After more than 30 releases, and 16 of those specifically focused on the unexplained topography of single countries experimental music scenes, it's time of Belgium. It was a long time some people asked me to publish a survey about the alternative musicians from this country (alternative in the Unexplained Sounds sense of the term). So, also throught the precious collaboration of Peter Verwimps, the survey is finally out.
I confess my initial ignorance about the experimental musicians from this country (honestly I knew a few of them), so I passed some months exploring and listening to music to understand better what I was going to do. What I found was exciting and stimulating, and alongside musicians I already knew and introduced in previous projects and radio programs, I'm glad to unveil to Unexplained Sounds audience, many projects deserving much attention. Experimental electronic ambient and noise industrial are a common base for many of them, but filtered with a fine sensibility, and sometimes with a groundbreaking approach.
released January 27, 2017
Background/Info: Italian label Unexplained Sound Group is used to familiarizing us with compilations based on the underground scene of one ‘target’ country. The label now invites us to visit the experimental scene from my own country featuring 26 (!) Belgian bands. The sampler saw the light of day thanks to the contribution of Peter Verwimp who’s active in different formations and featured on this new series by Ashtoreth.
Bands: BARST + Treha Sektori, Yannick Franck, Ripit, Hybryds, ASHTORETH, TraumaSutra, Fissures, Innerwoud, Aponogeton, Owann Music ao.
Content: The titled indicates a vision on the ‘experimental’ scene, but this sampler has much more to offer. It’s a travel throughout the most hidden and unknown projects active on the Belgian underground soil. The common ground between all bands is the dark creation of their work, which can be dark-ambient for some, somewhat ritual for others, into cinematographic exposures for some, even minimal-electro like for a few ones and definitely experimental for the rest.
+ + + : The strength of this sampler is its diversity in styles, and also the discovery of unknown bands. You really have to be addicted to experimental underground music to have ever heard of all those bands. Well, that’s precisely what makes the compilation essential for people like me. It’s a kind of sonic documentary revealing several sonic treasures. The biggest treasures –even in music, are not always that far to find. It would take me too long analyzing all of the bands, but I’ve been seduced by anguishing opener by Barst + Treha Sektori, the haunting style of Yannick Franck, the minimal approach from Ripit, the always ritual-sounding Hybryds, the pure filmographic Innerwoud, the subtle treatments from TZII, the minimalism and oriental driven Massimo Amato + Cheri Gao + Peter Wullen and another experiment by Trauma Terrestrial.
- - - : This kind of sampler remains a truly experimental release accessible for a very restricted number of music lovers. Some cuts are very experimental and not always my cup of tea while 26 songs is a sonic orgy you can better avoid if you’re not into this extreme underground format.
Conclusion: Unexplained Sound Group is not the most familiar label from the underground scene although one of the most interesting ones I got the opportunity to discover. This is a label inciting the listener to purchase new bands discovered on this kind of conceptual sampler.
Best bands: Hybryds, Barst + Treha Sektori, Innerwoud, TZII.
Edited by © Unexplained Sounds Group
Curated by Raffaele Pezzella (Sonologyst)
Cover image: "Free as a Bird" by © Silena Lena
All rights reserved