Projekt Records’ A Dark Noel series is three volumes of excellent Christmas music with a Gothic tinge. The music found on these three volumes is different interpretations of familiar classics but with the greatest variations in them. One thing that is shared by all of them is the mystery that neo-classic gothic brings to music. Christmas is already a unique holiday that has a splash of mystery to it. That mystery is enhanced by the Santa Claus myth and underscored by the mix of religious beliefs that grows with us even if we eventually change those beliefs. This year, Projekt Records reaches into ‘the bag’ and brings out an excellent mix of songs from those three volumes, assembling the most representative into a 12-track compilation.
You’ll find avant-garde experimentation in Attrition’s “Silent Night.” Faith and the Muse do an excellent version of “A Winter Wassail” as if it were the original version. Black tape for a blue girl tackles the traditional “Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah” in a ritualistic chant of sorts. There is a hauntingly beautiful version of “Welcome Christmas,” a song from Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas TV cartoon, as performed by Love Spirals Downward with Suzanne Perry on vocals.
The emerging Christmas traditional status of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” from John Lennon is here as an interesting electro-pop take by the Cruxshadows. There are others on this compilation, all of which entertain and exemplify the holiday seasons. If you have a penchant for holiday music and you can stretch beyond the usual Sinatra/Crosby presentations, you may find yourself wonderfully enamored of Projekt’s different way of listening to holiday classics. And if you like this sampler then I highly suggest exploring the complete 3 Projekt volumes of A Dark Noel.