We had initially thought it ideal to take a minimal approach in releasing our first Midsummer compilation and simply include a PDF with the full download of the album, but as we recognize that many may neglect to open the file, we now see it important — in retrospect — to give you a full glimpse into the artists who took part this year in a forward manner. Additionally, this will serve the purpose of introducing you to some of our writers on a deeper level than you would have otherwise had an opportunity to experience. Thank you to everyone who has supported this release so far — for obvious reasons, it has been an incredibly important and personal journey for all of us.
Melankolia – You Left me Standing in the Ruins of your Heart
“You Left Me Standing in the Ruins of Your Heart” was written and recorded by Melankolia in May 2014. It was created as a final goodbye to my wife of 14 years, who decided to end our marriage abruptly. I wanted to capture the essence of depression and angst I was feeling up to the point of recording. Melankolia has always been about the more melancholic and depressive side of life, with beauty mixed in for measure and added effect. I feel that this experience was a perfect opportunity to explore those feelings most appropriately. The heartbeat that resounds throughout breathes and turns with the emotive sections of the track, echoing the life and sudden death of her decision.
Tjärnkarln & Myrkråkan – Förhäxade Små Hjortron
Tjärnkarln & Myrkråkan is an experimental folk musical project from beyond Tövåsberget, an eldritch place where Mörksuggan roams and the hues of daylight never fall. We have a dream to once more bring humanity closer to the mysteries of the earth, to that primordial magic and storytelling that once upon a time enthralled us around the bonfires. This song is a celebration of the ancient powers that lie dreaming beneath the murky waters of the tarn. Let us embark on a journey to dusky mires and deep dark woods where trolls guard mystical cairns and maror dance under burning stars. It is time to leave the world behind.
Anarch – The Cathedral
“The full mapping of the entire social landscape of political bribery; and the administrative, legislative, judicial, media, and academic privileges accessed by such bribes…. With every year that passes, the international ideal of sound governance finds itself approximating more closely and rigidly to the standards set by the Grievance Studies departments of New England universities. This is the divine providence of the ranters and levelers, elevated to a planetary teleology, and consolidated as the reign of the Cathedral.” -TDE, by NL
Writer: Raul A.
Night Profound – Love’s Death
This is Night Profound’s first recording since the MMXI demo released in 2011. The rebirth has been severe and total. We commemorate this event with a very special cover song by one of the most infamous “murderers” of our age. Just like the death of the flower child’s Love in this song, we celebrate the continual death of the self in all forms. Where there is a death there is a rebirth, and we shall rise from the grave!
S.H – vocals, acoustic guitars, percussion, bowed bass
R.H – vocals, samples
N.Y – percussion, engineering/mixing
A.M – electric guitar
K.G – piano
Recorded under a full moon on Friday the 13th June 2014.
Writer: S. Hache
Aria Sepvlchralia – Uproar
“Others with vast Typhonian rage more fell
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air
In whirlwinds: hell scarce holds the wild uproar.”
– Par. Lost, ii. 539.
Aria Sepvlchralia rises by Them by Whom it is fallen. Rancorous fall the murderers of Orion, and Cancerous shall they rise with the lion… Sol is still, in cyclopean noon. Now the hungry lion roars, ere fire ushers gloom. Composed and recorded by Akherra, “The Fiery Upróarah” is a commemoration of yon uproar: the schism of Dark proto-Gods at the dawn of differentiation… the waking of the Son of Morn.
Luciernaga – Your Eyes Like Crashing Jets
LUCIERNAGA is the solo recording project of Joao M. Da Silva, owner of Fabrica Records. Luciernaga uses field recordings, guitar, shruti box, buddha machine, mbira, and cassettes to create textures and sounds made to evoke a sense of dread or induce meditative states, depending on the context/circumstance and the mood of the performer.
Writer: Joao Silva
Wolcensmen – Rings like Wayland
Wolcensmen began as an expression of the English Heathen soul – an open-ended and potentially multi-faceted exploration of the moods and struggles embraced by those seeking something greater. ‘Rings Like Wayland’ tries to depict a moment when something great, impossible and ancient occured – a rare glimpse into a time when Gods walked among Men.
Writer: Dan Capp
Cody Drasser – Blinking Out Blinking Out
This track came about in the usual way in that I started by taking old material that was laying dormant and not previously utilized for anything. It was a basic guitar drone piece that was pleasant enough on its own but needed a bit of work to shape it into something new. The most basic layers of the track consist of a guitar drone created using an old guitar synthesizer I no longer own. I’m not sure what the original effects were or what it was that I had played. Oh well…From there I began to manipulate some of the base layer using various effects and a computer recording program to add some movement and depth to the piece. I also mixed in some unused samples I had recorded for further mystery.
The special thing about the track is that it marks the very first time I have incorporated something close to a beat in my ambient music. Perhaps the word ‘pulse’ would be a better word in this instance as that what it sounds like to me. Normally, my preferred style is very layered, dense and amorphous guitar drone without much of anything to latch onto – no beat, no concrete melody or structure – but for this piece I really wanted to do something different, something I hadn’t done before. As a result, I’d say that this track is indeed experimental for me because I truly was playing around and experimenting with an element I hadn’t considered placing into my music in the past.
The track’s title is ‘Blinking Out Blinking Out’ and is taken from a lyric by the defunct space rock band Hum, who I still adore and worship to this day.
Writer: Cody Drasser
Sahn – Kaikhosru
And look – a thousand Blossoms with the Day
Woke – and a thousand scatter’d into Clay:
And this first Summer Month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshýd and Kaikobád away.
– st. VIII, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam
Sahn is the improvisational project of Lysander, utilising oud and drone sounds from Southern and Western Asia.
Aokigahara District – Asleep at Shibuya Station
This song was created in late 2012, but never released. It adheres to the Internet-based microgenre and aesthetic Metro-ko. Metro-Ko focuses on everyday life and metropolitan settings as expressed through ambient, drone, and minimal techno. This track is one of my first forays into electronic music. Inspiration comes from acts like Burial and Juche as well as a fascination with the futuristic east-Asian metropolitan constructs/social interconnections seen in Akira and Serial Experiments Lain. While this track and the other work I created at the time is rudimentary, I’ve recently had time to look back into music production again.
Epoch – Cold Wave Cold War
Epoch’s very name reflects the word’s definition and believes the world is in a monumental crisis state – a state that will be viewed in the years ahead as a pivotal point in time.
Of course, every generation believes their time and space is the most important – so much so, that the next generation suffers for it. Reflecting the current global economic, cultural and social crises, and the methods by which both are intertwined, Epoch uses its music to expose the machinations of the extremism of all points of view present in our current time. However, Epoch recognizes that despite the advancement of time, time has stood still, or maybe has even reversed.
Art as politics and as in Epoch’s case, music as politics has become the voice of the disenfranchised and those who find themselves as expatriate, even if they are still in their homeland. But as transnational workforces have become the norm in world corporacy, we are all expatriates. Originally appearing as one of the first Arts Industria releases on cassette in 1993 and later on the VUZ records (Duisburg, Germany) split CD in 1995, Epoch has returned after a long hiatus with more martial-driven industrial, in an era when we need it the most.
While owing to such genres as martial industrial, EBM, neo-folk, techno and other intertwined aspects of industrial music culture, Epoch manages to work bits and pieces into a cohesive sound with underlying politics. And although the martial genre hasn’t really penetrated American musical subculture, the growing awakening of US citizens to their own political system and the American affect on the rest of the world makes Epoch’s re-appearance in the US all that more timely.
Epoch’s music contains many historical samples that illustrate how the current state of the world has been in development since the turn of the century and continues to be manipulated by the powers in control. Epoch is revolting against the machine here in a decidedly nationalistic tone, but exactly what national entity they are promoting is unclear. The music and message is left to the listener’s interpretation.
Writer: K. Holewczynski
Isomer – The Strongest Wings
Unreleased track recorded in 2010, utilising solely microphone feedback.
Writer: David Tonkin
Grist – Antilogy
GRIST is an entheogenic noise ambient ritual solo project by A Demon Sheen (The Horn/HAARK/Rakshasa/etc). Improvised with found sounds arranged in unplanned and unknown ways – “no instruments, no composition”. Gristian pieces are not ‘composed’ or ‘created’, they are ‘discovered’, realtime, as they unfold. “Antilogy” is a piece dedicated to the northern midsummer, from an inverted southern land gripped by midwinter.
Writer: Mat Blackwell
Weather Veins – A Tree Song
“A Tree Song” is a poem composed by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), and was featured in the book Puck of Pook’s Hill. When I first read it I felt that there was something profound lurking below its beautiful, Midsummery words. Hence I have added a few extra lines, posing the question: to what does the phrase “Oak, Ash, and Thorn” secretly allude?
I doubt that Kipling ever knew, being but a creature of his time (witness his repellent imperialist politics). Nevertheless, I venture the conceit that I might.
The composition for this track is entirely mine, and is in no way derived from Peter Bellamy’s musical adaptation of the poem, though it is a good one.
Ver Sacrum – And From There… Osiris
“We saw the endless trend
The death and rebirth of all the gods
Placed high in the heavens, among the stars
Osiris and Orion burning with the cousins of Dogon”
Writer: Dylan Atkinson
Harrow – The Cranes will Never Return Here
This piece is a rendition of a traditional Ukrainian melody, taken from Drudkh’s version on the Songs of Grief and Solitude album. We arranged it for 12-string guitar, drum, bass and violin as part of special acoustic performance early in 2014. This recording is part of a live-off-the-floor session we undertook shortly afterwards to document our setlist from that night. Many thanks to Roman Saenko and Drudkh for their support of this track’s inclusion in this compilation!
Writer: Ian Campbell