In a luxery three-fold DVD digipack comes the third album of nEGAPADRES.3.3. and the first one that I hear. The first lp of this à;Grumh sideproject is from 1987! Their previous cd was also released on Hermetique (2006). “La Phobie du Cheval” is a very weird album. It sounds nothing like the dark noise ambient of most other Hermetique projects. It is more dark soundcollages with sometimes low frequencies, sometimes some noise, sometimes a more industrial sound. Everything is very experimental and I do not think that I know anything like it. This is good in a way, at least something out of the ordinary for a change, but this cd is not completely my cup of tea. The ideas are quite nice, but are each time repeated for an entire track and sometimes it is a bit too much experimentation. It is nice to hear that there is mostly a dark atmosphere to the sound and most tracks are good as background music.
Links: nEGAPADRES.3.3., 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
Jérôme Nougaillon (Propergol, Hermetique) agains turns up under a different name. He himself describes the release as “atmospheric ambient”, but my description would be “threatening noisescapes” or something in that vein. The music is obviously made by mister Nougaillon who as no other knows how to set a dark atmosphere with an extreme electronic sound. Probably too noisy for people who like ‘the CMI-sound’, not with the power electronic outbursts that we love Propergol for, but a must-buy for Propergol fans and the ultimate “noisescape” album. Yep, he has done it again, a magnificent piece of work that may be even better than some Propergol albums (or at least just as good)! (Limited to 471 copies btw.)
Link: Cosmos Enthropy / Hermetique
Wrong Number is the new incarnation of Jérôme Nougaillon of Propergol, released on his own Hermetique label. However you immediately hear the similarities with Propergol, Wrong Number has a slightly different style. Jérôme himself compares this cd with the more ambient Propergol album Ground Proximity Warning System. It was also made in the same way with months of collecting samples. Wrong Number is indeed more ambient, more soundscapish even, but still in the Nougaillon way: dark, oppressive, impressive with a lot of layers and atmosphere. There are some noisy edges to this album, but nothing compared to the power electronic eruptions of Propergol. The cd contains long and slow tracks with stretched sounds and loads of samples. Here and there I find the style a bit too monotous or there are too many ‘small things’ happening (all kinds of sounds), so I don’t like Wrong Number as much as some of the Propergol albums. But again, if you like Propergol, noisy ambient or good soundscapes, I advise you to get one of the 471 copies of this well-packaged cd. And be sure to visit Hermetique.fr for sound-samples, a video-trailer, wallpapers, etc.
Jérôme Nougaillon is Propergol, Hermetique, Sea-Green Series and… Vargtimmen and Gazoline. This 3″ cd comes in a superb package. The box has the size of a bank card, put in a slipcase and the cd has been cut to fit in the little box (I think this is how you can get your electronic visiting-card). There is one track on the cd of 6:29 minutes. Clear samples (guitar, orchestrations) with weird soundscapes and samples. Musically not great, but original the least. Again a reference to a film in the project’s name, Vargtimmen (‘time of wolves’) is a film from 1968.
For a long noise wasn’t my kind of music. Chaotic highpitched noise, I still can’t listen to most of it. I don’t know if it has to do with the years, or with the fact that the genre became better, but there are quite some noise and power electronics projects that I do like nowadays and reviews in this genre can be found on Monas.nl more often. It is only now and then that I run into something that I really like. One of such projects was Propergol from the sunny France that I got to know when Tesco released his “Renegade” album. Propergol has released more material on Nuit et Brouillard, Malignant, etc. and appears on many compilations of which I bought some hoping that there is more of this kind of noise. Jérôme Nougaillon founded his own label of which I ran into the website a few times. Hermetique found other projects more or less in the same vein and these projects can be found on this great and cheap compilation which comes in a wonderfull thin DVD case. The title probably refers to David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” film which seems to be one of Nougaillon’s favorite films (the Propergol track is called “Emotional Rescue Show”, samples from “Videodrome” can be found on his cds). “A Reassuring Voice…” opens with a very dark low-frequency track from Post Scriptvm from the USA of which another cd that was released by Somanbulant Corpse is reviewed elsewhere. Next up is a new-signed project called nEGAPADRES.3.3. with a weird noise track. Dusk of Hope has two tracks to come to their 10 minutes, this time very much noise, like Ex.Order. The first track is great, the second is alright. Sea-Green Series is another project of Nougaillon.This track is a great dark and noisy soundscape, leading up to more extreme sounds. Immediately recognisable is Propergol. This projects comes out best on a 70 minute cd, but “Emotional Rescue Show” is dark and threatening like we got used to of this project. With Radiodrama things get more noisy again, industrial even. Clear sounds, samples, a heavy rhythm and then noise; a really great track. The last track is for Old-Iron Fence. This track is much like a more tranquil Propergol track. This is the one minor thing about “A Reassuring Voice…”. Like other projects seem to be inspired by Propergol, the projects on this compilation are exceptionally heavily influenced by Nougaillon. Old-Iron Fence can easily be mistaken for Propergol, Radiodrama has similar samples with similar effects, like some of the other projects. This is okay if people find inspiration and original paths for themselves in the future, but I hope we won’t suddenly get a booming ‘Hermetique-scene’ with projects all sounding the same. This has happened enough in the scene already.On the other hand, with similar sounds it becomes easier for reviewers like myself to described this strange ‘new’ kind of music. Heathen Harvest used the term “cinematic dark ambient/noise/industrial”, I myself earlier used “sophisticated noise”, “noisescapes” and similar descriptions. ‘The Hermetique sound’ this will be, like we have the ‘CMI sound’ in dark ambient. Anyway, something new, fresh, dark and great and Hermetique seems to be the label on the hunt for projects in this vein. There are ‘hijackers on the road’ (as we say here), since my good pal Sistrenatus was signed to Cold Spring. No worries though, Hermetique currently has four cds available (Radiodrama, Post Scriptvm, Dusk Of Hope, nEGAPADRES.3.3. and this compilation) and Propergol has come up with 7 albums in 10 years. Final note, be sure to check out the wonderfull Hermetique website with many mp3s, wallpapers and a couple of great ‘trailers’! <28/4/06><4>
Radiodrama can be heard on the newly released “A Reassuring Voice On The Television” compilation of Hermetique and an album that is much older than I expected is still available from the same label. “Radiodrama ultra harsch electronics” the booklet says. This is in a way true. The album opens with a track with a very deep rumbling industrial rhythm with samples and creaks. Other tracks have an even more industrial sound, but very hard industrial. Not extreme in the sense of over-the-top, distorted sounds (alright, these are also present) or loud, danceble beats, but more like harsch and slow rhythmical industrial soundscapes with a noisy edge. Some tracks are really great, others are just alright, but most are pretty good.
The first cd of Post Scriptvm was released on the American Somnambulant Corpse/Records and is reviewed as well. Like on the 2002 debut “Gauze”, Post Scriptvm produces extremely dark ambient with industrial and noise influences. The cd is pretty good. The atmosphere is dense, pressing and dark with industrial rhythms and skrieking noises, a step forward from the first (also nice) album. On a few occasions Post Scriptvm is a bit too monotous, but not as often as on the debut album. The packaging is very nice too (as most Hermetique releases), a square envelope with stickers on. For lovers of extremely dark electronics, not fearing a bit of noise!