UNSOUND VOL. 1 # 5: Broken Flag article


Gary Mundy, who runs Broken Flag records in the U.K., has been an active member of the underground since 1982 and has released five discs and more than thirty casettes by various artists creating some of the most visceral power electronics available. Gary not only releases material by Broken Flag artists, but also distributes essential works by a number of artists such as M.B., P16D4, Pacific 231, and others.

Some of the most vicious material is that released by Ramleh, whose "Slaughter at Random" LP represents the most violently unsettling aspects of the industrial scene. From the horrifyingly brutal black and white cover photography, Ramleh's assault begins. Here we are confronted with a ravaged male corpse, naked, with chest cavity removed. The body is being eviscerated, as is made clear by the gloved hand that is grasping and preparing to rip out the intestines. Such a grim illustration only prepares us for the uncontrolled onslaught of noise inside.

"Slaughter at Random" is a powerful, upsetting work, attractive because it is so extreme. The slashing tormented screams interwoven with a continuous barrage of layered feedback create a trance-like dreamstate where the unconscious mind has taken control; all of the aggression and suppressed anxiety is released. Ramleh's work is quite like the aural actualization of a nightmare. Like Whitehouse, they seem to make a strong point of promoting slaughter to bring about catharsis, yet their work is less articulated and more surreal than that of Whitehouse. Ramleh assaults us with angst ridden, reverberating sound and screams, not carefully formulated tales of graphic brutality.

Another potent release from Broken Flag is the "Neuengamme" cassette, which features works by M.B., P16D4, Whitehouse (live), Consumer Electronics, Kleistwahr, Krang, Esplendor Geometrico and others. "Neuengamme" is a dynamic collection of material (first released on vinyl in early 1982, but now available only on cassette) and represents the best of the power electronics artists presently working, as well as some of the most interesting and influential industrial artists of the past several years. styles range from the violent wall of chaos of Whitehouse to somber morbidity of the Neubautenish P16D4, (whose recent LP "Kuhe in 1/2 Trauer" is one of a handful of destined classics). Overall "Neuengamme" is an essential release and serves as an excellent starting point in getting acquainted with the Broken Flag catalogue.

Other superb releases include Ramleh's "Hand of Glory" EP, Kleistwahr's "Myth" cassette and Male Rape Group's "On to 83" cassette. Several new and supposedly ultra-potent recordings are soon to be released, namely the "Statement" LP and the "Backlash" cassette. For information and material contact:

Gary Mundy
59 Chapel View
South Croydon
Surrey, CR2 7LJ

Written by Paul Lemos, and originally published in Unsound Vol.1 #5 (1984)