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STKM or Stereoskop Maldoror Records is a premier label hailing from Spain and releases some of the great music from that country.  The label was formed as a sort of collaboration between the band Stereoskop and the Maldoror association.  The goals include being able to do more than just distribute music from national bands, but to create an entire alternative scene with concerts, festivals, expos and other events within the scene.

With the creation of this label, Spain has another great outlet and musical source for the dark, electronic, alternative and gothic scene.  With the inclusion of groups such as Stereoskop with their dark electronic dance-driven sound, Mask following much along the same lines with a harder edge, and Bubblegum which is a side project of the intelligent rhythmic noise act Proyecto Mirage on the Hands label, including techno-oriented dance beats.

It is with great pleasure that this label is included as a partner with Gothic Paradise and a great source of music for this excellent scene.  Watch out for great releases, past and present.

Ducasse - Review

Based on the writings of Count Isidore Ducasse included in Los Cantos de Maldoror, this 2-disc compilation is a treasure of obscure chants, dark-ambient masterpieces, gothic and ethereal pieces and including eclectic rock and rhythmic noise tracks.  The works include artists from all facets of the underground music scene including greats like Ataraxia, Luna In Caelo and In Gowan Ring to name just a few.

The concept is something quite notable and encompasses not only great musical talent, but also the great lyrical and artistic abilities of all artists, producers and writers involved.  The booklet includes pictures and artwork from the artists as well as credits due and a page of explanation about the album concept.  This includes the following statement, "And now, this collection of songs dedicated to the man that insulted the whole universe.  The bands and projects, friends and people that we like and love, have written - each one of them - a line that forms a poem that transmits something that has the fragrance of a real story, the story around a Spanish Fountain of cold dream that fires the love for the night, the moon and death."

With that aside, lets get right into the music.  The selection on this 2-disc set is really great, a prime choice of artists and pieces.  Including many of the artists in the Spanish music scene as well as other greats in the dark, gothic and folk arena of music.  Most of the music fits well together with few exceptions.  Highlights include artists and their pieces that I've already mentioned as well as Ostara with the upbeat track "Bavaria" and the beautiful Circe piece "Je T'envie Maldoror" with the pleading and emotional-ridden mood and music.  Others include the sassy to suave sound of Traje de Saliva track "Las Casas Malas".

The second disc seems to be overall more dynamic including several driving tracks including works by Proyecto Mirage and Stereoskop.  A couple of songs on this second disc fall short of my expectations and lack certain elements that make great music.  But I won't get into these because the overall nature, mood and talent on these two discs are really great.

Comparable to the great compilations released by Palace of Worms, this project is definitely something to be collected by music lovers.

Rating: 4/5

Disc 1 Tracklisting:

1. Luna in Caelo - Simple Mvjer
2. Ostara - Bavaria
3. Ataraxia - Arcana Eco
4. Circe - Je T'envie Maldoror
5. Hekate - Erdenwandel
6. El Luto del Rey Cuervo - El Sastrecillo
7. O Paradis - Un Canto Mas
8. Gor - Fraternitas
9. Sieben - Maldoror
10. Pfrenz-c - Beautifully Grotesque
11. Oscar Martin - Otra Absenta Sin Ti
12. Steve Severin - Mal D'Aurore
13. In Gowan Ring - On Bank of Limpid Brook
14. Kutna Hora - Oratorium
15. Traje de Saliva - Las Casas Malas

Disc 2 Tracklisting:

1. Ipd - Via Lisergica
2. Fang - Po
3. Morpheus - Beautiful Lover
4. Proyecto Mirage - Agony
5. Not Delicious - Aurore
6. Stereoskop - Wake Up
7. Vadim Tudor - Mande?
8. H.I.V.+ - Burn Addict (Sulphuric & Apophasis Remix)
9. Ripterm - Maldoror:  Chant 2 (Jivanmukt)
10. Plagiarism is Art - Contubernio y Tabla de Emutidos Ibericos
11. Reutoff - A Hair

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