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The Flying Luttenbachers - Incarceration By Abstraction CD (album) cover


The Flying Luttenbachers



4.33 | 6 ratings

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Originally founded in 1991 as a punk jazz trio, The Flying Luttenbachers have since gone on to become something of a reclusive, sub-underground phenomenon (maybe that's what the title of this album is refers to?), releasing 17 records of innovative, envelope-pushing free-jazz laced, death-prog soundscapes all complemented by vibrant and visually stunning artwork. In their various guises they have involved a floating cast of sonic freedom fighters and jazz-warriors including Ken Vandermark (Witches and Devils, Vandermark 5) and Mick Barr (Octis, Ocrilim, Crom-Tech) but their latest (and possibly final) album 'Incarceration by Abstraction' is amazingly the sole work of one Weasel Walter. Originally intended to feature both Mick Barr and/or Ed Rodriguez, neither musician was available so instead of shelf the project, Weasel Walter defied these restraints and recorded definitive solo versions of each piece for the sake of documentation!

The first thing that will strike Luttenbacher fans of old about this 8 track, 44 minute release is just how downright cohesive and powerful it sounds, I mean, listen hard enough and you'll even uncover a few grooves! The chunky production work is a definite contributing factor as it strips away most of the raw- to-the-bone harshness in favour of rounded basses and sharp but not piercing trebles placed in a wider soundstage. Mainly though, it is the fact that song structures are rooted in the energetic skeleton of epic noisecore. This strategy creates a loose structure which is fleshed out by attacks of ultra-spazzed, angular instrumentation that utilises complex drum patterns and highly unorthodox time signatures to create an unadulterated slice of brutal prog with a mathrock dynamic. Sounding like a nothing-to-lose Don Cabellero or Oxes that are being forced at gunpoint to play for their lives after being raised on a strict diet of Anaal Nathrakh and early Rush, 'Incarcertation by Abstraction' explodes forth with a menacing, no-holds barred intent. Frenzied riffs swirl uncharted within throbbing and immensely varied percussives that move from grindcore to free jazz arrangements in a bat of an eyelid whilst hypnotic inside-out melodies dart unrestrained, dragging the listener into the music's sphere of cosmic-meltdown and sonic discontent.

'Electrocution' encapsulates the devilish jazz-prog dynamic perfectly with splintered and clashing harmonics engaging in epic battle, a soundscape that is gradually supplemented by further instrumental turbulence. Refreshingly, the whole entity of agitated sound drops into a downtuned bout of bombast mayhem that reminds one of an irate 'Behold The Arctopus'. If the previous two tracks hinted at it, 'Medusa' fully embraces the metallic agenda, chugging along forcefully like a twisted ghost-train propelled by a foundation of grinding bass, pulsing riffage, disharmonious anti-melodies and shattering percussives that creates a black-metal meets noisecore meets spazz-jazz sound a bit like Teen Cthulhu placed in a kaleidoscopic musical blender. Steeped in a hardcore punk aesthetic, 'Violent Shade's' cloaked death-prog melodics yo-yo heroically across the scales with such ferocious intensity it is like the sound is continuously running away from you, the listener trying in vein to capture it. 'Triplex' follows suit with its meandering string-based anti-melodies that branch out in a sporadic fast-forward motion that helps the track charge ahead with a sociopathic momentum that fully manipulates the disorientating power of tempo switches and off-kilter, hyper-complex drumming. After the head- nodding and dizzying, doom-laden rock'n'drone of 'Crypt Emission' which features Weasel Walter in animated drumming mode, the story moves on to the anti-melodious cosmic swirl of 'The Serialization of Cruelty'; a head-rotating, 8bit mash of angular instrumental abstraction. What then appears from the speakers is a real ear-opener as 'The First Time' commences with the soothing, atmospheric vocals of Aurora Josephson seeping out and drifting across an ever intensifying soundscape of noir-ish, metallic mathcore before being lost in a heavily manipulated Mr Bungle-ish coalescence of Jonathan Joe's comic operatic vocals.

With 'Incarceration for Abstraction', Weasel Walter has kept committed to the out-and-out intensity of previous offerings but spiced things up by experimenting with new soundscapes. He has successfully scored and produced an epic body of psyched-out battlecore, serially unrelenting in its delivery and twisting and turning at every step like the ground below it is continuously giving way. Gear shifts down into epic metal-inspired plateaus such as those featured towards the end of 'Medusa' and 'The First Time' deliver a real sense of mosh-inducing energy and unification that ties the album together beautifully. The overall 'epicness' of the sound comes as no surprise considering that the meta-text of these songs concerns the hypothetical rebirth of the robot out of the debris resulting from the cosmic battle between the void and the behemoth. Although slightly more accessible than previous recordings, to many uninitiated's, The Flying Luttenbachers sound will remain out of range as it is just a bit too claustrophobic and intimidating to be able to seep into the hipsters mindset. To the lucky few though, this release will engage the mind and body in a state of complex disorientation and bathe listening arena's in a manic, out-of-scope cloak of non-conformist combat-sonic's. One sincerely hopes that The Flying Luttenbacher's story will live on. (KS)

p.s. Try playing 'Incarceration by Abstraction' to the amazing animated video's featured on Lightning Bolt's 'Power of Salad.' DVD in a darkened room for an ultimate sonic/visual trip.

For fans of: Playing Crom-Tech, Don Cab, Upsilon Acrux, Supersilent, Crowpath, Teen Cthulhu and Nebelnest discs at the same time, backwards!

experimusic | 4/5 |


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