experimental

Levoi Pravoi * March In September (lp 2005 neuropa)

I’m always interested to hear bands that do something else. On the other hand, this is a risk, because ‘something else’ is not necessarily good. A weird band like Novy Svet is funny, but not my favorite kind of music. I decided to give this Russian/American band a try though. Levoi Pravoi makes such weird music that it is hard to describe. Strange ‘ambient’ tracks and odd ‘popfolk’ (is this what they call ‘military pop’?) tracks with an odd twist. The vocals are not very common too, maybe you can compare them to Laibach or Parzival. A very strange lp, and I’m not yet sure if I like it. There are a few nice tracks on it.

Leakh * The Wreckoning (cd 2000 prophecy productions)

I can almost tell what some of you must be thinking: “Prophecy… Sententia… a new neo-folk band that I don’t know?”. Well, I got to know Prophecy as a label that releases both metal and neo-folk, but the promos that I received through Battle Helm made me have to adjust this idea. Leakh is definitely neither of these two.
I never heard of the band and the booklet doesn’t give me much to go on. The band consists of Jimmy S. Coven and Johan Tjust and used to be known as “Coven”. The sound the band produces is pretty hard to describe. There are extremely emotional vocals, lots of acoustic guitar, but also electric. The music is rather simple, but very effective to create a desperate mood in combination with the vocals. There is pretty peculiar guitar-playing that reminds a bit of Dream Into Dust at times. The mood does as well now and then. Because of the vocals, also reminiscences of the Shadow Project’s “From The Heart” come to my mind. The vocals are sometimes quite typical gothic ‘grave’ vocals. At other times they are screamed, mourned or sung in a tortured manner. In a way I think it is safe to say that this is American gothic music, but not too typical. I like this pretty much, so this is a good strike from the German Prophecy label.

Kreuzweg Ost * Edelrost (cd 2005 cold spring)

About five years ago I bought the first cd of this project in a recordshop. I listened to it first, found the album pretty funny and decided to take it home. “Iron Avantgarde” seemed like an album of metalheads fooling around with a popular kind of music (militant industrial) while forcefully distancing themselves from the (possible) politics of that scene. They didn’t take the music too seriously and their first album is total laughter: crazy, weird, childish, funny and amusing. Then I heard that there would be a new album and I figured it they could make the same joke again. I can both comfort and displease you about that: no they didn’t. “Edelrost” is a more serious album, still in the strange style with weird samples and even weirder melodies, but not as much presented as a joke. A comfort to some, but maybe strange for those who heard the first album and pushed it away. As for myself, sometimes I put “Iron Avantgarde” in my player to listen to the walking boots and childrens-songs, Dutchmen trying to speak English and stupid Italian. Not thinking too much about that, “Edelrost” is enjoyable too. What to expect when you never heard of the band before? Silly melodies and weird samples, not too structured music that is very busy in the beginning of the cd (reminding of the debut album), but as the cd continues more serious tracks, sometimes ambient/industrial, sometimes slightly orchestral. Again a nice album to play when you are in a silly mood. <7/11/05><4>

Kreuzweg Ost * Iron Avantgarde (cd 2000 draenor productions)

Here we have two Austrian metalheads mixing German voices, warsamples, Schlager and 30/40/50’ies music, singing soldiers, singing children, industrial, electro and more resulting in music that is well described as “Iron Avantgarde”. The music is very avantgardistic, has a lot of militant sounds, is rather chaotic and is more than ones pretty humerous. I have no idea how to describe it better, but I think this is pretty funny and the cd has a proper length (66 min) which allows you to skip a part here and there where it becomes too much.
I don’t know if the ex-Pungent Stench guy is also the infamous mr. Stench, but that is the man who is helping our dear madam Alzbeth out with here recent TMLHBAC activities, which would mean that he is not totally unaware of ‘our’ music, which gives a bit the idea of a parody…?
Oh, and in spite of the music: “Kreuzweg Ost distranziert sich von Intolleranz und Faschismus”, which is the attitude of many of us, so this is in a way ‘correct false music’. Also for our peace of mind then?

Koji Marutani * Pataphysics (cd 2000 alluvial recordings)

No cd is easier to review than one which has all the necessary information in the package. The description of the music is as follows:

1.Scenes 8- This track opens with a Piano Improvisation, sounding like a Satie compositon. Then the sounds of waves fade in to change the mood. Soundfragments taken from old films, TV, and field recordings come one after another, minoring our random memory. The sound then changes into a long tone with field recordings blended in. This portion gives a meditative feeling as if sitting in a Zen temple.
2.Plunderphonics #1- This piece consists of bits of sound taken from various CDs and TV.
3.Scenes 9- Long tones have sound fragments cut in and out of them to give a quiet, meditative feeling.
4.Crystal Lounge – This is a challenge to the new aspects of sound. Pulse tones have been mixed with sampled piano to reproduce a Lounge music feel. This work was done to try and inject some warmth into this usually cold pulse styled sound.

All in all this is much of a ‘samplescape’ cd and definately not my kind of ‘music’. It’s too monotous, has no theme or melody and more sounds like a ‘soundplay’ (?) than music. Those who enjoy When for example -though- and who don’t fear a cd that goes a little further, might want to try this one.

In Slaughter Natives / Voice Of Hate * split ep (7″ 2006 temple of darkness)

ISN made a very ‘Ordo-like’ track for which Tomas Petterson made the lyrics and does the vocals. That may be why I could buy a copy of this 7″ yesterday on the Ordo (and IRM) show in Arnhem (Netherlands). “Consume My Burning Darkness” is a nice, orchestral, repetative track with -like I said- vocals of Tomas Petterson. I didn’t know the band Voice Of Hate from Spain, but the line-up suggests that this is a metal band. Their track is a weird one with accoustic guitars and odd vocals, ending in ‘something metalish’. The label is new, this is their first release. There is no internet address, so I suggest you just contact either band to see if you can get one of the 666 copies. <19/2/06><3>

Ginger Leigh * Sparrow Wings (cd 2006 red river productions)

This is the third Ginger Leigh album that I review but there are more. Ginger Leigh makes a strange kind of noise, “noisescapes” may be a good description. Strange tunes, weird rhythms (Eastern, jazzy, industrial), odd samples and distorted sounds make Ginger Leigh a crazy listening experience. “Sparrow Wings” is a short album, only 30 minutes. The sounds seems to be more minimal and noisy. There aren’t such ‘extreme’ parts as in “A True Life Story”, which makes this new cd more fit for background music. On the other hand, you better listen to it very well if you want to hear all the sounds, samples and ideas. Weird music for lovers of experimental noisy music.

Ginger Leigh * If I Should Die Tomorrow (cd 2004)

A year ago I got a copy of the previous cd “A True Life Story” which was also released by the band itself. This is a very good ‘noise-ambient’ cd with a very experimental and wonderfull sound. I play this cd quite often while reading. Now I got this new cd which is also experimental and strange, but especially the first half is less noisy. It took a few rounds in my player again to get into the original sound of Ginger Leigh, but this American artist did it again. Progressive industrial sounds, a “When” for the 21th century? Some tracks were also on “A True Life Story”.

Ginger Leigh * A True Life Story (cd 2003 masuno)

The promo copy of this cd came to me with a long list of quotes from reviews of colleagues who all recognise the originality of this American project. Ginger Leigh mixes noise and some industrial with ethnic ((near) Eastern) sounds, some tribal drumming and avantgardistic music that reminds me of When sometimes. 16 Tracks and 43.31 minutes of crazyness and originality. Here and there a shred of recognition, but often not at all. If you want some vague comparisons, I can refer to Tesco acts like C.O.T.A. and Cruelty Campaign (both also from the USA) whose music I referred to as “livingroom industrial”, “industrial soundscapes” and “industrial hearplay”. All these descriptions I could also use for Ginger Leigh. That does not mean that Ginger Leigh sounds much like the two mentioned bands, but if you like them, I think you will also like this. As said, I hear When here and there and maybe if you like the State-Art kind of industrial, you should try to get your hands on this one. Quality-wise, I would say that Ginger Leigh comes between Cruelty Campaign and C.O.T.A., not too far after CC.
Good to hear that there is still original music from the industrial scene. “Sophisticated noise”, how is that for a description?

Dream Into Dust * The Lathe Of Heaven (cd 2003 chthonic streams)

At last there is a new DID cd. It was a long wait since the masterpiece “The World We Have Lost”. A less interesting (but still nice) 7″ and compilation contributions in the meantime and now a new fulllength. Derek Rush released it himself and did the wonderfull artwork himself as well. Musically DID has evolved but is still obviously DID. A strange but magnificent mix between tranquil electronic music, industrial, rock, acoustic guitars and the vocals of Rush and time also a violin. The cd is fairly melancholic and tranquil, but not without some harscher industrial sounds. 52 Minutes of great music of one of the best and most original bands from the scene.