Departure Street is American/French guitarist Allan J. Kimmel. Reading his bio on the Bandcamp release page, he calls his work neo-folk. I thought it a strange term, as I normally associate it with dark bands who worked with music that would set well with fans of bands like Death In June, Current 93 and the like. Giving this a couple of listens, perhaps there is some connection there. What I hear a bit more strongly is a sound that compares well with contemporary guitarists like Cousin Silas. This has floaty, pleasant feel to it. Worth a third or fourth listen, definitely.
From Allan’s Bandcamp page:
Departure Street, AKA Allan J. Kimmel, creates tranquil electric guitar meditations that sprawl and explore like the hungry tendrils of an aggressive ivy.
Kimmel, who hails from both America and France, has filled this record with nothing but vividly surreal instrumental soundscapes, which are comprised purely of his multi-tracked and effects-laden solo guitar. Across the record’s nine tracks, Kimmel takes his unique brand of psychedelic loner-folk, and stirs in elements of reverb-heavy ambient music, cosmic American primitivism and even some Middle Eastern folk traditions. The resulting brew is a heady yet mellow mix that glides along with a pleasant ease.
While the album feels like one large suite, “Ascension” is certainly a highlight. David Gilmour-esque slide guitar coasts through slow waves of spacey, repetitive riffs, all while Kimmel laces melancholic solos across the entirety of the piece. There’s a heavy atmosphere in “Ascension,” and it makes you think about people and places that you’re nostalgic for, or pleasant dreams that you’ve once had. It’s certainly a comforting recording, but there is some sort of loss hidden just below the surface.
Two Islands in the Heart is a complex record despite its minimalist approach, and it’s an unexpectedly emotionally charged one, as well. If you are a fan of Steve Palmer’s latest record, Cian Nugent or David Grubbs, then you need this album.
From the ashes of The Hare And The Moon comes Meadowsilver, at least as how I understand it. Grey Malkin continues to be one of the leaders of psychedelic neofolk, and will eventually take his place among acts like the Legendary Pink Dots, Comus and the like.
This is way too small a taste of this new project, of course, so we wait to see what Meadowsilver will produce next.
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.
I never will be too big into the idea of a “Norse” religious construction, but the music coming out of it is astounding for its beauty and quality. Groups like Norway’s Wardruna seem to be leading the way, but if this album is any indicator, Gealdýr, who hail from The Netherlands, doesn’t seem to be too far behind.
One simple track out of Moldova, but it’s one of the best neofolk tracks I’ve heard in a long time. It’s wonderful to find out about Via Dacă, and for good music out of Moldova in general.
I have a deep interest in Old Prussian culture, as a thread of my own ancestry comes from the region now known as Kaliningard, though it was once East Prussia. I’m impressed to see that some bands are trying hard to preserve the culture.
All credit for the music of Āustras Laīwan goes to Aleks Āulaukis, ably assisted by Anna Dushkina on viola and vocals, and by Aleksey Stepuchev, who plays trumpet.
When I see music tagged with the term ‘neofolk‘, I expect to hear something like Death In June, The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud or Current 93, not this. I’m not entirely sure where jì lú hail from in China, but the label who released this disc, Raflum, hail from Sichuan, home of some seriously good food. If you remember the Japanese psychedelic band Ghost, fronted by guitarist Masaki Batoh, this might be a corollary. It’s exceptionally psychedelic, and has the feel of the Incredible String Band on even more acid, feeling more placid. This is gorgeous.
I have to admit that I’m a bit jealous that I haven’t heard anything this good in Beijing yet.
This is another weird, nearly terrifying, yet wonderful work from the nexus of musicians floating around Tel-Aviv and involving Tamar Singer.
Necromishka continue the neofolk tradition, mixing it with some of the hallucinatory vibe which gave early Current 93 its power. The vocals in Beast of Prey, for instance, are slowed down to something so eerie that they should have belonged to a character in a David Lynch movie.
The other tracks give the feel of the soundtrack that should be made, if anyone is insane enough to try it, of Isadore Ducasse’s ur-Surrealist masterpiece, Les Chants de Maldoror.
Though I loathe that I can’t simply buy a download from Edward Ka-Spel (too many of his latest Bandcamp releases are truncated version so that you’re forced to buy a hard copy, be it vinyl or CD), that’s his prerogative. The music is up to the standards one expects from the Legendary Pink Dots‘ frontman.