Like “The Sound Of Progress” a documentary about industrial music. Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins interviewed some industrial icons and cut these interviews with old footage. The result looks a bit messy and the old footage is always way too short and cut-off to go back to the interview.
The documentary takes 52 minutes. The 30 minute bonus material are the interviews in their entirety. There is footage of and/or interviews with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, NON, SPK, Test Dept, Clock DVA, Re/Search – V Vale, Z’EV, Click Click, Sordide Sentimental, Hula, The Klinik, Ant-Zen, Orphx, In The Nursery and Prima Linea, some longer than the next.
The longer (and bonus) interviews are with Cris and Cosey (separately), Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, etc.), Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire, etc.), Boyd Rice (!), Graeme Revell (SPK), Stefan Alt (Ant-Zen) and Udo Weissman (Winterkälte, Hands).
The latter two I find a bit strange. Why not Tesco, Cold Spring or Malignant? Did the makers want to make a bridge to more ‘modern sounding’ industrial? Or is is, like with “the Sound Of Progress” that the focus lays less on the underground side of the scene? Not that Ant-Zen and Hands are major labels, of course, but the other labels have more of an unruly approach, the latter are ‘easier’ so to say.
The documentary gives a nice idea of industrial music and the early musicians’ backgrounds and inspiration. Nothing that I never heard of, but there are some images that I never saw and all interviewees are spoken with in their current days looking back at when they were young. Some of them were quite offensive in their time, but little is seen of that in the documentary (even Boyd Rice is more of a Georges Clooney inspite of his police cap and glasses). This makes the documentary a bit too ‘goody’ for the subject.
An amusing watch though.
Link: Industrial Soundtrack
I usually do not review material that is ‘old’, but I actually thought this was a recent release when I ordered it. Besides, inspite its limitation to 400 copies, there are apparently still copies available of this release. Many even, if the number on my copy is has the highest sold number yet.
Aufnahme + Wiedergabe is a relatively young label from Germany. I love their name which is makes a great wordplay reference to Haus Arafna (Aufnahme + Hingabe, but then made into ‘recording + playing back’). Two years after their founding, they released this scene-overview.
I think I discovered this label a couple of years ago because they release material of projects that are also on Beläten. They mostly operate in the field of “minimal wave”, a style of music that I had known for a couple of years before I ran into this label. However I have been listening to “minimal wave” for some 8/9 years, there still prove to be bands and labels that I never heard of, even on Spotify/Deezer. There is so much of this music, that it often starts to sound alike or simply be not my taste. A+W released a few good things, but I do not blindly buy their releases, since they not all sound too good to me. But a compilation cd with book sounds like fun, does it not?
The ‘book’ is more of a photo album with photos (one per page) of artists, DJs, etc., mostly in their weirdest cloths. The photos are not necessarily of people from the bands on the cd, but more like people from the scene.
The cd, as ever, contains bands that I never heard of. Actually I only knew a few. The cd has 18 Tracks and a descent running time. It starts nicely with good tracks, not too typical minimal wave. Towards the end come the more typical sounds (and the typical awful singing), but overall the compilation is quite nice and looks nice as well.
Get your copy directly from the label and scan their catalogue and mailorder for more interesting stuff.
Link: Aufnahme + Wiedergabe
It does not happen often that I run into a musical genre that is totally new to me, but that still proves to be highly interesting. A while ago I stumbled upon OAKE. When reviewing that latest EP I wondered from what type of scene they would come. Some fringe of industrial, some fringe of techno, experimental doom, or something wholly different?
Then I ran into Kerridge, the sublime “Fatal Light Attraction”. Kerridge’s music is very minimalistic techno, somewhat industrial in approach with pulsating rhythms and noises and (sometimes depending on what beat catches your attention mostly) a very slow pace.
So I have started doing some research. Kerridge has a few releases out. Under the monicker Samuel Kerridge there are some more and the man also has a label: Contort. There are projects like Kerridge and not just a few either it seems. Lakker, Talker, We Will Fail, Ketev, Positive Centre, Rrose, Shifted, Silent Servant, Shapednoise, SHXCXCHCXSH (who I already knew) and more. Sometimes the music is fairly typical “minimal techno” with a steady beat and ‘happy sounds’, but some of these projects make a nice piece of fairly slow and dark music (and some combine the darker tracks with more ‘easy listening’ ones. This starts to look like a scene to sift through to see what I like. So far the journey has been quite interesting!
Not all music is as good as that of OAKE or Kerridge, but I must say that from most of the music that I listened to, I like the larger part and that is something that rarely happens to me when I find a new genre. What is a bit odd though, is that there is enough of this music to ‘be a scene’, there are labels that release this sort of material and yet I have not found a ‘name’ (‘tag’, ‘cabin’) for it. “Industrial techno” is a description that I run into frequently, but this term is also used for harder types of techno ((post-)gabber). “Minimalistic techno” is also already ‘in use’. The beats are not always such that I could use the term “IDM” (Kerridge has very regular beats for example). I do not know. Yet, perhaps.
Links: Kerridge, Downwards
I had never dared to hoped that over a decade after the previous album, Nicholas Lens would release a new one! Nicholas Lens, the mind-blowing modern classical composer who used electronics in his ground-breaking “Flamma Flamma” (1994), the first part of the “The Accacha Chronicles” trilogy.
The two later parts of the trilogy (“Terra Terra” 1999 and “Amor Aeternus” 2005) and also “Orrori Dell’Amore” (1995) were less experimental, less pompous and less dark, but still interesting. Then suddenly I find out about a new album, an album with Nick Cave! Nick Cave does sing though, he wrote the lyrics.
“Shell Shock” is a classical type of opera with an orchestra, sopranos and a choir. The opera is still somewhat pompous here and there, but there are no electronics, strange gypsy choirs or modern classical experimentations. It is a fairly straight-forward opera. Nice to listen to, but nothing like “Flamma Flamma”.
Link: Nicholas Lens
Ke/Hil is Brigant Moloch of Anenzephalia and Wilhelm Herich of Genocide Organ (and Tesco Organisation) and their latest release is not the first that I review.
Contrary to what you may expect, Ke/Hil is not an extreme industrial project like GO or Anenzephalia, but neither as odd and light as Dogpop, another GO/Anenzephalia collaboration. As a matter of fact, where previous Ke/Hil releases contain some harsher industrial and noisy tracks (but nothing like the main projects), “Syn/Anti Drome” is more a ‘noisescapes’ type of album with relatively soft noisy textures and distorted vocals, but not very extreme. Listening to the back catalogue of this project, “Zone 0”, the more industrial album, is with some distance the most interesting to my ears.
The album comes as a cassette with differing artwork and as an lp.
It has been silent around Wolfkind for a while, but here we have a new album. However the music is not hard to describe to people who know Wolfkind, it is hard to categorise it by style.
“Hand Of Death” contains the typical, slow Wolfkind sound with his distinctive voice, but rather than a bluesy feel, this new album has the analogue synth sounds of a style such as minimal wave. In combination, it is not really minimal wave though.
The new album sounds alright, but in my humble opinion, not more than alright.
Links: Bain Wolfkind, Tesco
Thank you Noise Receptor for letting me know about the new Gnawed. I like the previous “Feign And Cloak” album quite a bit and I now see that I also thanked Noise Receptor for bringing that release to my attention.
“Pestilence Beholden” opens with a few pieces of dark ambient, but within the third track we go over to the death industrial style from the previous album. Well, maybe not exactly, the new album seems a little less as extreme as its predecessor, which also has more higher frequencies and overall a more noise-feeling.
The music is still very slow, somewhat rhythmic, with soundscapish tones and here and there highly distorted vocals. Maybe more like a ‘doom’ kind of industrial.
I like the new album. I think I prefer the rougher edge of “Feign and Cloak”, but the latest release may be more fitting to play when reading or something.
Links: Gnawed, Malignant Records
Apparently the first Steel Hook that I review. This is weird, because I have known this American project for quite some time. I guess I never came to buy any of their releases or I just never came to really listen to them before I started to enjoy noise better.
“Calm Morbidity” is not the first release on Malignant, a label that seems to be shifting more and more towards noise.
The album contains the wall-of-sound type of noise, dark, slow, dense, with extremely distorted vocals, but also more dark ambient tracks. I like this dark type of noise that is not as chaotic as some other styles. The album is not terribly good or varied, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Links: Steel Hook Proestheses, Malignant Records
This album showed up in my Deezer “hear this”. It appeared to be a remix album and now I see that there is no physical version of this release. That is not too bad, because even though “Solar Symmetries” is nice, it is not a ‘must-buy’.
Remixes by known and new (to me) projects, a couple of doubles in chosen tracks and usually the remixes come nowhere near the original versions, a few exceptions notwithstanding, the tracks of Hadewych and Alvar.
Links: Michael Idehall, Ant-Zen
I thought I knew this band because I listened to them when I noticed them on the schedule of the 2016 Wave Gotik Treffen. I do not remember seeing them though and I cannot find confirmation that they played either. Maybe another festival?
Soviet Soviet neither is the old wave-band I thought it was. Their debut is from 2009 and “Endless” is the third full-length. Like on other albums that I heard, the band makes a nice piece of 1980’ies type wave music with high-pitched guitars and also quite distinct high-pitched vocals. The music is a bit too ‘wavey’ to be shoegaze, but the term “post punk” is often used to describe them.
“Endless” is (to my ears) not a masterpiece, but a descent album in a ‘vintage style’ that I do enjoy to listen to every now and then.
Links: Soviet Soviet, Felte
Well well, a new Isomer, would it be more ambient or more industrial or even noisy?
It looks like Isomer continues the darker and more noisy track. “Three Kestrels” is a fairly noisy album with an industrial approach. Not that it is very extreme, but “ambient noise” is perhaps a bit too ‘ambient a tag’. There are 7 tracks raging from very nice to very good. Indeed, “Three Kestrels” is a very nice album.
Available on vinyl (if you are quick I guess) or Bandcamp download.
Links: Isomer, Tesco
Continuing on the psychedelic path, Der Blutharsch, etc. comes with an album with only three tracks, one of 8, one of 7 and one of 14 minutes.
The music is largely instrumental, slow and psychedelic, but on a few occasions there are metal-like eruptions and singing by Marthynna and less frequently Herr Julius.
Like with most Infinite Church albums I find “Such & Ordnung” alright, but not great. Good to listen to a couple of times, but not much more than that.
Links: Der Blutharsch / WKN
If ever there was an album for which the term “ambient noise” was fitting, it would be this one. (Probably) too noisy for people who like ‘dark ambient’, but not as extreme as (some) noise releases.
IFOTS apparently likes to play with styles. As my opening of this review suggests “Family Survival Strategy” is relatively tranquil. There are still nauseous frequencies and unpleasant sounds, but this tape certainly is not as extreme as this project can be.
I do not entirely like the ‘soundscapish’ approach of IFOTS, but the odd closing track is very amusing.
Links: IFOTS, Unrest Productions
Like the other IFOTS album that I reviewed, “Blush” contains older material. “Blush” was previously released in 2010 as a cassette on the same label.
The other album that I reviewed was released on Cold Spring, just like Unrest Productions from the UK, but broader and bigger a label. Again like the other album, “Blush” has a mixed, musical approach. It opens very noisy, but the second track is more an ‘ambient noise’ kind of track (with one clear sound). The rest of the album mostly has fairly simple and repetative tracks, sometimes very noisy, sometimes less so. The vocals are almost absent and there are not really tracks that I like a lot. The best track is probably the closing one. The album is alright, but not really my thing.
Links: IFOTS, Unrest Production
A while ago I was playing the great album “Unpunished” by Am Not and I wondered what other releases Unrest Productions would have. I listened to the tracks on their Soundcloud account and liked the track of S.T.A.B. Electronics, like Am Not (and like the label) from the UK.
Nowadays when I want to ‘try out’ a band, I just see if they are featured on Deezer or if they have a Bandcamp or Soundcloud page. Not everything is available online (which is perfectly fine with me) and I did not find much of S.T.A.B. Electronics. So, just as in the old days, I just bought a cd of a project I was curious about.
“Day Of The Male” opens with a descent ‘death industrial’ track with rumbling and noisy rhythms and screamed vocals. Perhaps ‘power electronics’ is a better description. However I do not entirely like the vocals, this tracks is a nice one.
Then follows a screeching noise track that I do not like at all.
Things get better with the title track which is again more ‘death industrial’. What follows hereafter is brutal power electronics, in one case pretty extreme: the great track “Marquis Complex”. The other tracks are nice to good, so overall I may conclude that “Day Of The Male” is a good power electronics album.
Links: S.T.A.B. Electronics, Unrest Productions