NN has never been a very active project. In 1994 there was the 7″ “More Satanic Heroes”. Five years later the album “From Heaven On Earth”. After that is was silent until the great album “Magic” (2007). A year later the 7″ “Sacred” was presented and yet another 7″ “Heart Of Stone” in 2012. Last year the album “The World In Devotion” was released.
Now, instead of releasing another 7″, November Növelet decided to release a compilation with “The singles 1994 – 2012 – Bonus Material”, the latter (“bonus material”) are three new tracks that were not released on vinyl but on this compilation.
Oddly enough, the 7″s are not presented chronologically, but the other way around. “Heart Of Stone”, “Sacred”, then the noisy sounds of “More Satanic Heroes”. At the end the three newly recorded tracks follow that -of course- have the ‘current’ Növelet sound can be found, so there are some noisy tracks in the middle. The more dramatic / melancholic sound of the “From Heaven On Earth” album is not present on “Unintended By Nature”, so this album is not really an overview of the development of NN.
In my opinion the best material of NN can be found on the albums “Magic” (most of all) and “The World In Devotion”. The songs form more of a unity than on “Unintended By Nature”. There are a few very nice tracks on the 7″s, other tracks are alright. However certainly not bad, the “More Satanic Heroes” tracks are the least of this compilation. The three new tracks are also nice to good, but I would have preferred them to be in the beginning of the cd so that it would have been entirely counter chronological.
Links: November Növelet, Galakthorrö
The Arafnas seem to have been in a romantic mood. November Növelet already was their softer project, but on their latest album both the sound and even more so: the lyrics, seem to have softened somewhat more.
Mrs. Arafna sings on all tracks. Now there is something of a risk, because her voice is not my favourite element of the music of the Arafnas. It sound like she has a herself photographed: a bit dull. (Perhaps on purpose?) Often I am indifferent to them (not annoyed, not overjoyed), here and there her voice does add a good element to the music, so how about on “The World In Devotion”?
The album opens with a soft and not too interesting track/song. After “Be Gratefull To Your Murderer” the tempo goes up and most of the rest of the music is mid-tempo and the sound is very much like the current sound of NN. The music is nicely minimalistic and analogues. However the video that was released recently seemed to have suggested otherwise, NN does not really lean towards the popular sound of “minimal wave”. Mr. and mrs. Arafna keep doing their own thing. The rhythms are relatively complex in some tracks, nice things happen on the background, some songs have simple but catchy melodies and mrs. Arafna sings (and in the video: dances) away, most of the time resulting in nice and moody soft dance songs that will work well on “minimal wave” dancefloors and radio-shows. There may not be a highlight on this album such as the title song of “Magic”, but overall “The World In Devotion” is a more than proper album showing the furry sound of the couple that names itself Arafna.
Links: Haus Arafna, Galakthorrö
Well well, who would have thought that the 10 years Galakthorrö celebration compilation (2004) would have a follow-up? “Kosmoloko 2” presents exclusive tracks of the remaining Galakthorrö projects. It opens with two tracks of November Növelet, the first in the darker “Kalte Welle” style, the second is lighther and more ‘disco’, a very nice track with mr. Arafna’s vocals. Albert Fisch then blows the listener away with his walls of noise and weird vocals. Then comes a sublime track, certainly the best of the compilation and it is not of Haus Arafna, but of that other star: Herz Jühning. Both his tracks are in the vein of his “Miasma” album and superb. Next up is Hermann Kopp with his strange post-industrial sound experiments with his violin and electonics. The closing tracks are of course for Haus Arafna. The first track is Haus Arafna but a bit different. No, they did not become more poppy. “Lying In State” is a dark noise track with a sublime low frequency rumble for rhythm. The second track is more typical, not so dark, but a nice danceable track with mr. Arafna’s vocals. Indeed, “Kosmoloko 2” is a must-buy for Galakthorrö fans and those who have yet to get acquinted with one of the most interesting labels of today.
This 4 track ep opens with two soft NN tracks on side A which are nice. Side B opens more lively with a more danceble (but nothing like the “Magic” title track) “Dancing Queen”. The last and least typical track is also the most interesting. In “Up To Date” mrs. Arafna uses another way of singing which I prefer over her usual use of her voice (or is it just the echoing effect?). Also the music is a bit different, a bit more “minimal wave”, but still with the melancholic NN feeling. Like “Sacred” “Heart Of Stone” is a very nice ep, but does not reach the heights of the “Magic” album.
Links: November Növelet, Galakthorrö
I had to wait a little longer for this 7″ than I hoped, but I least I got one of the 806 copies. Four tracks, two seem a bit like an intto and outro, two others are more full tracks with the sound of the tranquil tracks from “Magic“. The sound is more melancholic (more “Kalte Welle”?) and not as surprising or as good as that cd. NN (and Haus Arafna and Galakthorrö) keeps making its own strange sound, so I am still curious what the future will bring.
I have had this compilation on the computer for some time, but good things I want to have ‘for real’. This compilation celebrated 10 years of Galakthorrö and opens with an old style harsch industrial noise track of Haus Arafna. The second track is also for Haus Arafna, but this time more the ‘new style’. Subliminal continues with two harsch noise tracks, but things get more tranquil with Karl Runau. Then follow two magnificent tracks that were mostly the reason for me buying this cd. Maska Genetik is unfortunately no longer on Galakthorrö and even seems to cease to exist, but his two noisy disco-industrial tracks are very much Galakthorrö and some of the best tracks this label released. Of course the compilation would not be complete without November Növelet, two great “angstpop” (and/or “kalte welle”?) tracks in the “From Heaven On Earth” style. Unfortunately the running time is only 38 minutes…
A long time I didn’t really know Haus Arafna, their other project or their label. Almost five years ago I decided to buy a Haus Arafna album and reading back my review of that time I found the album just fine at the time. I guess the cd grew on me, since I consider “Butterfly” to be a masterpiece nowadays. I didn’t come to buy more Haus Arafna music, but apparently started to look for their material on the P2P network that I use sometimes (rarely actually). I have some other Haus Arafna albums on the computer by now, some are nice, some are too noisy and none is as good as “Butterfly”. I suppose in the process of looking for Haus Arafna material, I also ran into the sublime album “Magic” of November Növelet, which I bought immediately. Somewhere along the line I also pulled “From Heaven On Earth” off the web and this album is not only definately good enough to buy, but also still available even though it’s quite old. “From Heaven On Earth” is not as much a disco cd as “Magic”, but has more of that odd Galakthorrö style of music: minimalistic, a bit ambient, a bit industrial, some soft rhythms and a lot of weird sounds. The style is dark and charming, elusive and provocative and most of all: very original. “From Heaven On Earth” could be an album for people who don’t like the harscher side of Haus Arafna (you just have to get used to it!) and perhaps also for people who find “Magic” too poppy, but “More Satanic Heroes” (1994) too harsch. It’s quite a typical Galakthorrö release, but as long as it’s only Galakthorrö releasing this kind of stuff, I don’t mind the ‘typicallity’.
There is a 7″ just released, I hope to be able to review it soon. Two of the four tracks can be listened on the band’s Myspace, check out the links.
Links: November Növelet, Galakthorrö
I probably don’t have to tell you, but November Növelet is another project of Haus Arafna and Galakthorrö is mr. and mrs. Arafna’s label. It is only since a few years that I got to know and appreciate Haus Arafna. I hadn’t really listed to November Növelet yet, but what I heard it seemed that this was the Arafna harsch noise project while Haus Arafna evolved towards a more accessible sound. This assumption turns out to be wrong, because “Magic” is more ‘easy listening’ than anything that has been released under the monicker Haus Arafna (as far as I know). The album opens with minimalistic and even atmospheric sounds as it can be only made by the couple Arafna, but as the album continues the sound goes more towards 80’ies synthpop with of course an odd twist. It seems that the Arafna’s undergo a similar evolution as for example Thorofon who also started as a harsch noise project, but later got a sound that some call “antipop”. This album of November Növelet will appeal to people who enjoy the last Thorofon album, Dogpop, Geneviéve Pasquier and the like. Also where in earlier days mr. and mrs. Arafna were always shown with gasmasks on, they now can be seen in both projects with their real faces and for “Magic” even with an “Austin Powers”-like photoshoot! I must say that I enjoy this development in industrial music, the older the musicians get, the crazier it seems. The music is easy to listen to, but strange enough to avoid the masses (also because of the names they are released under I guess), so if you share that weird musical sense of humour, you might want to get a copy of “Magic”.
Link: November Növelet, Galakthorrö