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v/a : “Facthedral’s Hall – 20 Years of Improbable Music”

STRANGER AEONS (NL.), Webzine September 6th 2019 :
This sampler might be a collection of music, but it listens like a mixtape. Opening with the hooky electronics from SomniaK on ‘Tears of Fish’, you instantly get into the groove of the recording. You’re taken on a journey of samples, tribal beats, crackling electronics and unholy ambient with Sizzle, Pi Cab Alter and Anti. From heartbeat throbbing baselines to wonky, warbled effects with some dungeon synthy explorations in between, the music is highly engaging. Particularly I enjoy the industrial soundscapes of Minitel, though the strange, doomy synths of deathrow77 stick in your ear for a while too I must say. But then again, Silent Tower will pound it out of you with their harsh electronics. Strange closer though, by Death Power, who deliver some miaowing followed by some raw as fuck thrash metal. I mean, everything is just pure fury. It would appear that this is contrasting with the electronics-heavy music mostly released by Facthedral’s Hall, yet it is not so. The label focuses on a certain vibe, a feeling, that is hard to really put your finger on. They do it quite well.
Guido

NAWAKULTURE (Fr.), Webzine, 05 Mai 2019 :
Jamais on n’aurait pu trouver un titre plus adéquat pour cet excellent recueil de seize titres regroupant des formations aussi éclectiques et aventureuses, souvent dans le domaine de la musique électronique et assimilés. Cette compilation – 500 copies – est en fait un amuse-bouche (un amuse-oreille plutôt quand on y pense) car elle est en fait offerte avec chaque commande faite par le biais du label, allez donc faire un tour sur le site de celui-ci qui regorge d’artistes underground courant du domaine de la pop jusqu’à la plus extrême frange du metal en passant par l’industriel et l’ambient. Une structure qui mérite tout votre soutien pour son courage depuis toutes ces années et un sérieux à toute épreuve, rendez-vous avec un vrai passionné à http://www.facthedral.com/, ça vous changera des wannabe-supermarchés, virtuels ou pas, qui bourgeonnent sans cesse partout.

VITAL WEEKLY (NZ.), webzine & podcast #1149, 2018 week 38 :
(…) we received a free compilation CD – released back in 2017 mind you – with a selection of artists that have released work on Facthedral’s Hall during its 20 year existence. The label seems to dabble in experimental electronic music and industrial mostly, but let’s take a closer look. Despite the vast sonic differences between the Facthedral acts, the track listing is in chronological order so we begin in the late 90s with Somniak’s demo-sceneish drum’n’bass that has the unavoidable amen flying around the room. A recognisable feature that is however drowned out by the lushy synth layers that are stacked on top. Via the outlandish sample-laden triphop of Sizzle and a slightly more experimental, but again lush track by Somniak, we land within the thick saturated dark ambient sounds of Pi Cab Alter. Even though this isn’t anything special nowadays, for a indie scene release from 2003 this sounds quite interesting. Anti is up next who does that thing that Talvin Singh did at some point with tabla and drum’n’bass. It’s sports the same kind of lushness as the work of Somniak, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a different moniker for the same artist. The following track by Sacrifice seems to consist of two elements: distorted guitar/synth (for the life of me, I can’t tell – my guess is that whatever it is, it gets pulled through one of those eardrum-ripping Boss MT2’s) and a wonky gabber kick drum. While I was involved in a project similar to this at the time, now in 2018 this kind of stuff just really gets on me tits. Deary me. So fast-forward to Chalung Gra, who present us with an ambient track of the “Celer” variety, that evolves slowly through its own undulation – outstanding! Atrabilis Sunrise jumps from what seems the one heavily treated sample to the other in an “Oval” kind of way. But then again, not like Oval at all, as it slowly ends up getting a bit more industrial after a while and then starts jumping frantically again – which is when i lose interest. Up next is Deadrow77; we hear an electronic piano loop that evolves into something more dissonant, has some sudden washes of noise cleaning the place up and then continues to develop a similar loop. This may have been interesting in 2004, or at least extremely hard to classify, but now.. I don’t know. Then we have another Sizzle track, which seems more IDM-oriented this time – the kind of stuff that Warp was all about in the late 90s. Not bad. And another Deadrow77 track but one from unholy 2015. It is again, ‘weird’, but less loopy than the other one. It could definitely serve as a sound track to some kind of game. Still I’m not a gamer, so what do I know. Velvetine ramps up the tempo and it is the first track that features actual singing. It all sounds like something Blixa could have done, like, I don’t know, with the guitar player of Rammstein or something. Nice production. Minitel gives you 50 shades of Lustmord after that, which is fine, though not very interesting amidst tracks that have so much more going on. Ingodeme is the ‘light’ that gets to contrast with the dark of Minitel and that kind of works now the whole thing has slowed down to a crawl anyway. Silent Tower play old school down-tempo black metal, which is probably a less grotesque addition to this compilation after hearing that demented gabber metal track a couple of minutes back. It’s no Gehenna or Carpathian Forest though and seems to wash over me as it goes. The closer upper by Chalung Gra is a lot darker than their other track with its metallic ringing and menacing tsunami-like flow. Enjoyed that one too though. All in all it’s just a random selection of tracks that don’t really make sense together, except for in the context of the label’s history. Good on Facthedral’s Hall for keeping its head above water for such a long time. Perhaps this is fun to look into if you’re into indie electronic label stuff or a fan of “improbable” music.

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v/a: “Assortiment de F.H.”

Fear Drop (Fr.) magazine #8, Spring 2001 :
Contrairement à beaucoup de compilation CD-R, celle-ci n’est pas un simple reflet d’une scène locale. Si plusieurs morceaux ont été composés par la “famille” de coeur du label (Le K., Somniak, Scars XS), de nombreux artistes internationaux ont été invités dans cette aventure aux multiples détours électroniques. Des plus lumineuses aux plus sombres, toutes les heures d’un soleil de synthèse ont été représentées. Les amateurs de chaleur s’attarderont d’abord sur les climats tempérés des morceaux des formations précitées (superbe titre dub claquant de Somniak sur le CD 1), pour une exposition maximale avec les oasis chromés de Ras-Al-Ghul. Aux Étages crépusculaires, les alambics de La Kuizine rappelleront les torsions de Myase ; les étincelles fugitives et lumineuses de The Infant Cycle permettront la nyctalopie. Pour des scènes en obscurité totale, on goûtera les plages présentant Delphium (nouvelle version d’un très ancient morceau) et son alter ego erratique Children Of Asmodeus, le morceau le plus abyssal de Mimetic (ici Case), ou encore l’atelier douloureux et mécanisé de Sisygambis. Longue promenade à luminosité variable, cette compilation rétablit l’attention sur les tendances les moins minimales de l’électronique sombre. On se réjouit de retrouver une vue colorée, de parcourir à nouveau le spectre digital déverrouillé.

Metamorphic Journeyman (Bel.) e-mag, June 2002 :
Compilations have the strength of diversity granted to them automatically – rare indeed do you find a collection of artists in one area without at least one or two tracks which make the album worth buying. And it often seems to be the case that artists find their true strength when surrounded on either side of a playlist by their peers. Often, as is the case with this album, the sum total album far outweighs the strength of the individual parts – and strong some of these parts are.I’m going to find it impossible to get through this review without making reference to another project which indeed is a kind of ongoing compilation. Once I decided how close to DIVINATION’s sound this was, I could not resist comparing it to “Akasha”. And hold your breath for this – this album seems to go much much further. Like DIVINATION, this collection spans the diverse tractless space between post-EBM Electronic music and strange, abstract soundscapes.The sparse separation between one ‘vocal’ track and another makes me think a little of THIS MORTAL COIL, where large areas were instrumental, and although the appearance of a human voice was always welcome, you never felt the urge to click through the intervening soundscapes.Certainly it would be nice to analyse this album through some kind of microscope, dissecting each track, squeezing the essential substance from each piece, and if I ever get time I will make it my duty to probe every corner. However, viewing the album as a whole, successful journey is so much more rewarding.Before moving on, as is the ruminant grazing nature of a reviewer, I just have to mention the cover, which obviously took a great deal of effort to create. You delve inside layer after layer to expose the CDs, individually packaged in a small paper sleeve. To Be Continued….