May 2006: Strange Fortune Newsletter: Neither/Neither World, Tor Lundvall, Sol InvictusA Strange Fortune Update May 2006
summer is a comin' in, arise arise!
GEM OF THE MONTH: NEITHER / NEITHER WORLD
Strange Fortune's Gem of the Month for May 2006 is _Invisible Angel_ by Neither / Neither World.
Neither / Neither World take a big step forward with their most fully produced, rock-band sounding album thus far. While the old stripped down acoustic sound is fading away, their music still enticingly blends innocence and a sinister spirit.
Neither / Neither World's _Invisible Angel_ is a Swiss import in stock & available to order right away for just $13 & shipping. Listen to a one minute sample of this gem at
Neither / Neither World's Invisible Angel
TOR LUNDVALL'S EMPTY CITY: A REVIEW
Strange Fortune is thrilled about the enthusiastic press coming in about Tor Lundvall's _Empty City_. It's looking likely this will turn out as his most celebrated release.
There's one writeup in particular we want to share, that Tor himself feels to be an outstanding interpretation of this album. By Mark Teppo for Igloo Magazine:
"There's a progression of events that lead to Tor Lundvall's Empty City. First, we build cities and railways and roads and factories; then, we vanish from them, disappearing into the night. Lundvall, riding the train through these empty landscapes, is struck by their ephemeral nature -- the way they are built and seemingly abandoned. He carries home these images and paints landscapes. These landscapes, rich with lambent skies and intense palettes of grey and charcoal, became the inspiration for the ghostly ambience of Empty City...."
Read the full article at
SOL VERITAS LUX: A SOL INVICTUS EPIPHANY
Big thanks to all who have ordered Sol Invictus _Sol Veritas Lux_ deluxe reissue 2006 distributed by Strange Fortune.
This title is just a little delayed as we're making sure it comes out right - look for this newly polished classic jewel coming your way end of the month.
While you're waiting we have a little story of musical discovery to help get you excited about a new edition of one of the essential albums of neofolk.
I still remember the shock I felt the first time I heard the first chords of "Against the Modern World."
I found Sol Invictus around ten years ago. I had just begun exploring the fascinating world of "apocalyptic folk" and was devouring whatever I could get my hands on, which was mostly later releases of Current 93 & Death in June. I was enjoying the lush, richly produced songs of these groups but was also ready to get more adventurous.
Everyone had advised I would also be interested in Sol Invictus, so this was the natural next artist to check out. This stuff was not easy at all to come by at the time, and it happened that all my radio station had in its library was an old vinyl of "Against the Modern World."
I put the needle on the record and was blasted by one of the roughest, bleakest, most stripped down recordings I ever heard, fronted by a singer who had the thickest British accent I ever heard. I got through one song and had to put it away. I wasn't ready for this after all.
Yet it would seem my curiosity was piqued, as I soon found myself coming back for more, assimilating this peculiar little dark-folk record little by little.
Shortly afterward I stumbled on a CD of _Sol Veritas Lux_ for sale -- the only Sol Invictus available at the shop. It seemed that destiny wanted me to have this one so I went ahead and snatched it for myself without a second thought. Here I found the recording quality of "Against the Modern World" to be a little cleaner than the old record I had been playing. Just when I thought I was getting accustomed to it, the second half of the CD begins and takes the affair down two more notches in primitiveness.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ would vividly strike its chord for me some months later. It was the middle of winter and I was in the middle of nowhere, upstate New York, on a long road trip. I was trying to get someplace and I was late. Much to my despair one of the biggest snowstorms I ever encountered began coming down. The storm ended up stopping traffic completely, leaving me stopped in place for four hours. There was nothing to do but sit there, watch the snow and listen to some music.
I passed the hours on that trip with all kinds of music but what I remember the most is Sol Invictus _Sol Veritas Lux_. The primitive structure of this music, the stark feeling of the guitar chords and percussion, the mysterious atmosphere radiating from the keyboard lines, the severe lyrics on themes of nature and power, delivered about as coldly and mercilessly as nature herself. This music made the most perfect sense in an unforgettable way.
I went on to collect and enjoy all the Sol Invictus albums. While on the surface this first release hardly compares with such lush masterworks as _In the Rain_ or _Hill of Crosses_, _Sol Veritas Lux_ will forever glow with a certain raw creative energy you can't find in any of the others.
Alongside essential classic Wakeford songs such as "Angels Fall" and "Summer Ends," you get some real gems delivered by Ian Read (later of Fire + Ice) -- a very strange guy with some brilliant moments. Read is possibly the only vocalist who could equal Wakeford for odd distinctiveness.
The live "In the Jaws of the Serpent" portion of the program is rough going, fascinating listening that shows an early take on many great songs that would appear on later Sol albums. An interesting note is the beloved Rose McDowall lends a hand here... on drums of all things. "In the Jaws of the Serpent" is noticeably smoothed out on the new reissue of _Sol Veritas Lux_.
The instrumental industrial track "The Joy of the World" is included once again, as well as new bonus tracks of songs rerecorded from "Against the Modern World" that I have been enjoying quite a bit.
_Sol Veritas Lux_ is a release in a category of one. It's impossible to imagine Sol Invictus going back and making music like this again. It's hard to imagine anyone making another recording like this. All Sol Invictus fans need to hear this album.
It's quite an honor for Strange Fortune to be entrusted with overseeing a new edition of this strange & exquisite classic. If it does well enough _Sol Veritas Lux_ is to be just the first in a series of deluxe reissues, order your copy and help us make it happen!
_Sol Veritas Lux_ edition 2006 can be ordered at a domestic price of just $13 & shipping at
Sol Invictus Sol Veritas Lux
summer is a comin' in, arise arise!
This Strange Fortune New Music Release Updates newsletter is available as a mailing list and as a subscribable blog.
To be added or removed from the mailing list, simply reply to service (at) strangefortune (dot) com with "subscribe" or something else that describes your wish.
To subscribe to the blog go to http://strangefortune.livejournal.com
Michael J. Salo
The source for strange & exquisite sounds
Strange Fortune / PO Box 440383 / Somerville MA 02144 USA