Noblesse Oblige: 'Offensive Nonsense' Gets Reissue

Posted by Aaron Detroit, September 30, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Thank the fates for the explosion of deluxe edition reissues! While some serve as mere cash cows for record labels with unnecessary previously-unreleased-for-a-reason vault-raping bonus tracks for nerds, many give previously overlooked gems and obscure nuggets a proper introduction to music fans. Such is the case for the limited edition deluxe reissue of the Berlin-based Noblesse Oblige’s mischievous debut album. In 2006, the then London-based duo of German singer/songwriter/producer Sebastian Lee Philipp and French singer/songwriter Valerie Renay released a small-run of their debut LP entitled Privilege Entails Responsibility, via the obscure and now-defunct UK imprint Horseglue Records. The album of nighttime grooves and tri-lingual self-proclaimed ‘Offensive Nonsense’ slowly gained a cult following via hundreds of increasingly packed European live shows and steady word-of-mouth. The band eventually moved to Berlin and began work on what would become their well received, more accessible and quite excellent sophomore LP, 2008’s In Exile via Germany’s RepoRecords. On the heels of Exile’s success, Repo is reissuing Privilege this week with ten(!) bonus tracks including two brand new forward-moving tracks and padded out with eight additional remixes.

While In Exile explores the band’s love of dreamier and filmic music (which no doubt rubbed-off on queer indie-rockers The Hidden Cameras, whom Philipp worked with on tracks for their recent lush offering, Origin: Orphan), Privilege is an inviting and darkly comic (sometimes even knowingly ridiculous) yet misanthropic and intense ride via the Goth and Waver club dance floors of yester-year. Philipp pays homage to his fellow countrymen KMFDM on “Bite Back“ and “Bitch” with big cheese-rock riffs and tongue firmly planted in cheek while somehow remaining quite serious and sincere. “Fashion Fascism” sounds like it could be a cover of Madonna’s “Burning Up” on some obscure late-80’s Wax Trax 12 inch while Philipp invokes the spirit of Leigh Bowery on “Daddy (Don’t Touch Me There).” Sadly, the Minty-commissioned Noblesse Oblige cover/remix of Bowery’s “Useless Man,” which appeared as the b-side of N.O.’s single for the bouncy “Quel Genre de Garcon,” does not appear among the bonus tracks here.

For sure, Noblesse Oblige at moments walk a fine line between being winking and ironic versus outright silly and crass. However, such moments are balanced by weightier tracks like the creepy “Was Keine Zeit Zerstoeret,” which sounds more like the screech-ambient moments of German ‘Suicide Metal’ group Bethlehem or the score to a lost scene from David Lynch’s Lost Highway. “Nervous” is close to the gothy blues of Lydia Lunch, and while Renay’s voice is less whiskey-soaked and sweeter-toned than Lunch’s rasp, her intentions are equally impure. With the introduction of whip-cracks, Renay grunts through clenched teeth, "don't give me kindness/keep up the pace."

The black humor of “Offensive Nonsense“ remains Philipp and Renay’s most controversial track due to its extreme declaration of abhorrence toward all forms of organized and monotheistic religion. While the duo proclaims a target on believers, ultimately, the track is more a cathartic exorcism than a statement of intent. This darker mood of Privileage is fortified with the two new addendum tracks, a broody cover of Eric Burdon’s “When I Was Young” and the slow-sulk bass of the Renay-led “Ouragan/Irresistible” -- both from the French film L'amour Toujours, which features the band.

Some of this deluxe edition’s bonus remixes are unessential but there’s a perfectly exuberant no-brainer mix of “Bitch” by former KMFDM frontman En Esch and “Daddy” gets a minimal re-work by Einsturzende Neubauten-associate Mona Mur. The best bonus remix, however, is actually lifted from In Exile; the band give their 2008 single “Tanz, Mephisto!” a wonderfully wistful retro-disco re-edit.

Amoeba Hollywood will have copies of the Privilege Entails Responsibility deluxe reissue next week and In Exile is available now (while supplies last)!

Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth
/Industrial Section Featured New Releases Week of 9/29:

Volosy - Bathing Ov The Leather Horse
[Ars Benevola Mater]
Italian import from excellent but obscure Russian artist. "A hippie seed poured on industrial soil. Thick paste of psychedelic industrial sound obscured by baroque guitar. Plus strange artwork by several Russian artists!" - so says the dead-on press release. Recommended.

Aeterna - New Dawn [Cold Meat Industry]
Stellar new Apocalyptic Folk from the Cold Meat Industry stable. Male and female vocal with ritualistic elements. Highly Recommended.

       In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Dexy Corp_ - Fragmentation [Black Rain]
New rising Industrial Rock-hope from France. Intense brutality for fans of Die Krupps, Ministry or Nine Inch Nails.

Lustmord - Beyond CD [Vaultworks]
The second (and last) album of extended remixes from the Lustmord album [O T H E R]. Limited to 1000 copies. Total length 60 minutes. Tracks: "Er Eb Os," "Plateau," "Trinity," "Atoll," "Er Eb Es."

Lustmord - Dark Places of the Earth CD [Vaultworks]
Ambient remixes from the Lustmord album [O T H E R]. 68 Minutes long, in four panel digipak. Limited edition of 1000 copies. Track listing: "Fallen," "Atom," "Ashen," "Eon," "Primal," "The Last Days."

Still Fresh...

Spectre -
10 Pezzi Facili (Ten Easy Tunes) CD [Old Europa Cafe]
The second solo album from Marcello Fraioli, vocalist and guitarist for cult ritual/folk outfit AIN SOPH. Minimal orchestrations of prog, folk, new wave, Italian cabaret, and poetry collide on this tight set. Includes one Ain Soph reinterpretation plus cool covers of Franco Battiato's "Magick Shop," Francesco Guccini's "L'Avvelenata," as well as John Barry's "The Persuaders." Recommended.

Habitat -
Code Gray CD [Self-Released]
A highly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!

Psyclon Nine
- We The Fallen CD [Metropolis]
The Aggro-Electro act returns its darkest, most aggressive album to date. EVIL!

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Death Threat CD [Sleazebox]
Still dark n' sleazy after all these years! Thrill Kill Kult's 13th studio release!

Jessie Evans - Is It Fire? LIMITED LP/CD [Fantomette]
Former Subtonix/The Vanishing/Autonervous member finally goes solo. Features appearances by Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop).

Relevant Tags

Industrial (27), Goth (47), Mona Mur (1), Amoeba Music Hollywood (104), En Esch (1), L'amour Toujours (1), Eric Burdon (2), Minty (1), Reporecords (1), Leigh Bowery (2), Noblesse Oblige (1), New Releases (214)