AVANT DUEL is a collaboration of VON LMO & Otto von Ruggins – two of the most advanced and Avant Garde artists playing music that commands you to listen and wonder – why are they unheard øf?
Get on board with three FREE key track downloads to initiate yourself…
FLASH! AVANT DUEL’s new album – We Are The Aliens – is available at iTunes, CD Baby & other outlets, with their previous album – Beyond Human!
Hear what others say about AVANT DUEL, VON LMO & Otto von Ruggins!
SCENEPOINTBLANK.COM (January 20, 2020) – Spaceman comes to Earth, fronts rock band!
It sounds like it might be a Weekly World News headline or the subplot to a ‘60s-era Godzilla film, yet this is allegedly what happened when, in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Von LMO, claiming to have been from the planet Strazar, rose to prominence in NYC’s no wave music scene. Following the release of 1981’s well-regarded Future Language, LMO disappeared from the music scene for more than a decade before returning with 1994’s Cosmic Interception, a more punk-oriented album that contained alternate recordings of tracks from his debut album along with a few new ones (including two with keyboardist and audio engineer Otto von Ruggins). After 1996’s Red Resistor, an album that was at times noisier and more experimental than his earlier work, LMO dropped off the radar again, only to reemerge in 2010 to form Avant Duel in collaboration with von Ruggins.
2012’s Beyond Human marked the first release from Avant Duel, and it stands as a worthwhile continuation of LMO’s unique brand of music. Beyond Human is very experimental in terms of its sound. Most all the tracks here are fueled by electronic elements which range in mood from being more ominous, mysterious, and menacing to downright playful and at times, dancy. While the album’s wide array of sounds keeps a listener guessing as to what’s coming next, it’s clearly the song lyrics, delivered as spoken word and sounding to me like a combination between beat poetry and B-movie sci-fi monologues, that are the featured element, and I suspect could kind of make or break the album for many listeners.
Beyond Human kicks off with “Parallel Universe,” a track which finds LMO discussing out-of-body experiences and a sense of separation that’s reinforced in the hallucinogenic video that seems to position a morphing, omnipotent LMO against a backdrop of earthly images. Considering that one of the things I liked most about LMO’s early records is the prominent use of saxophone, I was glad to find that this opening track adds fleeting sax just under the relentless and hypnotic bass line and bubbling electronic sounds. The subsequent “Robot’s Dream” has a more bouncy feel to it (and an even more trippy music video), though the lyrics continue on the metaphysical path as LMO describes a sort of epiphany coming through the titular event. Moving forward, “Hologram Girl” displays a more aggressive, almost industrial sound based around chugging guitars and pounding percussion, and “Psychodelica” and “Android Delusion” head into more eerie and unsettling sonic territory.
Psychodelica actually seems to describe Avant Duel’s genre precisely, and one of the best aspects of Beyond Human is that the music compliments the lyrical material quite well. This is particularly true on “ElectroMagnetic Playground.” As Von LMO reenacts a conversation with physicist Nikola Tesla about reverse quantum physics, the music seems to bubble and churn as if a chemical reaction is taking place, with the track breaking down into chaos when Tesla commands LMO to “flip the switch.” Similarly, the upbeat dance music featured in “Alien Playstation,” which finds LMO presenting the sort of theory Ancient Aliens’ David Childress might suggest while gesticulating wildly (“…you have to wonder…”), fits with the concepts. It’s also worth noting that Beyond Human seems to get more “unhuman” as it goes along in terms of its sound and presentation. Down the stretch, Von LMO’s voice is digitized, moved around in the mix, and even completely reversed for the duration of sinister-sounding penultimate track “Dark Rift,” while the album’s title track periodically disintegrates into frenzied cauldrons of noise.
Beyond Human…feels like an expansive art project rather than your typical music release and, to that end, includes an accompanying 18-page booklet with some fabulously strange artwork as well as bios and full lyrics…
Nevertheless, I’d recommend this wholeheartedly for those looking for something genuinely different, and particularly to those familiar with Von LMO’s previous work. He certainly is a singular figure in the world of music over the last several decades, and shows no signs of slowing down – Avant Duel released a second album, We Are the Aliens, in 2016, and LMO and von Ruggins have also recently released two improvised psychedelic records, Fugue of Death and Cybercrazed, both of which are interesting in different ways. Advance Yourself, become fluent in Future Language, and give Beyond Human a shot if you’re feeling adventurous.
DANGEROUS MINDS – “NEW YORK NO WAVE: AVANT DUEL’S RETURN ENGAGEMENT FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE – Otto von Ruggins (keyboard player for the amazing mid-70s occult punk group Kongress who shared a TV stint with Ron Paul on the Downey Show in the late ’80s) and intergalactic No Wave druid Von LMO (also in Kongress, and considered a genius by no less an authority than Julian Cope) have returned as Avant Duel. They just played at the Max’s Kansas City Reunion @ The Bowery Electric where Von LMO chopped into his guitar with a meat cleaver and kept on playing … transgressively transcendent stuff.”
MUSICTECH MAGAZINE – Album of the Month – “The music of VON LMO and Otto von Ruggins – aka Avant Duel – is unlike any other. Otto tells MTM the story of Beyond Human…”
JULIAN COPE – “Riffs the size of moons batter lyrics the size of planets…”
THE ENTERTAINMENT BANK – “A world of Flesh and Machine beyond anything you may ever have heard. Lyrics both sung and spoken with a dramatic flare, synthesizers that pulsate propelled by high speed electric guitars and big room rock drums – an explosion of sound beyond the normal path presented with an intensity and purpose that will ignite your musical flame.”
BLOG TO COMM – “These guys use electronics the same way William Burroughs used language. Disque closer ‘Beyond Human’ sounds like Burundi drums and guitar strangulations backing LMO’s chanting in an attempt to raise Jimi from the grave!”
THE VILLAGE VOICE – “A rowdy bottle smashing night…earlier in the evening there had been an altercation with a satanic occult band…that played music that sounded like a Concorde drone with Aleister Crowley lyrics. They abandoned the stage only after threats of violence were unfurled like vampirish cape flourishes.”
SOHO WEEKLY NEWS – “Soundtrack for a Screamie…a breathless half-hour that stops time dead in its tracks…the most bizarre blend of media ever to darken the annals of rock’n’roll.”
PUNK MAGAZINE – “…the most dangerous band in the world…”