ambient

v/a * OEC 100 (7cd 2008 old europa café)

OEC100For their hundreth release The Old Europa Café label has released a 7-cd compilation with a track of each band and project they have been involved in during the years. However looking around the internet it seems like the bands are featured alphabetically, this is not the case, the cds are ordered somewhat thematically / according to style. “Somewhat” I say, since it is not completely that there are industrial and folk cds, there is some overlap. That is only for the better, the compiler of the cds has a rather good ear for things. In the beginning I had the idea that there are alternally more industrial and more folky cds, but this is not entirely true. The compilation opens with a cd with mostly not too extreme noise, a nice cd. Then follows a cd with more (neo)folky music, but not the too typical sounds of a compilation that I reviewed a few days ago. Then we have cds with power electronics and the extreme, chaotic style that isn’t mine, but also more old industrial things, strange experimental soundscape music and more of an old neofolk cd that I find awfull (Ain Soph, that sort of bands). Having heard the whole thing, my temporary conclusion is that the first cds are the most interesting and towards the end are some cds that I will probably never play. I think that four out of seven cds are enough of my taste to put in the player every now and then, so the “price/quality balance” is not that bad.

We didn’t put limits to the sound stiles, so here you can really hear all the sounds of the Industrial sub-culture featured on OEC !

This is a sure thing and it would be utterly impossible if everybody would love everything on this “mammoth compilation”, but I guess that for people who like the better stuff from the scene, there will be plenty to enjoy on “The Old Europa Café”.
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v/a * Incendium II (cd 2008 loki)

Incendium III don’t listen to dark ambient all that much. I do like the music, but I find it often too monotous or (nowadays) not dark enough. Loki has always been a label that tracked down the better industrial and ambient projects, also projects that have a nice twist in their sound. Incendium II is almost completely a dark ambient compilation. It has the maximum length and old and new bands on it. The tracks are certainly varried enough, most of them are pretty good as well and there is some pretty dark stuff here. Therefor I suppose that for the few euros that this compilation goes, you can get some of the better stuff here. Of course, this being a label compilation, all tracks can be found on other Loki releases as well.
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Allerseelen / Neutral / Otzepenevshiye – Georg Trakl (cd 2008 ewers tonkunst)

My girlfriend wanted to have this cd because she ones wrote a paper about the Austrian poet Georg Trakl and Heidegger’s analysis of his symbolic texts. With three tracks of each band, this nicely packed album makes about 50 minutes. The Allerseelen tracks are not bad, but like usually with Allerseelen, the tracks start with a nice idea, but keep repeating it until the tracks end. Neutral has tranquil piano tracks with the poets spoken on the background. Otzepenevshiye is a strange project with strange tracks. Not a bad cd, but certainly no masterpiece.
Links: Allerseelen, Neutral, Otzepenevshiye.

v/a * …Where Tattered Clouds Are Stranding (2cd 2008 the eastern front)

The Eastern Front has released a very nice double cd compilation with a whole range of famous bands on the first cd, most of them not from their own label. Cd 1 (“Grief”) has bands such as the resurrected Belborn, Cold Fusion, Cawatana, Kammer Sieben and Horologium and includes a cooperation between H.E.R.R. and Von Tronstahl. Most tracks are bombastic and militant, sometimes more orchestral, sometimes more neofolky and in most cases quite enjoyable. The second cd (“Birth of Psyche”) has mostly more minimalistic and ambient tracks from Artefactum, Rose Rovine, Shining Vril, Bisclaveret and a range of projects that are new to me. This cd surely isn’t bad, but less interesting than the first cd, but the projects Wach and Sitra Ahra offer a nice surprise. Both cds have a running time of well over an hour, so you get what you pay for! The simple but very nice booklet looks good, like we get used to from this label and also the limited amount of 1000 copies goes for this compilation. I noticed that it is available from about every descent mailorder, so it shouldn’t be too hard to lay your hands on a copy.
Link: The Eastern Front

Atomine Elektrine * Nebulous (cd 2007 essence music)

Wow, I didn’t know that this Raison d’Être side-project was still alive! In my Raison d’Être period, I bought everything that Peter Andersson released, including tapes of side projects and the first Atomine Elektrine cd (“Elemental Severance” 1995 CMI). I really loved the album with its great ‘trance ambient’ style. Quite a few years later there was another album (“Archimetrical Universe” 1999 yantra atmospheres) which is not bad, but nothing like the debut. Apparently there was also an album in 2004 (“Binomial Fusion” Essence) and now a new one. The music still can be called “trance ambient”, with which I mean ambient soundscapes with rhythical elements, but not sounding like the debut. The music is soft and soothing, sometimes soundscapish, sometimes ‘trancy’, but always nice and well structured. This may not be music that I will play a lot, but it is a nice album to have if I feel like playing something different.
Links: Atomine Elektrine, Essence Music
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Combative Alignment * A Broken Union (cd 2007 avatar records)

When I bought the “The Ritez Of Higher Communication” lp (2003) I was quite impressed by the minimalistic ritual ambient of this project. Later I bought the “…And Outside Glows The Red Dawn” cd (2005), which sounds quite the same; nice but nothing really special. The same I can say about this new album. Ritual soundscapes that are minimalistic and monotous. Maybe the sound becomes even more minimalistic with every new album, because “A Broken Union” seems to appeal to me even less than the other albums that I have…
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Institution D.O.L. * Instructions For Modern Weakniks (cd 2007 steinklang industries)

I didn’t really know Institution D.O.L. I thought that they were one of these old power electronics projects and never tried to hear some of their music. A while ago this project would play somewhere around. I haven’t been there, but I did listen to some of the music on their Myspace and the like and figured I might try an album some time. Tesco describes the album as “noise pop” and since I happen to enjoy the Haus Arafna, November Növelet, Thorofon, etc. development in industrial music, I ordered Institution D.O.L.’s latest album. “Weakniks” for a large part lives up to my expectations of before, since it contains extreme noise terror with screamed vocals and little structure, but there is also more ‘ambient noise’, loud industrial and other extreme sounds. These harsch tracks are interchanged with ambient, danceble tracks and even real songs . One of two tracks may remind a bit of Haus Arafna, but for the most part, Institution D.O.L. have a style of their own which varries from power electronics to “noise pop” and strange experiments.
Links: Institution D.O.L., Steinklang Records
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v/a * Steinklang Industries III (compilation cd 2007 steinklang records)

Steinklang again offers a cheap compilation with tracks of their own and befriended releases. III is not as II a double cd. The first half of the cd is filled with industrial, dark ambient and a violent noise track of Dissecting Table, the second cd with neofolk and other folky sounds. Just as with the previous two issues of the compilation there are some very good tracks here and especially bands that were new to me, so that is always nice.
links: Steinklang
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Horologium and K. Meizter * Eight Studies In Transition (cd 2007 old europa cafe)

I have quite some material of Horologium, but it seems that most of it is nice, but nothing like “The Fire Sermon”. This time we get slow, monotous and at times orchestral ambient with a bombastic track towards the end. The tracks of Horologium and K. Meizter (of whom I never heard that I remember) are put among eachother, but sound well together. Also here other peoples’ (classical) music is used to make something of their own, a comment that I got per email just before I started Gangleri when I mentioned Horologium in an Aghiatrias review. Again I have to say that the result is nice, but nothing too special.
links: Horologium, K. Meizter, Old Europa Café
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Jochem Paap * Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 95981 (cd 1998 ps)

Jochem Paap is better known as Speedy J with which this Dutch artist produces very experimental industrial techno. On this cd you will only hear ambient soundscapes. I think this is mostly what Paap makes for video-collages and experimental industrial expositions. Very monotous and definately not my taste. <3/6/01><1>