Harvesting #6: Are these questions or is it Something Cold?

This time around Harvesting have decided to morph into a fearsome creature. Sending away coded messages to every receiver in town. In this edition of it, I will feature something extraordinary. At least when it comes to the Harvesting that I have had since the beginning of it. The sixth edition features: Something Cold. And if that isn’t enough for you, I’m also going to walk you through their self-released compilation which goes by the same name. In turn, it features the following artists: Autumus, Ze Dark Park, Subtitles, Deastro, YOU., The Present Moment, Further Reductions, Os Ovni and Especially Good. In this edition you’ll get to know more about Something Cold, which is both a social club and a record label, containing some of the most impopular cultural phenomenons of today. I asked Justin Carver, who basically runs it, five questions about his beloved creation. Hope you enjoy this edition of Harvesting and find your way back here after a long nights drunkenness.

Where did the idea for Something Cold come from and what’s your history?

– Something Cold began out of frustration with a lack of diverse, unique nightlife in Detroit. I’ve been a collector of obscure, rare, interesting minimal-synth, industrial, goth, post-punk, etc records for years and I wanted an opportunity to share this music with the rest of the city. Before SC I occasionally spun goth/deathrock/post-punk for friends parties and bars. Since our incarnation at the long since shuttered Trowbridge House of Coffee in Hamtramck, MI we’ve become a “roving” social club so to speak, holding events all over Detroit.

You’ve arranged a lot of stuff since you once started out, which nights have been the most memorable?

– Oh boy. Several, haha. When we were doing parties at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) we had wild crowds. The CAID sits in the middle of a very desolate area of Detroit – very appropriate soundtrack wise. We had someone piss down the heat vent upstairs on our first night there. That didn’t go over well with the owner. Sexual encounters on the dancefloor became commonplace. Guests often stole the toilet paper from the bathrooms and tossed it around on the dancefloor.

Thugs from the nearby neighborhood crashed several parties, notably Dream Affairs debut Detroit performance. On a less seedy note, our two year anniversary with Martial Canterel (Wierd Records) and Moon Pool & Dead Band (ex-Wolf Eyes) was a big standout. Martial Canterel’s first performance in Detroit really helped inspire me to create a night focusing on minimal electronic music. Being able to bring Sean McBride out to celebrate an anniversary was a proud achievement.

Since you’re both a label and a social club, I was wondering if you could tell me about your label and the releases you’ve put out so far?

– In June we released our first record, the Something Cold LP. Its a compilation featuring friends of ours and artists who have graced our parties over the years. We’ve got a few releases that should be available in early 2013.

What do you think is the best with the “niched” genres like coldwave, minimal-synth, post-punk et cetera?

– The DIY aesthetic and feel is very exciting and appealing. I truly believe that the cold, isolated and fragile sound of minimal-synth and coldwave are also reflection of the time we live in. Because of technology guiding our lives we’re becoming more detached from one another socially. The economy throughout most of the world is very unstable. Day to day life is becoming more abstracted and uncertain for many. There is a definite surge of interest in minimal/coldwave/industrial music right now – perhaps channeling to the isolation we feel in our lives nowadays?

Do you have anything to say here at the end of this questionnaire? Give me your best!

– Thanks for letting me share some insight on Detroit’s coldest social club!

V.A. – Something Cold

The aesthetics of this compilation is absolutely gorgeous, it also instills a little bit of lust. As in sensuality, but also despair, with the colors of it. Musically, the first song “Your Blue Eyes (ft. Xiu)” reminds me of some kind of cold-pop, like a combination of the cold wave influences and the more pop-oriented side of it. I just noticed that one of my favorite musicians, the past month, is featured on this track. She really gives the sound-scape more life, since I didn’t really like the main vocalist. Her angelic voice just rides on the breezy sound-scape, pass by the lo-fi drums and fit perfectly with the lightweight synth. Next song on this album reminds me a lot of future-pop, but with less visible elements of that genre. The only thing that really puts the future-pop in this one is the vocalist. However, the sound-scape is perfectly fitted for that kind of vocals. I don’t really like how the generic future-pop is shaped and this is how it should sound when done right. It also contains some nice melodies and darker rhythms that pulsate through my body.

Ever liked some analog-sounding harshness? Look no further, the third song “Cold Rain” embodies just that. The harshness, but not too harsh. One of the most interesting things in the song besides the main texture of it, is the sampled voice that almost raps over the beat. It’s not conventional rap, but it felt like they put some work into it. I always like to think that they took a sample, chopped it up and matched the different non-matched parts of it to the overall melody of it. It would be insane if they actually did that. Fourth song, titled “Preservation“, carry the darkwave and minimal-synth banner high. A great mix of dark landscapes with soothing synths and speedy drums. Almost bordering on to the 8-bit genre, but staying within the borders of the aforementioned. Don’t like the vocalist as much in this song, it sounds generic and indie-pop angsty. Otherwise, it’s a good song, but the vocals don’t really fit the picture at all. Some rhythms may be off, but they contribute with a uniqueness to it.

Other good songs on this compilation were “Times Like This“, which brings back some of the oldschool EBM sound in one way. The vocalist is pretty good also, even though he doesn’t hassle it. But the rhythm and the beat is extraordinary and make me want to do the body-dance all over again, one step forward, three steps back. It’s got such a simpleness to it, but still instills several nostalgic memories of stomping around. Overall, it’s actually a great compilation.

If you want to buy it, head over to their bandcamp. There’s a digital-only download for 7.99 dollars on their bandcamp and a fully fledged vinyl-edition for 13.99 dollars. Whereas a digital download is included in the latter one, which means that if you add six dollars, you’ll get a nice vinyl and a digital download at that. The compilation hold nine songs and most of them are great. So, there’s not excuse not to buy it. If you get your paycheck anytime soon, you should leave some dollars for this.

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