Category Archives: angstpop

Haus Arafna – Asche (2020)

A while ago Galakthorrö material started to appear on Spotify (not all though), apparently the Arafnas were cooking on something. Then there was a newsletter which included new material, even a new Haus Arafna album! The first since 2011! So then some 7 weeks of impatience before I could finally put the new album in my player.

From “Children Of God” (1998) to “Butterfly” (2003) to “You” (2010) to “New York Rhapsody” (2011), Haus Arafna seemed to have been scraping off some rough edges. There always still were noisy industrial tracks, but there came more and more softer tracks.

When you put on “Asche”, it soon becomes clear that the Arafnas did not scrape off the sharp edges immediately. After two great industrial tracks, the pretty rough “Kreise Um Das Nichts” is presented, which also has the first Haus Arafna official video. The track is not as harsh as Haus Arafna can be though.

So after a first round in the player, I took another spin with my eye on the lyrics. From death to mourning and a lot of misanthrope. After a rough start, the album already gets more melancholic in tone, but combined with the lyrics, the new album is actually pretty depressive.

As we are used to from Haus Arafna, the industrial music is beautifully crafted, magnificently detailed, surprising too, since the sound certainly is not entirely the same as on previous albums. “Asche” contains but one track that can be described as melancholic, but it is certainly not all power electronics here. Also mrs. Arafna’s vocals are remarkably absent. She mostly functions as background singer.

Be all this as it may, the tracks on the new album are superb, but damn this album is heavy.

Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö

Te/DIS – Transparent Subsistence (2020)

Also our tempted dissident comes with a new album, the third album in six years time, all on Galakthorrö.

Te/DIS’ latest seems a bit softer or simpler, I am not sure how to put it. The sound is still recognizable, but it differs somewhat from the previous albums, maybe a bit more… “poppy”?

If you know the project, the music is fairly simple and minimalist, a simple beat, a bit of melody and vocals.

Just as the previous two albums “Transparent Subsistence” sounds nice. Good to play when you want something uncomplicated.

Links: Te/DIS, Galakthorrö

Mode In Gliany – Kelc’h-Lizher (2020)

Not a new project, but new to me. After six albums released between 2015 and 2018 and some other releases, this French project found its way to Galakthorrö.

This 33 rpm 7″ contains four tracks. The sound is pretty much like that of November Növelet and Da-Sein, somewhere between minimal wave and angst pop.

The songs on “Kelc’h-Lizher” are nice. I am going to have to see what other releases of this project sound like.

Links: Mode In Gliani, Galakthorrö

va – 19 Beläten En Sommar Av Plåga (2020)

It looks like it that Beläten is no longer the label of Thomas -Trepaneringsritualen- Ekelund. I already noticed that Bandcamp has it listed as coming from Berlin and Ekelund was happy to have been contributed, which would be a strange way of describing a track on your own compilation. Discogs says that Beläten was active from 2012 to 2016 and apparently it has risen again.

On this compilation you find familiar Beläten names, Distel, Celldöd, Michael Idehall, Blitzkrieg Baby, Cryme and of course TxRxP. There are other familiar names such as Brighter Death Now, Moral Order and ARM. Some names do not immediately ring a bell, such as the TxRxP clone Dayofwrath of which I cannot find any information (good track though).

Music wise the compilation has some industrial (Moral Order), but mostly “post avantgarde pop”. All tracks seem to be exclusive, most are good too. A varied compilation which does hold true of ‘the old Beläten’. Available on tape and through Bandcamp.

Link: Beläten

Distel – Wapens (cd 2018)

After some silence, 2018 has been an active year for Distel so far, a tape on Beläten, a split 12″ on Ant-Zen and now a new full-length.

When I got to know Distel almost a decade ago, the term “angstpop” much applied to the sound. Distel would have fitted well within the Galakthorrö roster on the lighter side of their scale. Over the years the sound seemed to slowly become lighter with some technoish influences here and there. “Wapens” (meaning “weapons” by the way) again has a developed Distel sound. Slow music with some rhythm, strange vocals and some melody with the recognisable organ-like sound. Not much is left from the “angstpop” sound of the early days, but the term still describes the sound of Distel well. It is relatively accessible, but it breathes anxiety. The music is not as dark as it used to be, but it sure did not become happy.

Distel presents another interesting album and keeps developing in style, so every new release is a bit of a surprise. “Wapens” made another nice surprise.

Links: Distel, Ant-Zen

Trepaneringsritualen / Distel ‎– A Knife In Sound (12″ 2018)

I have shaped vinyl, even a square, flexible one, but I do not believe I ever saw vinyl which has the music on the outside and the shape on the inside. As you can see on the image that I got from Discogs, there is no material surrounding the arrows. A nice little joke.

Distel usually ends his shows with a Coil cover, but I must say that I am not sure if that is the track that he put on this Coil inspired split 12″. Distel took a stab at “Solar Lodge” and Trepaneringsritualen (on side A by the way) at “A Cold Cell”.

Both tracks are alright, but in my opinion not the best material of either project. The Distel track is ‘wild’ within his discography, the TxRxP track is fairly tranquil within his.

Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Distel, Ant-Zen, Raubbau

Herz Jühning – Samsara (cd 2018)

Nine years after the great album “Miasma” and four years after the “Paradise” 7″ there is finally new material of Herz Jühning.

“Samsara” does not contain any musical surprises, but Jühning made another great album in his distinctive sound. From slow “angstpop” to more industrial sounds and some tracks with a faster pace. Herz Jühning adds his recognisable vocals which are sometimes spoken, sometimes (slightly distorted) screamed. Wonderfully humming analogue equipment, nice details in the background, “Samsara” has got everything that we love Herz Jühning for.

What else to say? Get the album. The vinyl version if you are quick or just buy the cd when you are too late or simply prefer that format like myself.

Links: Herz Jühning, Galakthorrö

Tanz Ohne Musik – Night (7″ 2018)

Tanz Ohne Musik’s second release on Galakthorrö is a 7″. Four tracks, 33 rounds per minute.

Compared to the previous release on Galakthorrö (“Infinity” cd 2016) the sound is more ‘Galakthorrö’ again. Hints of Haus Arafna and November Növelet are abundant, but leaning more towards Arafna this time. The four tracks from the 7″ are good, maybe in a way more interesting as the album, more like some of the ‘pre-Galakthorrö’ releases.

Of course the 7″ is limited, to 515, but I am sure that Galakthorrö will have a download version available when the physical copies are gone.

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Galakthorrö

Distel – Nadagen (mc 2018)

After a couple of years of silence, the Dutch project Distel returns on Beläten, the Swedish label that put out more releases, with a two track cassette tape.

There is a four minute title track and a somewhat shorter track named “Galapagos”.
The opening track has all the Distel elements. Dark, rhythmical and slow music, somewhat danceable and with deep vocals in the background. In the second track Distel has a more accessible take with a recognisable tune and sung vocals. I am not too fond of this second track, but it certainly is not bad.

Links: Distel, Beläten

Hadewych – Welving (cd 2018)

You can leave the making of weird music to Peter Johan Nijland. Nijland is probably better known for his project Distel, but he has other projects too and Hadewych is not a new project either. I know Hadewych’s previous full-length (untitled) in the 2009 rerelease, but judging Discogs I missed a range of smaller releases.

Hadewych found its way to Malignant Records which will certainly improve the spread of the release. “Welving” is an odd release on Malignant though. Just as on the debut, the music has quite a lot of guitar. Sometimes the music reaches towards (industrial) metal, most of the time it is dark and ‘droney’ though (with or without guitars), sometimes slightly ritualistic. The combination of guitars and dark electronics brings memories of bands such as Necro Deathmort or The Body. The mix between dark and ‘sweeter’ sounds made me think of Dream Into Dust as well. It is not like Hadewych really sounds like these bands, but just to give you an idea of the odd sound.

“Welving”, just as on Distel releases, contains poetic lyrics, often in Dutch. The album is somewhat short, but contains good to exceptionally good tracks.

Indeed, recommended!

Links: Hadewych, Malignant Records