UNITED WORLD UNDERGROUND, NAEVUS, GOTTERDAMMERUNG, ETERNIA, SCARLET SOHO, ALAN MOORE/TIM PERKINS, ROMISLOKUS, LAXPHOKUS, RAS.AL.GUL, DIPARTIMENTO SCUOLA EDUCAZIONE, BAIKI, ALL A, BUMPERS, PHILIP KANE, ON HER TONGUE, EXIT, TIN.RP, RUCK, THE SWITH OFF OPTION, VIDI AQUAM, LUPINE, FAR FROM MIND, GARDENS IN BLOOM, RHONDIAN, SLUMBER PARTY, FREDY STUDER /DJM.SINGE, DELICATE AWOL, OILEDADAFISH, ENHANCED GRAVITY, DREAM DISCIPLES, ATTRIBUTION, ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE, HEXEDENE, CENOBITA, DIE FORM, LOVE AND DEATH, SAMAS TRAUM, INFEKKTION, ALEX FERGUSON, GARDEN OF DELIGHT, FINISTERRA, MANTUS, FLESH FIELD and ENDRAUM
UNITED WORLD UNDERGROUND - COMPILATION (CD - MUSIC & ELSEWHERE)
Put together by that English eccentric stalwart Mick Magic, a cornerstone of the independent international underground. He also wrote the liner notes on each band, full of his quirky sense of humour.
The bands covered come from a broad spectrum of musical genres and an international selection of countries. Bands featured include INTO THE ABYSS (Greek Gothic / Progressive band with a track from their "Cosmogonia" album), DARK STAR (German solo artist Reffert, with dark electronic spacerock), EYE (Hard experimental electronics from Australia), EARTH (German Prog-Rock), GRASS HARP (Track from the "Meadow Glow" album, from this psychedelic German band), RAS.AL.GHUL (Portugese ambient electronics with numerous releases), IOIOM (from the album "Fairytales
" from this neo-folk influenced duo), BLACKLIGHT BRAILLE (Dylanesque influenced American combo), LORD LITTER (Eccentric blues from this German underground veteran), STINKING BADGER OF JAVA (Australian proggers via Jethro Tull / Zappa), NEO (Electronics meets operatics from this solo artist), T.M.R. (UK based collaboration Pink Floydy electronics), COSMIC DANCE SOCIETY (German hard electronic duo), LOVE IN A PLAGUE(Trip hop influenced band from the UK) and STEVE ANDREWS & NED ZERO (Long time underground musician with a re-working of his eccentric classics).
As well as putting this compilation together Mick Magic is also involved in the electronic space rock combo "Magic Moments At Twilight Time".
If that wasn't enough he also runs a label "Music and Elsewhere", which features full length releases from the bands featured on this CD.
Contact: UNITED WORLD UNDERGROUND, 6 Farm Court, Frimley, GU16 8TJ
NAEVUS - BEHAVIOUR (CD-OPERATIVE)
Third album from this band and follows on from the critically acclaimed 'Soil'.
Features quest musicians KARL BLAKE (LEMON KITTENS and SOL INVICTUS) and JOHN MURPHY (SPK).
Acoustic guitar in neo-folk mode think Death In June with militaristic metal bashing somewhere between Test Department and In The Nursery. Sombre atmospherics, melancholic vocals that puts me in mind of both Bill Pritchard and Momus.
This uptempo, upfront dark folk draws on the likes of the Swans and Joy Division to put its point across.
Breaking the mould in this genre to produce something challenging.
Contact: OPERATIVE, 6 Madrigal Lane, London SE5 0TD.
or NAEVUS, 29C Forest Drive East, London E11 1JX,
GOTTERDAMMERUNG-MORPHIA (CD-NATURE OF GOTHIC)
Follow up to their debut album "Body and Birthmark" from this old style German gothic band.
To confirm these connections they cover a little known "Sisters of Mercy" song "Good Things".
They take some of the atmospherics of post-punk bands like the Cure, March Violets and the Sisters.
Minimal drum machine, distorted bass, all driven by incisive guitar work. Add to that angst vocals very Eldritch, contemporaries would include the likes of Rosetta Stone and Merry Thoughts. Everything sounds familiar, but they do it with flair and conviction.
ETERNIA - FROM DUNGEONS LUXURY OF DOUBT (CD - NATURE OF GOTHIC)
Solo project of UK based artist David Quinn, wit his debut album.
Atmospheric dramatic gothic mixed with sub - Joy Division / New Order electronica. Reminiscent in parts to bands like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Bolshoi with the mysticism of the Nefilim.
Dense layers of reverb driven guitar provides the backdrop to David's mournful vocals.
Neo-romantic drenched moods to move even the darkest heart, reminiscent in parts of Black Tape For A Blue Girl.
An impressive debut; it'll be interesting to see what develops.
Contact: NATURE OF GOTHIC, Chapter House, Brunswick Street, Whitby, YO21 1RB
SCARLET SOHO - RUTHLESS ANIMATION (CD SINGLE REDHANDED)
Debut from this 'alternative' band who've garnered good reviews from the likes of Kerrang.
Also done many radio sessions including one for 1FM's evening session. Support slots have included 'Rachel Stamp', 'Junket' and the 'Damned'. So they've been busy raising their profile, now down to the music.
Their version of posey rock puts me in mind of Placebo and Rachel Stamp. Melodic crunchy guitars, soaring vocals bleepy synths all re-affirm these links.
Contact: S.S., Quince Cottage, Upper Chute, Nr. Andover SP11 9EH
ALAN MOORE / TIM PERKINS - ANGEL PASSAGE (CD - RE)
Features cult comic writer / occult commentator Alan Moore and Tim Perkins from Finality Jack.
Follow up to the London-centric 'Highbury Working' album which came out last year.
This Dante like musical journey was inspired by a celebration of the work of William Blake which was presented by the Tate.
Under Moore's neo-beat murmurings of post-lysergic stream of consciousness the music provides the backdrop. Reminiscent in places of soundtrack artists like Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, there but not interfering with the narrative.
Saying that the music is more structured compared to the sonic excursions on the last album.
ROMISLOKUS - BETWEEN TWO MIRRORS (CD )
Debut release (I think) from this Russian electronic based band.
Electronic with strong progressive overtones that draw on the likes of King Crimson, Tangerine Dream and Legendary Pink Dots. A mix of electronic and acoustic instruments have been used including cello and guitars melded with drum machine and sequencers.
Spoken-sung vocals in Russian are up close and personal like a male version of Anne Clarke.
They have a commercial edge to their sound that's reminiscent of the likes of Genesis.
LAXPHOKUS - SUBSEQUENCE GATEWAY (CDEP - PHOKAL RECORDS)
This EP is an experimental look at the use of retro game systems and home made instruments. As well as sampled drum patterns from objects in the home, produced and sequenced through the PC.
A moody look at ambient soundscapes and the use of sound, from the sublime to the unexpected.
Out of focus, blurred visions of sub-space clouds of primal matter, set your controls for the heart of the sun.
RAS.AL.GUL - SNMATIC LAYERS (CD - THIS CO)
Another album from these Portugese artists who operate at the more experimental end of electronic music.
From tabla beats, jazzy trumpet they draw on world music via the likes of Sons of Arqa and material released by On U Sound. Sub-drum'n bass ambiences melded with ambient-ritual-dance to produce rhythmic soundscapes.
Minimal hypnotic rhythms with restrained pulsing ambiences built around urgent loops with metallic sounds mixed in.
Filke under etherial soundscapes with a rhythmic spine.
Contact: THIS CO, R.S. Marcal 75 R/C, 1200-49 Lisbon, PORTUGAL.
www.thisco.net , RAS-AL-GHUL@CLIX.PT
DIPARTIMENTO SCUOLA EDUCAZIONE - DSE (CD - SELF RELEASE)
More retro-leanings from this atmospheric 80's influenced combo.
Mixing the melancholy of the likes of Joy Division and the Cure along with the melodic grandeur of the Cocteau Twins.
They would have fitted perfectly with early releases of both 4AD and Factory Records. Beautiful broken songs that draw on diverse bands as Xmal Deutschland and the Velvet Underground.
Contact: S.B., Bergammo, ITALY
BAIKI - BAIKI (CD - SELF RELEASE)
Debut release from this Belgian band with a neat line in foreign languages.
Social conscious with an Eastern feel that mixes Philip Boa, Momus, Brel and Nick Cave.
From melancholic vodka drowning melodies to agit-angst ridden polemics.
We're all under this band's microscope, through a glass darkly.
Contact: BAIKI, Chaussee de Saint Job, 1180 Brussels, BELGIUM Baiki@multimania.com
ALL A STAGGER - STEADFAST AND UPRIGHT (CD - FRAGMENT)
Compiled from material recorded between '98 and 2000.
Sub-reggae skanking in a less harsh Slits mode, then it gets all no wave via Television and Talking Heads.
Atmospheric bluesy rock with world music tinges that's reminiscent in parts of the Doors.
Difficult to pigeonhole this band, but file under interesting 'progressive'.
Contact: FRAGMENT, PO Box 4063, Brentwood, CM14 3WH.
BUMPERS - SON OF A GUN (CD - SELF RELEASE)
Debut release from this grungy influenced Belgian band.
Spiky metallic edged guitars that spar with the angst ridden vocals, a mix of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Add to that punk primitivism and tunes with melodic power that takes in Green Day and Sonic Youth. The classic power chord driven loud and quiet moments that will get the crowd moshing.
Contact: BUMPERS, 17 P.De Breuker, 1090 Brussels, BELGIUM
PHILIP KANE - MEDIA GURLS (CDSINGLE - CORRUPT)
Features x-singer of the band ENNUI who produced one single, then changed their name to AVALANCHE.
They subsequently released and album 'Hangover Square'; the album received good reviews from the likes of the Observer, Vox and Melody Maker.
But Philip's experience was not a good one leaving him 'embittered' to say the least. This caustic song that's full of venom comes on like a mix of Suede and glamy Bowie.
Queen Bitch, put your claws away.
Contact: CORRUPT RECORDS, 1 Provincial Terrace, London SE20 7JQ
ON HER TONGUE - HE WHO SPOKE MISUNDERSTOOD WORDS (CD - KRANE KUNST VERLAG)
Debut release from this German band who appear on KRANKHEIT DER JUGENDS label. Impassioned alternative rock that takes in Nick Cave and the Doors. Plaintive melancholic vocals, underpinned by melodic guitar that works its way into your brain.
A competent and assured first step; we'll see what develops.
Contact: KKV, Stubbenkammerstr. 5, 10437 Berlin, Germany
EXIT - SOLA FIDE (CD - FURIA MUSICA)
Another debut release, this time from this Polish cold wave band.
Discordant and disconcerting in early Cure mode, mixed with strident atmospherics. Scratchy guitar, spiralling and hypnotic reminiscent of 'Scream' era Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Scary fairground backing, dramatic urgent rhythms that underpin the mournful vocals.
Poignant postpunk for those of a nostalgic nature.
Contact: HEY JOE, V1. Zlota 8, 00019 warsaw, POLAND
www.terra.pl/furia , www.heyjoe.iq.pl
TIN.RP - HUN - GER (CD - BURNING EMPTINESS INC)
Second album from these noisy manipulators following on from 'Battlezone', which is now available via STAALPLAAT.
Waves of distortion crash on machine gun rhythms that sear through the atmosphere. This is not for the squeamish, only for those of you familiar with power electronics. Sonic torture to boil your brains, like electroshock treatment
Contact: B.E., Residence Michelete - Delattre B2, 5 Boulevard de Marechal Koenig, 13009 Marseille, FRANCE http://www.tinrp.fr.st , firstname.lastname@example.org
TRUCK - SLOW MOTION LOTION (CD - SELF RELEASE)
More strange sonic emanations this time from Holland. Quirky childlike sub-clangers rhythmic noise that veers from distortion to Resident like humour.
Primitive electronics that use Dada like cut ups and are reminiscent of Faust more experimental moments.
Contact: TRUCK, PO BOX 68, 7700 AB DE DEMSVAART, HOLLAND
THE SWITH OFF OPTION - PLAY (CD - FRAGMENT)
Another release from this wayward label who have brought you releases from MOISTEN BEFORE USE, ERICK, BRIAN FIELD, JOHANN KLOOS, ERIXMA and DADADICKY. This is the third album from this "collection" of impressive musicians.
It was recorded direct to tape, live and with no overdubs.
Sub-classical meets jazz atmospherics melded with Stockhausen and Cage experimentation. Unnerving moods and nuances keep the listener on edge owing much to likes of John Zorn or James Chance.
VIDI AQUAM - QUEEN OF SPADES (CD - SELF RELEASE)
Debut release from this Italian trio influenced by the likes of FAITH + THE MUSE, MALDOROR and some of the output from ENERGEIA. Classical strings draw us into the darkness with ominous sounding tribal rhythms. Metallic guitars, neo-folk atmospherics and otherworldly female vox put me in mind of early DEAD CAN DANCE. Minimal and claustrophobic somewhere between early SIOUXSIE and XMAL DEUTSCHLAND. Mournful songs of nasty nursery rhymes for wayward souls.
Contact: VA, Via Venezia10, 20093 Cologno M.se (MI), ITALY
LUPINE - MEMORIES (Cassette single - AEM)
Staffs based Gothic / Darkwave group first formed in '98 out of the ashes of the band CARRION. They've contributed a track to "New Alternatives V" via Nightbreed Records.
Musical influences include CHRISTIAN DEATH, MISSION, SISTERS OF MERCY and MARC ALMOND.
Heavy riffs, classical synths grandiose gothic atmospheres like 'Eloise' period Damned.
Melodic catchy darkwave very dramatic in a theatrical way.
Contact: D.M.M.G.,200Claywood Drive, Sheffield S2 2TW
FAR FROM MIND - PER VISION (Cassette - MUSIC MIND), TIMELY DEATH (Cassette - MUSIC MIND), DEEP INTO YOUR BRAIN (Cassette - MUSIC MIND), SONGS OF SORROW (Cassette - MUSIC MIND)
Russian band who've been heavily influenced by all things psyche and progressive in nature.
From Pink Floyd atmospherics to Doors tinged blues mixed with stoner riffs. Eastern drones take us into Hawkwind hypnotics warping us into space rock.
Spaced out trips for inner space and outer mind experiences.
GARDENS IN BLOOM - WAY TO REPENTANCE (Cassette - MUSIC MIND)
This one man project by USYUKEVICH takes in the music, recording, mixing and graphics.
The music is electronic in style more atmospheric / soundtrack, that owes a nod towards the likes of Tangerine Dream or Eno.
Ambient scapes that suggest both natural and otherworldly vistas.
RHONDIAN - FACT OR YOUR FICTION? (Cassette - BLACK ORCHID PROD.)
Another debut release this time from a Slovakian four piece.
Driving beats, insistent electronics with hard heavy riffs that pound the listener. Their brand of uber stomp owes much to likes of MINISTRY, DIE KRUPPS and more recently RAMMSTEIN.
The melody is provided by the female vocalist but there is a general Teutonic feel which pervades. But the guitar does tend to go into solo histrionics more metal than industrial/electro.
Contact: BLACK ORCHID, Zelena 2/C, Banska Bystrica, 97401 SLOVAKIA email@example.com , http://www.geocities.com/Sunsetstrip/Balcony/6458/
Distribution: MELISSA, PO BOX 54,07130 Lochow, POLAND
SLUMBER PARTY - PSYCHEDELICATE (CD - KILL ROCK STARS)
Detroit based female guitar group who's lineage owes more to the output of New York than their native 'Rock City'. From the minimal repetitive sub - Moe Tucker beats, vocal harmonies that are like a warmer version of Nico. OK so there are strong connections with the Velvets but via a more fragile Sonic Youth. Their brand of psyche/garage has one foot in the past, even with a cover of an obscure track from UK band 'The Dark'.
Well even if they never chart (they look as though they should) their albums will be sought after by collectors.
Contact: KILL ROCK STARS, PMB 418, 120 NE State Ave, Olympia, WA98501, USA
FREDY STUDER /DJM.SINGE - DUOS 14 - 20 (CD - FOR 4 EARS)
Ongoing series of collaborations, this being the third thus far which features Fredy Studer from Switzerland.
His roots lay in innovative European Jazz drumming and percussion.
Singe, a female DJ from New York's underground avant-garde scene involved in the development of Hip Hop and Breakbeats. They've come together to produce a melding of jazzy offbeats, cut ups and scratching.
Avant garde turntable techniques mixed with soundscape atmospherics punctuated by drum'n bass rhythms.
Expressive percussion murmurs shimmer around the musique concrete soundr.
Contact: FOR 4 EARS, Steinechtweg 16, 4452 Itingen, SWITZERLAND www.for4ears.com
DELICATE AWOL - OUR GENOME (CD - DAY RELEASE)
This is the band's fourth release via their own label, which they set up in 1999. Atmospheric post-rock that pays homage to Portishead's less trip hop moments.
Commercial and experimental in equal amounts taking in Can, United States of America and other more leftfield artists. Jazzy drums, discordant guitar and melancholic vocals, that's reminiscent in parts of bands as diverse as A Certain Ratio and Everything But The Girl.
Interspersed with almost soundtrack instrumentals that wouldn't sound out of place on some Cold War spy film.
Contact: DAY RELEASE, Ladyboy Studio, The Moat, 8 Moat Place, London SW9 0TA firstname.lastname@example.org
OILEDADAFISH -HISTORICAL FLUSH (CD - YUCCA TREE)
Long time veterans of the avant garde scene going back to 1983.
Along with producing music they've been involved with mail art, fanzines and painting.
This their new album follows on from 'Mothball' which came out in '91.
Along with new tracks, bonus tracks that include material from cassette releases and compilation appearances.
Their brand of Dada inspired sonic playfulness owes a lot to the likes of 'Faust' and especially 'The Residents'.
Hypnotic rhythms overlaid with sub-Monty Python voices and cut-ups put them firmly in the world of the avant garde.
ENHANCED GRAVITY - COMPILATION (CD - YUCCA TREE)
A collection of songs inspired by a satirical drawing about Newton's theory of gravity.
An obtuse starting point to draw ideas from, very humorous in a dadaistic way.
Artists featured include CHRIS CUTLER + BOB DRAKE (Abstract cut ups of futurist sounds), FAUST (Legendary Krautrock band with metallic instrumental experiments), AMY DENIO + JIM BENNETT (Watery rhythmic sounds meet Celtic drones), OILEDADAFISH (Otherworldly drones and murmurs from sub-worlds), NOBLE GAS (Kitsch cut-ups in Residents style), UM DRAME MUSICAL INSTANTANE (Tabla meets jazz experiment), POINTLESS ORCHESTRA (Eastern influenced atmospherics), LAURIE SPIEGEL (Futuristic sounding special effects meets Bladerunner) and STEVE HOROWITZ (Speech cut ups introduce a didgerdoo led Zappa meets Art of Noise).
Along with the gravitas sonics we have a multi media visual package to compliment.
Contact: YUCCA TREE, Riedernrain246, 3027 Bern, Switzerland email@example.com , www.datacomm.ch/yuccatree
DREAM DISCIPLES - ASPHYXIA (CD- RESURRECTION)
In existence for over ten years in which time they've produced five albums.
Also over the years have built up a formidable live reputation, a band that has energy and power.
Already garnering favourable reviews in the foreign press (especially Germany), and with European and US festivals being set up.
This is obviously a time that puts Dream Disciples in a position to break out of the Gothic scene and into a wider arena.
Describing themselves as an Alternative/Goth/Industrial crossover band, all these elements are evident on this album. From the electro-dance of 'Room 57' (a single) to the more metal edged meets U2 anthems.
Soaring electro-rock that now touches of the likes of the Mission/Sisters at it's core.
This would be described as 'Alternative Rock' in America, perhaps a clue to where this bands ambitions are.
Contact: RESURRECTION, 73 Parkwall, London NW1 7PP
www.resurrectiuonmusic.com / www.dreamdisciples.net
ATTRIBUTION - KEEPSAKES AND REFLECTIONS (CD - INVISIBLE)
A collection of rarities that have appeared on various compilations as well as different re-mixes.
One of their various releases to appear on this their new American label.
We have the re-working of classic songs 'Kill the Poor' (Dead Kennedys) and Underpass (John Foxx) amongst others. All done in Attritions particular style, dark electronics with catchy melodies.
Along with the uptempo punchy dance orientated tracks like 'Thin Red Line' (remixed by Pankow) we have the other more ambient etheral classical side to Attritions persona, best represented by songs like 'Kharb' and 'Keepsakes'.
Still a quality release considering the various sources of this material, but the album still gels as a whole.
Contact: INVISIBLE, PO Box 16008, Chicago, IL 60616, USA, or ATTRITION.
ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE - HOLES IN THE WALL (CD - DB)
Recently had to change their name from the Soft Parade, something to do with the doors copy band? Maybe!
Features Brighton based brothers Alex and Tom White on this their debut album. Following on from four singles the most recent 'Silent To the Dark II', which has received extensive radio play.
Chris has also produced last years Tom McRae album, and was the original drummer from Adam & The Ants.
Their brand of future retro was compared to the likes of Teenage Fan Ckub, Oasis and the Verve by the NME.
A strong pop sensibility mixed with a slightly offer kilter vision that the likes of spiritualised and Beck have mastered.
Uplifting bouncy tunes that rock like Supergrass just begging to be blasted out of your stereo.
Contact: DB, PO Box 19318, London W4 1ZA
INFEKKTION - VIRUS (CD - TRISOL)
Debut release from this German electronic band that features a duo of producers, Mike Eric Johnson and Oliver Senger are well regarded within their native scene.
Imbued with all things electronic, absorbing the likes of 'Flesh Field', 'Dive' and 'Covenant' into their dark synthetic sound.
Pounding drums, pulsing sequencers and growly vox drive this manic machine.
Techno beats aimed at dance action overaid with 'Front 242' ambiences, a mix of EBM meets Acid House.
If you're into FLA, Front 242, Laether Strip, you'll like this.
HEXEDENE - BULLET PRROF DIVAS (CD - TRISOL)
Follow up to the album 'Choking on Lilies' with various female vocals and masterminded by Jonathon Sharp.
Even with the departure of Katie Helsby there's still another four vocalists and in the future six (phew!).
Heavenly choral voices seduce us into this melodic dancey electronics with catchy hooks.
Mixing Dark Wave/EBM influences into their provocative sound think Attrition, Shakespeares Sister and Black tape For A Blue Girl.
Even with several different vocalists there is still a consistency in the sound, an overall planned presentation.
CENOBITA - NEO MILENIO (CD - TRISOL)
Licensed from Opcion Sonica home of the likes of 'Hocico', this is their first European release from this Mexican band.
This duo of Omar Flo and Claus Bita formed in Mexico City in 1993 and received acclaim in Latin America.
Dedicated to the new millenium and the changes it brings to humans, physically and emotionally.
They have quite a manifesto to accompany the pure brutal industrial/EBM. Searing electronics, deep growly vox and drums that flatten the listener like a tank being driven over a building.
Unrelenting power electronic industrial that has no intention in taking prisoners. Nearest comparisons include Yelworc, Wumpscut, NIN, FLA and Artefakto.
DIE FORM - AKT (CD- TRISOL)
A collection of material from the inner sanctum of the musical mastermind behind 'Die Form'.
Phillipe Fichot's vision represented in music and photographic form in this luxurious 2 CD box set.
Material includes early embryonic songs, various side-projects, extremely rare tracks and unreleased material that appear together for the first time.
After twenty years of producing material 'Die Form' show no sign of slowing down. Erotic ritualistic electronics that compliment the Man Ray meets Geiger images.
DIE FORM - PHOTOGRAMMES (CD - TRISOL)
Originally released on the German label Normal in 1989 as a limited edition record and CD.
This re-issue features re-mastered tracks that were recorded in 1987/88, along with re-vamping of the artwork and an addition of Super 8mm images.
Sub-industrial Psychic TV electronics taking in Coil and featuring female vocals from Katia.
DIE FORM - POUPEE MECANIQUE (CD - TRISOL)
Material reworked by outside musicians aimed at a more commercial version of Die Form, although in a subversive way. Reminiscent of some of the output from the label ZTT especially Propaganda and Art of Noise.
Very 80's sounds but wrapped in Die Form. Perverse lyrical perceptions, a wolf in sheeps clothing.
DIE FORM - ARCHIVES AND DOCUMENTS (CD - TRISOL)
A collection of material gathered from the cassettes 'Fetish' and 'Es Lebe der Tod' along with older pieces of work.
Also released by Normal as a box set, limited three LP's and a two CD version.
This re-issue has also been re-mastered including rare and unreleased tracks along with reworked artwork.
The images have always been an integral part of 'Die Forms' work; both seductive and provoking.
Minimalist electronics reminiscent of some of Cabaret Voltaires work (think of 'Red Mecca' ear). Touches of classical inspiration via Walter Carlos (Clockwork Orange soundtrack). Enough material in these releases to satisfy all the obsessives out there. I look forward to hearing the next release.
LOVE AND DEATH - COMPILATION (CD - TRISOL)
This three CD introduction to what this innovative label has been producing thus far.
A prolific output of music from the darker end of the spectrum taking in electronic, dark wave, gothic, metal and industrial elements.
From 'Die Form's' S/M ritual electronic dark dancescapes to the graveyard romanticism of death rock band 'Cinema Strange'.
This bible of dark sounds includes SAMAS TRAUM, SANGUIS ET CINIS, JANUS, MANTUS, GARDEN OF DELIGHT, WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW, OPHELIAS DREAM, FLESH FIELD, DUST OF BASEMENT, SIECHTUM, ASP, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT, ATTRITION amongst many others. Both musically thought provoking and visually provocative, where art and music merge.
A 'must have' introduction to more European influenced sound.
SAMAS TRAUM - UTOPIA ( CD - TRISOL)
A change in direction from the atmospheric black metal influenced second album 'Oh Luna Mein'.
They've added industrial and electro elements taking in bands 'Pain', 'L'ame Immortelle' and even the 'Sisters'.
Combining these into their gothic ambiences, metal edged guitars and pulse racing electronics.
Sweeping sub-classical keyboards morose dark male vox and angelic female voices give plenty of dark and shade.
As ever this band have plenty of black opus's for those doom merchants, but they also want the gothic hordes consuming the dancefloor.
ALEX FERGUSON - THE ESSENCE (CD - TRISOL)
Sometime psychic TV collaborator who worked on the well known albums 'Dreams Less Sweet' and 'Force The Hand Of Chance'. Along with work with Coil and Current 93 as a studio musician and general collaborator.
If that wasn't enough pedigree this album features Rose McDowall (Current 93, Coil, Death In June) on vocals.
Romantic melancholy envelopes the listener as you share this personal vision. Neo-folk nuances reminiscent of Current 93 or Death In June mixed with more whimsical Englishness.
Maybe forlorn but not bleak, there is a warmth amongst all the gloom.
GARDEN OF DELIGHT - DAWN (CD - TRISOL)
Things are always darkest just before dawn and this is the bleakest album yet from this German band.
Led by Artand Seth these musicians of the apocalypse take us to the depths of gloom.
Their mix of atmospheric gothic and magick influenced metal reminiscent in parts of both the mission and the Nephilion. Also add touches of the Sisters more gloomy moods to this portion of despair.
The Sisters comparisons don't stop there, vocally Seth is the doppelganger of Eldritch. Add elements of ritual via sex Gang Children and you'll get a good idea of what's gone into this cauldron.
FINISTERRA - ALS DIE ERDE EIN SCHEIBE WAR (CD - TRISOL)
Formed from the ashes of cult German medieval band Saltarello who have been active for twenty years.
This their debut album draws on fellow gothic-medieval bands like Arcana, Sopor Aeternus and In Extremo.
Along with diverse instruments as flutes, lutes, bagpipes, with more traditional gothic rock and metal line ups are utilised. Uptempo neo-folk mixed with pagan rock reminiscent of the likes of Inkubus Sukkubus.
Metallic prog guitars mixed with melodic pipes and folkie nuances overlaid with heavenly female vocals.
\it's like Jethro Tull has never been away, one from the minstrel's gallery.
MANTUS - ABSCHIED (CD - TRISOL)
Second album from this duo of Mantus (guitarist/songwriter) and Tualia (vocals), produced b y Tobias Hahn (Sopor Aeternus, L'Ame Immortelle, Janus).
Ploughing the same furrow as fellow dark gothic-pop pollinators London After Midnight. A more metallic edged Mission or All About Eve come to mind, the more commercial end of gothic.
Sweet almost childlike female vocals soar over the dramatic atmospheric backing.
This is mixed with dark intoned male vox which is firmly rooted more in gothic rock.
Neo-romantic theatrics pull at the heart strings, dripping with tragedy and despair.
FLESH FIELD - BELIEF CONTROL (CD - TRISOL)
Following on from the very succesful @Viral Extinction' album, from this American duo of Ian Ross and Rian Miller.
Progressing from their EBM roots, they have incorporated elements of Industrial, Synth, Pop, Power Noise, Techno and Trip Hop into their sound.
Saying that they still have strong hard electronic influences from Front Line Assembly to Ultraviolence.
Jackhammer rythmns, insistent sequences hold us in a vice like grip for the hypnotic vocals to penetrate the skull.
Pure electronics to workout the bodys mechanics, taking us to the edge of control. Familiar enough for the converted but also innovative to attract the non-believers.
ENDRAUM - HERZKLANG SPIEGELT AM STRASSENRAND (CD - TRISOL)
Celebrating their 10th anniversary with the release of 'Der Leanderkern' album released last year.
This new studio album is regarded in the same terms as the cult release 'Morgenrote', a benchmark for this band.
Comparisons have been made to a more atmospheric Joy Division or even Virgin Prunes more experimental pieces.
Poetic spoken vocals intone over reverb drenched ambient nuances with milataristic overtones, think in The Nursery or Death in June.
Neo-classical meets heavenly voices to produce something ancient and other wordly.