Harvesting #9: Too far away but not something in between! [Part II]

Since I had to get the first Part rolling, I started to think about including another part. Just to be fancy and to cram in as much as I can within the tenth edition of Harvesting. I’m hoping that it will expand and be something more than just the writing here. Hopefully it will be symbolic and reek of quality. I know that I’m not the greatest writer out there, but I have a great passion for music and I’m hoping that it’ll be showing even more in this part. The bands and artists included in this part of the ninth edition will be the following: Erik De Vahl, Burzinski, the Hex Dispensers and Bitapart. There will be questions asked for Bitapart and you’ll have to enjoy the customary reviews and introductions to bands I find need more exposure and are unique in any way, shape or form. Stay with me now and carry the torch further down the aisle, let’s create some history!

Erik de Vahl – 121012

One of Sweden’s finest pearls right now, music-wise. There’s a sincerity in this music that moves on a much deeper level than anything else. Every word that comes out from his mouth is precise, every intonation is great and the atmosphere is blistering of emotions. Normally, I don’t prefer anything that can be related to pop. It has to be very experimental or unique, and Erik De Vahl shows off his skills and strengths on this latest album. Even though it’s just a collection of older songs, it sounds fresh and new. On “Side A” of the album, featuring six different songs, the first one: “Skogsbrand” sets the pace for the rest of the album. The fiery but controlled spark of light travels throughout the tunnel and meet its connector, a jazzy feel-good kind of thing mixed with strong melancholic pop-vibes. Even though I wouldn’t say that it’s purely in that category, since it switches itself in between the ambient landscapes and catchy hooks.

The second song, “Stolen Parts“, sounds even more experimental and it boils down to an ambitious project. Continuing to deliver the means to an end and also a whole new world of Swedish music, at least when it comes to this kind of waddling in between the genres, never attaching himself to any label. Though it’s apt to describe it in this way, there’s also a need for this music to gather around something. He has a lot of potential when it comes to music and he shows it off very well with this album of connected melodies. I believe he’s the new starlet of the bunch and could surely pave his way to a place in musical history. I must say that the genres per se may not be my cup of tea for the moment, but it reminds me of a dearly missed period of Swedish indie-pop in one way and a sorely missed ambient sphere that hasn’t really caught up with the rest of the world yet. But if he develops it, more will follow and it will be a good period. Also, I prefer “Side B” over the first side, but it really hits its full potential closer to the end of it.

Buy this limited edition cassette of 61 copies for 8 dollars. Or if you prefer the digital version, pay 5 dollars and download it yourself. Even though I’d prefer you buy the real deal instead, so you can listen to it in these cold times. It’ll bring something to you, both emotionally speaking and as a memory. There’s nothing stopping you now, and since it’s cheap, you should head over to the Zeon Light bandcamp and purchase it.

Burzinski – Female Faces EP

Even though this album dates back to the 15th November 2010, I had to recommend it. It’s one of the best new romantic gothic that I’ve heard for a while. There’s some kind of odd touch to this album that is hard to grasp while listening to it for the first time. A kind of ethereal feeling to it, but at the same time not too inaccessible. The first song “Ghostly Female Faces” envelops a sense of romanticism within itself, shrouded in the darkness that is the gothic sound. A feeling of being abandoned at one of the scariest places in the world: a graveyard. In this music, there’s also a sense of not belonging. It feels like its melancholic, but not to self-obsessed really. There’s a stronger and bigger philosophical perspective to the songs. With calm guitars, fine percussion and down tuned baselines – you get the best of me. In the second song “A Useless Tale“, I get dragged even further down in the catacomb.

I like the calmness in the singer’s voice and the sound-scape as a whole when he utilizes his dark voice and it collides with the bassdrum and the melodic background noises. It would be ideal to listen to this song when you’re moving through the vast landscapes of the big city. Every time I listen through it, each song grows on me individually. There’s a kind of repetitiveness to the songs, which make them catchy even though they’re far from it. I remember the two first songs the most, since they caught my attention with the different instrumentation and as a whole landscape. I feel free when listening to this and feel even freer when I stop the songs. Not because I don’t like them, but because I feel relieved each time I’ve listened through it and gotten to the end. A huge delivery, even though there are not many songs on this EP.

Either buy it over at their bandcamp as a digital-only version for free, or move on to this link and buy the limited edition CD. I suggest you give him some cash though instead of downloading it for free, so offer him some of your hard earned money if you like what you’re listening to.

the Hex Dispensers – Paralell 7¨

I think of a modern version of The Damned. This is also one of the older albums that I’ve found, but it’s from this year. Released on the 1st of April 2012. I think there’s a lot of crap out there when it comes to straight-forward punk, but the Hex Dispensers manage to sort themselves out of that category. With a little bit freaky lyrics and interesting approach to it melodically. Actually one of those releases that I’ve listened a little bit more too than other stuff that I’ve encountered. A friend of mine recommended the band and I heard a song from one of their albums. First song “Paralell” really caught my attention musically, it’s such a catchy song and it still delivers the brutal underground “smack-in-the-face” sound, but without pretensions or trying to hard. The thing about the first song is that it’s the best and set a high standard for the other songs. It’s also a pinpoint to other punk bands to follow, since they’ve managed to set the stage for my favorite form of punk.

When it almost borders to psychobilly and the likes of it, since it very much sounds in that way and manner on many of their songs. Both the drumming and the riffing is excellent and the vocalist make the sound-scape sound much more alive. Even though it would’ve held itself without him. This is even more obvious with the second song “Young Blood in the River” which is one of the other great songs on this release. If only more bands would follow the path that they have taken, they’ve decided to make something and make it good. It sounds unique but still reminds me of other great bands with the same attitude. Powerful rhythms and savvy melodies, would be great to finally see these guys live sometime. Hopefully they’ll release something new within the next couple of months. Or at least in the next year, so we can get more of this greatness.

Find their music over on their bandcamp and buy their 7¨ from here. It’s a limited edition and it’s got some great artwork going on. You can also download it digitally if you pay 2.99 US dollars for it, which would be great if they didn’t have a physical version. Though you should get the physical version instead. Great piece of music and definitely something you should hold on to.

Who are you and why did you choose the name Bitapart?

– My name is Bitapart and I live at the grid, a digital world of the 80s. It’s about vector graphics and a lot of neon lights as you can tell by looking at my logo/picture.

How I chose my name? I was looking for a name to fit my style of music. It’s quite hard to find a good name these days because every name I came up with was taken, so I asked a friend if he could help me with it. I wanted something associated with digital and different. He came up with the name “Bitaparte” like the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. I dropped the “e” and voilà. You can read the name as two words: BIT- as in bits and bytes (the digital part) and -APART (something different, not from this world). To make it even more interesting I added the grid story to it. It’s still at the beginning so it has to evolve further during the production.

How would you define your own music if you had to describe it to listeners?

– My music is like a soundtrack to an 80s movie. You get action, romance and that typical 80s feeling. In short: It’s like Miami Vice busting Tron for illegal possession of home-recorded cassette tapes.

What kind of gear do you use when you make music and how would you describe your creative process in making different tracks?

– I use almost exclusively the Op-1 from Teenage Engineering. It is so intuitive and with it’s vector graphics and visuals seems to support my creative work. I started to use the Roland JP8000 for warm pads and baselines as well.

Description of the creative process: I got a muse which is inspiring me to all of my creative work and is to find in every track and artwork. In the beginning there is a feeling I want to capture with my music. On that basis I make a visualization of it, a neon artwork to intensify the feeling and to know what my music not only feels but also looks like. That’s why to every track there is an artwork. After that I start with the drums or the bassline on the Op-1 and start building up a track. There is also watching a lot of Miami Vice episodes involved in the creative process but I can’t tell you any more about that, it’s a secret.

Are you going to make any EP or album soon?

– I’m releasing my first EP soon. I have to get the tracks remixed in a professional studio though. At the moment I’m working on new tracks for another EP. Some of the concept is already planned. The tracks will be released all together instead of one after another as I did on soundcloud with my previous tracks.

Thank you for answering these questions! What do you have to say?

– Thank you for featuring me it was a pleasure answering your questions. What I have to say? Spread the word!

Harvesting #9: Something in between but not too far away! [Part I]

So I know you’ve been waiting a long time for this. I know that you just love the Harvesting. Before I get too egoistical, you should know that there’s only one edition left until I’ve done this ten times. This wasn’t really supposed to happen to begin with, but I decided that I wanted something new and fresh. Something consistent yet interesting, something that wouldn’t be crappy. When I think of how the bigger magazines get money for what they do, it makes me sick to my stomach, because most of their material isn’t even worthy a read. Therefore, I give you this, totally free. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this edition too, as it consists of the following bands and one of their releases: Martial Canterel, Belgrado and Brusque Twins. Move in, settle down and make yourself a cup of tea. Or have some dark coffee, some very dark coffee. Welcome to the ninth edition of Harvesting, where you’ll get the best of unpopular cultural phenomenons and music.

Martial Canterel – Empire

Swooping up the forgotten cold-wave sound and engraving their logo within it. A finely coordinated rhythm that persuades you to join in and start to move. First song “No Contact” is really the first introduction to that description, making it a good starter. The music fits perfectly into the general field of minimal synth meets cold wave. A vocally-oriented and melodic journey from bottom to top, with dark baselines and melodramatic symphonies. As could be felt with the second song on the album, titled “Kiev Park“. Which almost feels like a throwback of 90’s influences meeting the colorful 80’s. There’s also a measurable amount of up-tempo intrigues that can be find in this music, and it also employs some of the lo-fi elements to sound believable. In a scarce and desolate landscape which would be too far away to even rub you on the back. Instead, they manage to touch the inner feelings with an approach that should be used more frequently. The vocally-driven, yet tasteful minimalism, and shy performance that it is. Standing on the line between “too much” and “too little“, balancing like a circus-act in between the two firm categories. Overall an album worthy of more praise than its gotten so far, and also worthy of a continuation. There’s much more to discover and some things feel like they’re missing.

Drive your virtual car and park it at their station. They’ll re-fuel it with some of the goodness from this album, but it will cost you 7.99 euros. You’ll be one of the luckier ones to receive a limited and hand-numbered CD containing six pretty different tracks, each with their own charming intonation. So, drive it over there and return with your new addition. Do also check out his other releases before you close your browser and enjoy the mail you’re getting in the upcoming days. You can find it over here.

Belgrado – Panopticon / Vicious Circle 7¨

There’s always a joyful feeling in finding one of those bands you didn’t know exist. It’s goth rock from the old-school to the new-school. With heavy influences from both the death rock department and post-punk. While listening to the first song on the single, “Vicious Circle“, it becomes totally clear that they’re seriously great in what they do. Interestingly enough, they play around with the feedback of the vocalist and manage to incorporate the kind of melodies and rhythms heard in pre-1990’s goth rock reign. It’s melodic in itself, but not boring from that aspect. Still sounds fairly underground and mix in well with the rest of the sound-scape. It seems like they’ve focused a lot on the percussion itself, because the rhythms in there are totally gorgeous. The aesthetics themselves fit in very well with the per-disposed picture I had of them and I get even more impressed when I realize that this is totally D.I.Y. The second song “Panopticon” is more baseline-driven than the first song and show just how much they’ve managed to develop since their first release. Galloping drums, mystical baselines and nocturnal vocals. Everything you’d ever want from the old school, yet taken into a whole other direction rather than mimicking the old. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s even remotely fascinated by the goth and death-rock sound, molded into a modern piece of art.

You should buy it, or else you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Head on over to their bandcamp and listen to it, because it will be able to buy in the nearest future. However, you can buy their first release over here. One of the more anticipated bands for myself, since I discovered them. So venture over to their bat caves and join them in their struggle for a more goth and post-punk environment.

Brusque Twins – A Voice In The Night

The perfect catalyst of dance music and minimal synth. At least I think so, but it’s more than just that. There’s some kind of mellow feeling that I receive, when listening to the first track “Speaking In Colour“. I must say that there are a lot of things happening at the same time and the music is very loud to begin with, but somehow the soothing synths take me up in the sky. I think there’s a great contrast in between the sound-scapes bombastic sound and its almost angelic feeling. A kind of familiar connection in between, which shapes up the whole thought of the sound-scape. Never on the verge of being lo-fi, and on the edge of being too much. Like a finely woven piece of wool, it keeps enhancing itself, layer by layer. I also think that the female vocals make it all better, because the vocalist isn’t bad when she performs. There’s perfection all the way through, which is very noticeable in the second track “Wait For Me“. It feels kind of nostalgic, but it instills some kind of appreciation of here and now, rather than being too nostalgic. I think they’ve managed to modernize the way I look at minimal synth also, they’ve taken out the experimental ground of it and gotten rid of the almost mandatory lo-fi sound-scape. I also like the repetitiveness, since it doesn’t feel static. The sound-scape is almost always moving in one direction, but there’s a lot of things happening along the way. A great addition in your library and definitely something you should look into getting.

Go over to their bandcamp and check out their other albums. Do also head over to their label Visage Musique, to buy yourself a limited edition CD. It’s limited to 150 copies and costs 6 pounds to buy. Then you’ll get six tranquil songs that will change a little bit of your mind, time after time again. If you don’t like that, you could always get a digital-only download for 5 dollars on their bandcamp.