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7JK * Anthems Flesh (cd 2012)

When I heard about this cooperation between Matt Howden (Sieben) and Job Karma (hence the name 7JK) I thought that finally something interesting had happened. It did! Matt Howden we of course know for his poppy music made with his violin, effect pedals and vocals, Job Karma is more a classic industrial (or post-industrial as they say themselves), ambient, ritual project. “Anthem Flesh” opens with a very nice uptempo song “Dirt City” with nice rhythms over Howden’s violin and voice. Then comes a more Howden track, slow, a bass-guitar, Howden’s voice and violin and some electronics. What follows are mostly quite soft, trancey industrial tracks that sometimes have more of the Howden sound, sometimes more of the Job Karma sound. Together they go well and in particular a less typical track such as the hearplay “Planning For The Zombie Apocalypse” is very interesting. Indeed, a nice combination of two approaches to music.
Links: Matt Howden / Redroom, Job Karma

Sieben * No Less Than All (cd 2012)

Long ago I happened to see Matt Howden on stage in Antwerpen when I only knew him by name. I loved the show and bought some of the albums and a couple more as they came. I still love Sieben, but the albums sound the same too much and I have not really followed the project since “High Broad Field” in 2006 (already skipping albums before). Wondering if the new album would bring anything new I decided to get it. Well, it does contain something new. The album opens with a song with guitars and drumming, so not everything comes from Howden’s violin on “No Less Than All”. Sometimes the music still sounds like Sieben, other tracks have become (even) more poppy with a different kind of singing and added guitars (and a Joy Division cover). I do not (yet?) like the new style as much as the older, but I am glad that Sieben did not keep sticking to the same trick.
Link: Sieben / Redroom

Sieben * As They Should Sound (cd 2009)

As They Should SoundI like the idea behind this album: after having played them live hundreds of times, thought them over, etc., Matt Howden decided to rerecord some songs “as they should sound”. The album contains some songs that I already had, some not, but all are the better tracks and indeed, they sound better too. Some sort of ‘best of’ for old and new fans and with nice artwork.
Links: Sieben / Redroom

Sieben * High Broad Field (cd+dvd 2006 trisol)

When I noticed that the new album of Sieben comes with a one hour DVD, I figured that I might get myself another Sieben album. Sieben is another of these bands that make good music, but I don’t think it is necessary to get all albums. “High Broad Field” is a hearplay, so there are guest-vocalists on this album. Another result of this is, that this cd is really an album, instead of a collection of songs. Of course the sound is again catchy and all about Matt Howden’s violin. “High Broad Field” is another good album.
Then to the DVD. It is the album put to film by Joao Paulo Simoes. The film is not too interesting. Slow shots of nature, but with now and then a naked Martina Goodman to add to the interestness. It is not a film to watch (however it does have a story), but more something to play on the background. <4/12/06><3>

Sieben * Sex And Wildflowers (cd 2003 trisol)

The new cd of this soloproject of Matt Howden (Sol Invictus) is the second one that I got from him. I totally adore “Our Solitary Confinement” (2002) and “Sex And Wildflowers” certainly didn’t let me down. The violin-virtuose Howden made the music all by himself. Still it is full and complex and of course the violin plays the main part. The music is poppy, swinging at times and always very moving. Howden also sings with his very nice Dead Can Dance like vocals, but for the rest the music is not comperable to anything I know. Modern classical mixed with gothic elements, I don’t know how to describe it. I can only say I love it and when you are looking for something out of the ordinary but great, try one of mr. Howden’s cds. <25/10/03><4.5>

Sieben * Our Solitary Confinement (cd 2002 trisol)

I saw this violin-virtuose play in Antwerpen a while ago, I think it was under his own name Matt Howden. I didn’t really know Howden then, only from the usually stated earlier cooperations with different bands. He has released music himself for a while under different names as well though. His show was wonderfull, just him on stage with his electric violin and some effect-equipment. This Sieben cd is less minimalistic though. There is singing in almost every track, guitar, drums and other instruments to make a quite full kind of music. Sometimes Howden’s violin is much on the foreground, sometimes not. All in all something very different from what I usually listen to and it is hard to describe the music. Maybe somewhere between soft pop and modern classical music? Oh well, just give the man a try if you never heard him! <9/11/02><4>

Sieben * The Line And The Hook (cd 2001 tursa)

This Sieben cd was released before the other two that I reviewed here somewhere else. “The Line And The Hook” differs quite a bit of those other two in style and sounds more like the “Hellfires” cd under the name of Matt Howden (see review), but “The Line…” is not THAT experimental. Still it seems that the newer the Sieben cds get, the better, so in order of the 2003 “Sex And Wildflowers” and the 2002 “Our Solitary Confinement”, “The Line…” is the least interesting of the three. Still recommandable and like I wrote in the “Hellfires” review: “quite unlike the rest of my discoteque”. <27/7/04><3>

Sieben * Forbid The Sun’s Escape (cd 1999 tursa)

This is the first cd under the name Sieben and by far the least interesting of them. Of course it is a good thing that the newer the cds get, the better they become, but when you -like me- are buying them in backwards order, some disappointment is inevitable. This cd is more experimental, less poppy and there is less violin. Still it is a nice cd, but like I said, the newer the Sieben cds get, the better. <24/9/04><2>

Matt Howden presents Red Room compilation (cd 2001 redroom)

Redroom is mr. Howdens studio and on this compilation he put tracks of bands that used it. Half of it are his own projects, the other half are of other bands in which Howden often had a guest-appearance. There is quite some variety in style, from the poppy sounds of Cello to the industrial sounds of Deafnoise. Further rock, Howden himself (under his own name, as Sieben and Howden/Wakeford), Sol Invictus, Pilori, Jason White, TG Staar, Dummy Head Stereo and Cadaverous Condition. A nice compilation with some nice and less-interesting tracks. <24/9/04><2>

Matt Howden * Hellfires (cd 2000 redroom)

Going-Underground always has cheap overstocks and now there are two Sieben and two Matt Howden cds under them. I already have two Sieben cds, but none of Matt Howden under his own name. Years ago I saw Howden (when I didn’t know his music yet) live under his own name, but this was mainly a Sieben show it seems now. At least I have got an idea why he releases music under different names: Sieben is more ‘poppy’ and accessible, Matt Howden more experimental (at least, this cd is). Distorted vocals, guitars, electronic influeces and “Hellfires” has less stress on Howden’s violin than the Sieben cds that I have. I don’t like this cd as much as Sieben, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like “Hellfires” at all. Howden’s music remains interesting and quite unlike the rest of my discoteque. <27/7/04><2>