Norwegian producer André Bratten announces his new album, Silvester, out July 24th on Smalltown Supersound, and today releases its lead single, “Witching Hour.” In just five years, Bratten has established himself as a mercurial and uncompromising figure in modern-day electronics. Born out of a lesser known story about seminal Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, Silvester is a series of tracks inspired by the seminal group’s debut album, Deathcrush, as well as its direct connection to experimental musician, Conrad Schnitzler.
In 1986-87, years before Mayhem’s 1994 debut album, guitarist Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous) took a musical pilgrimage to Germany to solicit collaboration with one of his musical heroes, Schnitzler. The founder of West German Krautrock incubating club, the Zodiac Free Arts Lab in West Berlin in 1968, Schnitzler was former member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster (key experimental groups in the development of industrial music and Kosmische electronic music).
Aarseth sat outside Schnitzler’s house and refused to leave until he was allowed in to talk. His persistence paid off, with Schnitzler surprisingly agreeing to write a piece of music for Mayhem. The piece of music became “Silvester Anfang,” the first track and introduction to Mayhem’s classic debut EP Deathcrush. A detailed percussive number, Mayhem still open their heavy live shows with this music today.
When Mayhem founder Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud told the story behind “Silvester Anfang” to Bratten at a party, they immediately had the idea that Bratten should remix or rework this little known track. Totally absorbed in the sounds of Schnitzler and its strange and unusual pairing with Mayhem, Bratten started out with a plan to make one remix. He ended up with a series of tracks inspired by both Schnitzler’s intro and more largely, the sounds of Deathcrush.
The results transpired into a mutation of Schnitzler, Mayhem and André Bratten. Silvester is Mayhem and Schnitzler reimagined. Or deconstructed and then rebuilt. 5 new tracks and 50 minutes of new music, Silvester is an André Bratten album unlike any he has recorded before, haunted by the echoes of Mayhem’s grisly legacy as well as Klusters early industrial music’s concrete looped experiments. An album of abstract freeform structures morphing elements of kraut, techno, ambient, black metal, industrial, minimalist and drone. A perfect fusion of two dystopian extremes of Norwegian underground music.
Listen to André Bratten’s “Witching Hour” –
Pre-order Silvester –
Silvester Tracklist –
1. Witching Hour
2. Silvester Anfang
3. Untitled 1
4. Untitled 2