Many thanks to my old friend Andrés for sharing this pleasant history of Goth.
Syrenomelia offer a slow, relaxed metal out of Belgium. I generally enjoy low, non-melodic voices, and Wim Lankriet, who composed these two tracks, does a fine job maintaining the gothic rock flame.
Being a fan of Current 93 for over 30 years, I have to say that I’ve never heard David Tibet use the term “Hallucinatory Patripassianist rock group” to describe their sound. Apocalyptic folk, neofolk, post-industrial folk, certainly. Experimental? Always. This new name? I’ll have to chew on that for a while. Be that as it may, this is one of the few albums I had not heard until recently, as it was always sold out wherever I looked. Now, it’s in my computer, and I couldn’t be happier.
This incarnation of the band includes the aforementioned Tibet, along with Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound and their occasional collaborator, Christoph Heeman (better know for his work with Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa, or H.N.A.S.). All are masters of making sonic alchemy, and the chiming, drifting pieces give one a hallucinatory (as David puts it) feeling. I regret not hearing this album earlier.
My goodness! I knew my friends in the band Zeresh had a new album out, but I wasn’t expecting an epic! Farewell does an amazing job of combining the good elements of the early Pink Floyd sound and melds it together with neofolk. Tamar Singer’s vocals are otherworldly, quite rich and unique in this genre. I mean this literally!
Also, as this is considered atmospheric black metal in the genre section of the Bandcamp site, I would have expected more shrieking and screaming. Thank God, no noise like that on this release. It would have ruined the truly dark, foreboding vibe that Zeresh were giving to me while preparing for a long day at work. I enjoyed this one immensely.
Many years ago, my brother and I shared a book on Bauhaus that was probably put together by a fan of the band. It had mentioned some rare curios like a 7-inch recording of band bassist David J collaborating with a member of the original Weimar Bauhaus movement in Germany, René Halkett, who had been residing in Cornwall, England in 1980. David recording Halkett reading his own poetry and releasing it as a one-off.
Here are some more notes from David’s Bandcamp site:
While still a member of the pre-eminent gothic rock band Bauhaus, David J had the brilliant idea to collaborate with René Halkett, artist/poet of the Weimar Bauhaus art school in the 1920s.
On July 28th, 1980, David took a trip to René’s cottage in Cornwall. Using a portable cassette recorder, he recorded an 80 year old René reciting his own poetry. In 1981, David added musical accompaniment to two of the poems and released them as a one-off single for 4AD.
I stumbled across this valuable single at a record convention when I was 19 or so. I think I paid four bucks. My buddy has his turntable set up for ripping vinyl to his computer. Before heading over there, I figured I’d look on Soulseek to see if someone had beat me to it. I found the two tracks, plus three extras!
It turns out that in 2001 this single was re-released as a Silver Anniversary CD, signed and numbered, limited to only 1000 copies. The two original tracks, “Nothing” and “Armour,” are remastered and then followed by a newer track, presumably circa 2001. “The New God” is a longer narrative piece that was also recorded that day in 1980. In a fitting touch, David created the music with the help of a lute that he inherited from René when he passed away in 1983. As a final bonus, the original spoken word cassette recordings of “Nothing” and “Armour” are included. Although David’s surname appears here as Jay, for consistency’s sake I’ve tagged his name as David J, the name he’s used for all subsequent releases in his career.
René Halkett & David J – Nothing . Armour (1981)
1. René Halkett / David J – Nothing (2:22)
2. René Halkett / David J – Armour (2:50)
3. René Halkett / David J – The New God (13:23)
4. René Halkett – Nothing (2:26)
5. René Halkett – Armour (2:53)
creditsreleased January 1, 2011
Words by Renee Halkett
Music by David J
c&p 2001 Urbane Music
Photographed by Anton Corbijn
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ recorded in 1980 and originally released on 4AD Records in 1981
‘The New God’ recorded in 2001, spoken word from the original recording by Rene Halkett 1980.
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ (spoken word) recorded in 1980.
What is particularly remarkable is the fact that time stands still for a good portion of this album. One can feel like they fell into a bottomless pit and know that there is no place you’re going to crash at. You simply fall and fall into the music, and the coldness and terror emanating from the album never seems to cease.
This is dark ambient music that would have been stellar listening during the 1990’s. It’s incredibly well-done.
The record cover of this new EP by Lousberg, The Death of Humanity, gives it the aura of either a black metal band or a black ambient band circa 1990s-era Cold Meat Industry. It is neither of these. In fact, it’s a swelling, sumptuous piece of neoclassical music which would work as a soundtrack to many a movie. I quite like this!
Check out more releases like this one at Dunkelheit Produktionen out of Germany. They seem to be releasing a lot of quality material.
The single that would make Joy Division an international phenomenon is celebrating 40 years since its creation. It sounds as gloriously shattered today as it did then, and served as the gem in the crown of a brief but powerful catalog.
Where did the time go??
Every time I go to Skopje, there is always someone who asks why on Earth I’d bother to come and stay such long periods of time in what they feel is an insignificant city in the heart of the Balkans. You can thank this song, the disc it came on, and a friendship with Gorazd Capovski and Ilija Stojanovski, for this.
I had worked at Tone Casualties records as an A&R Manager, and came across this disc while at my evening job, buying weird music for Aron’s Records (RIP). I had passed through what was then Yugoslavia a few years past, and knew a bit about Macedonian music, but the combination of goth/darkwave and an ethnic, Byzantine sound, came as a huge revelation. I never, in a million years, thought Love Will Tear Us Apart would sound perfect with bagpipes. A pleasant surprise which still strikes a chord after 20 years.