Generatorenkonflikte (Ramp vs. Antidot 1997 [7:20]
Tribejagd (Tribal Edit) 1997 [5:36]
What's the Point of Eating Concrete? (Definite Edit) 1998 [6:54]
Looking Back in Anger (The Real Huizen Finale Edit) 1999 [13:59]
So far ([ramp] & Markus Reuter) 2000 [9:11]
Scissors (Short & Painful Edit) 2004 [13:53]
Nothing (Keep the Balance Right, Jhonn) 2006 [1:25]
Frank Makowski: electronics, sampling, tools, sequencing Stephen Parsick:electronics, atmospherics, tools, sequencing
Would you believe? Ten years ago we joined to form a loose collaborative outlet named RPM after the initials of our surnames. Ten years later we´re still walking, despite some major hassles we had and still have to struggle with. That´s life, isn´t it. To celebrate ten years of [´ramp] and the fact that we´re still here to face life´s hassles, we released our new album "looking back in anger – a decade of misfits 1996-2006".
This album contains previously unreleased music from the past decade (okay, some music has in fact been released in very small quantities but only about a quarter of it). It starts with one of the first tracks we ever recorded under the RPM moniker, still joined by Lambert Ringlage who bailed out shortly after. Close on its heels is the first track we recorded without Lambert, being the first "official" RAMP track ever. There are some tracks from various collaborations which just seemed to exist as unsubstantiated rumours but in fact, here they are: A lovely take from a rehearsal for the second RAMP concert, featuring our vocalist Martina Beine aka Fantar who just made a brief appearance on our debut album "Nodular" in 1998. One of our personal favourites is the track "Generatorenkonflikte" which was recorded together with Stefan Kraft aka ANTIDOT but never made an appearance anywhere else. The icing on the cake most certainly is a long forgotten and luckily retrieved recording of one of our rehearsals for the 1999 Huizen show! Stowed away in a shoebox we discovered a usable version of what the Huizen finale really was supposed to sound like! This is classic RAMP at our most steaming sequencer-based workouts. A beautiful gem from the ambient sessions with Markus Reuter plus some previously unheard studio work from 2004 and 2006 put the cherries on the icing in our humble opinion.
As you will have noticed, there´s nothing on this album the Dutch would call "old cake", there´s nothing on it which sounds like we were trying to offload some toxic musical waste and make a quick penny from that. All music is fresh and diverse, showcasing our musical scope without limiting it to, urgh, "retro" alone. All music has been remixed and remastered to obtain the highest possible level of audio quality. Not an easy task, taking into consideration the often hilariously primitive equipment we used back then.
2006. Press Information
With "looking back in anger"['ramp] produced an album to celebrate the band´s 10th anniversary with.
Stephen skimmed through the band´s archive of dat tapes and selected a couple of tracks that had never been released before or that had just been available on bootlegs or compilation albums. he edited and polished the tracks and turned them into little gems. of course, they are still a bit rough around the edges but this adds greatly to their charm. arranged in chronological order, they showcase ['ramp]´s evolution from a heavily retro-inspired Berlin school band to a group that explored the boundaries of the electronic music genre way beyond what was commonly accepted. "scissors" turned out to be the final track recorded by the two original members Frank Makowski and Stephen Parsick as the band broke up shortly after, leaving the two gentlemen pursue their own musical paths.
Stephen now continues with ['ramp] as another solo enterprise.
This release from 2006 offers 78 minutes of powerful electronic music.
The tracks on this CD span the band's ten year career, exemplifying tuneage of unique quality. They are all previously unreleased. Parsick and Makowski are joined on some of these pieces by guests: Lamert Ringlage, Stefan Kraft, Martina Beine, Jens Peschke, and Marcus Reuter.
Be warned: many of these tracks possess distinctly more kick and rhythmic oomph than 'Ramp's normal fare. Nevertheless, a certain shadowy flavor remains, seasoning the up tempo melodies with an undercurrent of foreboding.
Lavish keyboards generate sweeping chords that blend nicely with the band's ever-present moody tonalities. Riffs are borne aloft on the crest of a sea of surging drones, swaying and resounding with frenetic energy. Heavenly waves frequently drench the music's lively nucleus, ascribing the melodies with an alluring fusion of salvation and doom. Snarling notes lend a puissant presence that pierces the murkiness with a glare of creative brilliance.
E-perc plays a vital role here, boosting the tunes with urgent tempos. Sometimes the rhythms are propulsionary, other times the percussion explores abstract venues with unearthly timbre.
Compositionally, these songs glisten with vibrant appeal. Their nimble disposition is charismatic, made all the more bewitching by their haunting embellishments. In contrast to most of 'Ramp's slow burn output, these tracks are compact, delivering strong melodies right away and working to enhance the intensity of each composition.
This release displays 'Ramp's potential to exceed accepted styles of EM and forge tuneage that pushes the envelope with remarkably satisfying accomplishments.
Matt Howarth / Soniccuriosity
The Doombient-release "Looking Back in Anger" is 78-minute retrospective compilation by the duo Stephen Parsick and Frank Makowski.
It provides an overview of nine rare or elsewhere unreleased tracks spanning the first decade of [´ramp]´s work, which saw them collaborate with e.g. Stefan Kraft, Martina Beine, Jens Peschke, Lambert Ringlage and Marcus Reuter.
Things are kicked-off by the sequencer & (cheap) drum driven "The Warsaw Disaster", which reveals the influence of TD, but most of all this piece sparkles due to the joy these musicians must have had putting this track together. Sure it’s all vintage that rules on this disc, when one digs the fine retro choirs and textures scattered all over the album at featured on the second track „Sakrileg am Mittag".
Unfortunately, things get too weird and experimental for me on „Generatorenkonflikte", and also the odd, eerie sonics of „Tribejagd" couldn’t really grab me.
Heavy sequencing and (organ) soloing make up the 1998-piece „What's The Point Of Eating Concrete?", followed by the impressive title track. It roams in great free form ambient textures and fx’s before the rattling sequencing and exciting solo’s kick in.
Things slow down on "So Far", featuring guest musician Markus Reuter, which roams in well-rendered cosmic and ambient drone textures.
The dark, atmospheric "Scissors" continues in the same vein, but gradually gets more rhythmic as retro sequencing and drums fade in.
It’s sad there’s another, although very short, track coming: "Nothing" is an experimental, odd and distorted sounding piece which should have been left out, as it makes no sense at all.
All in all, this is an essential recording for those who love the raw, powerful output of this band.
Bert Strolenberg / Sonic ImmersionRAMP’s musical journey has been a long and convoluted one, as evidenced by the diverse material on this collection of out takes and alternative mixes.
"The Warsaw Disaster" is typical of their early period, a classic Teutonic offering, particularly the latter half which sounds awfully similar to Tangerine Dream’s "Logos" from 1982. "Sakrileg Am Mitta (High Noon Edit)" is another early recording, but one which hints at the dark road [‘ramp] was later to take, with eerie vocal samples and dark choirs, very Schulze like once it gets going. "Generatorenkonflikt" features guest musician Stefan Kraft on rhythm programming and processing, giving it a much harder, synthetic feel than usual [‘ramp] outings. The tribal-tinged "Tinbejagd" has its moments, showing a unique take on the [‘ramp] sound, although Martina Beine’s vocals alternate between enhancing and detracting. The metallic sequencing of "What is the Point of Eating Concrete?" reaming a winner in this updated version, courtesy of some reworking in the studio by Stephen. The title track is the band’s 1999 finale at the 6th Alfa Centauri Festival. A long slow build up of energy is unleashed at the end, wherein the synths do seem almost angry at being played so intensely. Next is an outtake from the [‘ramp] collaboration with Markus Reuter called Ceasing To Exist. My favorite track on the disc is easily "Scissors (Short and Painful Edit)." [‘Ramp] is at their best when they combine their Berlin school and dark ambient leanings into one package, as they did throughout their fantastic Oughtibridge release. This is a great track up there with the best that Node and Redshift have done and of course [‘ramp]. The last bit is a brief oddity that emphasizes the disjointed nature of this collection.
Mine it for the gems you like best.
2007. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Of all the German EM artists Ramp is perhaps the most unique and devastatingly powerful. Their "style", which they have coined as "doombient" literally overflows with dense, dark vibrations and latent menace sonically. Up to now they have not been particularly prolific, but now they have literally unleashed 3 albums worth of music, all of which are somewhat different and stunningly graphic electronically.
LOOKING BACK IN ANGER is older unreleased tracks by the band and is a real blast of "doombient" darkness, filled with heavy sonic pulses, sharp synthetic effectual blasts and lightning blots of static electricity. It’s killer.