I do not really make an effort anymore to “scrobble” everything I listen to to Last.fm. Last.fm used to be fun with a radio, recommendations, etc., but since a few years the only function of Last.fm is keeping track of what I play. In spite of over 100.000 “scrobbles” (indexed tracks) since late 2008, Last.fm still cannot manage to recommend music that I do not already know or even inform me of new releases of artists and projects that I do know.
You all know, due to Covid-19 concerts have been a bit of a rarity in recent years. Due do a lucky dip in corona measures in Germany I did get a chance to see Ex.Order in October 2020, but other than that the last Wave Gotik Treffen was the last time I saw anything live.
In general there are not that many concert that I want to go to, especially not in my home town. I almost never visit concerts in Eindhoven. Most of what is scheduled here is not my taste. I few years back A Place To Bury Strangers played in the Effenaar and before that perhaps Psych Lab festival (also Effenaar)?
Anyway, just before Corona hit, an announcement was made by Metakamer of a concert at the Stroomhuis, a venue I had never been to. Scheduled was noise no less, the Dutch act Offerbeest. Naturally the concert was postponed and postponed again until Corona settled down a bit and plans to have the concert after all started to appear.
Well, Corona did not entirely calm dawn as Offerbeest himself had to cancel last minute because of a positive test… Offerbeest was replaced with a Dutch act I did not know yet, Vonder.
So, last Friday I went to that strange building on a strange place near the Eindhoven railway. As the name suggest, this used to be an electrical power house. Stroomhuis proved to be a bit of a ‘punk hole’ with a rough room with some sort of podium, tagged and stickered toilets, you may know the kind of place. I was somewhat surprised to see that my hometown had (or at least attracts) a bunch of goth and wave type people. There were about 50 people present in the unheated (the irony!) place. Something that I certainly did not miss about concerts of days past is people smoking and this appeared to be a case of ‘when one sheep crossed the dam, the rest will follow’…………..
A DJ played (minimal) wave type music to fill up the wait for the first band. Vonder proved to be pretty much not my taste. They are (minimal) wavey, sometimes a bit of angstpop or rather more uptempo beats. Styles that I listen to frequently, but this was really not for me. Taste, little to say about it.
The next duo was from Eindhoven. BHPL made an energetic piece of EBM. Quite an amusing show.
The main act was Spit Mask, another duo. I know this Berlin project. Pretty rough music somewhere between (rhythmic) noise and EBM. Not too bad, but I am not too crazy about the vocals. Also their show was quite energetic and mostly: loud.
A venue where people smoke while it is not allowed. Where the volume appeared to be louder than allowed (even with earplugs it was hardly bearable). Am I getting old for not seeing the fun in that? In any case, it was fun to see what kind of people who showed up at such a concert in my home town and the BHPL show was amusing, so…
I must have known this label, but it was apparently in a dead angle of mine. Tartarus is even from my own country. As a matter of fact, they released some material that I (should) know.
Apparently, there was a first version of “Welving” of Hadewych that came from Tartarus. They have released material from my townmates Radar Men From The Moon and the Dutch project Gnaw Their Tongues, High time to see what they are up to.
The artists page of the website seems to suggest that Tartarus is mostly a doom metal label, but under the description: “we release what we like, we don’t release what we don’t like”, it soon becomes obvious that the roster is much wider. There is some excellent music here that I wonder why I never found the label before.
It seems that especially older releases are indeed often ‘doomy’. This goes from typical doom metal to more sludge or stoner kind of metal and rock. There are also more experimental doom bands such as Maltash and Sow Discord.
There is more though. Gewoon Fucking Raggen is more a punk-type of grindcore, Cocaine Piss reminds of nowave bands such as PRE, there are different kinds of metal, techno-type music and also noise.
Quite something to listen to all, but much is available on Spotify, so perhaps somebody should just make a playlist.
Back with metal. Funny, since I seldom play it. “Metal blast” is a mix with metal tracks that start with a ‘blast’ and afterwards and pretty fast. Of course there is a variety of styles, (Göteborg) death metal, (industrial) black metal, grindcore, (blackened) trash, an hour of uptempo metal.
There are a few well known and popular songs that start with a great rhythm that immediately gets me in the mood for a good track. I know a few of those and decided to put them into a mix. It took a little more effort than I expected to find enough good tracks with a good ‘intro’ to make a mix of an hour, but here we go. The mix as often contains a wide variety of styles. From noise rock to psychobilly to pop, rock, gothic, metal and even EBM. None of the tracks are very fast, but as the mix continues, the speed slowly goes up a bit.
A mix I’ve been thinking of for a while. It’s not just down- or midtempo black metal that I was after, but songs with a ‘waltzing’ rhythm. This proved to be harder than expected. I had songs in my head, but not enough. Most songs are from the few years that I listened to black metal frequently. I’ve mixed the metal with folky songs for good measure. These songs are from the cd that came with the second version of the book Liederen En Dansen In De Kempen.
It is a bit odd. I do try to keep up a bit with new releases, but since I buy physical releases less often, I also less often feel like writing a review. When a new album is available on Spotify or Bandcamp or wherever, I listen to it, but unless it is really good, I do not really feel like reviewing it. For some reason, owning a physical release is more of a ‘trigger’ to write a review when a ‘non-physical’ one. Besides, I rarely run into something really good and especially with digital releases I have the feeling that it has to be recent to review. When I find a band or project that I did not know and they had a great album in 2018, I would probably not review it.
And so things keep changing little by little. I do still listen to music as much as I used to. What is also changing is that for a long long time I mostly listened to albums. Even on Spotify (on Deezer this works more easily) I would put two or three albums in a queue and listen them from start to finish. Nowadays I find myself going to playlists or mixes more and more often. I am not really sure why that is though.