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power electronics

Sistrenatus * Wrought Iron Railings (cd 2007 hermetique)

In 2005 Harlow MacFarlane surprised with with an amazing noise demo. He managed to create a threatening sound that suggests an extreme noise outburst. The sound reminded me of Propergol. Sistrenatus was soon picked up by Cold Spring. The noise outburst that doesn’t come on the demo can be found in the second half of the debut cd (the first half is the demo) where Sistrenatus shows us his violent side and the total made a wonderfull album. Later Sistrenatus came in contact with Propergol / Hermetique who was interested in a release, “Wrought Iron Railings” is the result. When I put the eagerly awaiting cd in my player, my ears were damaged by a massive wall of power electronics that made me express a few curses. Also the next few tracks contain the extreme side of Sistrenatus and for a while I feared that the whole cd would sound like this. Fortunately in the second half Harlow displays the sound that I prefer, dark and noisy soundscapes with a threatening atmosphere, so it seems that this new album is “Division One” turned around. The first (short) extreme tracks are not bad, but when the experimentation and atmosphere comes in, this is where (for me) the strength of the project is to be found and again this sound is executed well. “Wrought Iron Railings” may again be a bit short (42 minutes), but it sure is another great album of musical extremity.

Links: Sistrenatus, Hermetique

v/a * Steinklang Industries III (compilation cd 2007 steinklang records)

Steinklang again offers a cheap compilation with tracks of their own and befriended releases. III is not as II a double cd. The first half of the cd is filled with industrial, dark ambient and a violent noise track of Dissecting Table, the second cd with neofolk and other folky sounds. Just as with the previous two issues of the compilation there are some very good tracks here and especially bands that were new to me, so that is always nice.
links: Steinklang

Sistrenatus * Division One (cd 2007 cold spring)

After the magnificent demo (2005) that contains the first tracks of this debut cd, I have eagerly awaited this album. The demo tracks are very dark and noisy with a threatening sound that suggests the coming a violent power-electronic outburst, but which never comes. The other tracks have a slightly different style. V and VI are more ambient noise tracks, while VII is a noise track with a marchdrum. The violent eruption finally does come at the end and VIII is a real power electronics track and IX a more martial and slightly bombastic noise track. More violence is anounced for the second album “Wrought Iron Railings” that will be released on the Propergol label Hermetique later this year. “Division One” is an instant classic in the power electronics field with great atmospheres, structured violence and wonderfully built-up tracks that will definately appeal to lovers of Propergol. One minor point is the length: 37 minutes…


Wutanes Heer * (7″ 1998 membrum debile propaganda)

For a long time Wutanes Heer has been a name that I heard off, but I didn’t know their music. I think I must have heard about them when this 7″ came out and never paid much attention because I have never been a great lover of noise. Last year there was an interview with this Italian act in the Rumenian magazine “Letters From The Nuovo Europa” and late last year a contribution appeared on the compilation 2cd dedicated to Codreanu (see review elsewhere) from the same corner.
I thought that this 7″ had reached quite a cult-status and expected it to be long sold out, so I was very surprised when I saw it in the Tesco catalogue.
So, as expected, noise with war-samples, sometimes nice, sometimes just fine. Mostly for collectors-reasons, so if you are also interested contact Tesco quickly to find out if they have more copies left.

Wiener Aktivisten * Und Wir Reiten Durch Das Land (cd 2001 greyland records / electronic sound lab)

To close the line of the previous reviews, Wiener Aktivisten is again Sven Bussler and Maria, this time accompanied by someone named Anna. “Wir Reiten” comes in a similar box as the Sigrun Heid cd, but with more cards and some kind of bracelet.
The cd is longer than the Sigrun Heid cd (38 min) and also in the line of the previous two reviews, again harder than Sigrun Heid and Wappenbund. As a matter of fact, Wiener Aktivisten make quite harsch noise, that is usually quite rhythmical and sometimes fairly chaotic. Also this time I can only conclude that I like it!

v/a * World End Broadcasting (cd 2006 apocalyptic radio)

I didn’t know the label and I can imagine why this cd was put in the sellout so soon (…). Inspite of the nice A5 packaging, the variety of new projects have only two minor highlights, the opener Moral Fraktal (rhythmical industrial/noise) and the closer Monument Westwall (a bombastic, slightly militant industrial act). The rest (2nd Satallite Left, Crossbred, Monokontrast, Gelsomina, Flutwacht and Sindrome) mostly make irritating, unstructured, chaotic noise. Not my thing.

Letters From The Nuovo Europae :Neue Kultur Für Die Gulag-Massen: (magazine aug 2000)

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”!

v/a * Flowers Made Of Snow (2cd 2004 cold meat industry)

Traditionally every 10th CMI release is a compilation and they are always eagerly expected. Even though it was a long wait since the last compilation while the ‘normal’ releases come like a flood, “Flowers Made Of Snow” lives up to the tradition. It features old and new bands, has mostly exclusive tracks, looks wonderfull and has a high level of musical quality. Apparently CMI wants to push its boundaries of the typical CMI concept. There are bands who are not even from Scandinavia, let alone Sweden and there is more folky music again. Here you get a good overview of the old and new CMI. Bands such as Ordo, ISN, BDN are present, but also new names such as Olen’K, All My Faith Lost…, The Last Hour, Apatheia, Hesperos and Sibellian. Definately a must-buy for old and new listeners!

v/a * Extreme Music From Africa (cd 1997 susan lawly)

After “Extreme Music From Japan” and “Extreme Music From Women” the label that is mostly known for Whitehouse released this cd several years ago. A description in the vein of “power electronics with tribal drumming and ritual chanting” made me curious about this compilation. It is supposed to have bands from all over the African continent that were found via many contacts and the internet, but it remains unclear if the music is genuinely African noise or not.
Anyway, the idea is better than the implementation and “Extreme Music From Africa” only contains some boring noise or not even that, but just some sonic experimentation. Only here and there you hear some African singing of a sampled drum, but nowhere it creates the atmosphere it could have. Too bad, because I liked the idea.
Still available from Tesco, should you still want to give this one a try.

various terrorists * Don’t Hunt What You Can’t Kill (3cd 2002 l.white records)

Sweet mother of God! This is a total noise-overkill! For the price of one cd you get three cds with the most extreme noise and power electronics. Three times 70+ minutes, 40 bands in total. Definately a bit too much, but for this price… Most bands I didn’t know and strangely enough the bands that I did and liked contributed the least interesting tracks. You get a very good overview of electronic terrorism. From dark industrial/ambient to powerelectronics. I like many of the tracks, but I still can’t stand the highpitched chaotic noise tracks. Still, a good investment this cd, but be quick, it is limited to 500 copies.