BARDOSENETICCUBE - Rain in June - 7" - 2 tracks - Drone Records - 2003
Bardoseneticcube is an active 'post-noise/industrial' duo from Saint Petersburg, known for its several CD-R releases on Ultra and the two CDs on Athanor.
On this 7" released, last February, on the German label Drone Records, feature two long (around nine minutes) and unreleased dark ambient tracks. Combining field recordings (rain sounds on the side a) with drones, metallic gratings, and rather indiscernible voices... the music is as appeasing as tense, relaxing and incisive at the same time.
The first edition of this nice marbled black and white vinyl is limited to 250 copies and comes in an original black handmade cover.
Recommended to dark ambient lovers...
Nathalie F.
Drone Records (label / mail-order) :
Bardoseneticcube :

CANAAN - a calling to weakness - CD - 17 tracks - Eibon Records - 2003
The fourth album from this Italian band alternates cold minimal ambient tracks and gothic metal songs to create a melancholic, yet harsh and abrasive, atmosphere. The ambient tracks are quite pleasant, but those metal riffs just get on my nerves…
The CD comes in beautiful 3-fold digisleeve with a 20-page booklet.
Ian C.

ECCLESIASTICAL SCAFFOLDING - Lucid Dreaming EP - 7" - 2 tracks - Drone Records - 2003
Ecclesiastical Scaffolding is an Australian project active since the 80's and mainly known for the tape releases 'Ecclesiastical Scaffolding' and 'A Book of Lies' on the Australian label Extreme.
Released last February by the German vinyl-only label Drone Records, this 7" offers two long experimental dark ambient tracks titled 'Lucid Dreaming' and 'Sleep Paralysis'. Two interesting pieces composed and recorded in 2001-2002 and mixing drones with concrete sounds, echoed voices, deep reverbs... The result is a very particular dream-like, ritual and meditative atmosphere.
As usual with Drone Records, the first edition of this marbled red vinyl is limited to 250 copies and comes with a nice handmade cover.
Well worth discovering.
Nathalie F.
Drone Records (label / mail-order) :
Ecclesiastical Scaffolding :

LE TESTAMENT DU LUMIÈRES - Der Tod ist ein Treuer Kamerad - CD - Autoproduction - 2003
Le Testament Du Lumières is a German project of instrumental music, and rather a new name in the industrial, ambient and ritual scene. The main interest that comes out of the music is the war, and especially the II World War. Samples of speeches, sirens, explosions, trains … the smell of death is always very close. The album starts with a beautiful work on the music of an old song by Ludwig Uhland "Ich hatt einen Kameraden", which gives a fantastic atmosphere to the opening of the album. Then the music starts in a beautiful industrial and ritual manner, with lots of drones, samples, ritual percussions, mechanic loops, and dark sounds. The general feeling is not very far from the worlds of Dernière Volonté, Inade, Tugend, LJDLP, Inade , Tribe of Circle or Dawn and Dusk Entwined, and the band could be very well integrated in the Hau Ruck family. A very dark and beautiful release, full of subtilities and sound researches, which should please all industrial and neofolk lovers. An outstanding discovery !!
For fans of Inade, Stahlwerk9, Toroidh, Darkwood, Der Blutharsch and so on...
Highly recommended !!
Stéphane F.

LOUISA JOHN-KROL, GOR, DAEMONIA NYMPHE & LYS - Love Sessions - CD - Prikosnovénie
Frédéric Chaplain, founder member of the excellent French label Prikosnovénie, asked a few artists from his label to join one day in Clisson - France - to play some sessions together, just to see what could come from such talented musicians when they play together. And the result is far beyond what we could have expected. Superb and fairy pop music, with medieval, folk, Middle-East and Balkanic influences. The magnificent voice of Louisa John-Krol supported by the dreamy melodies of the talented and multi-instrumentist Francesco Banchini (Gor, Ataraxia), and the ancient Greek instruments of Daemonia Nymphe's singer, with some electronic experimentations by Lys. What could have been a trap is in fact a dream becoming reality, as each artist keeps playing and singing without any will of being the leader of this session. This is a real love session, as everything here breathes with harmony and peace. It's pretty easy to recognise who's responsible of each melody, but all this music sounds as if it has been composed by a single person, or a band being together for years.
A very beautiful album, with warm Mediterranean atmospheres and folk sensuality.
Excellent !
Stéphane F.

ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI - Woyzeck - CDR - 11 tracks - autoproduction - 2003
'Woyzeck' is the second release from this Roman one-man neo-folk project. As indicated by the title, the album draws its inspiration from Herzog's film, a caustic tragedy of an ordinary man's headlong plunge into madness and murder…
The eleven songs offer diversity in style ranging from neofolk ballads, cold electronics, deranged drunken cabaret to ambient industrial soundtracks… to reflect the various stages of Woyzeck's slow descent into madness. Even if a few references can be heard here and there (Ain Soph, Argine, etc…), the songs possess their own strong identity and form a strange but compelling album. A first album that holds many promises for the future...
'Woyzeck' comes in an A5 folder and is limited to 77 copies.
Ian C.

STAHLWERK 9 - Finis Germaniae - 7'' - 3 tracks - Eternal Soul - 2002
Stahlwerk 9 first appeared to a wider audience in the excellent compilation von Achtung Baby "Ten Years of Madness", with a track that now appears in the "Oradour" album. With these two outstanding releases, Stahlwerk 9 appears as the German answer to Les Joyaux de la Princesse, but with a very personal style and a strong integrity and a very talented ability in creating dark atmospheres that reminds our darkest hours in close History. "Finis Germaniae" is an outstanding 3 tracks release, with dark drones, sampled speeches, close to "Douce France".
An excellent piece of music.
Stéphane F.

SUBINTERIOR - Outfall - Demo CD-R - 6 tracks - self-released - 2003
Subinterior is a solo side project of the Italian formation Coma Divine whose promising demo was reviewed a few months ago, here Spring 2003
The press release mentions that the purpose of this parallel project is to 'create tracks with the only use of samples and noises surrounding due in part to the impossibility to play any instrument other than drums'.
Nothing new in this concept, I must admit... Nevertheless, after the potential unveiled on the first Coma Divine work I was curious to listen to these new pieces of ambient-drone music... 6 atmospheric, gloomy and dark-ambient tracks feature on this self-released CD-R 'Outfall' and create a really oppressive, cold atmospheric and sometimes meditative ambience...
A very promising debut that is well worth checking out!
Nathalie F.

THRENODY ENSEMBLE - Timbre Hollow - CD All Tomorrow's Parties
Formed by two members of A Minor Forest, Threnody Ensemble is a very special project that sounds like no other ones. Between neoclassical melodies and free improvisations, the music is very coherent though, being mainly acoustic, with piano, guitar, cello, contrabass, clarinet and percussion. Very quiet pieces of music, close to some post rock projects or some related bands such as Rachels, with an experimental approach as well. Excellent linear and repetitive melodies, with a very subtle atmosphere that gives this music an incredible strength. It is as dark as luminous, and as complex as simple. Pure acoustic neoclassical jewels played with a post-rock feeling. For fans of Arca, L'Altra, Do Make Say Think, Tarentel, A Silver Mt Zion or even Backworld.
Stéphane F.

TSCHELJABINSK65 - Titan Woods / Ancient Forest - CD - 4 tracks - Tosom
Another very beautiful release by this German project, with only 4 tracks. It would have been fantastic to have a whole album with such a quality. Nevertheless, the first two tracks are very quiet, with dreamy acoustic guitar, clear notes, that goes slowly into loneliness, evolving in a time of silence and meditation. The last tracks are more ambient, but with a very rich variety of sounds and a peaceful harmony. A music to listen to under the shade of a tree, at dawn.
An excellent release !
Stéphane F.

TSCHELJABINSK65 - The Demons of Iron - CD - Beverina
Finally a whole album by this outstanding German neofolk project. Tscheljabinsk65 is rather a new name in the neofolk music, as the man behind the project, who only came recently to this kind of music. Where most of the new bands simply copy what has been done before, Tscheljabinsk65 gives us a fantastic breath, a new blood and energy. Despite the fact that the music sounds very much like the one of Of The Wand And The Moon, there is a special feeling and atmosphere that brings a very special touch which makes that record excellent. Acoustic guitar, deep melodies, electronic backgrounds, quiet voice, mixed with beautiful dark-ambient tracks. A cocktail of magik and loneliness, touched by the hands of gods. A serenade for ancient forests, rites and lands, with the help of Mother Earth. A must for all fans of Of The Wand And The Moon and Death In June.
Highly recommended !
Stéphane F.

V.A. - QFG : A Compilation - 3CD - Parametric - 2003
Here is the best solution to discover most of the best electronic projects in France. And saying "electronic" is too abstract, as most of these projects evolve in electro industrial atmospheres, mixed with ambient, experimental and electronica influences. And the result of this 3CD (!!) compilation is absolutely gorgeous, as it is a rather great surprise to discover that they are so many bands, with such a high quality, in the French scene. Some names are very well known, and for a long time, as for example Von Magnet, Mimetic, Mlada Fronta, Ultra Milkmaids, Celluloid Mata or Ab Ovo; some others crossed my ears a few years ago, and many other projects were unknown to me. And it's been a real pleasure, to discover the high quality of all these unknown projects, being at the same level of most of the important international projects, and sometimes much better. An amazing important research in sounds, which gives to the electronic world a new breath.
A must for all lovers of minimal and experimental electronic music, of industrial and harsh sounds atmospheres.
Highly recommended !
Stéphane F.

WHILE HEAVEN WEPT - Of Empires Forlorn - CD - 7 tracks - Eibon Records - 2003
The first tracks set the tone; epic keyboards, heavy riffs, heroic vocals, … all the ingredients of a doom metal album. Well, this kind of music has never been my cup of tea, so I prefer to say no more about the music…
The CD comes in a luxury digipack with a booklet and is limited to a 1000 copies.
Ian C.