The collaboration of Nordvargr and TxRxP on Nordvargr’s “Metempsychosis” is excellent. For “Alpha Ænigma” the two again stepped into the studio together.
The album consists of four long tracks, making a total time of a little under an hour. The style is pretty dark ambient soundscapes and you may guess it: a bit too soundscapishy for me. The album is alright, but not much more than that. The package is great though. An A5 sized digipack, a DVD case so to say.
I do not think I had head of this one-girl-project before I noticed the name on the WGT 2014 schedule. I also thought that I listened to some music which went from noise to digicore. The show was mostly brutal, industrial noise with Gaya Donadio’s screamed vocals. There was variety in the music. Some tracks were more industrial, others downright noise. The album is not as harsch as the show was and perhaps the energetic show provided a surprise effect, but the album is less interesting as the performance in the Moritzbastei. “The Son” is still a weird industrial album and I do not know all that many female industrial projects so perhaps you do not either. The combination could be a reason to check out this album.
Links: Antichildleague, Old Europa Café
I have told the story countless times. Before there was Myspace there was mp3.com and unsigned bands freely presented their music there. This is where I discovered Luftwaffe somewhere in the late 1990’ies. It took many years before the band finally got the recognition they deserved with their (still) highly original combination of NON-like industrial and neofolk’n’roll; not the cheesy kind of neofolk, but energetic neofolk. Luftwaffe was a duo who used a lot of guest musicians. Now the duo split, one half continues under the monicker Et Nihil and “Dissension” is Luftwaffe’s goodbye album.
Most material sounds new to me, or at least, so far unreleased. There is relatively much neofolk and the music is not as good the last two albums, but “Dissension” is another wonderfull album of this American band.
Links: Luftwaffe, Old Europa Cafe
The third album of Roma Amor is less cabaratesk dramatic as the previous albums. Most songs are soft and (by lack of a better word) folky. The style remains the 1950’ies type of French chansons, but there is only one great heartbreaker (“Mon Amour”). The other songs are more subdued. The album is still quite beautiful, but I like the previous two better.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Cafe
I do not have a whole lot of material of mr. Nordvargr. He has made music that I like under monickers such as MZ.412 or Folkstorm, but he has made much more music that I do not like, also under the named monickers. Now I could get a cheap 2cd from Steinklang with a variety of projects of the man, so I decided to give it a try. CD1 contains tracks “From the Folkstorm archives”, which can be old tracks, unreleased tracks, alternative versions or live recordings. One track “…was not included on the “Victory of death” album due to its provocative use of old German speeches.” The larger part is the chaotic kind of noise, the kind that I do not really like. However Nordvargr uses a lot of low frequencies and sometimes industrial rhythms (elements that I often do appreciate) the first cd is mostly not for me. On the second cd we have “Nordvargr with friends”. The music is more varried, but still there is a lot of harsch noise. Worthy of mention are the technoish track under the monicker “D.I.N.” and a weird punksong as “Lorv”. There are some other names that I never heard of, but again I am afraid that most tracks are not meant for my ears…
Links: Nordvargr, Old Europa Cafe
One of my favourite bands comes with a new album. Four years after the magnificent “Event Nihilisti” comes “Ere I Perish”. Again the band goes from industrial to (neo)folk and back, everything with their very own rock’n’roll’ish style. Nihilistic lyrics and music combined with sometimes dark, sometimes catchy songs and strange experimentations, Luftwaffe the way I like them. “Ere I Perish” is again an album that grows on me. The first part is mostly pretty dark, the latter half more folky, but in both styles, the tracks are again very interesting and original. Yep, Luftwaffe created another album that will find its way to my player frequently.
Links: Luftwaffe, Old Europa Café
Last year Roma Amor released a nice untitled debut album. They describe their style as “folk / neo-cabaret” which is a good description. Slightly reminding of Edith Piaff, Roma Amor has an enigmatic singer and nice, smooth music which is also very nice to see/hear live. This second album is quite the same as the debut, just as good, no change in style or really new elements. So, again nice and I guess you should get it when you liked the debut.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Café
“Leonidas” is again an orchestral release of the Dutch A Challenge Of Honour. The music is quite soft, slightly bombastic and (march)drumming is added and this time does not have the poppy sound of the previous album that I reviewed. 45 Minutes which are (I am afraid I have to say it again) not really boring, but not particularly good either.
Links: A Challenge Of Honour, Old Europa Café
It is funny how the scene works and I am happy to hear that something new and different pops up every now and then. However, new and different? Roma Amor has a theatrical/cabaretesk sound and there are more bands who experiment with that. Actually there even more bands who have done so in the past. Over ten years ago, the French band Eros Necropsique used it in their gothic rock sound, but did not Nick Cave also do something like that? Anyway, in a scene with “neofolk” and (martial) industrial sounds this may seem a little lightfooted, but since some Hau Ruck! releases no longer, so there is plenty of room for a band such as Roma Amor. This band sounds like it comes from some 1950’ies theatre and even though this may not be exactly my cup of tea, this is nice music to play every now and then when I want something different.
Links: Roma Amor, OEC
For their hundreth release The Old Europa Café label has released a 7-cd compilation with a track of each band and project they have been involved in during the years. However looking around the internet it seems like the bands are featured alphabetically, this is not the case, the cds are ordered somewhat thematically / according to style. “Somewhat” I say, since it is not completely that there are industrial and folk cds, there is some overlap. That is only for the better, the compiler of the cds has a rather good ear for things. In the beginning I had the idea that there are alternally more industrial and more folky cds, but this is not entirely true. The compilation opens with a cd with mostly not too extreme noise, a nice cd. Then follows a cd with more (neo)folky music, but not the too typical sounds of a compilation that I reviewed a few days ago. Then we have cds with power electronics and the extreme, chaotic style that isn’t mine, but also more old industrial things, strange experimental soundscape music and more of an old neofolk cd that I find awfull (Ain Soph, that sort of bands). Having heard the whole thing, my temporary conclusion is that the first cds are the most interesting and towards the end are some cds that I will probably never play. I think that four out of seven cds are enough of my taste to put in the player every now and then, so the “price/quality balance” is not that bad.
We didn’t put limits to the sound stiles, so here you can really hear all the sounds of the Industrial sub-culture featured on OEC !
This is a sure thing and it would be utterly impossible if everybody would love everything on this “mammoth compilation”, but I guess that for people who like the better stuff from the scene, there will be plenty to enjoy on “The Old Europa Café”.