BEACHHEAD - drowning tonight - CD e.p. - 13 tracks - Sonderübertragung! - 2004
Released last year on the German label Sondereübertragung!, 'drowning tonight' is a collaborative work of HolgerWobtker and Hans Johm. A surprising collaboration between the singer of the German synth-pop band Boytronic and the man behind Antler's Mulm (and Sondereübertragung! as well).
This CD e.p. contains 13 tracks for a total length of about one hour. It begins with a subtle and floating minimal electro 'introduction (underwatercontact)'. Then the fusion between the dark electro-experimental compositions of Hans Johm and Haolger Wobtker particular voice takes place and creates a sweet and sometimes melancholic atmosphere with a poppy touch.
As suggested by the title of the track itself, '…the remix-sector' marks the beginning of the second part of this record and features remixed and re-worked version of 'drowning tonight' and 'nitetimewalk'.
A fine intermingling of two musical universes and a 'drowning tonight' hit that could resound for a long time in your minds…
'drowning tonight' is limited to 500 copies and comes in an appropriate minimalist fold out paper-cover.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Sondereübertragung!

COPH NIA / MINDSPAWN - erotomechaniks - CD - 7 tracks - Punch Records - 2005
Released a few months ago on the Italian label Punch Records, 'erotomechaniks' is a collaborative work between Coph Nia and Mindpawn. The subtitle '… music to die to' sums up in the best way the atmosphere of this opus since 'erotomechaniks' leaves absolutely no place to any hope and closes the listener in a claustrophobic mood. Despite the fluidity of these 7 dark ambient tracks, one has to admit that this subconscious trip is not easy to get into at first listening. The atmosphere could appear as a bit too dehumanised and distressing, but this is the aim and the subject of this work. Based upon dark atmospheric soundscapes mixed with drones and metallic sounds, this collaboration should convince the listeners looking for extremely cold and oppressive dark ambient sonorities… despite the monotony of these 71 minutes that, in a way, accentuate the required effect.
The cd, including a 8-page booklet, is limited to 500 copies and comes in a slipcase.
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Punch Records - Coph Nia - Mindspawn

KREUZWEG OST - Edelrost - CD - 9 tracks - Cold Spring - 2005
Last release on Cold Spring, 'Edelrost' is the second album of the Austrian band Kreuzweg Ost. Their concept being presented as 'making musical translations of various movies dealing with military or religious topics', I was expecting that the base of their work would include a lot of (war) movies and vocals samples mixed with symphonic and martial rhythms and this is actually the case. Almost each track is based upon the usual German historical and/or filmic speeches… which, passed the mid-album, sound already too much and pretty boring. The usual neoclassical melodies, accompanied by choirs are also present of course, sometimes mixed with strong percussions, sometimes combined with sampled tablas sounds that bring nothing more to the unoriginality of the compositions, unless it is a new fashion in the way of making militaristic-martial music that I'm not aware of.
Despite Kreuzweg Ost use the same recipe as many other acts in the genre, 'Edelrost' isn't convincing at all and sounds like a new pale copy that should attract the martial music fanatics only.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Cold Spring

SALA - En-trance - CD - 2 tracks - Autarkeia - 2005
Released on the Lithuanian label Autarkeia, 'En-trance' is the work of a project unknown to me named Sala. It features two long tracks (for a total length of about 40 minutes) titled 'neophile gets ex-sited' and 'now s-he starts laughing' that were originally recorded live, a decade ago and that gives a kind of primitive character to the music. Very close to the atmosphere of Deutsch Nepal works, 'En-trance' mixes in a fine and pretty successful way, ritual, tribal and industrial elements… with a touch of surprising sounds such as the unexpected male 'incantations' as well as the presence of acoustic and wind instruments in addition to the tribal drums.
The cd is limited to 500 copies and comes in the Autarkeia trademark plastic case… a packaging that is definitely not to my taste. A pity that no booklet or additive information about Sala is included either.
These details about the artwork put aside, 'En-trance' should easily convince those interested in ritual-tribal-magical music and atmosphere.
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Autarkeia

SALA - Schut enteRing worts - CD - 2 tracks - Autarkeia - 2005
'Schut enteRing worts' is one of the two Sala albums released so far on the Lithuanian label Autarkeia. Whereas the tribal sounds and atmosphere were predominant on 'En-trance', 'Schut enteRing worts' offers a bit more than half an hour of ambient ritual music.
The two tracks that features on the cd ('His: Entering The Dream' and 'The Last Words Of Hassan Sabbah') are based upon a successful mix of drones loops, bells, strange background vocals, repetitive beats, organic sounds… that all participate to the ritual and mystic overall atmosphere.
The cd is limited to 500 copies and comes in the usual Autarkeia plastic case packaging. One will just regret the short length of the cd that makes it difficult to be presented as a proper album.
Well worth discovering for all amateurs of dark-ritual ambient.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Autarkeia

VON THRONSTAHL - E Pluribus Unum - CD - 14 tracks - Cold Spring - 2004
Originally released in 2001 on Cold Spring, the much-demanded 'E Pluribus Unum' of Von Thronstahl was reissued last year… a similar repress to the (first album) 'Imperium Internum'.
This cd gathers a collection of compilation tracks, rare vinyl releases as well as unreleased remixed and reworked pieces. As a consequence, the music is quite varied… from the rock sonorities present on the first track 'Bells' (and its sampled AC/DC guitar riff) to the more expected compositions, mixing neoclassical, marching rhythms, speeches and old songs ('Victoria (II)')...
Presented in a digipack, including a 12-page booklet with complete and relevant information regarding the origin and the inspirations of each track, 'E Pluribus Unum' is a welcome reissue for all new Von Thronstahl fans and amateurs of martial-symphonic music.
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Von Thronstahl - Cold Spring