Land – 1988-1997

The French act Land really fascinated me with their album ‘Opuscule’ and two 10″ records, which brought a nostalgic cinematic atmosphere and a mixture of neoclassical, minimal ambient and orchestral music. Though their first offical release appeared in 2001, they have been active since 1988. Divine Comedy Records has now compiled their early work on this retrospective, which comes in a plain red digipack.

Interesting to hear how they evolved in time, with most tracks taken from demo tapes. I must say that quite a few tracks on this album sound rather primitive and monotonous, compared to their most recent work. Land also was looking for its own distinct style. Some tracks are experimental and minimal, others percussive industrial pieces or ritual ambient soundscapes. Samples and choirs enhance the dominant sacred atmosphere.

Acts that come to mind are early Dead Can Dance, Regard Extreme, LJDLP, Collection d’Arnell Andrea and In the Nursery. Surprising are the tracks with female vocals, like the wavy ‘Brain’ or the swirling berceuse ‘Pierre de Brume’. ‘On the mountain peaks’ has a clear nostalgic synth/postpunk feel, perhaps reminding me of And also the Trees. Also striking is ‘Shreds’, which is very melancholic and dark. In other words, there is a lot of variation on this cd.

Some tracks on this historical document are really nice, others a bit primitive. Nevertheless an interesting release if you follow this band.

artist: Land
label: Divine Comedy Records
details: 12 tracks, [cd 028]