Old Europa Cafe

v/a * OEC 100 (7cd 2008 old europa café)

OEC100For 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”.

Horologium and K. Meizter * Eight Studies In Transition (cd 2007 old europa cafe)

I have quite some material of Horologium, but it seems that most of it is nice, but nothing like “The Fire Sermon”. This time we get slow, monotous and at times orchestral ambient with a bombastic track towards the end. The tracks of Horologium and K. Meizter (of whom I never heard that I remember) are put among eachother, but sound well together. Also here other peoples’ (classical) music is used to make something of their own, a comment that I got per email just before I started Gangleri when I mentioned Horologium in an Aghiatrias review. Again I have to say that the result is nice, but nothing too special.
links: Horologium, K. Meizter, Old Europa Café

Organisation Toth present Birth Ov Light (cd 2002 old europa café avs)

He, OEC still exists. I don’t hear much of them recently. Organisation Toth is no new name to me, but I don’t have any of their earlier releases. On this 40 minute full length cd, they make very dark ambient with quite a lot of industrial influences. The music is just not too monotous, quite enjoyable but not brilliant. A nice dark ambient cd. <25/10/03><2>

Nocturne * Hymn For The Herest I & II (cd 2001? old europa café)

I have been in doubt for a while whether or not I should get this cd. I don’t have the debut 10″ and the first cd “Kapitulation” (see archive) didn’t really stand the ‘tooth of time’. It is alright, but I seldom play it. And where “Kapitulation” is pretty much a dark industrial cd,”Hymn…” is a noise cd. Not too great either! It mostly contains minimalistic ‘noise-scapes’ with industrial sounds and here and there a strange sample or heavily distorted vocals. I also saw him doing that on stage late last year in London and the sound is pretty amazing, but not to listen to for 74 minutes. “Hymn…” certainly has his moments and sounds pretty original, but I don’t like it all that much.
Worth mentioning is the package, which is a sixfold ‘poster’ on thick paper. <9/5/02><2>

Naevus / Spiritual Front * Bedtime / Bathtime (picture 10″ 2005 old europa cafe)

Two ‘pigheaded’ (the Dutch expression says ‘ownway’ which I like better) on a nice picture 10″. I didn’t have anything of Naevus, so this split was a nice opportunity. Naevus opens with a too typical and rather boring neofolk track, but then follow two weird tracks that are more of my liking. Spiritual Front’s first song is a romantic atypical song in which I don’t even recognise the band. Then comes a great song with a piano background and a more typical song for the band. A nice release, but visually as ‘audially’. <14/4/06><3>

Artefactum / Horologium * Sangreal (cdr 2005 old europa café)

Artefactum / Horologium * Sangreal (cdr 2005 old europa café)
Horlogium * Songs For Hunters (mcdr 2006 bunkier productions)
Horologium * Paradise Inverted (mcdr 2007 old europa café)

I got myself some older and newer Horologium material. Where “The Fire Sermon” (2005) is soundscapish industrial/noise of style, this only goes for one of these minis. The other two are more orchestral and bombastic. All cds are packaged magnificently, “Sangrael” in an A5 package with nice ‘holy grail’ artwork and a printed, partially transparant cd, “Songs For Hunters” in a simple, but nice A6 package (3” cd of course) and “Paradise Inverted” in a 7” package, also with a 3” cd. Three times 20 minutes, so the length/price proportion is not too good, when you buy them all at ones, but on the other hand, you get some nice and very limited (200, 100 and 150 copies respectively) releases. “Sangreal” is a cooperation between Polish bands and is the most ambient of the three. The other are orchestral and at times bombastic almost completely built from opera samples and with a flinge of humour; sometimes silly, sometimes great. At other times the sound is nice and dark again. On “Paradise Inverted” you will hear Troy and Maria Southgate (HERR) and one track is made together with Der Arbeiter. You hear it, original music of a pretty high quality not only for people who like experimental ambient/industrial/noise, but also for those who listen to the more bombastic and martial releases. <27/3/07><4>

Deutsch Nepal * A Silent Siege (cd 2002 old europa café a.v.s.)

This band of course needs no introduction. Personally I think that DN made a brilliant start on CMI almost 10 years ago, but Lina’s cds didn’t get better. Some are even downright boring. After the nice Janitor lp (I am yet waiting for the cd) and hearing that the new DN contains Lina’s singing I decided to give him another go. Indeed “A Silent Siege” contains singing in almost every track. Also there is more oldstyle industrial, but also the typical DN sound. Most tracks are good to wonderfull making this new cd one of Lina’s best efforts of late. <3>

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.