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Propergol * Paradise Land (cd 2012)

Six years after “Ground Proximity Warning System” first a live performance was announced for the 25th aniversary of Tesco and then a new album to be released at that very festival. Jérôme’s Tesco show started off very ambient, a recognisable Propergol sound with stretched sounds, samples and low frequencies. This was nice, but instead of having a show with tracks running over in eachother, there were pauses between the tracks and only after a “come on” from the audience, the sound got dirty. There is close to nothing of the dirty sound on “Paradise Land”. Like the last album, the new one is mostly dark ambient, but in the Propergol way. Carefully built up tracks, making a great, dark atmosphere. No outburst, like I said. I would not mind if those came back, but “Paradise Land” is a bit more of ‘Propergol light’ for people who are not too good with extreme electronics. If you are one of those, try this album first and work your way back in the catalogue of this great, French project. To old fans I will say that in the lengthy last track, some unexpected elements appear. Propergol does not stand still.
Links: Propergol, Tesco

Isomer * Zero Lounge (cd 2005)

While ordering “Nil By Mouth” anyway, I decided to get this older (pre-last) album released by Tesco as well. However the “Nil By Mouth” special mcd release is a dark piece of noise, “Zero Lounge” is more in the style that I expect of Isomer: ambient noise with dark ambient and some soundscapes. This is more a Propergol kind of style with a dark atmosphere, many samples and here and there some noise eruptions to set the tone. There are a couple of impressive tracks on “Zero Lounge”, but also a few that are a bit too soundscapish for me. An interesting album to play as background music. I am glad that summer goes to its end, during fall and winter my musical taste shifts towards this kind of material again!
Links: Isomer, Tesco

Janitor * Qoumran 4-ever (cd 2005)

When it came out, I bought the debut lp “Ritchie”. This lp has a great track with singing and further some soundscapish things. Later I bought the first cd, which has the same sung track, one or two more of those and more soundscapes. Actually the same goes for “Qoumram”, the opening track is nicely industrial and contains some singing, then there are the less interesting soundscapish things and a nice softer track with some singing. Perhaps Janitor should release a ‘best of’ and skip the other material.

Links: Janitor, Tesco

Galerie Schallschutz * HAARP (cd 2002)

I did not really know Galerie Schallschutz before I saw them in Antwerpen in 2007. Later I bought the “Montauk Project” album, but not the cd/dvd of the Antwerpen show. The other cd has the same theme as this one. A secret US government project using sound to manipulate man and nature. This older cd is more ambient and less noisy than the later album. “Montauk Project” is better, but “HAARP” is still an interesting piece of story-telling dark ambient.

Links: Galerie Schallschutz, Tesco

Kenotaph * Promise (cd 1997)

An old Tesco-sidelabel release. I expected something dark and noise, but “Promise” is more like a long, ambient soundtrack, monotous and not very interesting. The cd does have some moments, but in general I am not too crazy about it.
Link: Functional Organisation

No Festival Of Light * Officina Gentium Vagina Nationum (cd 2000)

I have known NFOL for many, many years. In 1997 I bought the StateArt split 7″ with A Swarm Of Locusts. I do not remember what it sounds like, but judging the fact that I never bought any of the six albums yet, I was probably not impressed. I do remember that Bergström was on stage a lot when the CMI-projects started to give life performances. Perhaps these concerts also influences my decisions whether or not to buy the albums. In any case, “Officina Gentium…” is a very minimalistic dark ambient album. Low frequencies, nice, but way too monotous for my liking.

Link: Functional Organisation

Post Scriptvm * Grey Emminence (cd 2010)

I very much looked forward to this new album of our American masterminds of industrial dark ambient. The last album is 4 years old. When putting “Grey Emminence” in my player, my first thought was: “Post Scriptvm plans to do something different.” The first tracks of the new album sound like (analogue?) experimental soundscapes, the first not the least bit dark of tone and thus nothing like I expected (hoped for). The second track is also a strange compilation of sounds, but already a bit darker. Slowly the sounds evolves towards the dark industrial ambient that we love Post Scriptvm for. There is even a noise track. I have listened to “Grey Emminence” a couple of times now and it starts to grow on me. Post Scriptvm sounds different than before and “Grey Emminence” is surely something different altogether. Not (yet) as good as previous releases, but definately interesting.
Links: Post Scriptvm, Tesco

Isomer * Face Towards The Sun (cd 2009)

Face Towards The SunI never really knew Isomer, I never really heard their music. When I read that this dark ambient project made a noisier album, I decided to try their latest attempt. “Face Towards The Sun” contains some great ambient noise tracks, some less interesting atmospheric tracks and some good dark ambient; the larger part is noisy though. Overall I am quite pleased by this album which serves well as background music.
Links: Isomer, Tesco

v/a * Juche (cd 2008 kim il sung rec.)

A compilation dedicated to North Korea with a whole range of interesting bands to be found on it. Putting the cd on I am very pleased to hear that Turbund Sturmwerk didn’t loose their touch afterall. Their latest tracks were not too great, but their “Reunification” is pretty damn good. It opens very loud with a bit of a Firsst Law sound and after a noisy middle Turbund falls back in known patterns, but overall I am happy with this wonderfull track. Lovers of harsch noise can enjoy themselves with Operation Cleansweep, Con-Dom and Genocide Organ. The track that Militia contributed is quite nice, but when we skip on to Ex.Order we hear another wonderfull “ambient noise” track with a great dark sound. The Grey Wolves tear our ears to shreds with their power electronics and to close off Anenzephalia put together a quite typical track with minimal noise and screamed vocals; not their best material, but not boring either. Overall “Juche” is mostly a compilation for people who like the harder side of electronic music and who had to wait for their favourite projects to finally release something new. “Juche” has a nice A5 package, produced in North Korea and is limited to a mere 15.000.000 copies, so hurry up!

Genocide Organ * Remember (2cd 2007 tesco)

I have never been very fond of this project. This classic power electronics project makes too much power electronics for me. An extreme sound with earcracking noises, screamed vocals and too little structure for my liking. I would have liked to see them in Antwerpen a few months back, but I could not go to the Luchtbal the second day of the festival. At that festival the “Remember” vinyl set and shirts were available, the 2cd followed a little later. I decided to get a copy, because I have known GO for about as long as they are around, but I didn’t have anything of them. Knowing their sound, I bought this cd more for archival reasons than to play. “Remember” is filled with live recordings from 1989 (when the band started) to 2000 and have been reworked by Jérôme Nougaillon (Propergol/Hermetique) for this release. Here and there you will find a more industrial and rhythmical track, but most of the cds are filled with the most brutal kind of music imaginable. Since the band is not only extreme in sound, but also in lyrics and artwork, there is a nice text of Richard Stevenson who tells a bit of art and provocation.
Like I said, if you (like me) don’t like brutal high-pitched noise, this album will be more for archival reasons, so that you can let your grand-children hear what extreme music sounded like around the year 2000 when you are already 80 yourself!
Links: Genocide Organ, Tesco