Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ballet Mécanique - The Icecold Waters Of The Egocentric Calculation LP

Ballet Mécanique (named after a project by the American composer George Antheil and the filmaker/artist Fernand Léger) was the first outing of multi-instrumentalist Martin Hall. The album is considered to be a cornerstone of the Danish rock history. They were also one of the most sensational postpunk acts of that time. The group synthesized rock, avantgarde and poetry in an absolutely unheard way, using dancers and films at their concerts to recreate their own surrealistic ecology on stage.
Ballet Mécanique started in the late 70's and released their first record in 1980, A 7" which is almost impossible to find these days. Martin Hall released some tapes of home recordings in between under his own name.
The band released a second album (as Ballet M.) in 1982 and split up.
Martin Hall went on to release more music as Under For, SS-Say and under his own name. The music varies from synthpop, experimental to tribal ambient.
Martin Hall made more music in the 90's and also published books.
for extensive info on Martin Hall, check his website here.
This album with an extra CD of live tracks was released on CBS in 2006 but I can't find it for sale so I think it's out of print as well.

The Icecold Waters Of The Egocentric Calculation LP (CBS-85186-1981)
1. An Attempt Of Interruption
2. Poem
3. Sweetened
4. Lied
5. Theory
6. Ism
7. Leathern
8. Threads
9. Veins

Ballet Mécanique


Albin said...

Man, this is one of the best records ever. I have both the lp and the reissue cd and i cant even describe how great they are. the second lp is a real killer as well but i think martin halls artistic peak came with this one. ok his later work is ok in some parts, but ballet mecanique is magic. i hope more people listen to this and appreciate its wonderful brilliance. not a dull minute, or even second.

Paw Bosack said...

The re-release of "The Icecold Waters..." was only printed in a limited edition but it should be possible to find it. It can be found in most Danish record stores. The extra CD contains a bunch of live material but also the never released song Intellectual Self-Mutilation (a lot more up-tempo than the rest of Ballet M.) + interviews with Martin. A few months after the re-release hitted the stores, Intellectual Self-Mutilation was released on a 7". I don't remember which song that was on the B-side but it was a live recording.

It's correct that Martin was in Under For (which shall be pronounced in Danish to be correct) and SS-Say, but he was also a member of Before. He also printed his own zine. One of the more interesting things Martin has done after Ballet M., Under For and Before is definately his work with Irma Victoria, an amazing Danish singer. Everybody should check out her Memorial album.

Albin said...

the intellectual selfmutilations b-side was a live version of leathern i think. fantastic single which should still be avaliable i think. their first single is fantastic as well. probably the best danish band ever. although martin halls work in before is never put out in the open its great as well, though i havent heard the live tracks where he plays guitar. would be great with some live Before!

Paw said...

I have just started a blog a week ago or so. I can upload some live recordings from Before.

Curious Guy said...

I've heard of Before. Didn't know that Martin Hall played with them. There's a discography CD I think.
Paw, leave an URL of your blog please. Want to check it out. Thanks.

Paw Bosack said...

My blog is:

The two live tracks is from the re-release of A Wish of Life.

Julle said...

Shit pomme frites it was a long time since I listened to this. It is awesome, but I like Hall's earlier stuff with Before better.

cavity said...

awesome record. Where do you get all these beauties? Yr blog is the ultimate best.

Anonymous said...

I can't get this link to work?

Curious Guy said...

New link's up. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that was fast!! Thanks a lot :)

TheBossInTheWall said...

Do you by any chance have Ballet Mecanique's album "For"?

Anonymous said...

incredible band! thank you very much for this! any chance of posting their second album or the debut single??

Curious Guy said...

Can't help you with the other Ballet M. records.

Anonymous said...

no problem man! I happened to find it incomplete (missing 1st 2 tracks) on soulseek and honestly, it's not nearly as great as this one... also, I just noticed a copy of the debut single is for sell at discogs but the price is too high for me at the moment... cheers!