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power electronics

Kommando * Necroinvasiv (cd 2007)

“Kommando were Dan Courtman and Dan Durham (a swarm of locusts)”. What we have here are recordings of 1993 to 2007 of what is regarded as a pre-Thorofon project. I know Kommando from two nice tracks on the free UMB compilation. There Kommando made nice old-fashioned industrial noise with aggressive, distorted vocals. On “Necroinvasiv” the larger part is not my kind of noise, the unstructured, ear-cracking, high-tones kind of noise. There are a few moments that are alright, but I hoped for something more industrial.
Link: L.White Records

Alberich * Psychology Of Love (lp 2011)

Alberich is a new name to me. This is not so strange, since “Psychology Of Love” is the first release that is not a cassette tape. The lp opens with a very nice dark ambient noise track, nicely dirty. Other tracks are in a style that you can rightly describe as “rhythmic noise”, so I am not talking about Imminent or something similar. Pretty harsch, pretty nice. The lp alternates between ‘softer’ noise, the rhythmic style and more power electronics. It is funny. I have heard the album a few times now. One time I find it way too chaotic noise, another time I like the lp. Fortunately for the artist, his label and the distributors, the last time (this morning!) I liked what I heard! Harsch noise in a variation of styles, that sums it up here. There are only 200 copies available of this lp by the way.
Hospital Productions

The Vomit Arsonist * Birth Recovery (mcdr 2010)

I did not know this project and judging the Myspace I decided to try this mcdr. It is packed in a very funny mini DVD case, schrunk to 3″ cd size. There are two tracks on this mcd, a live track and a studio recording. TVA makes quite extreme low frequency noise with aggressive sample and vocals. It is not brilliant, but quite nice to listen to. The atmosphere is rather dark and I prefer the darker kind of noise. This mcdr is limited to 100 copies, so hurry up if you want to get one too.
Links: The Vomit Arsonist, L.White

Minamata * Cyclator (cd+dvd 2009)

CyclatorIn april 2007 I saw Minamata at the Tesco festival in Antwerp. Over two years later, this show is released on DVD (just like the Galerie Schallschutz show about two months ago) together with the “Cyclator” album (both as cd and in videos). Minamata has been around since 1984 with a gap between 1991 and 2007. This French project takes its name from the Japanese city where just after WWII a chemical plant discharged their wastewater in open water, causing the fish that the inhabitants of the city ate to be polluted with chemicals and thus the Minamata disease appeared. Minamata has been telling this story for 25 years. During the show in Antwerpen we saw traditional Japanese music alternated with extreme noise. The album/videoclips and the noise parts of the show are a bit too noisy for me, but I like a project with a message and the original mix between two very different kinds of music in the live footage.
Links: Minamata

Fire In The Head * Icon (cd 2008 autarkeia)

Fire In The HeadI gambled and lost… Usually when I run into a band that I don’t know that could be interesting, I see if the band has a Myspace or another way to listen to their music. I guess I couldn’t find any, so I just went for the description “11 tracks of densely layered power electronics / industrial / noise”. Well, FITH makes the kind of noise that I try to avoid: the chaotic, unstructured, high pitched, earcracking kind. The sound is quite dark at times, not totally unlike Deadwood and here and there it isn’t even that annoying, but overall, this is not my kind of noise and I even doubt I will manage to give it one full play.

v/a * OEC 100 (7cd 2008 old europa café)

OEC100For their hundreth release The Old Europa Café label has released a 7-cd compilation with a track of each band and project they have been involved in during the years. However looking around the internet it seems like the bands are featured alphabetically, this is not the case, the cds are ordered somewhat thematically / according to style. “Somewhat” I say, since it is not completely that there are industrial and folk cds, there is some overlap. That is only for the better, the compiler of the cds has a rather good ear for things. In the beginning I had the idea that there are alternally more industrial and more folky cds, but this is not entirely true. The compilation opens with a cd with mostly not too extreme noise, a nice cd. Then follows a cd with more (neo)folky music, but not the too typical sounds of a compilation that I reviewed a few days ago. Then we have cds with power electronics and the extreme, chaotic style that isn’t mine, but also more old industrial things, strange experimental soundscape music and more of an old neofolk cd that I find awfull (Ain Soph, that sort of bands). Having heard the whole thing, my temporary conclusion is that the first cds are the most interesting and towards the end are some cds that I will probably never play. I think that four out of seven cds are enough of my taste to put in the player every now and then, so the “price/quality balance” is not that bad.

We didn’t put limits to the sound stiles, so here you can really hear all the sounds of the Industrial sub-culture featured on OEC !

This is a sure thing and it would be utterly impossible if everybody would love everything on this “mammoth compilation”, but I guess that for people who like the better stuff from the scene, there will be plenty to enjoy on “The Old Europa Café”.

v/a * Juche (cd 2008 kim il sung rec.)

A compilation dedicated to North Korea with a whole range of interesting bands to be found on it. Putting the cd on I am very pleased to hear that Turbund Sturmwerk didn’t loose their touch afterall. Their latest tracks were not too great, but their “Reunification” is pretty damn good. It opens very loud with a bit of a Firsst Law sound and after a noisy middle Turbund falls back in known patterns, but overall I am happy with this wonderfull track. Lovers of harsch noise can enjoy themselves with Operation Cleansweep, Con-Dom and Genocide Organ. The track that Militia contributed is quite nice, but when we skip on to Ex.Order we hear another wonderfull “ambient noise” track with a great dark sound. The Grey Wolves tear our ears to shreds with their power electronics and to close off Anenzephalia put together a quite typical track with minimal noise and screamed vocals; not their best material, but not boring either. Overall “Juche” is mostly a compilation for people who like the harder side of electronic music and who had to wait for their favourite projects to finally release something new. “Juche” has a nice A5 package, produced in North Korea and is limited to a mere 15.000.000 copies, so hurry up!

Genocide Organ * Remember (2cd 2007 tesco)

I have never been very fond of this project. This classic power electronics project makes too much power electronics for me. An extreme sound with earcracking noises, screamed vocals and too little structure for my liking. I would have liked to see them in Antwerpen a few months back, but I could not go to the Luchtbal the second day of the festival. At that festival the “Remember” vinyl set and shirts were available, the 2cd followed a little later. I decided to get a copy, because I have known GO for about as long as they are around, but I didn’t have anything of them. Knowing their sound, I bought this cd more for archival reasons than to play. “Remember” is filled with live recordings from 1989 (when the band started) to 2000 and have been reworked by Jérôme Nougaillon (Propergol/Hermetique) for this release. Here and there you will find a more industrial and rhythmical track, but most of the cds are filled with the most brutal kind of music imaginable. Since the band is not only extreme in sound, but also in lyrics and artwork, there is a nice text of Richard Stevenson who tells a bit of art and provocation.
Like I said, if you (like me) don’t like brutal high-pitched noise, this album will be more for archival reasons, so that you can let your grand-children hear what extreme music sounded like around the year 2000 when you are already 80 yourself!
Links: Genocide Organ, Tesco

Industrial Culture 7, 8, 9 Praew Jik, The Sleep Sessions, No John (3″ cds 2007 industrial culture)

A while ago I received an email of Industrial Culture from the UK if I was interested in reviewing some of their material. Last week three 3″ cds fell into my mailbox. I think Artur of Industrial Culture has read my noise reviews and decided to send me three of Industrial Culture’s noise releases (they also have “drone”, “dark ambient”, “ambient/industrial”, etc.) I can be quite short about these three minis of about 15 minutes: they are not my kind of noise. It is all extremely violent, unstructured, high-pitched, earcracking noise. No John from Belgium has a bit more variety and also has some low-frequency, more industrial and more ambient material, the the other two releases only work on my nerves. Perhaps a bad guess of Industrial Culture about my taste or just bad luck, but I must say that the other styles available from their website, the ambient is too monotous for me… I know, I have a difficult taste, sorry!
Link: Industrial Culture, Praew Jik, The Sleep Sessions, No John,

Institution D.O.L. * Instructions For Modern Weakniks (cd 2007 steinklang industries)

I didn’t really know Institution D.O.L. I thought that they were one of these old power electronics projects and never tried to hear some of their music. A while ago this project would play somewhere around. I haven’t been there, but I did listen to some of the music on their Myspace and the like and figured I might try an album some time. Tesco describes the album as “noise pop” and since I happen to enjoy the Haus Arafna, November Növelet, Thorofon, etc. development in industrial music, I ordered Institution D.O.L.’s latest album. “Weakniks” for a large part lives up to my expectations of before, since it contains extreme noise terror with screamed vocals and little structure, but there is also more ‘ambient noise’, loud industrial and other extreme sounds. These harsch tracks are interchanged with ambient, danceble tracks and even real songs . One of two tracks may remind a bit of Haus Arafna, but for the most part, Institution D.O.L. have a style of their own which varries from power electronics to “noise pop” and strange experiments.
Links: Institution D.O.L., Steinklang Records