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BLOODSTAR- Exterminator 666 does not answer, c/w Hyperspace 10″ (Red Decibel, USA, 1991)

IMG_0480IMG_0478IMG_0479IMG_0476When I listen to a record like this, I can’t help but thinking I might have missed something during the 90s. When the 80s came to an early end, a lot of people felt disorientated musically. I still cannot oversee the whole transformation that was taking place, but one of the key words was definitely “digital revolution”. Late 70s and early 80s bands often were possessed by computers in a way which I now find rather old-fashioned. Computers were part of a technology of rule. The Pentagon had huge computers, we all believed, that could be used to spy us out, tap our phones, observe every our step, wherever we are. These computers had big, long arms or rather eyes stretched out, up into the orbit of the planet – satellites. It was like a web, that kind of paranoia, that wove together different techniques to a unified world view. In the center of the web, the attercop sat, the spider that symbolized the state, the brain of the ruling powers.
Well. When this 10″ by Switzerland’s BLOODSTAR came out, I was somehow puzzled by it. For me, with the dominating Metal and Punk background, this form of celebrating computer aesthetics was new and provocative as it was stripped down to, well – to what? Gone were the paranoid chants, gone was the political aspect, the ideological core. BLOODSTAR (and of course, there were many other groups with them) made use of the computer theme in a new way. They used it, rather than being used by it. I’m not saying that this change of cultural practices around the computer-dispositivs took off from here, it’s just that this marks one of the first moments in which I personally realized that something had drastically changed.

wohlgroth_largeThe music reflects this. Techno was becoming bigger, especially in the left. In 1991, the “Wohlgroth”, a big squat right in the middle of the city, had become an incredible magnet for all kind of (self-) expression. [The picture shows its famous view from the main station. The official railway sign of Zürich was adapted and redone, much larger than the original one and “Zürich” became “Zureich” (“Too rich”)].The folks from BLOODSTAR were affected by it too, although I’m not sure to which extent really. Hundreds of people started to build up a large scene there, with more and more houses around the abandoned industrial complex being squatted. Houses were connected with airy bridges – it was surreal. The outside of these houses were slowly beginning to transform too – everything was not only wildly scribbled with graffiti, it was a huge change of design. And, with those bridges, with different party rooms for different sub-scenes, the Wolgroth began to make a concept of having none. Soon every house looked different as the people who frequented the Wohlgroth were ragtag. Some people, me included, who spent time there, tried to instrumentalize the folks, put them back on track for our dubious political ideologies. We held movie nights there, discussions about racism and capitalism – you get the vibe, I’m sure. It just wasn’t that sexy – few and fewer people followed our slogans. Parallel, the first techno discos were being organized (and being attacked with tear gas grenades not by the police but by the political activists). You see, the whole thing just totally fell apart. There was no wholesome concept: It was, in a way, pure cultural anarchy. Or better yet: The center of the city had become a laboratory (and historians often describe the 19th century Switzerland as “political laboratory” for Europe, with new forms of direct democracy, a new form of self-government).
Needless to say I did not feel comfortable at all. The cacaphony I saw there was terrifying. It seemed to endanger our phantasies of power, correctness, control. We were the Stalinists (and anarchists sometimes are the worst Stalinists!).
It’s a shame, I often think looking back, I could not wander through these sites with an open mind, because that special kind of fresh air is something I really miss these days. When after ca. 2 years the Wohlgroth got evicted with massive police force, a few short and hefty riots broke out. These riots, unlike others, just collapsed into themselves. I recently discussed it with a fellow researcher who memorizes the same events of just complete out of control rioting and a strange cold aura that followed every brick and fire bomb. Nobody could escape from it any longer: The squatter movement, the once quite rigid underground – culture had vanished as the Eastern Block now was but a bad dream.

BLOODSTAR “embodied” this change to a certain degree. At least for me and at least in retrospect. Not so much with the lyrical content and the musical effect (which to me, to put it simple, is just “apocalyptic”). I loathed this 10″ when it came out. How could they be so “modern”, I thought, how could they celebrate the aesthetics of “techno” (which, as you may have understood now, was  of a rather phantasmagorical sort) so uncritically? Now, 18 years after its release, it’s quite obvious that this band just was so much cleverer than I was. The two tracks, along with the great artwork, totally floored me when I first played it just the other week – the first time since its original release! How fucking apocalyptic does this sound and how fresh. Maybe it didn’t have to end in re-enactment and nostalgia, maybe there would have been a way to culturally cope with the great transformation. These doors are closed now. Highest time the air gets filled with the exciting odor of dynamite again ….
It’s really about highest time too that BLOODSTAR get the recognition these guys deserve. More Bloodstar here and here.

Exterminator 666 does not answer.mp3
Hyperspace.mp3

46 Comments

  1. gentleman bob

    please let us NEVER wait this long again. never ever! the text is so complex I must now re read it before listening to the songs.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:22 | Permalink
  2. Nikolas

    AT LAST!!! A Bloodstar post!!!!!
    I’ ve been searching for this for years…..
    Great songs from a great band… I will re read now… great writing, great fucking blog……
    THANKS ERICH!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:26 | Permalink
  3. Good to hear you’re appreciating this, Nikolas. Let’s see what Gentleman Bob (best handle here, haha) thinks of BLOODSTAR.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:32 | Permalink
  4. Nikolas

    At Last… BLOODSTAR…….FUCKING GREAT POST. great band……Great writing man (i will now re read it too bob!!!) , thanks a lot man…
    YEAH!!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:38 | Permalink
  5. Nikolas

    Sorry for reposting a pretty much same comment my friend. sorry, my pc makes tricks on me

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:39 | Permalink
  6. No problem – I leave it like this. It’s two extra comments on record that will, as I’m afraid, not get too many comments.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:44 | Permalink
  7. elliott

    love it. love it love it love it! just what i needed erich. thanks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:46 | Permalink
  8. New Bloodstar Fan!!!

    This is amazing! 1991??? Incredible!! The guitar is a bit reminiscent to Celtic Frost, but it’s something totally different. Fischer tried to hop on this train too with his 90s project Apollyon Sun, but it’s just nowhere near this. This is fucking fucking brilliant!

    Also your writeup. You swiss certainly have a way with words. Tom Fischer seems to be the master of vocabulary but you sure as hell beat everybody with content and structure. May I ask: How long you sit down to write such a piece?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 13:56 | Permalink
  9. Nikolas

    Erich how about posting the whole Bloodstar Lp with the missing tracks this time????
    PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and how about posting EVERYTHING from this GREAT GREAT band???
    Ha ha!! Do it for the New Bloodstar Fan!!! HAAHA!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 14:06 | Permalink
  10. chano

    GREAT,GREAT,GREAT!!!!! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 14:29 | Permalink
  11. Oh, cool you guys like this! Yeah, I was thinking of re-ripping the first LP and the 2nd album too (CD-only release, as far as I know). Will first ask the chaps what they think of it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 14:42 | Permalink
  12. elliott

    oh please do it. and if i can i will buy anything they’ve put out if i can.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 15:00 | Permalink
  13. Flo

    You definitely know how to write! I enjoyed reading this post very much – please continue with writing these longer articles/essays and please don’t stop adding your very personal memories. They make it lively.

    I’m gonna download the music later and see what it is – never heard of it before.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 15:48 | Permalink
  14. What's the Truth?

    Great writing, as usual, and interesting music. 1991 was an interesting time for “techno” and related electronic music.

    This seems to sound a bit less “synthetic” and “computerized” than I expected from the writeup, at least in comparison to the otherwise openly digital works of the more Afro-futurist originators of Techno in the US and their most direct descendants. There is a rock thing going on here, and maybe this is one of the earlier recordings to lean in that direction while retaining this electronic vibe…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 16:39 | Permalink
  15. To my ears this sounds very dated for being from 1991 and not that good. Maybe cause we had a rather lively industrial/synth scene around in Linkoping/Sweden in the 80’s that lived side by side with the HC/Punk. I bet it was quiet uncommon in the rest of Sweden since I can’t recall any other punk gigs except for the ones in Linkoping where bands like Njurmannen(like Linkopings answer to Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse etc) and some HC/Punk act played together.

    Your writing is interesting as always. I feel a bit sorry that you seemed to live in a such stale and close minded climate. At the same time I envy you cause we had no strong political things going on at all.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 17:11 | Permalink
  16. New Bloodstar Fan!!!

    This is not industrial or synth and it does not sound “dated” at all. You should stick your 2nd rate punk Peter.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 18:37 | Permalink
  17. dewey decimal

    Great song title, “Exterminator 666 does not answer,” but for me “hyperspace” is the far better track. I bet this sounds a lot better on vinyl and cranked loud than on my shitty computer speakers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 19:12 | Permalink
  18. Steve

    Generally the thought of mixing industrial and metal gives me dry heaves…this is some very interesting stuff though. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 19:17 | Permalink
  19. “This is not industrial or synth and it does not sound “dated” at all.” Oh! Sorry I was wrong. Thanks for telling me once again.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 19:31 | Permalink
  20. By the way “You should stick your 2nd rate punk Peter.” reads very dated to my eyes. But maybe I’m wrong here too. Ha ha Erich you have the most ridiculous and idiotic fans around here sometimes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 19:34 | Permalink
  21. Didn’t understand that “2nd rate punk” either. What’s wrong with Peter’s blog? It’s the best blog out there! But I beg to differ: Bloodstar have a totally unique sound and this does not sound dated at all, not now and especially not for a 1991 record.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 19:41 | Permalink
  22. Well for those who doesn’t think it sounds dated, fine. I have no problem with that. To my ears it still does sound dated no matter what the commusicalist(a listener who have his head so far up his ass that he tries to practice his communist beliefs in to the world of music) tells me.

    I hear early Chris & Cosey, some early Cabaret Voltaire even some small doses of Esplendor Geometrico(totally underrated and actually listenable industrial band). That’s just me don’t take it too seriously boys and girls.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 20:01 | Permalink
  23. Not to jump on the band wagon or anything, but damn you pulled out the big guns on that writting. Really had me captivated and I read it twice before I attempted to listen to the music. So I was expecting something that was going to blow me away but… 7 minutes later I listened to the second tune and liked that one a hell of a lot better. A little more engaging and not so airy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 23:18 | Permalink
  24. Oh yeah, by the way I was feeling like there was something out of the ordinary around here and realized that it had been a while since someone insulted Peter on your site. I feel better now.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Nov-09 at 23:23 | Permalink
  25. Jay Thurston

    I was expecting some rocking music, and ended up falling asleep after the first 10 minutes of the first song. I know I will get attacked for what has happened(yawn). I am not saying it isn’t great…it is just boring to me. I am going to listen to Motorhead now and hopefully regain consciousness after the nap…thanks Erich.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Nov-09 at 03:19 | Permalink
  26. elliott

    for some reason the long song felt good after two hours of short grind songs. i really like it. would love to hear the rest of the lp. i liked what i heard but would like to finish it off.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Nov-09 at 10:11 | Permalink
  27. maurice

    The song hyperspace is great! so good so to see you’re putting switzerland on the map!! and boy your facebook photo is nice. you kept good care of yourself over the years 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Nov-09 at 19:39 | Permalink
  28. Somebody asked how much time I spend on writing: This one took maybe 20 minutes, I guess. Just read it again and thought, oh no, this needs to some work still, but what the hell. The internet is fast & I’m furious!
    Thanks Flo! Hope to see you in Berlin soon!!
    Maurice: I usually say not working too much is the best skin care the is. 🙂 As for Switzerland and all: That’s not important to me.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 13-Nov-09 at 19:58 | Permalink
  29. Jay Thurston

    Yes, Erich, it must something in the Swiss water that makes your skin so smooth…hahahaha

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Nov-09 at 01:51 | Permalink
  30. TomsyBomsy

    I like this a lot (and also their 1999 Back from hell EP).
    The anytimeAnywhere CD on Roadrunner never did it for me. Must be because of those stupid whale noises they used in one Song 🙂
    Methinks Bloodstar was/is a very unique Group of talented people who always did something of their own rather than just sticking to a safe musical formula predefined and made ready to use, by others.
    Merci fürs posten…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Nov-09 at 18:37 | Permalink
  31. Yeah, that was a bit too esoteric for me too. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Nov-09 at 19:39 | Permalink
  32. Sean

    I dunno Erich…this DOES sound horribly dated, like a 4th rate Kraftwerk. You want REAL “punky techno” that was authentically early-mid 90s? … try most anything on the Bloody Fist label. HARD nihilism created by teenagers on abandoned Amiga computers. (did I mention the NIHILISM?).

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Nov-09 at 04:11 | Permalink
  33. That’s a different pair of shoes, Sean.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Nov-09 at 13:46 | Permalink
  34. ian

    This post sums up everything I love about ‘good bad…’ – while I am not into this kinda music & wont be listemning to the tracks, the writing makes this post an interesting bit of history that makes a damn fine read. Always good to get these little insights from around the world about what was happening in peoples own backyards…great stuff as always!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Nov-09 at 03:22 | Permalink
  35. Ryan

    “Hyperspace” is like necro “Turbo Lover”. I like it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Nov-09 at 21:04 | Permalink
  36. roc

    Excellent post although I’m generally not a fan of electronic music or even metal and this is not an exception. Its true they came far too late to be pioneers of the electronic rock. But Bloodstar is one of the originators of industrial metal and overlooked among those awful bands of that genre that took it to mainstream soon after this release. This at the time was a unique sound that cannot be compared to the others.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Nov-09 at 22:46 | Permalink
  37. Keen to hear this. Bloodstar’s debut is one of the most convincing industrial metal albums I’ve heard, along with efforts by Skin Chamber & Fetish 69. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Nov-09 at 22:56 | Permalink
  38. Ryan

    Also “Exterminator 666 Does Not Answer” is the best title ever and I really really love that part that begins around four minutes in and climaxes at about 4:45.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 16-Nov-09 at 22:58 | Permalink
  39. elliott

    i usually don’t care for industrial metal but this is an exception. a lot of the time it’s the keyboards. you should have seen me when i heard some ciber-grind. i was like an animal looking for any escape. this however is pretty good. would love to hear more of this.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Nov-09 at 01:28 | Permalink
  40. --^^--

    face it:this blog is the best I know. the music is top and writing is stunning. that’s why you getting all the comments. great!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Nov-09 at 19:30 | Permalink
  41. oldthrashermaniac

    Erich

    please contact me at jnfernaldemos@hotmail.com for those Traitors gate demos. There must be something wrong with my browser and i can’t open your “contact” link. Drop me a line to my email and i’ll send you the demos

    [Reply]

    Posted on 18-Nov-09 at 18:14 | Permalink
  42. Nikolas

    Admin once wrote:
    No problem – I leave it like this. It’s two extra comments on record that will, as I’m afraid, not get too many comments.

    41 comments my friend Erich and i’m glad that some people discovered the Bloodstar LP.. (once again….what about the missing tracks Erich???)
    What a record!!!!! Genius….

    [Reply]

    Posted on 19-Nov-09 at 09:50 | Permalink
  43. Patience, Nikolas, patience …. things are a bit hectic here at the moment.
    Yes, it surprises me too that BLOODSTAR got such a large amount of comments. Not that the band didn’t deserve it! But sometimes it’s weird to see how everything that’s a little bit off the wall doesn’t get as much acclaim as the “mainstream” records.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 19-Nov-09 at 10:16 | Permalink
  44. Nikolas

    Yes Sir!!!!
    Patience is my middle name…..
    This site of yours is like a huge box full of surprises Erich….. Or like a drug store open to the public!!!!! HAHAHA

    [Reply]

    Posted on 19-Nov-09 at 10:35 | Permalink
  45. I’ve been searching for this!!!! Thank you so much!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Jan-10 at 22:59 | Permalink
  46. WHOA! I’ve actually been a big fan of Bloodstar for 15+ years. My dad was looking through some records in a used record store and the cover of their first album caught his eye because he likes space stuff. Then he turned it over and saw that they covered a track by Goblin (the best song from Dawn of the Dead) so he bought it. I remember being totally blown away by the album – it was so different. I was thrilled when I found a used CD of it, which I still have, along with the second album, which I agree doesn’t pack the same punch, but how can you top the opening self-titled track or the closing “World Is Dead?” I still love that album.

    If you have any other Bloodstar rarities, please share them with us Erich!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Jan-10 at 23:54 | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Pathological Compilation on 13-Jul-19 at 04:41

    […] or not but Erich just posted something along those industrial lines in the form of a band called Bloodstar.  I didn’t like the first tune very much but the second one caught my eye (or ear, I guess) […]

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