V/A – Ostia

The French association T.O.P.I has done some nice work with a magazine (80 pages, A5 format) and a compilation cd. Limited to 250 copies, the magazine and compilation are especially dedicated to acts from and around the World Serpent label. In the magazine (written in French) an interview with Tony Wakeford can be found, as well as extensive descriptions of all Sol Invictus albums and other releases on the Tursa label. Furthermore the magazine offers interviews with Tor Lundvall and Martyn Bate, but also also articles about art (William Blake) and film (Peter Greenaway), to name but a few.
The compilation contains no less than 19 tracks, of which most were released before. It could have had no better introduction than Matt Howden’s Lucullus, from his first album. Then follows Martyn Bates, with an intimate melancholic piece, and Tor Lundvall with a minimal tranquil piece, conveying an autumn atmosphere. Sol Invictus is present with a live track, ‘The Widow’, from L’Orchestre Noir, recorded in Hollywood. Andrew King delivers 2 pieces drowned in English heritage, but I’m not such a fan of his dramatic style.
The tranquil songs of That Summer and Dissonant Elephant are not bad, but not very special either. I’m more pleased with the two folky songs by Lonsai Maikov. ‘Watching the horses’ from Sally Doherty offers one of the highlights of the album, with beuatiful piano and her great voice. She also participates in Sieben, together with Matt Howden, who are present with ‘No tears’, one of the better tracks from their debut album.
Gae Bolg brings us trumpets, chants and percussion, as always in a bombastic orchestral style. ‘Lux aeterna’ starts slow, but gets heavy towards the end. A surprise on this compilation was the only new name for me: Eigenwert. A French act with a German name and a nice track called ‘MorcelĂ©’, a slow and orchestral piece with French samples.

artist: V/A
label: T.O.P.I.
details: + magazine