v/a * Somehow They Knew… (cd 2006 vrihaspati records)

Vrihaspati is the label of Peter Savelkoul of A Challenge of Honour. The cd promises “various artists”, but however there are a lot of bandnames on this cd, there are really only four artists on this album. Under the monickers The Arkwoods, Laharis, Praetorio, Staight Mental Instutution, Un Defi d’Honneur, Comtesse du Nord, A Challenge of Honour, and Code 243, S. Arkwoord, J. König, P. Savelkoul and I. Getrouw present their different projects (Praetorio is I. Getrouw, the rest is the rest). Most tracks do not sound too good to me. Minimalistic, repetative, too much focussed on a single (folky) sample. The Praetorio tracks is the best, a soundtrack-like orchestral industrial soundscape with a good atmosphere (I will have to listen to his split with ACOH). On a few tracks (under which ACOH), ‘the other side of Peter Savelkoul’ (who is also a drum’n’bass DJ) comes out, which resulted in a more technoish sound. Code 243 is danceable industrial, quite a break with the rest of the cd, but a nice break. Overall, nothing too special…

v/a * Riefenstahl (compilation 2cd 1999 vaws)

As far as I know the second compilation by Vaws dedicated to ‘controversial’ artists (see Thorak below). This time Leni Riefenstahl, filmmaker, photographist, dancer (in younger years), etc.
A nice orchestral opener by Voxus Imp. is followed by a tranquil industrial track of Von Thronstahl. Then Vaticans Children are up with an alright industrial track after which we hear some magnificent orchestral tunes of Forthcoming Fire and also a great track by Allerseelen. Less interesting songs of Nothwende, DIJ/Kapo bring us to a few guitar sounds. First a horrible track by Ruckgrat (pre-Orplid), a nice technoish track with guitar samples by Forthcoming Fire, a horrible dark ambient/industrial track with guitar samples by Nothwende. Then soft industrial by Preussak (another project of Josef K.) which is not too good. Neither is the atmospheric track of Andromeda Complex. Lady Domino has a nice track with a pulsating beat, gregorian samples and singing and the worst track of this compilation is for Projekt Blauland with a gothic song. Then Von Thronstahl with a funny technoish track and Josef goes even more techno with Preussak after that. Another horrible gothic song by PP?, again a no good track by Andromeda Complex, Tombstone with some boring dark ambient and Swirling Swasticas with a lousy industrial track.
This compilation starts off alright, but ends badly.

v/a * Ny Regret Du Passè, Ny Peur De L’Avenir… (online compilation

It was only a matter of time before this would happen: a compilation that can be downloaded entirely, tracks and artwork. I didn’t know the site yet, but this compilation surely changed that. However the sitename says “neofolk”, this is (fortunately) not just a neofolk compilation. It begins (very) industrial with the bands Omnicore, Atomtrakt, Die Macht, Cold Fusion and Ghost of Breslau. Of course there is also neofolk to be heard and not the worst either: Storm of Capricorn, Sonne Hagal, The Green Man, Belborn, The Well Of Sadness, Apatheia and Rose Rovine & Amanti. At the end there are more experimental things of Naevus, Calle della Morte, Nemodog, Division S, Novo Homo and Der Feuerkreiner. As you will notice immediately, there are wellknown and unknown bands and I must say, for a compilation this is really not bad, so for a free compilation it is great!

liedersammlung (v/a) * Neue Welten (10″ 2001 ragna organisation/electronic sound lab)

In a magnificent cover comes this nice compilation 10″. A 5-sided cardboard cover that you have to unscrew in the middle to get the disc out. Two flaps on the left and right with the bandinfo and texts in the middle panel. I am not 100% sure when this compilation was released, but I think somewhere last year. It is limited to 500 copies, mine is 291, so I guess there are about 200 left.
“Neue Welten” opens with a magnificent bombastic industrial track of Coincide with singing and continues with a tranquil, nice and (to me) unknown Dies Natalis song called “Wohin Des Wegens”. The last track of side A and first track of side B are electro tracks by Painbastard and Transform Colláge. Then we get an industrial/ambient track by Dighum and a very nice last track by Ophir which is again rather bombastic industrial.
All in all quite a nice compilation with mostly unknown bands to me and even an unknown label! <6/4/02><3>

Letters From The Nuovo Europae :Neue Kultur Für Die Gulag-Massen: (magazine aug 2000)

Reviewing a magazine? Well, I was asked for that more than ones and since it actually fits the ‘dark music’ concept, why not? Still it is a little strange though. Several reviews from Sententia are used, I set up the internetpage, so it feels a bit like reviewing my own work. But, of course 90% of the work is done by Kommandant Dan Ghetu, so here we go.
The cover shows a very nice picture of a statue of Arno Breker (which was actually my choice…) and an impressive list of bands and organistations that are interviewed. To name a few: Von Thronstahl, Der Blutharsch, Tesco, Ain Soph, Cold Spring, Wutanes Heer, but there are a lot more. These names should give you an idea of the corner we can place the Letters in: euro-centric and militant folk and industrial. A slowly growing outcasted scene. Therefor you will also not be surprised to read some ‘strong ideology’ in these pages, so you better be not afraid of these.
Anyway, the interviews are at times pretty damn long, with original questions not only about the music, but about politics, culture, etc. To keep the magazine to agreeable proportions, the texts are printed very small, so you need a lot of light to read this. For my taste there are too many pictures to acompany the interviews, but the policy here is that there should also be something for the eye. The interviews are done by Dan Ghetu himself of course, but also by Matyunov Igor of Klek DVA and M. Magazine and Nihil from Klek DVA. The reviews are also by these three, “the mysterious FS from Switserland” and copied from the very pages you are reading now.
If you are interested in euro-centric music (which covers folk, but also ambient, industrial, noise, power electronics, etc.), this is a very good read and you might get a few nice surprises. Particularly nice to read are the interviews with Albin Julius (Der Blutharsch) and another with Elzbeth where you can read both versions of the split of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud.
What I also found good to find out, is that even though most featured artists have a somehow similar worldview, all of them have very specific ideas themselves. From the extreme views of Josef K. of Von Thronstahl to the surprisingly moderate visions of Albin Julius.
Anyway, if you want a taster of the magazine, you can visit the webpage that we just put up last week. The printed version contains a lot more interviews and reviews (not to mention advertising of interesting labels!), so if you find the webpages interesting, you will definately need to buy the printed version as well.
A new issue is coming up, less music, more “Kultur”!

v/a * Neo-Form 2 (online compilation 2006 neo-form) + v/a * Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (online compilation 2006

When the first online compilations were published by these two websites late 2004 and early 2005 it was in a way still new to offer music like this. A good way to get to know new bands though. More bands and websites started to release online compilations, but it is not really that this took a really high flight. After Ny Regret De Passe, Ad Perpetuam Gloriam and Neo-Form 1, I never really checked the websites where I found these compilations anymore. Recently for some reason I stumbled upon both and both proved to have new compilations available. In the case of Neoform, both old (Allerseelen, Tribe Of Circle, OTWATM) and many new bands. “Honi…” presents ‘two cds’ with mostly smaller or completely new bands. Like I said before, the website names suggest neofolk music, but obviously the websites are maintained by people who use this term to catch the whole scene. There is not much neofolk on the compilations, but more ambient, industrial, a bit of noise, military pop (but not as much as you may expect) and indeed, also a bit of neofolk. Both compilations are pretty good again, especially Neo-Form 2. Happy downloading! Oh, you may have to find software to unpack the files, but nothing that the internet can’t solve. <12/1/07><4>

v/a * Heilige Feuer (cd 2001 der angriff)

It was a long wait for this cd, but I finally got it. A Russian compilation remembering the first industrial festival in Russia, december 2000 in St-Petersburg. It must have been satisfactory, because last year more concerts were held in the same city. Anyway, the line-up of Sal Solaris, Deutsch Nepal, Der Blutharsch, Genocide Organ and Reutoff was promising. Two yet fairly unknown Russian acts (the first and the last) together with established names of the scene. Sal Solaris has just released their debut cd on Albin Julius’ Hau Ruck! label and will be reviewed when I get it. Reutoff we of course know from ‘that other’ Russian compilation “10 Years Of Madness”.
Actually I am not too impressed by the studio-tracks that each project contributed two off. Sal Solaris has two dark ambient tracks that are alright, but not smashing, Deutsch Nepal has two not too typical and not too briliant tracks (one song actually!), Der Blutharsch also contributed two not too typical tracks that are fairly strange and funny, Genocide come with a heavy and a more minimal track and Reutoff has two ambient/industrial/noise tracks which I actually find the best tracks of this compilation. In total giving 54 minutes of music. Nice, but with this line-up it could have been better.

v/a * Gloria Victis Vae Victis (cd 2005 war office propaganda)

In a magnificent wooden package comes this WOP compilation with 20 tracks. Most of the bands are the established, but smaller bands (like Der Arbeiter, Rukkanor or Omnicore), other bands are (a bit) bigger (Belborn, Pazival, Toroidh, Karjalan Sissit, HERR), but no ‘top sellers’. The new names to me are Out of Sight (a nice weird ‘industrial’ track), Ait! (industrial), Krepulec (ambient industrial) and Vishudda Kali (what kind of music is this?). All tracks but the Karjalan one are new to me and the biggest surprise is already the opener. I know Cawatana as just another unimaginable neofolk band, but here we have a very martial and loud industrial track. Not brilliant maybe, but certainly surprising. For the rest mostly industrial music, some Parzival weirdness and more tranquil sounds towards the end. A nice compilation in a magnificent package (too bad that cutbacks had to be made on the booklet), limted to 111 copies (very special version) and 777 copies. Sold out from the label, but some distros seem to have copies left.

v/a * Flowers Made Of Snow (2cd 2004 cold meat industry)

Traditionally every 10th CMI release is a compilation and they are always eagerly expected. Even though it was a long wait since the last compilation while the ‘normal’ releases come like a flood, “Flowers Made Of Snow” lives up to the tradition. It features old and new bands, has mostly exclusive tracks, looks wonderfull and has a high level of musical quality. Apparently CMI wants to push its boundaries of the typical CMI concept. There are bands who are not even from Scandinavia, let alone Sweden and there is more folky music again. Here you get a good overview of the old and new CMI. Bands such as Ordo, ISN, BDN are present, but also new names such as Olen’K, All My Faith Lost…, The Last Hour, Apatheia, Hesperos and Sibellian. Definately a must-buy for old and new listeners!

v/a * Chamber (cd 2002 cold spring records)

This “Cold Spring Records sampler” is a 80 minute cd with Ignis Fatuus (alright neoclassical), Folkstorm (good industrial/ambient), Mark Snow (nice neoclassical), Laibach (strange old industrial), Endura (too monotous ambient), Novatron (too monotous ambient), Band of Pain (again too monotous ambient), Benedikt Prayer (a piano track), Schloss Tegal (good dark industrial), Von Thronstahl (a version of “Mitternachtsberg” that I already had), Toroidh (industrial), Sleep Research Facility (industrial), The Days Of The Trumpet Call (a nice track that sounds a bit too much like Von Thronstahl), Kerovnian (nice, but a bit too monotous ambient) and the best for last: A Challenge Of Honour (nice orchestral version of “Havamal”). All in all a nice compilation with a few acts that I didn’t know yet.