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?
I do not believe that I knew the label and I certainly missed the first issue of this interesting compilation, but when I saw it in the Ant-Zen mailorder list with names such as Dogpop, M.A.O. and Tonal Y Nagual, I expected it to be an UMB Kollektiv compilation. Indeed Empty Room Exploration appears to be an IMB sublabel. Other artists include Echo West, Deutsch Nepal, Gerechtigkeitsliga and a range of artists I did not know. I thought it would not be such a bad buy and it sure was not! The music is mostly analogue-sounding, experimental, soft industrial. The compilation reminds me of another that I always forget I have “Icy Breath On Burning Flesh” (2010). The sound of that compilation is summorised as “post-industrial”, which is a good description of both that compilation and “Super MAO Land”. Sometimes the sound is more noisy, sometimes more industrial, sometimes more minimal wave, but overal the compilation is nicely weird and coherent.
There are only 75 copies available, so you might have to be quick.
Link: Empty Room Exploration / UMB Kollektiv
Well well, who would have thought that the 10 years Galakthorrö celebration compilation (2004) would have a follow-up? “Kosmoloko 2” presents exclusive tracks of the remaining Galakthorrö projects. It opens with two tracks of November Növelet, the first in the darker “Kalte Welle” style, the second is lighther and more ‘disco’, a very nice track with mr. Arafna’s vocals. Albert Fisch then blows the listener away with his walls of noise and weird vocals. Then comes a sublime track, certainly the best of the compilation and it is not of Haus Arafna, but of that other star: Herz Jühning. Both his tracks are in the vein of his “Miasma” album and superb. Next up is Hermann Kopp with his strange post-industrial sound experiments with his violin and electonics. The closing tracks are of course for Haus Arafna. The first track is Haus Arafna but a bit different. No, they did not become more poppy. “Lying In State” is a dark noise track with a sublime low frequency rumble for rhythm. The second track is more typical, not so dark, but a nice danceable track with mr. Arafna’s vocals. Indeed, “Kosmoloko 2” is a must-buy for Galakthorrö fans and those who have yet to get acquinted with one of the most interesting labels of today.
When I heard about this cooperation between Matt Howden (Sieben) and Job Karma (hence the name 7JK) I thought that finally something interesting had happened. It did! Matt Howden we of course know for his poppy music made with his violin, effect pedals and vocals, Job Karma is more a classic industrial (or post-industrial as they say themselves), ambient, ritual project. “Anthem Flesh” opens with a very nice uptempo song “Dirt City” with nice rhythms over Howden’s violin and voice. Then comes a more Howden track, slow, a bass-guitar, Howden’s voice and violin and some electronics. What follows are mostly quite soft, trancey industrial tracks that sometimes have more of the Howden sound, sometimes more of the Job Karma sound. Together they go well and in particular a less typical track such as the hearplay “Planning For The Zombie Apocalypse” is very interesting. Indeed, a nice combination of two approaches to music.
Links: Matt Howden / Redroom, Job Karma
I have my share of strange cd packings in my collection, but this compilation is full of surprises. There is some sort of digipack in a slipcase, which is closed like an envelop and only when I saw the image on Discogs (which I stole for my own image), I noticed that a booklet is hidden somewhere too). I never heard of Douche Froide. They released to cdrs in 2002/3 and now they suggest to have started a series. According their Myspace address, Douche Froide is a “radiozine”. There are 14 projects on this cdr, only 4 of them I knew: Dawn & Dusk Entwined, Beyond Sensory Experience, Hermann Kopp and Vladimir Hirsch. All other projects are new to me. Tesco describes this release as “post-industrial”, I think I could use that description for more releases, but just let this compilation be the first then. Any of the other categories that I use, are indeed not completely fitting. Roughly said, the sound of this compilation is weird, soft and experimental industrial with orchestrations or otherwise some melody. Should you know Hermann Kopp too, he fits very well! Now I am not a big fan of that last Hermann Kopp album, but on the other hand, some strange experimental new sound is always interesting, were it only for variation in my player. But to that I might add that most of the tracks that I hear here are quite amusing. Crazy background music!
Link: Douche Froide