Review: Belgium's Twilight Ritual formed the essence of the coldwave movement throughout the '80s: a shadowy duo riding below the mainstream and making cutting-edge proto-techno that would, unknowingly to the band, sound still as fresh as ever thirty years later. Originally out on Micrart, Geert Coppens and Peter Bonne's debut album was only released on cassette and CDR back in 1982 but thankfully Onder Stroom drop the first ever vinyl version, including a beautiful insert. Ranging from wonky synth-pop to pseudo-industrial sounds, The Ritual is an album which truly represents the era that it was made in, a time when genres were being mixed and stripped on a constant basis and where making futuristic machine sounds was the most important objective on the agenda for many bands. If you're into slow-burning drum machine jams and fuzzy synths then this is your winning ticket. Gorgeous reissue.
Beatnik Love Affair - "Share My Heart's Blood" (4:54)
The Actor - "Unreal Personality" (6:00)
Storung - "Dimensie 4" (4:44)
Van Kaye & Ignit - "Picassos On The Wall" (3:13)
SM Nurse - "Hot Day In Instanbul" (6:47)
Ende Shneafliet - "Session Zeitgeist" (5:31)
Das Ding - "A Dark Place" (vocal version) (6:25)
Review: Given the recent rise in popularity of minimal synth and darkwave across all of Europe, Belgium's Onder Stroom imprint have put together this compilation at exactly the right time. Dutch Wave: A History Of Minimal Synth & Wave In The Netherlands is an important collection of tunes because it includes plenty of material from the early 80s that went on to inspire the current generation of known producers - people like Legowelt and Intergalactic Gary coming to mind. Moreover, the material by most of the one-off bands is utterly danceable, such as Beatnik Love Affair's "Share My Heart's Blood", or even "Hot Day In Instabul" from SM Nurse. A wonderful compilation from a trustworthy source.