Review: Identity Theft – Reconnaissance

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Some things change while other things remain the same. The developmental process of Identity Theft have taken some time to get used to, but on his latest endeavor he doesn’t have any qualms with getting rid of the chains of the past – embracing the future and what it holds for him and his project.

Identity Theft is the solo-project of Michael Buchanan, spanning multiple years of experience in other projects and with electronic music in general, and he was kind enough to send me the physical edition of his fifth proper solo-album, which was released in November of 2017 by Treue Um Treue.

With the assistance of Mara Barenbaum (of Group Rhoda / Max + Mara) on three tracks, plus one remix by Arktaion of one of the tracks on this release, this can be considered to be a project mounted by himself, only utilizing the experience of others to enhance it further. I’m thankful that he sent me this physical release for me to share with you, my thoughts on the release in full, a track-by-track in-depth review that has taken a longer time to finish then originally intended.

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The aesthetic aspect of Reconnaissance

When I view the cover from afar, it seems so distant aesthetically that I just want to get a magnifying glass to see what it is that is revealed on the dark exterior of the cover. It is almost an 1980’s-esque vibe that it brings in terms of color, even though it is a more darker and less screechy one that is otherwise found in movies from that era.

There is a certain distance from itself, it is remote and it fits the theme of the process in which the album itself was written – three days of complete isolation from civilization. Even though at first glance the cover might not be something special, it conveys an eerie meaning that in my opinion goes lost within the urbanized centers of the city – there’s something else then you out there, something bigger and more meaningful, something that should be preserved.

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 The musical aspect of Reconnaissance

If you’ve listened to any of Mara Barenbaum’s music, especially Group Rhoda, it becomes clear that their style of music mix very well with Identity Theft’s, the introductory in “Reconnaissance Peak” which is the first song – is at the same time as it is sincere, very forthright about its existence – proclaiming proudly that “I am here, we’re in the moment, but we’re a presence to be reckoned with“. Additional rhythms are perfectly timed and blend in to the general atmosphere, which is forever changing.

Once you let it slip, it will seep out through the rest of the components that build up the songs, from a more hands-on approach to music making into a thoughtful display of ambitiously layered synthesizers that take off into nothingness. You feel so small when you listen to this, it is so graciously laden that once it slips through the cracks of your pathetic being – you just want to hear more of it, playing it over and over again.

Eagle’s Peak” is almost double in length, and has a more subtle tone to it. Even though it can be felt to be much of the same, just in a different pace, it is even more serene and sincere as it plays on the simple notes that go from barely noticeable to a resounding plethora of different synthesizers layered perfectly upon one another – a click away from generating a monstrosity – you feel as if it is about to leap straight into you.

Some of it is too angelic to even fit in, being taken out throughout the back-door by the more sinister themed atmospheres that lurk nearby. Once you feel at ease you get caught off-guard by a sudden blast of noise, it is meant to be enjoyed but it is difficult to be completely on your guard as it is not a song that is foreseeable – you cannot simply categorize it and be aware of all the elements, it is not such a song that leaves you with no lasting impression – it grasps you gently and takes you into it.

It symbolizes perfectly the name it was given, “Eagle’s Peak” is a summary of what you could expect, but you will not know before you enter.

Last Chance Creek” is on the other hand something completely different in terms of atmosphere, it is much more urgent in tone and you get thrown into the mixture directly by the loud base-drum, the soothing percussion and the grandiose synthesizers that blend it into perfect synthesizer-based music that would be a fitting beginning of a movie or the end of the same.

It is by far the most beautiful song on the album yet, and there are many contenders for that throne – but here’s where the king enters and the queen become one. A futuristic blip on a radar that shouldn’t be ignored, an unfathomably great conversion of straight-forward electronic music and the ambiance which is so often ignored – Identity Theft manages to keep control of everything and never slip up.

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My Sentence” is more of an intermission, a placeholder-song that is not bad but it is not equally as great as the other tracks I’ve listened to. There is a place for these kinds of songs on albums, so even though the judgment is quick to come, there’s a certain quirkiness to the sound that can’t be missed out on. You can’t really add much more to the description of this song, it is there but it does not evoke anything, it pumps you up for another song.

Blood Moon” is the next song, it evokes a feeling of hope and that you’re about to be redeemed. There is an underlying sense of belonging, you feel like you’re a part of the atmosphere as you childishly gaze upon the stars and point your finger as to were you’d want to go – the different emotions that are involved range from those described, to some kind of sorrow – that you at the moment don’t have anything of that.

You’re desperate to find a place, but this calms your nerves and make you forget about it for a moment or two, maybe some kind of nostalgic memory is invoked as you travel into the electronic realm, a progressive dream that becomes more and more of a real, tangible kind of matter that you can actually grasp physically and mentally. An ode to the moon, the one that can affect our moods.

What’s coming next is about to stun me, make me fall off my high horses and into the arms of you – whoever is the next to be embraced, to enter my life. The stunningly creative way of making an even more emotionally touching song is just the sheer brilliance of Michael Buchanan, simply marvelous as “Misanthropocene” goes from the meager time it has to be played – into an extended form of electronically charged synthesizer-bliss of a landscape of sound, covering all bases.

How can the sound be so bold? Yet so refreshing, calm and sensitive? There’s a warmth to it but a stone cold outlook in atmosphere of sound, as you float on by, passing your own self by without any reflection – you’re taken aback by the sound as it drives you on, as the motivation of doing rather then listening becomes painfully obvious. At the same time you want to sit still, you want to experience and move with the sound.

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The Unreliable Narrator” is a more unhinged song that move to the left and the right, from the center and to the top, everywhere but within a controlled manner like the last song. Just like the title suggests, it is a more chaotic song with a gloomy mood that fits perfectly between the casual intermission delivered in “My Sentence” and “Blood Moon“.

Though much more repetitive then other songs on this album, there is some kind of progression that can be felt throughout the whole song, the rhythm isn’t that much of an interesting thing – but it hearkens back to older days of Identity Theft – which is reminiscent of some of his first material.

Soft Alibi” is the next one, one of the more experimentally oriented songs on the album so far, clashing between the normal kind of bombastic maximality that virtually all of the songs so far have been attached to, into a monotonous but minimalistic experience that is only alluding to bombastic vibes through the rhythm – which is unusual if you’re trying to create an atmosphere on it alone.

The rhythm is what makes the song enjoyable on itself, but it is clear that it is nowhere near the same infective nature as the more grandiose songs he’s been churning out after one another earlier on the album.

I don’t know what to make of “Lost Frontier“, whether to see it as a genial move away from the more obvious tracks on the album itself, but the baseline packs a real punch and is what drives everything forward in the song itself – after a while it flips out into something out of the ordinary, which is what one can appreciate when listening to this kind of music – the controlled inventiveness of the past songs – and the chaotic nature of the shorter songs.

It latches on well to the next song “Leave No Trace“, which spins from virtually a stale and non-atmospheric mess into a solid, emotive gargantuan that is just waiting to devour you as a whole – the roundness of the synthesizers become more clear the more it develops, as the more sharp nature of the sound in the beginning fades into a whirlwind of magnificent electronica.

The last song, “Prosopagnosia” is not only an outro, it hopefully shows the way to what can be expected from future releases. It is a well-needed break from the more experimental vibes that were delivered in the latter part of the album, it is a firm and shakable landscape of sound that is predictable in its nature but never lets you down. You know what you are getting and you can expect what is around the corner, but it leaves much to be fantasized about.

I don’t consider the remix itself to be the last song, but we’re taking it last as it is a track-by-track review which goes from point A to point B. “Last Chance Creek (Arktaion Remix)” adds a rougher edge to “Last Chance Creek” which couldn’t be felt there, it hypnotizes in a whole different manner then what the original song did, it is crashed into different pieces making it sound like a crossover between the electronica of Identity Theft, spliced into the erratic mood of IDM music.

It is not a bad remix actually, but it makes you wonder what kind of remixes could be done on the other tracks? Maybe there should be a release which features some of the tracks remixed by different artists, that would be a really nice offshoot from the original release itself.

This album is a must-have if you’re interested in the better domains of electronic music, the parts that have not yet been infected by ridiculous clichés. It is a must-have physically for any collector, so I am proud to be in the possession of the review-copy of this album. You should get it yourself, there are only five copies left, you can find it down below.

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Listen: Giant Swan, Rivière de Corps, Luminance, and V/A – Spänningen Band II

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We’ve had quite a run for many years, the machinery have worked as intended but sometimes they need to be carefully restored to their former glory once again. We have no excuses to not post anything, it is just that the current musical climate is so lethargic – either waddle through a pool of mud – or directly finding the gems you’ve sought out for so long.

Running your own label takes time, and having a full-time job hinders the crew from working on this site at all times. The intention for the future is to update more frequently, the ideal would be once or twice a day – but time needs to be portioned up for this to work – which is difficult to say the least.

If you haven’t checked our label out yet, here’s some shameless self-promotion, visit our bandcamp-page and support us: https://repartiseraren.bandcamp.com/

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It’s been a long time since anything from Mannequin Records was featured on this webzine, we’ve not really been keeping up with what they’ve been doing – but they’ve released quite a number of records since then.

The latest of their releases is “High Waisted“, by a Bristol-based duo Giant Swan, their second EP in their discography and a really good mixture of ominous industrial music that have an outstretched hand into more obfuscated music like rhythmic noise.

It is too complicated in rhythm to be equated with regular techno, even though some of the settings and moods suggest otherwise. Maybe industrial or hard techno would share more similarity with the genrebending they’re doing in this maddening approach. “The Rest Of His Voice” is easily the best song on the whole record, as it captures their whole essence on this EP, furiously stomping into your eardrums without any hesitation.

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Maybe this french one-man outfit, Rivière de Corps have drawn a lot of influence from Pure Ground? A lot of the material is reminiscent of the earlier outputs of that duo. Both aesthetically and musically, a lot of it sounds alike, some of the songs are alright on this release but other songs like “retour du dieu plutonium” should’ve had more thought put into them.

Even though a lot of songs on this release needs a few adjustments here and there, the general theme of the record and the aesthetic aspects of the release as a whole make it better. With the song “échec critique” they reach a high point of the release itself, if only all the other songs had the same standard, it would be an even better release.

In general, it is satisfying to listen to and it explores a lot of themes and moods that don’t need that much more additional presentation. If you like the music, consider buying a cassette directly from the bandcamp of Vague à l’Âme, and listen to the release in whole down below.

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We’ve covered Luminance some time way back when, but now they’re released a single, a different version of the song “Martyr” (from The Cold Rush), which is more mystical in its approach and a calmer version, titled “Martyr” (Version Longue). The only reason for us to cover a single, is basically because this is a great version that stands on its own and challenges the original version.

This is the point of music, to exponentially go in different directions and instead of stagnating it evolves in manners that might be unknown to the listener until he or she hears it. Could we all agree that french lyrics, when done properly, adequately enhances music and takes it into a whole other dimension? It adds a perfectly great mysterious undertone which is desperately needed in the first minute of this song.

Listen to it down below and give them some money if you like it.

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When I boast about Sweden, I boast about these kinds of compilations. We’re truly great at discovering obscure artists and groups, and we’re even better at showcasing them in equally as obscure compilations. It haven’t been on our horizons, but since we heard about Yta Recordings, we felt we needed to give them some coverage somehow.

Spänningen Band II” is the second compilation in a series, coming in strong with a hard-hitting claustrophobic track by Adore that gently shove in hints of a compact, ambitious dreary landscape of sound that is equal to none. Most of these artists and groups are unknown to us, but when you pass through the quirky repetitive acid mixture that is hidden between Nima Khak and Lrh, a more urgent response is felt within the song by United Hive Mind Of Sweden, perfectly igniting the next artist Stilnoct.

We must admit that we find some of these artists hard to listen to, and that is not because of the music itself, but it is because the same boring archetype of techno music is repeated throughout the compilation in ways that are common with these compilations, unfortunately. The music itself is well-produced, there is no question about that – but after Adore dropped “Time Is Anima“, everything else was pale in comparison.

Celldöd graciously ends this compilation with “Du Som Försvann“, maybe it was the start and finish that would keep you listening throughout? If so, it’s a good compromise. Even though some of the music is not really in our ballpark, it is a good enough compilation to recommend because of its aesthetics and that it contains a few really good tracks, and two really great tracks.

Listen to it down below in full and support them by buying the physical cassette of this release.

 

Exclusive Premiere: Fléau – IV

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Anywave are back in action with a new Fléau release, it was a long time since they released their first self-titled album, three years have already passed like it was nothing. Together with their partner in crime, Atelier Ciseaux Records, a five-track album titled “II” will be released on a limited edition run of vinyls, a collector’s edition of 50 hand-numbered transparent vinyls and a book by Raphaël Lugassy called “Organs“, and a regular edition of 200 black vinyls. The artwork for the release is stunning as usual, the work of Myriam Barchechat, photographies by Raphaël Lugassy.

It is very true that Mathieu Mégemont‘s (Fléau) new direction strays away from his original sound, but it introduces a whole other complexity found otherwise within more alternative electronic genres – creeping in between the ambiguous nature of the sweeping, soothing landscapes of sound that hook you in. Even though some aspects of his new release stays true to what he created on his debut-album, this newly developed and intriguing metamorphosis suggests he’s expanded – instead of becoming cliché.

We’re honored to be exclusively premiering “IV“, a song taken from the forthcoming album, due to be co-released by Anywave and Atelier Ciseaux on vinyl, on the 29th of March. You can pre-order it already by following this link, listen to it exclusively via Repartiseraren down below.

Watch: Britt Rion – Chaos & Beauty

We get many submissions, some we care more for – in this case Britt Rion and her charming music-video, alongside an even more hypnotizing song: “Chaos & Beauty“. Some of the best music undoubtedly comes from down under, in this case New Zealand, as we’ve seen and heard with Fishrider Records way back in the past of this webzine.

At the first glance you might write it off as your regular pop-oriented blasphemy, but the further in you get – she sets a mood that diverts the attention from pop, into a marvelous metamorphosis of that, singer-songwriter and indie-pop. The catchiness is the only thing lent from regular pop, but the lyrics and intonation in her music is more subliminally beautiful – so she doesn’t have to resort to making a visual interpretation that reflects the vanity of regular pop music – it is a simple video that is Grime-esque in a sense – if you’ve seen one of her videos from “Genesis“.

Her voice is stunningly beautiful as well. We have to struggle not to move out of our own bleak hearts, it is as if a dystopian scenery quickly changes into a beautiful field and a forest full of local creatures singing in the day, when the sunlight hits your eyes and you’re with someone you love.

 

Exclusive Premiere: Eidulon – The Hierarchy Of The Inner Planes (feat. Naxal Protocol And Nordvargr)

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This is one of the most interesting releases coming up on Malignant Records this year, Italy’s Eidulon unleashes a brutal combination of dark ambient and apocalyptical orchestral music – a combination that is rare to hear – within the forthcoming release “Combustioni“. It has been a long time since we last supported Malignant Records, but that’s only because there have been no room for more then a year to get a hold of something from their releases – we blame ourselves for that, rightfully so.

Now we’re bringing you one of the most fearsome collaborations this year, Eidulon utilizes the help of Naxal Protocol for a noise-oriented, crackling atmosphere – layered beneath the might of Nordvargr’s vocals that crush through everything. In collaboration with Malignant Records we’re pleased to bring you “The Hierarchy Of The Inner Planes (feat. Naxal Protocol And Nordvargr)“, taken from the forthcoming CD-release on the 25th of March.

If you haven’t already pre-ordered this release, make sure you do and fetch the CD as well when it is available. You can stream the song exclusively via Repartiseraren’s soundcloud weeks before the release is out, down below.

 

Exclusive: Repartiseraren announces; Celldöd added to Kalabalik på Tyrolen 2018 line-up!

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We’re glad to be collaborating with Kalabalik på Tyrolen before the festival starts this year, and announce that Celldöd will be performing live on this year’s edition of Kalabalik på Tyrolen 2018 – which takes place in the idyllic setting of Tyrolen between the 24th and 25th of August this year – in a classic ‘folk park’ with a charming 1960’s aesthetic – as it have been for as long as it has been arranged.

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Celldöd is the newest project of Anders Karlsson (Severe Illusion, The Pain Machinery, Vargdöd, et cetera), and he’s come a long way musically since having one of his tracks released on the first Ljudkalendern compilation on Repartiseraren back in 2015, and the second one in 2016. With releases on his own label Brutal Disciplin, Smashing Tapes Records, Femur, Medical Records LLC, and the latest one being “KESS07” on Kess Kill.

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Ranging all the way from ambitious electronic body music, to acid techno in a new outfit mixed in with primitive minimal electronics, oozing of industrial vibes in a post-industrial world – a perfect match for total misanthropy and a knuckle in the skull of the unknowing. His live-performances have been praised for his total control over the ‘meager’ instruments he’s brought with him, being able to execute a perfect showmanship despite his instruments malfunctioning – using it to his advantage, to create a whirlwind of soaring destruction.

He’s performed on Kalabalik på Tyrolen a couple of years ago already, but this one will be on a whole other level, we anticipate at least. It is a must-see performance which you’ll be able to enjoy if you snatch a few tickets, invite your friends and whomever you like or dislike to this festival – it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we at Repartiseraren want to see next year as well – but it all depends on your support.

You can buy either an early bird ticket or an early bird support ticket – to show your appreciation for Sweden’s undoubtedly best alternative music festival. Here’s a link to where you purchase your ticket. Stream the latest release by Celldöd down below, and purchase the vinyl-release from Kess Kill if you like what you hear.

Exclusive Premiere: La Bile – La Piscine

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Dreamy, dreary breakbeats with tight IDM-influences is what makes or breaks La Bile – a french project having the honor of being released by Tripalium Corp – in their Digital Mutant Series (number 22), titled: “La Sublimation du Poulpe“. There’s a plethora of different electronic influences in each track on this release, from a multiverse of techno, acid and otherwise obscure electronic genres. Fetching the best from each genre, not compromising with the experimental overtones and the grittiness of it all.

We’re proud to be premiering a track from the B-Side of this release, in our ears one of the best tracks on the release, “La Piscine” delves into the human psyche and opens up a world of mystery, through fast-paced drums and constant flickering, there’s an urgency that doesn’t die out until the song finally fades into nothingness.

You better act quickly if you want it in physical form, as there’s only nine cassettes left of forty in total, so pre-order it from here, and stream the exclusive track from Repartiseraren’s own Soundcloud way before it is released.