Recommended if You Like
Death In June Joy Division Nick Cave

Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Mood: Brooding Moods: Mood: Dreamy Moods: Type: Compilations Pop: Dark Wave

By Location
UK - England - London

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While Angels Watch

For many people their first exposure to the music of While Angels Watch, the project of London based musician Dev, began in 2002 with the release of Dark Age on the French label Cynfeirdd. A fine short representation of dark folk music, aided by Matt Howden and Jane Griffiths of Sieben and Ian Read of Fire + Ice. A few years later, Still The Star Shines, further enhanced their reputation in dark folk circles.

However, interested listeners would have noticed from even a quick glance at the While Angels Watch discography that they had a rich history and that Dev had been active in post-punk circles stretching way back to the early eighties. Active in the squat scene of the eighties he performed guitar for hardy post-punk perennials Flowers In The Dustbin before fronting his own band Tom's Midnight Garden. An early line-up of (what was to become) While Angels Watch featured Patrick Leagas, formerly of Death In June. A while later members of While Angels Watch assisted Patrick Leagas with the recording of the debut Six Comm album, Content With Blood, released on Eyas Media. While Angels Watch never issued any vinyl; their output was confined to three cassette releases all issued prior to 1991 in frighteningly small numbers.

On the heels of a 2005 move to the German label, Eis und Licht, followed the CD, History and Heritage Volume I. A compilation of 12 tracks from the three previously issued While Angels Watch cassettes: Reflection of Joy (1986); Behind The Mists (1988) and Falling In Love (1991). The music picks up from the post-punk period and specifically from the influence of Death In June and Joy Division, taking them as a springboard for While Angels Watch to develop a sound. It's a sound that crosses into punk, electronic dance, pop and into what we now know as neofolk or dark folk.

It is a signature sound that has matured and developed through a natural transition, which for many, still has recognisable roots in the 1980's style of dark music. Whether this is borne out on the forthcoming album we have yet to discover... despite frequent contributions to various projects and regular live appearances, Dev has delayed release of the new While Angels Watch album several times. It is now expected in 2016.

Tony Dickie
Compulsion Magazine

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