Harvesting is much like MNF (My New Fascination), but more of several recommendations rather than one. This one is also much more genre-based than the aforementioned. I’m hoping to keep up the pace that I’ve had for the last week or so, meaning that I’m trying to develop different forms of categories that don’t fit into your traditional reviewing, recommendation or otherwise sufficient form of doing things. As I’m more of a crazy-minded person, I prefer to break some barriers now and then. Not saying that this is revolutionary or anything, it’s just one thing packaged differently.
Since I’ve been indulging more and more with the cold wave folks, I’d like this first Harvest to focus more on this phenomenon in the first edition of it.
Xiu – Xiu (2012)
A long awaited release by the weirdly fashionable artist Xiu from Italy, and her real name is Oksana Rodionova. She describes her music with a few sentences on her Facebook: “Lonely Synth Wave“. I would agree on that, but I also sense that there’s something else within her music. There’s a rough but dreamy edge to it, almost analog, at least when listening to the few tracks available for this cassette. From the two songs available, the best song so far have been “Why Were We Gone“, if I have to choose between that song and the song “Someday“. Her music both instills the musical elitist within me and at the same time manages to hit a spot within me that’s hard to explain. I guess the point of it is to convey that sense of loneliness, the sense that you may not belong. She does it with such delicacy, as if she’s a surgeon laying the first cut in you. Instead of ravishing your whole body, the surgeon takes out your heart and pumps it full with a syringe of hopeless hopefulness. In essence, the ability to convey both the “negative” feeling itself and being able to also cover the counterpart, is what I believe Xiu does best. At least when I’ve listened through these two songs.
The almost droopy dreaminess of the angelic, but not too overtly sacrilegious approach makes her unique in each and every way. I believe that the cold-wave is ever present. But it’s entrenched within both the minimalism and the outer spheres of the sound-scape. I would say that it’s most noticeable because she never transgresses the line of “too catchy” and never peddles within the huge box that many artists manage to fall into. Neither is it your average reverb-drenched madness, it’s a fine-tuned wave of intrigue, ready to sweep over your body without you noticing its adjacent touch. As if it just changes your mood and push the different buttons, without you noticing it, but your subliminal conscience carries it on and it affects your whole body in one way and another.
Since it’s being released on the all too fabulous label aufnahme + wiedergabe, I suggest you buy it. You can pre-order it over at their bandcamp, which I’ll link to here. It’s being released on the 12th of October and you should get it. Be it for the great tracks, which is rarely ever executed properly by artists and bands alike, or be it the wonderful aesthetics that are combined in this release.
Velvet Condom – VC (2012)
I must’ve kept my eyes closed, because I could’ve swore that I’ve heard and seen these guys before. Maybe they performed in my earlier life, when I was a fast-moving feline. I don’t really know, but their sound is nevertheless some great stuff you should pay attention to. I’ll tell you why; the sincerity in the singer’s voice, the moving up-tempo beats and almost gothic environment in the sound-scape. Oh, I should add the wonderfully dark baseline that pesters the first song “Poison & Maquillage“. But there’s not just the non-electronic dimension to this, quickly it changes for a more minimal wave-oriented track. The second track that you get to hear on bandcamp is the track “Dirty Me (Incorporated Whore)“, which also both has an electronic baseline that wobbles its way right into the center of my heart, and a slick non-electronic baseline that strengthens the overall sound-scape and gives it a whole other flavor. I think the addition of it heightens the song and makes the emotional value of it rise to the skies.
However, the song that I was most impressed by, was a genial third song that you get to listen to which is titled “Kalter Lippenstift (In Death It Ends Remix)“. It’s about as bombastic as it gets, the overtly catchy melodies in the song hooks me by the arm and lets me dance along with it, and round and round I go. Actually a great remix, since I don’t really fancy remixes that much, but I’ll be wanting to hear the original too someday. It’s a really fascinating way to end the pleasurable listening so far, at least from the songs that are available. I must say that it seems to hold a huge chunk of great quality all-in-all. I’ve really got nothing to complain about, it’s like getting everything in one single mix. It seems like its their strength to combine these more obscure genres, at least if I’m going to judge them by analyzing this release.
Since it’s another aufnahme + wiedergabe release, I must ask them this: how come you got so many great artists and bands on your label? It’s totally wicked and insane. Almost as if I’ve gotten the ultimate gift for this wonderfully cozy autumn that is upon us. So you can go over to their bandcamp and pre-order this wonderful cassette there, just follow the marked line which is pointed out over here. They’re releasing this album on the 12th of October, which means that they’re competing with Xiu on the release date. Hopefully both of them will get the same attention, since they seem to be as awesome.