Genre/Influences: Industrial, dark-ambient, death-industrial, ritual, experimental, drone.
Background/Info: Cold Spring Records is one of the ‘oldest’ and most recognized labels from the dark-underground scene. Dealing with styles such as industrial-, experimental, dark-ambient, ritual music and a few other related genres, the British label celebrates its 250th release by a massive compilation featuring 29 bands and tracks.
Artists: Merzbow / Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Penny Rimbaud, Nytt Land, Psychic TV, Coil, MZ.412, Zeni Geva & Steve Albini, C.3.3., Coil + Zos Kia + Marc Almond, Tunnels Of Ah ao.
Content: This is the perfect compilation to get familiarized with the sound Cold Spring is dealing with. A sound that has been always extreme and this for being miles away from commercial standards and fashion trends. Cold Spring Records is a label with a truly spirit and that’s probably the reason why such an important number of talented-, visionary- and recognized artists have signed to Justin Mitchell’s record company.
“Earthen” brings you an impressive canvas of artists and styles, but is mainly a way to get familiar –or simply rediscovering, tracks taken from the latest releases on the label. There’s just one previously unreleased song and that’s one from Coil.
+ + + : When you simply have a look at the tracklist you can only, but admit Cold Spring feels like the sonic cave of Ali Baba. We all will have our favorites, but I recommend the dark-ambient format made by Mz.412, the industrial-ambient of She Spread Sorrow, the industrial/noise experiments of Merzbow / Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, the pagan-ritual style of Nytt Land, the apocalyptic rock of Jotunspor, the industrial work of C.3.3. and even the kind of heavenly final track by Barry Adamson + Pan Sonic + The Hafler Trio. And of course there’s this exclusive song (cf. “Spastische (Trumpo)” by Coil, which sounds as industrial-jazz.
– – – : You really have to be an ‘experienced’ listener of extreme music genres to like this kind of compilation. Speaking for myself I think it’s a great sampler, but I regret –and especially for a celebration release, it has been not something more special; like bands featuring exclusive tracks.
Conclusion: Cold Spring feels like a relief for music lovers who’re listening to music others have never heard of. “Earthen” sounds as sweet noise for extreme music lovers!
Best bands: Mz.412, Nytt Land, She Spread Sorrow, Tunnels Of Ah, Common Eider King Eider, C.3.3., Penny Rimbaud, Merzbow / Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.