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
This compilation is not as noisy as “2008 Maniacs”, it contains dark soundscapes, drone and here and there a bit of noise. Most tracks are a bit too monotous for my taste, but there are also some darker and more industrial things, which I like better, but the very dark soundscape of Dirk Geiger is pretty good too. For only 7 euros plus posting, you will get 80 minutes of music, so that is not a bad deal, is it?
Link: Bone Structure
This compilation is not as good as the “Erotic Morgue” compilation of the same label that I reviewed recently. “Moon Patrol” is not as dark and not as noisy, more dark ambient soundscapes and drones. Not that this cd is boring, but you will have to be more into soundscapes than into noise with this one.
Link: Alampo Records
A week or so ago I ran into Machinist and decided to order “Cyclus I”. While doing that, my eye fell on another release called “Black Block” which is a magnificent dark ambient soundscapes album. “Cyclus I” slightly differs in style, it is more “noisescapes”. Again there are three tracks, but this time only making half an hour of music. The first track is a bit too monotous noisy and not all that great. The other two tracks are darker and better, but also more noisy (especially in some parts) than “Black Block”. I guess this is more of the sound that I expected (hoped for), but I think “Black Block” is better, especially regarding atmosphere. But… the second and third track of “Cyclus I” are not bad either.
Links: Machinist, Betontoon
Not quite the first release of this Dutch project, but I didn’t know it. Shame on me! However I expected something more noisy and soundscapes are usually not my thing, this pretty damn dark soundscape album is very good! Low frequencies, deep beats, dark drones, a threathening atmosphere, it is all there. Three tracks making a 67 minutes album released on an “ambient/ noise/ drone/ audio-collage/ fieldrecording label based in Groningen, the Netherlands” that I also didn’t know. “Black Block” is impressive, well recorded, comes in a nice package and I think this is a must-buy for people who like Megaptera or Vestigial or who want something darker than the average CMI release and something better than TenHornedBeast.
Links: Machinist, HeilsKabaal
In the past I have tried some smaller (industrial) labels without much succes. In the end the good projects usually end up on a larger label and consequentally on the regular mailorders. For quite a few years I haven’t taken much effort to find interesting smaller labels, so I had to run into a few to show me that this can actually be quite interesting. For a mere 8 euros I bought this Alampo compilation of a little over an hour and it is actually very nice! The music can be described as dark ambient and soundscapes with an industrial and noisy edge. Most tracks are pretty dark and nice to listen to. There is (of course) also a not too good track (of Akronia) and a superb track comes from Machinamentum Victum Tortusve (too bad about the whip sample). Indeed, this is a nice sampler if you like the darker side of electronics and when you do not fear a healthy bit of noise. I guess I have to look into the label and the projects a bit more, since these small labels release small labels seem to have a high release-speed.
Link: Alampo Records (see their website for the band’s sites).