Mazakon Tactics ("mazakon," if simplified, stands for someone with Oedipus complex) is a German one-man unit of mr. Sascha Mandler. It has made six releases since its founding in 2006, but this is the first one I've come to hear. The tape's both sides last for around 19 minutes, so you get plenty of sound for your cash.

The A-side opens with static crackling and low, muffled howls, which are soon accompanied by rather eerie electronic synth-waves. With the crackling and sudden bursts of scrap metal noises, the opening song sounds very twisted and dark, and could've easily lasted for longer despite its somewhat minimalistic approach. "Sightless..." opens with a looped metallic swoosh-sound that has some tiny metallic crackling, grinding and bops scattered around it. This distant humming is then spiced with shouted vocals, equally muffled as on the opener, to create a simplistic but very dark atmosphere. The song's looped synth-outro serves as a crown for the threatening feel. The song is suddenly taken over by the loud sound of storming wind (which is most likely synth-created, though) topped with crackling scrap metal-noise and reverbed shouts to create a sudden outbreak of hostility, until the song again returns to the spheres of calm synth-piano melodies and electric crackle. A-side's closing song opens with analogue-sounds similar to the ones in the opener; two slowly resonating waves of slightly metallic and eerie ambience. The shouted vocals are distant, and nearly drown to the steady and vast metal-beats that are to follow.

Side A left me very satisfied due to the minimalistic but detailed soundscapes and the strong feel of being engulfed by darkness, but on the other hand I couldn't shake off the thought that the band's instrumentation and sound is really cruddy. Everything but the electric crackles and metal-beats sounds suffocated. However, I don't listen to music like this to hear perfection, but to hear honest attempt and authentic feelings of frustration, desire, and inner struggles, and I got to hear all of those. The music is introverted and painful, but also deeply honest. The same applies to the depressed and/or possessed lyrics. I would've expected more from the j-card's artwork, though.

The B-side is very different than the earlier songs. It opens with layered samples that I assume to be porn, but it sounds as if the women were drowning or puking. Everything sounds suffocated, as expected, and the accompanying sounds of air hitting the microphone give the song a deeper lo-fi feel. Some analogue swooshing goes on in the background, but the emphasis is clearly on the reverbed samples. A few minutes into the song the gargling-samples fade away and are replaced by layers of crackling noise and background ambience a'la an industrial hall. These different elements fluctuate in and out (until the song's more structured and analogue noise-reliant ending), and along with the hissing vocal work they create a passive view on inner torment; the song is dark, but also lifeless and neutral in some sense. It isn't angry or depressed, but cold and very real.

As far as pleasure and enjoyability go... this song doesn't have them. The lyrics strengthen my view about the song being a depiction of dark, selfish and twisted acts in order to find even just a brief moment of pleasure - and all this while acknowledging the never-resting self-disgust. As you can see, the song arose strong images despite its minimalism.

I cannot recommend this tape to anyone who's looking for music or enjoyability, especially so due to the rather lo-fi soundscape. However, it might be a highly intriquing purchase for anyone interested in depictions of mental torment, darkness, and twisted soundscapes overall.

7 / 10