Civilistjavel! - 4-5
The same questions abound - who are Civilistjävel!? And why are their records so hard to get a hold of? Whatever the answers, what they're doing seems to be working. 4-5 was first released late last year, a vanishingly-small vinyl-only pressing that you'd be forgiven for questioning the existence of. A new Civilistjävel! album, scheduled for release next month, was announced last week, making me wonder whether we were ever likely to hear of 4-5 again. And then as if by magic, the ghost returns... 4-5 is Civilistjävel!'s most substantial collection to date, 78 minutes in length, a bit more meat on the bones in every regard. Played back-to-back with their past 12s, there's a perceptible shift in approach. Those previous records were ostensibly defined by an icy minimalism, and while elements of that snowblind isolationism do persist (there are 78 minutes of music after all, and it's all culled from the same lost late 90s archive), the overall feeling is much more metallic and industrial. They're hardly flexing, but there's a greater sense of propulsion here, machinery cranking into gear, a factory line slowly warming up after years of stasis. The robot awakes from its frozen tomb. It's a unique universe they're constructing, though if you're looking for comparisons, i'd posit Civilistjävel! are to the abandoned arctic bunker what Porter Ricks were to the lonely submarine, an imagined shadow world of minimal electronics and post-industrial/apocalyptic aesthetics. Whether you go in for the smoke and mirrors ambiguity or not, be aware that this is really very good. Obviously ridiculously limited once again. Good luck.
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