v/a * Looking For Europe (4cd 2005 auerbach tonträger)

On a label that is new to me, a book about neofolk (which I will review as soon as I finished reading it) and an accompanying compilation cd were released. You can buy them separately or together in a box. The cd comes in a nice package with a rather large booklet in German and English with a short history of neofolk music and information about the bands. If you only want to read something about the music and hear some of it, you will have enough if you get this compilation. For philosophical backgrounds, more history, interviews, etc., you will need the book (which is in German btw). I don’t quite follow the ‘thinking paths’ of the writers and compilers of this cd. If Blood Axis covers a song of Strawbs, did this band influence neofolk music? Maybe Moynihan just heard the song on the radio and liked the lyrics. In a similar fashion, quite a few old songs that I never heard off can be found on this compilation as “predecessors”. Maybe some have a similar style or could have influenced some band (who on their turn influenced the rest, so what does that make of the influence of the first band?), but I didn’t know most of them. Also, most of these songs are terrible. Should they have put all these songs on the first cd, I would just have never played it, but there are (more recent, okay) on the others. Also, what do Blood Axis, Sieben, ORE, Kirlian Camera, Der Blutharsch, Gae Bolg, Boyd Rice, Empyrium and Shining Vril have to do with neofolk? If neofolk isn’t just simple guitar-music in a certain style, with similar underlying ideas, etc.? Are bands with similar underlying ideas, but different music influences for neofolk music? Sure they are from the same scene of influence for the scene, but if that is the condition then where are Forthcoming Fire / Von Thronstahl, Belborn or Spiritual Front or for example Genocide Organ, A Challenge of Honour, Karjalan Sissit or Turbund Sturmwerk, just to name a few bands?
Overall I am not too happy with the compilation ‘musically’. There are four cds, but the tracks that are good or alright can easily fit on one. Some bands have exclusive tracks, such as Blood Axis (some folkrock kind of cover song), Sieben (alternative version), Agnivolok, Sol Invictus (alternative version), Darkwood (alt.version), Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Laibach (justly on the cd as influence, but with a terrible and not very typical track), Andrew King, Werkraum & Lady Morphia (not my taste!), Der Blutharsch (a funny track) and Shining Vril. People who listen to this music more will probably have most of the non-exclusive material. Like I said, here and there a good track: Orplid (an oldie), ORE (always nice), Hagalaz’ Runedance and Der Blutharsch; sometimes ‘too neofolk’ for me (Forseti, Darkwood, Tenhi, Neun Welten), but actually that was what it is all about, right?
For those of you who are not too familiar with ‘neofolk’ (in the defination of the writers of the book), this compilation offers you both music and information. People who -like me- have listened to this music for several years, may find the book a nice read (but also here I disagree on several points) and enough to buy from this ‘project’.

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