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Militia * Power Propaganda Production (cd 2011)

Yesterday in Maastricht, Militia presented their new album. Main man Frank Gorissen has spent months in his ‘subterra’ studio to get the mixing perfect. When you know Militia, the new album will bring no big surprises. Percussion on oil-barrels and other iron objects and drums with here and there anarchistic lyrics. There are some new elements to “PPP” though. There are more samples and keys, not just the simple tunes that we were already familiar with, but also horns and even orchestrations reminding of martial industrial. Some of the tracks on “PPP” sound familiar, but especially the unfamiliar, news-sounding tracks are interesting. Also there are some ‘soundscapish’ (by lack of a better term) tracks. “PPP” comes in a nice carboard box with a small poster and a good-looking booklet with lyrics. A nice new release of the Belgian eco-anarchists.
Links: Militia, Neuropa

Militia * Live Provocation 1 & 2 (cassette 2010)

When you are an avid collector of Militia material, you are going to have a tough one on this tape. It is limited to 100 copies and most of them were sold before the band got their handfull of which I got the last. So this review may be more for ‘archival purposes’, but who knows if the label has copies left. In any case, the tape contains Militia’s very first live performances from 1989, both in Diepenbeek, Belgium. The sound was quite noisy, much less rhythm-oriented than the later sound. The soundquality of the tape is not too great, but this tape gives a nice idea of the early days of this Belgian project. Released on tape to enhance the authentic feel of the recordings I guess.
Links: Militia, Destructive Industries

Militia * United We Stand (cd 2010)

Just like the recently released “Archive Collection” this is a retrospective of Militia. Where the other archive covers only two years, “United We Stand” spans the full two decades of Militia’s existence. Unfortunately a substantial part is the same as on “The Black Flag Hoisted” (again), but there are also very nice tracks that I did not yet have. Miltia, of course, makes tribal industrial with repetative rhythms, drumming on oil barrels and anything that makes a sound and eco-anarchic lyrics. Very nice and I of course eagerly await the announed new material. The album comes in a cardboard box with some cards and is available from the band itself. For the moment you can use the band’s myspace or just email (frank[at]militia[.]be). Pretty soon the website will be available where albums can be ordered as well.
Militia/Power Propaganda Production, Myspace

MekanOrganiK * How To Extract Sunlight From Cucumbers (cd 2010)

Woe me. I have heard of MekanOrganiK a long time ago. Initially this album was announced to be released on Cold Meat, but in the end Neuropa took care of the release. MekanOrganiK is a side project of members of the Belgian tribal industrial outfit Militia and when the cd was out, I listened to some of the tracks on Myspace, but I was not convinced. I did not take a whole lot of attention until I got the cd. Well, MekanOrganiK may be even more interesting than Militia! The album opens with some sort of soundscape, perhaps the track that I heard on Myspace? The rest of the material reminds a lot of Militia, similar rhythms, similar sounds, same vocals. The difference is that MekanOrganiK sounds more electronic, more industrial perhaps. There are all kinds of strange, analogue sounds (water, stones, bottels and… cucumbers) over repetative rhythms. Very nice indeed!
Links: MekanOrganiK, Neuropa

Militia * Archive Collection 1: 1996 – 1997 (cd 2010)

My first acquintance with Militia was their “Black Flag Hoisted” 2cd box of 2000, a legendary album with tribal industrial (but varried in style) with (still quite rare in our scene) very leftish lyrics. After that it was always quite for some time, but Militia has built quite a discography of which this is my fifth item (including a 2002 rerelease of the 1995 split with Con-Dom). Before releasing a new album, Militia decided to rerelease some old material first. Since this album is called “Archive Collection I” I suppose that there will at least be one more. Also there seem to be a cassette with live recordings and a cdr with 1990 to 2010 material (“United We Stand”). Quite a period by the way! This easier-to-get archive album shows the old, more industrial (even noisy) side of this Belgian band, but also has the drumming tracks that we got to like this project for and most tracks are more energetic than the last album. A nice item in you industrial collection. I look forward to hearing the new material.
Links: Militia, Neuropa

Militia * Everything Is One (cd 2005 tactical recordings)

When I heard that that was a new album of my favorite eco-anarchists, I was delighted. When it seemed that (inspite of the latest albums that I got) it even concerned new material, I was more than happy. So after a too long wait, I got this strange-size white package (a little bigger than a 7″) with minimal design on four flaps with a cd in the middle. “Everything Is One” opens with the typical Militia sound: minimal, repetative sounds with drumming on all kinds of (steel) objects. The first track contains vocals, which unfortunately is not the case with most of the rest of the tracks. New elements on this album are violins, some other instruments and female vocals. I had to play the album a few times before I got into it. Still the style is not new if you know Militia, but the albums seems less energetic and more experimental, but after a few rounds in my player, the last remark does not go for as many tracks as it seemed on first hand. I think this album has to grow (I don’t often have that) whereas ‘The Black Flag Hoisted” captured me immediately. Funny that a similar style can have two such different effects.

Militia * Black Flag Hoisted, Live In Lille (cd 2003 malignant/tactical)

This cd accompanies the book “Eco-Anarchic Manifesto” (reviewed in the book review section) in which the members of the Belgian Militia ventilate their ideas of the ideal world order based on anarchic ideas and “ecocentrism”. When I noticed the text on the cd, I was a bit disappointed. I have got nothing of Militia except their “Black Flag Hoisted” 2cd box (2000) and a split live-cd with Con-Dom. No new music of this wonderful band for me… This live cd is recorded at 3/11/2000 at the “Deadly Actions IV” festival in France. It slavely follows the cd resulting in nothing more (or nothing less) than a live version of the “Black Flag Hoisted” cds with tracks even in the same order. The music remains good though. Fairly simple and not very loud industrial with a lot of drumming. Live (also see my Stigma report) the band uses a lot of old iron to drum on, from oil-barrels to washing-machine-barrels and wheelcovers.
People who haven’t been able to lay their hands on Militia material, here have a new chance. Also nice to see that there are bands with ‘unconventional ideas’ (also for the scene). Read the book review to find out more.

Militia * The Black Flag Hoisted (2cd 2000 tactical recordings)

Well well, here we have a very interesting industrial release. It comes in some kind of box, which after opening proves to be a bit too weak for the purpose, but the main reason for the box is that it contains some kind of flag with the logo. Further there is a poster and two cds in promo-like carboards.
According to the poster, this is the third release in the “Statement Trilogy”. I only heard about a previous mcd and I haven’t heard anything else from this Belgian act. They do appear on a few compilations though.
“The Black Flag Hoisted” consists of two cds which both last for about an hour. The music on these cds is very varried. The first cds mostly has relatively short tracks and it seems that there have been a lot of collaborations with other industrial pioneers for that disc. The second cd has longer tracks. The industrial is mostly somehow tranquil with ‘triballic’ drumming and samples of strange sounds or spoken word in all kinds of languages, such as Russian (?), French, German, Dutch, English, etc. Sometimes the band lives up to their name and you can hear marchdrums, at other times you hear noise, dark industrial, dark ambient and sometimes even dance-like rhythms. Most of it is done really well, and even though the style is different per track, “The Black Flag Hoisted” doesn’t sound like a mishmesh of styles thrown together for the heck of it. Sometimes tranquil, sometimes a little harder and once in a while with a bit of a punk-attitude with shouting statements over a darkambient background. Very well done!

Con-Dom / Militia * Scorched Earth Policy (cd 2002 old europa café avs)

Militia is a great industrial act from Belgium. So far I have only been able to get their 2cd “The Black Flag Hoisted” (2000, see elsewhere), since their releases are all very special and very limited. I like the 2cd so much that I even got myself a split cd with the noise-act Con-Dom that make a chaotic kind of noise that I really can’t listen to. Just before I got this cd, I read that this is a re-release of an old tape with live-material. Hm…
Well, the Con-Dom tracks are as expected not of my liking. The Militia tracks aren’t too great either. It seems that these (mostly live?) tracks were not done with the amount of people that they are on stage nowadays (also see “art”, “live”, “stigma 2001”) and the music isn’t as lively either. Still the tracks are quite nice. Strange industrial soundscapes with weird sounds of live drumming on strange subjects, but not as good as the cd that I already had. I hope I will be able to get my hands on more recent material some time.