I do not receive a whole lot of promo/to-review material. Actually I am glad about that. When I buy an album and do not like it, I will say so; when I do, the same. I hear a lot of music that I am indifferent to. It may work as background music, it does not annoy me, nor does it please me. When I get such an album, I frequently decide not to review it at all. The owner of the Russian UIS label insisted that I would listen to their “post industrial” compilation to hear its brilliance. I did listen to this compilation, three times. There are but few reviews on this website of albums that I heard three times before reviewing it. Still I find it difficult to write this review. However the music on this compilation is varried in musical style, all tracks seem to have something incommon. They do not really ‘work for me’. But, to (probably) present you some new names, here we go for a free Bandcamp compilation that was earlier presented as an audio cassette.
The title of this compilation translates as “Mokṣa”, a Sanskrit term that according to the label means “breaking from chains of reincarnation and all the miseries of material existence”. The music is inspired by the funeral music of the balinese village of Trunyan. There are nine tracks on the compilation. The opening act is the Russian project Obt Grubuscrum with a rather typical, but descent, ritualistic dark ambient track (think of Herbst9 for example), Project Hypoxia reminds more of the Hyperium sound with melodic, ‘ethnic’ sounding music. Per Aspera also starts with such a sound, but goes over in something somewhat technoish. Next up is Bhārata Mātā with a bit of an experimental tribalish track. After this we get a slightly darker, yet melodic track of Krrau. As with Bharata Mata, we now get another piece of experimental tribal industrial, perhaps reminding of the more tranquil material of Hybryds; the project is named ﻗﺎﻣﺖ ﺍﻟﺳﺎﻋﺔ. Угасание is more dark ambient soundscape type music. The same can be said about Vehjora, but this goes over in guitar-drone. The closing track is weird minimalistic and experimental music; Discogs has it listed as “ethno-ambient” which roughly covers the sound (but could be applied to other tracks as well); the project is presented under the monicker Ajuleg & Irm.
The compilation works as background music, but to me the music is not interesting enough to really listen to it. What is somewhat funny, I more or less get the same feeling with each track (indifference, there are not really ‘highs’ and ‘lows’). Would that mean that “Mokṣa” is very well compiled?
The Arafnas seem to have been in a romantic mood. November Növelet already was their softer project, but on their latest album both the sound and even more so: the lyrics, seem to have softened somewhat more.
Mrs. Arafna sings on all tracks. Now there is something of a risk, because her voice is not my favourite element of the music of the Arafnas. It sound like she has a herself photographed: a bit dull. (Perhaps on purpose?) Often I am indifferent to them (not annoyed, not overjoyed), here and there her voice does add a good element to the music, so how about on “The World In Devotion”?
The album opens with a soft and not too interesting track/song. After “Be Gratefull To Your Murderer” the tempo goes up and most of the rest of the music is mid-tempo and the sound is very much like the current sound of NN. The music is nicely minimalistic and analogues. However the video that was released recently seemed to have suggested otherwise, NN does not really lean towards the popular sound of “minimal wave”. Mr. and mrs. Arafna keep doing their own thing. The rhythms are relatively complex in some tracks, nice things happen on the background, some songs have simple but catchy melodies and mrs. Arafna sings (and in the video: dances) away, most of the time resulting in nice and moody soft dance songs that will work well on “minimal wave” dancefloors and radio-shows. There may not be a highlight on this album such as the title song of “Magic”, but overall “The World In Devotion” is a more than proper album showing the furry sound of the couple that names itself Arafna.
Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö
Subliminal is the stable link to Galakthorrö’s noisy past. “Sterben Lassen” again presents harsch and distorted noise.
Just as with the previous 7″ “Under Pressure” I expected this 7″ to be harscher and harder to listen to, but again I must conclude that Albert Finch created a wonderfull piece of moody and extreme music. A bit of old-style rhythmical industrial on side A and an emotive wall of sound on side B. And another good track on both sides as well.
Yep, I would like to invite Subliminal to work on another full-length.
Links: Subliminal, Galakthorrö
The latest signing on Galakthorrö comes from Madrid. The four tracks on this 7″ remind of November Növelet. Tranquil analogue rhythms, soft female vocals. Da-Sein is perhaps a bit rougher. The label speaks of “the spirit of the early days of Industrial”. That makes it sound a bit harscher than the sound really is. The atmosphere of the latest November Növelet releases and the sound of the earlier, but less dramatic. Tanz Ohne Musik could serve as comparison as well.
The 7″ is a nice new addition to the Galakthorrö discography.
Links: Da-Sein, Galakthorrö
The new Distel is “a compilation of rarities and remixes”. “Zand” (‘sand’) includes the both tracks of the 7″ Mrok/Regn, but in alternative versions, a cover of Suicide and 6 remixes that Distel made for other projects.
What you get is the ‘old style’ Distel, more recently sounding tunes and new sounds. I particularly like the old angstpop sound of the beginning of “Nothing To Mend”, but Distel’s slow and dark dance music in general belongs my preferred sound.
There are a few tracks with female vocals (from the original tracks). Peter’s own vocals are only far on the background of one track. That is a bit of a difference with earlier releases that have the highly distorted vocals. Inspite a large part of the album consisting of remixes, the sound is very much Distel (he really turned other people’s music into his own). So if you (like me) like this Dutch project, “Zand” will not let you down.
Links: Distel, Ant-Zen
The latest Blitzkrieg Baby is released by Beläten like the previous release. This five track tape is somewhat softer from the previous tape. The sound became more minimalistic, somewhat industrial (because of the rhythms) and perhaps a little bit darker. The closing track is a bit more uptempo (and industrial) and the most interesting of this ep.
I prefer the more pompous style of “Kid’s World”, but on “Cannibal Commando” Blitzkrieg Baby continues developing its unique style.
Links: Blitzkrieg Baby, Beläten
The Dead Weather is one of my favourite poprock bands. The band members play in a range of other bands, not the least bands either. Of course there is Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, etc., etc. Then we have Alison Mosshart of The Killers and some other bands. Dean Fertita of Queens Of The Stoneage, The Raconteurs, etc. Last but not least Jack Lawrence who also plays in The Raconteurs and a handfull of other bands. Several of the names bands have nice songs, but nothing like The Dead Weather.
Because all band members are busy, it took five years before The Dead Weather released another full-length. In that time two singles were released and recently tracks from the then upcoming album were already available. Because of this I already knew a large part of “Dodge And Burn”.
The album opens with “I Feel Love” which has been available for a week or two. An alright track with Mosshart on vocals. We continue with “Buzzkiller” that is featured on the single of last year with the same title. The first new track is “Led Me Through”, a nice song. The next two tracks are new too and on “Three Dollar Hat” we hear Jack White for the first time and then Mosshart again as the song speeds up into a very nice Dead Weather song. “Rough Detective” and “Open Up” shared a 2013 7″, the latter is nicely energetic. The last tracks are new again.
“Dodge And Burn” does not blow me away like “Sea Of Cowards” (2010) or “Horehound” (2009). The tempo of most songs is fairly low and they seem less dramatic than earlier material. I do not rule out the possibility that this album will grow on me though, since The Dead Weather has a nice unique style with a lot of detail and some experimentation.
Links: The Dead Weather, Third Man Records
Amalthea is Michael Idehall and Æther. Beläten released material of both projects and there is a message of Thomas Ekelund to accompany this cassette, but this self-titled tape was released by a label that is new to me (even though they released a tape with Trepaneringsritualen).
Well then. Michael Idehall records both material that I adore and more monotous ritualistic material that I like less. Æther is also a bit too monotous for my ears and yet I read that the split is somewhat noisy. That is not really the case on side A. The two tracks are soundscapes, mostly with an ‘industrial pulse’. The tracks are nicely dark, perhaps not brilliant but nice to listen to.
The two tracks on side B are indeed quite a bit noisier. They still have the slow rhythm, making what I call ‘noisescapes’. These two tracks are the more interesting of this tape to me.
A descent tape for background music. For people who like dark, slightly industrial and ritualistic ambient.
Links: Michael Idehall, Æther
When my eye fell on this 7″ in the shop of Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, I did not know that it is actually a brand new 7″. Some three years after lp (click on the bandname to read the review) there is new material of Black Bug.
The title track of this 7″ is an uptempo and nicely raw sounding electropunk track. Side B, “Push You”, sounds more like that wave-sound that is so popular nowadays. It is not really “minimal wave” that I used as a tag, but more like the style between shoegaze-rock energy and minimal wave, perhaps reminding a bit of some material of The Soft Moon. So what do they call that these days? “Now-wave”? “Ghost wave”? No matter, as long as it is good and that certainly goes for this 7″.
Videos for both tracks can be found on the Facebook page of the band, so it is easy to listen to the music.
Links: Black Bug, Avant!
I was looking much forward to hearing this cd, but it took a while before I could. “Unrest” was certainly worth the wait!
The album opens with the brilliant title track. A dark rumbling piece of death industrial with calm, clear, spoken vocals with a not-so-calm message. Then Am Not continues with different styles of death industrial and noise, all pretty damn dark. From Operation Cleansweep-like dark noise with distorted vocals to chaotic power electronic with no vocals. Somehow I have something with dark noise with vocals and that is a description for most tracks on “Unpunished”. All well-excuted and moody, so here we certainly have another great noise album.
The first ‘real album’ of the British Am Not is one for lovers of the mentioned Cleansweep or Ex.Order, industrial noise projects like Trepaneringsritualen and ‘vocal noise’ projects such as IRM and some tracks of the latest Iron Fist Of The Sun.
Links: Am Not, Unrest Productions