A while ago I was listening to the Myspaces of UMB bands (or so) and heard the great track “Cog In The Machine”. I figured that I needed to have a proper look to this band, but the other tracks were less interesting. I did not pay much attention before I got the UMB compilation with “The Cog” and “Loneliest Place” which is more a soft dance track with singing. After a couple of times I found the song quite nice and so I got Tonal’s last album afterall. Tonal Y Nagual is a strange band, which is to be expected on UMB. “La Sierra Mecánica” goes from soft techno tunes to loud industrial and quite a bit of industrial rock. It all sure sounds different from anything I have heard, but I find it not really good. I have heard the album a few times now, maybe it will grow a bit more on me, but currently I can only say that the album is interesting, but not really my thing.
Link: Tonal Y Nagual, Confusibombus
It has been five years since the interesting debut of this Romenian duo. “Dialogue” mixed different kinds of music into an interesting style. On “Divine Skinny” there is again a mix of styles, but the result differs from the previous album. After hearing the Myspace tracks I got myself a copy of the new album, but I must say that I am disappointed by it. The cd opens interestingly with a mix between folk and industrial, but most of the tracks are rather bluesy, minimalistic, slow tracks, mixed with electropop and other poppy sounds. Especially the female vocals are not my thing (I prefer the photos of the very skinny Julie in the booklet) and the music is quite boring at times. I do like the fact that the bands presents something very uncommon and perhaps some more (than four) listenings will make the album grow a bit, but I can currently not give too much praise to it.
Links: Divine Muzak, Punch Records
This is almost a joke! For more than the price of a cd you get a large single with two tracks (45 rpm). The title track should have been released under the monicker Position Parallele and the other is just a replay of “Tout a Disparu”, but halfway it switches to disco mode with a rather boring sound. Of course it is not totally unexpected that Dernière continues its development in sound, but I hoped that with the (not really bad) disco sideproject Position Parallele, Dernière would at least have remained some kind of military pop sound. Rather it seems that both projects mingle. Of course I had to get used to earlier sound development of this French project, but “La Nuit Revient” is a lot worse than I feared on initial listening.
Wow, I didn’t know that this Raison d’Être side-project was still alive! In my Raison d’Être period, I bought everything that Peter Andersson released, including tapes of side projects and the first Atomine Elektrine cd (“Elemental Severance” 1995 CMI). I really loved the album with its great ‘trance ambient’ style. Quite a few years later there was another album (“Archimetrical Universe” 1999 yantra atmospheres) which is not bad, but nothing like the debut. Apparently there was also an album in 2004 (“Binomial Fusion” Essence) and now a new one. The music still can be called “trance ambient”, with which I mean ambient soundscapes with rhythical elements, but not sounding like the debut. The music is soft and soothing, sometimes soundscapish, sometimes ‘trancy’, but always nice and well structured. This may not be music that I will play a lot, but it is a nice album to have if I feel like playing something different.
Links: Atomine Elektrine, Essence Music
Allerseelen is not my favourite band. I find Gehard’s music a bit too simple and repetative. I used to own “Gotos=Kalanda” (1995), but for the rest I have some smaller releases and a track here and there. Because I was curious if the style remained the same, I got myself a copy of “Hallstatt”. Unfortunately I have to conclude that nothing happened at all. The music is tranquil (though rhythmical), very repetative and quite boring with most variation in the vocals. I suppose there are people who do like the sound of this Austrian project, because dozens of releases in a period of over a decade is quite a feat.
Links: Allerseelen, Allerseelen/Ahnstern
Position Parallèle are Geoffry D. and Pierre Pi. The first is of course better known as Dernière Volonté, the second seems to have been involved in the same project in the earlier days. It is not totally unexpected that Geoffry D. took his accessible sound a step further and leave the “military” sound behind. Position Parallèle became a disco cd, or better said: a synthypop cd, because some songs remind of New Order or Soft Cell and I can promise you, the sound is as ‘faulty’ as the cover! Very recognisable are Geoffry’s vocals, but the sound differs a lot from DV as you can imagine. The cd turned out nice. It is not as good as ‘that other recent disco cd’ “Magic” of November Növelet, but it is a nice listening. A bit of a short one though, 35 minutes.
Oh, a nice joke has been made with the Hau Ruck! logo on the cd.
Links: Position Parallèle, Hau Ruck!.
Of this strange, German band I earlier reviewed a cd on Cold Spring from the UK. This new cd is released by this much smaller label The Eastern Front from Israel, but the band surely fits on this label. Way Of Crosses opens with a nice martial neofolky track and continues with a two minimalistic tracks with dance rhythms with are either a bit dull or interesting as sounding new (and with a very amusing variation on the “Woher stammst du?” scene from Triumph Des Willens). Also there are of course the traditional (Russian?) songs, strange experimental soundscapes, some poppy and industrial tracks… You read it, this cd does not contain a single and predictable style of music, but an interesting collection of ideas and tracks of which most are interesting enough to get a copy of this nicely packages (but limited to 1000 copies) album.
link: The Eastern Front
It is hard to keep up with the guys from Von Thronstahl. They don’t release too many things and when they do, these releases are very limited and/or released on a small label and/or not available from most mailorders. Here we have a mcd limited to 350 copies, but there is also a version with an extra mcdr and this version is limited to 150 copies. The mcd contains new versions of “Europa Calling”, “Adoration to Europa” and “Mutter der Schmertzen”, a cover-version of Death In June’s “Runes and Men” and “The Leader’s Daughter”, the Russion national anthem. The tracks are alright. The extra mcdr opens with a better “Runes and Men”, followed by a track that begins as a typical Von Thronstahl track with voice-samples and keyboard orchestrations, but this track goes over in a cheesy ‘dance’ track. Both versions of “Bellum Sacrum Bellum” do not come near the original version and the electro-track “The Great Brittish Betrayal” is amusing, but not too good. Concluding I might say that Von Thronstahl come with one of their experimental, small releases, while their ‘bigger releases’ are usually better. Of course this limited release is nice for collectors though.
Three of my favourite bands released expensive boxes recently and I do not plan to buy them all. The Der Blutharsch 4cd is already pretty expensive, but in the leather bag unaffordable. Mostly material that I have (compilation contibutions which often aren’t Albin’s best material either) and remixes that I am not really interested in anyway,so Der Blutharsch had to be skipped. Then there is the Absinthe box by Blood Axis and Les Joyaux de la Princesse. Extremely interesting. The cd with two 10″s with remixes, live recordings from the Portugal concerts and as far as I understood also tracks from the exclusive cd that was only available to the few lucky ones that were at these concerts. Extremely expensive too so with pain in my heart I also let this box pass my nose. And then we have Von Thronstahl with a box that I couldn’t let get passed. First (and most) of all, all material is exclusive. Actually this is the only reason to get this box, because however it looks great, there isn’t really anything ‘extra’.
The box is 15x15x3cm with a glass-plate of 1 cm high in it where the disc is on, so this is a pretty heavy box! Further a highly informative 20-page booklet.
Both the title and the concept are very fitting for Von Thronstahl. “Revolt” most likely refers to Josef K.’s revolt against the political correct popindustry that let him down over his ideology. K. took the image of the neofolk/industrial scene to extremes, always taking three steps further accross the border than the rest. He definately took his fascism into an artistic style, not only musically, but also in the artwork, etc. This style he returns with this box by dedicating this cd to fascism in different forms of art with a booklet with pictures, paintings, excerpts from interviews with known and less-known artists, articles and own writings all showing the fascination of artists with fascist concepts. Still the ‘introduction’ says that all this has nothing to do with a glorification of a certain phase in history but to build a certain style and aesthetics.
And what do you get musically? Well, Josef and Raymond again didn’t come close to the level of the brilliant debut cd “Imperium Internum” but that is of course because this is again a compilation of tracks and not a concept-album. Still there are some very good tracks to be found, especially the more industrial ones in the beginning. Around the end are a few of the ‘collection of samples’ things (one of 30+ min!) which aren’t too great. Further the guys wanted to use different styles of “gothic”, so you will not only get industrial and neofolk, but also a bit of EBM-like things, gothic rock and the like, a bit “Forthcoming Fire”ish.
Anyway, many tracks are good, some are just fine and others are roundout boring. Overall a nice release. <23/7/02><3>
Protocol Novikov / Laufeyiar Sonr / Foundation Hope
Tuchtunie is a young Dutch label and there are four bands affiliated with it. Three of them can be found on this compilation cd. Three bands who have three tracks each which make this a cd of about 54 minutes. Experimental electronic music, this is something I often have a hard time with. It is often too monotous or too experimental or just not my taste. I am glad to find out that these three bands are actually pretty interesting. The compilation starts with some dark industrial by Protocol Novikov. Their first track is slighty ambient, then follows a track with a fast beat and then a very industrial track. The last one is funny, it is harsch industrial in structure, but fairly soft in sound. Then follows the more ‘technoish’ approach of Laufeyiar Sonr (meaning ‘son of Laufey’, who is of course Loki). The last band is Foundation Hope. They have a more soundscape / ambient style. These tracks are nice, but a little monotous.
Like I said, these projects are pretty experimental and interesting. So, some downloads can introduce you some of their music and of course you should contact the label to get a copy of this nice cd.