me. I mean, I’m definitely down for some weird, challenging music, but this German Army thing just sounded awful. I was about to move on, but something told me (from what I’d read about this mysterious enigma known as German Army, plus the fact that they also have a new tape coming out on the always-reliable Hobo Cult) that what I was hearing was the product of a bad tape, not a bad musical personality, so I got in touch with a guy who explained via e-mail that German Army is a duo made up of “MM and CG,” and was able to send me digital files that I have since been highly enjoying. So much so, that I’m going to review it. Right now. The tape from Night-People does have some cool packaging, it’s just that the dubbing of this specific, exact copy that came to me… I don’t want to say that they did a bad job, but it is true that the particular tape sent to me sounded horrible. I bet if you ordered a copy, it’d come clean and sounding great, and I really hope that will happen, because after finally getting to hear the music as it was recorded and meant to be heard, I’m able to give it a solid recommendation. German Army hails from Los Angeles and makes super swampy, sewer-spelunking, dub-inflected slo-mo ooze jams that trudge along without giving two shits about anything or anyone else. And it is totally, completely awesome. Each track is set up with a simple underlying groove and overlain with a heavy dose of reverb. The beats are hip in their own rhythmic ways, taking Casio keyboard hi-hat and bass drum sounds and adding two or three yards of delay to each sound heard. Murky bass fills out the low end with repetitive lines that feel fit for the likes of Lee Perry to sample. Environmental soundscape-y sounds creep and crawl in, slicing through with heavy delays of their own (delay: it’s in just about everything you hear from German Army, especially the vocals). Synth lines sing their own thing out in the upper register, but it’s not really enough to balance out the mix: this is deep, low-end, super heavy music. It weighs about a ton. The bass is like a sinkhole, sucking you in, almost suffocating. The vocals remind me a bit of Mark E. Smith, only with a shitload of delay (like I was saying…), sometimes pitch-shifted down into demon exorcism territory, sometimes just matter-of-factly there, telling some story about something that’s probably as simple as going to the grocery, but made to sound sinister, as though from the bowels of Hell. Straight up weirdness on this tape, but not nearly as weird as I thought it was when I first popped it into the deck. What I discovered later was that German Army is robutussen rock for people who don’t mind that it doesn’t rock really at all. Two spoonfuls and your head’ll spin. Keep low to the ground and let it rumble deep.