zaterdag 31 december 2011

review: Bex, Niedowierzanie, Henrik N. Björkk, Jan Svensson



Well that is about it for 2011... only a few hours left this year to play some records. I do not like end of year lists and I will not be joining that trend here. Still in this last day of the year I want to share a few words on a couple of records that were released quite recently and I played a lot here this last period of the year.

The German double label Treue Um Treue / Reue Um Reue did suprise me again with some very nice releases. In the past I preferred their more elektro influenced release on the TUT part of the label. But since some time the RUR part with it's more experimental music releases is what I play the most here.

This year a third vinyl by Novy Svet was released... a second archive release as the band is not active anymore since some years. The other archive record was a massive 2LP document with early (post)-industrial stuff... absolute great. Totally different is "Into Your Skies"... a record consisting only of guitar tunes... mostly acoustic guitar tunes. It took me some time to appreciate this one... but because of the amazing and beautiful song 'Silver & Grey' I kept coming back to this LP again and again... and even though I still think this record does not showcase the uniqueness of the band and incredible talent of the musician(s) behind it is still a record I enjoy a lot.

Then there was the second Niedowierzanie LP... the first one was a bit of an IDM influenced album... not bad at all but it never did grasp me as this new album "Attendre" does. The sound has shifted towards a more mediterranean kind of thing... like what O Paradis is famous for... still Niedowierzanie is more dynamic and his music shows some more variations within the context of one album. Also the musician shows here he is an excellent instrumentalist... I saw him this year performing live with Wermut in Berlin as he is now part of Wermut... and there too it was evident he is capable of playing various instruments very well.

Still there was one more record on RUR that truly blew me away... it was the debut vinyl by Bex... having a (post) black metal background this album "Rosegger" is going way beyond that. You could described this as a drone record, or dark ambient music or whatever... still this would not be fair as the music is less easy to define... it has a dark mood full of suspense with drone like structures but with twists that sets it apart. It is not otherworldly like the amazing Karl Bösmann record "Eskalation" but still it comes close and I often play these two records after each other...

Curious to hear what else is coming from Bex in the near future, but also from Niedowierzanie and other acts of what seems to be a new scene operating from Berlin and centered around the Reue um Reue label.

What else did attract my attention this last period... well there are the latest releases on cult label Börft. Here is an independent industrial / experimental / whatever music label dating back to 1987 and coming from the same scene as Cold Meat Industry. Unlike Cold Meat Indsutry the releases put out by Börft are still interesting... CMI has moved more towards a cliché industrial and gothic world while Börft has stayed much more true to the nature of industrial music as being weird and undefined and experimental.

There is a new series now on Börft entitled "Synthesator". Two parts have been released recently. Volume two is by Joel Brindefalk and a piece of electro-acoustic music... so very much for art music lovers. Volume one on the other hand may appeal to more people. It is a piece of dark ambient by Henrik N. Björkk, who is known from such bands as Mz. 412, Pouppeé Fabrikk and Nordvargr. What makes this record really nice is that it is done completely with modular synths and the music was not processed in anyway afterwards. You hear this and the sound of these synths is great and makes it also interesting for lovers of synthesizer music instead of only (dark) ambient fans.

BUT what really suprised me the most was the record "Pogrom" from label boss Jan Svensson himself. It suprised me in various ways... first as I had expected the music to be noise music... well if you look at the sleeve it is a classic industrial/noise piece of artwork and then you put on the record... it is really nice synth music. The music itself surprised me too... it is not just a really nice piece of synth music... it is really quality stuff we are talking about here. It is rather atmospheric with some parts which are maybe a bit more moody but mostly it is quite light and easy listening... it reminds me of some Minimal Music like that of Terry Riley but less freaky...

Also this album calls to mind the Hero Wouters LP I released on Enfant Terrible "Muziek Voor Leven En Dood". It has the same balance of being poppy and experimental... it is neither and has elements of both. Also in mood and feeling it has the same dramatic feeling with some suspense and some frivolous parts...

These records made up an excellent soundtrack for the last periode of 2011 for me... but I am sure I will be enjoying them way into the new year and for much longer...

The Niedowierzanie, Bex, Henrik N. Björkk and Jan Svensson records are for sale in the Enfant Terrible webshop...

And... here is a full track preview from the Jan Svensson LP...

Jan Svensson - Happening by Terrible Music Blog

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