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Ginger Leigh * Merchant Of Death (cd 2008 masuno)

Totally unexpected a new album of Ginger Leigh fell in my mailbox yesterday. “Mercant Of Death” is another typical Ginger Leigh album. Sound collages with strange samples, weird rhythms and this time more vocals than we are used to. Swinging ‘noise ‘n’ roll’ (even though this new album is again not as noisy as the earlier albums) with jungle sounds, Middle Eastern flutes, etc. making a sound that I still have not heard anywhere else. Inspite of the strangeness, I find Ginger Leigh listenable and very enjoyable. Nowadays you can also have a try before you buy, since the website has free downloads and Ginger Leigh got a Myspace, see below.
Links: Ginger Leigh website, Ginger Leigh on Myspace

Refuse To Die * Collection Of Agnostic Flies (cd 2008 the eastern front)

It seems that this is my first encounter with Refuse To Die, even though they have released material since 1996. However the bandname suggests a martial industrial project, the cover of this album is a better pointer of the style: weird and ‘collagic’. Most tracks are sound-collages, either or not with an industrial tone, sometimes a bit soundscapish, sometimes more industrial/noisy. It is all pretty strange stuff, so do not be surprised to get a little bit of cabaret as bonus. An album full of odd ideas without much of a definate style is of course a ‘dangerous’ thing to do. I can hear the humour in some tracks, some tracks are nice to listen to, but there is also a totally awfull track called “Who Are The Brain Police” and there are things that simply don’t ‘work for me’. I doubt that I will play a cd like this very often. Perhaps I should put a few tracks on the mp3 compilations that I play in my car, but 45 minutes of such weird stuff…? Of course you might actually enjoy crazy industrial sound collages, so just visit the band’s website to listen to some tracks and see if this is an album for you.
Links: Refuse To Die, The Eastern Front

Allerseelen * Hallstatt (cd 2007 ahnstern)

Allerseelen is not my favourite band. I find Gehard’s music a bit too simple and repetative. I used to own “Gotos=Kalanda” (1995), but for the rest I have some smaller releases and a track here and there. Because I was curious if the style remained the same, I got myself a copy of “Hallstatt”. Unfortunately I have to conclude that nothing happened at all. The music is tranquil (though rhythmical), very repetative and quite boring with most variation in the vocals. I suppose there are people who do like the sound of this Austrian project, because dozens of releases in a period of over a decade is quite a feat.
Links: Allerseelen, Allerseelen/Ahnstern

About * Bongo (online album 2007 cock rock disco)

I know this band from their brilliant contribution to the free Cock Rock disco compilation. It was not until last week that I started to ‘Google’ the band, found out that they are from Amsterdam and that there is an album available. Like all Cock Rock releases, this is an online album. Whereas “Think Niles Drink” is a very ‘rocky’ and energetic track (with a great video), the rest of the album goes from weird poppy ADHD to more tranquil tracks. It all is not completely unlike Jason Forrest (see elsewhere) who also runs the label. In any case, something new seems to be happening, a mix between techno/breakcore and lollypop (catchy melodies, simple lyrics) completely with guitars and background vocalists. I haven’t decided if I like this album better than Forrest’s own “Shamelessly Exciting”, but “Bongo” sure is a wonderfull album if you like some weird (and happy) pop music every once in a while.
Links: About, Cock Rock Disco

Sigillum S * 23|20 (cd 2007 verba corrige production)

Around since at least 1986 with dozens of releases, yet (I think) this is the first time that I hear them. 16 Tracks and 71 minutes with music as strange as Oblivion Ensemble (see below), but Sigillum S doesn’t just make weird soundscapes, because besides theses collages of sounds, samples and voices, there is also pretty loud industrial rock that may even appeal to people who like Marilyn Manson, NIN or Ministry. There are also more jazzy things. The larger part are the soundscapes, either or not with an industrial or noisy edge, but with the completely different tracks there is variety enough to make this an interesting album.

Links: Sigillum S / Verba Corrige Production

Oblivion Ensemble * Seraphim Hallucino (cd 2006 malignant records)

“WARNING ! Sublime ! We recommend this CD !”, thus says the Hermetique mailorder. The further description of the album made me curious enough to buy it. I don’t think that I knew this American act, but they have already 9 releases, since 1989! They describe their music as “abstract electroacoustic sound sculpture” and that sounds like a good description to me. Oblivion Ensemble has the weirdest style with soundscapes made with electronic and acoustic instruments, voices and a lot of effects. The sound goes from plodding ambient to more noisy parts. There are 23 tracks varying in length from 7 seconds to just under 5 minutes. Titles such as “r (embr)yo u” or “kis.s in (open) s k in” and the Dada-like lyrics are sufficient to give you an idea of the strangeness of the project. The experimentations sure have their charm and the more dark ambient parts sound good, but there also are tracks that are simply too weird to me.

Links: Oblivion Ensemble, Malignant Records

v/a * Iznutri (cd 2007 ewers tonkunst)

“Iznutri” is a Russian compilation “dedicated to the happy end of times”. It contains 16 bands in a variety of styles. Most tracks are ambient soundscapes, though, and too monotous too. For the rest you will hear some neofolk, industrial and more experimental things. However there are some ‘big names’ here (Cisfinitum, Allerseelen, Reutoff, Sal Solaris, Troum, Cyclotimia and O Paradis), the compilation is not good at all. There are only two alright tracks (O Paradis and Neutral, bands that I am usually not too fond of). For the rest, not for me…

Thorofon * This Summer Suicide (cd 2003 l.white records)

I have known Thorofon for years, but haven’t really known them. I have some tracks on compilations, but they never really caught my attention. A while ago an lp of Dogpop was announced which is described as: “between minimal cold electronic classics with a distinctive German voice and soundtrack-like dreams with a touch of antipop”. I was interested enough to order a copy, but I got a note that it was sold out (it seems to be available (again) from different distributors though), so I looked for it with P2P and actually found it too. Indeed, “Popgod” is a strange release with strangely accessible sounds somewhere between old-style industrial and electro/EBM, or maybe more a Neubauten sound. Nice, but not great, so I didn’t get myself the lp yet, but maybe when they play in Antwerp next week. In any case, probably because of the involvement of Thorofon in Dogpop, I apparently also downloaded “This Summer Suicide” and completely forgot to listen to it. When I later had to fill half an hour (I always play music when I am at home) and saw Thorofon I thought: “oh well, nobody has died yet from half an hour of power electronics” (usually I spare my girlfriend). I was still under the impression that Thorofon was one of these old noise/power electronics projects with chaotic sounds and screamed vocals. To my surprise I heard music that I had hoped Dogpop would sound like! From old fashioned (I mean: retro) industrial to nice accessible dance sounds (Neubauten-like?) and here and there some harder industrial and noise tracks. “This Summer Suicide” is really a great album, an industrial classic even! It all reminds a bit of the later material of Haus Arafna, balancing between harsch electronics and more ‘easy listening’ material, but with the difference that Thorofon’s accessible tracks are more accessible than Haus Arafna’s and the industrial parts have a more classical sound. To my surprise there are still copies available of the 500 that are pressed of this album (I got my copy from Steinklang) and it comes in a very nice A5 packaging too. If you are looking for a great industrial album with a refreshing sound, get “This Summer Suicide” (meanwhile I have downloaded another album which is more an old fashioned noise album with indeed chaotic sounds and screamed vocals) and maybe if you like the less-industrial tracks, you may want to listen to Dogpop and The Musick Wreckers (Thorofon is dead and they became TMW).
link: l.white records.

Thorofon / The Musick Wreckers * s/t (7″ 2005)

“This record is the end of Thorofon and the beginning of The Musick Wreckers. Anton Knilpert transforms to Dan Courtman. Sound transforms to Sound.” Thus says the back of this 7″. Thorofon delivers two rather typical and not too good industrial tracks, The Musick Wreckers come up with two weird tracks that are hard to describe. Batcave-like sung/spoken vocals, a strange sampled country-guitar and a weird poppy industrial sound. I don’t know what to call this. There are terms going around such as “antipop”, “angstpop” or “krankpop”, but I don’t know what people mean by them, so I cannot say if they would apply to The Musick Wreckers. Still I guess you can now form an idea of the music, being it only a bit.
Links: The Musick Wreckers, Front Of Gnark, UMB Kollektiv.

Ginger Leigh * And The Hallucinations (cd 2007 masuno)

Every now and then I receive a cd of Ginger Leigh, that weird American electronic project. The new album has as always ‘minimal packaging’ and the strangest sound. “And The Hallucinations” is again less noisy than its predecessor, but still has ‘that Ginger Leigh sound’. That sound is hard to describe, since I know no comparison. Strange samples in loops, either melodies or rhythms (which can be industrial as well as jazzy or anything else), together with more strange samples, (near) Eastern instruments or voices, guitars, singing, jungle sounds or whatever. Here and there the sound gets a distorted, noisy twist and on a few occasions the sound comes pretty close to noise. All this makes weird soundscapes with an atmosphere too. Also on this new album, older tracks can be found. All I can say is, if you enjoy strange sound collections with a noisy edge, get in contact with Ginger and try one of his albums.
link: Ginger Leigh