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Founded by Patrick Rodgers in 1995, Dancing Ferret Discs has fast become a popular label in the Gothic, Darkwave and Synthpop genres.  With no real prior music industry experience, Patrick was to embark on quite an adventure.  The label came together through a number of circumstances including the release of the Vampire: The Masquerade soundtrack along with the release of the Telemetry of a Fallen Angel album by the well-known electro-goth act, The Cruxshadows.  And there's been no slowing down since.  To show for all of this hard work, a pre-cursor work, Dancing Ferret Concerts is the home of many great festivals and concerts in the Philadelphia area.  And now, alongside the label, the various ventures also include the Digital Underground shop, a local music store in Philadelphia. And later the acquisition of the former Isolation Tank, now known as IsoTank, one of the larger independant internet music stores.

The goal of Dancing Ferret Discs is to simply try and get the music into the hands of everyone that will enjoy it.  While this is quite a lofty goal, it's certainly a worthy goal and one that Patrick and Co. at DFD are well on their way to doing.  One of the latest rewards from this effort includes the American concert by The Dreamside, who played in front of over 1,000 fans.  In the future, besides more of what we already enjoy, we can expect DFD to expand more into other markets around the world.  With already a good reception in the United States, Canada and Europe, they are working on getting more promotion in Asia and South America.

With such respectable bands as The Cruxshadwos, The Dreamside and Neuroticfish to just name a few, the label deserves recognition and respect with what they do for the fans of Gothic, Darkwave and Synthpop music and also for each of the artists they promote.  A very big welcome to this label and their bands to the scene and to the Gothic Paradise site.  Be sure to check this label out, they are one to watch for much success in this underground music industry.

Dancing in the Dark 2006 - Review

Over the past few months and for the near future the folks at Dancing Ferret have been busy releasing some great new music.  Many of these bands of put out some great albums as they each continue to impress fans of gothic, medieval and electronic related music. Now we have available some great selections from these releases in the form of this latest label sampler featuring fifteen tracks in total.  The packaging is simple, featuring a simple slip of paper with track listings and photos of a model, keeping in line with their previous samplers making it a nice affordable way to pick up some great music.

Most people find it hard to keep up with all of the latest releases from every band, so this is a great way to sample the latest music.  And going through the disc you won't want to miss the hard-driving gothic rock sounds of The Last Dance with "Once Beautiful" kicking off the album, as their style and efforts continue to mature and each new release becomes a new favorite for me. It took a while for the new ThouShaltNot album to grow on me, but presenting "Oh Invisible" with it's modern rock sound is also a nice touch. Obvious selections include Absurd Minds with "Gedanken Reich", Faun sporting their illustrious and haunting medieval sounds with "Sirena" and of course the VNV Nation remix of "Wo Verstecht Sich Gott" from the german powerhouse rocker Joachim Witt.

Of course I'm always up for some pleasant surprises and general favorite selections of recent and upcoming new releases. So I nearly jumped for joy when I heard the powerful, gothic rock selection "In Longing" from one of my all-time favorite bands The Dreamside. I just can't get over how they combine such hard-hitting rock with Kemi's sweet vocals on this and most of their other pieces. I was happy with the selection of "Aviary" from Ego Likeness, one of the tracks that gets away from the slightly predictable driving electro-goth sound that has filtered into many of their tracks on their latest album. Corvus Corax is always a highlight on any compilation they appear on and this one is no different with their over-the-top medieval, bag-pipe and drum-laiden sound on "Venus Vina Musica".  And it's not all about the heavy and hard hitters either as the tone is softened with Lunascape haunting us with "Chemical Lingo". and Irfan wraping up the album with their mesmerizing ethereal and old-world ambient piece "Star of the Winds".

Once again, this is another great sampler that not only includes some great pieces, but is well put together in such a way that many different fans of different styles will definitely enjoy. Be sure to pick it up and choose your own favorites and support the bands and pick up their albums, because each one is well worth it.

Rating: 4/5

Track Listing:
1. The Last Dance - Once Beautiful
2. ThouShaltNot - Oh Invisible
3. Absurd Minds - Gedanken Reich
4. The Dreamside - In Longing
5. Carfax Abbey - Evisceration
6. Ego Likeness - Aviary
7. Lunascape - Chemical Lingo (Label mix)
8. De/Vision - Subtronic (Beat of Steel mix)
9. Behind the Scenes - Horizon
10. Corvus Corax - Venus Vina Musica
11. Faun - Sirena
12. The Cru¨xshadows - Dragonfly (Conjure One remix)
13. Joachim Witt - Wo Versteckt Sich Gott (VNV Nation remix)
14. Paralysed Age - Cold Winds
15. Irfan - Star of the Winds

Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King Soundtrack - Review

Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King is the film version of The Ring of the Nibelungs, which is a fantasy adventure story of magic, medieval lore and adventure and possibly thought to be the original inspiration for Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.  Sony Pictures with the Sci-Fi Channel are releasing the movie on cable TV and DVD at the end of March. Along with the release of this epic movie we're presented with an excellent soundtrack which includes an excellent blend of medieval music from many of the prominent artists releasing music today along with selections from the film's score and opening and closing themes.

That nearly sums up what's on this album and I could probably just leave it at that and include the track listing and most fans of gothic and medieval music won't hesitate to pick this album up.  However, I'll delve into the music a little for those that might not be sure about snagging it.  The album kicks off with E Nomine, one of Germany's most popular gothic-oriented bands mixing goth, choral, orchestral and symphonic elements into their own powerful signature sound on "Drachengold".  Blackmore's Night appears twice on this disk with two of their guitar-based medieval style tracks "Gone with the Wind" and "Shadow of the Moon".  Both are almost heavenly with Candice Night's smooth vocals providing the decorative threads in a complex tapestry that Ritchie Blackmore weaves with his guitar and the other contributors.  Along similar lines of smooth female-fronted vocals are Qntal and Xandria each providing a beautiful ethereal piece.  After hearing some of Xandria's goth-metal works, the inclusion of "Eversleeping" on this album was a very pleasant surprise as this selection is smooth, mesmerizing ethereal music.  The Dreamside also presents one of their most somber pieces "Somewhere Before" which is nice, but it's really awesome to hear "Forsaken" included on this album which is an awesomely intense, guitar-driven track from their latest full-length album.

Besides the awesome siren-like tracks already mentioned on this album, a major thematic element to this disc are the powerful traditional and medieval tracks with plenty of pipes and celtic styles.  Providing music along these lines are Faun, Estampie and Corvus Corax.  For those familiar with medieval music, these bands should be well-known and familiar, for those not familiar, imagine the best medieval movie soundtrack (ie. Braveheart and Lord of the Rings), add some intensity and vocals and you have the powerful tracks from these artists.

Despite my positive ravings so far, there are some slight drawbacks to this soundtrack in the form of the inclusion of the heavy metal track "Uthark Runa" by Therion.  I'm normally a fan of some of the great goth-metal bands, but when the heavy, thrasher metal bands come along into the scene, the screaming and thrashing really gets to me.  Katie Knight Adams and Barbi Schiller provide the most pop-oriented pieces on the album, though they do lean towards pop, they're still accessible to the goth and medieval scene and fans that will likely pick this album up.  And finally, I'm not sure I'm convinced yet that Das Ich belong on this album with their dark, noise piece "Egodram!".  It just doesn't seem to fit well with the theme of the rest of the CD.

That summarizes the album, there are a few other excellent tracks not mentioned, but the reader will just have to check it out.  Readers shouldn't hesitate to pick up this CD if you have even the slightest love for this type of music, it covers a broad spectrum, yet remains true to the thematic elements that the movie is sure to provide.

Rating: 4.5/5

Track Listing:
1. E Nomine - Drachengold
2. Blackmore's Night - Gone With The Wind
3. The Dreamside - Somewhere Before
4. Schandmaul - Drachentöter
5. Therion - Uthark Runa
6. Faun - Prolog/Andro
7. Estampie - Owe War Sint Verswunden (Nibelungs Edit)
8. The Crüxshadows - Winterborn (Subway to Sally Remix)
9. Faun - Unda
10. Das Ich - Egodram!
11. Blackmore's Night - Shadow of the Moon
12. Corvus Corax - Dulcissima (Cantus Buranus Carmina Burana)
13. The Dreamside - Forsaken
14. Ilan Eshkeri - Shicksal (score)
15. Xandria - Eversleeping
16. ILan Eshkeri - Todesfinale (score)
17. Qntal - Remember Me (Kriemhild Edit)
18. Barbi Schiller - Lebenslight
19. Katie Knight Adams - Riding on the Rocks

Sleepwatching DVD - Review

Asleep By Dawn, the partner magazine from this label has put together possibly the best compilation DVD in recent history. In the past, these types of video compilations have featured low quality and poor selections of the current goth/industrial acts.  This DVD is definitely the exception and features some of the best possible videos in the scene.

Another thing that has been the trend lately is the number of DVD's released that are just shoots of live performances.  Again this DVD breaks the mold with very few live performance videos.  The selection of the video clips are great including some new favorite songs that I hadn't even heard before from medieval goth metal bands Xandria and Blackmore's Night.  Some great new videos are included from recent releases from The Cruxshadows, Qntal, Hungry Lucy and Irfan to name a few.  But it's also great to see a few classics like Peter Murphy and The Cult.

The extras on this DVD are nice, including Android Lust's popular "Stained" video.  The interviews are OK, but there nothing else to really fall all over for.

So there you have it, over twenty excellent videos of great quality.  You should definitely run out and pick up this DVD!

Rating: 4.5/5

Track Listing:
1. Skinny Puppy Pro-Test
2. The Cruxshadows Edge of The World
3. Xandria Ravenheart
4. Collide Euphoria
5. Loreena McKennitt Mummer's Dance
6. Lunascape Tears From the Moon
7. Qntal Entre Moi Et Mon Amin
8. Blue Man Group The Current
9. Eisbrecher Schwarze Witwe
10. Lacuna Coil Swamped
11. Peter Murphy Cuts You Up
12. Irfan Oktrovenie
13. Blackmore's Night Way to Mandalay
14. Hungry Lucy Softly
15. The Dreamside Open Your Eyes
16. Tristania Equilibrium
17. Corvus Corax Saltarello (Live)
18. Gothminister Monsters
19. The Cult She Sells Sanctuary
20. Artwork Nightdance II
21. Estampie Je Vivrois Liement (Live)
22. La Floa Maldita Chanson d'amour

Interview with HIM / Ville Valo
Interview with Gothminister
Four additional music videos:
(Advent Sleep "Look Away My Love," Android Lust "Stained," Carfax Abbey "Spitshine" and Faun "Deva / Punagra")

Dancing in the Dark – Review

One thing that we've been able to enjoy recently coming out of the Dancing Ferret camp are the nice compilations.  This one is for a special landmark anniversary, that of the 10 Years of Dancing Ferret.  And so we're presented with seventeen excellent tracks that are a nice reference of what we've been presented with from this label over the past decade.

Probably the most prominent band on the label is The Crüxshadows with their worldwide recognition of their unique blend of violin, electronics and gothic song structures.  So it only seems appropriate that they kick off this compilations with one of their bigger hits "Tears".  The range of selections span the range of their releases including going back a few years to the selection of "Humna" by Behind the Scenes which was one of the first bands besides The Cruxshadows that I heard from this label.

Even though a good number of the songs from this compilation have appeared on recent related comps, such as Asleep By Dawn or others, there are also some nice treats that even the most avid fan will enjoy.  For example, I'm sure that not many fans have the Nocturne album from Paralysed Age which was released before the time of DFD.  So the inclusion of the title track from that album is a treat and one of their better tracks.  Also, the inclusion of many recently released tracks provide an excellent selection of what people can expect from the bands on this label.  The way this label has been able to pick up so many European bands and re-release albums or setup some "best of" discs to re-introduce these groups to the North American audience is awesome.  Many recent releases are an example of this with the inclusion of Corvus Corax, Qntal, Estampie and Lunascape.  All of these have just been hard-to-find obscure releases until now.

With seventeen nice tracks, this is a great way for people to celebrate ten years with this label or if you're new to the label, then it's a great way to become familiar with the great releases they have presented us with and will continue to present.

Track Listing:

1. The Crüxshadows - Tears
2. Absurd Minds - Masterbuilder
3. Eisbrecher - Schwarze Witwe
4. The Last Dance - Nightmares
5. Ego Likeness - 16 Miles
6. Qntal - Name Der Rose
7. Irfan - Oktrovenie
8. Neuroticfish - Velocity
9. Behind the Scenes - Human (single version)
10. The Dreamside - Apaika
11. Estampie - A Voi Gente
12. Lunascape - Mindstalking
13. Paralysed Age - Nocturne
14. Gothminister - Dark Salvation
15. Carfax Abbey - Love Hate Kind
16. ThouShaltNot - Without Faith
17. Corvus Corax - Filii Neidhardi


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