2 x CD: Cold Spring CSR60CD [2006]

KREUZWEG OST - 'Ein Neuer Krieg'.
ANDREW LILES - 'Sea Man Or Giordano Giosus The Unsuspecting Landlord'.
SHINJUKU THIEF - 'Sacred Fury Live'.
CLEAR STREAM TEMPLE - 'Division (City Of Mosques).
JOHN WATERMANN - 'Whispering Walls (Si_COMM Remix)'.
BLEIBURG feat. WERKRAUM/VON THRONSTAHL - 'Herdfeuer (Reburned)'.
ZOS KIA - 'Ten Miles High (Alternative Mix)'.
NECROPOLIS - 'Eudaimonia'.
DEADWOOD - 'The Serpent Spiral'.

VON THRONSTAHL - 'Adoration To Europa (Folk Version)'.
GOATVARGR - 'Lycanthrophic'.
KRIEGSFALL-U - 'Crisis And Catharsis'.
A CHALLENGE OF HONOUR - 'At Dawn We Meet Our Maker'.
BAND OF PAIN - 'Swelled And Spent'.
WERKRAUM - 'La Lutte des Jeunes'.
SCHLOSS TEGAL - 'Coital Affirmation (A.C.E. Remix)'.
H.E.R.R. - 'Stalingrad'.

When Justin Mitchell first started selling cassettes under the Cold Spring label back in 1988 I doubt that even he would realise just how far his dreams for the label would have progressed. Not only has he established one of the finest mail order outlets for music fanatics the world over but the Cold Spring record label has flourished to such an extent that every release it puts out is eagerly awaited for and snapped up. It has without doubt become the leading record label within the UK and is without equal. The reasons for this are simple. Firstly: Justin won’t release any old recording that is offered to him just for the sake of it…other labels PLEASE take note and secondly…and probably most importantly…he has to like and believe in the music of the acts that make it onto the Cold Spring roster. Of course by taking this stance there are the odd blips on the radar that won’t appeal to everyone…but what the hell there’s always another release just around the corner that will
fill that gap. For every Psychic TV there’s a Folkstorm or Melek-Tha to enjoy. Cold Spring will soon be hitting release number 65 with Goatvargr…the 5 gaps in the release numbers will eventually see the light of day…so what better way to celebrate all thing Cold Spring than with a double cd of exclusive tracks from acts old and new.

‘Swarm’ follows in the illustrious footsteps of the previous CD compilations ‘Shrine’, ‘Un-named (CSR5CD)’, ‘Seedmouth’ and ‘Chamber’ and the first vinyl Cold Spring release ‘And the wolf shall lick the jewels from your belly’. Where ‘Chamber’ was a ‘try before you buy’ compilation of Cold Spring releases ‘Swarm’ is a celebration covering all aspects of the Cold Spring manifesto regarding music.

Comprising 22 tracks the illustrious role call of artists reads: Kreuzweg Ost, Andrew Liles, Shinjuku Thief, Merzbow / Nordvargr, Clear Stream Temple, Fredrik Klingwall, John Watermann, Bleiburg feat Werkraum and Von Thronstahl, Zos Kia, Necropolis, Deadwood, Sistrenatus, Sleep Research Facility, Von Thronstahl, Goatvargr, Kriegsfall U, Tenhornedbeast, A Challenge of Honour, Band of Pain, Werkraum, Schloss Tegal and H.E.R.R. The majority of acts presented here have a back catalogue of releases second to none representing every musical genre from neo folk / classical, dark ambient, Death Industrial and Power electronics and each deserving the highest of accolades for their musical prowess. Which makes picking out the highlights from this release an impossible task. One which I’m not even going to attempt. Every track in its own right is musical manna from the Gods. My musical taste is all encompassing. I can just as easily be hammered into oblivion by extreme noise terror and yet still derive ultimate great pleasure from a decent neo-folk act singing in German. Quality not quantity is my byword. The quality within these 22 tracks beggars belief. You may have your doubts about certain acts or music but ‘Swarm’ serves to educate and alleviate those fears. If it turns just one person onto an act they had previously discounted out of hand then it has served its purpose admirably. For the rest of us already committed to the Cold Spring cause it primes us for those future releases with eyes locked firmly onto the calendar in fervent anticipation of future delights.

‘Swarm’ is everything that a magnificent compilation should strive towards. In fact this is the only compilation you’ll need to buy this year as I doubt it can be bettered. If you happen upon Justin in some dusty tavern down Northampton way shake his hand and buy him a pint. He deserves it for his services in bringing the best musical acts out to a wider audience through the Cold Spring record label. May his tastes never change.


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