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angstpop

November Növelet * The World In Devotion (cd 2015)

The Arafnas seem to have been in a romantic mood. November Növelet already was their softer project, but on their latest album both the sound and even more so: the lyrics, seem to have softened somewhat more.

Mrs. Arafna sings on all tracks. Now there is something of a risk, because her voice is not my favourite element of the music of the Arafnas. It sound like she has a herself photographed: a bit dull. (Perhaps on purpose?) Often I am indifferent to them (not annoyed, not overjoyed), here and there her voice does add a good element to the music, so how about on “The World In Devotion”?

The album opens with a soft and not too interesting track/song. After “Be Gratefull To Your Murderer” the tempo goes up and most of the rest of the music is mid-tempo and the sound is very much like the current sound of NN. The music is nicely minimalistic and analogues. However the video that was released recently seemed to have suggested otherwise, NN does not really lean towards the popular sound of “minimal wave”. Mr. and mrs. Arafna keep doing their own thing. The rhythms are relatively complex in some tracks, nice things happen on the background, some songs have simple but catchy melodies and mrs. Arafna sings (and in the video: dances) away, most of the time resulting in nice and moody soft dance songs that will work well on “minimal wave” dancefloors and radio-shows. There may not be a highlight on this album such as the title song of “Magic”, but overall “The World In Devotion” is a more than proper album showing the furry sound of the couple that names itself Arafna.

Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö

Da-Sein * Tautology (7″ 2015)

  • angstpop

Discogs.comThe latest signing on Galakthorrö comes from Madrid. The four tracks on this 7″ remind of November Növelet. Tranquil analogue rhythms, soft female vocals. Da-Sein is perhaps a bit rougher. The label speaks of “the spirit of the early days of Industrial”. That makes it sound a bit harscher than the sound really is. The atmosphere of the latest November Növelet releases and the sound of the earlier, but less dramatic. Tanz Ohne Musik could serve as comparison as well.

The 7″ is a nice new addition to the Galakthorrö discography.

Links: Da-Sein, Galakthorrö

Distel * Zand (cd 2015)

The new Distel is “a compilation of rarities and remixes”. “Zand” (‘sand’) includes the both tracks of the 7″ Mrok/Regn, but in alternative versions, a cover of Suicide and 6 remixes that Distel made for other projects.

What you get is the ‘old style’ Distel, more recently sounding tunes and new sounds. I particularly like the old angstpop sound of the beginning of “Nothing To Mend”, but Distel’s slow and dark dance music in general belongs my preferred sound.

There are a few tracks with female vocals (from the original tracks). Peter’s own vocals are only far on the background of one track. That is a bit of a difference with earlier releases that have the highly distorted vocals. Inspite a large part of the album consisting of remixes, the sound is very much Distel (he really turned other people’s music into his own). So if you (like me) like this Dutch project, “Zand” will not let you down.

Links: Distel, Ant-Zen

Michael Idehall ‎* Deep Code Sol (cd 2015)

All material has been reviewed before, but this of Idehall is so good that I want to bring it under your attention again now that Ant-Zen put both Beläten tapes on one very nicely packaged cd.

The “Sol” tape has been rereleased before with two extra tracks. These are (unfortunately) not included on this Ant-Zen release. The cd starts with the 2014 tape “Deep Code” and then follows the 2012 tape “Sol”. Idehall also makes ritualistic soundscapes which are too minimalistic for my taste, but the music he recorded for Beläten is about the best music I have heard in quite a while. The sound is somewhere between the “angstpop” sound of other Beläten releases and more ritualistic music. Idehall uses his voice a lot, making an impression like that of the earlier material of Coph Nia; dark, chanting, haunting: brilliant!

Should you have missed the Beläten tapes, the Bandcamp versions or the “Sol” rerelease on cd, make sure to get this beautiful version of Ant-Zen.

Links: Michael Idehall, Ant-Zen

Distel * Nord (7″ 2015)

The newest Distel is fittingly released on the Swedish Beläten label like the previous “Ultra2012″ tape. This means that you do not have to buy the physical 7”, but you can buy a download from the Beläten Bandcamp. Beläten made a good-looking 7″ though, so when you are not in just for the music…

“Nord” contains three tracks which have Dutch/German (I am not sure about the title track, it could come from several languages, not including Dutch) and Japanese (? again not sure) titles. The sound is lighter than previous Distel releases, but still recognisable. Slow, danceable music, instrumental this time. The total running time is about 13 minutes.

Distel will play on the Wave Gotik Treffen in a few weeks. I guess I will see them with a somewhat larger audience than previously.

Links: Distel, Beläten

Tanz Ohne Musik * Belong (mc 2014)

The new Tanz Ohne Musik seems to be a small step back to the synthpop / minimal wave sound of earlier releases and away from the Galakhorrö angstpop. A small step though. Like on “Between Our Body Shapes” there are still heavy Galakthorrö influences, but Tanz Ohne Musik seems to be working more towards their own sound; an interesting sound! Most tracks have a slow, analogue sound with typical vocals. Some tracks tend more towards minimal wave, other more towards angstpop, but most are somewhere in between. Recommended!

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Red Cavity Records

Michael Idehall * Sol (extended) (cd 2014)

The first version of this album was a tape on Beläten. Two years after the initial release the album is slightly extended and rereleased by a sublabel of Cat’s Heaven / VUZ Records. The package is not great. A photocopied A5 booklet with the cd pasted in.

The extension are two tracks put before the original release. The opening track now is a slightly monotous, ritualistic soundscape of 9:29 minutes. The other new tracks is a great and dark piece of noisy ritual music. Then follow the tracks of the wonderfull debut of Idehall. Sometimes somewhat ambient, at other times more industrial or angstpop and always nicely dark. Idehall’s voice definately sets the sound of this project.

Truely a great release. The second release is even better, but when you, like me, missed the physical debut, here is your chance to get it on cd. Be quick though, there are only 111 copies.

Links: Michael Idehall, Bastet Recordings

Michael Idehall‎ * Deep Code (mc 2014)

“Deep Code” is Idehall’s second album, the debut was also released on Beläten. “Deep Code” is close to a masterpiece! There are tracks that can match the best tracks on Galakthorrö! Idehall’s style is not entirely comparable to ‘the Galakthorrö sound’, but he would fit very well within the roster. Idehall makes something that I would describe as “angstpop”. Slow, dark, industrial; not entirely unlikely some tracks of Herz Jühning. In some tracks Idehall sings which makes a wonderfull combination between dark electronics and his voice.
The sound is not too easy to describe, but the comparison I keep making works upto a certain degree. Make sure to listen to the tracks on the label’s Bandcamp. When I write this, there seem to be physical copies available, otherwise you can always buy a download.
The latest release of Beläten has 7 masterpieces and one not-too-good track. Get it!
Links: Michael Idehall, Beläten

Distel * Ultra2012 (mcd 2014)

I almost missed the latest Distel. Fortunately I was looking through the catalogue of the Swedish Beläten label! “Ultra2012” contains both ‘Distel+’ (a development of the sound that we grew used to, somewhere between dark minimal wave and angstpop) and uncommon sounds (more technoish). There are a couple of masterpieces which makes “Ultra2012” a must-buy if you like the sound of this Dutch project (or for example the Galakthorrö sound).
Finding a physical copy may be a quest (Beläten is out of copies, I got mine from the band itself), but you can always buy the Bandcamp download.
Links: Distel, Beläten

Te/DIS ‎* Comatic Drift (cd 2014)

Tempted Dissident recently debuted on Galakthorrö with a wonderfull 7″ called “Black Swan”. Here we have the first full length. As every Galakthorrö album, “Comatic Drift” comes as a limited lp and as an unlimited cd. What you get is 12 tracks of ‘Galakthorrö light’. Like Herz Jühning, Te/DIS makes the Galakthorrö “angstpop” sound with almost no industrial or extreme outbursts. Like everything on Galakthorrö the music is well thought through, well structured and well executed. Also Te/DIS manages to make bleak, but moving electronic music. Some tracks are simply great, other are just very nice.
It may start to become dull, but here we have yet another great Galakthorrö release!
Link: Galakthorrö