A compilation dedicated to North Korea with a whole range of interesting bands to be found on it. Putting the cd on I am very pleased to hear that Turbund Sturmwerk didn’t loose their touch afterall. Their latest tracks were not too great, but their “Reunification” is pretty damn good. It opens very loud with a bit of a Firsst Law sound and after a noisy middle Turbund falls back in known patterns, but overall I am happy with this wonderfull track. Lovers of harsch noise can enjoy themselves with Operation Cleansweep, Con-Dom and Genocide Organ. The track that Militia contributed is quite nice, but when we skip on to Ex.Order we hear another wonderfull “ambient noise” track with a great dark sound. The Grey Wolves tear our ears to shreds with their power electronics and to close off Anenzephalia put together a quite typical track with minimal noise and screamed vocals; not their best material, but not boring either. Overall “Juche” is mostly a compilation for people who like the harder side of electronic music and who had to wait for their favourite projects to finally release something new. “Juche” has a nice A5 package, produced in North Korea and is limited to a mere 15.000.000 copies, so hurry up!
On 18 and 19 august 2000 State Art and Ars Macabre organised the first Collapse festival with a whole bunch of dark industrial and noise acts. A special gift to the visitors was a cd with exclusive material of the bands that played. because of the gigantic request for the cd of people who haven’t been to the festival, the cd is also made available for the rest of the world.
7 Bands with one track each making a cd of 35 minutes in a cd-single box makes a compilation-mcd. The opening act is Ultra United with a very tranquil ambient track. Next up is MZ.412 vs Folkstorm which is of course noise, but rhythmical and quite industrial. The next track is of Heid a dark ambient track. Predominance is an act that I knew as a dark industrial band, but their “God Of Wolves” is total noise. Nocturne just released an lp on State Art and if that one is in the same style as their “6.VI.1994” this cd contains very tranquil ambient, soundscapes even. Ex.Order made a noise track old style, which screetching sounds and screamed vocals. The last track is to me by far the best. It is of Axon Neuron/Vagwa and it is a very strange and dark industrial track with strange deformed orchestrations.
Actually I had hope for a better cd. The only track that I really like is the last one. Most other tracks are alright and one is truely none of my taste. Still, if you want some introduction into dark electronics, I guess this is a cheap option.
For a long noise wasn’t my kind of music. Chaotic highpitched noise, I still can’t listen to most of it. I don’t know if it has to do with the years, or with the fact that the genre became better, but there are quite some noise and power electronics projects that I do like nowadays and reviews in this genre can be found on Monas.nl more often. It is only now and then that I run into something that I really like. One of such projects was Propergol from the sunny France that I got to know when Tesco released his “Renegade” album. Propergol has released more material on Nuit et Brouillard, Malignant, etc. and appears on many compilations of which I bought some hoping that there is more of this kind of noise. Jérôme Nougaillon founded his own label of which I ran into the website a few times. Hermetique found other projects more or less in the same vein and these projects can be found on this great and cheap compilation which comes in a wonderfull thin DVD case. The title probably refers to David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” film which seems to be one of Nougaillon’s favorite films (the Propergol track is called “Emotional Rescue Show”, samples from “Videodrome” can be found on his cds). “A Reassuring Voice…” opens with a very dark low-frequency track from Post Scriptvm from the USA of which another cd that was released by Somanbulant Corpse is reviewed elsewhere. Next up is a new-signed project called nEGAPADRES.3.3. with a weird noise track. Dusk of Hope has two tracks to come to their 10 minutes, this time very much noise, like Ex.Order. The first track is great, the second is alright. Sea-Green Series is another project of Nougaillon.This track is a great dark and noisy soundscape, leading up to more extreme sounds. Immediately recognisable is Propergol. This projects comes out best on a 70 minute cd, but “Emotional Rescue Show” is dark and threatening like we got used to of this project. With Radiodrama things get more noisy again, industrial even. Clear sounds, samples, a heavy rhythm and then noise; a really great track. The last track is for Old-Iron Fence. This track is much like a more tranquil Propergol track. This is the one minor thing about “A Reassuring Voice…”. Like other projects seem to be inspired by Propergol, the projects on this compilation are exceptionally heavily influenced by Nougaillon. Old-Iron Fence can easily be mistaken for Propergol, Radiodrama has similar samples with similar effects, like some of the other projects. This is okay if people find inspiration and original paths for themselves in the future, but I hope we won’t suddenly get a booming ‘Hermetique-scene’ with projects all sounding the same. This has happened enough in the scene already.On the other hand, with similar sounds it becomes easier for reviewers like myself to described this strange ‘new’ kind of music. Heathen Harvest used the term “cinematic dark ambient/noise/industrial”, I myself earlier used “sophisticated noise”, “noisescapes” and similar descriptions. ‘The Hermetique sound’ this will be, like we have the ‘CMI sound’ in dark ambient. Anyway, something new, fresh, dark and great and Hermetique seems to be the label on the hunt for projects in this vein. There are ‘hijackers on the road’ (as we say here), since my good pal Sistrenatus was signed to Cold Spring. No worries though, Hermetique currently has four cds available (Radiodrama, Post Scriptvm, Dusk Of Hope, nEGAPADRES.3.3. and this compilation) and Propergol has come up with 7 albums in 10 years. Final note, be sure to check out the wonderfull Hermetique website with many mp3s, wallpapers and a couple of great ‘trailers’! <28/4/06><4>
Long ago when I was still a newbee in the industrial world, I got most of my stuff from Loki. In that time they also had the ‘sublabels’ (?) Nature and Organisation and Power and Steel. Apparently at least the latter still exists. For a very long time I couldn’t listen to noise, but the darker sounds of Söldnergeist or Ex.Order appealled to me. Yet I haven’t really followed these projects. I do have some releases of both and now with this new Ex.Order album (the first real album since 1999) I decided to get myself a copy. “Corporate Control” opens with impressive and very dark low-frequency noise tracks, the way I like it! This dark tone remains present, but not all the tracks are as noisy as the first. There are also more ambient-like tracks, but also they are nice. Slow, low frequencies, distorted voices and samples and here and there a noisy outburst. I think the lovers of power electronics need nothing more to be said, get this great new album! For those who are not too familiar with this kind of music, Ex.Order is a noise act that you may start with listening to noise. It is extreme in style, but not too extreme in sound, so your ears may get used to this kind of tonal anarchism.
Several years ago I got to know Ex.Order from vinyls on the German State-Art label. Later they appeared on the festival compilation cd “Collapse” (2000) and as far as I know this is the first full-length. Unfortunately this is not a cd with new material. It contains material from the 1997 tape “Law Of Heresy”, two live tracks and then 5 tracks that were previously not available, but that were recorded between 1997 and 2000.
Most of “War Within Breath” is quite typical noise with massive walls of sound. Some tracks have deep drones and heavy beats and these are mostly the tracks that I like. The largest part of this cd is not really my kind of noise.