Our young Dutch group sent a copy of the live-cdemo “Voorwaarts Lisse!” to mr. Julius who was interested enough to release a 10″ of Volksweerbaarheid. After some delay, it is finally here. Nicely “pigheaded” (what a strange expression!) with all lyrics in Dutch, title in Dutch (and a funny one, it means nothing more than “grooves in black vinyl”), titles in Dutch and artwork mostly in Dutch. Quite tastefull artwork too, I might add. Unfortunately there are only two tracks that are not on the cdemo and two others tracks are directly taken from this previous release. Also the demo is louder, more drumming and this 10″ more neofolky, but don’t worry, you will hear the drums too. Volksweerbaarheid is developing a nice style of not too typical neofolk with much drumming, some industrial elements and wonderfull 50’ies poetry-lyrics. Not too typical subjects and therefor not too easily put in certain corners. Hopefully a cd will follow soon, the band has material enough I heard in Lisse.
Several months ago Volksweerbaarheid presented themselves to the Dutch gothic audience. It seemed to be not much more than an internetpage with humorous references to the neofolk scene. It was said though, that the guys and girl were also busy making music. Recently the band played together with Of The Wand And The Moon and Ostara in Lisse in the Netherlands and their show was by far the best of the evening. However there hadn’t been much practise (rumours say), there had been an earlier show. Recordings of both shows can be found on this debut cdemo of Volksweerbaarheid.
The members of the band seem to be rather young and probably haven’t been ‘involved’ in ‘the scene’ too long. The obvious touching upon the ‘sensitive’ subjects from the scene seems to indicate a going with the popularity of neofolk music. Who cares about that when the sound is fresh and original, well, in a way at least. The untranslatable bandname refers to ‘resistance of the people’ against the German invaders in both world wars. In the lyrics the band also refer to non-resistance symbols and ideas, so just say that they walk a middle path or either ideology is made fun off. Music-wise I can tell you that Volksweerbaarheid makes very drum-oriented music with folky songs and only here and there a little bit of keyboard. The lyrics are shouted in Dutch and are rather political, but also refers to older Dutch poetry.
The recordings of the shows are really good and the tracks are very enjoyable. The length unfortunately is only 23 minutes, while the show was (I believe) longer. The sounds of the audience are left out, which I prefer. Hopefully the band will enter a studio some time soon and record more music. Definately another Dutch band to keep your eyes on!
In a magnificent cover comes this nice compilation 10″. A 5-sided cardboard cover that you have to unscrew in the middle to get the disc out. Two flaps on the left and right with the bandinfo and texts in the middle panel. I am not 100% sure when this compilation was released, but I think somewhere last year. It is limited to 500 copies, mine is 291, so I guess there are about 200 left.
“Neue Welten” opens with a magnificent bombastic industrial track of Coincide with singing and continues with a tranquil, nice and (to me) unknown Dies Natalis song called “Wohin Des Wegens”. The last track of side A and first track of side B are electro tracks by Painbastard and Transform Colláge. Then we get an industrial/ambient track by Dighum and a very nice last track by Ophir which is again rather bombastic industrial.
All in all quite a nice compilation with mostly unknown bands to me and even an unknown label! <6/4/02><3>
Reviewing a magazine? Well, I was asked for that more than ones and since it actually fits the ‘dark music’ concept, why not? Still it is a little strange though. Several reviews from Sententia are used, I set up the internetpage, so it feels a bit like reviewing my own work. But, of course 90% of the work is done by Kommandant Dan Ghetu, so here we go.
The cover shows a very nice picture of a statue of Arno Breker (which was actually my choice…) and an impressive list of bands and organistations that are interviewed. To name a few: Von Thronstahl, Der Blutharsch, Tesco, Ain Soph, Cold Spring, Wutanes Heer, but there are a lot more. These names should give you an idea of the corner we can place the Letters in: euro-centric and militant folk and industrial. A slowly growing outcasted scene. Therefor you will also not be surprised to read some ‘strong ideology’ in these pages, so you better be not afraid of these.
Anyway, the interviews are at times pretty damn long, with original questions not only about the music, but about politics, culture, etc. To keep the magazine to agreeable proportions, the texts are printed very small, so you need a lot of light to read this. For my taste there are too many pictures to acompany the interviews, but the policy here is that there should also be something for the eye. The interviews are done by Dan Ghetu himself of course, but also by Matyunov Igor of Klek DVA and M. Magazine and Nihil from Klek DVA. The reviews are also by these three, “the mysterious FS from Switserland” and copied from the very pages you are reading now.
If you are interested in euro-centric music (which covers folk, but also ambient, industrial, noise, power electronics, etc.), this is a very good read and you might get a few nice surprises. Particularly nice to read are the interviews with Albin Julius (Der Blutharsch) and another with Elzbeth where you can read both versions of the split of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud.
What I also found good to find out, is that even though most featured artists have a somehow similar worldview, all of them have very specific ideas themselves. From the extreme views of Josef K. of Von Thronstahl to the surprisingly moderate visions of Albin Julius.
Anyway, if you want a taster of the magazine, you can visit the webpage that we just put up last week. The printed version contains a lot more interviews and reviews (not to mention advertising of interesting labels!), so if you find the webpages interesting, you will definately need to buy the printed version as well.
A new issue is coming up, less music, more “Kultur”!
After a long periode of silence, here we have the second issue of the Greek magazine “L’Ame Electrique”. This magazine is very well printed, written in good english and has interesting interviews with Tribe of Circle, Les Joyaux de la Princesse, Waldteufel, Novy Svet, Of The Wand and the Moon, Gae Bolg & the Church of Fand (among others). However there could have been a shitload of reviews since the first issue, they sticked to recent and relevant releases. What is even more interesting though, is that the magazine comes with a cd with one track of each band that ever released something on Albin Julius’ (Der Blutharsch) “Hau Ruck!” label and the tracks are mostly exclusive and in chronological order.
So, in this order you will hear C.O.Caspar, Novy Svet, Dernière Volonté, Of The Wand And The Moon, La Maison Moderne, Tribe of Circle, Novo Homo, Lucisferrato, I-C-K, His Divine Grace, Decadence, Reutoff and Changes. Since Hau Ruck! offers a variety of styles of music, not all tracks are my taste and also it appears that most bands didn’t contribute their best material. But since all tracks beside Of The Wand are exclusive and it has all the bands from Hau Ruck! this compilation may be a good introduction for those who are not too familiar with the bands and a good expansion of the collection of those who are. Besides, the magazine itself is worth the money already!
When the first online compilations were published by these two websites late 2004 and early 2005 it was in a way still new to offer music like this. A good way to get to know new bands though. More bands and websites started to release online compilations, but it is not really that this took a really high flight. After Ny Regret De Passe, Ad Perpetuam Gloriam and Neo-Form 1, I never really checked the websites where I found these compilations anymore. Recently for some reason I stumbled upon both and both proved to have new compilations available. In the case of Neoform, both old (Allerseelen, Tribe Of Circle, OTWATM) and many new bands. “Honi…” presents ‘two cds’ with mostly smaller or completely new bands. Like I said before, the website names suggest neofolk music, but obviously the websites are maintained by people who use this term to catch the whole scene. There is not much neofolk on the compilations, but more ambient, industrial, a bit of noise, military pop (but not as much as you may expect) and indeed, also a bit of neofolk. Both compilations are pretty good again, especially Neo-Form 2. Happy downloading! Oh, you may have to find software to unpack the files, but nothing that the internet can’t solve. <12/1/07><4>
It took so long before I got the mcd, that I received the full cd two days earlier. Rome are the new stars on CMI. I no longer automatically buy new CMI-cds, but the mp3 snippets from Rome did make me want to hear this new band, and I’m glad I did! Rome acts somewhere between ConSono, Coph Nia (on the mcd) and popular military acts such as Von Thronstahl, Thoroidh, HERR or Dernière Volonté. Industrial, ambient, tranquil (orchestral) music with male vocals and especially on the full-length a lot of acoustic and soft electric guitars. The result is a nice original sound with good to stunning songs with often a veru full sound with many layers of samples. CMI surely did it again and found a great band. Rome may even come close in musical quality to Coph Nia and that surely is something to say. Rome should be bought by lovers of CMI-music, but surely also by those who listen to military pop or atmospheric industrial.
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.
Using the name of a Dutch charity-organisation we have an Eislicht release that is not particularly folky.
I expected it to be more industrial, but that is not really the case either.
LdH mostly consists of symphonic music with drumming and in half of the songs singing.
Here and there a folky tune can be heard, but nowhere an acoustic guitar.
The music is quite tranquil and not too complicated. It all sounds alright, but not smashing to me.
Divine Muzak is one of the ‘new generation’ bands with a nice experimental style combining different kinds of music from the scene. Orchestral sounds, ambient, a flinch of military pop. A nice album.