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.
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”.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“Tempted Dissident” already was not the most extreme project on Galakthorrö (but he does not have the ‘minimal wave’ sound of NN), but I have the idea that “Interrogation Gloom” softer than the previous “Comatic Drift”. The music is still minimalistic with simple rhythms and melodies and male vocals, but where previously the vocals were more like talking/singing, on the new album there is more singing. This works better in some tracks than in other.
In the first tracks of this album, Da-Sein sounds a lot like November Növelet, both the music and the voice of the female singer. The tracks are nice, but halfway there are some more lively tracks that have a less ‘typical sound’ and they sound more interesting. These tracks are a bit rougher, slightly more industrial, but nothing compared to the violence of other Galakthorrö releases.
NN has never been a very active project. In 1994 there was the 7″ “More Satanic Heroes”. Five years later the album “From Heaven On Earth”. After that is was silent until the great album “Magic” (2007). A year later the 7″ “Sacred” was presented and yet another 7″ “Heart Of Stone” in 2012. Last year the album “The World In Devotion” was released.
Now, instead of releasing another 7″, November Növelet decided to release a compilation with “The singles 1994 – 2012 – Bonus Material”, the latter (“bonus material”) are three new tracks that were not released on vinyl but on this compilation.
If I am not mistaken, this is the same duo as Divine Muzak, but Discogs does not ‘say’ that the female halves are the same person. Tanz Ohne Musik has been releasing music since 2011. I ran into their Bandcamp around the time the sound shifted from an alright minimal wave sound to a much more interesting Galakthorrö-like sound. Still, it took until the sound shifted back a bit towards the ‘old sound’ that Galakthorrö showed interest in the project from Romania.
Putting on “Infinity” initially gives the impression that Tanz Ohne Musik went for a more November Növelet style than the tranquil Haus Arafna sound of “Between Our Body Shapes”. As the album continues, it is clear that “Infinity” is more like the last release “Belong” (2014), more like the earlier releases than “Between Our Body Shapes”, but still with “angstpop” elements.