Haus Arafna - Asche (2020)
The dudes from Brunswick present us a brutal, enormous, extremely dark, sad and completely hopeless work. Something very appropriate for this time. Already the opening song “Leiden An Deiner Statt [Schwarzer Strom I]” puts you in the mood in a very eerie and sad way for a work that sounds very mature and consistent in its entirety. It is a journey into the heart of pain infused with screams of desperation and screams of anger and impuissance. Into the inside of fear, inside the substance of fear. It is kept very minimalist and it seems to me that this fact ensures that the effect of the tones has an even more merciless effect on the pain-racked ear canals and the sore brain. An album that seems like you're lost forever in the forest alone at night. In reality, however, this is just a reference to the fact that man is lost in the world. In a very gloomy and hopeless world from which there is no escape but through death. Insofar this disc is an exposure therapy for confrontation with one's own darkness and the realization that there is no other security than death, which can only and ultimately give consolation. Face death: “Look at me (when you die)”, this sentence could be the motto for this work, or “listen to me when you die” or “do you hear the death?” In any case, you feel a little closer to death and, by holding out to the last note, again, as if you had jumped death off the shovel at the last second. In any case a remarkable and relentless return by Mr. and Mrs. Arafna into a world riddled with fear and hatred, which leaves one filled to the brim with emptiness and loneliness in the black fucking nothingness. Thank you for this intense and not new but once again bitter realization.
A sentence by Giovanni Papini comes to my mind at the end, which I find very appropriate as a description for this album: „its emptiness is revealed as a bottomless pit; its nothingness frankly confesses to nothingness, and Despair comes to perch in the soul."
Overall Score: 8/10
Moral - And Life Is...
(Arp Grammofon, 1984)
Presumably, this very pleasant work is hardly known to anyone today, but it is a very special one. A few years ago I came across this band by chance. They have only released two albums so far, with their second and last work from 1984 being their best. Overall, the atmosphere is very sad and a little monotonous, but I think that it is precisely this fact that defines the morbid and gloomy charm of this release. Particularly noteworthy are the songs: "Dance Of The Dolls" and "The Wedding". It's one of the few records that is very coherent altogether and it keeps it's high level during playing time.
Overall Score: 7/10
Ice Ages – Nullify
(Not On Label / Ice Ages Self-released, 2019)
When i heard that there is a new album by Ice Ages after more than 10 years a few months ago, my expectations after the last releases were correspondingly high. the last two albums in particular have absolutely convinced me and, due to their sovereignty and distinctiveness, have placed a great monument in the musical landscape. Hits like This Killing Emptiness, Buried Silence, Tormented In Grace and Lifeless Sentiments have left their positive marks on my brain. when i heard the first tracks from Nullify i was extremely disappointed, because the whole album is produced in an extremely vapid way and lacks any charm. the voice sounds kind of annoying and everything seems somehow spoiled. the only two songs that made it into my playlist are Empty Shrine and Chasm. everything else couldn't convince me. Mr. Lederer, you'd better not have published this album, because it doesn't meet the high standards you are used to. i'm sorry to say this but the whole release is an auditory mishap. too bad, too bad...i hope you get the knack back next time...
Overall Score: 3/10
Marnie – Crystal World
(Les Disques Du Crépuscule, 2013)
This album is really very special and one of the best I've heard in a long time. Marnie is usually known as Ladytron singer but her solo debut is an all-round successful litter. A work that you can listen to over and over again. it is so incredibly beautiful and so incredibly peaceful that you feel like you are in a home that you never had. it gives you the feeling of home...of what home could mean. it sounds so warm and tender that sometimes you could almost cry. I like to listen to this album in the car at night and then i have the feeling of being safe in a larger context. The feelings that this music evokes are a mixture of joy, sadness about a lost paradise, melancholy, happiness and peace. such an authentic work is unfortunately far too rare. it is a very harmonious work. my absolute favorite track is 'laura' and the almost hypnotic 'submariner' as much as the embracingly 'gold'. with the follow-up "Strange Words And Weird Wars" I can't do much. it seems to me like it's from another star. it just doesn't touch me emotionally. However, 'crystal world' is a very important step in the history of electronic music, because above all it shows that there is still authenticity and warmth in this world. at least i no longer feel so alone when listening to this exceedingly 'magnality'. I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for this, Helen Lindsay Marnie!
Overall Score: 9/10
Jungstötter – Love Is
I recently came across this young artist from the tranquil village of Landau in the Palatinate by chance and was very surprised by his skill and ingenuity. 'love is' is his only record so far and it reminds me a bit of Antony and the Johnsons. overall, however, this work is very independent and not a mere copy of the comparison used. but the softness of the tones and his voice are somehow similar. my favorite track of this release is clearly 'Wound wrapped in Song' for which there is also an official music video that is especially nice due to its nonconformism and simplicity. The great voice of this young man sounds very familiar and very 'big' and grown up. particularly surprising is the song 'love is', which makes an unexpected turn towards the end. this record is definitely something that will stand the test of time. it's a work that touches hearts and disturbs minds in a very positive sense. you feel tones-blown and secure in this wonderful universe of marvelous tones. Thank you very much Mr
Altstötter (so this is where the name of the project comes from. it's an antonym of his real name) for this prezzie. thank you for this emotional journey, that is often painful and sad, always beautiful and definitely outstanding.
his cooperation with Soap&Skin is appropriate and congruously. after all, these are two young exceptional talents who love to scratch the surface.
Overall Score: 09/10
Arvo Pärt – Kanon Pokajanen
(ECM Records, 1998)
This album is one of my absolute favorite records. I bought it back in 1998 when it was released and was thrilled and touched by the atmosphere, the seriousness, the religious depth and the sadness of this work. In my opinion, it's the best that Pärt has created so far. when listening, absolute concentration is appropriate. although I reject religion in the cognitive or political sense, this record sounds like an adoration right in front of the altar of the lord. Amen.
Overall Score: 10/10
Tegh – Downfall
(Midira Records, 2017)
very intense and experimental atmospheric ambient from tehran. There seem to be some very special talents in the experimental electronic genre in iran. I was pleasantly surprised. The entire album has been added to the playlist. Just tune in.
Overall Score: 07/10