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Blitzkrieg Baby * Porcus Norvegicus (cd 2013)

On returning from holidays I am pleased to finally find the debut cd of Blitzkrieg Baby (or in this case actually Blitzkrieg Baby And The Squaeling Piglet Ensemble) in the mailbox (and a copy of the tape from another sender). This cd is great! Like on the tape there is a mix between old-style industrial, Thorofon-like ‘industrial disco’, more ambient tunes and a lot of musically original ideas. The tracks go from dark to catchy and the lyrics are usually wonderfully sleazy. This cd was released by Neuropa, so it is perhaps easier to get than the tape that was recently released, but my advice it to try to get your hands on both.
Links: Blitzkrieg Baby, Neuropa Records

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

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

Der Feuerkreiner * Unsere Zeit (cd 2008 neuropa)

Unsere ZeitAccording to the label this album “is easily one of the most anticipated records in the neofolk underground scene”. Well, Der Feuerkreiner is a nice band that mixes different kinds of music to their own style, doing that well too, but the selling-line is a little overdone in my opinion. The releases that I already have are very enjoyable, but I do not play them too often. “Unsere Zeit” brings no news in the style of this Italian band. Female vocals sometimes making almost “heavenly voices” music in combination with soft orchestrations, to follow by some harsch and distorted industrial with clear sounds, lots of drumming and bombast. Listening to the new album, the style seems to have been polished a bit and comes out better than before making “Unsere Zeit” a good new album, but without surprises.
Links: Der Feuerkreiner, Neuropa Records

Horologium * The World Is Not Enough (cd 2007 neuropa records)

I am afraid that I have vastly over-estimated this Polish project. My first encounter was “The Fire Sermon”, a very nice ‘ambient noise’ album with an original sound. After that I bought some of the limited releases which mostly consist of some orchestral music build of classical music samples which sometimes sounds nice, but are mostly just making something of somebody else’s work. Unfortunately the same goes again for “The World…”. This time the sound is a bit more bombastic and here and there martial, but still the music remains a collage of samples and nowhere comes to the level of “The Fire Sermon” and not at all regarding style. Too bad, after a flying start Horologium seems to become just another project in the scene. The album is not horrible, but if you asked me, I would advice to spend your money on something else.
links: Horologium, Neuropa

Un Défi d’Honneur * Aurore Du Gloire (cd 2003 neuropa records)

“Un Défi d’Honneur” is of course just “A Challenge Of Honour” in French and the booklet says: “A Challenge Of Honour présente: Un Défi d’Honneur”. A while ago I saw this band on stage together with Dernière Volonté and it appeared to be Peter of ACOH with two other guys from who one French-speaking-Albin-Julius-lookalike. The music proved to be tranquil and monotous with drumming and French lyrics. I can’t see anything of the lineup in the booklet, but there are no lyrics on this cd, so maybe in Leuven it was a live-lineup. Too bad, because now it is only tranquil monotous music with drumming. Not bad, but not too exiting either. Also pretty short: 39 minutes.

Toroidh & Arditi * United In Blood (cd 2004 neuropa)

Hm, did I know about this split album? I suppose I did, but Toroidh is not my favourite project and I never really heard Arditi, Puissance is just alright, but not really my thing. The militant ambient sound of Toroidh proves to go well with the more orchestral bombastic tones of Arditi though and this album is actually not too bad at all. No masterpiece, but a nice thing to run into.

Levoi Pravoi * March In September (lp 2005 neuropa)

I’m always interested to hear bands that do something else. On the other hand, this is a risk, because ‘something else’ is not necessarily good. A weird band like Novy Svet is funny, but not my favorite kind of music. I decided to give this Russian/American band a try though. Levoi Pravoi makes such weird music that it is hard to describe. Strange ‘ambient’ tracks and odd ‘popfolk’ (is this what they call ‘military pop’?) tracks with an odd twist. The vocals are not very common too, maybe you can compare them to Laibach or Parzival. A very strange lp, and I’m not yet sure if I like it. There are a few nice tracks on it.

Laufeyiar Sonr * Vorst (cd 2006 neuropa records)

I know this Dutch project from Tuchtunie sampler that is reviewed elsewhere. The title of the album means both “monarch” and “frost”. The latter translation is diametrically opposed to the projects name, because Laufey’s son is Loki, the Northern firegod. “Vorst” comes in a minimalistic 7″-size packing, has 11 tracks and lasts for about 45 minutes. Listening to this album, I constantly have the idea that I already know the tracks from the Tuchtunie sampler even where there are also three tracks on that sampler. There are similar of the same melodies and samples in several tracks. This is a bit of a pitty in my opinion. The music goes from ambient, to rhythmical ambient, more industrial and one noise-track with an awfull high squeak. Some tracks are good, most are not too exiting. The three tracks on the sampler may be enough when there is no more variation. But the ideas seem to be there, the sound is not too typical, so maybe Laufeyiar Sonr will move more in a direction to my liking in the future.