V/A – Van Duytschen Bloet

It’s a fruitful period for the Dutch underground/industrial scene. Besides some individual releases, this is the second compilation in a short time, after “Lowlands Industrialism”. Some acts of that record are also present on this cd, which has a wider musical scope though, from industrial to neofolk to darkwave to experimental soundscapes. The artwork and texts on the inner sleeve are amusing, an ironic treatment of conventions and prejudices. This cd brings together 17 acts, which only have in common that they are of Dutch blood, and that they are active in the Dutch dark scene.

Volksweerbaarheid opens the cd, with a short attack called ‘Volksdansbaarheid’, with very deep and hard beats and shouted distorted vocals. A good blast, which is already effective on dancefloors in the low countries, but the length of 2 minutes is also enough for this monotonous piece. Then comes one of the biggest names of the album, A Challenge of Honour, who already released various creations on international labels. ‘The hope for truth’ is not a spectacular track, a midtempo orchestral piece with movie samples. HERR is present with a very nice neo-classical piece. It starts soft and acoustic, and gradually the tension increases, the sound gets more bombastic, with precise drumming and a church organ. I really like the strings halfway the song. ‘Es regnet das Leben heraus’ promises a lot for the upcoming debut album with the same name.

Then it’s time for an industrial act. HERAS contributes a dirty & noisy track, which gets more rhythmic and varied as it evolves. Lilith Contour then again offers a quiet folky piece with female vocals, somehwere between Sorrow and In Gowan Ring. I’d like to hear more of them! Laufeyiar Sonr is present with ‘Grimhild’, a very nice track and the best piece of his latest demo which I reviewed earlier. Spermblaster had an exciting track on “Lowlands Industrialism”, and ‘Solockos’ again is very interesting, orchestral layers mixed with industrial violence and complex beats.

Then follows a monotonous technoid/breakcore piece by 8punkt, classic industrial by The Peoples Republic of Europe like it should be, and a noisy soundscape by distSync. RvProject is rather subtle, moody electronic pop with a nice hazy atmosphere. Mutagenis combines electronic and rock, with some shoegaze elements. Then an oddity: a strange, rather scary cover of ‘Nights in white satin’ by Silver Phoenix.

Then the mood changes again, and we are treated to the danceable synthpop of Dissident Copies, with some retro wave elements. More dance beats are brought by [subRoutine C12], somewhere between VNV Nation and chart dance music. Fertile Reality has a batcave/postpunk sound, making me think of claustrophobic Factory acts. Finally Duisterkilte finishes the compilation with a nice atmospheric soundscape.

This album is a very nice iniative. It gathers a lot of obscure Dutch projects and different styles and there are some very enjoyable tracks present. Not all tracks are a direct hit, but for most acts this sampler is the first time they enter the spotlight. There’s enough talent with Dutch bllod, that becomes clear.

details: 17 tracks