with 'war of sound', mathis mootz (m2 / squaremeter) changed his direction from microtonal click'n'cut-oriented soundscapes to rhythm-oriented ambient music. this new approach was enjoyable at home and in concert. mootz's performances as panacea might be a reason for this change - he explains: 'the music of m2 should become more rhythmic to get better, interesting live shows for the crowd. in my opinion, pure ambient-music presented live is too one-dimensional'. so, the beats on 'aswad' are kept slow, but the drum sounds have become more dominant and powerful.
the intro of 'sifer' might be an irritating start for listeners who are familiar with older m2 tracks. you have never heard squaremeter this dark - maybe it is a result of mootz's first aural contact with lustmord's works. works which simply 'blew him away' (as he enthusiastically cheered). so the influence of brian williams is present. tracks like 'faregh' also contain some of these dark elements (while you might believe that you are listening to an excerpt of a john carpenter soundtrack when you hear 'kefaya').
'aswad' is similar to 'war of sound' because they both follow the same path. however, on ‘aswad’ arabic influences have taken over the sound, track titles and artwork. of course, there is always one name mentioned when an artist utilizes these themes: bryn jones a.k.a. muslimgauze. 'aswad's title track is reminiscent of jones' work, but the typical m2-clicks and the pounding beats make this track unique and original.
with this cd, m2's stylistic evolution goes one step further; 'aswad' is an enjoyable aural journey at home and a platform for energetic m2 live events.
It just clicks for me. The percussion and horn sections are absolutely spectacular throughout. Bit of jungle music, bit of 007-esque espionage SURE throw in some spaghetti western themes as well. rob hammond