Sunday, August 31, 2008

Barzel - A Shield of Defense and the Word of the Son of Blood (V)

Barzel is a strange creature. The front of this record is anything but vague: the largest words are the phrase "MILITANT JEWISH INDUSTRIAL." That's certainly a fair warning label - or blessing.

Barzel is essentially a noise project - a strongly rhythmic noise project, harkening to the Futurists' ideals of music made from noise - covered in soundclips of Jewish, Zionist propoganda. In the case of this particular record (I asked David of Barzel), the voice clips are from "an old LP about the birth of Israel," and David gleaned the clips on the new record (which I haven't laid my hands on yet) from a variety of documentaries. He admits that it's hard to find applicable material.

Personally, my favorite aspect of Barzel is the overall sound - David manages to make the industrial noise sound like not only a call to arms in the defense of Israel, but like historical music made for the LP he samples. The distorted, pulsing roar is softened into a vintage vinyl sound that creates something of an amazing atmosphere. Even when Barzel's noise influences come forward in a blast of sound and distorted screaming that would do a live Masonna show proud (as in the track Milchemet Brera/Jewish Steel), it doesn't detract in the least from the historical atmosphere of the overall work.

I'd recommend this record for not only anyone interested in industrial and noise music, particularly older examples, but also for those interested in examples of historical propoganda in the context of race and nationalism. If you can hunt down a copy (try contacting David at, pick it up.

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