Category Archives: experimental

O Saala Sakraal – Etmaal (cd 2018)

Only out on December 21th, but the good thing about running a website is that sometimes I get promo material. Here we have a collaboration between five Dutchmen including two from Hadewych (and hence, including Distel).  Indeed, O Saala Sakraal reminds of Hadewych here and there.

Hadewych has a ‘soundscapish’ sound, but with guitar and more energy here and there, a quite unique sound that is hard to describe. That soundscape side is more prominent in O Saala Sakraal, but also here and there the sound becomes more ‘lively’. The music is fairly dark, nicely weird (but not as weird as Hadewych), contains several vocalists who recite poems, scream or sing. Overall this album is more tranquil from what we know from Hadewych and (of course) somewhat different in sound, but I think that band gives the best idea of what to expect from the album that has a Dutch title which cannot be immediately translated to English (perhaps being the reason for being chosen?). The word “etmaal” refers to a day of 24 hours. There are two tracks of about 20 minutes by the way.

So, a nice album if you like something dark and original.

Link: Cyclic Law

Hadewych – Welving (cd 2018)

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.

Indeed, recommended!

Links: Hadewych, Malignant Records

Hermann Kopp ‎* Cantos Y Llantos (7″ 2017)

Hermann Kopp is the only ‘atypical’ project on Galakthorrö. The other projects sound quite alike. However this ‘other sound’ is good in a way, Kopp happens to be the only Galakthorrö project that I do not really like… Also it is one of the few projects that also releases material through other labels.

Kopp makes weird music. He experiments with his violin and his voice and mixes that with some sort of soundscapes. The result is interesting, but not always my taste. When you know previous releases of Kopp (on Galakthorrö, I never heard any of his other releases), you will have a fair idea of what the four tracks on “Cantol Y Llantos” sound like.

Links: Hermann Kopp, Galakthorrö

v/a * मोक्ष (mc 2015)

I do not receive a whole lot of promo/to-review material. Actually I am glad about that. When I buy an album and do not like it, I will say so; when I do, the same. I hear a lot of music that I am indifferent to. It may work as background music, it does not annoy me, nor does it please me. When I get such an album, I frequently decide not to review it at all. The owner of the Russian UIS label insisted that I would listen to their “post industrial” compilation to hear its brilliance. I did listen to this compilation, three times. There are but few reviews on this website of albums that I heard three times before reviewing it. Still I find it difficult to write this review. However the music on this compilation is varried in musical style, all tracks seem to have something incommon. They do not really ‘work for me’. But, to (probably) present you some new names, here we go for a free Bandcamp compilation that was earlier presented as an audio cassette.

The title of this compilation translates as “Mokṣa”, a Sanskrit term that according to the label means “breaking from chains of reincarnation and all the miseries of material existence”. The music is inspired by the funeral music of the balinese village of Trunyan. There are nine tracks on the compilation. The opening act is the Russian project Obt Grubuscrum with a rather typical, but descent, ritualistic dark ambient track (think of Herbst9 for example), Project Hypoxia reminds more of the Hyperium sound with melodic, ‘ethnic’ sounding music. Per Aspera also starts with such a sound, but goes over in something somewhat technoish. Next up is Bhārata Mātā with a bit of an experimental tribalish track. After this we get a slightly darker, yet melodic track of Krrau. As with Bharata Mata, we now get another piece of experimental tribal industrial, perhaps reminding of the more tranquil material of Hybryds; the project is named ﻗﺎﻣﺖ ﺍﻟﺳﺎﻋﺔ. Угасание is more dark ambient soundscape type music. The same can be said about Vehjora, but this goes over in guitar-drone. The closing track is weird minimalistic and experimental music; Discogs has it listed as “ethno-ambient” which roughly covers the sound (but could be applied to other tracks as well); the project is presented under the monicker Ajuleg & Irm.

The compilation works as background music, but to me the music is not interesting enough to really listen to it. What is somewhat funny, I more or less get the same feeling with each track (indifference, there are not really ‘highs’ and ‘lows’). Would that mean that “Mokṣa” is very well compiled?

Link: UIS

v/a * Martyred Heretics (cd 2014)

I got this compilation with a Beläten order. It is limited to 200 copies and so far the only release on the Mustard Relics Recordings label.

After an introduction follows a nice track of what we would call “minimal wave” nowadays, but according to Discogs the project called Prayers only released two 7″s on WEA and EMI in 1990 and 1992, filed “eurohouse”!
Continuing with Angels Dust, a new project that creates strange ‘beat-scapes’ with female vocals. Perhaps best described as IDM. Not really my cup of tea. The other track of Angels Dust does not sound entirely alike, but the description again fits.
Pornostroika Dadaifi also contributed two tracks. Discogs lists them as a “Cyber Punk band formed in 1999 in Lesvos, Greece”. This may go for the weird and nice second track, the first is a less interesting experimental, atmospheric thing; perhaps old-style-industrial is a decription.
Another project with no releases on Discogs: Mach Baron. Their only track starts as dark ambient, but quickly goes over in quite typical “gabber”, hardcore techno.
Then we have a project that does have two releases on Discogs, recent even, 2014. Street Sects makes noisy industrial rock. Not of the typical Ministry style, but do think in that direction.
After this follows the only project that I knew: Blitzkrieg Baby. Kim Sølve contributed a nice, strange and slow industrial track.
The next project I have not mentioned until here presents an interesting track. Pyrotoxxxn starts with a dark sound over rattling beats and after a more quiet middle part continues with more ‘hiphopish’ rhythms. The end becomes more energetic and interesting again.
So how do I describe the track of Peopling? A steady, noisy pulse functions as rhythm. A (digitalised?) bass guitar makes the only thing that can be called a melody and then there are strange vocals. A noisy interlude slides into a more quiet end. A very interesting track! Peopling has another interesting track. “Groundloss” I think is more in the nowave tradition with noise created with guitars and effects.
A long track is Scab Queen‘s “White Forest” of almost 10 minutes. This is a (to me) uninteresting unstructured ‘scape of sounds’.
The longest track lasts almost 15 minutes. Glanko‘s “Terr” (live!) starts as dark ambient, takes over a third of the track to go over in a more guitar-trance like middle part with a piano-synth and ends more spacey again. A track much different from what came before, but interesting when you enjoy experimental spacerock kind of music.

Not only uncommon names, but also uncommon sounds. Some of it is quite nice, so “Martyred Heretics” makes a good surprice. Buy as cd or Bandcamp release. Click on the link below.

Link: Mustard Relics Records

Sebastian Melmoth‎ * In Ruins (mc 2014)

I ordered this tape from the Beläten Bigcartel rather than the Bandcamp shop, so I had not heard it when I ordered it. What to think of a description speaking of “post-rock vibes, psychedelic ballads, epic dirges, motorik-driven acoustic dance music, twitching post-punk”? The tape certainly is experimental!
The opening track is a tranquil track loaded with speech-samples. Then we continue with post/noise rock, industrial and more poppy or wave songs. Not the most common combinations indeed. I do not immediately love this tape, but it all sounds quite interesting and I think it will grow with a few more listenings.
Link: Beläten

Post Scriptvm‎ * Benommenheit (cd 2014)

I had no idea that Post Scriptvm had a new album coming until it showed up in the Tesco newsletter. It is even released by Tesco. Well, the previous two albums were too, so this is not too strange.
I love “Marginal Existence” (2005), from then on Post Scriptvm seemed to become less dark and more experimental. The following albums were all interesting, but I mostly like this project for the older material. When I put on “Benommenheit”, I was pleased to hear some pretty dark material, somewhat noisy even, great! A bit furtheron this album reminds more of the previous album “Grey Emminence” (2010) which is alright, but less interesting to my ears.
All in all certainly one of the more interesting releases in the style that I will for convenience sake call “dark ambient” and especially the first tracks are great.
Links: Post Scriptvm, Tesco

Zenial ‎* Chimera (lp 2013)

That is funny. Just like the previous album of Zenial that I reviewed, I was going to say that Zenial makes music that I would normally not like, but yet I do. “Chimera” has very experimental soundscapes, is minimalistic and has little structure. Normally that would annoy me, but in this case I again like this album. There are ‘industrialistic’ rhythms (to not give you the idea that this sounds like industrial music like we know it today), soft noise and enough happens to keep drawing my attention. The music sounds like it is made with some stoneage electronic equipment and on Discogs I noticed that the release was tagged “musique concrete”. Should you know what this term (used to) refer(s) to, you might have a good idea of what this album is like. Like the previous album: interesting.
Links: Zenial, Zoharum

Spiritual Front * Open Wounds (2cd 2013)

Spiritual Front presents a limited box with two cds, a book and a t-shirt, but the good news is: I can also listen to this album on Deezer. The first cd contains all new versions of old songs and I wonder is the band tries to please the old fans or scare the new. There is material all the way back to the debut and most songs remained close the originals, with the mumbling singing from “Songs For The Will”, the depressive sound of the first two albums and the sexually explicit lyrics. This first cd does show that the old material is still pretty damn good, but depressive. On the second cd Spiritual Front explores new paths. They did not continue the pop-direction of “Rotten Roma Casino” (fiew!), but whereas the first cd is quite neofolk, the second goes from Swans-like guitar-madness to beautiful chamber music to more experimental and instrumental tracks. Indeed, Spiritual Front just keeps doing what it wants without getting confused by the success of the more accessible albums. On this new album you get a variety of styles of music, not including a poppy one. Interesting for sure.
Link: Spiritual Front

Igorrr ‎* Hallelujah (cd 2012)

There are many breakcore artists who simply throw a whole lot of samples in the blender, put some extreme rhythms over this and thus create their albums. Initially the French project Igorrr seems to be one of those, but on closer listening, there is something in Igorrr that I miss in a lot of breakcore: dedication and detail. Try to imagine a combination between classical music (orchestral and opera), folk, breakcore, grindcore, jazz, heck, is there music that Igorrr does not use? There are flinches of Venetian Snares, not in the last place the brilliant “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” album, but Igorrr goes way off into the extreme sound of breakcore, but at as many moments he also employs very moody orchestrations and creates the weird beats according the music. There are piano parts with accompanying beats at the speed of the piano, the same with Spanish guitar. The music goes from breakcore maddness right into some folksong and on to opera; oftentimes metal and allways with a breakcore basis. On this new album Igorrr also seems to sing himself more and his vocals are as varried as his music, from opera to screaming and death-grunts, sometimes in one track too. I am sure that this music is not for anyone. You have to be able to stand complete musical maddness and extremity, but when you can enjoy breakcore and not just the noisy side of it, you might want to check out Igorrr. In a way Igorrr falls something between Venetian Snares and Arcturus with its orchestral metal with varried vocals. Hard to describe, but if you like humour and extreme electronics… Sometimes brilliant, sometimes just good, but certainly something you have never heard.
Links: Igorrr, Ad Noiseam