Harvesting #10: We’ve come so far with New Ideals! [Part I]

I started up Harvesting as a source of renewal. What inspired me to start Harvesting was the fact that I’ve tried everything else and I wanted to break free. So I started it up and reckoned I needed a name first, so I came up with the name “Harvest” as it symbolizes what I do when I search for music. I look for it online and Harvest what I think is worthy of a place in it. But then I decided to change the name to “Harvesting“, because that’s something you actively do, as opposed to harvest (which you’ve already done). My original thought was to only let the “best of the best” have some space in the edition to begin with, even though I after the first three decided to let loose on the genres and be a little bit more inclusive. Thanks to everyone that read it and appreciated it, I must say that it became a huge success. Which means that I will be keeping Harvesting running on an (almost) day-to-day basis. The second most important thing about it is that great people, be it bands, artists of any kind, clubs or record-labels – everyone has a place, if you’re insignificant enough. That, in turn, doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything great. It just means that you’re unpopular in today’s mainstream society and it means that I have to shed a light on you. If you’re interested in being featured here yourself, don’t hesitate to contact me.

In this edition of Harvesting you’ll get to meet the following: BRANES, Moral Hex, Rule Of Thirds, New Ideals and Momentform. In other words, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. Since this is free and all. Hope you enjoy it even more this time around. You’ll also get a closer relationship with New Ideals and Momentform, since I’ve asked them a few questions.

Branes – Perfection Condition

An interesting duo which seem to lay more emphasis on their aesthetics than anything else. But I’m interested in the music at hand, and it sounds pretty funny. I don’t know if that was their intention, but their music sounds like a mix of sarcasm, death rock and synth-pop. The first song “Veronica Box Lunch” is a great insight into the most underrated death-rock, with a slice of intriguing and dark synth-pop. Since they hop in between a lot of genres, one of the more appreciative things they’ve done is the vocals. It’s got the theatrical and enthralling sound of the old-school, but at the same time a little bit of dark cabaret sliding in between. Rhythmically, it’s a monster, that just plows through you with the force of ingeniousness. Even though some of the songs can be a bit boring at times, the up-tempo pop-song “Abracadaver” bring a smile to my face each time.

It feels as if I’m being shown a hysterical show that tries to employ everything they’ve ever learned, at the same time. I believe that there’s a more humorist touch to their album more than anything else, because everything seems a tad too dis-organized. But I think they’ve got something going for themselves that could develop into something even better. The last song on this album, titled “Ramsey in the Dark” is one of the better songs on the album. A genuine slab of dark-wave angst, accompanied by quirky rhythms and weird melodies. Sounding like a robot in between and developing into a hysterical piece of art.

Buy their album over at their bandcamp and finance their continual absurdity. Oh, yeah, the digital-only version costs about 8 dollars. I believe it’s only released as a digitally-only download thing, since they ain’t got it in their shop. But you could snoop around, because there’s t-shirts and their first album also. There’s also a possibility to download the songs individually, for free.

Moral Hex – S/T 12¨

Apparently, there’s so much great goth rock and death-rock out there, it’s a shame that I didn’t find it earlier. This piece of interesting anarcho-punk mixed with goth rock, is what I’m going to listen my ears off to. First song “Corporate” is a battle between the drums, galloping away, along with a nice goth-sounding baseline. Accompanied by sincere guitar-riffs in the background and an obligatory vocalist that sounds like any older goth rock band. Even though they have a lot of influences on the side of goth rock, it’s obvious that punk is getting the firmer handshake this time around. I like the speedy, yet static tempo that fuels the sound-scape. The lyrics are also a stark reminder of what kind of world we live in and how it’s operated. Second song “Constant Regret” is a more vaudevillian kind of song, with high ambitions of being the melodic wonder you’d invite to your back alley for a live session. With nice drumming and a tempo that’s a little bit more compromised, just to suit the general mood of the sound-scape.

A kind of scaled-down version of the first song, but with its own touch and reigns to hold by. It seems like it slows down even more, the further in you get on the album itself. The third song “Behind the Mask“, is a masterpiece in itself. Employing some of the almost pop-oriented vocals, surfacing amongst a sound-scape that utilizes the best of the different instrumentation. A baseline to die for and drumming that is sufficient enough to bear the sound-scape up on its bare shoulders. A great experience of both worlds, whether it’s the punk-oriented side of it or if it’s the goth-oriented side. Both hold a great influence on this band and all their songs. It also feels great to find out that both are as exquisitely expressed as possible. Good riddance.

Buy the album over at their bandcamp for 4.99 dollars as a digital download-only album, or you could venture over to their label Mass Media Records, to look for it. I didn’t find it over there though, so the best would be to get the digital version of it first and then see if they’ve got a physical version available anytime soon.

Rule Of Thirds – DEMO

Tis’ a new addition on the scarce death-rock sky. I chose a lot of death-rock/goth-oriented releases because I wanted to show it to the world. Actually didn’t know they existed, but found out about it some days ago. Been listening to this record since then. The first song “No More Moon” has several strengths that reveal themselves the longer you get into the album, with a relatively repetetive and lo-fi sound-scape they manage to scrape on your inside and figure out which emoticons that need to come out. I felt pretty bedazzled when I listened to this for the first time, I think its ingeniousness in a bottle. Feels like I’m in an abandoned church and hearing the nonliving orchestra playing this tune for me. In the next song on the album, namely “Total Disappointment“, the singer sounds a little bit lite Anja Huwe from X Mal Deutschland. It’s also a little bit more down-tempo than the first song and sounds enthralling to say the least, there’s a pinch of nocturnal-feeling in it too.

As the melody on the guitar sounds completely in touch with the rest of it. One of the later songs on the album, “Northanger Abbey“, gets me everytime. I don’t know if it’s the sincerity in the screechy voice or if it is the stand-by drumming. But everything sounds so bombastic, yet it has that punk-feeling to it, like it’s been done wholly by D.I.Y.-measures and standards. It’s like a chaotic landscape of different instrumentation, that just fights to survive and be included in the wonderful landscape. There’s something dreamy about it, but it’s quite noise-filled. I don’t really know how that combination can be pulled off, but apparently Rule Of Thirds succeeded in doing that, especially with this song. This will be a band that I’ll keep an eye on in the future, because their demo, quite frankly, rocks the socks off me and it’s got that certain feeling that I get when I listen to old goth rock. Surely a keeper and it will probably be with me until they release something new. Hopefully they will, because I would like to see which label that would squander this kind of talent.

So if you want to buy it, you can venture over to their bandcamp as usual. You’ll get a digital-only download for 2.50 AUD, which isn’t that much to be honest. Packed with five songs and the first release this band has given away to the public. But I’m guessing that they only have a digital release because it’s quite a small label to begin with. Major Crimes Records released this pearl on the 22nd of June 2012.

There’s a new label on the rise and it’s name is New Ideals. It’s run by a music-enthusiast by the name of Joe and the label currently resides in London, UK.

Did you have any experience of labels before you started New Ideals, and what’s the main idea behind it?

– New Ideals is the culmination of much daydreaming, which consequently, is also why it has taken me so long to start it. My own views on music are terribly uncompromising so it seemed a natural step to set up a label where I could control every concern. However, it was only when I moved to London a year ago that the idea developed a clear narrative that extended beyond simple musical considerations. Certainly true for our first releases, there exists a critique on ones discordant relationship with the city.

I first approached Ianis from Momentform as their previous releases appeared to portray a similar message, which he confirmed. As we spoke more it became clear that we shared many of the same influences, and happily he agreed that Momentform would provide the debut release from New Ideals. My only useful label experience comes from a thirst to consume as much as I possibly can relating to Factory Records, an undeniable influence.

What kind of music are you specializing in when releasing?

– The label and its collaborators share a belief that music should provoke austere feelings of love and discomfort, a statement we shall be looking to uphold with each and every releases. There is little concern for adhering to a particular genre, however with much of my own musical taste rooted in post-punk, unwittingly, I am sure this will be reflected in many of our releases.

Since you’re from London, could you tell me anything about the climate there? What’s hardest about having a label over there and what challenges do you have in front of you?

– London is an all consuming city, impossible to escape, often exhausting, but ultimately enthralling. As I touched upon earlier, it was only when I moved here that the idea for the label developed a clear focus. At the moment there is a certain sense of dystopia to London, that like much of the world, is currently feeling the full force of austerity. With Momentform and blablarism both based in their respective capital cities, and myself in London, the city is a shared is a shared reference point for us all.

The greatest challenge for the label is ensuring every release gets the exposure its creators so richly deserve. If this happens then everything else will follow.

Are there coming any other releases planned before the end of 2012, and if so, could you tell me anything about them?

– IDEAL 002 will be the debut release from Ukrainian solo artist blablarism, due for release in late November. I can’t reveal too many details at the moment, but the release is similarly informed by living in the city, with Kiev the source of both inspiration and desperation

Thank you for letting me interview you about your label! Say what you want here in the end!

– It has been a pleasure, thank you. Be sure to follow New Ideals as there are some great releases planned in 2013 that we are beyond excited for, including a band who have already appeared on my favorite record label.

Before we get started on the questions I sent to Momentform, I need to emphazise that it’s Ianis Lallemand from the band, answering the questions asked.

Could you tell me anything about the history of the band and when it first started out?

– Momentform started out of discussions with my friend Pierre Suarez in the south of France, in the summer of 2010. I had been playing bass and releasing electronic music for some time; Pierre writes a lot, mostly short and very intense pieces. I was quite tired at this time with the process of producing complex electronic pieces, stuff that usually took me days to complete. I wanted to delve into something much more visceral, something I could write and produce more instinctively – music which could function as snapshots of certain states of mind. It seems to me Pierre’s lyrics respond to the same urge of instantaneous, cathartic expression. Hence it seemed natural to mix my music and his texts.

Although the tracks born from this collaboration where amongst the first to be finished, Pierre vocals only appeared in the second release, Four Days (released in June 2012 by Modern Tapes, Chicago). I see Momentform as an open project – which means that it might also take instrumental forms. However I’m very proud to have Pierre doing its great spoken word vocals once again on Yearn.

You’ve released your first 12¨ on American label WT but now you’ve released on New Ideals – what was the reason for this?

– This wasn’t planed, it just happened out of opportunities. I’m very happy to work with New Ideals. Joe (the label’s owner) is a really nice person and I wish him and his label all the best for the future.

What does the minimal synth genre mean to you?

– Apart from the quality of 80s pastiche that is undeniably has in some extent, I think the sound quality of the genre is particularly relevant to electronic music now as a path out of overly-polished productions, and out of the abstraction of club-oriented music.

Do you have anything else planned for the near future? Anything you could reveal?

– I’m working on a live set that I want to play at very special and intimate occasions. I have a few tracks ready, which are quite different than what I’ve done in the past releases. There are also a few other projects that I cannot reveal yet.

Good thing that you chose Invisible Guy! Or yeah, I chose you. But, what do you have to say here in the end?

– Thanks for the great work you’ve been doing with the blog and the Harvesting series. Thanks to Joe from New Ideals, Patrick from Modern Tapes and William of WT Records for their support!

This is the end of Part I.

Expect Part II to be released on Monday!

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