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SMR03 - Westwind - Tourmente I [DLP]

More info Buy Now

2004

SMR03

WESTWIND

TOURMENTE

the first part of the Tourmente concept, presented in a double gatefold cover including black LP and a white LP + insert. Dark military music.

"Deviating slightly from their usual quirkiness and weird charm here the music is more percussion and organ based with a fine dynamic in rhythm and mood setting. Actually the music is very simplified and restrained which only adds emphasis to the bleak ambience of the subject manner that they are trying to convey. Part life affirming and uplifting and part despondent and depressing the music twists and turns through so many feelings leaving you breathless with admiration. If you could imagine a more upbeat Protagonist it will give you some, but not all, sense as to what "Tourmente II" sounds like."

More info Buy Now

Tracklist :

A1 : Untitled (19:44)
A2 : Untitled (20:30)
B1 : Untitled (20:44)
B2 : Untitled (20:00)

Reviews

Heathen Harvest
Westwind is one of the few recognizable names in the French martial orchestral music scene. Westwind ranks alongside A Challenge of Honour as one of the few eminent French industrial musicians. Having produced six albums to date and being featured on many highly acclaimed international compilations over the past years has earned Westwind their status as one of Frances most acclaimed martial orchestral projects.

Westwind's most recent production “Tourmente I (2LP) & II (CD)” features a three-album odyssey themed around allied bombing of the French town of Brest during the summer of 1994 during WWII. This epic musical homage spans two LP's and a CD in the form of Tourmente I & II. “Tourmente I” is realized as a gatefold 2LP release with one LP pressed on white vinyl and the second chapter pressed on black vinyl. This review will cover the epic “Tourmente I.” Interested readers should look forward to my upcoming review of “Tourmente II.”

“Tourmente I” begins with “Untitled I.” “Untitled I” launches this epic musical narrative with an almost twenty minute long song. The track begins with celestial electronics that gently shine and shimmer. High-pitched drones paired with low bass drones weave a spell of illumination and reflection as the music washes over the listener. The music inspires a sense of sacral observance and opens the album with sensitivity. The song has a definitive religious feeling as if you are witness to a memorial for those who did not survive the destruction of Brest. After nearly four minutes of illustrious ambience, the music gently evolves allowing for a pairing of inspirational electronics and slightly dissonant industrial explorations. Remorseful ambience is paired with industrial noises that swell below the ambience gaining ground with each pass until the ambience is broken asunder by reverberating noise driven drones and percussion. The track picks up momentum as the steady drones pierce the speakers and metallic and muted electronic percussion add motion and direction to the song. The music inspires a sense of hope amidst destruction. Though a city lies in ruins, a people continue to strive for survival. The percussion becomes quite lively as it is joined by inspirational electronic melodies that act as a juxtaposition against the sinister grinding drones. Like faith and hope that endure in times of despair Westwind captures the grim reality as well as the hope that sees us through such times.

Half way through “Untitled I” the music shifts from passive reflection to active resistance as the percussive elements explode with force and vitality. That which was pushed down now rises up using the dissonant noise and drones as a platform from which to build anew. The percussion is metallic and electronic in nature and is delivered with expertise. “Untitled I” takes on a new life in this second movement illustrating the tenacity of the human spirit and our collective ability to defy great odds and tragedy. Just when you think “Untitled I” has reached its zenith the song switches once more with heavy drones being accompanied by electronic percussion and the incessant sound of knives being sharpened or else sword clashing across one another. Air raid sirens sound off in the background and the mood of the music is defined by anxiety and tension. The sound of steel upon steel and air raid sirens paint a grim picture of human lives torn asunder and physical conflict erupting. As the song finally fades after almost twenty minutes you are able to catch your breathe and relax your tightened fists.

“Untitled II” continues the harrowing journey with an extensive musical exploration that transports the listener through the bombing of Brest. “Untitled II” features a devastating industrial sonority that easily interprets as a musical translation of the bombing. Deep restless industrial rumbling underlies “Untitled II” while electronic percussion plays solemnly atop the explosive industrial sounds. The industrial rumbling is endless and without pause as it captures the burning, crashing, and utter destruction that accompanied the bombing of Brest. Electronic percussion echoes the chaos and hopelessness felt by the inhabitants as their city was brought to its knees. Near the end of “Untitled II”, the music takes an unexpected turn towards rapid industrial beats that are almost danceable. The rumbling retreats opening the music to soaring ambience driven by hardcore industrial rhythms. Staying true to form “Untitled II” evolves into yet another form near the ten-minute mark as the track is consumed by dissonant electronics and ear piercing tones that twist uncomfortably as they mutate. Near the end of this lengthy track the music explodes into a raging anthem mutating unexpectantly once more. As with “Untitled I”, you keep feeling as if Westwind has completed his statement only to have the music evolve into yet another epic segment. “Untitled II” ends at over twenty minutes of music!

“Untitled III” begins yet another epic chapter in this monumental music offering. At nearly twenty minutes it is not necessary to describe the entire song but let is suffice to say that Westwind continues to offer heart wrenching grandeur and sweeping atmospheres that are as unpredictable as they are engaging. “Untitled III” illustrates a bit more experimentalism than earlier tracks and makes a very different offering to the listener's imagination. The beginning of the song exposes cold electronic beats and stuttering transmissions before evolving through a segment of heavy organ music driven by electronic percussion that mounts into a significant militaristic industrial march. After the fierce epic marching tune resolves the listener is brought down gently with an ambient infused conclusion that harnesses grandiose atmospheres and deeply reflective emotive organ playing. “Untitled III” follows the previous two offering by delivering an unrepentantly brilliant song.

“Untitled IV” concludes the four songs that span the Tourmente I double LP. Westwind delves deeply in “Untitled IV” to capture the fluttering remnants of the listeners mind and heart. After delivering three devastatingly beautiful tracks of martial orchestral bliss, Westwind embraces the listener gently at the beginning of “Untitled IV” with wandering atmospheres and gentle electronics that nimbly explore a passive reflection of previous songs. There is time to breathe and catch up with your racing pulse at the beginning of “Untitled IV.” Like a skilled maestro, Westwind slowly picks up the pace of the music and transforms the gentle introduction with the addition of rhythmic percussion added to the warm atmospheric ambience. The machinery of war can be heard picking up its heavy boots once more as the young and unwounded are rounded up for the next battle. Sadness must be laid aside along with the dead. In the smoky ruins one must find the will to survive and resist. Westwind once again moves the music through several epic movements on “Untitled IV” carrying the listener through despair, loss, hope, renewal, remembrance, and victory. By the end of “Untitled IV”, you will be ready to call yourself a veteran of this conflict.

Westwind Tourmente I (2LP) is an epic recording by any measure. At Heathen Harvest I am akin to receiving martial oriented music of epic proportions. Westwind has single handedly redefined my personal measure of an epic recording. Tourmente I is unrivaled in its scope and accomplishment. Westwind has contributed an invaluable recoding that every martial music fan needs to hear. Though Westwind has not garnished the same name recognition as acts such as A Challenge of Honour and Der Blutharsch the music of Westwind stands on its own and is in my opinion one of the most exalted and epic chapters yet to be produced within the martial music arena. If you are looking to embark on an auditory journey that is thoroughly consuming, tragic, and victorious all at once then seek out your copy of this limited edition release! Westwind is sure to catch on with martial music listeners and will soon earn their well-deserved place amidst the big guns of martial music! HEATHEN HARVEST

 


LA GOUTTIERE

Après un premier album sur le thème des kamikazes japonais (bon, j'y vais avec mes gros sabots...), Westwind, projet du breton Christophe Galès, nous offre cet opus, premier de la série des "Tourmente" mais second paru, sur le label des messieurs de Neon Rain et de Westwind justement. Cet album se présente sous la forme d'un double LP au packaging très soigné, le premier vinyle étant noir et le second blanc, illustré de photos représentant Brest bombardée par les alliés, thème cette fois abordé par l'autochtone de talent.
Vous ne serez pas surpris d'apprendre que la musique est à l'image du concept et de l'imagerie soignée : les plages de Tourmente I s'enchaînent en alliant dark ambient à une electro tout en percus métalliques, martiales. La musique, bien qu'assez minimale, ne se laisse pas facilement aborder ; elle rampe avec subtilité, ne laisse d'abord paraître qu'un petit peu d'elle entre les ruines, cet environnement qui lui colle à la peau. Elle se laisse désirer, pour n'être que plus appréciable lorsqu'elle se révèle enfin à l'auditeur étonné. La symphonie de Tourmente I est sombre, froide ; mais un espoir sous jacent en émane peu à peu, symbolisant l'hommage révérencieux porté aux victimes du bombardement de Brest. Les notes electro teintent quelques fois avec une certaine délicatesse, par dessus des sons plus durs, percutants, par dessus ce vent glacial qui souffle sans arrêt. Cette alliance soignée, pleine de subtilité parvient à convaincre l'auditeur qui se laisse prendre au jeu de chassé-croisé admirablement orchestré ici, pendant une heure vingt, entre glauquerie et percus limite tribales.
Il faudra cependant être un fan du genre pour ne pas céder à la tentation de délaisser ce bel objet sur un coin de l'étagère ; l'écoute n'en est en effet pas des plus abordables... Un double LP recommandé en tout cas pour les amateurs.


Axess Code
Nappes cotonneuses, brouillard industriel, saturations discrètes, bruits de chantiers de voie ferrée ou de constructions navales, des tracts dégringolent du ciel sur la ville de Brest, frappés de l'aigle Allemand, avis à la population d'obtempérer. Affront terrible pour le peuple finistérien. Un orgue funèbre qui annonce l'absurdité des événements à venir. Le cauchemar d'une ville, sa résistance, sa destruction et sa reconstruction, ses cicatrices encore visibles.
La première plage de ce double album de Westwind vous saisit pendant 20 minutes belles et inquiétantes à en pleurer. Les trois pistes suivantes de facture plus industrielle mettent en place des percussions métalliques parfois distordues et concassées, un côté tribal savamment dosé emmené par des orgues nostalgiques et se terminent par des ambiances martiales : l'entrée des troupes dans Brest ? Les mélodies belles et faussement naïves rappellent parfois les ambiances de Death In June ou l'atmosphère neo classique du MacBeth de Laibach. Il faut avoir tenu le vinyle dans ses mains pour saisir pleinement le propos de Westwind, des photos de l'occupation en couverture intérieure montrant l'absurdité de la situation et les dommages causés à la ville. Un étalage sans complaisance d'une réalité à ne pas oublier, un témoignage et non une fascination morbide, un objet courageux.
La partie suivante Tourmente II propose 12 pistes tout aussi passionnantes, Westwind à bien un pied dans la musique électronique : des nappes de synthés ondulantes souvent old school font leur entrée au fur et à mesure des compos, notamment sur les merveilleuses 3eme et 12eme pistes (la 12eme … je n'ai pas les titres sorry… qui renferme un petit parfum de ‘Jakaartaa' de Trisomie 21, sublime) Toutes ces mélodies … les mots me manquent, passez à Brest un après midi d'été et observez l'architecture qui vous entoure, ça vous prendra aux tripes aussi sûr que la Tourmente de Westwind. Une valeur sûre, inclassable et intemporelle. Indispensable. Bravo Kris !
Chronique > Revco AXESS CODE

SIDE LINE

Originally released as a double LP, we get a CDr-version including both recordings. It’s a conceptual album consecrated to the destruction of Brest (France) during summer ’44 by both German and American forces. The idea of destruction perfectly fits to the global, nihilistic atmosphere of Westwind. The tracks remained untitled, but perfectly represent a state of destruction, death and desolation! The 1st album is definitely the best one. We here get 4 cuts starting with long intros, which slowly evolves into ambient deadscapes driven by furious rhythms. Some pieces are a little bit too long in their intro, but it always ends in a real kind of apotheosis! The 2nd album is completely different. We here get 13 tracks, which are more into classical dark ambient. I’m missing the heavy rhythms of the 1st album, but both releases are definitely complementary! This is an interesting concept made in France!


D-Side
Double projet d'envergure pour le Brestois Westwind, Tourmente, don't les deux volets complémentaires sont publiés séparément, l'un sous forme de double vinyle et l'autre de CD, tous deux limités à cinq cents copies, se consacre à rendre hommage à la destruction de Brest en 1944, partagée entre Allemands et Américains, qui a fait plus de ving mille morts militaires et vite la destruction d'un abri contenant alors quatre cents civils. Pour cette occasion, Westwind marie à la fois le recueillement et la puissance sur Tourmente I dans de longs titres (un par face) alternant plages sépulcrales et envolées de percussions métalliques, entre orgues atones, grouillements dark ambient et crissements industriels. Tourmente II, aux titres plus ramassés, réintroduit les voix, les ambiances martiales auxquelles Westwind nous avait habitués, et révèle finalement, après la destruction, panoramique et architecturale de Tourmente I, une autre forme de désolation, cette fois-ci plus humaine, plus proche des corps. Une œuvre ambitieuse qui se solde par une réussite totale, par un diptyque d'une grande force, tant émotionnelle que musicale.D-SIDE MAGAZINE

TWILIGHT ZONE.IT

Più che di un semplice disco dovrei parlare di un'opera gigantesca dal sapore epico che vede in questi due LP solo la prima parte di un viaggio che si concluderà con un CD ( Tourmente II ) stampato separatamente. Siamo di fronte ad un immane concept che Christophe Gales, alias Westwind, compone in memoria della città di Brest, distrutta durante la seconda guerra mondiale, e dei suoi caduti.

Le radici dell'autore sono racchiuse in questi 80 minuti di musica che non sono scanditi da titoli, ma la cui divisione per singoli brani appare subito forte. Il filo conduttore, su cui si accumulano stili diversi, è quello di una preponderante marzialità ottenuta grazie a ritmiche bandistiche accoppiate ad inserti d'epoca su cui si dipanano variazioni più calme e ambientali, oppure malinconiche, memori delle prime releases di Dernière Volonté; troviamo anche spiazzanti passaggi rumoristici e ottime partiture a metà tra la marcia militare e la dance più scarna. Ricche di pathos sono le due lunghe tracce che caratterizzano il terzo lato dell'opera, incentrate entrambe su un tema di tastiera che ricorda Les Joyaux de la Princesse.

I vari generi toccati rendono Tourmente I vario e mai noioso, sebbene a volte un po' dispersivo e derivativo, ma è un limite plausibile date le dimensioni più che abbondanti e ambiziose del lavoro.

Confezione deluxe apribile con inserto limitata a 500 copie.

La seconda e ultima parte del concept Tourmente si chiude con questo CD che presenta la stessa cover artwork a colori invertiti del doppio LP Tourmente I . Non si tratta di materiale di secondo piano, ma di un nuovo lavoro che continua e conclude il tema della distruzione di Brest avvenuta nel 1944 ad opera di tedeschi e americani. L'autore ha anche messo in circolazione un'edizione di sole 44 copie che raccoglie sia questo CD che i due LP con l'aggiunta di vari inserti.

La prima impressione che ho avuto di questo disco è di una maggiore compattezza rispetto al primo capitolo: ora viene mantenuto sempre il medesimo stile, mentre le variazioni vengono ridotte al minimo. La musica è incentrata su insistenti ritmiche di stampo military pop e su samples che descrivono un paesaggio desolato e devastato. Il tema della distruzione ora è diventato imperante, la sensazione di apocalisse è costante. Se Tourmente I poteva essere anche una summa musicale dei generi frequentati da Westwind, adesso l'attenzione è spostata in modo più netto sul tema della guerra, ripulito da inserzioni troppo rumoristiche e da basi che rischiavano di sconfinare nella dance a discapito dell'argomento trattato. Soprattutto i momenti ambientali risultano più tetri e convincenti e scommetto che chi segue le releases della Cold Meat Industry rimarrebbe soddisfatto da questo disco.

Pur avendo apprezzato il primo capitolo del concept, devo ammettere che Tourmente II è nettamente superiore, con una maestosità diffusa in tutte le tracce (ancora senza titoli). Una piccola perla imperdibile non solo per chi segue la brown area.


Guts of Darkness
Quelques petits soucis techniques auront bizarrement repoussé la sortie du premier volet de ce dyptique au début de cette année alors même que le cd 'Tourmente II' était déjà disponible. Qu'à cela ne tienne, l'attente valait largement le coup. Si 'Tourmente II' sonnait comme un requiem postérieur à la tragédie des bombardements alliés sur Brest, 'Tourmente I' évoque plutôt l'attente, la panique puis la confusion des habitants écrasés par l'atrocité des explosions aveugles, des momunents et bâtisses qui tombent en ruines les uns après les autres. La musique se veut plus électronique, plus ambient et plus martiale, enfin plus tout en vérité ! Boucles minimalistes, nappes profondes ou distantes, rythmes déchaînés ou édulcorés pour une accalmie s'enchaînent pendant 1h20 dans une cohérence pleinement maîtrisée. Les émotions mutent perpétuellement, de la plainte douloureuse à l'intériorisation, du chaos général à la lucidité furtive. Les sons d'orgues accompagnent systématiquement les envolées lyriques et matiales et dans ces moments-là l'émotion atteint son paroxysme en vous prenant à la gorge. Varié, inattendu dans son déroulement et arrangé magnifiquement, 'Tourmente I' est bien évidemment indissociable de sa suite en cd, et si vous n'avez pas déjà fait la démarche, vous devriez vous en occuper ou le remord vous étreindra comme jamais... June 2005 GUTS OF DARKNESS

 

This article was published on Sunday 28 October, 2012.
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