Belaten

Trepaneringsritualen‎ * Roi Perdu (mc 2012)

This mini album was also released on iDEAL recordings and Black Horizons and Thomas Martin Ekelund took it as a start for his very own label: Beläten. As you can see I have been scanning the Beläten catalogue for releases I wanted to have a better listen to. There is quite a lot of interesting material in that catalogue!
Trepaneringsritualen makes extremely dark, ritualistic and somewhat noisy industrial. This tape/download makes no exception. It makes another nice “ritual”. This makes it extra nice that many of the later Beläten releases would have ‘more logically’ come from the minimal wave scene, while Ekelund released them after his own dark industrial release. As dark uncanny Trepaneringsritualen sounds, as poppy and danceable are some later Beläten releases. It is a combination of styles that I alternate myself too and quite a couple of Beläten releases are very good, so I am happy that I finally had a better look at the label and I definately need to follow them more closely than I have so far.
In any case. You can get this early trepanningsritual should you have missed it too. It seems like Trepaneringsritualen got better over time, but this tape is certainly not bad.
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Beläten

Michael Idehall‎ * Deep Code (mc 2014)

“Deep Code” is Idehall’s second album, the debut was also released on Beläten. “Deep Code” is close to a masterpiece! There are tracks that can match the best tracks on Galakthorrö! Idehall’s style is not entirely comparable to ‘the Galakthorrö sound’, but he would fit very well within the roster. Idehall makes something that I would describe as “angstpop”. Slow, dark, industrial; not entirely unlikely some tracks of Herz Jühning. In some tracks Idehall sings which makes a wonderfull combination between dark electronics and his voice.
The sound is not too easy to describe, but the comparison I keep making works upto a certain degree. Make sure to listen to the tracks on the label’s Bandcamp. When I write this, there seem to be physical copies available, otherwise you can always buy a download.
The latest release of Beläten has 7 masterpieces and one not-too-good track. Get it!
Links: Michael Idehall, Beläten

Distel * Ultra2012 (mcd 2014)

I almost missed the latest Distel. Fortunately I was looking through the catalogue of the Swedish Beläten label! “Ultra2012” contains both ‘Distel+’ (a development of the sound that we grew used to, somewhere between dark minimal wave and angstpop) and uncommon sounds (more technoish). There are a couple of masterpieces which makes “Ultra2012” a must-buy if you like the sound of this Dutch project (or for example the Galakthorrö sound).
Finding a physical copy may be a quest (Beläten is out of copies, I got mine from the band itself), but you can always buy the Bandcamp download.
Links: Distel, Beläten

Cryme * Mekonium (mc 2013)

It may become boring, but here is another wonderfull Beläten tape/download (the tape has probably been sold out for over a year). Of course, since Beläten puts their releases on Bandcamp, you can listen to them before you buy them, I only got myself the ones that I liked. That is not to say that the all other Beläten releases are boring, but they were either obviously not my taste or I had to make choices because I did not want to buy everything.
In any case, Cryme makes a strange kind of industrial which goes from old-style industrial to a more minimal wave sound and less common sonic experiments. Sometimes Cryme reminds me of the ‘industrial disco’ style of Thorofon. Actually the latter may not be such a bad comparison. Not that “Mekonium” sounds like Thorofon, but the two projects would fit well together on a stage. Recommended.
Link: Beläten

Marrow Mandler‎ * Escapist Grounds (mc 2013)

Beläten and Aufnahme+Wiedergabe are certainly labels to keep an eye on. A+W released the debut of cassette of this project. I have not (yet) heard it, but “Escapist Grounds” was certainly interesting enough to buy my own digital download.
It opens with a bit of a DAF-sound track. The second track is more minimal wave, but with a more ‘busy’ rhythm. Unfortunately the vocals are quite awfull, a thing that more minimal wave projects suffer from. The third track is interesting and the vocals are less annoying. Also the last two tracks make nice minimal wave, but those vocals. Fortunately in a few tracks there is no real attempt to sing and the vocals are more bearable. Musicwise good though!
Links: Marrow Mandler, Beläten

Imiafan‎ * Old School Surprise (mc 2012)

Seldom was the title of a release as fitting as here. The music certainly sounds old school and surprisingly nice, but old school what? Industrial? Electro? EBM? Perhaps the best description for the music is something between minimal wave and old-style EBM. Here and there the sound reminds of 80’ies analogue dance music, but more uptempo and catchy. The too-simple lyrics are sometimes a bit annoying, but the music is certainly catchy.
Link: Beläten

Ekman‎ * Kalla Rytmer Att Dansa Till I Ensamhet (mc 2012)

Another countrymate on Beläten (besides Distel). Contrary to most Beläten projects this is not Ekman’s first or second release. Ekman already has an impressive list on Discogs with releases on a variety of labels, apparently from different music scenes. This includes Enfant Terrible, so perhaps that explains why the name rings a bell.
The sound is one that fits well on the Dutch Enfant Terrible label: minimal wave, a bit weird and atypical though. The music is not really danceable and there are no vocals. Perhaps ‘analogue minimal wave’ is a description for Ekman. Minimalistic certainly is a term that comes to mind when listening to this music.
A nice, though slightly unexpected, addition to the Beläten roster.
Link: Beläten

Militær Endhed * Sarajevo: Den Sorte Hånd (mc 2012)

“A suggestive mix of military pop and dark synth wave”? That could a new hip thing, not? After the martial industrial / military pop craze and the ever rising popularity of minimal wave, I see a market. Actually I would make another description. The first track is a bit of a danceable industrial type track, the second darkwave with some samples in the beginning. The sound is slightly distorted and quite original. Not totally brilliant though, but certainly nice. Two short tracks.
Link: Beläten

Æther & Trepaneringsritualen‎ * Edifice Of Nine Sauvastikas (mc 2012)

Beläten also released a tape of Æther in 2013, but I found that (on quick hearing) a bit too soundscapishly monotous. Since I need to collect Trepaneringsritualen material anyway, I opted for this split. One 10 minute track of each project.
The Æther is indeed a quite monotous soundscape, just a little bit noisy, apparently formed of field recordings. It is not bad, but not entirely my cup of tea.
Also Trepaneringsritualen presents a sort of soundscape, but much darker, more threatening and more industrial in sound. The vocals are left out for this sonic ritual, but Ekelund certainly set a pretty damn dark atmosphere again.
Links: Trepaneringsritualen, Beläten

Ēv Of Isis‎ * Dark Ambition (mc 2013)

This is probably the strangest Beläten tape that I bought (that is to say: the download, the tape is sold out). A dark ambient sound, but a bit weird with even weirder vocals: highly distorted female vocals. There is ambient with drumming on the background, then there are these weird vocals and stretched sounds. The sound is quite ‘ritualistic’. Perhaps thinking of something between Aghast and these dark ritual projects of The Fossil Dungeon such as Hexentanz or Akhkharu gives you an idea.
Not brilliant, but neither the kind of music that comes to me frequently these days.
Link: Beläten