At a time when authentic neo-folk seems more dead than alive Darkwood comes up with a new and very strong album, entitled ‘Notwendfeuer’. This record is without a doubt the best the project has released so far. It is a very typical German neo-folk album but despite that one that is all but disappointing.
I hadn’t listened to Landing for a while, a group based in Connecticut. Meanwhile they have released six albums on cd, as well as various EP’s, singles, tapes and compilation tracks. Their vinyl only album “Gravitational IV” was recorded in 2004, around the same time as their cd “Sphere”. The music of Landing is a hazy mixture of shoegaze, post-rock, ambient drones, space-rock and other spheric styles.
Short reviews of 8 recent Fat Cat releases by múm, Songs of Green Pheasant, Amandine, Welcome, David Karsten Daniels, Ensemble, Nina Nastasia and Giddy Motors.
James Brown had the nick-name ‘the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business’. Dirk Serries from Belgium must be one of the hardest working men of the ambient music scene. From the mid 80’s on he filled dozens of albums with atmospheric music under the name of Vidna Obmana. In 2005 he started a new project, Fear Falls Burning, and the number of releases already cannot be counted one one hand.
Fjernlys is a new project of Knut Enderlein, known for his work with Ex.Order and Inade. The first release as Fjernlys is directly a double cd, of which the second disc contains remixes by Bad Sector, First Law and others. You could say that Ascending Triads & Luminous Arcs is a typical Loki Foundation release: an otherworldy atmosphere, subtle ambient electronica, ritual rhythms…
Alchemie originally appeared on the now defunct label World Serpent in 1999. It was the fourth album for the American neo-medievalists The Soil Bleeds Black, a project centered around the Riddick brothers. Their label The Fossil Dungeon has now made this album available again, in a joint venture with Argentina’s Twilight Records. The second edition comes in a nice brown/gold digipack and has no less than three bonus tracks.
My first acquintance with Sally Doherty was when she was a member of Sol Invictus. Later I discovered the solo oeuvre of this singer and musician from Sheffield. Edge of Spring is a lovingly assembled collection of songs from the last decade. It contains songs from five albums by Sally Doherty and her Sumacs, as well as two unreleased songs.
The band STandART started in 2002; so far they’ve released 4 singles on their own including the maxi-single “Corrosion”. They gave several concerts a.o with Camouflage during their “Relocated Tour” and with the Swedish trio LOWE.
The career of the Sheffield-based band The Comsat Angels can be roughly divied in a few periods. In the late 70’s / early 80’s they started with an edgy post-punk style on three acclaimed albums: Waiting for a Miracle, Sleep No More and Fiction. These have been reissued by Renascent earlier this year. Then a more poppy period followed, in which the group (under pressure from record companies) tried to achieve more commercial succes. But singles like ‘Day One’, ‘I’m Falling’ and ‘You Move Me’ were only modest successes. Sort of a transitional album wasChasing Shadows, on which the group went back more to their roots.
Lately I began to fear for Allerseelen-fatigue. In recent times I saw various concerts of the Austrian project and heard many new (re)releases. Not that I have any complaints about the average quality that Gerhard produces, it’s more the quantity which I find difficult to keep up with. This new release looked promising though. Not only is it a collaboration with Sangre Cavallum whose two albums I enjoyed, the vinological theme should be fruitful as well.
What I knew of Sturmpercht, through several compilations tracks, the LP Stürm Ins Leben Wild Hinein! and a concert a few years ago, was very entertaining. I had some doubts though about how serious the Austrian folkloristic project should be taken. Their ‘Alpine pagan’ music may be nice for a few limited singles, but for an album of more than an hour? Well, on Geister im Waldgebirg, probably their most ambitious release so far, Sturmpercht quickly makes me forget my doubts.
During the more restless autumn days there is one cd which brings me in a state of calmness: Songs From Before, the new ‘post-classical’ creation of Max Richter. Its delicate music is comparable to his previous album The Blue Notebooks (2004), though with slightly sparser compositions.
ADN’Chrystall is an obscure French minimal act from the 1980’s. Of course something by this artist had to be released on Kernkrach. The song ‘Arabesketch’ on the A-side is an Arabic inspired minimal wave piece. On the B-side is ‘So Zeu Twist’, a playful and funny song. Kernkrach picked out two very nice tracks by this artist for its release.
What do you get when you put together one of the Kernkrach label people and the Greece minimal group Human Puppets? Plexiglas! This project produces very authenthic sounding contemporary minimal elektro.
Again I am surprised with the originality, creativity and unique sound of this band. Laurence Wasser has a sound of its own. The music is hectic and at times unstructured noisy post-punk.
Cheveu is an interesting band from France. This is their second 7” on which the band takes another step to define their own sound. They blend cheap electonic rhythms and sounds with a rough (post-) punk garage feeling.
Jetlag is a project by members of Psyche, Rational Youth (and now Datafreq) and James White. Together they produce a sort of futurepop songs.
Bastards of Love on cd… that is a strange thing to witness. The raw lo-fi sound of his music is perfect to be pressed on vinyl in small editions. But, his hectic elektro anthems are better produced this time, so it seems to fit the new format.
Rasputeen was called Rasputin before. As Rasputin, this band mixed Neue Deutsche Welle sounds with minimal elektro and old school industrial elements. Now, as Rasputeen the sound is more clearly defined as minimal elektro. On the one hand this second album is less diverse in sounds as before. On the other hand it is a strong album, which will appeal easier to more people, as the songs are easier to consume and the sound is better to define.
Naomi Henderson and Nicholas Albanis are Dandelion Wine. “An Inexact Science” is the third release of them. It contains music they themselves describe as medieval ethereal, post-dreampop. A strange description for music, then again the Melbourne-duo might be right, let’s just have a listen.