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Klinikal Skum "Chosen Powerless" CD


A cold, death-industrial masterpiece from Ryan Oppermann

For Klinikal Skum, also see Redrot and Post-Mortem Junkie

Released in 2009 by Expectorant Recordings, the Milwaukee based label run by James Moy of BLOODYMINDED and Anal Hearse

Catalog number: EXP005

Edition of 500 copies

Rabid paranoia placed under the restraint of heavy medication. The withdrawn sounds of a ruined mind, slowly marching towards the imminent end. Is the objective to reintegrate or assimilate? Included here are five treatments involving a decisive pathology of analogue synthesizer and corroded electronic devices, simultaneously subdued and unsettling in their inflicted balance of tone and texture. Patient development leads to gradual debilitation, providing deep results. With a heavy nod to the Slaughter Productions approach to morbid electronics, this is diseased death industrial from Ryan Oppermann (REDROT, NEÜNTOTER DER PLAGE, POST-MORTEM JUNKIE, ETC).


Klinikal Skum is one of several solo projects from the prolific Ryan Oppermann, who also works under such monikers as Redrot, Fabrico Incubo, Narcoleptic Ward, Neuntöter Der Plage, Post-Mortem Junkie, and Xombie. A sneak peek listening session in a car, earlier this year, made it clear that this album was going to be 100% up my alley… not that I had any doubts. The “influences” section of the Klinikal Skum MySpace page pretty much spells things out unequivocally: “medical-fetish pornography, dirty nurses, inpatient visits, psychiatric hospitals, the negative aspects of psychiatric treatment, social isolation, sexual frustration, insanity, disease, Maurizio Bianchi, S.P.K., Atrax Morgue, Premature Ejaculation.” These descriptors act like a manifesto for “Chosen Powerless,” but Oppermann’s work is never just the sum of his inspirations. I share the opinion with others whose judgment I trust that among any artists working in the death-industrial field these days, Oppermann is at the head of the class, as regards quality of sound, carefully conceived concepts, execution and delivery, and conviction of purpose. “Chosen Powerless” is an extremely oppressive album filled with sharp, piercing synthesizer work, contrasting rotting electronics, and voice samples that delve into dark territories such as mental health, human social disconnection, and chemical therapy. The sounds on “Chosen Powerless” skillfully give the listener a sense of breathing room, space, and depth, while at the same time never feeling as Spartan as one of the fundamental predecessors in this field, Atrax Morgue. And while a pioneer such as M.B. expressed mental anguish primarily through sound, Oppermann also offers additional clues via carefully selected vocal snippets and uncomfortable imagery. While not as forceful as prime S.P.K., as he leaves that terrain to the more beat-driven and vocally-punishing Redrot, the Australian industrial icons definitely play a part in Oppermann’s evolution, particularly through a shared interest in dissonant electronics and deviant medicine, such as the master and slave relationship between a doctor and a patient. Another sonic point of reference might be the most unhealthy atmospheres created by Brighter Death Now, furthering the point that Oppermann has assimilated the many high-water marks of his true lineage. Labels can of course be limiting, and over the years, Oppermann and his many guises have maintained a rather cult (read KVLT) standing. This is exceedingly dark music that deserves to be seen in a broader context, beyond restrictive subgenres such as death-industrial, dark ambient, power-electronics (where Redrot sometimes fits), and the like, but the depressive nature of Oppermann’s work will likely keep him in a more sub-underground arena. (Mark Solotroff)