Over 20 years ago my first introduction to the Canadian project Funerary Call was a tape, “A Comselh De Ors” (1994). In that time it was a normal thing to do, to release your demos on tapes. These tapes could be copied (“dubbed”) by the person who released it, but more professional was to use blank tapes (rather than preprinted by the manufacturer such as TDK), print stickers to put on the tape (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or have the tape printed (which was expensive, so rare). The sleeves were often photocopied, printed a bit more professionally (like with “A Comselh De Ors”) or very professional with two-sided print on glossy paper. Small demos of beginning bands and projects could be easily recognised. See here to see some of those covers of these days.
Nowadays tapes seem to be hip again. Labels like Beläten, Aufnahme und Wiedergabe and Fall of Nature throw tapes on the market again. The first two labels offers download links (from Bandcamp) for the people who cannot play tapes anymore. Fall of Nature just releases tapes. The sleeve and the tape are nicely printed and the tape is one of those black “normal” (contrary to “chrome” or “metal”) tapes that were only made available by more professional labels in times past.
The music then. Funerary Call created two very dark, noisy ambient tracks. They are too noisy to be called “soundscapes” or “dark ambient”, but not noisy enough to be “noise” or even “ambient noise”. The tracks are good, but not the best material that Harlow MacFarlane released during his career.
The Funerary Call tracks are a lot better than the tracks on side B from Crown Of Bone. This active noise outfit created two tracks of noise mayhem, unstructured, chaotic; not my kind of noise.
Also I got myself a few other Fall of Nature tapes, but all are so far behind Funerary Call in quality, that I decided to not write reviews, but just to mention them in the ‘blog‘ part.
Links: Funerary Call, Fall of Nature Records
The rating is 3 for FC, 1 for CoB
15 Years ago Douglas P. posthumously released Siniša Očuršćaks second album. Now the project is revived (or continued) by Miljenko Rajaković, who produced the previous album.
“Lacrimae Mundi” sounds pretty much like “Theriomorphic Spirits”. The music is really slow, minimalistic and very dark ambient. There are deep drones, slow and heavy beats (sometimes becoming rhythmic), a little bit of melody and here and there a voice. Some tracks the music are more ‘trance-like’ and lighter of tone with drumming and slow melodies.
For the lovers of dark ambient.
Links: Tehôm, Cyclic Law
A little over two years I discovered A Place To Bury Strangers from Brooklyn, NY. They have grown to be my most favourite popband. What I did not know back then is that this band somehow seems not too far from the scene where much of my music comes from. A Place To Bury Strangers is often named in a line with The Lost Rivers, The Soft Moon or The KVB, bands that are scheduled on festivals such as the Wave Gotik Treffen. There are even people drawing lines towards the ‘minimal wave scene’ (under whichever name) calling the musical style “ghost wave” or “witch wave” which includes bands like Agent Side Grinder who do not sound anything near similar in my ears.
In any case, today “Transfixion” was unleashed unto the masses. I am now playing the album through Deezer and have already ordered my physical copy. In April the band is coming to my country. Since I got to know them, they visited my country twice and both times I was abroad. This time I got my tickets the day they were available, so I am not going to miss them again (lest someting unexpected happens of course). The new album does not have the flying start of previous albums. The band is at its best (to me) in their uptempo tracks which until now included the opening tracks of their albums. Not so on “Transfixion”. “Supermaster” makes a nice opener to get in the mood, but the mood is yet relatively soft; calm before the storm so to say. After this we are off with one of the two songs that have been available earlier, the uptempo track “Straight”. Some softer tracks follow and just when I started to wonder if APTBS took a step back in energy the other track that we already knew is up, the great “We’ve Come So Far”. But it gets even better with the great, dirty track “I’m So Clean” and “Fill The Void”.
Like before, the band goes from a rather wavey sound (in the 1980’ies gothic style) to shoegaze to downright noise-rock. Some tracks are slow, some are explosive and great. The band also likes a joke; sometimes the distortion is so heavy that it sounds like they blew up the studio (or my speakers). I am very curious what this is going to sound like live. “Transfixion” is not as good as “Worship”, but is certainly is another great album.
Links: A Place To Bury Strangers, Dead Oceans
Cold Spring recently rereleased this early Trepaneringsritualen tape. (The very first release (“Ritualer, Blot & Botgöring“) has been rereleased on cd by the Rusian label Infinite Fog Productions.) “Veil The World” contains the typical Trepaneringsritualen death industrial sound, but what makes these ‘early’ recordings interesting are the times that the distortion is limited and the sound goes into a more ‘minimal wave’ direction. These less typical elements make “Veil The World” not only interesting for archival reasons, but also shows that Cold Spring made a good choice to rerelease this particular tape.
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Cold Spring Records
The ‘new’ Idehall is less interesting than the two earlier releases. This could be because Discogs may have only listed “Sol”, “Deep Code” and “Svartkonster”, but the material for this last release may not be the last recorded. According to Beläten: “Awhile back Idehall premiered a bunch of new tracks at Repartiseraren. We can now offer these, as well as a handful or remixes of older material for digital purchase.” Besides the Bandcamp release, there are also 23 physical copies.
“Svartkonster” is more noisy and more industrial than the sound that I knew of Idehall. Other tracks are more ambient and by the use of vocals they remind me somewhat of Coph Nia. Things get interesting when the more ritualistic approach bubbles up. If this material indeed predates “Sol”, this is a nice archival release showing the development of this extremely interesting project. If the material is from between “Sol” and “Deep Code” it is a still enjoyable release, but still the least of the three.
Since Idehall’s music is some of the best that I heard of late, I suggest you to just get “Svartkonster” because even while the other releaes are better, “Svartkonster” is still very good!
Links: Michael Idehall, Beläten
The new Tanz Ohne Musik seems to be a small step back to the synthpop / minimal wave sound of earlier releases and away from the Galakhorrö angstpop. A small step though. Like on “Between Our Body Shapes” there are still heavy Galakthorrö influences, but Tanz Ohne Musik seems to be working more towards their own sound; an interesting sound! Most tracks have a slow, analogue sound with typical vocals. Some tracks tend more towards minimal wave, other more towards angstpop, but most are somewhere in between. Recommended!
Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Red Cavity Records
In the summer of 2013 I visited a Dutch festival and in some cd stand my eyes fell on two volumes of a compilation called “Death # Disco”. To my surprise I recognised several band- and project-names, but in my head they were from different scenes. Death # Disco is a disco evening in Berlin where they play a variety of music. Old fashioned gothic/wave, more contemporary wave of the “minimal wave” genre, but also shoegaze (that apparently is called “ghost wave” sometimes). The same can be said about the compilations and volume IV is no exception. New this time is that IV is a double cd.
The compilation opens with the strange band The Devil & The Universe that have a quite easy sounding EBM/synthpop-like track. There is also the electropop/-punk project ADULT., the shoegazers of The Soft Moon, minimal wavers such as Newclear Waves and Tropic of Cancer, the more poppy project Xeno & Oaklander and projects with an industrial background like Klangstabil and Echo West. Then there a whole range of projects that I never heard of.
Like volumes II and III there are a few good tracks, a lot of alright tracks and a handfull of tracks that are not my taste. But for 10 euros you get a good overview over ‘the larger wave scene’ and that makes this compilation a suggested buy.
Link: Death # Disco
The first version of this album was a tape on Beläten. Two years after the initial release the album is slightly extended and rereleased by a sublabel of Cat’s Heaven / VUZ Records. The package is not great. A photocopied A5 booklet with the cd pasted in.
The extension are two tracks put before the original release. The opening track now is a slightly monotous, ritualistic soundscape of 9:29 minutes. The other new tracks is a great and dark piece of noisy ritual music. Then follow the tracks of the wonderfull debut of Idehall. Sometimes somewhat ambient, at other times more industrial or angstpop and always nicely dark. Idehall’s voice definately sets the sound of this project.
Truely a great release. The second release is even better, but when you, like me, missed the physical debut, here is your chance to get it on cd. Be quick though, there are only 111 copies.
Links: Michael Idehall, Bastet Recordings
Death Industrial from a Belgian label that I do not think I heard of. Only now I see that I bought the debut of this project while there is a more recent release available through the same label. It is not like Femeheim sounds like Brighter Death Now. The music is dark and noisy, but not all tracks have the massive low frequencies of projects like Ex.Order. There are some pretty good tracks to be found here though. The rest is more like very dark ambient with a noisy edge which works as background music.
Not bad and this does make me curious about the second album.
Links: Femeheim, Death Continues Records
I thought to have ordered a death industrial cd, but this starless night nightmare is more a collection of weird and noisy soundscapes, too unstructured for my liking. The music is somewhat dark here and there, but I think that this release is more for people who like noisy soundscapes than people who are looking for noise or death industrial. I guess the label expects an audience, so I am sure it must be there. Quite a sad project name too by the way.
Not my thing. No worries, that can happen.
Link: Death Continues Records