“Covering the Orient, the Middle-East, Western culture, the Unknown and the Unspoken” – the perfect subtitle for Ah Cama-Sotz’ 2013 album, which covers all of these aspects, summarizing and enhancing all which has made this project a prime act in the Post Industrial scene in the past two decades.
Ah Cama-Sotz is known as the brainchild of Belgian musician Herman Klapholz, well respected in both, the darker and the more rhythm-geared Industrial scenes. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, ACS can look back on a string of praised releases and a large number of acclaimed live performances. After three selfreleased albums, “Obsession Diabolique” also marks the return to the HANDS label, and it sure is an appropriate gift for the occasion.
“Obsession Diabolique” covers the entire range of musical styles ACS has explored throughout its career, from noisy collages over dark drones to electronic beats and distorted rhythms. “The Orient and the Middle-East” have always been a fertile source of inspiration for ACS, and this album contains a number of pieces based on organic rhythm patterns and ethnic chanting, like the feverish opener “Rapture of the skin” or the carnal fantasies of “Roots of eternity” and “Interludium IV - un jardin sur le Nil”. “Children of the sun” and “Interludium VI - le peuple de l’éternel” are even compatible with the Bhangra dance floor - speaking of crossover appeal. “Western culture” is also represented on “Obsession Diabolique: The broken beat smasher “Bring the noizz” appears twice, in its fast-paced original version and a punchy raved-up remix by Hysteresis. “Wir Wollen Tanzen (freaks come out at night)” is a firm DJ weapon with technoid appeal and “Rain” presents a more minimal Electro style with upfront vocals. “The Unknown and the Unspoken” have always been the trademark of Ah Cama-Sotz’ work, and an ACS album wouldn’t go without eerie collages like “Interludium I - monde imaginaire” or “Interludium II - les terres sauvages”. “Interludium III - la malédiction de l'ombre” adds orchestral grandeur, “Interludium V - submergé par des flots d'images fantasmagoriques” plays with documentary samples and “Rayah-kum” seems to summon all the creatures from the underworld.
The album is concluded with “Postludium - tristesses de la lune”, an ethereal organ piece with angelic choirs, also very typically Ah Cama-Sotz in its melodic, sinister way, conjuring up images of silent films, eras long gone. Herman Klapholz manages to cover the past and the present of the Ah Cama-Sotz sound and reach out to the future, integrating timeless atmospheres and contemporary rhythm patterns, all with a trademark sound. A multifaceted album suited for novices as well as seasoned ACS followers.