Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forgotten Blood

Forgotten Blood was a Portuguese label (based in Penafiel) created during the auspices of 1993’s Samhein. Like the evocative ceremony in which the rituals of it's foundation were held, the evocation of such a sacred day intended to mean that a new epoch, the arduous walk through the darkness, would lead to the fruition of a new cycle of life and creativity while opening doors to other possibilities and perceptions of long forgotten realities.

Founded by Bruno Sousa (B. Ardo - ex-Fé de Sábio), Corinna Ardo (Ku Ku) and Rui Coutinho, it became the mainstay for the recovering of the traditions of Callaecia (North Portugal and present day Galicia), the resurrection of the cults and gods of yore and the promotion of the Catros Civilization and Indo-European identity. This was an idea that had been maturing since 1988, following the path of a radio show dedicated to the kind of music that they would release.

Consequently, the themes, symbols, languages and ambiences of its editions will reflect all this, syncretizing traditional music with industrial experiences and ritualistic ambiances, together with a dialectical dark folk approach, using, whenever possible, traditional instruments.

In order that all this could be possible, a strong friendship and cooperation between all the people involved was common ground, creating a coherent and united collective. This uniqueness was reflected also in their releases, always in limited editions and with handmade artwork and packaging.

Existing until 1998, the label would release only a restricted number of editions and a limited set of projects, not all strictly musical.

The first sacrifice would come out during 1994, in the shape of Zwickau’s cassette "Vincit Omni Veritas", a solo project of B. Ardo (with the help of Ku Ku). This release would be followed by "The Serpent's Law", in 1995 (through the Italian label Psychotic Release), revealing an evolution towards a more organic and natural sound. Afterwards, contacts were made regarding a vinyl edition but, unfortunately, they came to nothing... During 1998, a track by Zwickau was included in the compilation "Lunar Blood Rituals".

Forgotten Blood’s second release, "The Death of the Horseman," would see the light of day during 1995, being the first work by In Articulo Mortis, an alter ego of Lino Villapouca (ex-Fé de Sábio). 1998 found this project’s mentor recording a second effort, entitled "Fire and Ashes", which, however, was never to be released, as the label came to an end during that year.

The third release would be by Wolfskin, Johan Madju/Aernus’ brainchild which, later on, will be connected with the Reaping Host/Reaping Horde label. Having the collaboration of B. Ardo, "The Hidden Fortress" is also released 1995.

1996 saw the release of two more tapes. The first, a compilation that includes several groups related with the label, "Solis Rota", where new compositions by Zwickau, Wolfskin, In Articulo Mortis and Warriors of Nature were to be found, as well as tracks by Listen To Reapers and Forgers, Soluctu Mors, Draukrubna and Silence. The second, a recording by Warriors of Nature (a collective comprising B. Ardo and Johan Madju), entitled "The Roots of Blood", which came out through Forgotten Lair (an offshoot dedicated to more combative and warrior like music). This subsidiary will also release yet another Warriors of Nature’s work, "Serpent Wars of Callaecia", and Zwickau’s "Death's Triumphant Dignity", during 1998.

The label’s last spark of life came out in the form of the cassette "Alborada do Douro – Cantares da Terra Castreja", by Sangre Cavallum, a collective born out of Warriors of Nature’s ashes. This recording saw B. Ardo, Ku Ku, Coutinho and Paul Martins working together. Launched in 1998, it coincided with Blood Axis’ first performances in Portugal (in Sintra and Guimarães). However, and previous to Martins’ collaboration, the band released the semi-official tape “Nação Castrexa".

As for other releases parallel to the label’s input, and not yet mentioned above, Silence (B. Ardo and Ku Ku) contributed to the compilation "Cogito Mori" (by the Portuguese label Putrefactio) and were to contribute to a compilation by Ultra! They also recorded a cassette that, unfortunately, never had an official edition.

Another project involved in Putrefactio’s collection was Solucto Mors (Rui Coutinho’s solo outfit) who also had a release just about to come out but it never did, the same happening with Draukrubna (Ku Ku’s own project).

Another group linked with this label, Kar, which emerged as a parallel project to Warriors of Nature, released a one-off tape, "Words From Slashed Throats".

As mentioned earlier, Forgotten Blood published other stuff, besides musical releases, including the ethnographic newsletter Callaecia, which ended up being a solo issue, and the book by Paulo Vilela “Acto Quebrado", through the Ad Abcessus Temporis branch of the label.

Also, it should be mentioned the participation B. Ardo’s new outfit, Bigorna, in the 2004’s issue compilation of “Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition”, and the creation of a new label, Folcastro, which released, in 2007, Sangre Cavallum’s compilation "Troadouro: Retrospectiva 1997-2007".

Forgotten Blood’s output is very much sought after, but re-releases of its work are not foreseen, at least in a near future.

(Paulo Martins)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oktober Black - Black Oktober

[[brief note: am elated to announce we have thee good fortune ov now receiving articles from Portuguese writer/ musician Paulo Martins!! Paulo has been writing articles for thee Portuguese language blog Under Review who are working at building a history of Portuguese urban music.. Paulo tis very graciously offering us English translations ov some ov his submissions to this projekt!! very much looking forward to his first-hand insights into thee Portuguese esoteric sound arts scene[s]!! without any further delays here tis thee first article he has kindly offered unto us here: an article for an olde projekt ov his: Oktober Black!!]]


Officially formed in Guimarães, during 1997, as a solo outfit, by Paulo Martins, Oktober Black had its profound roots in another likeminded project, Outubro Negro (which, in Portuguese, means basically the same).

Conceived during the summer of 1991, it included the afore mentioned Paulo Martins (acoustic, classic and electric guitars, texts/lyrics, vocals, bass, rababa and percussions - ex-Pop Trolha, Anomeos and Restos Mortais de Isabel) and João Madureira (acoustic and classic guitars, bass – ex-Os Sobrinhos do Tio Nelson), its music moving between dark folk, post punk, classical music and traditional folk.

During 1992, another musician is added, with the inclusion of Eduardo Silva (from the local band Alliallatas, where Paulo played drums at the time), also on guitars (acoustic, classic and electric) and bass, expanding the group’s musical possibilities and sound contours. Another step forward is taken the year after, with the summoning of Carla Ribeiro to perform the vocal duties.

Nevertheless, by that time Outubro Negro were more like a sort of an offshoot, as Paulo and Eduardo played in other projects such as As Flores da Náusea, Tenebre & Delirio and Complexus Narcisus, as well as studying in college. All this, as well as the loss of interest by the other members, led to the dissolution of the band by early ’94.

Meanwhile, Paulo kept playing in other projects such as Joana Dark and Dalila Noire, while forming his first solo outfit, The Death of Me. However, Dalila Noire’s abrupt end (due to the tragical death of its other element, Fred) and the dissolution of Joana Dark, by late 1995/early 1996, led to Paulo’s involvement with another band, Gods’ Last Wish, that was experiencing some problems too. The ending of it, led to the formation of two nucleuses, first Spiral Rain Dance and, afterwards, At Twilight. Feeling the lack of interest of the other elements of both projects, Paulo accepted the invitation, by late 1997, to play bass in yet another band, Uzi, whilst maintaining The Death of Me operational.

1998 saw yet another turning point, with Paulo accepting Sangre Cavallum’s invitation to play with them, collaborating in their first official release, Alborada do Douro, and in the first Blood Axis gigs in Portugal (in Sintra and Guimarães). It was only after leaving Sangre Cavallum, by the end of that year, that Paulo decided to form Oktober Black, which were to include all the compositions he created for Outubro Negro, Tenebre & Delirio, Dalila Noire, The Death of Me, Spiral Rain Dance and At Twilight, as well as several new songs he was working in at the time. The philosophy behind this decision was that if the others lost interest in playing and in the songs, that didn’t meant that they were no good or that they should be shelved. So, the project was to continue the reasons for creating art and to express Paulo’s personal feelings and views.

During the first half of the following year, the project assembled a sort of a compilation with homemade demos, resuming the multitude of projects above mentioned in a very limited edition of 6 copies. Entitled “The Myth of the 21st Century”, it included songs by Dalila Noire (“Homage”), Outubro Negro (“Hate Everyone Who’s Happy” and “Tired Eyes”), and The Death of Me (“And I Keep, “Take Me”, “Denying” and “Lover’s Art”), as well as brand new title, “Faraway (Take Me)”, all revealing the more dark folkish approach, except for “Hate Everyone Who’s Happy” that was more in the vein of the likes of Joy of Life. However, and due to the poor sound quality of the recordings, no further copies were issued.

Also, by late spring, the project welcomed two collaborators, Francisco (guitar, bass) and André Pontes (drums, percussion), both from the band Blasting Oil. Nevertheless, and during the fall of that same year, Paulo went on to record, on his own, the project’s second demo, “Black October”, in the Reaping Host’s (later to become Reaping Horde) studios.

Playing all instruments (with the help of recorder/producer Johan Aernus – from Karnnos and Wolfskin – in flute, effects and samplers), he recorded three new tracks (“Ritual Dusk”, “Vapour Trail of Your Dreams” and “Desert Wind”) and re-recorded two previously released songs [“Faraway (Take Me)” and “Homage”].

Released that same year, the tape continued the path presented in the previous work, though with a better and improved sound quality, while introducing some more experimental features. Printed in a larger quantity (at least 20 copies, officially), it had rave reviews in Spain, Italy, England and Germany, being re-released during 2000, in CD-R, with different artwork, and offered to whoever requested it.

In the meanwhile, two of Oktober Black’s songs (“Ritual Dusk” and “Homage”) were included in Reaping Horde’s sampler “The Nemeth: A Collection of Songs Forged by Ancient Shadows” (a release of only 50 copies), while the project gave it’s only live performance to date, in which Paulo had the collaboration of Johan Aernus (samplers, effects), Pedro Fonte (electric and acoustic guitars – ex-Defuntos, Ritual Profano…) and Nuno Cruz (keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars and bass – ex-Anguish, Long Lost Realm, Karnnos).

During 2000, the project came to a halt due to the formation of new projects such as Träume (with Nuno Cruz) and, later on (in 2004), Archétypo 120, though the idea of reactivating it has emerged a couple of times as well as a more professional re-release of the previous tapes, but only time will tell…

Oktober Black - Black Oktober

Track listing:

01 Ritual Dusk
02 Vapour Trail Of Your Dreams
03 Faraway (Take Me)
04 Homage
05 Desert Wind

(Paulo Martins)

Ordo Catharis Templi

someone requested thee Ordo Catharis Templi - Hermetisches Rosencreutz: Templum Comparatio disk which was released on Unclean Production in 1993.. whilst we do not have that edition ov thee release; we do have here thee reissued version put out by Dark Vinyl Records in 1997, and as well thee Evolution: Templum Comparatio II disk released on thee German label Atmosphere in 1995..

Ordo Catharis Templi was thee projekt ov German artists Thorn Hoedh [deceased night ov May 15th-16th 2003.], Paul Hostia, Carsten H. Mahajanah, and perchance others??.. have shared quite an ammount ov other 23 Temple related releases here before, but this just about rounds out what tis left.. some astounding material ranging from dark-wave to dark atmospheric ambient to martial elektronikx with George Bush touting patriot missile defense during thee first gulf war era to ethnic psy-trance/ esoteric tekno.. enclosed within both disks are manifestos ov sorts explaining thee groups' efforts.. am certain some shall appreciate this.. hopefully at least thee person who requested [[even if this tis not thee exact version requested..]]

Ordo Catharis Templi - Templum Comparatio I.

Track listing:

1 Ordex Sacra - Phantasme
2 Werkcorps - Sothouliye
3 Hoedh - Dämmerung Am Pog
4 Hostia - Absoluthum W5/6
5 .7.7. Seth - Dogs Blessing
6 Die Wappen Des Thotß - Der Engel WD2
7 Etudes Dèxecution Transcendante / Hostia - Ode Für Ein Monument (Stunde Der Zeit)

Ordo Catharis Templi - Evolution: Templum Comparatio II

Track listing:

1 Mahajanah - Vood Sushai
2 Hostia - Absoluthum 02
3 Hostia - Absoluthum 07
4 Hoedh - Universum 23
5 Mahajanah - Dream Out
6 Hoedh - Love Spiritual Dream