This release marks an incredible milestone for the small label that we've grown to love over the years. Similar to the milestone of their 100th release, for this milestone they put together an excellent compilation, but this one is destined to be a great collector's item. It's released in a beautiful DVD-sized digipack with three CDs covering the great music released from this label broken down into three categories of "The Early Years", "The Current Era" and "Ambient Loop".
We'll start with the first disc with "The Early Years". The music contained on this disc is very special to me, because in many ways these groups and selections were key in my discovering the beauty of ethereal music. During this era two groups became absolute favorites with Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Love Spirals Downwards. The music from these two groups alone could span several tracks of favorite pieces, but what's presented on this disc is a great selection of excellent pieces from these two in the form of "Across a Thousand Blades (2007 version)" and "Write in Water" respectively. Add to these selections from Attrition, Area, Lycia, Arcanta, Thanatos and Human Drama and you have the core of the Projekt label from the early years. This disc is a true treasure all on it's own.
The second disc is labeled "The Current Era" which shows how the label has expanded somewhat in genre selection with the release of works by the somewhat electro-industrial oriented Android Lust and the cooky sound of Voltaire or the shoegazer rock side of Lowsunday and Mira. Of course they manage to seek out and find more great ethereal and captivating shoegazer bands like the recent signing Tearwave and Autumn's Gray Solace. Add to these talents the excellent beauty of old-world flare from Mors Syphilitica, Unto Ashes and Rajna and you are really getting to have an excellent, full collection of great talent for the Projekt roster. So whil the first disc is an excellent collector item and way to look back on the history of the label, from this disc you can catch the incredible new and existing talent that remains active and releasing great music. This disc will soon signify some of the best ethereal and goth-related music of the start of the new millenium.
And finally we come to the "Ambient Loop". This seems to be kind of the "guilty pleasure" for Sam Rosenthal as he has experimented with music of this style with his Black Tape for a Blue Girl project as well as other releases and especially by signing and releasing music from giants such as Vidna Obmana, Alio Die, Faymann & Fripp and Steve Roach to name a few. This final disc is the perfect way to wrap up this release with the caressing ambient sounds.
This is an excellent release and anyone who would call themselves a fan of any ethereal music should be ashamed not to own it. I know my collection would be very incomplete without it. Rating: 5/5
Projekt200 is a sampler of the label's musical offerings in celebration of Projekt's 200th release. The set spans three discs that neatly divide the songs into the categories of "The Early Years," "The Current Era," and a special "Ambient Loop" of the label's more soundscape-oriented artists. Projekt200 does a fine job of showcasing what the label is all about; while the focus of the compilation is on sophisticated ethereal and shoegaze (Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Lycia, Mira, Tearwave) with a side order of medieval and orientalist dirge (Unto Ashes, Rajna), unexpected and original acts like Voltaire, Android Lust, and Attrition crop up to remind you that, rather than focusing on a specific style, the intent at Projekt has always been to release the most interesting music. My only complaint about the set is that a few of the tracks (particularly Attrition's "A Girl Called Harmony" and Mors Syphilitica's "My Virgin Widows") are heavily-anthologized. It would have been nice to see something a little more out-of-the-ordinary, instead of the songs that tend to pop up on samplers and comps. Even so, Projekt200 is a lovely package complete with interesting and unreleased tracks so it is sure to offer something worthwhile to both newcomers and Projekt fans alike.
One of the songs that really stuck out for me on Projekt200 was Love Spirals Downwards's "Write in Water." Upon giving it a few listens I came to the conclusion that I needed more Love Spirals Downwards in my life. Perhaps someone at Projekt was reading my mind, because a few months later the label reissued the group's first two albums, Ardor and Idylls. Both feature lush, ethereal arrangements of guitar, keyboards, and programming from multi-instrumentalist Ryan Lum and the all-encompassing, heavenly vocals of Suzanne Perry. While both albums work the same style, each has its own unique flavor; as such, it's impossible to pick a favorite between them. Beautifully remastered and laden with bonus tracks, Idylls and Ardor are essential additions to your rainy day musical rotation. -Jack
I am reiterating, but will keep it short. During the Punk to Goth period, and beyond into interesting Indie, there were only two really artistic labels I encountered, with a few milder contemporaries. Polydor had its weirdly interesting EG offshoot who handled ultra-credible re-releases, and then there was 4AD against which labels like Factory and Crepuscule don’t even come close. It was 4AD who genuinely impressed, for here was a music landscape that was entirely unpredictable and had artwork that matched the music in quality. Virtually every band I interviewed wanted to be on 4AD. I doubt the same is said about Projekt, because noisier bands are better off looking elsewhere, but for anybody in anything even vaguely ethereal I’m sure this must be seen as a temple for the serene. For bands with a literary bent it must also be seen as the ultimate refuge. This special 3CD set commemorates their reaching the 200 release mark and it shows just what they’ve done, which is pretty impressive.
Disc A is called The Early Years and, fittingly, begins with Black Tape For A Blue Girl, who vibrate harshly through the moody, catchy ‘Across A Thousand Blades’ and then the perky Area twinkle impishly in ‘Our Corner Drowning’, while Lycia’s ‘Desert’ could almost be the Sisters succumbing to a glistening consumption. Attrition are at their most playful during the lovely, disgracefully deceptive ‘A Girl Called Harmony’ and Loveliescrushing shimmer inwardly during ‘Your Eyes Immaculate.’ Love Spirals Downwards are more alert and pour gently out with ‘Write In Water’, sweetly Indie the way the Sundays always captivated. Whether with strings or piano Human Drama’s ‘The Waiting Hour (Once Again)’ is cosy and pretty, the timid vocals gradually turning into a dramatic host. Thanatos are calm acoustic-based indie lamenting in ‘All I Have Left’, with no drama, and SoulWhirlingSomewhere’s ‘Soaked And Captured’ isn’t that far removed form some of the ambient material on the third disc, it’s just got wearied vocals acting as a further wash on top. Arcanta’s blissful ‘The Solitary Pilgrim’ is a massively powerful vocal acting as a torch at the front of the holistic churchy sounds and this song sets a peak for what so far has been a respectful approach from all artists, whether grave or cheeky. Along comes Voltaire with ‘When You’re Evil’, a mischievous waltz with the wicked and then Peter Ulrich’s intentionally touching ‘Taqaharu’s Leaving’ about a doomed boy off to war brings reality swinging straight through the musical pleasantries at us.
Voltaire also breezes through ‘Day Of The Dead’, kicking Disc B (The Current Era) off in ludicrous style. Android Lust blink myopically and happily through the spiky crawling of ‘Wicked Days’, whereas Tearwave glow in a rolling, queasy motion for the silky folds of ‘Comfort In Angels’ Wings.’ Lowsunday seethe in the welcome antagonisms of ‘For A Moment (Goodbye Mix)’, with Autumn’s Grey Solace returning to the complicit complacency of ‘Human Shell’ which needs the time and space to exude its enchanting sweetness. Mira’s ‘Caveman’ is intense and lovely, like oscillating ethereal, and Faith & Disease bring us gorgeous Goth in ‘She’s Got A Halo’, fulsome bass and cutback guitar behind a mild vocal trail which fits in well with the overall Projekt sensibility.
Audra’s ‘In Hollywood Tonight’ is intelligent dark indie with crosses into Goth, and it’s a crying shame they haven’t released a ton of albums. Mors Syphilitica’s ‘My Virgin Widows’ is a lustrous experience, Lovespirals’ ‘Empty Universe’ a dimmer, more desolate spot but winsome and inviting. Rajna set up a quivering mirage in ‘The Door Of Serenity’, Unto Ashes thump and beckon coyly with ‘Occupying Force’ and Black Tape For a Blue Girl bring an oblique attraction to ‘I Strike You Down’ which finishes off a nice demonstration of some of the darker aspects of Projekt releases
Disc 3 is known as Ambient Loop and does what it says on the packet, in an undemanding manner, which is why I find these works so inconsequential, but it’s horses for courses. Other people will find that more enthralling than anything which allows guitars into plain view. Alio Die twitter meekly in ‘Spring Music’ as a mournful sentiment seems to grow below, but ten minutes later I’m none the wiser. Fayman & Fripp wander vaguely through ‘The Sky Below’ which is easy on the outdoor ear, as are VidnaObmana whose ‘Breath Of Closure’ drifts by pleasantly. Fear Falls Burning creak reliably through ‘The World Turns Around In A Sea Of Bliss’ and As Lonely As Dave Bowman’s ‘Pod Two’ gets a bit more modern and almost counts as wild in this company. Steve Roach’s ‘In The Eyes Of Noche’ is strangely alluring thanks to female vocals, and Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s ‘Seven’ mopes in a dignified fashion seeing us all out.
People can say about Projekt that it’s not their thing, but I can’t accept that. There may be a perception that it’s a cosy world, which it isn’t, or austere, which it definitely isn’t, or that maybe that it’s too arty and intellectual (er, hello, Voltaire?!!) – but face facts. They have developed now to such a stage that there’s something for anybody who like to either investigate dark works and worlds that aren’t easy to quantify or like learning to acclimatise to new atmospheres. This set shows what’s been done and you just know things are going to continue, either tormenting or tantalising.
It’s a challenge, in many ways, and it’s whether you’re up to it, because the artists certainly are, and that’s why it’s special.
To celebrate the momentous occasion of their 200th release, the fine folks at ethereal label Projekt have released this weighty three-disc tome, a trio of CDs devoted to the label's past and present. The first CD in the trilogy, appropriately titled "The Early Years," collects many of the tracks that would go on to help define the Projekt sound, so there's lots of bittersweet ethereal stuff. Label owner Sam Rosenthal's own band, Black Tape for a Blue Girl opens things with a new mix of the classic "Across a Thousand Blades," updated with more contemporary production values, and longtime fans will recognize a number of the other tracks as favorites. There's Attrition's baroque darkwave ballad "A Girl Called Harmony," Lycia's hopelessly bleak "Desert," and Love Spirals Downwards' achingly pretty "Write in Water." There are also a few surprises, like a long-lost alternate mix of dreamy pop duo Area's "Our Corner Drowning." Most fascinating, though, is "Taqaharu's Leaving," a ballad about a childhood soldier from Dead Can Dance drummer Peter Ulrich that draws on both classical and tribal elements. These days, Projekt is no longer an ethereal label exclusively, and that's immediately evident from the beginning of this compilation's second CD, "The Current Era," which opens with Voltaire's raucous, Latin-tinged "Day of the Dead." Lowsunday's "For a Moment," a moody but driving Joy Division-inspired rock song, is likewise a far cry from stereotypical ethereal music, and though "Wicked Days" highlights Android Lust's more melodic and harmonious side, the band still holds the distinction of being Projekt's sole industrial act. If Projekt is casting a wider net these days, the label still has a definite aesthetic and remains the preeminent label for moody ethereal and blissed-out pop, as evidenced by the fuzzy, dreamy layers of Tearwave's previously unreleased "Comfort in Angel's Wings," Mira's languidly pretty "Cayman," and Faith and Disease's wistful "She's Got a Halo." Fans of Black Tape for a Blue Girl will also want to check out "I Strike You Down," a smoky but sinister torch song recorded specifically for this compilation. Though overshadowed by the more dramatic melancholy of Projekt's flagship acts, purely ambient artists have always been an important part of the label's history, and the third CD in this package is devoted just to them. Italian producer Alio Die starts things with the previously unreleased "Spring Music," a soothing composition laced with hints of bird sound and trilled flutes. Dirk Serries offers a track from each of his main projects; Vidna Obmana's "Breath of Closure" is moody and mysterious, cold strings panning across a foggy soundscape, while Serries' guitar-based project Fear Falls Burning offers a pleasant drone composition, descriptively titled "The World Turns in a Sea of Bliss." Rosenthal also shows up with two separate projects; As Lonely as Dave Bowman's "Pod Two" is classic space music, all endless voids of slowly expanding synth tones, while "Seven" is Black Tape for a Blue Girl at their most experimental, more a quiet tone poem than a fully fleshed-out song, but hypnotic nonetheless. For sheer beauty though, it's hard to beat legendary ambient composer Steve Roach, whose "In the Eyes of Noche" layers ephemeral female vocal harmonies over foggy pianos for an effect that's tranquil but also sweetly sad. Packaged in a DVD-sized cardboard case, Projekt200 is more than a retrospective; it's a work of art in its own right, a chronicle of Projekt's journey from cult ethereal/ambient label to darkwave powerhouse. Longtime fans will want this for the exclusive tracks, but it's a great introduction to newcomers as well, and out of 32 songs, there isn't a bad one in the bunch. -Matthew Johnson
In celebration of their 200th release, this archival box set celebrates the finer points of Projekt's history. Disc one culls the early years for masterpieces from Projekt's original figureheads. Black Tape reworks their classic tortured art rock dirge, "Across a Thousand Blades," Lycia's "Desert" murmurs with in a droning gothic rock nightmare, Attrition captures baroque harpsichord and banshee operatics in "A Girl Called Harmony," while Human Drama snares glam and heartache in their voilin and piano ballad, "The Waiting Hour." In the second disc, Projekt's newfound acts bear the legacy with grace. Audra's "In Hollywood Tonight" smoulders like an intense blend of mesmerized bass, metronome scare, and dusky Peter Murphy vocals, while the jangling guitar, raucous hi-hat, and jaded croon in Lowsunday's spidery "For a Moment" reminds me of The Church at their zenith. Finally, from the rainforests of Alio Die to the crystalline voids of As Lonely as Dave Bowman, its 3rd volume meditates upon the essence of modern ambient. Barring Voltaire's whimsical wit and mariachi funeral exceptions, the affair is as grey as one would expect and stands as an essential primer to Projekt's repetoire. (VM:9)
This release from 2007 features 3 hours and ten minutes of goth, dark wave and ambient recordings. Most are sourced from Projekt releases, but several tracks (noted with *) are previously unreleased. The presentation comes in a tasty DVD-sized box. The CDs are broken down into three classifications:
The Early Years (revealing tender roots and early tracks that helped formulate the dark wave sound), which offers:
Black tape for a blue girl (Sam Rosenthal, Oscar Herrera, Allan Kraut, Mera Roberts, Lisa Feuer) Squealing guitar, sepulchral violins and haunting vocals swim in a textural pool agitated by strident drums. A dreamy piece that periodically erupts with emotional puissance.
Area (Lynn Canfield, Henry Frayne, Steve Jones) Fem vocals with strummed guitar, languid keyboards and steadfast drums. Heartfelt folk delivered with modern sensibilities.
Lycia (Mike VanPortfleet) Eerily snarling guitar and moody electronics provide atmospheric environs for dark vocals as funereal percussion rises. An example of classic goth.
Attrition (Martin Bowes, Julia Waller) Harpsichord and operatic fem vocals establish and creepy backdrop for masculine vocals and sparse percussion. Softly disturbing dose of dark chamber music.
Lovesliescrushing (Scott Cortez, Melissa Arpin Duimstra) Airy electronics and treated guitar achieve a dense sonic fog for remotely ascending fem vocals. Delicate despite its density.
Love Spirals Downwards (Suzanne Perry, Ryan Lum) Nostalgic soft rock with fem crooning, liquid guitars and relaxed drums. Bridges tradition with goth sound.
Human Drama (Johnny Indovina, Mark Balderas, Gerri Sutyak, Lisa Haney, Chas Waltz, Renelle Laplante) A serious piano with an orchestral swell establishes a romantic foundation for vocals to move from restraint into emphasis accompanied by whimsical flute and a resurgence of classical airs.
Thanatos (Padraic Ogl, Sam Rosenthal) Acoustic guitar and dreamy masculine vocals generate a haunting mood of regret.
SoulWhirlingSomewhere (Michael Plaster) Atmospheric electronics swirl into a pensive soundscape. Ghostly vocals explore emotional lament.
Arcanta (Thomas-Carlyle Ayres, Monto Medley) Orchestral airs mix with electronics to form a dramatic backdrop for deeply operatic vocals.
Voltaire (Voltaire, Gregor Kitzis, Matthew Goeke, Grisha Alexiev) Mournful violin ushers in Romany vocals and marching percussion. An uptempo dose of dark wave exploring the prospects of damnation.
Peter Ulrich (Peter Ulrich, Angela & Chuck Silverman, John A. Rivers, Ruth Watson) Lush rhythms and violins provide doleful support for vocals outlining remorse over a son going off to war.
The Current Era (in all its flourish, pomp, and twisted maturity), which features:
Voltaire (Voltaire, Gregor Kitzis, Matthew Cooke, Glenn Sorino, Kiku Collins) A rip-roaring Mexicali tribute to the Day of the Dead with dashing vocals and full instrumentation.
Android Lust (Shikhee, Christopher Jon) A bewitching blend of dark wave and techno, with slick electronics, shuffling percussion and dreamy fem vocals.
*Tearwave (Jennifer Manganiello, Doug White, Joe Villella, John Stephanski) A soft wall of sound comprised of serpentine guitar, sneaky bass, slippery drums, and angelic fem vocals. Dreamy and alluring.
Lowsunday (Shane Sahene, Shawn Bann, Bobby Spell, A.T. Vish) A taste of straight-ahead rock that’s gotten sidetracked by snarling guitars and crashing drums and echo-plex vocals.
Autumn’s Grey Solace (Erin Welton, Scott Ferrell) Heavenly vocals, loving guitar licks and restrained percussion craft an endearing tribute to optimism.
Mira (Regina Sosinski, Tom Parker, Alan Donaldson, Max Fresen) Agile percussives blend with mystical guitar and sultry basslines, while fem vocals display superb range as the guitar goes on a fuzzy pyrotechnic binge.
Faith & Desire (Dara Rosenwaser, Eric Cooley, Barry Semple, Greg Forschler, John Clough) With the bass taking front stage, durable drums and snarling guitar and sweeping keyboards provide suitable support for accessible fem vocals.
Audra (Bret Helm, Bart Helm) Strong drums and ominous guitars generate a haunting milieu for stately vocals. Goth sophistication.
Mors Syphilitica (Lisa Hammer, Eric Hammer) Banjos plink away in tandem with fem chorales, while Middle Eastern influences repeatedly nibble at the edges of the melody.
*Lovespirals (Ryan Lum, Anki Bee) Endearing acoustic strumming fraternizes with baby-voiced crooning in a softly crafted piece tinged with a hint of electrified guitar.
Rajna (Jeanne Lefebvre, Fabrice Lefebvre) Middle Eastern instruments support celestial fem vocals with a backdrop of textural keyboard ambience.
Unto Ashes (Michael Laird, Natalia Lincoln, Mariko) Multiple vocal layers lend a dreamy edge to romantic guitar strings and percussive punctuation. A touch of horns injects majesty to this lilting dirge.
*Black tape for a blue girl (Sam Rosenthal, Elysabeth Grant, Doug White) Tension builds as synthetic sounds accrete to cocoon a somber tune. Deep fem vocals celebrate emotional infidelity.
Somewhere along the way, Projekt branched out to explore dark ambience with laudable results. So the third disc, Ambient Loop, contains:
*Alio Die. Ambient harmonics take a pastoral excursion replete with environmental samples and luxurious atmospheric tonalities, creating a moody evolution that chronicles nature’s rebirth.
Fayman & Fripp (Jeffrey Fayman, Robert Fripp) Oceanic waves are mirrored by Fripp’s signature guitar treatments and the lavishly unfurling textural flows generated by Fayman’s synthesizers.
*vidnaObmana. Eerie tonalities ooze with cleverly processed vocal effects, producing a soundscape of inspired proportion. One of dark ambience’s pioneers bids adieu with this piece, turning his creative talents to darker works as the following band.
*Fear Falls Burning. Heavily treated and manipulated guitars issue a plethora of fascinating drones that walk the line between foreboding and mesmerizing. These tonalities build in strength, revealing hints of euphoria mired in metallic honey.
As Lonely as Dave Bowman (Sam Rosenthal) Extreme ambience in the form of dreamy electronics pursuing minimalism that excellently captures isolation and the internal fruits thereof.
Steve Roach (with Jennifer Grais and Sam Rosenthal) A tasty track from the undisputed maestro of electronic ambience. Ethereal textures (crafted on guitar and then looped by Roach) achieve near-infinite definition, laced with serene vocal effects and tender piano chords.
Black tape for a blue girl (Sam Rosenthal) A somber closing, comprising dark tones and remotely soaring pulsations that blend to bring a saddened tear to the universal eye.
If you are unfamiliar with this label, these artists and their diverse (but united in gloom) sounds, this collection serves as an excellent introduction that will delight the listener for hours. If you know and love this stuff, then you’ll sincerely covet this collection for its beautiful package, not to mention the unreleased tracks by your faves.
Gothic rock music by nature is passionate, inventive, and always evolving. It is part of a genre that has had some moments in the mainstream limelight but hard to pin down for the mass marketing media moguls. As such, goth recording labels struggle valiantly to keep the music alive and available for the true dedicated fans. Some struggle and vanish, others persevere only to turn their back on the community entirely. Few have shown lasting power and make an active commitment to the customers and fans of the dark rock scene.
Since 1983 Projekt Records have been on the forefront of innovating gothic rock music signing some of the most inventive and talented masterminds in the genre. With charming and witty artists like Voltaire, masterminds like Black Tape for a Blue Girl, and ambient artists like Rajna, Projekt Records began the process to take gothic rock music into a new direction. In true style and form, gothic rock evolved with Projekt artists help by recapturing bygone lost elements in old world romantic and renaissance instrumentals, acoustic rock strumming, and unearthly EBM tracks. The result was a breath of fresh air that that put new life into a scene slowly growing stagnant.
Projekt continues this innovation today marking the anniversary of their 200th album release with the new box set “Projekt 200”. A unique and intimate look at their prehistory, their current productions, and their ethereal ambient tracks of the future.
In disc one dubbed “The Early Years” we see the beginning commitment of Sam Rosenthal and the Projekt record label signing very new early acts that developed in the late eighties and early nineties. The diversity of acts previously found with the old Batcave recordings had begun to fade and while many goths clung to the old tracks, many more became enamored with single-minded similarity of the current wave.
Fortunately with great upcoming master acts like Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Voltaire, Attrition, and Love Spirals Downwards, something began to stir again in the gothic rock scene. Voltaire brought us charisma and wit combined with charming acoustic rifts and old world elegance. Black Tape for a Blue Girl brought out the best of new romantic music and pulled us all onto the dance floor again. “The Early Years” gives us a nostalgic taste of that excitement that opened up the doors again for new gothic rock talent.
In track one, “Across A Thousand Blades” by Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Black Tape established themselves as a cornerstone act for Projekt by mixing elements of hard rock and roll, romantic renaissance instrumentals and eerie haunting vocals. This track made for a dark dance favorite from the early days. In track two, “Our Corner Drowning” by Area, is somewhat more pop influenced. Area has a very trippy coffee shop vibe with bittersweet vocals and lilting electronic rifts. Track three, “Desert” by Lycia, features a track with a very epic feel. Lycia’s dripping guitars and compelling deep vocals makes for a very chilling listen.
“A Girl Called Harmony” by Attrition has a very victorian operatic feel with very deep throaty vocals, this track represents the best elements of the romantigoth genre. An excellent blend of modern dark rock with old world harpsichord instrumentals. “Your Eyes Immaculate” by Loveliescrushing is dreamy and somnambulistic. This track moves effortlessly. Its trippy rifts move seamlessly drawing you in to this lovely story. “Write In Water” by Love Spirals Downwards features flowing acoustic rifts and emotional wrenching sweet vocals. It plays your own heart strings with each strum and moving rift. “The Waiting Hour(Once Again)” by Human Drama bares lovely acoustic strumming following dulcet piano accompaniment. It has a very dark cabaret feel of its own drawing from classical music styles for a fantastic theatrical feel.
In “All I Have Left,” Thanatos fuses acoustic guitar rifts with low synth. It has a longing feeling of emptiness and love lost, a perfect cathartic release. “Soaked And Captured” by Soul Whirling Somewhere continues the dark electronic ambient set Projekt became noted for. Its trippy vocals push you into a slow dance groove. “The Solitary Pilgrim” by Arcanta has the feel of Middle Eastern chant with quixotic synth. A true goth inspirational peace. The track “When You're Evil” features one of Voltaire’s break out hits. This track continues to inspire new goths the world over proving that gothic rock can be witty, fun, and gritty. An exceptional example of his ability to mix old world style with new world charm while still keeping a wicked grin. “Taqaharu's Leaving” by Peter Ulrich combines militaristic rhythms and epic synth and a story of communist revolution. A lovely track about the continued evils of fascism and war.
In disc 2, “The Current Era”, we see familiar faces from Projekt Records previous founding acts mixing alongside the new breed of EBM, electronic ambient and acoustic acts. Never stagnant, previous Projekt recording artists began to take other elements from around the world and adding it to their already expanding repertoire. The result is a new very multicultural take on Gothic Rock. The new wave of acoustic artists Projekt signed continues to pull at your heartstrings with dulcet luscious vocals and a delightful renaissance music feel.
With track one we are treated once again to Voltaire as the continued vanguard of witty gothic rock. In “Day of the Dead” Voltaire combines elements of old Mexican Latin culture with his own unique old world music style. A delightfully dark and silly experience in a supernatural Mexico during Dia day los Muertos. Me Gusta! True precocious form for one Gothic Rock’s greats. Track two features prominent Projekt artist Android Lust with “Wicked Days”. Android Lust does not disappoint with very quick dance grooves and compelling synth rifts. This song positively pulls you out to a dance floor. A fantastic addition to Projekt’s roster. “Comfort in Angel's Wings” by Tearwave is a trippy and ethereal track. Moony vocals croon and swing on golden notes with a soft and unearthly feel. “For A Moment” by Lowsunday is a quick and tenebrific track. It pulls you into a quick rock and roll dance romp with racing guitars and crisp drum beats. “Human Shell” by Autumn's Grey Solace is another continued acoustic and electric guitar mix, Human Shell is another lovely ambient track with soft feathery vocals and winsome rifts. A very spiritual and almost lusty track. “Cayman” by Mira features adorable vocals that float and fall effortlessly; it could pull the heart strings of even the staunchest rivethead. “She's Got A Halo” by Faith & Disease carries low guitar rifts and very romantic synth grooves, Faith and Disease has an enticing garage band Goth feel. Very stripped down and honeyed in equal measure. “In Hollywood Tonight” by Audra has a very tribal drum feel. Stalking the streets of tinsel town hunting while being the hunted. Low wild vocals charm you along into dark forgotten alleyways. “My Virgin Widows” by Mors Syphilitica surprises with banjo and guitar rifts similar in vein to Fields of the Nephilim or Eighteen Horsepower, this track truly jolts the senses amid the otherworldly angelic tracks. A very American Victorian track it moves through thick and murky territory with a lush and lovely dark gospel feel.
“Empty Universe” by Lovespirals is another alluring acoustic track perfect for candlelight interludes. Luscious vocals seduce you and arouse you and leave you wanting for more. “The Door of Serenity” by Rajna is in similar vein to Azam Ali or Niyaz. It’s a lovely and moving middle eastern dance track. Very spiritual and exotic conjuring images of steamy dark Moroccan nights and otherworldly legends. “Occupying Force” by Unto Ashes continues to revive many of the lovely medieval music styles in their wonderfully dark music repertoire. Occupying force fronts solid monastic chant sounds and paradisiacal female backing vocals. Not to be missed as a goth staple. “I Strike You Down” by Black Tape For A Blue Girl features the returning masters of gothic rock. Black Tape continues to mix many different influences in their work to create shadowy masterpieces. “I Strike you down” is no exception to their further innovation, pulling middle eastern exotic rifts into a caliginous nightmare track.
In disc 3, titled Ambient Loop, We see more of the melodic and emotional ambient music elements that Projekt records offer its dark rock fans. Often dreamy in their own introspective style, it’s meant to be evocative and enticing and Ambient Loop does not disappoint.
Track one features “Spring Music” by Alio Die. An open and airy track very reminiscent of Loreena Mckennit’s work on Elemental. An ambient European music mix with the sounds of open air and spring. Hopeful and spiritual in equal measure. “The Sky Below” by Fayman & Fripp is a trippy otherworldly and seemingly heroic track lending itself as an audio narrative. “Breathe Of Closure” by Vidnaobana portrays a dystopian audio wasteland in similar genres with Vangelis. It opens up with very eerie and compelling synth tracks inspiring you to move ever forward.
“The World Turns Around In A Sea Of Bliss” by Fear Falls Burning is an abstract ambient track that moves slowly through fluid waves of rippling mechanized sound. “Pod Two” by As Lonely As Dave Bowman is a disconsolate track that leaves you feeling estranged in a cold mechanical world. “In The Eyes Of Noche” by Steve Roach features another gloomy ambient track for stargazing. “Seven” by Black Tape For A Blue Girl continues to pioneer other genres of music for the masterful act. The new track Seven is a fulgent track of gleaming sound perfect for ambient listening.
Projekt continues to amaze and astound artists and fans alike with their current and upcoming releases. By continuing to allow new artists to grow and evolve the dark rock scene, Sam Rosenthal and the signed artists at Projekt have given something back into the gothic rock genre, a way to continue the scene without letting it fall and falter by becoming complacent. Each new release brings a new direction for the continued unstoppable label. We wait with bated breath for the next release and the new, strange, and often exotic directions that Projekt will bring us. Rating: 10/10 -Dmitri Black