You can leave the making of weird music to Peter Johan Nijland. Nijland is probably better known for his project Distel, but he has other projects too and Hadewych is not a new project either. I know Hadewych’s previous full-length (untitled) in the 2009 rerelease, but judging Discogs I missed a range of smaller releases.
Hadewych found its way to Malignant Records which will certainly improve the spread of the release. “Welving” is an odd release on Malignant though. Just as on the debut, the music has quite a lot of guitar. Sometimes the music reaches towards (industrial) metal, most of the time it is dark and ‘droney’ though (with or without guitars), sometimes slightly ritualistic. The combination of guitars and dark electronics brings memories of bands such as Necro Deathmort or The Body. The mix between dark and ‘sweeter’ sounds made me think of Dream Into Dust as well. It is not like Hadewych really sounds like these bands, but just to give you an idea of the odd sound.
“Welving”, just as on Distel releases, contains poetic lyrics, often in Dutch. The album is somewhat short, but contains good to exceptionally good tracks.
Links: Hadewych, Malignant Records
I might have never heard of Näo had they not played at this year’s Summer Darkness festival. Not that I saw them, but when I was checking the schedule to see what I missed, the Soundcloud tracks of this project sounded interesting enough to get myself the whole second album. This album certainly is interesting! It sounds like almost nothing I know, perhaps the closest comparison would be Hadewych. Näo makes ambient music with a lot of IDM influences, strange beat-experimentations and after a while things go over in something that I think is best described as psychedelic rock, sometimes soft and 70’ies, often closer to drone doom metal or something, always instrumental by the way. Carefully built up tracks with tons of ideas and a unique sound. Not my usual kind of music (but what is usual with the ever growing width of my musical taste?) and perhaps not (always) sublime, but certainly very refreshing and interesting. I need to play me that Hadewych album again some time soon too!
Links: Näo, Ant-Zen
A rather ‘mysterious’ Dark Matters release. However this project seems to have more material available, I cannot find it on Discogs. The Dark Matters list on Discogs seems rather complete, but no Ultraspießer. “Tight Fisted Bastard” is a weird release. Weird soundscapes, slightly noisy, sometimes a bit ritualistic, hard to describe actually. There are guitars in it, drumming, distorted sounds, so in a way it is one kind of drone (contrary to the low frequency dark ambient explanation of that term). The release is somewhat interesting, but not really my thing. It is nice to hear what weird music there is out there though.
Link: Radical Matters
I am not a big follower of the style of dark ambient. Most of it is too monotous for me and not dark enough. I do not think I have anything of Northaunt, but I have seen the man live a few times. Therradaemon is a new project of Hærleif Langas of Northaunt. There is one word to describe this album: drone. “Language of the dark mouth” lasts about an hour, but has only four tracks. In these tracks you will not hear much more than drones, deep and long-stretched sounds. Certainly it is a challenge to work with such a concept, because how can you make an interesting release with a sound even more minimalistic than dark ambient? Coph Nia and Mindspawn managed to make the very interesting “Erotomechaniks” and I must say that Therradaemon also creates a very dark atmosphere. This album is certainly more interesting than many of the dark ambient releases that I heard recently.
Links: Therradaemon, Cyclic Law
Quite by accident I learned about a new Machinist cd, I missed the previous one. Machinist is a Dutch “drone” outfit that created some pretty dark ambient, but this new album is more ‘soundscapish’. Two long tracks that mostly seem to consist of long strengted guitar sounds (so ‘drone’ as description is not a bad one), but like the first track goes “Mono Tone”, a bit too monotone for me. Nice packaging though and released by a label unknown to me.
Links: Machinist, Moving Furniture Records
“Midnight Sun” is a 60-minute album with 12 tracks of soundscapes and drones. The music sometimes gets a noisy edge, is sometimes rather dark, but remains ‘soundscapish’. The tracks have a variety of atmospheres which makes that I like some tracks, but others not at all. The overall style seems to be “drones”, not necessarily because of low frequency drones, but also because the music seems to be created with guitars and effects rather than just electronics.
Link: Cyclic Law
It is not really the time of the year to release dark drones, is it? Inspite of that here we have a 20 minute 3″ cd with one track of Dead.Circuit and one of Luna Dopa. Dead.Circuit created a slow and monotous drone track. Low frequencies, almost no other sounds, a nice track. Luna Dopa also contributed a minimalistic track which is more soundscapish, but adds some guitar sounds (?) which I find not particularly appealing. The parts without the guitars are nice.
Links: Dead.Circuit, Luna Dopa, Industrial Culture
I did not know Allseits yet, but that is because this is only the second release and the debut was not released within our scene. “Hel” is a pretty good album with very dark ambient / drone music. The sound is minimalistic and monotous, but not too monotous and almost all the time there is this very low frequency industrial pulse on the background. Very nice!
Links: Allseits, Cyclic Law
Well well, the Dutch scene seems to be ever becoming more active and interesting. Without regards for scenes and tags people go from one style to another which makes it rather difficult to keep up with. So I also missed Hadewych’s very limited demos and the first version of this self-titled album. Two years after the initial release, there is a luxery rerelease on Tuchtunie (165 copies) soon to be followed by a ‘regular’ release limited to 300 copies. Hadewych makes very experimental dark music. Dark soundscapes made with electronics, guitars and voice combined with ‘IDM’-beats at times and samples. The first part of this 50 minutes album is a bit ‘drone rockish’, lateron the sound becomes more ‘soundscapish’. The result is something quite different and highly interesting and another promising project coming from my own country.
Links: Hadewych, Tuchtunie
Bone Structure is a label from the French part of Belgium and very active in releasing tiny edition cdrs, apparently most in DVD cases. This compilation comes in only 50 copies and shows the more noisy side of the label. When you have a look at the ‘website’ of the label, you might get the idea that this is some kind of metal label. The band logos look like death metal logos, there is a fascination with gory horror, satanic artwork and titles. The description of the music is as varried as “rhythmic assault of unfriendly ambient soundscapes”, “industrial doom”, “death ambient and old school industrial sounds” to “cyberblasting and grim blackish noise mayhem” and “badass noise” (and indeed, also some metal). All very interesting, so I decided to try two compilations to get a taste of the label. “2008 Maniacs” opens very noisy, but lateron there are more soundscapish tracks, not devoid of noise. There is also complete noise overkill though (Toby Dammit). When track 8 sets in, things finally start to become really interesting and indeed, this is the Dutch project Dead.Circuit. This track sounds nothing like the Propergol-like album that I recently reviewed, but is a nice soft industrial track, perhaps a little technoish. To my big surprise there is also a band that I know: Bleiburg! Together with Rhesus Factor they have created a very good industrial ambient soundscape. After some old school industrial and two monotous sounscapes, the 67 minutes are over. “2008 Maniacs” is another cheap compilation (5 euros) with a bit too many poor tracks, but also a few very good ones. Bone Structure is way too fast with releasing to keep up with them, especially when the good/bad rate of the normal releases is the same as on the two compilations. On the other hand, if you want to take a gamble and spend a few euros on crazy material of projects you never heard of, why not send them to Bone Structure and try some of their material?
Link: Bone Structure