I got a couple of CDs through Strange Fortune today and I can say that I'm pretty happy about my purchases. I havents bought much new releases this year, I'm sort off slowing down in my oelder years. Maybe I'm suffereing from music fatigue, where I dont feel like theres anything new anymore, or maybe its because there really isnt anything new out there.
A any rate, I got two new (newer?) releases: the first, the latest release by Deutch Nepal, A Silent Siege; the second is a nice little compilation called A Rainy November Day In Wroclaw.
Deutch Nepal is a band, if one can call such a solo project, that like many of its contemporaries is an acquired taste. Some bands can grab you by the throat and some benefit from getting to know them better. When I first heard Lina Babydoll's project, I was non-plussed. Still, being a great admirer of the Cold Meat label at the time, I picked up some other stuff and still, it sort off failed to grab my attention. I got rid of many things through successive purges, and it was only years later that I gave them another chance, by way of a collected CD called Comprendido! Time Stop. To me, it was very much the equivalent of Ecce Homo by Nietzche, because it put previous work into perspective and allows a greater appreciation of the whole. Which is what has drawn me to pick up this little piece.
In the finest tradition of smaller labels (Old Europa Cafe in this case) the Cd is contained in a digipack instead of a jewelcase. Fine by me so far. The cover design is simple and attractive; the inside is equally simple and there is no booklet, all informations being contained within a simple text, some words by Der General, followed by details about the recordings. But enough with the packaging, what's'it sound like? It sounds great. I'd almost say subdued, nicely subtle and very well tied together. Its always a good sign when an album can incorporate different styles while remaining well unified in sound and this is definately the case. The whole theme of the album is silence, yet there are still underlying themes throughout the tracks that reflect the last decade of unsane and unsanitaised electronic-industrial music: death, murder, alienation, war.
Interestingly enough, there are some rythmic tracks that I would certainly enjoy playing in a club eventually. The track called "we are all prostitutes" actually sound reminescent od Alien Sex Fiend's "now I'm feeling zombified"... but even more alienated. Stuff like this makes me want to get a set at some dingy club and get some rivetheads together.
The second Cd is a compilation released by Ars Benevola Mater, a label that I confess i didnt know from adam and eve, but who just might get some business from my checkbook. They seem to release limites edition albums of interesting underground musicians, such as Novy Svet and Teatro Satanico. The compilation itself reflects this selection, including tracks by such luminaries as Sieben, Deutch Nepal and Hawthorn. Some of the others I didnt know at all, but definately some interesting presences there. The Cd was made exclusively from bands who played the 3rd Industrial Festival in Wroclaw Poland ( 12-13 november 2004).
The overall impression is of a higher grade of sampler, the type thatshowcases a fairly wider range of sounds, from the harsher death industrial of Institution D.O.L. to the quieter folk of Sieben. Well made, well produced, well designed. Overall, possibly one of the better sampler of underground sounds made in years. The overall value is increased by the fact that all the tracks are previously unreleased, so that it may become a bit of acollector's item fairly quickly, especially since its supposed to be a limited edition. The packaging is fairly typical of such releases, being a grey cardboard piece folded in two... impractical, yet, not unattractive.
All in all, good happy purchases.