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angstpop

Tanz Ohne Musik – 17 (2023)

Tanz Ohne Musik found their way to Ant-Zen who present a 7″ and (of course) a digital version.

Side A has the title track, a melancholic minimal wave track. “Cold” is more in the angstpop style that TOM sometimes produces. With some distance, this is the most interesting track to me. In the last track, TOM tried something new. “Mescaline Swimming” is a somewhat uptempo track, a bit in an electropunk direction. Amusing.

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Ant-Zen

Haus Arafna – Dunkelheit Bleibt (7″ 2023)

After the heavy “Asche“, the title does not exactly suggest a happy release. Indeed, the title track is quite like the material on the last album. A great track, with the misanthrope of the “Asche”.

The other track is called “Welt Verzicht” (‘world renunciation’). It is a little lighter on the rhythm, but also more “angstpop”.

The first track is magnificent, the other one is great, but I would not mind some old school Arafna noise again some time.

Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö

Mode In Gliany – Amer Armor (2023)

After a 7″ on Galakthorrö a couple of years ago, Mode In Gliany returns to the same label for an album, available on vinyl and cd. Contrary to most other Galakthorrö project, Mode In Gliany also releases material through other labels.

The focus of Galakthorrö seems to be more and more the darker end of minimal wave and less the industrial of days gone. I find this a pity. Even though most releases are alright, I seldom play anything safe Arafna, Növelet, Subliminal and sometimes Herz Jühning.

Anyway, Mode In Gliany has more of a melancholic style. Perhaps not as much as Sühne Mensch or the latest material of Haus Arafna, but more than for example Da-Sein. The album is nice though.

Links: Mode In Gliany, Galakthorrö

Da-Sein – Sore (2023)

The fourth release (third album) all on the same label.

“Sore” opens with an analogues humming with some ‘Arafnian’ sounds, fitting for the label. In “Hell Over You”, the sound is more the November Növelet type minimal wave that we got to know Da-Sein for. It does seem -though- that Da-Sein leaned more towards the darker end of the style on “Sore”.

Like before, the slightly rougher tracks are the more interesting. There are some other ‘Arafnian sounds’ to be found on “Sore” and this time there are also more ambient tracks.

Like the previous releases of Da-Sein, the new album is nice, but I do not expect to listen to it a lot.

Links: Da-Sein, Galakthorrö

Sühne Mensch – Schmerzportrait (2022)

Galakthorrö once again found a new project. This time not (and can I say ‘fortunately’?) a November Növelet type project. Not that “Sühne Mensch” sounds as harsh and dark as Subliminal or some (earlier) material of Haus Arafna though (would we ever get more such material?). Sühne Mensch reminds a bit of the “angstpop” of Arafna’s latest “Asche“. It is not (and can I again say ‘fortunately’?) as depressive as Arafna’s latest.

“Schmerzportrait” has the humming interference, analogous melodies and singing of Haus Arafna (but a very different voice) with here and there a Tanz Ohne Musik or Herz Jühning tone. Of course, the project has a sound of its own. “Angstpop” is a very fitting description. Most tracks are quite melancholic.

“Schmerzportrait” may be the first release of Sühne Mensch, it certainly is not the first release of Michael Belletz. Judging his Discogs page, Belletz is more of (or also) a dance producer, but also with projects leaning more towards industrial. One release was made available by Hymen (Ant-Zen) so he is not a newcomer to the scene either. Having an open musical taste is a good thing, so I guess I will just go and find out what Belletz’ other projects actually sound like.

The album is good, but not great. It will do well as background music when I am reading. It is a kind of music that I do like to listen to, so… The sound really fits on Galakthorrö too, but I must say that the Arafnas no longer release but masterpieces. So: good, very ‘Galakthorrö’, darker than Aska, Tanz Ohne Musik or Da-Sein; more in the Herz Jühing corner of sound.

Links: Sühne Mensch, Galakthorrö

Aska – Út Við Sundin Grá (2021)

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Galakthorrö found another angstpop project, this time from Iceland. It is not really a new project either. Since 2014 Aska has been releasing material.

“Út Við Sundin Grá” contains slow angstpop, perhaps reminding more of early November Növelet than later material of this Arafna project. Here and there I hear a bit of Maska Genetik as well, Herz Jühning perhaps even?

The album is not a materpiece to my ears, but it is a nice album. It is slower and less ‘disco’ than several other recent Galakthorrö releases, which is good.

Available on cd and mc and vinyl (if you are quick of course).

Links: Aska, Galakthorrö

Tanz Ohne Musik – Babes Of The Abyss (2021)

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A couple of years ago Tanz Ohne Musik released a 7″ through Galakthorrö. “Babes Of The Abyss” is a self released CDR. Apparently the Galakthorrö presence did open doors for new releases or there was another reason for the couple to release this themselves. When I heard of this album, the 33 copies were long gone, but you can still get the Bandcamp version.

“Babes Of The Abyss” opens with fairly soft industrial, somewhat leaning to the angstpop sound of earlier releases, but not that much. With the title track TOM returns more to the Galakthorrö sound, while some tracks bring reminiscences of the early minimal wave days.

Then towards the end we get a song-based track which is somewhat poppy (and gothic?). Would this be a reference to a changing style?

The album ends with another version of the second track “Laylah”.

“Babes Of The Abyss” is a nice album.

Michael Idehall – War Magic (2021)

Hello! It has been a terrible year for everyone so let’s just move on. Here is my latest full-length album. I hope you enjoy it

These were the words with which I received a promo of “War Magic”. Idehall already had some more dirty, industrial tracks and the frustration that appear in these words suggest that “War Magic” would be such a release. Indeed it it!

“War Magic” is not as noisy as Idehall can get, but the approach is more industrial than on some of his other albums. Rhythmic hums give an industrial feel. Idehall’s repetitive lyrics and drumming the ritual feel that we know this project for. Ad some extra noises and you have an idea of the sound of “War Magic”. Some tracks are more ambient, but not as soundscapish as some of Idehall’s releases.

“War Magic” is excellent, it has great tracks such as “High Honeycomb Way” which is a wonderful darkly ritual industrial track. Most other tracks can also be described as ritual industrial, but more to the ambient side.

Now comes the weird part. “War Magic” has not yet been officially released! There are other “self released” releases listed in Discogs. That is not because Idehall likes to record music and send it around, but because he apparently works faster than labels can manage. I cannot imagine that there are no labels out there that would love to release material of the unique and productive Michael Idehall. Perhaps we could help with that spreading the word?

Link: Michael Idehall

Current 909 – Enthusiasm (2021)

I literally only discovered Current 909 last week. I was making an “angstpop” playlist on Spotify and I was looking for less typical projects. So I started to scan Aufnahme + Wiedergabe releases to see if some of their older material would be fitting. I do not remember if I ever heard of the name Current 909, but I sure did not know their music.

The style is not really “angstpop”. Actually this project is better fitting in my “electronic doom” playlist. There I compile slow, minimalist, dark and gloomy techno such as the great project Oake.

Current 909 already has a few releases. Three on a label called “Atmosfear” that I do not know and “Enthusiasm” is the third release on A+W already.

So the new album (a 12″ with four tracks and a running time of 23 minutes) contains slow, minimalist, dark and gloomy techno. How fitting. I do not like it as much as the early material of Oake, but this is pretty good music, probably better than the later material of Oake.

In the early days of A+W I liked quite a few of their releases. Nowadays this is less often so, but I must say that with “Enthusiasm” the label has a great new release on their roster.

Link: Aufnahme + Wiedergabe

Distel – Rare (2021)

Distel has been putting old releases on Bandcamp and then there suddenly was a new release. Not that “Rare” contains new music though.

“Rare” has six tracks that were previously only available on compilations, also compilations that I did not know, so that is good.

The opening track is from the recent compilation “19 Beläten — En Sommar Av Plåga” (2020), a nice track called “Tempels”. Then follows a live version of “Galapagos” from the last album “Wapens” (2018). The most interesting track is a cooperation with Geneviève Pasquier. This track “Velvet Ground” was so far only available on the “Maschinenfest 2015” compilation that I apparently missed. “Fall” is a track that we know from “Zand” (2015), but this particular version comes from the soundtrack of the film “Exploitation” of Edwin Brienen (2012) that I have yet to see. Then we have “Fand” that we find on “Puur” (2013), but this version is from the compilation “Radio Resistencia” (2009). The last track is another Coil cover (as on “A Knife In Sound“, but then the track “Something”), a gloomy soundscape.

The music of Distel remains good. Hopefully there will be a new album some time soon.

Link: Distel