47 AHES - Heilige Flammekueche - CDR - 12 Tracks - Self-Production
This is the second album from this peculiar French industrial project (a collaboration between Frater Saint Pierre and Melek-Tha). The music is based on harsh and/or gloomy loops mixed with weird, but well chosen, sound samples. The tracks explore various atmospheres ranging from harsh industrial to dark ambient and even A Cappella industrial ('Svastikaffeeklatsch'). A grim experience that its fortunately enlightened by Frater Saint Pierre's legendary tongue-in-cheek humour. One cannot refrain a smile with titles such as 'Tattooed Tits, Turntables & Totentanz', 'Europalcoholocaust', 'Of My Bizarre You must Beware' and their ironic side notes that gently poke fun at the age-old clichés of the die-hard industrial fan(atic)s...
Strongly advised, but only to those who have a sense of humour.
Ian C.
Contact: 47ashes.free.fr - saintpierre@minitel.net

ARDITI - Unity of Blood - 7" - 3 tracks - Svartvintras - 2002
This 7" is the first release from Arditi, which is a new project, formed by H. Moller from Puissance and M. Bjorkman. The music combines military percussions, oppressive industrial loops and samples of speeches and old songs to instil a dark and sinister atmosphere. The three martial tracks form a unity of sense and purpose and are a good foretaste of the album that will be released later this year. This 7" comes with a postcard and is limited to 500 hand numbered copies.
Ian C.
Contact: Arditi - Svartvintras

ASTRON - PLANETALDOL - Astrol's kitchen - Demo CD-R - 10 tracks - self-released - 2003
'Astrol's kitchen' is a self-released demo split of two French projects: Astron and Planetaldol. The first impression comes from the cover art, which is as repulsing as it is humoristic, that shows nothing else than an ugly kitchen.... A particular sense of humour present in most of the titles as well...
Astron delivers a quite lively electronic music based on rhythmic, sometimes even tribal, sonorities with some drum'n bass influences (except the last track 'Wave' based on a more monotonous, ambient tone), whereas Planetaldol explores some more experimental, dark, dimensions using appropriate sample as in 'Astrols coroner' or mixing sounds collages, drones with radio/cinematographic samples (the excellent track 'Mauvaise Rencontre') or field recordings ('Noise for dripping 2') with industrial elements to create a richer, darker, experimental atmosphere. Nevertheless, together Astron and Planetaldol, manage to overcome their rather different musical constructions and reach a certain harmony that makes this demo an interesting work to listen to (even if I must admit to be particularly intrigued by the wealth of sounds and the experimental treatment Planetaldol is able to impose on them)...
Planetaldol (+Rohypnoise) also feature on the second Sfumato compilation 'Ex Significants' with, amongst others, the excellent title present on this split 'Astrol's coroner' and for which you will find all the information on the Sfumato site.
Definitely, an experimental French act to be followed closely....
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Planetaldol & Astron

Coma Divine - # 10110 - Demo CD-R - 8 tracks - self-released - 2003
Born in 2001, Coma Divine is the project of C768 (software, processing and noise search) and Nox (keyboards, samples), both are members of Weltschmerz as well. '# 10110' is a self-released CD-R composed of eight tracks, recorded between 2001 and 2002, for a total time of around 23 minutes.
Their work is based on the research of sound, noises and atmosphere picked up in their environment (field recordings) or totally created. From dark ambient to noise, this duo offers an interesting assemblage of dark and fairly oppressive feelings and atmospheres, each track revealing a creative processus based on mixes of drone waves, natural elements and samples...
There is undeniably a potential in this Italian project, guided by two experienced musicians.
I would advise you to keep an ear out for them...
Nathalie F.
Contact: http://comadivine.8k.com - comadivine@mail.com

C.O.T.A. - Marches and Meditations - CD - 5 tracks - Sonic Sorcery - 2001
'Marches and Meditations' is the third album after the 'Terra-ist' tape and the 'Ta'wil' CD from this formation based on the other side of the Atlantic, Children Of The Apocalypse (C.O.T.A.).
The five titles that compose this opus offer an ingenious mixture of repetitive ritual, tribal sonorities. The largely present percussions are sometimes echoed by heartrending female cries, profound mystical choirs, in a dark, ritual, magical atmosphere, that borders the limits of trance. A recommended musical experience!
Of note, a first acoustic album 'The War of The Sons of Light and The Sons of Darkness' should soon see the day, featuring the major title ('The Hunt') of 'Marches and Meditations'...
Nathalie F.
Contact: www.sonicksorcery.com
Distributed by Tesco: www.tesco-germany.com

DELPHIUM - Snowhill-X EP - 7" - 4 tracks - Drone Records - 2002
First released in 1997 on the German Label Drone Records, 'Snowhill-X EP' was reissued in 2002 as an edition of 250 red vinyls coming with a new artwork. The four tracks featured on this 7" are the work of the English experimental project Delphium. This band, mainly known for a series of self produced 7" in the past years, is absolutely no novice as they celebrate this year their ten years of existence and have released their fourth album.
Their sound, tainted with a low-fi home-recording style on this 7", could be described as a mixture of deep, ambient-industrial sonorities and repetitive noise-feedbacks, deep electronic waves, rhythmic pulsations, drones and guitar.
The four tracks combine with success experimental music elements to create a melancholic and sometimes oppressive ambient atmosphere... This 7" definitely reveals the more cinematic side of Delphium...
Well worth discovering.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Delphium - Drone Records

:LAUFEYIAR SONR: - Ragnarok Noizez Volume 1 - CD-R - 3 titres - 2003
This CD-R comes with absolutely no information concerning the persons implied in this project with Nordic consonances ':Laufeyiar Sonr:'. So it is almost without any clues that one discovers this work with a first dark 'Etineorn', an evolving succession of drones that allow a menacing impression float over the 2:19 of this track. A nice introduction to the proceedings.
From the start, the second title 'Ewet', intends to be noisier, a mixture or a collision of effects and electronic sonic assaults, hammer out a sustained rhythm, set to a deliberate dirty sounding background... power noise that is not really convincing, to my taste… However, the last track 'Erid' built around a repetitive rhythmic melody with a nice 80's touch, present in the background that cyclically leaves free reign to violent assaults, percussive and noisy, seems more interesting to me...
All in all, thirteen minutes of rather varied music ranging from dark ambient to power noise, for a promising project.
Keep an ear on them...
Nathalie F.
Contact: Laufeyiarsonr@yahoo.co.uk

LOTUS EATERS - s/t - 7" - 2 tracks - Drone Records - 2000
Lotus Eaters is an American experimental project, combining the talents of Stephen O'Malley ((Sunn O), Burning Witch, Khanate), Aaron Turner (founder of the HydraHead-Records label and member of Isis) and James Plotkin (the 'avant-guitarist', member of O.L.D., Scorn...). This untitled 7", limited to 250 white vinyls, was released by the German label Drone Records in August 2002.
The two tracks present on this record evolve at the crossing of post-rock and ambient-industrial music... drones, voices, bells, scrapings, grindings are the essential elements; amongst which float the unexpected and almost lost sonorities of an acoustic guitar.
The whole atmosphere could be described as melancholic whilst remaining exposed to any swing of mood.
Well worth discovering.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Drone Records

MUSHROOM'S PATIENCE - The spirit of the mountain - CD - 14 tracks - HauRuck! - 2002
'The spirit of the mountain' is the second full-length release of this long-standing Italian project on the HauRuck! label. For this release, Raffaele Cerroni has joined forces with other avant-guard luminaries such as Flavio Rivabella (aka the DBPIT) and Novy Svet to produce a diverse collection of quirky, experimental psychedelic songs. The music combines layers of various traditional and transformed instruments, voices, sound toys and off-kilter loops to create free-flowing songs, formed by a myriad of more or less familiar sounds/influences. The tracks form a coherent whole; even if a closer listen gives the impression that each sound is following its own musical path.
A rich and varied album that will soon be a reference for the amateurs of the genre...
Ian C.
Contacts: Mushroom's Patience - Tesco Org.

NOVALIS - Last Years Calling - CD - 11 tracks - Ars Musica Diffundere / Black Rain - 2003
'Last Years Calling' is the first album from this German neofolk project. The combination of acoustic guitar, keyboards and grave male vocals produces a music that is heavily inspired by DIJ, Sol Invictus, C93, Forseti, Changes, Hekate, etc… But as the songs flow, a rather unpleasant feeling of 'déjà-vu' inevitably prevails; the music is indeed well played, but it sorely lacks originality. The band would gain from trying to forge their own sound, as the technical mastery is undoubtedly present...
Ian C.
Contact: Novalis - Black Rain Records

XENO VOLCANO & ELEKTRA STURMSCHNELL - Die organik - CD - 11 tracks - Hardpresse - 2003
'Die Organik' is the second joint release (after 'Wasserleichentraume' in 2001) of the Swiss dark ambient duo Xeno Volcano and Elektra Sturmschnell on the Hardpresse label. The album is a digital fusion of sounds and spoken words in German. The diversity of the sound sources -orchestrated noise, instruments, field recordings (in the deserts of the south western US and other natural wastelands)- mixed with dark ambient and experimental tones give a result uneasy to describe... Let's say, this is an album to experiment, rich of sounds such as recordings of grand canyon, Berlin traffic, silence, human voice... evolving in a dark, gloomy and empty atmosphere...
The CD comes in a transparent jewel case with a transparent top insert. All the artwork is in harmony with the desert concept and theme of this album...
So, despite some uneasy accessible passages, this collaboration offers a deep complex experimental electronic music haunted by a female voice that is well worth discovering. Xeno Volcano and Elektra Sturmschnell will be touring the west coast of the USA from the mid-May to the beginning of July. If you are around, do not miss their performance announced as centered around malice, isolation, hatred, sex and beauty... For more information, see the Hardpresse website.
Nathalie F.
Contacts: www.hardpresse.com - www.elektra-sturmschnell.ch

XENO VOLCANO - Black Book (pre release) - CD-R - 9 tracks - Hardpresse - 2003
Xeno Volcano is the solo project of David Thayer, second half of the Swiss formation Elektra Sturmschnell as well. This CD-R offers a pre listening of the coming Black Book album that will be released by the Hardpresse label.
A mix of experimental ambient soundscapes, sound effects/waves/reverbs, echoes, drones, field recordings (sea sounds, storm), classical instrument (guitar)... the whole atmosphere can be described as dark, ritual, atmospheric, spatial and quite oppressive at the same time...
An album that should please to all the dark-ambient-post-industrial sound fans who can already form their own opinion by downloading this pre release for free on the Hardpresse website...
Nathalie F.
Contact: www.hardpresse.com