Budget priced sampler of current Projekt artists, featuring the ethereal dreampop of Tearwave and Autumn's Grey Solace; neoclassical music with flute, piano and sophisticated operatic-tinged vocals from Mirabilis; a superb Dead Can Dance inspired piece from Arcana; a track from Lux Interna who make impressive neofolk with some similarities to Backworld; Revue Noir who are perfectly named with their sleazy but sophisticated dark cabaret music; the inimitable tongue-in-cheek folk/mariachi/ska/theatrical music with its sick and twisted lyrics from who else but Voltaire; otherworldly guitar and vocal soundscaping from Alio Die and Martina Galvagni; electronic ambient music from Steve Roach; an innovative mix of dreampop and experimental electronica from Chandeen; an impressive track from All My Faith Lost... which straddles the boundaries between neoclassical, neofolk and dreampop; and Attrition team up with Emilie Autumn for a dramatic and experimental take on the Christian hymn Rock of Ages. A fine compilation that shows dark music encompasses far more than just standard gothic fare and actually manifests itself in many forms.
L'americana Projekt ci ha abituati da tempo immemore ad una copiosa sequenza di compilation, concepite a scopo unicamente conoscitivo per quanto concerne le release da essa curate e/o licenziate per il mercato statunitense. Eccezion fatta per occasioni particolari (vedi "Projekt 200", sampler che celebrava la duecentesima release per l'etichetta americana), queste compilation nascono all'insegna dell'economia ed in assenza di scopi di puro lucro, tant'è che la qui presente raccolta viene venduta ad un prezzo di soli 4 dollari e 98 centesimi, con un ulteriore ribasso di due dollari per chi l'acquista online. Confezionata in uno spartano digipack privo di booklet e povero di dettagli, la compilation in esame racchiude 12 brani per altrettanti artisti: tutti episodi già pubblicati o di imminente uscita, eccezion fatta per il 'radio edit' di "Rock Of Ages" degli Attrition, ossia la seconda parte della canzone "The Gates Of Eternity" ascoltata sul recente "All Mine Enemys Whispers - The Story Of Mary Ann Cotton", che di per sé come 'inedito' rappresenta poca cosa... I nomi proposti, oltre ai già citati Attrition, sono tutti più o meno noti al nostro pubblico: si parte con le movenze shoegaze più indie-rock dei Tearwave e quelle più intimiste degli ottimi Autumn's Grey Solace, poi tocca alla leggiadria di Mirabilis, alle atmosfere deadcandanceiane degli ultimi Arcana, al folk delicato e passionale dei Lux Interna, ai toni jazzati di Reveu Noir, alla lucida follia del bizzarro Voltaire, alla sottigliezza pregiata di Alio Die & Martina Galvagni (non gli unici italiani nella raccolta, fra l'altro), alla raffinatezza minimale di Steve Roach, alla quiete interiore dei rinati Chandeen ed all'innegabile talento degli altri nostri portabandiera, ossia gli ottimi All My Faith Lost..., il cui ultimo album è uscito negli USA proprio per la Projekt. Sono tutti momenti di buona qualità per artisti la cui fama in parecchi casi parla da sola, ed anche stavolta l'usuale sampler di casa Projekt tornerà utile anzitutto a chi vuole scoprirne il catalogo più recente. Il voto, pertanto, va letto tenendo in considerazione il rapporto tra l'indubbia utilità per eventuali neofiti e curiosi ed il costo irrisorio. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi
Projekt Records continues their great practice of offering low-priced full-length compilations of newly released material with this year's excellent sampler. Tearwave open things up with a moody churn and a feather light voice, followed by Erin Welton's honeyed vocals in the sparkling, guitar-led "Tusk" by Autumn's Grey Solace. Mirabilis unfolds slowly with measured piano and a medievalesque duet. Lux Interna are newcomers to the label, bringing a dark folk sound unusual for Projekt. This collection makes a great move too, by breaking out of context with refreshing and evolving musical meditations from Alio Die and Steve Roach right in its midst, then returning us by way of a starry track by Chandeedn. - Carolee
This is another great introduction to some of the latest and upcoming release from this label that has become a backbone of the gothic ethereal genres. Albums like these are excellent collector items as well as great for the budget. It gives people an excellent taste of what the label has to offer. For such a nice price, it's great to get so many tracks, a dozen in all, and spanning all the great genres the label release.
I've listened to and reviewed a lot of label samplers over the years and I have to say that the group of artists that are represented on this album and with releases on the label this year are excellent. The best way to just go through this is to hit each track in turn. It all starts off with the stunning shoegazer band Tearwave with a hauntingly beautiful new track "Read Me". This is followed up by yet another captivating shoegazer piece "Tusk" from the latest album by Autumn's Grey Solace. These two groups each have completely unique styles that hold the listener entranced and impressed with their talents yet it's amazing how they have their solid common ground in the same genre.
We recently were introduced to the long-awaited sophomore album from Mirabilis, so it's no secret that another solid piece on this album would be from this talented duo with their mesmerizing piece "Aubade". Fitting nicely in place next to this haunting piece is a taste of the long-awaited new work from the classic medieval project Arcana. The piece presented here, "Lost in Time" was also present on last year's Lightwaves Part II label sampler from Kalinkaland Records. This piece is already a classic on Gothic Paradise Radio and this band remains a favorite for us and our listeners. Without too much of a jump, we're presented with something of a neo-folk track from Lux Interna sporting deep, brooding vocals over minimal guitar and cello that has quickly become a favorite.
Shifting gears into something that the label has gotten into a little more is a touch of cabaret with Revue Noir. While not a favorite of mine and not something usually heard or mentioned here at Gothic Paradise, there's just a touch of mystery and style on "Sometimes Sunshine" that makes it interesting. But this brings us to the love/hate relationship with Votaire and the horrible piece "Zombie Prostitute" that's just off-color and distasteful. I guess it's virtually impossible to find a label sampler that spans a broad range to appeal to everyone all of the time.
This brings us to another shift in style on the album as we take a turn to more of a focus on the ambient and dreamy side of the label. Here we have two great pieces starting with and excerpt of "A Drone Song for Alienor" by Alio Die and Martina Galvagni, leading us right into the surprisingly moving electronically based "Arc Of Passion" by Steve Roach. That leads us to the awesome comeback from the talented dreampop project Chandeen and the inclusion of "From The Inside". For anyone as broken-hearted as I was with word they were disbanded a few years ago, this was an absolute dream to have something new. All My Faith Lost presents their other-wordly splendor on "Notti Bianche". This is a hypnotic piece that is a reflection of what's available in every track on their album. And finally to wrap up the album we have the dark ambient excerpt of the piece "Rock Of Ages" from Attrition. With that it all comes to a close and we're reminded why when your hear the name Projekt Records, the thought of excellent gothic, ethereal and ambient music comes to mind. Rating: 4.5/5 -Jacob Bogedahl
Like ordering a scrumptious plate of appetizers---you know the ones you like---just mentioning them, thinking of them, waiting for them makes your mouth water. And then, other times, you want to venture into another taste of the unexpected, something that maybe could become another favorite to that already delectable plate of goodies in front of you---and with that said, you go for it, and are…so psyched that you did!
Thus leading up to what we want for next time---the complete meal, a dinner, which will include all the wonderful things about certain taste sensations we’ve grown so fond of---and with each fantastic taste, it brings us back to why we love it so, in the first place. And sometimes, it’s just as good as we remember, and other times, even more so.
Artists on “The Projekt 2008 Sampler” whose music I’m delightfully familiar with, and highly recommend are Tearwave, Autumn’s Grey Solace, Mirabilis, All my faith lost and Arcana…and with that said, happily am I to have had the great joy in listening to, and becoming a fan of many other brilliant and extraordinary artists such as, Lux Interna, Revue Noir, Voltaire, Alie Die & Martina Galvagni, Steve Roach, Chandeen, and Attrition whose music along with the above mentioned resonates such deep beauty and emotion---such enjoyment and creativity.
“The Projekt 2008 Sampler” is a splendid choice for reflecting back on known favorites, as well as, discovering new ones. -Lynda Dale MacLean
Yet another assortment of shoegazer-inspired ethereal darkwave courtesy of what is perhaps the foremost label for that very genre.
As is something of a tradition for the prominent darkwave label, Projekt releases a new sampler every year to introduce listeners to the new sounds their sometimes eccentric roster of artists have to offer. For this 2008 sampler, we are treated to appearances by some not-so-familiar faces beginning with the psychedelic shoegazer-inspired tones of Tearwave and their haunting "Read Me," in which vocals flutter and float above shimmering guitars and shifting rhythms. Autumn's Grey Solace follows with "Tusk," recalling the best elements of Love Spirals Downward or The Cocteau Twins with crystalline strumming guitars, a steady beat, and melodies that drift between dreaminess and despair. Vocal harmonies and a minimal contingent of piano and flute abound in "Aubade" by Mirabilis, making for one heavenly track, while Arcana's "Lost in Time" dances darkly through the speakers with a crescendo of melancholy vocals, restrained tribal percussion, and medieval wisps of synthesized ambience. "Into Nothing" quiets things down slightly with subdued organs, gentle acoustic guitar, and a tantalizing Nick Cave-ish vocal, and Revue Noir's Weimar Republic brand of vaudevillian bleakness and whimsy is quite a treat with "Sometimes, Sunshine." In light of this track, Voltaire's take on a similar style - albeit with a much more pronounced sense of humor - doesn't quite measure up, although "Zombie Prostitute" does at least pick up the speed of the record enough to get people dancing if only for a moment, and while Alio Die and Martina Galvagni's "A Drone Song for Alienor" is presented here as an excerpt, it is still 10 minutes of nocturnal ambient melody that is sweet if somewhat directionless. Steve Roach also gives us an excerpt from his "Arc of Passion," but unlike the previous track, Roach's 10 minutes are a muted array of trancelike synths and quiet atmospheres that threaten to build to a marvelous explosion of sound and melody, but never do in this fragment. Chandeen bring us back to more familiar territory in "From the Inside" with morose melodies soaring over an array of electronic atmospheres, with a slight acoustic guitar making itself known in the choruses, while "Notti Bianche" by All My Faith Lost... is much sadder in tone and more classical in its instrumentation, leaving an edit of Attrition's "Rock of Ages" to close us out with an abstract arrangement of operatic vocals, deep rumbling ambience, and shrill violins. The Projekt 2008 Sampler turns out to be rather par for the course, with many of the acts presented employing similar modes and motifs characteristic to Projekt's output thus far, but then again... isn't that what people have come to know and love about Projekt anyway? -Ilker Yücel
Si arricchiscono di un nuovo capitolo le innumerevoli compilation della gloriosa label americana ma con il cuore europeo, erede degna della mitica 4AD. Ovviamente la maggior parte delle bands presenti sono i gruppi della scuderia, e qualche ospite "esterno". Ben quattro i generi presenti: l'ethereal, il dark cabaret, il dark folk e l'ambient. A far da padrona all'intero sampler è l'atmosfera eterea, con la presenza, oltre delle stupende Mirabilis, anche di Tearwear, Autumn’s Grey Solace, Arcana, i Chandeen e i nostri All my Faith Lost. Per il dark cabaret ci sono gli interessanti Revue Noir e l'eclettico Voltaire, con il suo sound poco oscuro e poco consono sia al sampler che alla maggior parte delle bands Projekt, un menestrello pop dei nostri tempi, ma che trovo poco originale e easy. Per l'ambient due nomi storici, l'italiano Alio Die, che fa coppia con Martina Galvagni, la cui bella voce impreziosisce il brano, e Steve Roach, con due lunghe tracce di circa 10 minuti cadauna. Per il dark folk solo una traccia presente, quella dei Lux Interna. Un sampler molto variegato e di classe che vi consiglio di acquistare, ma non scaricatelo mi raccomando, visto anche il ridicolo prezzo di vendita, circa 4 dollari! - Nikita
-Style: Wave, gothic, ethereal.
-Bands: Chandeen, Voltaire, All My Faith Lost, Attrition, Steve Roach ao.
-Comment: Just like with the previous issues of this compilation series, the Projekt label offers the opportunity to discover some of their most recent releases including newer signings. For instance we get here an extract from Chandeen’s new album with their new vocalist (who is none other than Julia from Technoir) and the delicious “From The Inside”. Tearwave are also present as well as Lux Interna (interesting dark folk whose Into Nothing clearly invites us to discover a bit more from them) or Revue Noir (in a more cabaret style). Voltaire is present with the festive “Zombie Prostitute” while Steve Roach‘s extract form “Arc Of Passion” clearly reminds me of an instrumental track from The Klinik. All My Faith Lost also contribute with the dark and gloomy “Notti Bianche” but it’s Attrition that close this chapter with the more brilliant experimental cut “Rock Of Ages”. This is a very good sampler and a glimpse at the very diverse and rich musical universes of Projekt. Rating: 8 CF