PARHELION - MIDNIGHT SUN (CD by Cyclic Law)
THOLEN - NEUROPOL (CD by Cyclic Law)
From Canada we get the debut album by Parhelion,
of whom no other information is forthcoming. Canada, an immense, empty country and parts covered by a vast amount of snow. That is the inspiration for the music of Parhelion. At his (her?) disposal we find a bunch of guitars, synthesizers and environmental sounds and Parhelion has been going for a few years to gather the know-how to produce this music. The twelve tracks that span a good hour of music of a highly atmospheric nature. Glacial like, obviously, this is well produced dark ambient music with a small touch of light lurking over the horizon - out there. Maybe one would have expected some all 'light' music, but its midnight sun - almost dark, almost night but never quite so, really. Instruments and field recordings blend together in a great way, melting together (to stay with the ice references). The overall production of this music is great. Very dark, but emotional, intense and beautiful.
Tholen is a part of The Netherlands but probably not the inspiration to call a band after. 'Neuropol' is the follow-up to debut 'Sternklang' and is something of a concept album about a city called 'Neuropol'. On one side we have the slaves and the elite underground. The text on the cover can not be easily read, I must admit. Here too we deal with something that is dark and atmospheric, yet of a different, more unsettling kind. A beautiful unsettling kind that is. Sometimes melodic, sometimes quite out there in drone land, but always with audible, menacing treat lurking around the corner. The secret police or gigantic beast? Something along those lines. Utter dark ambient music - there is no differentiation between slaves and underground elite it seems. The music doesn't transport a story as such, but rather a more open idea of what live in 'Neuropol' is, and that is hardly a beautiful one. The music is very evocative and beautiful, don't get me wrong, but to live in a city of no-light? I don't think. Scary music that fits a great horror movie. Two excellent dark, haunting trips. (FdW)
Occasionally, the Brassers still perform on stage (for benefits etc. like the one for newspaper De Morgen in 1987, for Kom Op Tegen Kanker in 1995 ...) In 1998 they were featured in the lineup of the Euro-Rock festival in Neerpelt, together with their contemporaries Anne Clark, Red Zebra , Struggler, The Sisters of Mercy, The Bollock Brothers and The Stranglers.