In 2018, Aggelos Baltas, aka Anatolian Weapons, released the Black Sea E.P., the proceeds from which were donated to charities working to aid Syrian refugees. Similarly, his latest project, May That War Be Cursed, aims to raise funds for those fleeing the current conflict in Ukraine. To call the undertaking, and the collection, extensive, expansive, is a big understatement. Across 4 installments you’ll find 44 tracks – 5 hours of music. Contributions from a total of 40 artists.
The pieces are all buzzing, fizzing fusions of future electronics and traditional elements – percussion, woodwinds, and sharp, stuttered reeds. Connecting the dots between modern and ancient ritual. Shamanic ceremonies of acidic oscillations and bug-powder dusted arabesques. Snake-charming programmed patterns, tabla touches, plugged-in rainstick-like showers, and cavernous, echoing, dubwise Nyahbinghi / Grounation creations – occasionally haunted by ethereal sirens and sampled dialogue – set to summon spirits, possessing the grooves. One spirit that seems to loom large, is that of Andrew Weatherall. It`s there in the gated, trippy techno trancers, the strident tribal house stompers, that serve as reminders of raving at Sabresonic. It`s there in the whizzing and whirring glitched 2 Lone Swordsmen-esque machine-funk, and of course, the patented ALFOS` druggy chug.
While admittedly uniformly dark in tone, rattling, shaking, sometimes clanking and crashing, metallic, in the shadows, there`s a diverse range of dance-floor dynamics on show. Stretching from ambient, hallucinatory, Jon Hassell-like aural heat hazes, Bill Laswell meets ECM “landscapes”, to pounding, pummeling, dramatic deep space transmissions, on the lam with Underground Resistance`s Interstellar Fugitives, caught up in Hardfloor-esque TB-303 hurricanes. Stopping off on the way for slow seismic thuds, serious Salon Des Amateurs styled sonic semantics, Muslimgauze moments, and murky, mutant electro, like Kraftwerk`s Tour de France traveling at night, racing the length of a strobe-lit tunnel. Those so inclined could easily construct a whole evening`s entertainment from what’s on offer, but, on the cherry-pick, there should be something here for everyone. Everything is exquisitely produced – rich, powerful, and punchy. Never abrasive, always sleek, velvet (vinyl, rubber, leather? Whatever your pleasure) smooth.
Anatolian Weapons` May That War Be Cursed Volumes 1 – 4 is out now, on Lurid Music. You can learn more about the charities involved, and the artists who donated their services over at Bandcamp.