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SMR05 - Cheerleader69 - Godriders in the sky [LP]

Yellow LP :  More info Buy Now

Black LP :  More info Buy Now

2006

SMR 05

CHEERLEADER69

GODRIDERS IN THE SKY

LP

Limited to 500 copies:
-93 copies on black vinyl
-357 copies on yellow vinyl
-50 copies as subscribers edition including yellow vinyl, bonus CD and a badge.

This Cheerleader 69 album, a side-project from vx69, the frontman & singer of the french industrial techno punk machine Punish Yourself, is finally available, digging its inspiration both in the rythms of Test Dept, the ambiances of Coil in their Horse Rotorvator era, and the symphonic lyricism proper to the martial/neoclassing scene. vx69 proposes an excellent record, very personnal & iconoclastic.

Tracklist :

A1 : Your Book Is Full Of Killings
A2 : Bad Tape
A3 : Crystal Sierra
A4 : Godriders (In The Sky)
A5 : Number 17
B1 : Radio Apocalypse
B2 : Priviet Tibie (Hurrah)
B3 : Simstim Christ
B4 : La Derniere Charge De La Morve D’Or
B5 : Transgression

Reviews


HEATHEN HARVEST

As a reviewer I come across many new artists.virtually every bloody day.and I'm supposed to write up a load of stuff about them, even though I know bugger all at best on my new subject. Best then to let the artist themselves have a say in describing themselves and their music. Here's the low down on Cheerleader69 straight from the horses mouth: 'Cheerleader 69 is a one-man-project, conspicuously influenced by : Ennio Morricone, Coil, Steroid Maximus, The Legendary Pink Dots, Current 93, Stravinsky, Holst, Ligeti etc. Basically, this is music for imaginary movies, using orchestral/ ambient -industrial textures ; sometimes martial, sometimes eerie-sounding, sometimes droning. Well, listen to the music, you'll understand what I mean ! I sometimes perform live, and am currently working on the first official Cheerleader 69 release, on Steelworkmaschine (after several compilation appearances). Well, if you want to know more.I created Cheerleader 69 for two reasons : I needed an output for this kind of music, because I couldn't use these soundscapes with my regular band, Punish Yourself. http://punishyourself.free.fr I wanted to bring back some left-wing ideas into ambient /industrial /neoclassical stuff.there are WAY TOO MUCH fascists roaming that scene. So if you are one of these nazis fuck heads, or have any sympathy for them, you have to understand this is not music for you. Because I believe in everything you hate and hate everything you believe in'. A rather eloquent statement I'm sure you'll agree and a much better effort than I could have come up with. 'Godriders in the sky' is the debut vinyl release from the French.he just had to be frigging French.artist vx69...and I shit you not, for this is the name he goes by.and comes in a couple of different flavours. The label has very nicely sent in a cdr copy of the release which includes the three extra tracks found on the bonus cd included with the special edition release. With me so far? Good.because it does get confusing occasionally. Almost as confusing as the music at times. Well he is French after all. Monsieur vx69 does like to pick and mix his musical genres as 'Godriders in the sky' shows. Not for him the easier option of sticking to one style. Oh no. That would have been far less of a challenge. Instead our French buddy, I kind of like him so can now call him that, has laid down tracks that encompasses everything from dark ambient / drone / martial / neo-classical / experimental music. A brew so heady you can get pissed just by smelling the fumes. Incredibly.it actually works. How.I just don't know.because in theory this should be a fucking mess of the highest order. And yet it holds itself together by the slimmest of strands making for one bloody great compelling listen. This new found buddy of mine is a genius. In lesser hands I would have dismissed and condemned this outright.but.because he interweaves the music in such a magical way I can't stop playing it. A crack cocaine of a recording. From the outright orchestral bombastic passages, sample strewn pieces, rhythmic foot stompers, bellowing horns, frazzled electronics, quirky weirdness.the list goes on and on.his release sounds like the best acts in every genre merging into one release. The Severed Heads, In Slaughter Natives, Test Department, Troum, Hunting Lodge, TGVT, ACOH, Toroidh.and more.all present and correct. Plus.he takes a sample from the film Hellraiser which gives him another smarty point in his favour. Extremely dark and ominous in places this is countered and offset by the calming reflective pieces marking it out as that bit special in every way possible. The only cloud on the horizon being the fact that this stupendously enjoyable romp is only available on vinyl. Sort it out pronto Steelwork Maschine Record label. 'Godriders in the sky' deserves a cd release so lesser mortals without a record player can gain infinite pleasure from it. Le superbe dogs bollacks.or however they say it in French.


CHAIN DLK

First off, this is a vinyl release, but I cannot comment on the pressing, etc. itself because I was not sent a copy of the album itself, only a CDR of the songs. I know how some vinyl fetishists are (not that kind of vinyl fetish..) - I've heard people describe particular albums as "beautifully pressed," etc. So if you want to know about the texture of the album you'll have to go elsewhere. The disc I was sent was an unmarked CDR and a bad printout of the cover art. So already we were off to a bad start. Luckily, the music was excellent, even if the first impression didn't win me over. I've never heard of this project or his other outfit, Punish Yourself. The man behind the project states two reasons for creating Cheerleader 69. The first one relates to the music: "I needed an output for this kind of music, because I couldn't use these soundscapes with my regular band, Punish Yourself, (http://punishyourself.free.fr) - cyberpunk dancefloor chaos can mix with bombastic orchestral stuff, yeah, but only if you use a small amount of the strings'n'brass'n'marching drums extravaganza... And I wanted to use a full blast of soundtrack-like orchestrations." This should give a pretty good indication of what you are in for. But I was not prepared for how well done it was. This is some really good soundtrack-esque kind of work with militaristic percussion thrown in for good measure. From the first track, "Your Book is Full of Killings," Cheerleader 69 manages to keep a nice dark undertone going without it becoming too oppressive. On "Bad Tape," it sounds like he borrowed heavily from The Anti-Group's "Union With Sirens" off Iso-Erotic Calibrations and anything that reminds me of TAGC is definitely a good thing. When we reach "Godriders (in the sky)," the music completely changes, with heavy percussion, chaotic brass, and what sounds like a choir singing. This track reminds me of the more bombastic elements of Coph Nia or In Slaughter Natives. This is by far the standout track on the album. The rest of the album vacillates between the two extremes of militaristic percussion with heavy orchestration and subdued soundscapes that bury voices and noise just beneath the surface. The final track on the album, "Transgression," is a good example of the latter. Drones and voices mixed with a repetitive melody that cycles through song. It is a peaceful, soothing track that still manages to keep an unsettling vibe throughout. The three tracks available on the limited edition CD also maintain the mixture of subdued ambience and militaristic soundtrack type music. "Rotta Flammis Circumsepta" reminds me of old Laibach, with heavy percussion and orchestration. This is an excellent album and well worth picking up. The other reason for picking it up may be ideological. Cheerleader 69 explains the other reason for forming this project: "I wanted to bring back some left-wing ideas into ambient/industrial/neoclassical stuff, there are WAY TOO MUCH fascists roaming that scene. So if you are one of these nazi fuckheads, or have any sympathy for them, you have to understand this is not music for you. Because I believe in everything you hate and hate everything you believe in." This LP is limited to 500 copies and is available in three versions: Black LP (93 copies), Yellow LP (357 copies), and a Special edition with a CD (50 copies). If you only get the LP, you aren't missing a lot - the music is similar and the standout tracks are on the LP, but the CD music is not just filler - it is able to stand on its own merit.


AXESS CODE

Pour l'anecdote, Cheerleader 69 est le projet solitaire d'un des membres du groupe désormais bien connu d'électro-punkhardcore français Punish Yourself ; ce sont toutefois deux univers vraiment distincts que ceux de ces deux projets, Cheeleader 69 sollicitant nettement plus l'imaginaire filmique de chacun, une musique plus subtilement appréciable. On avait déjà pu entendre de quoi était capable le Toulousain seul sur la compilation virtuelle « Tribute to Hellraiser » de Mekkanikal Industries ou encore, en duo avec Wytlyt, sur Axc_Labs. L'album, sorti chez le très bon label français Steelwork Machine, est précisément dans la pleine lignée de ces titres, à savoir de la musique de film ample, ambientée, onirique, aventurière, grandiose, frisant tantôt la pompe chaleureuse, tantôt le froid puits métaphysique.
On embarque, premier morceau et décollage imminent avec « Your book is full of killings » marqué par la voix d'un speaker américain répétant la phrase du titre et des évolutions de cordes angoissantes très bien spatialisées. Si « Crystal Sierra » fait penser à du Moelvaer, en mieux, « Bad tapes », via le charme d'un flûtiau puis d'une rythmique industrielle impeccable, nous a fait auparavant pénétrer au deux-tiers dans un monde déjà plus inquiétant, proche des bandes originales d'Eric Demarsan, sensation malheureusement un peu atténuée par la grandiloquence de « Ghostriders in the sky », dans un registre dark-folk orchestral, un peu ampoulé et au final hélas gentillet (c'est un problème récurrent avec cette mouvance, qui ne se joue à pas grand-chose mais qui existe objectivement). Idem pour « Number 17 » aux harmonies bien travaillées, cette montée sourde peu rassurante est parsemée d'un son de gamelan synthétique dont l'évolution n'est mélodiquement pas extraordinaire. On lui préférera ces transpercements de sonorités inversées qui forment les zébrures de « Radio Apocalypse » où l'on plonge en effet vers le nulle part d'un futur à bout de souffle, exsangue avant que ne scintillent les notes sereines des deux minutes finales (presque dommage qu'il y ait ce court moment avec le timbre de corde frappée au milieu, sorti tout droit d'un Delon des années 70...). Le parcours se poursuit sous la nuée grise et c'est la mélancolie qui baigne « Privièt tibie (hurrah) » où un Russe (communiste ?) nous donne du « tovaritch » à plusieurs reprises tandis que, sur cette très belle plage, tombe la neige ainsi que sur l'orateur et son public. Plus alerte est « Simstim Christ », une mise en marche sur fond de voix bulgares priant (je crois entendre « Jesu », peut-être est-ce une illusion auditive) un Christ « neuromancien ». Alors la vitesse s'accélère, comme un mouvement final bien que nous en soyons à la pénultième plage, avec tout le déploiement de la grosse artillerie, orchestre et percussions omniprésents, blam ! blam !, les glaires mongoles s'emballent, une « Dernière charge de la morve d'or» aux couleurs légèrement emphatiques et qui fait penser à du Gregson-Williams classique, ni bon ni mauvais. Aussi trouvais-je bien meilleur le dernier morceau, «Transgression » (rien à voir avec Fear Factory), où des nappes aussi gaies que des couloirs high-tech vides et longs s'étirent indéfiniment derrière l'agitation de paroles anglo-saxonnes d'anonymes occupés, comme extraites d'un film où la terreur ne manquerait pas de poindre soudain pour mieux vous empoigner. Ce dernier titre est une véritable réussite !
La production d'ensemble est très maîtrisée et le savoir-faire absolument indéniable, sachant qu'à part la trompette, Cheerleader 69, s'occupe quasiment de tout sur ce « Ghostriders in the sky » rubicond. Petit reproche : les fins de morceau sont souvent très courtes, on en eût pu attendre un développement plus ample. Quant à la pochette rouge, enfin, elle est sobre et inspirée, mêlant pom-pom girls stylisées et manière soviétique, le tout finement lié par un reflet au sol du plus bel effet.
Un album tout à fait recommandable, facile d'écoute, on ne peut plus varié, qui fait se transporter et peut plaire tout autant aux zélateurs de « L'Apocalypse de Jean » de Pierre Henry qu'aux fondus d'ambiances brumeuses et froides façon Cold Meat Industry ou Remain Silent.


Judas Kiss
Cheerleader 69 is a side project of French musician vx69, who also the singer for the hard industrial dance outfit Punish Yourself, and 'Godriders In The Sky' is the debut release, available on vinyl only in three different editions. There are 357 copies on yellow vinyl, 93 copies on black vinyl, and 50 copies of a special edition with a bonus three-track CD – which all sounds very sumptuous, although my review copy is just a burned CD-R with a shonky printout of the rather lurid cover art. Sigh… at least it has the bonus tracks on it, of which more later.

There’s a strong ideological message to this album. According to vx69, one reason for creating Cheerleader 69 is as follows: “I wanted to bring back some left-wing ideas into ambient/industrial/neoclassical stuff, there are WAY TOO MUCH fascists roaming that scene. So if you are one of these nazi fuckheads, or have any sympathy for them, you have to understand this is not music for you. Because I believe in everything you hate and hate everything you believe in.” So there you go, nazi fuckheads, you’ve been told!Musically, Cheerleader 69 offer up an eclectic and intriguing mixture of rhythmic electronica, moody dark ambient and bombastic martial industrial, in a genre-defying mélange which is quite difficult to review, as it refuses to stay in one style long enough to get a fix on it. However, enjoying listening to it isn’t nearly so challenging, as from the sample-strewn overture of ‘Your Book Is Full Of Killings’ to the compulsive percussions and crunchy industrial drones of ‘La Dernière Charge De La Morve d’Or’ and jazzy trumpet of ‘Crystal Sierra’, the music of Cheerleader 69’s remains consistently vivid and interesting. The title track ‘Godriders (In The Sky)’ is the highlight of the album, with crushing tribal drums, looped choral vocals, vocal samples and a fat horn section combining into a Bacchanalian frenzy reminiscent of C.O.T.A., Foetus or Pigface. The three tracks from the bonus CD particularly caught my attention, having a more bellicose, militaristic feel to them – I suspect that these were recorded at a different time to the main album tracks. ‘Overused‘ has heavy, crisp drumbeats and metallic percussion underpinning an orchestral brass theme brimming with ominous foreboding. There’s also a vocal sample taken from the film Hellraiser, which has become a bit of a cliché – ‘Overused’ is aptly named. ‘Up To Date‘ uses a low drone as a basis for a cut-up assemblage of vocal samples and suspenseful John Carpenter-style soundtrack music. ‘Rotta Flammis Circumsepta’, the best of the bonus tracks, really brings on the bombast, with tubular bells, a swelling orchestral theme and marching drums, something like Horologium or the older Laibach. This track uses a dialogue sample from cult film The Upstairs Neighbour.

All in all, this is a very worthwhile debut from Cheerleader 69. It seems a shame that it’s only available on vinyl, I’m sure it could reach a wider audience if a CD version was available.

VIOLENT SOLUTIONS

Si le nom CHEERLEADERS69 ne vous évoque peut-être rien, il doit en être clairement autrement pour PUNISH YOURSELF. Car CHEERLEADERS69 est le projet solo de Vx69, le frontman de PY. Mais ne vous y méprenez pas, les deux projets ont peu de choses en commun si ce n'est le chiffre 69 qui les lient et les pochettes aux couleurs criardes...

CHEERLEADERS69 ouvre dans l'indus/ambiant en proposant des musiques de films imaginaires comme il est décrit sur leur site à très juste titre. Entièrement basé sur la recherche sonore, les samples indus et les ambiances apocalyptiques et en faisant totalement omission du chant, chaque titre collerait parfaitement à n'importe quelle série Z mais également aux réalisations de Dario Argento, de Hideo Nakata ou encore de David Lynch. La démarche se rapproche de celle de IN THE NURSERY en beaucoup plus sombre ou encore de COIL. Difficile d'appréhender "Godriders In The Sky" au départ tant les 50 minutes proposées ici sont riches et diversifiées mais cette première et peut-être unique réalisation est extrêmement bien ficelée. Créée pour titiller votre imagination, on se prête rapidement au jeu de chercher à mettre des images sur chaque titre. On passe de titres assez rythmés voire tribaux (les excellents "La dernière charge de la morve d'Or" (!) et "Godriders(in the sky)", les très martiaux "Rotta Flammis Circumsepta" et "Overused") à des morceaux purement ambiant ("Radio Apocalypse", "Number17", "Simstim Christ", "Transgression") dont certains vous glacent le sang! ("Bad Tape" dont la mélodie malsaine me fait penser à l'univers du premier "The Omen", ou l'introductif "Your Book is full of Killings"). Rarement un album de cette catégorie n'aura été aussi jouissif et trippant, aussi bien dans le concept que dans la réalisation finale qui dépasse toutes les espérances que je m'étais fixé quand j'avais eu échos de ce projet alors balbutiant.

Je ne peux définitivement que vous inviter à vous procurer cette ouvre hors du commun, en considérant que vous êtes hautement ouvert d'esprit. Vx69 nous pond ici un album qui marquera très certainement toute personne qui aura traîné ses oreilles dans les méandres de ces 10 titres de très haute volée (ou 13 pour la version ultra-limitée, titres supplémentaires que vous trouvez en téléchargement libre sur le site de CHEERLEADERS69). Complètement bluffant!


GUTS OF DARKNESS

Alors ça y est, les plaisrs solitaires inavouables de Vx sont enfin révélés au grand jour ! Non content de nous inciter à la débauche au micro de Punish Yourself, voilà qu'il nous fait part de ses visions apocalyptiques et de son amour du cinéma z, b et pourquoi pas tout l'alphabet tant qu'on y est ! Hé bien justement, l'alphabet, oubliez-le, parce que le langage articulé ne vous sera d'aucune utilité si vous rencontrez ces Dieux qui chevauchent dans le ciel ou si vous tombez nez à nez sur un cowboy zombie sorti d'un western-spaghetti futuriste poursuivi par des pygmées armés jusqu'au dents. Un scénario improbable ? Pas si sûr, c'est le film de Vx je vous rappelle, et dans ce film c'est Morricone en chef d'orchestre, Test Dept et SPK aux percus et Coil aux champignons (ne me demandez pas comment on joue du champignon j'en sais fichtre rien). Ambient, tribal, inquiétant et complètement surréaliste, 'Godriders in the sky' fleure bon la rebellion qui couve, le souvenir d'une utopie qui perdure et les films de Sergio Leone, John Huston ou la 'Nuit du chasseur' avec Robert Mitchum, qui introduit l'album. Aucune répétition, c'est surprise sur surprise pour cette b.o. de film imaginaire de haut-vol à la production géniale. Inépuisable, les pom-pom girls de la pochette annoncent le spectacle qui atteint des sommets sur les dévastateurs 'Godriders (in the sky)' ou 'La dernière charge de la morve d'or' (mince, Roger Corman en guest ?) mais n'a de cesse de troubler même dans ses passages les plus apaisés. Varié comme rarement album fût varié, imprévisible et véritablement cinglé, 'Godriders in the sky' fait honneur à son créateur autant qu'à SteelWork Maschine dont le nez plus que fin aura raison de notre porte-monnaie. Epique, engagé, inspiré et incroyablement addictif, bref indispensable. Maintenant excusez-moi, j'ai Indiana Jones qui s'impatiente, il parait qu'on doit partir au secours de Clint Eastwood prisonnier de tomates mutantes au fin fond du Chiapas... (mercredi 22 mars 2006).


TWILIGHT ZONE.IT

Dietro questo strano nome si cela Vincent Vallalon, già noto per essere un componente del gruppo techno-industrial Punish Yourself. La decisione di fondare il progetto parallelo Cheerleader 69 è dovuta alla necessità di dare alle stampe materiale di matrice ambient, utile soprattutto a commentare immagini cinematografiche, che altrimenti sarebbe rimasto inutilizzato data l'impossibilità di unirlo al sound aggressivo dei Punish Yourself.

Le sonorità proposte sono pulite e nitide, solo in due tracce è usata una base percussiva dall'incedere maestoso, per il resto l'autore opta per dei samples elettronici dilatati, accattivanti e mai ripetitivi. Non sempre però si riesce a creare quell'atmosfera che potrebbe essere commento ad un film, o che riesca a produrre immagini nella mente dell'ascoltatore, questo perché in sede di assemblaggio i brani risentono, a mio dire, di una certa aridità, scritti più con la tecnica che con l'ispirazione. Forse l'autore deve ancora fare esperienza in questo settore, anche se con questo Godriders in the sky mostra che ha buone capacità non solo nell'ambito dance.

Un disco riuscito a metà, comunque utile a farci conoscere un nome nuovo che non mancherà di maturare e realizzare opere più complete.

Edizione limitata a 500 copie, di cui alcune in vinile giallo. Copertina assai curiosa con riferimenti sovietici mescolati a ragazze pon-pon!


AURAL PRESSURE

Okay, don't let the crap artwork put you off this one, and seriously, it is crap, but maybe it's that whole cheerleader thing, but for such a dark ambient/industrial opus one expects some aesthetics - though if you need aesthetics, trundle off to the Steelwork Maschine website just to know they're not kidding around.

Cheerleader 69 skewers itself somewhere under the oscilloscope's gaze of ambient to industrial music, though the 'scope can't quite figure out the irregularities between the pair and finds itself strobing in sequence to the minatory effects. Silted drones undulate a carpet, a bed of apprehensive melody, squeals, and noise that loom like storm clouds creeping ever closer on tendons of electrical light. Bleating horns wail peculiarly to depredated vocal bubbling, but it is not until the title track that full percussion unleashes, a Valkyrian dirge rimming with female samples, Lisa Gerrard sawn in half. It lashes columns of gloom that approach moments of In Slaughter Natives. There is great variety in the tracks yet the album flows like one massive sojourn, arrays of electronic generators form the bulk of the sound-forms yet vx69 (the man holding the knife behind the pom-poms) finds gentle moments of lulling respite to insert more organic mimicking with dulcimer bed-time nursery tunes. Cheerleader 69 evinces an intimacy with symphony and industry from opening moments till end, including the bonus three tracks, though it is these three tracks that do break the mold by not continuing the dark dissertation, embalming itself into an orchestral nightmare that ISN fans would easily enjoy, with the vocals of vx69 for the first time being heard in these darker more martial stomps.

An excellent album requiring exigent purchase, but whatever you do, don't look at the artwork which is a garish montage in putrescent orange of some 80's attempt at design. and calling it design is a stretch, it's just plain revolting. And oh. those cheerleaders.

This article was published on Sunday 28 October, 2012.
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