Christoph Ziegler sure is a busy guy. Nowadays playing in or at least contributing something to eight different bands is surely a hell of a feat. Atomtrakt, which has been active since 2004 is his martial industrial project of cold grandiloquent, atmospheric, industrialized, and militant sounding ambient music and to date he's released four full-length albums as well as a demo and a EP. I was recently sent his sophomore effort, 'Nuklearchetyp,' which sounds fairly similar to his debut, 'Schutt & Asche' though nevertheless interesting.
Thematically Atomtrakt is centered around war and the digipak artwork within has various photos of explosions and post bombed cities as well as some smug looking chap on the front, which is... Christoph himself, I think... yes? Anyway, Atomtrakt's forte is highly melodious epic synth compositions mixed with stomping bombastic percussion (some military beats too) as well as various samples and raspy spoken vocals in German. The atmosphere is about as desolate as music gets and that might sound odd considering the lively nature of the synths at times, but in this case it feels more like an army storming my village and bombing my ass whereas a lot of other martial industrial bands seem to make the listener feel like the high commander. There are also some calmer moments on this disc where the dust starts to settle and that's when I find it really getting to me. I probably shouldn't be drinking Wisconsin brewed beer as a I write this, but perhaps some Russian vodka or some good 'ol Braunschweiging Jägermeister instead.
'Nuklearchetyp' is a fairly solid disc and if you're familiar with his past work you'll be getting more of the same, but it could also be a surprise for those that don't know it. There's also an Mpeg video included for the song, 'Eisenkerker,' which is basically just B&W footage of various abandoned buildings, fields, tanks and other grim shit, but it works.
And as one final thought I hope the two most recent Atomtrakt releases have a little more experimentation to them even though I probably wont make any special effort to obtain them, but if they should happen to come my way it would be pleasing to see something a little bit different.