by Andreas Wahnmann.
And I saw a powerful angel. The angel called in a loud voice, 'Who is worthy
to break the seals and open the scroll?'
First Law is the perfect example of non-situational music. And it comes not from
the sound forms - it is nor japanoise nor European minimalism counted on the very
narrow circle of listeners. Andreas Wahnmann (the only participant of the project)
started his sound experiments in 1981. What they were that time - it is hard to
tell it now because recently the musician hadn't tried to bring his creations
to the masses. However, according to his statements, he doesn't aspire to it even
now. State Art label were never famous neither for large issues, nor for popularity
among the so called 'musical elite'. As it was mentioned, Wahnmann music isn't
mass not because of any technical reasons - the case is in the attitude to the
creation activity and in the lack of any ambitions (in common sense). FIRST LAW
have been released only due to the Manfred Lenzs (Turbund Sturmwerk) initiative.
At the last three years two albums (CD and MCD) have been released. Moreover,
First Law appeared at two compilations: German 'Natural Order' (State Art 1998)
with the 'Holy War' track and 'Saturn Gnosis' (Loki rec.), announced at the 2000.
The 'Holy War' track is nothing else then the cover version of the famous Led
Zeppelin 'Whole Lotta Love', where Wahnmann combines the hard rock beats of the
70th and the speeches of Jim Jones, the American symbol of the apocalyptic sectarianism,
poisoned himself with the group of his brothers in faith. The musical concept
of FIRST LAW could not be digitally determined. It balances between quite blur
IDM and ambient CONTASTATE - like passages. But the project ideological and cultural
backgrounds are rather obvious. Wahnmann has the aspire to the things, that are
beyond the borders of the modern liberal - protestant moral and above the law
of corroding civilization. Projects logo - the celtic cross consisting of the
bullets, - a kind of emblem of this outburst and forthcoming struggle. Meanwhile
- both albums ('Revelation 5:2' and 'Violent::Sedated') are emotionally contrary.
The first one is the dedication and the requiem to the American ideologist and
sectarian David Koresh, annihilated with the group of his comrades by the hydra
of American mondialism. Koresh picture at the cover is accompanied by the screenshots
of the storm of his citadel in Texas, and the quotes from the New Testament and
the poems of D. Koresh himself:
For in the Christ, we've seen a bride,
The water mixed with blood,
The wife with cloven tongues of fire,
Of whom the Christ has loved.
(excerpt from 'Eden to eden by D. Koresh')
This release, consisting of three tracks, contains the challenge to the profane
and the reflections about new protestant eschatology. In musical sense the album
is a number of electronic compositions with slow drums and pulsing highfrequent
sounds. Rare samples of trumpets just aggravate the depressing atmosphere of profane
feast. In the culmination parts the ambient range mixing with the drums turn into
acoustic and emotional chaos. On this background - the constant poetical sermon
by David Koresh. These sermons about Christ, music and modern world are put on
the rhythm, permanent during the whole album. Sometimes it sounds like the ancient
ritual song (which, by the way, also have place in the form of hymns and psalms).
The sounds of shooting mixing with the protestant melodies outline the absurd
and perversity of liberal religiosity. Andreas himself considers 'REVELATION 5:2'
to be the"'wonderful" multi-dimensional story about Propaganda and Dis-information,
the mistake of giving the monopoly of power into the hands of a fiction like a
"good government", and the self-fulfilling prophecy about a man being a sheep
... sorry, lamb.' The minialbum is timed to the fifth anniversary of tragedy in
Waco. And inspite such a straight statements of Andreas, one can feel his non-digital
attitude to the Koresh figure. Of course, it is the tragical apocalyptic image
which suffered from so common for the age perversity of the information methods.
The case with deciples of Koresh, shooted down not because of any specific crimes,
but only because of the 'potential danger' of militarized sect - is just the mean,
which Wahnmann uses to draw the picture of American tyranny of crowd, alien to
the normal state of mind government and prostituted mass media. Such a vivid ideological
conception is not typical for the album 'Violent::Sedated'. The sound concept
is quite different then on the MCD. The sound becomes softer and more atmospheric.
This very well corresponds with the idea of the release, reflected in the words
printed at the back of the CD cover:
'As long as the illusion is sweet, we sit in harmony, conversing peacefully
and often with an arm on a neighbour's shoulder. But there are certain experiences
which force us to reconsider this sedation. And as soon as we taste the bitter
waters of intoxication our vital spirits awake mightily. We cast around for words
and images to catch the new splendour which dazzled us. Even the very ground under
our feet strikes us as stranger and less familiar. But most disquieting of all
is that our memory strays. When we seek out unknown ways it is easy to lose the
sense of balance. On the other hand - if we dream of flying, a clumsy hop can
bring us more joy than the security of well-trod paths. As soon as we become aware
of our failure we strive to free ourselves. We feel a longing for presence, for
reality, and would even plunge into ice or fire or either only to rid ourselves
of weariness. As always when despair and maturity combine, we turn to power -
for is that not the eternal pendulum that drives on the hand of time by day or
night. So let's begin to imagine violence and domination!',
The aspiration to combine harmoniously the design, the idea and the sound. Even
the track list consists of the names of the chemical substances with the doze
marked in the brackets. But the result of taking inside or the other use of the
substances isn't obvious. May be it will lead to the ecstatic state, preached
at the album 'Violent::Sedated', to the searing spiritual calls and penetrating
trance. But may be to the real conclusion - the spiritual and physical death.
The sound of last release is not useful for the conception of sound of LOKI. Dark
ambient is not so deep and archaic, as other LOKI projects produce. The above
mentioned MCD is much closer to them. But from the technical point the creation
is wonderful and this not only speaks for Wahnmanns professionalism, but makes
the honor for the non-commercial label. The concept of First Law, as its leader
stresses, excludes any possibility of live performance: ' I don't believe that
"playing live" is a working concept for industrial or electronic music. Come on,
we're no rock stars, aren't we?' It's nice to realize that the term of concept
is still used among the modern industrial musicians, the real artists, considering
to be humiliating the performances with the made serious pushing of 'play' and
'stop' buttons on the CD-player.
'Holy War' - v/a 'Natural Order' (State Art 1998)
'Revelation 5:2' - (State Art 1998 MCD)
'Violent::Sedated' - (Loki Foundation 1999 CD)