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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

VA - Earthen [Cold Spring Records - 2018]

Legendary industrial label Cold Spring recently unleashed their 250th release, and to celebrate, they've put out a 2xCD sampler stacked to the roof with 29 awesome tracks. Showcasing their wide breadth of current material, Cold Spring's Earthen compiles artists playing anything from noise to neo-folk, doom to torch songs, and dark ambient to death industrial. Limited to 4000 copies in a gatefold ecopak, this is a sampler that goes above and beyond the standard "ten track disc in a cardboard sleeve."

No stranger to Musique Machine's pages, many of the songs featured on Earthen have come from albums that have previously been reviewed (links below). In addition to these and others that have yet to be reviewed, Cold Spring has included forthcoming songs along with an exclusive, unreleased track from Coil. Having spent years building their catalog and finding new acts that are properly suited to their sound, Cold Spring is able to build a sampler that flows more like a handcrafted compilation album. Mixing electronics with traditional instrumentation, and juxtaposing harsh sonics and lighter, grim ambiance, Earthen's layout manages to cover all of Cold Spring's current motifs while still keeping an overall theme and consistent tone throughout. In a time when label samplers are a rare occurrence, Cold Spring manages not only to keep this idea alive, but to hit it out of the park. In addition to keeping the flow and stringing together 29 well planned tracks, Cold Spring sprinkles this sampler with songs from upcoming releases. The ability to preview this many extant songs is great, but hearing what is to come on this label is a real treat. While most labels would be ok leaving their listeners to preview upcoming albums via the web, Cold Spring adds a touch of class by including a handful of forthcoming treats.

Samplers are seemingly a thing of the past, and labels are getting their catalog selections out through the web. However, Cold Spring is keeping this tradition alive, and their 250th release celebration, Earthen, is a sampler of the highest quality. Limited to 4000, the latest sampler from Cold Spring plays like a compilation and is well worth the purchase.

M[m] links;
MERZBOW / GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE ‘A Perfect Restraint’ (3:20)
from ‘A Perfect Pain’ CD/LP (CSR23CD/LP) here

SHE SPREAD SORROW ‘Escape’ (4:25)
from ‘Midori’ CD (CSR251CD) here

NDE ‘VII’ (4:23)
from ‘United’ CD (CSR247CD) here

SONOLOGYST ‘Singularity‘ (4:30)
from ‘Silencers’ CD (CSR253CD) here

NYTT LAND ‘Nordur / Yule Song’ (6:26)
from ‘Oðal’ CD (CSR249CD) here

KHOST ‘Redacted, Repressed, Recalcitrant’ (5:37)
from ‘Governance’ CD (CSR237CD) here

XERXES THE DARK ‘Longing To Return’ (6:02)
from VA ‘Visions Of Darkness (In Iranian Contemporary Music)’ 2CD (CSR242CD) here

SHIFT ‘To Rid Them All And To Wash Their Filth From My Body (Edit)’ (3:32)
from ‘Abandon’ CD (CSR236CD) here

JOTUNSPOR ‘Solartjuven’ (5:14)
from ‘Gleipnirs Smeder’ CD (CSR244CD) here

MAYUKO HINO ‘Faintainhead (Excerpt)’ (4:17)
from ‘Lunisolar’ CD (CSR245CD) here

C.3.3. ‘Movement II (Radio Edit)’ (4:07)
from ‘Ballad Of Reading Gaol – The Cacophonietta’ CD (CSR255CD) here

COMMON EIDER, KING EIDER ‘The Dark Winter (Excerpt)’ (3:37)
from ‘Shrines For The Unwanted, Respite For The Cast Aside’ CD (CSR243CD) here

COLOSSLOTH ‘Lain Inert’ (2:35)
from ‘Heathen Needles’ CD (CSR235CD) here

TUNNELS OF ĀH ‘Kosmiglot (Edit)’ (5:16)
from ‘Charnel Transmissions’ CD (CSR256CD) here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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