Spotlight: baum•geist – music for the late autumn rain

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This is the first I’ve heard of baum•geist, a self-proclaimed internet performance artist and “multimedia acrobat“. Based out of Germany, obviously inspired by Japan and japanese culture in many ways – especially “絶命詩” (zetsumei-shi) – in English; a death-poem which is a poem written near the time of one’s death. A tradition in many cultures, but especially in Japan and during the Qing/Ming dynasty in Korea, from 1392-1897. I can never be certain of the fact that it’s the aim and pure goal of the aesthetics for “music for the late autumn rain“, but the artwork suggests that it might be a source of inspiration. Though the titles suggest something else, like the first track “秘密の地下室” (Secret basement, roughly translated), “瑠璃色” (Ballad drama color, obvious mistranslation via Google Translate), “大切な思い出” (Precious Memories) – all take into account the amorous nature of what it represents – together with the purely bizarre English titles like: “human egg“, mixed with the supernatural; “blue moon” and “geist“. When you don’t really know the language, it’s hard to determine whether what is translated really states the inherent meaning of the title.

However, the bizarre is matched with the supernatural and the mystical movements of mother nature. It’s as predictable as it is unpredictable. From pure ambient music with percussion reminding you of traditional instruments of Asia – specifically Japan – paired with a noisy, almost clairvoyant melodies that ring sharply when smashed together. But there are more characteristics that make baum•geist versitale with his music. The further into the album you come, the more it becomes a sample-based musical hemorrhage combined with field recording-like sounds. A track can suddenly change from three minutes long – to up to twelve minutes of length. Here’s where the more low-keyed ambient is experimented with, ending up with silhuettes of sound which fade out and when it comes in make a resounding noise. This is an album that makes up for its name and the music is really for “the late autumn rain“. Put on something cozy and travel into a world yet to be discovered.

Exclusive Premiere: I/II – Tectonics (Transverse)

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I embarked on a journey a couple of days ago. It had nothing to do with going to Paris, Berlin, London, Oslo, Helsinki or anything else – because it had to do with I/II. Somehow I managed to hijack a premiere which had been lent to me by co-operating with the Austrian label Totally Wired Records. Ever since I interviewed the man behind I/II, 1/2, or what ever he wants to call it himself – maybe Split Personalities to make it more than a suggestive symbol, I’ve had the ride of my life. Not because I ever wanted to, but because he re-tells stories or take up subjects in each of his tracks, at the same time he’s letting the genres change each time a new subject comes up. It started with the first track from his forthcoming mini-album “Earthquakes Usually Come Around At Night“, titled “Let’s call it a day“. This one didn’t actually have anything written to explain what it means, but it has something to do with dancing the night away and ignoring important subjects. Lock away the prisoners – there’s nothing to see here, everything’s nice and tidy. Just take some drugs and it will be fine. It’s a minimal electronics, minimal synth, experimental wonderworld which is laid upon the foundation of something that I would call a split between low-keyed noise and minimal industrial. You never know what will show up, but the soft-spoken voice in such a static environment brings up questions in your own head. Which is probably how it’s meant to be, when synced with the lyrical content.

Then the song “Transmissions End” have a steady post-punk baseline laid upon the same experimental and minimal ground. It takes up many subjects which are entwined with the other song, but it deals with freedom of speech, a realistic thought on how people get by – when time’s harsh on you and the tide can turn at any time. The paradox between your own constructed reality which often times is shaken to the core when faced with the brutality that real life can be – and might’ve become for people. I don’t really know, but that’s how I interpret it via the lyrical content. It’s a catchy song which serves as a tragicomical take on a post-modern world in a digital age, steaming on the tracks of supposed progress just to be flying out of a cliff with the next turn it takes. I believe that minimal synth, blip-blop (8-bit melodies) and post-punk are at the center of this rather cheerful but serious song. There’s a contrast between the melodies and the rhythm of the stern baseline that chugs away.

Now we get to the part where Repartiseraren gets involved. We had the opportunity to collaborate with Totally Wired Records on the weekly premiere that was scheduled before the mini-album is released in its entirety. So we got a hold of the third song, called “Tectonics (Transverse)” which is probably one of the most ambigious songs on the whole release. It starts off with “Kill them all” and a swift but hard-hitting industrial beat which changes into a monotonous acidic temptation, very quickly. We’re somewhere in between minimal electronic body music and acid. Whatever you do, it’s pointless to fight at all. It’s probably the most concrete but vividly explained subject which I/II brings up with this mini-album. Here’s where our own involvement ends, here’s where I present to you the exclusive premiere of “Tectonics (Transverse)“. I believe you should get into “Statues” and “Function (Push To the Limit)” – just so you can make up your own mind when it comes to the two last songs. However, now it’s time to listen to what I can exclusively offer until the 28th of November – when the mini-album is to be released.

Listen: Equinoxious – Singles

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For some time now Equinoxious have been releasing single after single – finally compiling everything into a triple-single. It’s been a while since his E.P. “Astros Prometidos” was released, a year ago. Then it was re-released on the Valencian label SINCRONICA in April this year. But then singles showed up roughly two months ago, hinting that his forthcoming album “Cosmódromo” was due to be released, on the aforementioned label. These three singles are titled “Astrónomo Insumiso“, “Cosmódromo (ft. Kriistal Ann)“, and “Σ“. I haven’t really been following this Mexican artist more then when one of his tracks were featured on a compilation not too long ago. That seems to have been a greater mistake then what I ever could have anticipated. His music is really something which connects the otherwise blurry dots between minimal synth and synth-pop. Often times the minimalism takes a greater toll on the sound then it should, in my opinion. It becomes bleaker then intended and carries nothing much of weigth. Equinoxious manage to find a balance in the contrast between minimalism and the otherwise glamorous synth-pop sound – by relying on catchy, primitive and repetetive beats – intermixed with a clever and complex rhythmic pattern that have the ability to change – rapidly.

Another thing which hasn’t gone unnoticed is how many within minimal synth, cold wave, darkwave and other similar sub-genres collaborate more then usual. Just see how Paradox Obscur’s own Kriistal Ann is featured on one of the single-tracks featured both in this foretaste and also in the forthcoming album by Equinoxious. You don’t have to go far when you’d want to see a collaboration, just check earlier releases by other artists in nearby genres; Roladex and ((PRESSURES)), Xiu and Cold Colors, Larissa Iceglass from Lebanon Hanover on the forthcoming Selofan-release, and many more. It doesn’t just have to be split-releases but it can also be collaborations. I hope to see even more of that in the future, to say the least many of them have been surprising and others not as surprising. So now when SINCRONICA will be releasing Equinoxious new album, you’ll unfortunately have to wait until 2015 for the end result. I hope there’ll be more collaborations on the release instead of just one, but I can right now only hope for that to show up next year. I suggest that when you’re patiently waiting, stream the “Singles” down below.

Exclusive Premiere: Ausramp – Third Dimension Diploma

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Bringing back the oldstyle seems to be in fashion nowadays. Everything from retrofuturism to old formats like VHS – are embedded into an artists embroidery. Not to mention how the decadence of the 1980′s seems to have hit a peak, there’s also people whom are playing around with techno. You probably know the sound of the 808′s, the old-school vibes that were originally gathered from Detroit, Michigan. When that was the place to be – it still can be. There’s a man whose work you might recognize when you hear ‘Members Of The House’, the more obscure ‘Unit 2′ – or simply his full name Nicholas Bernard Marks — shortened to “Niko Marks”. He’s teamed up with Robert Des Iles, a rather passionate southern European man whose slick grooves are enhanced by the presence of Mr. Niko. Well, it’s not really that mysterious, but I would like to keep it a secret. Robert Des Iles is really a pseudonym but I will not reveal who he might be.

The thing is, Niko and Robert are now a duo called Ausramp. Yes, it sounds fascinatingly German but at the same time they keep the Americana in it by including “ramp“. Precisely the name a techno-project that goes back to its roots and includes a swing of electrofunk, should have. Their debut-release which features three songs is due to be released in two weeks and I’ve gotten my hands on one of the songs from this release. It’s a self-titled release and the track is called “Third Dimension Diploma“. They bring out the best when they return to the oldstyle of techno, adding certain aspects that might not traditionally have been it. But there’s a lot of legs swinging to the left and the right when listening to it, the rhythm is simple but the groove is out of hand. When the melodies strike in, there’s not much to do but to dance to the beat – classic stylee. No, I’m not that clichéd so you’ll have to choose what to do, but I promise that it’s a catchy track. Stream it exclusively on Repartiseraren, down below. It will be released on Kraftjerkz as their eighteenth release, in two weeks.

Spotlight [Compilation Special]: White Circles and Not So Cold! [Part I]

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In this Spotlight we give heed to newly arisen compilations. Out from the dusk and dawn comes the White Circles Compilation – a celebratory gesture by aufnahme + wiedergabe – for the first anniversary of White Circles, a club in Leipzig with resident-DJ’s Kevin Bigo, Ralph and aehm. So it was really written in stone that the residents were those who should compile the music. With their club they specialize in the colder and more melodic sub-genres of electronica, but they’re not limited to a certain kind of genre. Conceptually they feature live gigs by local and international acts, continual rotation of guest DJ’s, and co-operation with the different themed club-nights and labels – including special events. Their first event was held on the 8th of November, it featured Automelodi as the evening’s live-act, in-house DJ’s Ralph and Kevin Bigo, together with their first guest DJane Coco Darlin (DisTanz). A year later a compilation was formed in advance for the first anniversary of White Circles. The release was held yesterday on the 15th of November, featuring live-acts such as the legendary Clock DVA alongside the fresh blood that is Phase Fatale. Their guest-DJ was :dark sounds:.

Roughly at the same time, but maybe a little bit earlier, the Not So Cold-compilation was showcased for digital streaming on the Tacuara Records bandcamp-page. They call it “A Warm Wave Compilation” – maybe to consolidate support from our frozen friends in the North – or simply a referencing the supposed warm climate of Argentina and Perú. It’s a joint release signed Tacuara Records and Cintas Triangulares. One of the creators is César Canali who also runs the aforementioned label where the compilation is currently hosted, whilst Cesar Aguirre runs the Peruvian-based label Cintas Triangulares. The wonderfully slick cover have been photographed Rui Luz, Photo Digital Art, worked into artwork by Rafael Esteche, and the mastering have been done by Pablo Zumarraga.

a2222851647_10When it comes down to business, the aufnahme + wiedergabe and White Circles curated compilation “White Circles Compilation“, starts off with Azar Swan – whose music I am most unfamiliar to – having listened only to individual songs before. But the bombastic drums together with her assuring voice make for a line between popular music and the darker movements of dark-wave that is an underlying theme. I’m not particularly fond of the style of singing which she applies to this song, which is called “Foreign“, but when the chorus hits off it’s impossible not to dig the complexity of the moving patterns of music – where you’re saved by the gong-gong (in this case, the bridge; that fires off the chorus).

After that, Cocktail Twins deliver hard-as-nails but emotional post-punk with cold-wave overtones, with their song “Rooms Made of Dust“. I really enjoy the sound of a hammer onto a bolt, together with the apathy of the singer. It creates such a distance between the warmth of sincere and calm emotions, with the scraping of nails on the chalkboard – if you get what I mean. The paradoxical sameness that harsher and more straight-forward emotions contribute with, in comparison with the soft-spokenness of true emotions that border on love. There’s a hate-and-love relationship in the deliverance of the lyrics but also when it comes to the music. I believe this synergy creates such a complex atmosphere – as well as the percussion drums up a sea of emotion.

Then comes one of my favorite names from the aufnahme + wiedergabe, but not as I remember them. Velvet Condom used to be more electronic and less minimalistic, but I like their sincere vocals which are shrouded beneath a layer of something sweet. There’s a certain kind of innocence they deliver with such a name as “Self Injury” – which in itself is a hardship and not a joking matter. But I think there’s a paradox between the sweet sound and the topic which they’re ventilating through harsh post-punk rhythms and a steady melody conjured with a synthesizer. There’s a certain indifference to the tone of the singer which is enhanced when paired to the instruments. They’ve given up and they’re just stating a fact. It might seem brutal at the first glance – but what I’m seeing is a form of acceptance. It’s just how it is, I’ll live with it. The more I think about it the more I stray away from the lyrical content – in turn I am drifting away into total gloominess.

a3555187109_10For a change, I decide to turn on the Not So Cold “A Warm Wave Compilation”. Where I’m immidietly hooked into everything by Hante – the solo-project of Minuit Machine’s own Hélène De Thoury. The project doesn’t differ that much from the duo, but there’s a certain fluidness of the sound-scape which flows more into ambient territory. There’s not a strictness that can be felt with the main project which she has with Amandine Stioui – who’s also the singer when it comes to Minuit Machine. It’s also great to hear a different voice and a more playful tone when everything comes around, even though most of it is deadpan. Hear as it slowly transgresses from a full-on assault of synthesizers until it tones down and dies out in the abyss. Most of the track feels existential even though “Falling from grace” suggests otherwise. Sure, there’s a certain existentialism embedded into the bits and pieces of the track and the title alone, but it feels like a settlement between an imagined ego and reality knocking on heaven’s door. But I don’t really want to find it out – I’d rather speculate.

Since I had to skip YusYus because of an error probably created by Bandcamp itself, making the track entirely silent and only playable for four seconds – I move into Jenny Eve & Dan Söderquist (Twice A Man). Their track “Immersion” (taken from “The Monastery“) seems francophilic at a first glance, but then an ethnic vibe is leading you through the monastery. There’s much more to a title than what anyone could suggest. An invitation, an extended hand which guides you through and lets you follow them into a certain mood – fulfilment seems to be their goal. The good thing about all this is how it’s obvious what the meaning of everything is, but it is open for interpretation. Because when you get so certain of something, you generally refuse to see anything else then what is told. Who knows, maybe it’s not an invitation at all but rather a poisonous substance for your mind – delivered with sincere and beautiful music, whispered into your ear just so you believe it to be the other way around. I don’t know, but their sound is magnificent and intriguing to say the least – relaxing, a relaxation from the electronica that have flowed through already.

Now we’re up for something really exciting. I’ve just heard their name and listened to some of their songs, but now it’s allvar (severity) for Alvar. This Swedish duo touch upon the same bizarre no-go zone that Celldöd enters when he blends the most primitive, with the most complex music. I don’t know if this is industrial and electronic body music interpreted in a practical way, or if it’s simply theoretical and primitive at the same time with the track “The very witching time of night“. We’re however taken into the industries directly, wheezing pipes and knocking on tin – sampling morbid historical content, by reciting older criminal cases from Swedish criminal history. But the thing is that I don’t even know if it’s for real or not. It all seems like a dream to me and when the chaos erupts its difficult to wake up from this nightmare. They’ve really outdone themselves with the percussion and the wrecked noises that form an almost undanceable body-beat. This is how it was supposed to be done, so it’s a good thing that someone is finally taking it seriously. This is Alvar – uncompromising and stripped from every form of conscience, strictly based on factual happenings. Cold and harsh, fair and just – or is it an illusion?

Here ends Part I. There will be a follow-up for the rest of the songs. Wait until Part II.

Exclusive Premiere: Former Descent – Tough Love International

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When moving into the darker part of the year, it’s best to have something that will light up the sky. Not neccesarily in the shape of a lamp or anything like it – but rather a sound that you’ll recognize, a flame that will – metaphorically – be lit. Dutch sound artist Bas Welling seems to be an expert when it comes down to this. His immensely diverse projects range from abstract chipetune music to experimental ambient with electronica laid upon it like oil to a flammable substance. Creatively he’s got a hand in virtually everything, which is almost always relatable to him – whether it is a group he’s connected to or if he does everything himself beneath the shade of a moniker. We actually heard about him for the first time, properly when it comes to his own solo-project Former Descent. A project which has changed so much since it once started out with his album “My Life In The Box Of Ghosts EP” on the Netherlands-based label Shipwrec, up to the mini-album “The State Of In-Between” on the French net-label Sirona-Records, to his forthcoming release on the much revered label Enfant Terrible’s sub-label Gooiland Elektro.

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This is indeed in perfect synchronic harmony. Martijn who’s the label-boss on Enfant Terrible and the sub-etiquettes Gooiland, and his rather newly started etiquette Vrysaete, takes good care of the artists and groups that are housed on these labels. His eccentric taste brings forth great music for a new public viewing – since there’s always something you miss out on – as new discoverys are made each time a release comes out on his different labels. Not to mention how the artwork is structured and is linear to follow, but unique when matched to each band or group that makes a release – everything different for each label, not the same for the sub-etiquettes as the head-label – making for an exciting twist and unique branding of each release that is unleashed. Repartiseraren is proud to be working with such eccentric artists through Martijn’s generosity, as he supplies us with something new on a regular basis.

So we’ve caught the fish in familiar waters this time, as Bas Welling wasn’t unknown to us but certainly not a household name, his experimental electronica with overtones of ambient and a steady rhythm won’t make anyone surprised. But the outlay of each track that is featured on this forthcoming release, aptly titled “Tough Love International 12¨“, are of such creative ambivalence that you don’t need more of an alternating sound-scape to be pleased with what you’re hearing. We can exclusively offer you the title-track from this release that is due to be put out on Gooiland Elektro late November, for your listening pleasure. We hope that you enjoy the concept and definently that you enjoy Former Descent – a project we’re certainly going to keep our eyes peeled on for the coming time – and see to it that you’ve gotten your dose for the rest of the year. Stream the track “Tough Love International” exclusively through Repartiseraren, in collaboration with Gooiland Elektro.

Listen: Morthouse – Morthouse

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Oh how Montreal fosters our youth. With music not only from there, but also from the stronghold Toronto – which have given us much prosperous acts – that in turn don’t have to look far and wide to find accomplices. From this city comes a duo whom share the same surname, which makes you wonder if they’re indeed brothers. Thomas L’Allier and Philippe L’Allier are the main characters behind this trio, which gets their drumming lent by Samuel Gemme. He’s the one whom gives them their nice rhythm, although the riffing and the general mood of their tracks suggest a wider conspiracy – where everything needs to be fitted right to create their rather unique sound. Not that anyone else haven’t done it before, but I like the nicely done rhythms that coincide with their wonderfully spooky and melancholic theme that seems to be a re-occuring concept.

Almost a month ago or less, they released their first album which is the self-titled “Morthouse“-release. It’s among the better crossovers between mainly post-punk, alternative rock and goth rock that I’ve heard. Thrown in is the urgent vibe that no-wave creates with its messy undertones that are concocted well together with melodies – which makes this influence far too melodic to have the amelodic overtone that only no-wave can contribute with. Not to mention how they use different instruments in perfect harmony, bringing a dark cabaret touch to their otherwise completely magnificent self-image. Now they’ve also got the cockiness that is needed to really bring forth the funkiness and jazzyness that can be heard between the lines dropped by the brothers. I’m feeling like I’ve been invited to a cabaret and that I can see them behind the scenes. The music is unraveled and I’m instantly intriguied by it as they casually bring forth their more instigated selves. A must-listen for everyone of you at home longing for a proper crossover release and not a kitsch re-interpretation. Listen to the whole album down below.