Rapoon is a classic industrial project from Poland, but I almost only knew them by name. It seems that this is the first cooperation with their country-mates from Zoharum (after a compilation contribution). “Disappeared Redux” opens with a piano tune and continues with a very nice dark ambient track with a soft rhythm and a female spoken voice. After this there are a couple of very minimalistic soundscapes with a ritualistic tone, but not really my cup of tea. Only in dark tracks such as “Breath Of Ages” (track 7) Rapoon catches my attention. Unfortunately while the good tracks are very good, the other tracks not really, to my ears, but since there are more of the latter, I do not think that I will put on this album very often.
Links: Rapoon, Zoharum
After a slightly noisy opening, “Supremus” is a soundscape album. Stretched sounds, a flinch of dark ambient or drone, but mostly minimalistic and continuing sounds. Here and there the album is somewhat dark. Not entirely my cup of tea.
Links: Ab Intra, Zoharum
This is already the third album of Hoarfrost, all are released on Zoharum. It is the first time that I hear this project. “Puppets…” opens with an experimental dark ambient sound, quite dark and quite interesting. As the album continues the sound becomes more minimalistic, soundscapish and less interesting. A promising start, but overall a not too good album in my opinion.
Links: Hoarfrost, Zoharum
I must say that both artists are new to me. “Ways” contains weird and experimental soundscapes with singing and instruments. This is definately not your average dark ambient release, but more meant for people who like a more experimental sound. There are more ambient parts, then the sound is more trance-ambient and some parts are even IDM. Not all that dark and not always great, but something different for sure.
Links: Maciek Szymczuk, Slowtion, Zoharum
It looks like that this is the third time these recordings are released. Discogs has a 1993 cd releasec by the Antwerp Zoo and listed as “Vidna Obmana / Hybryds * Soundtrack Voor Het Aquarium”. Two years later there is a release on Daft called “Soundtrack For The Aquarium – Antwerp Zoo”. I used to have that cd. It probably did not make it in times when I was getting rid off ‘overstock’. 16 Years later the Polish label Zoharum releases the cd anew and describes it as music of Ah-Cama Sotz with dolphin and whale samples. The music is very minimalistic and soundscapish and indeed, the animals swiming in the aquarium are also present. Towards the end there is a saxophone, but this does not break the ambient sound. The music is interesting and the album is long sold out, so this may be a way of you getting to hear this music of almost two decades ago. Personally I find it a bit too monotous.
Links: Hybryds, Zoharum
Zoharum uses the term “cinematic ambient” to describe the music of iNScissorS, but as the cover already suggests (to me at least), the sound is more neoclassical / orchestral, but indeed there are also ambient elements to the sound. The album is a concept album telling the story of the Hellenic goddess of memory. The cd mostly comes accross as a soundtrack with soft (neo)classical music and eerie singing. The album is definately interesting, but I find myself losing my attention every now and then when the music remains the same too long. Soon after some soothing rhythm sets in and I like things better again. Definately an album that I have to hear a few times more before I can form a definate opinion.
Links: iNsCissorS, Zoharum
IVL has released quite a few things. I think I have not heard any of them. “Future Chaos” is a varried album. It goes from dark and droney dark ambient to more industrial outbursts, a combination that we know from Sephiroth. “Future Chaos” reminds of Sephiroth frequently, but in a more updated version. There is more variety in the tracks, the industrial parts are longer and not just a blasting rhythm. I do not always like what IVL produces, but this album is quite interesting.
Links: Inner Vision Laboratory, Zoharum
I have known Z’ev for many years, but only by name. Zoharum released a cooperation with Hati (who are new to me) which you can get as a single cd, as a double cd (limited to 423 copies) and as a double cd with shirt (limited to 23 copies). The album contains a live recording from Torún, the second cd a live show from Gdansk, both from March 2011. My idea about Z’ev is (unfortunately) confirmed by this release. The music is monotous, ambient and ritualistic in the sense of using singing bowls and the like. There are a few parts with deep drones which are alright, but the more minimalistic parts are not my cup of tea. A reason to buy the 2cd version, by the way, is that they did not give the same show twice, so if you do like this kind of music…
Links: Z’ev, Hati, Zoharum
This compilation has an interesting line-up, going from well-known projects such as Hybryds, Ah Cama-Sotz, Nordvargr and Atomine Elektrine to names that I never heard of, such as Kia Karma, Unknown Caller and Electric Uranus. The line-up also suggests a variety of music. The latter is not really true though. All tracks were recorded exclusively for this compilation and apparently the label requested soundscapes inspired by Aleister Crowley or something (strange that Coph Nia is not present therefor). All tracks are (relatively) tranquil and not all are all that interesting. Some are nice, others less so. One reason to buy this compilation was that I am interested to hear something of Ouroboros (a Zoharum project), but since the projects that I did know, do not necessarily sound ‘like themselves’, I do not know how representative the Ouroboros track really is.
Bisclaveret from Poland was inspired by the Polish writer and painter Bruno Schulz (1892-1942) to make this 39 minute soundscape. The recordings consists of industrial sounds on the background, drones, stretched up sounds, soft orchestrations and spoken word with texts of course of Schulz. However the title may suggest that this is a split album, this is -of course- not the case. The music sounds nice and however 39 minutes may not be very long for a cd, it is just long enough to prevent the sound from becoming too monotous. Eerie sounds, a dark undertone and strange speaking in Polish, together with simple, but nice artwork of the digipack makes this a nice first (?) release of the Polish distro Zoharum.
links: Bisclaveret Zoharum