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Roma Amor * Occhi Neri (cd 2012)

The third album of Roma Amor is less cabaratesk dramatic as the previous albums. Most songs are soft and (by lack of a better word) folky. The style remains the 1950’ies type of French chansons, but there is only one great heartbreaker (“Mon Amour”). The other songs are more subdued. The album is still quite beautiful, but I like the previous two better.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Cafe

Circus Contraption * Our Latest Catalogue (2001)

On I ran into this “tag” “dark circus”. When listening to the “radio” of that “tag” all kinds of strange circus(like) music passes by. Sometimes I hear cabaretesk bands (“dark cabaret” is a similar tag) that I already knew, but there are especially weird tracks of a band called “The Tiger Lillies” (whose albums are more modest it seems) and a completely over-the-top track called “Come To The Circus” of Circus Contraption. A fast and happy sounding circus music song with expressive singing and choirs, but ‘dark lyrics’. It is completely unlike the music that I usually listen to, but this band sure makes a nice twist with overly-happy music. The band seems to have five releases available, only this one on Discogs. The music goes from folky to more tranquil circus music, but always with a ‘live show feeling’ and if the website is credible, Circus Contraption actually is a circus show. The website even has a link to a book about the underground circus circuit which contains a chapter about this outfit. There are always new things to discover!
The most recent cd “The Show To End All Shows” (2008) is on its way, since all material of this band is available through their website. If you want some weird stuff, this might be something to check out.
Link: Circus Contraption

v/a * Zu Neuen Ufern In Alter Frische! (cd 2002)

This was already HR!35. I am not sure why I did not buy it when it came out, but I suppose I thought that I would have most of the music on it. Before HR!35, Hau Ruck! had only released two Of The Wand 7″s, the Dernière debut, the Tribe of Circle debut, some Novy Svet, Sal Solaris, Lucisferrato, Changes, I-C-K, that sort of stuff. Yet to come was the better Dernière material, Foresta di Ferro, Bain Wolfkind, Varunna, etc. Just to place this release a bit in time. Of course, I have much of the material present and of Dernière there is an obviously old-sound track, but the compilation has some nice tracks and taken as a whole, it is a nice compilation and I got it for only 4 euros at the Tesco sale.
Link: Hau Ruck!

Roma Amor * Femmina (cd 2009)

Last year Roma Amor released a nice untitled debut album. They describe their style as “folk / neo-cabaret” which is a good description. Slightly reminding of Edith Piaff, Roma Amor has an enigmatic singer and nice, smooth music which is also very nice to see/hear live. This second album is quite the same as the debut, just as good, no change in style or really new elements. So, again nice and I guess you should get it when you liked the debut.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Café

Geneviéve Pasquier * Le Cabaret Moi (cd 2009)

Le Cabaret MoiThe female half of Thorofon / The Musick Wreckers is back. It is only recently that I got to know Geneviéve Pasquier (about a year ago) and I have to admit that I pulled her three earlier releases off the internet. I like some of the songs on these albums. Pasquier has a nice mix between oldstyle industrial and electropop, but the result is less predictable than this description suggests. On “Le Cabaret Moi” Pasquier has a little bit more of a ‘cabaretesk’ sound, the lyrics are now mostly in French and Pasquier incorporated a few new sounds. Still the new album is recognisable in song structure and style. Poppy songs with strange distorted industrial sounds or simply rhythmical industrial with Pasquier’s singing, most of the time nicely catchy. Yep, an original style and I happen to like this relatively more accessible current in the extreme electronics scene and this album is a very nice one in this direction.
Links: Geneviéve Pasquier, Ant-Zen

Roma Amor * s/t (cd 2008)

Roma AmorIt is funny how the scene works and I am happy to hear that something new and different pops up every now and then. However, new and different? Roma Amor has a theatrical/cabaretesk sound and there are more bands who experiment with that. Actually there even more bands who have done so in the past. Over ten years ago, the French band Eros Necropsique used it in their gothic rock sound, but did not Nick Cave also do something like that? Anyway, in a scene with “neofolk” and (martial) industrial sounds this may seem a little lightfooted, but since some Hau Ruck! releases no longer, so there is plenty of room for a band such as Roma Amor. This band sounds like it comes from some 1950’ies theatre and even though this may not be exactly my cup of tea, this is nice music to play every now and then when I want something different.
Links: Roma Amor, OEC

Refuse To Die * Collection Of Agnostic Flies (cd 2008 the eastern front)

It seems that this is my first encounter with Refuse To Die, even though they have released material since 1996. However the bandname suggests a martial industrial project, the cover of this album is a better pointer of the style: weird and ‘collagic’. Most tracks are sound-collages, either or not with an industrial tone, sometimes a bit soundscapish, sometimes more industrial/noisy. It is all pretty strange stuff, so do not be surprised to get a little bit of cabaret as bonus. An album full of odd ideas without much of a definate style is of course a ‘dangerous’ thing to do. I can hear the humour in some tracks, some tracks are nice to listen to, but there is also a totally awfull track called “Who Are The Brain Police” and there are things that simply don’t ‘work for me’. I doubt that I will play a cd like this very often. Perhaps I should put a few tracks on the mp3 compilations that I play in my car, but 45 minutes of such weird stuff…? Of course you might actually enjoy crazy industrial sound collages, so just visit the band’s website to listen to some tracks and see if this is an album for you.
Links: Refuse To Die, The Eastern Front

Nový Svet * Cuori Di Petrolio (cd 2000 hau ruck!)

I don’t think Tesco had read my review of the debut cd of this band when they send me this cd. I don’t really like this first album. I did hear that the second cd was a bit more ‘serious’, but I don’t think I would have bought it myself.
But indeed, the second albums is a bit more serious than the first cd. There is more industrial, a bit of ambient, but most of the music is still the typical, silly music with the most dull vocals since TILT! But since the more industrial parts of the first cd sounded a lot better than the rest, this second cd is a big improvement. And actually the vocals start to sound more funny than just irritating, so do I grow used to them or do I start to see the joke?
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know the “Paccia a Paccia” cd, the music is tranquil and often rather silly folky, jazzy or whatever it is music, with very peculiar vocals. On the debut it sounded a bit like a drunken guy trying to sing, this time it’s the same kind of voice, but more ‘real’ singing. “Cuori Di Petrolio” contains a healthy amount of industrial sounds.
This is still not my favourite cd of all times, but I like it a lot better than the first cd and I guess it may be funny to play when you’re in a silly mood.
And a tip for those who are not familiar with this band yet, first try this one and if you think you can stand more sillyness, get the debut then. <10/11/00><2>

Nový Svet * Faccia a Faccia (cd 1999 hau ruck!/wkn)

A strange release of Albin Julius (better known as Der Blutharsch). I know Nový Svet, from Julius’ “Wo Die Wilde Kehrlen Wohnen” compilation 7″, where NS actually contributed the nicest track. The first time I listened to “Faccia a Faccia” I was quite irritated by the silly music on this disc. Now that I heard it a few times, it is quite funny in a way, but not something that I will play for enjoyment…
Try to imagine a group of people singing silly melodies in Spanish (?) as if they are totally drunk. With (traditional) instruments they produce even more silly melodies and once in a while you can hear some industrial or dark ambient tunes. The first 10 songs are fairly short and in this vein, the last track lasts for some 20 minutes and I think it is this track that makes people compare NS to Der Blutharsch. Not that I hear many similarities myself, but the last track is a bit more industrial of sound with churchbells and to me this is the best track of this cd by far. After a boring gap of nothing, the usual ghosttrack in the vein of the first 10 songs.
Conclusion? I guess only “love it or hate it” covers this silver disc. A second cd is announced for the end of this month, but I don’t think you will read about it in these pages.
This cd still says “World Serpent Distribution” by the way, but I think you better try Tesco! <9/9/00><2>