Christoph de Babalon – “The Haunting Past Of Christoph de Babalon, vol. I”

“All tracks recorded 1993 – 1999 in Hamburg, Germany
All music © 1993-2014 Christoph de Babalon

Ten tracks from the vaults before the masters perish. This collection of classic works includes some of the very earliest material that Christoph de Babalon ever recorded. A few tracks date as far back as 1993 and take us straight into his teenage years of German angst, rolled down blinds and Amiga computers. This was years before his work on Digital Hardcore Recordings (DHR) and even before John Peel had heard of him and played Christoph’s truly isolationist music to a worldwide audience.

Some tracks and versions have never been released. Others are rare compilation tracks and sold out goods. If you are missing your favourite track from some particular 1990s demotape, please keep in mind that this is only the first release in the series.” – Christoph de Babalon

I approached this album after a tip off from Paul Knowles and went straight to Christoph’s Bandcamp Page paying the €6 to get the album. I did not listen to the album first so went straight in with the purchase. When I loaded it up on to my MP3 player – hell, I got a shock.

This was the first instance I had been exposed to Breakcore – and I want more! The opening track, Meet Fate, has a blistering synth cycle and the beat … oh, the beat – sublime, technical and unique. I figure that de Babalon had set the threshold for my future Breakcore adventures.

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I appreciate that I may not be the most qualified of people to review a Breakcore album – but, I can only approach it as someone with an open ear. Within this spectrum I have never heard an electronic musician convey such a sense of foreboding – de Babalon is a master.

There is such emotion in this album / there is such fury in this album / there is so much loss in this album.

However, it is not all doom and gloom – the third track, Blue Hours, is one of exquisite beauty. It seems to be a processed series of drones that …. just seem to work together. There are moments of dark ambient beauty that send a tingle down the spine of me, the listener. There is no rhyme nor reason why this release, a compilation, works so well. It seems like it could work as a concept album the tracks gel so well together.

But, if it was a concept album, what would the concept be? Loss? Fear? Rage? The concept is de Babalon himself – and, him turning the notion of being an outsider in to an artistic triumph. The difficult thing about reviewing a titan like de Babalon is that everyone will form their own opinion of him. However, I eagerly wait for Volume II.

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