angstpop

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

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)

  • angstpop

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