Category Archives: minimal wave

Tanz Ohne Musik – Night (7″ 2018)

Tanz Ohne Musik’s second release on Galakthorrö is a 7″. Four tracks, 33 rounds per minute.

Compared to the previous release on Galakthorrö (“Infinity” cd 2016) the sound is more ‘Galakthorrö’ again. Hints of Haus Arafna and November Növelet are abundant, but leaning more towards Arafna this time. The four tracks from the 7″ are good, maybe in a way more interesting as the album, more like some of the ‘pre-Galakthorrö’ releases.

Of course the 7″ is limited, to 515, but I am sure that Galakthorrö will have a download version available when the physical copies are gone.

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Galakthorrö

Da-Sein * Death Is The Most Certain Possibilty (cd 2017)

After a debut 7″ and the announcement that Da-Sein will be the second Galakthorrö project to perform at the Wave Gotik Treffen, here we have the debut full-length of this Spanish duo.

In the first tracks of this album, Da-Sein sounds a lot like November Növelet, both the music and the voice of the female singer. The tracks are nice, but halfway there are some more lively tracks that have a less ‘typical sound’ and they sound more interesting. These tracks are a bit rougher, slightly more industrial, but nothing compared to the violence of other Galakthorrö releases.

When you like November Növelet’s more recent releases, you will most likely enjoy “Death…”, especially when NN got a bit too soft. I do hope that Da-Sein will focus more on their own sound on future releases.

Link: Galakthorrö

v/a * Modern Movement (cd 2013)

I usually do not review material that is ‘old’, but I actually thought this was a recent release when I ordered it. Besides, inspite its limitation to 400 copies, there are apparently still copies available of this release. Many even, if the number on my copy is has the highest sold number yet.

Aufnahme + Wiedergabe is a relatively young label from Germany. I love their name which is makes a great wordplay reference to Haus Arafna (Aufnahme + Hingabe, but then made into ‘recording + playing back’). Two years after their founding, they released this scene-overview.

I think I discovered this label a couple of years ago because they release material of projects that are also on Beläten. They mostly operate in the field of “minimal wave”, a style of music that I had known for a couple of years before I ran into this label. However I have been listening to “minimal wave” for some 8/9 years, there still prove to be bands and labels that I never heard of, even on Spotify/Deezer. There is so much of this music, that it often starts to sound alike or simply be not my taste. A+W released a few good things, but I do not blindly buy their releases, since they not all sound too good to me. But a compilation cd with book sounds like fun, does it not?

The ‘book’ is more of a photo album with photos (one per page) of artists, DJs, etc., mostly in their weirdest cloths. The photos are not necessarily of people from the bands on the cd, but more like people from the scene.

The cd, as ever, contains bands that I never heard of. Actually I only knew a few. The cd has 18 Tracks and a descent running time. It starts nicely with good tracks, not too typical minimal wave. Towards the end come the more typical sounds (and the typical awful singing), but overall the compilation is quite nice and looks nice as well.

Get your copy directly from the label and scan their catalogue and mailorder for more interesting stuff.

Link: Aufnahme + Wiedergabe

Bain Wolfkind * Hand Of Death (cd 2017)

It has been silent around Wolfkind for a while, but here we have a new album. However the music is not hard to describe to people who know Wolfkind, it is hard to categorise it by style.

“Hand Of Death” contains the typical, slow Wolfkind sound with his distinctive voice, but rather than a bluesy feel, this new album has the analogue synth sounds of a style such as minimal wave. In combination, it is not really minimal wave though.

The new album sounds alright, but in my humble opinion, not more than alright.

Links: Bain Wolfkind, Tesco

November Növelet ‎* Unintended By Nature (cd 2016)

NN has never been a very active project. In 1994 there was the 7″ “More Satanic Heroes”. Five years later the album “From Heaven On Earth”. After that is was silent until the great album “Magic” (2007). A year later the 7″ “Sacred” was presented and yet another 7″ “Heart Of Stone” in 2012. Last year the album “The World In Devotion” was released.
Now, instead of releasing another 7″, November Növelet decided to release a compilation with “The singles 1994 – 2012 – Bonus Material”, the latter (“bonus material”) are three new tracks that were not released on vinyl but on this compilation.

Oddly enough, the 7″s are not presented chronologically, but the other way around. “Heart Of Stone”, “Sacred”, then the noisy sounds of “More Satanic Heroes”. At the end the three newly recorded tracks follow that -of course- have the ‘current’ Növelet sound can be found, so there are some noisy tracks in the middle. The more dramatic / melancholic sound of the “From Heaven On Earth” album is not present on “Unintended By Nature”, so this album is not really an overview of the development of NN.

In my opinion the best material of NN can be found on the albums “Magic” (most of all) and “The World In Devotion”. The songs form more of a unity than on “Unintended By Nature”. There are a few very nice tracks on the 7″s, other tracks are alright. However certainly not bad, the “More Satanic Heroes” tracks are the least of this compilation. The three new tracks are also nice to good, but I would have preferred them to be in the beginning of the cd so that it would have been entirely counter chronological.

Links: November Növelet, Galakthorrö

Tanz Ohne Musik * Infinity (cd 2016)

If I am not mistaken, this is the same duo as Divine Muzak, but Discogs does not ‘say’ that the female halves are the same person. Tanz Ohne Musik has been releasing music since 2011. I ran into their Bandcamp around the time the sound shifted from an alright minimal wave sound to a much more interesting Galakthorrö-like sound. Still, it took until the sound shifted back a bit towards the ‘old sound’ that Galakthorrö showed interest in the project from Romania.

Putting on “Infinity” initially gives the impression that Tanz Ohne Musik went for a more November Növelet style than the tranquil Haus Arafna sound of “Between Our Body Shapes”. As the album continues, it is clear that “Infinity” is more like the last release “Belong” (2014), more like the earlier releases than “Between Our Body Shapes”, but still with “angstpop” elements.

The album is relatively lively / uptempo with a couple of very nice tracks. People who know the project will not hear very big surprises. People who got this album because of the label it is released on, may find that Tanz Ohne Musik is a bit more danceable and accessible than most Galakthorrö music.

Links: Tanz Ohne Musik, Galakthorrö

The KVB * Of Desire (cd 2016)

I have known this band for a while. I ran into them when digging through the ‘minimal wave scene’, but this scene is a bit wider concerning musical styles. The same can be said about The KVB, because they do not really make ‘minimal wave’, but rather some sort of ‘shoegaze’. Over the years I have read all kinds of descriptions for music from that corner. “Ghostwave”, “witch-wave” and whatnot.

Basically the music of The KVB is electronics and a (bass) guitar. What you see more often from this angle of music, it is a boy/girl duo. Music-wise you may think of The Soft Moon and in a far distance A Place To Bury Strangers. More comparable is some of the music released by Aufnahme + Wiedergabe.

“Of Desire” is an alright album. The same I can say about many releases from this ‘scene’. It is currently a type of music that I listen to quite a bit, but there is not a whole lot that I think is completely brilliant. Since it is easy music to listen to, it goes well as background music.

Should all this be new to you, The KVB is not the worst band to start your explorations with. They are big enough for this album to appear on Spotify and Deezer, so it is not difficult to give them a try.

Links: The KVB, Invada

Violence Conjugale ‎* Vices Et Mensonges (12″ 2016)

I have known Violence Conjugale for a while. They have one brilliant and several nice tracks. They make something between “minimal wave” (in the slower tracks) and “old style EBM” (in the faster tracks) plus a sound of their own. This ‘minimal wave scene’ is an odd scene. I just took this project to be from that corner and now they share labels with Duchess Says. Also the previous release from 2012 is (based on the label) more to be placed in the “electropunk” scene and now again.

Just as I know Violence Conjugale, this new album contains alright tracks, but especially the more uptempo tracks are more of my liking. There is nothing like “Homosexualis Discotecus”, but this new lp sure contains a few interesting tunes.

Perhaps it is fairer to say that this project holds the middle between “minimal wave” and “electropunk”. Anyway, a project you may want to have a listen to.

Links: Violence Conjugale, Teenage Menopause Records

Metroland * Things Will Never Sound The Same Again (cd 2016)

Four years ago Metroland released the nice album “Mind The Gap”. I saw them live at the Summer Darkness festival in Utrecht and I really like the Kraftwerk sound of the project. The projects name and all the tracks were ‘metro-themed’, the music analogue minimalistic and danceable. Also live Metroland had the static Kraftwerk-look.

Looking at Discogs I apparently missed most releases. I only know the “Thalys” box (2014) the music from which is alright (apparently I fogot to review it).

“Things will never sound the same again”, a very fitting title for the new album. When I put on the album I wondered if I chose the wrong one. The opening of the album sounds nothing like the Metroland that I knew. The minimalistic dance-sound does return soon though and the analogue Kraftwerk sound tracks are obviously Metroland. That Passengers A and B seem to have wanted to experiment with another sounds as well. “Good Moaning” is a bit more uptempo, the title track leans a bit towards electro as does “Under The Roof” (still a Metroland version of electro though).

Something different and something recognisable. Does this album mark the transition to a much different sound?

Links: Metroland, Alfa Matrix

November Növelet * The World In Devotion (cd 2015)

The Arafnas seem to have been in a romantic mood. November Növelet already was their softer project, but on their latest album both the sound and even more so: the lyrics, seem to have softened somewhat more.

Mrs. Arafna sings on all tracks. Now there is something of a risk, because her voice is not my favourite element of the music of the Arafnas. It sound like she has a herself photographed: a bit dull. (Perhaps on purpose?) Often I am indifferent to them (not annoyed, not overjoyed), here and there her voice does add a good element to the music, so how about on “The World In Devotion”?

The album opens with a soft and not too interesting track/song. After “Be Gratefull To Your Murderer” the tempo goes up and most of the rest of the music is mid-tempo and the sound is very much like the current sound of NN. The music is nicely minimalistic and analogues. However the video that was released recently seemed to have suggested otherwise, NN does not really lean towards the popular sound of “minimal wave”. Mr. and mrs. Arafna keep doing their own thing. The rhythms are relatively complex in some tracks, nice things happen on the background, some songs have simple but catchy melodies and mrs. Arafna sings (and in the video: dances) away, most of the time resulting in nice and moody soft dance songs that will work well on “minimal wave” dancefloors and radio-shows. There may not be a highlight on this album such as the title song of “Magic”, but overall “The World In Devotion” is a more than proper album showing the furry sound of the couple that names itself Arafna.

Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö