It looks like it that Beläten is no longer the label of Thomas -Trepaneringsritualen- Ekelund. I already noticed that Bandcamp has it listed as coming from Berlin and Ekelund was happy to have been contributed, which would be a strange way of describing a track on your own compilation. Discogs says that Beläten was active from 2012 to 2016 and apparently it has risen again.
On this compilation you find familiar Beläten names, Distel, Celldöd, Michael Idehall, Blitzkrieg Baby, Cryme and of course TxRxP. There are other familiar names such as Brighter Death Now, Moral Order and ARM. Some names do not immediately ring a bell, such as the TxRxP clone Dayofwrath of which I cannot find any information (good track though).
Music wise the compilation has some industrial (Moral Order), but mostly “post avantgarde pop”. All tracks seem to be exclusive, most are good too. A varied compilation which does hold true of ‘the old Beläten’. Available on tape and through Bandcamp.
After a couple of years of silence, the Dutch project Distel returns on Beläten, the Swedish label that put out more releases, with a two track cassette tape.
There is a four minute title track and a somewhat shorter track named “Galapagos”.
The opening track has all the Distel elements. Dark, rhythmical and slow music, somewhat danceable and with deep vocals in the background. In the second track Distel has a more accessible take with a recognisable tune and sung vocals. I am not too fond of this second track, but it certainly is not bad.
Blitzkrieg Baby again releases a tape through Beläten. “War Gods” comes quite naturally after the previous Beläten tapes with a mix between “industrial disco” and more minimalistic tracks. And of course there are the known Blitzkrieg Baby vocals.
The opening track is a recognisable Blitzkrieg Baby track with repetitive music, a steady rhythm, an organ-like sound and the typical vocals. Then follow two track revolving around a repeated sound either or not with vocals. The best track is “Bott Hammer Kiss” which has a much more industrial style. The closing track is less ‘disco’, but certainly rhythmical (slow though) with whispered vocals.
5 Tracks, a little under half an hour of music available in a limited tape edition. This makes a nice addition to the discography of the Swedish project. I like the first and last two tracks best, but “War Gods” makes an enjoyable tape overall.
A new Idehall. Would it be a ritualistic soundscape or more in the vein of “Sol” and “Deep Code”? Since it is released by Ant-Zen (in collaboration with Beläten), who also released the two named releases together on one disc, I had hopes for the latter. This is not entirely true though.
“No Man’s Land” in one way holds the middle between the soundscape style and the other style of Idehall, but it actually presents something new as well, a development of style, because the music is still recognisable as coming from Michael Idehall. The sound is still ritualistic and somewhat dark, but it got more of a dirty, industrial touch with squaks, noises and rhythm. Sometimes the music is downright noisy. This new sound is good too.
The album opens with a ‘noisescape’ type of track, but the second track “Yoni” has more of the “Sol”/”Deep Code” style with Idehall’s mantra-like singing and a repetative rhythm. What follows next sounds a bit like a very dark IDM track with an odd rhythm, a very interesting track. The title track is a bit like the previous, again relatively tranquil. Then follows a bit of a dark space ambient track with a ‘spacey rhythm’ and ‘spacey sounds’. The next track is actually called “Deep Code” and is again a somewhat softer track with echoing voices and a bit of a spacey ambient sound. Next up is the highlight of the album. “Nightmare” is a brilliant industrial and noisey track with a bit more tempo and distorted vocals. The next tracks are mostly industrial ambient type of tracks with the Idehall-style ritualistic darkness. There are two more rhythmical tracks. Compared to the first half, the second seems a bit less dark.
I think this album may appeal to people who like ritualistic dark ambient with an industrial and noisy edge, perhaps it is not unfair to drop the name of Coph Nia who also uses a ritualistic and magical dark ambient style, but the result is different from Idehall though and Coph Nia rarely gets as dirty as Idehall on this album. When you like Idehall’s previous releases, you should certainly listen to this new one. Be warned that it is a little different though. Personally I still prefer “Deep Code”, but I also enjoy this new album quite a bit. It has a couple of great tracks and a bunch of good ones.
The latest Blitzkrieg Baby is released by Beläten like the previous release. This five track tape is somewhat softer from the previous tape. The sound became more minimalistic, somewhat industrial (because of the rhythms) and perhaps a little bit darker. The closing track is a bit more uptempo (and industrial) and the most interesting of this ep.
I prefer the more pompous style of “Kid’s World”, but on “Cannibal Commando” Blitzkrieg Baby continues developing its unique style.
ARM is a project of Dan Serbanescu of Tanz Ohne Musik, Divine Muzak, Alone In The Hollow Garden and Archaos. The music reminds a bit of the early sideprojects from the black metal scene of a few decades ago. Simple electronic music, melancholic with harsch (here: distorted) vocals. Beläten describes the tape as “a collection of deceptively simple dungeon synth lullabies” which says about the same. I used the ‘tag’ that I used to ‘tag’ these early electronic black metal side projects, but I release that “ritual” does not really describe the sound of ARM. I have no proper alternative at hand though.
I like the opening track of side B best. This track is a bit more uptempo (relative to the rest of the material) with a bit of a ‘minimal wave’ feel. Also on side B is a more noisy “Unhappening”. The rest of the material is a bit dull to my ears.
The newest Distel is fittingly released on the Swedish Beläten label like the previous “Ultra2012″ tape. This means that you do not have to buy the physical 7”, but you can buy a download from the Beläten Bandcamp. Beläten made a good-looking 7″ though, so when you are not in just for the music…
“Nord” contains three tracks which have Dutch/German (I am not sure about the title track, it could come from several languages, not including Dutch) and Japanese (? again not sure) titles. The sound is lighter than previous Distel releases, but still recognisable. Slow, danceable music, instrumental this time. The total running time is about 13 minutes.
Distel will play on the Wave Gotik Treffen in a few weeks. I guess I will see them with a somewhat larger audience than previously.
The ‘new’ Idehall is less interesting than the two earlier releases. This could be because Discogs may have only listed “Sol”, “Deep Code” and “Svartkonster”, but the material for this last release may not be the last recorded. According to Beläten: “Awhile back Idehall premiered a bunch of new tracks at Repartiseraren. We can now offer these, as well as a handful or remixes of older material for digital purchase.” Besides the Bandcamp release, there are also 23 physical copies.
“Svartkonster” is more noisy and more industrial than the sound that I knew of Idehall. Other tracks are more ambient and by the use of vocals they remind me somewhat of Coph Nia. Things get interesting when the more ritualistic approach bubbles up. If this material indeed predates “Sol”, this is a nice archival release showing the development of this extremely interesting project. If the material is from between “Sol” and “Deep Code” it is a still enjoyable release, but still the least of the three.
Since Idehall’s music is some of the best that I heard of late, I suggest you to just get “Svartkonster” because even while the other releaes are better, “Svartkonster” is still very good!
Who remembers the 1994 album “Dreams Of Dark Waters” by Endvra? Now that was a dark piece of ritualistic ambient, was it not? Sure, ritualistic ambient is quite a hip genre nowadays, but when does it sound as dark as Endvra, Hexentanz, Equimanthorn or Funerary Call? Here we have a release that makes a good aim, even though the approach is much different from the projects that I named. The project’s name means “the archaic voices”. This is a fitting name, because besides some drones and effects, the music mostly consists of vocal experiments of Per Åhlund and Girilal Baars. The result is haunting and especially in the first track (the circle), it came out very good.
Interesting! Available as Bandcamp download and tape (with free download).
I ordered this tape from the Beläten Bigcartel rather than the Bandcamp shop, so I had not heard it when I ordered it. What to think of a description speaking of “post-rock vibes, psychedelic ballads, epic dirges, motorik-driven acoustic dance music, twitching post-punk”? The tape certainly is experimental!
The opening track is a tranquil track loaded with speech-samples. Then we continue with post/noise rock, industrial and more poppy or wave songs. Not the most common combinations indeed. I do not immediately love this tape, but it all sounds quite interesting and I think it will grow with a few more listenings.