FREUDSTEIN - PRESS ARCHIVE
A little drum & bass, a little blippy electronic, with the odd gothic power chord thrown in for good measure, equals not a bad mix from England's Freudstein. They even soften the tone of the disc a bit (dare I say they get all Pink Floyd-y?) by the fourth song in, "The Only Thing." As soon as you think you have their sound pegged, they surprise you a bit, and that's what I most enjoy about Mondo Freudo. They give definite nods to prog rock, post-punk goth and dance floor industrial, all of which share disc space here quite comfortably. It's quite easy, as far as electronic acts go, to get stuck in song writing ruts and redo the same tunes over and over again, but this band thankfully avoids that. The high point comes near the end with the dance number "Your Dream," a very retro sounding instrumental piece with analog synth sounds and 808-like drum beats. The simplicity of it proves that everything old is new again, yet it doesn't have to sound like something we've heard a million times already.
(J 'Hirez' H-R, Legends Magazine)
This recording was put together by a roaming mob of unemployable crusty deviants with an unhealthy interest in the cinematic works of Dario Argento. The sounds were fashioned with whatever bits of bicycle, dead television, redundant computer or hand-crank sampler they found scattered in the hedgerows and middens as they journeyed the byways of England. Sometimes they fed one of their wool-haired and be-combat-trousered chums enough mushrooms and cheap cider that its eyes start to go round and round in opposite directions. Then they recorded the victim's paranoid ravings (or whimperings) and called them lyrics. Probably. At least that's what it sounds like to me.
Some of the tracks bring to mind a film set in a reality that strove to invent minimalist techno, but didn't bother shooting the sort of people who'd wear velvet flares. And now look at them - cutting each other up, throwing limbs through windows and getting bloodstains on the previously off-white shag-pile carpet while a toddler possessed by uneasy spirits plays records backwards and mumbles in Latin to itself.
Another track - Punkid - sounds a lot like an angry mob of teenage metallers trying to lever a guitar out of a cow's arse while a remarkably complex set of mechanical devices play some warped clockwork-techno in the background. If that makes it sound like the album was nailgunned together under intense pressure and will fly apart if you prod it carelessly, then that is indeed what the first half is like. A right lash-up that could be the soundtrack to several different films playing at once. Acting as half-time oranges and a stern talking-to by an irate manager we find a (probably highly illegal) recording of one of the perpetrators' Restart interview. Maybe they really are workshy crusties.
Anyway, the second half settles down into a fairly strange horrorshow-techno groove which, though still all gothic organ samples and screaming bits being chased down shadowy hallways by angry chainsaws with too many metal legs, seems slightly less likely to charge off at a tangent in a threatening and unlikely manner. One could probably even make a reasonable stab at dancing to some of it, were one untroubled by the thought of serious knee injury. Or follow the example that is the Freudstein live experience and roll around on the floor as if grappling large, invisible demons, while repeatedly punching a sampler in the gonads.
...if Alec Empire scored a few obscure Italian slasher flicks, then they'd undoubtedly sound akin to Freudstein. Shifting from dark AFX Twin / DJ Shadow style sound voyages to techno-metal...
(The Mayfair Mall)
The musical variety on here is huge, it goes from thumping industrial monsters like 'Punkid', to the mellow guitar, piano and strings driven instrumental track 'The Only Thing'. Another quality release from Wasp Factory and probably one of the most varied. Buy this, listen to it and be converted to the sound of Freudstein.
(The Rattler, Meltdown Magazine)
Mondo Freudo is as beautiful and twisted as its artwork suggests it will be and clearly a labour of love, in the most perverse sense of the word. The intricacy of the production and attention to detail down to every last squelch and string stab is what makes instrumental pieces like "The Only Thing" or the horror-obssessed pounding closing number "Mark of the Devil" so much more effective than they'd be in the hands of a lot of today's bedroom MIDI noodlers. It's as if they're soundtracks for some seriously surreal, disgusting and bleak Mondo movies from the 22nd century.
BLACK CELEBRATION 3
(Howard Gardner, Vision Thing)
Freudstein opened the days festivities, and despite it being not long after lunch time on a Sunday, the crowds were already packing in nicely. A perfect opener for the Celebration really, Freudstein played a fairly short but sweet set, belting out a diverse range of material. Visually they came across as a more old-fashioned goth ensemble, but they treated us all to a fusion of old and new styles. The balance of power between guitar and synthesiser varied in each song, and towards the end they also changed over to female vocals - in all, a pleasing and not entirely predictable variety show.
THE ARGENTOS OF TECHNO
Fed on a strict bloody diet of horror films and soundtracks, Freudstein concoct an evil update on classic 70's italian horror music.
Influenced by bands such as Dario Argento's favourite 'The Goblin' and Lucio Fulciís regular composer Fabio Frizzi, the Brighton duo are far from your average cliched Marilyn Manson clones. 'Other bands piss about in pantomine masks and boiler suits, not us.' says singer David Freud.
The duo have found a new sound, one that combines the atmosphere of classic horror soundtracks with modern electronic music. Their album 'Mondo Freudo' is testament to this, with its orchestral strings, manic arpeggios and whispered vocals - they're not afraid to experiment at the expense of the listener's mind.
On one track, intriguingly titled 'Filthy Little Whore', they acquired an 8 year old girl to provide the vocals to a surreal birthday surprise gone horribly wrong. On another, the Freuds pay homage to classic italian horror with 'Mark Of The Devil', their song based on the film of the same name; but not as you might expect. Church organs play demonic riffs to a crazed 210 BPM techno backing as the song relentlessly builds to a stunning climax. Imagine The Phantom Of The Opera On E.
I asked them how their horror-fixation started. 'My real obsession with horror began the first time I watched Dawn Of The Dead when I was fifteen. Up until then I'd only flirted with late night Hammer Horror and cheap gore flicks,' says David Freud. 'After that I was spellbound - I just wanted to climb into the screen and live in that shopping mall!'
The band even take their name from a character in a classic film of the genre, Lucio Fulci's 'The House By The Cemetery'. Keyboardist and vocalist Andrew Freud explained, 'Dr Jacob Freudstein was a turn of the century surgeon who recreated himself as a bizarre mosaic of childrens' corpses. We like to think our music's as dangerous as him.'
Freudstein's debut album 'Mondo Freudo' is out now on Wasp-Factory Recordings.