Dictionary

Music reviews can be found in this section. On the index page you find the most recent reviews and you can navigate by “style”/”category”, the “browse” option (band and label) that I added to many reviews and of course the search and archive functions. For people not familiar with the terms that I use, there is a ‘Wiki’ below.

Dictionary

The gravity point is this section is music from a part of the “gothic scene” that consists of several music styles (with different subscenes). “The gothic scene” is an umbrella term for a far-reaching musical current that sprang from the 80’ies gothic and wave bands (The Cure, The Sisters Of Mercy, Siouxy and the Banshees, etc.), synthypop (Soft Cell and the like) and industrial (Einstürzende Neubauten, Krafwerk). There are many many styles of music often with its own dresscode and most people will only listen to a few kinds of “gothic”, but at festivals such as the yearly “Wave Gotik Treffen” in Leipzig, most of them come together. As the music develops, the audience gets older, new people join the scene, etc. styles differ, elements from other scenes (metal, “spooky core”, etc.) dripple in (or the other way around, just look at Rammstein and Marilyn Manson), dresscodes change and new terms are invented to describe the sounds of bands. Even in the limited subscene that I ‘move around in’ myself, there is a staggering amount of terms, that I will try to give you an idea of here.

In recent years I started to listen to quite a lot of music from other scenes and this website certainly does not aim to represent just a (part of a) scene, just to let people know about a variety of music. Purists who think that an industrial review cannot be followed by a pop review are on the wrong address here. A musical open mind is advised when you start browsing this section.

To give you an idea of the terms that I use, here is a list of the “categories”/”styles”:

abstract : like the term says, this sounds pretty weird
ambient : a term used for monotous, minimalistic music, close to soundscapes (see there)
ambient noise : a form of “noise” (see there) but in a more “ambient” (see there) sound. I use this term myself to better describe certain projects
angstpop : a term that is used since the early new millenium to describe relatively poppy music from the industrial (see there) corner, but it will not sound very poppy to a ‘normal’ audience. The term is used by the Galakthorrö label. Another term that you sometimes see is “antipop”. The sound is sometimes somewhat similar to “minimal wave” (see there), but more industrial and darker.
atmospheric : the term says it. a term that I do not use very often
bombastic : music that uses a lot of orchestrations and/or hard drumming. again a term that used to be used often in the time of the “martial industrial” (see there) craze, but not not so often anymore
cabaret: not completely new, since the early gothic/wave artists also used 1950’ies elements in their music sometimes, but around 2010 there were suddenly relatively many bands with a ‘cabartesk’ sound. in this section, usually of the darker kind
chamber music : another term of my own. real instruments make a somewhat classical sound, usually as part of the sound of a band
dance : danceble influences to keep these bands from ‘real techno’ (see there) projects
dark ambient : a dark form of ambient (see there)
dark industrial : industrial (see there), but more ambient (see there), but too industrial to be ambient
dark folk : often used as a synomym for “neofolk” (see there), but I myself use the two terms to keep apart two similar styles of music; not as folky as the term suggests, but accoustic music with a folky touch
darkwave : an old term that was probably invented because some bands developed another sound than the wave bands of the 80’ies, but still similar to it in a way
drone : a term used in different music scenes. I use the term to refer to a specific kind of “dark ambient” (see there) that is monotous, but not really “soundscapes” (see there) with low frequencies (‘drones’). some forms of “doom metal” are also called “drone”
electro : one of the danceble forms of “gothic”, raw, dark and with a lot of distortion
experimental : weird even for people in the scene
folk : contrary to “neofolk” (see there) more tradionally of sound
gothic : see the intro to this list. I use this as an umbrella term, but also to refer to bands with a ‘traditional sound’
gothic rock : the best known form of “gothic” (see there)
heavenly voices : somewhere around 1990 there were bands with a very “orchestral”/”neoclassical” (see there) sound with a female vocalist. after the label Hyperium compiled such band on the compilation “heavenly voices” this became a description of that sound
industrial : both an umbrella term for a large part of the gothic scene, the part that stayed closest to the electronic sound of Einstürzende Neubauten, Kraftwerk, etc. with its repetative “industrial” feeling, but also for individual bands with that sound. that is to say: “the industrial scene” does not necessarily refer to bands with the same sound, but an “industrial band” DOES
industrial disco : around 2005 industrial projects like Thorofon and Haus Arafna started to experiment with a more accessible approach, more danceable. by lack of a better description, I started to use this term
martial industrial : halfway the 1990’ies a more military sound became employed, heroic music, sampled speeches and references to conservative politics. therefor this music style is controversial. the music is usually pompous and “orchestral” (see there)
medieval : this term is self-explaining
metal : a completely different scene with as many styles and subscenes as “gothic” (see there), but since I do not review a lot of metal, I decided to not make categories for every substyle
military pop : in the beginning “martial industrial” (see there) was mostly “industrial” (see there) and “bombastic” (see there), but then there came bands that sounded more “poppy” (see there) but keeping their martial sound. therefor the term military pop arose somewhere around the changing of the millenium
minimal wave : a style that can be found in different scenes. it is made with analogue equipment, usually sounds quite 1980’ies; close to “synth pop” (see there), but still different
modern classical : classical music in a new jacket
neo classical : classical music in a new jacked, but then mostly coming from electronic devices
neofolk : a term that was invented to describe the band Death In June somewhere in the 1980’ies. Death In June used only an accoustic guitar and voice and sometimes another instrument. the sound is not very “folky”, but the term was there. nowadays “neofolk” has many forms, from minimalistic to having more electronic, “industrial” (see there) or “martial industrial” (see there) influences
noise : extreme electronic music completely built of highly distorted sounds and often distorted vocals often with no structure or rhythm. there are several varieties from relatively tranquil (see “ambient noise”) to even more extreme (see “power electronics”).
non music : a hardly used term to describe exactly what it says
orchestral : sampled classical music is used to create new music
poppy : a relatively accessible sound some bands started to employ since the change of the millenium
post industrial : while many project still sound very “industrial” (see there), they do not really sounds like the industrial projects of old, hence, the term “post industrial” was invented
power electronics : probably the most extreme form of music. contrary to noise (see there) that often has no rhythm, power electronics uses extremely loud “industrial” (see there) rhythms to give their sound even more extremety
rhythmical industrial : halfway the 1990’ies there were “industrial” (see there) projects that used their rhythms thus that their music became (more or less) danceable. later the term “rhythmic noise” became popular to describe this styleof music
ritual : “ambient” (see there) or “soundscapes” (see there) usually with an occultic undertone
soundscapes : soft ripples of stretched sounds, eerie atmospheres and often monotous and repetative sounds
spoken word : as the term says, a voice speaking text
synthpop : 1980’ies soft and danceable music with vocals. Nowadays (2008) a similar kind of music is popular under popmusic listeners under the term “electropop” (see there)
trance ambient : ambient (see there) with soft rhythical elements

pop music : yes I listen to pop music sometimes, here are some genres:
blues rock : I do not often listen to the classic form of blues, but there are nice, modern forms of it
electropop : not unlike “synthpop” (see there) but I use this term when the band is not from the gothic scene
electropunk : guitars, electronics and a punk-attitude
nowave : initially a strange scene from 1970’ies New York with people who made ‘anti music’, just guitar noise and screams. there are still some “nowave” bands today. also called “artpunk’
psychedelic rock : I skipped a few term, but this refers to a somewhat 1980’ies psychedelic sound
psychobilly : this is no popmusic, but I did not know where else to put it. a horror version of rock’n’roll
punk’n’roll : less ‘rockabilly’ than “psychobilly” (see there), but fast rock (“speedrock”) with a rock’n’roll rhythm
shoegaze : 1980’ies wave sound, but with screaming, noisy guitars. usually slowpaced, sometimes not

techno music : a completely different scene that I also review cds from sometimes
bigbeat : a term to describe bands that use similar beat structures as The Chemical Brothers (“chemical beats” is an older term). a flicker in the techno scene in the 1990’ies, hardly heard nowadays
breakcore : techno artists with a weird cut-up style that is applied to both samples, but also rhythm (see “idm”). Around 2005 a much much more extreme variety came that was termed breakcore
digicore : in the early 1990’ies a few people started to make extreme techno music with looped samples of weird rhytms (jazz or “drum & bass” (see there)) and a thick punk attitude in the lyrics of the screamed vocals. a label was called Digital Hardcore Recordings and the music was tagged “digital hardcore”. because similar music was also made outside the small scene around DHR, I prefer the term digicore
drum & bass : an almost died-out form of techno music with ‘difficult’ rhythms, but because they are constantly repeated, the music remains danceable. the style had a high fly from 1995 to 2005 (or so), but had to make place for other kinds of music
idm : “intelligent dance music”, one of the many term for a form of hard-to-describe techno. in the early 1990’ies musical pioneers such as Autechre and Squarepusher created a sound that nobody knew how to describe. when other people started doing similar things, a whole range of terms came in use and quickly in disuse. “cuts and clicks”, “dub”, “electronica”, “abstract techno” and later “intelligent dance music”. idm is usually the more tranquil variant of this ‘difficult’ music, if the sound gets harder, the term “breakcore” (see there) is more often used since it was coined a few years ago
speedcore : the early 1990’ies again, gave birth to a rather extreme form of techno in the Netherlands. massive but regular beats at an ever raising speed (260 beats per minute, can you dance to that?) grew rapidly in popularity and thus becoming the largest subculture in the Netherlands. when the music hit the big audience and commercial versions such as “happy hardcore” popped up, the “gabber” scene died. from the ash even more extreme forms rose that didn’t appeal to such a big audience as “gabber” and these forms came from the “gabber” scene itself (then you get “terror”, “darkcore” or “speedcore”) or from just-not-the-“gabber”-scene and then we had “tekno” (see there)
techno : as a term within the umbrella term, I use techno to describe the now very popular 4×4 beat projects with a quite minilistic sound
tekno : as described under “speedcore”, tekno rose from the ashes of the gabber scene, but with a lot of influence from people who had not been involved in the gabber scene. tekno is very extreme dancemusic that is often close to “breakcore” (see there) but with much more regular beats, making the sound more danceable. the intensity of this music is hard to describe, but if you ever heard the harder forms of “gabber”/”hardcore”, you have the lowest intensity on the tekno scale

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4 New Zoharum releases

Tundra, Phurpa, Aquavoice and Sound Around.
Tundra presents a cd with soundscapes.
Phurpa is a musical project based on the music of Bön, the pre-Buddhist religion from Tibet. It opens with two songs by Alissa Nicolai which is a big Diamanda Gallas-like, but then not my taste. The other trackss are minimalistic songs with singing reminding of Buddhist mantras.
"Nocturne" of Aquavoice is also a soundscape
"Sounds Around" is presented as a various artists compilation. It opens with chaotic free jazz, but the music just as well concerns soundscapes, field recordings and even technoish sounds.

Distel and ‘the new music’

Before Bandcamp and Soundcloud became the way for new bands to present themselves, they used Myspace. I never used Myspace much, but one time (in 2008/9 or so) I was searching around a bit and found out that there is a Dutch project that tagged itself "angstpop". I liked the music a lot, but even saw him/them live before the debut 7" came out in 2010.

I guess I knew that material would be released on the Dutch label Enfant Terrible that releases all kinds of strange electronic music, tagging it as "minimal", "minimal wave", "minimal electronics", "dirty disco" and what not. I tried to listen to the music, liked some of it, but I was mostly surprised by the vastness of this scene with tons of bands, projects and labels that I never heard of. From there I bumped into other labels ('kindred scenes'?) and some of the music that I listen to still does.

Much later Distel started a Facebook page and every now and then Nijland announces a release that he cooperated on and so I only recently I discovered Trepaneringsritualen (that I knew by name but stupidly enough never listened to) and recently the Aufnahme + Wiedergabe label from Berlin and the Swedish Beläten label (of Thomas Ekelund of Trepaneringsritualen).

There was a time that I 'accidentally' bumped into all kinds of things new and hip-to-be, nowadays Nijland always seems two steps ahead of me inspite of Last.fm, Deezer, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, etc. My rising age perhaps?

As a sidenote I can add that I sometimes listen to the webradios of Nonpop and Kulturterrorizmus. Yesterday I noticed that Nonpop also plays Beläten music, so there may be another channel to keep an ear on.

Noise Receptor journal

Recently I ran into the Noise Receptor weblog. It appeared that there is also a printed version available. I got myself volume 1 (early 2013) and 2 (released a couple of months ago). The journal is well printed on A5 size and nicely bound. Of course the journals look more structured than the WordPress blog, so personally I think it was a good idea to make a print-version. The journal mostly consists of music reviews, but there are also lengthy interviews and more focus on art.
I have not checked if the texts are all available on the website and if they have been reworked for the journal, but I think when you are only interested in the interviews and reviews, you do not really have to buy the journals. On the other hand, the length of the Trepaneringsritualen interview (12 pages in the journal!) makes a more comfortable read in a physical copy in my opinion.

WGT 2014

As always, the Wave Gotik Treffen was a nice party. Besides free visits to museums, including an exposition of the recently deceased Hans Rudolf Giger with pieces from the Giger museum in Switserland, the 'heathen village' and the marked in the Agra hall, there were of course plenty of bands to choose from. Sometimes too much, so I had to skip a couple, but the bands we did see are:
- Andrew King, early on Friday (16.30). King gave quite a 'martial industrial' show in the Kuppelhalle;
- 7JK in the same place, but the small room called "Kantine". Quite nice, but Matt Howden does not a very big box of 'tricks', so his performances tend to look alike;
- Pouppée Fabrik (Saturday Agra), an energetic show with too little audience;
- A very short piece of the Sieben show in the Altes Landratamt sauna;
- Antichildleague's noisy show in the Moritzbastei waa followed by:
- A dark piece of noise of Trepaneringsritualen, the best show of the 2014 edition of the WGT;
- It was not all noise, since the Kraftwerk-like Belgian project Metroland played in the Kohlrabicirkus for a way too small audience (we watched half a song of Chrom afterwards, but that is not my thing);
- Early on Sunday in the Kantine played the band that I much looked forward to see: The Lost Rivers, two young shoegazerockers whose show was unfortunately less noisy than their recordings. Still an alright show though;
- The last day started with Fetisch:Mensch in the park, but this musical outlet of Oswalk Henke was not my cup of tea;
- During the Konstruktivists in the kantine I fled the massive volume, even though the show was nice;
- Land:Fire a bit lateron in the Kantine was a good as the previous time I saw them;
- Sigilum S was an alright, but not too existing closer-off.

Did I forget a few? I should copy my photos to the computer to find out.

Three Cyclic Law releases

TeHÔM "Lacrimae Mundi" CD
TREHA SEKTORI "Severh Sehenh" CD
REUTOFF & SAL SOLARIS "Eigengrau" CD

See Cycliclaw.com for more information.

Three Zoharum releases

DESIDERII MARGINIS 'Thaw' CD
BISCLAVERET 'Theu Anagnosis' CD
1000SCHOEN / AB INTRA - Split 2CD

See here for more info.

Thot

Thot is a strange band from Belgium making noisy, industrial rock. Not always brilliant, but they have got some moody tracks.

Left Lane Cruiser

An all-American band that makes a filthy kind of blues rock. The vocals sound like they are shouted into a bad microphone and the music goes from upto rock to more traditional blues. The band has some very nice songs.

New!

Deezer recommended me to play the album "2" of Neu! It proved to be a very nice album. A bit of wave, a bit of shoegaze and more experimental tunes. The album proves to be from 1973! That is not very new!

Three Zoharum releases

"25.04.2014 it's release date:
TROUM 'Dreaming Muzak' CD
IN SCISSORS 'The Circus Of Ichneumons' CD
AABZU 'It came from outer space' CD"
See here for more information.