Frenchlight: VVVV – Cuerpo EP

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Some of the French are always up to something new. At least this isn’t an odd thing, thankfully. Other things could be said about the band VVVV, which fall into this category. They’re odd, or at least their blend of different genres, in becoming a somewhat supreme experience. Currently, they’ve released an EP titled “Cuerpo EP“, which is just an endeavor in itself. Think of modern electro, not as it should be, fixated with krautrock and tightly knitted to a psychedelic sense of post-punk avant-gardism. Yes, this is the decadance that you’ll shake your shaken hips to in a matter of seconds. At times, it’s too electronic for my taste, but it doesn’t stop oneself from digging the monotonic, albeit sufficiently layered cream of the crop – namely the witty synthesizers, clinging to the beat. From the first song and on, it just gets weirder and weirder. Hear the percussion garner itself in the hellhole that can be VVVV, as the modesty of the singer’s voice turns your frown upside down. A moment ago, decay and darkness would seem to be the only thing alive. But when you cut the corners, they blend those elements with an unused sense of appreciation, channeled into the atmosphere. So there’s a sense of hope, at the same time things come to a grinding halt. Rhythms couldn’t be more unconventional and the mixture of the different genres blend into a weird kind of psychedelic notion, a notion that is originating from their original idea. Simply something you couldn’t think of yourself, so you need to hear it first. Yes, this is something you must listen to, whether you prefer it or not. It’ll change a lot of things. This release feature three songs and was released on the 15th of May, almost totally D.I.Y.

Premiär: Rigas den Andre – Not Just People

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Eftersom att det snart bara är en vecka kvar tills EPn “Lilla Ukraina EP” släpps, så låter Rigas den Andre oss inte vänta och därför kommer ännu ett smakprov därifrån. Låten “Not Just People” är den andra singeln som släppts, vilket ger sig ut på en resa mellan vidderna av nostalgisk R&B, tillplattat med den värsta av Skweee. Men den ger även utrymme för mer minimalistiska tongångar, när den elektroniska musiken sammansmälter med de underliggande influenserna. Däremot så låter denna singel lite mer poppig, snarare än något annat. Trots det så är det ytterligare ett mästerverk som kan signeras utav Rigas den Andre och får de som törstar efter någonting nyskapande att sätta sin musikalitet i halsen. “Lilla Ukraina EP” släpps den 22:a Maj, av samma bolag som Henrik Euler (Rigas den Andre) bossar över – nämligen Flora & Fauna. Denna låt kan även laddas ner helt gratis, för den som känner att de behöver ha det mer fysiskt.

Markus Hulthén är långt ifrån sommaren!

För han släpper nämligen en höstvisa. Skämt åsido, men Markus Hulthén som är medlem i gruppen Mackaper, har släppt en musikvideo – till låten som går under namnet “Höstvisa“. Denna musikvideo filmades under Baltic Wave-turneén i November år 2012, då de spelade i Estland, Finland, Sverige och Danmark. Den något melankoliska visa, som drivs utav en orgel och sorgesamma syntljud, låter sig inte väntas på. Istället är den flera steg före, samtidigt som den låter efter. Nej, det där var inte en billig allegori, utan det är precis så det låter. Tillsammans med den överliggande progg-rocken, så formar den en kaskad av vilda ljud som ej kan tämjas. Låten är från deras album, “Mot Ljusare Tider“, som släpptes förra året på Flora & Fauna. Se det vackra landet, den värdefulla arkitekturen och lyss till den melodi som ännu ej har tystnat.

Spotlight: Tendagruta – Ensalmo do Sargaço

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Portugal delivers a mystic group that goes by the name of Tendagruta. They’ve been around for a compilation in 2011, by the name of Futuro Primitivo, released by You Are Not Stealing Records and Chilli Com Carne. In May, they also released “Cloaca“, which was originally released on Latrina do Chifrodo in 2011. However, their latest effort, which goes by the name of “Ensalmo do Sargaço” – is a record which compiles tracks they recorded from the time-span of 2010 to 2012, in various locations. Some of the tracks have also been featured on various releases. Now, let’s get to the point at hand. Their solemn and sincere mixture of the fundamentals of industrial, with a gritty layer of dark ambient, surely paves a way into the ancestral but occult thinking of Tendagruta. You’re drawn into the atmospheric content, in a malignant sphere of collectivized agony. Channeled into the medium that is the aforementioned genres, in an unorthodox and unprecedented heavy-weight competition, in between the different elements that constitute the make-up of each song. Hailing these dark landscape, showing immense respect for what can be thought to be a natural conscience, driven between the edges of virtuous and natural industrial – to the brink of thoughtfulness. Imagine yourself seeking a treasure that is hidden from plain sight, in a barren world where caves are your friend and the water can be unpredictable. As elements form together and shape the world you’re orienting yourself in. Tendagruta does precisely that, as they utilize whatever they can get, just to have those naturalistic sounds. Nothing can be more analogue than this, and it feels like they’ve gone long ways to make it sound like that. Perhaps I’m wrong, and this is just an illusion to frame my mind into this way of thinking, but either way – they’ve succeeded with their intentions and that’s what counts.

Intervju och mixtape med Johan G. Winther!

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Johan G. Winther är någon som många känner till, men som många egentligen inte känner till. Han är en slags doldis, men finns egentligen överallt. Denne man står bakom projekt såsom solo-projektet Tsukimono, men har varit eller är, delaktig i grupper vid namn Blessings, Scraps Of Tape, Heathers/Hollows – och många fler som ni förmodligen kommer att ha tagit reda namnet på, vid det här laget. I samband med sitt musicerande, så skapar han även konstverk, oftast sketcher. Som han antingen säljer eller låter vara omslag på något av sina släpp. Omloppsbanan inom musiken började med projektet Mnoki, innan år 2001. Men även innan dess, så hade han gett sig fan på att lära sig använda instrument. För inte så länge sedan var han aktuell under sitt förstnämnda namn, nämligen Johan G. Winther, och fortsätter att vara det – då han den 15:e Maj kommer att släppa albumet “The Rupturing Sowle” på Zeon Light Kassett. Förutom detta så släpper han kontinuerligt material under sina olika alias, men även inom de grupper som han är verksam i tillsammans med andra musiker. Resan verkar aldrig ha ett slut, och nu kommer även ni att få åka på samma resa. Invisible Guy har haft äran att få intervjua Johan G. Winther, vilket i slutändan blev en väldigt lång intervju. Där vi gick in på rötterna, men även skrapade på ytan, för att få en helhetsbild över vem han är och vad han egentligen gör, samt vad detta innebär för honom. Utöver det, så har Invisible Guy komponerat ett mixtape, där ni kommer få höra äldre låtar, osläppta låtar – men även kommande och precis släppta låtar. Nu har ni hört nog, så jag föreslår att ni börjar läsa istället.

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Snabbhetsljus: Hypertension – Primeval Tyrants Prevails

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Inte för inte så överraskar Sverige med ytterligare ett metalband som står ut i den stora mängd av metalband som landet faktiskt producerar. Med detta sagt, så är Hypertension, från Östersund – ett säkert kort om man vill låta sig orienteras bland klassisk thrash-metal och speed metal, medelst en välbehövd vridning åt det mer originella hållet. Det största fokuset för detta band, i och med det senaste släppet “Primeval Tyrants Prevails“, verkar ligga på ytterst väluttänkta riff som fullkomligt skriker pondus. Ibland låter det black metal-inspirerat, ibland kan det handla om en totalvändning, för att de tänkt gå i en helt annan riktning. Trots att det är grymt thrashinfluerat, så är avsaknaden av tugget med trummor och ointressanta riff som bortblåst i deras närvaro. Mörkret drar sig in över Östersund och det är denna trio som står för den omvandlingen. Trummorna kunde å andra sidan vara lite mer finstämda, då de av någon märklig anledning försvinner ut i mörkret ibland. Fast med tanke på allegorin, så är det förmodligen meningen. Skönt med ett band som är lite okonventionellt för en gångs skull, då huvudfokuset inte nödvändigtvis ligger just där. Även om trummorna är en stor del, så överglänser annat. Däremot så ändras snabbt åsikten, efter att man lyssnat till albumet ett tag. Plötsligt så känns trummorna mer old-school än någonsin, och verkligen något man kan acceptera till förmån för helheten. När det kommer till sångaren så har han en unik ingång till sin raspiga röst. Den överliggande metalhammaren spränger skallar som lyssnar på deras ljudvallar, men det är ändock något dunkelt som är inblandat i ljudlandskapet. Behållningen är inte endast särskild inom en särskild del av låtarna, utan håller i sig genom hela albumet. Vilket är positivt, i dessa nyckfulla tider, där man inte kan leta runt på internet utan att bli störd av ansamlingen utav mediokra metalband. Så, ta till er albumet och lyssna för bövelen! Finns ingenting mer att tillägga här, åtminstone inte i nuläget. Albumet är helt klart en hänsynslös vidareutveckling av demot “Envenomed By Vipers“, och förtjänar helt klart att vara några ribbor högre än O.K.-stämpeln.

Spotlight [SP. ED]: A New Life / Soft Riot!

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Russia wouldn’t be my main vantage point if I think about retro-fantastic synth-pop and minimal synth. Obviously, Los Angeles have been in the headlights for far too long, even though they have some merits to withhold that certain degree of appreciation. However, it seems like the Russian label-boss have been at it, at least if you check out Other Voices Records, whom we’ve interviewed earlier on this blog. Taking influences both from legendary groups such as Human League, and specifically; Soft Cell – there’s a resurgence that simply can’t be ignored. We’ll see if any other label from that particular region of the world are up for the challenge, but it seems like they’re the number one contenders so far. To be noted, the artists themselves aren’t from this region, but the mastermind is the Russian label. In this special edition of Spotlight, I’ll guide you to the two gems “Fright †reasures” and “Your Own Private Underworld“. Courtesy of A New Life and Soft Riot, one Italian-based producer and one UK-based producer of synth-pop music, with the word “retro” in the mainline.

1481648355-1What can possibly be said about A New Life and his newly released cassette titled “Fright †reasures“? Firstly, it’s based off material that was recorded in 2011-2012, by the synth-pop producer Maurizio Pustianaz. Besides the obvious fact that it’s retro all over, there’s also the importance of analogue. Smearing our brains with a current of force, but at the same time also a sincere yearning for times that have past. The music itself strays from synth-pop, to minimal synth and he delves into the 80’s – with good intent. His abysmal fascination for that decade, is preceded by the apparent structure of the songs, whom in their natural state reveal much of the influences. But they are pretty unconventional – and are only matched, when it comes to superiority, by the fast-paced sections of synthesizer goodness. Some of the ambitious hints of melodic content, are sometimes not his strength when it comes to the music. The weird, showcased melodies in the choruses don’t intertwine in a good way, within the context that is intended – of the structured colossus that is his sound. Which at times actually can be turned in his favor, since the music itself relies on the ambitious notion and atmospheric experimentalism that is rarely seen within this decade. Sure, if you’re interested in Soft Cell, their experimentation seem to be a guideline for his music. But when it comes to the regular synth-pop, with 80’s vibes, this is not something for the faint of heart or primitive minds. No, this sounds like an intellectual approach to an otherwise pretty basic genre, at least if you gather up all your synth-pop belongings and heed to the overall quality. Catchy, it is and can be when he lets it form around the strengths that emit throughout the often heartbreaking lyrical content, but not to an extent that is in his favor. Since the vocals are 50/50, they’re just too much in some of the songs, but at the same time add up in the end – which makes this a case of how you’d like the lyricism to be. When he sings from his heart, the music itself is energized and should re-conquer the castle it needs to forcefully re-take. Otherwise, when it comes to the overall picture, it’s a picturesque cassette which needs to be listened to. At least if you compare it to the not-so-stiff competition out there.

1006979070-1As you listen to Soft Riot, which is a moniker for another UK-based producer, who goes by the name of JJD (Jack Duckworth) – there’s an instant appeal to your own monotonic glory. His single-based release “Your Own Private Underworld“, from his forthcoming cassette “Fiction Prediction“, is a fusion between the minimal synth landscape, of dark intentions morphed into a kind of shallow Miami synth-pop sound. There’s a glimmering haze around the general atmosphere of the song, along with almost atonal sounds with monotonic intentions. The contradictions that feed off this sound is astonishing. No cliches are being re-interpreted into the shrewd landscape of ludicrousness, angelic dismay and sincere synthesizers. If anything, this is simply a display of utter originality. Quenching the thirst for some post-punk, by squeezing some influences from that pathway – into an all-out electronic endeavor. At times, the vocals and the interchangeable nature of the music, reminds you all too much about the totally non-electronic band Lebanon Hanover. The kind of dry atmosphere of aridity is utilized as a kind of undertone, which is absurd when blended with the glamor in the overlying parts of the songs structures. It’s odd, but it’s actually one of the better blends of minimal synth, with irregular influences, that has a more static synth-pop ground to stand on – which in the end actually works. Since there’s only two songs, as this is a part of a forthcoming cassette, I am dismayed. Not because anything is bad about it, it’s just because there are only two songs so far – and I want him to get on with it and deliver the rest of them. The urge that simply walks into your brain and make your hands click on the mouse-button, just so you can hear the songs on repeat. Really great songs, original and unique in so many ways. This is a cassette that you simply have to listen to. You should wait until the forthcoming cassette and whole album “Fiction Prediction” comes out, but I urge you to buy the digital download of these two songs – right now!

Spotlight: Eternal Crimes – Dream Gag

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Once in a while, it feels like post-punk should be at the center of the universe. Unfortunately, there aren’t really many great post-punk bands out there. If there are, they’re usually getting more praise than they deserve, if you take away the roots they aren’t really standing on in the first place. Yes, most of them don’t really go full-on with inspiration from the roots of this great genre. There’s such a sensationalistic approach to it, as they try to modernize it beyond belief. But, there’s a band called Eternal Crimes whom have recorded their debut-album “Dream Gag“, which really takes you back to the time of our lives. It sounds like the primitive sound of 80’s post-punk, the sound which you enjoy throughout. Recognizable, in terms of the primitive and primal surge of baselines soaring through the landscape of smitten lives. Slow, but catchy riffs in a reverberated notion of a heavy and atmospheric baseline. Judging from their sound, they derive much from what’s been the best with post-punk as long as I’ve listened to the genre. I also realize that they’re modernistic in their approach, but their aim is not to stray away from the core – which many bands tend to do. When you slice a bit of the musical cake, you do also find a slab of new-wave goodness, amongst other things like their totally punched out crash-course in post-punk 101. Another thing that is good, is their experimental notion, which sends them into the avant-garde section of the genre as a whole. Incorporating a dark & noir feeling, but keeping the shadowy edges a little bit tidy, collapsing in on itself in an avalanche of sound that is lashed upon the greatness that is them. Do also throw in some slick indie pop-ish splendor, and you’ll have a weird family tree. Finally, something that can at least be considered worthwhile, when it comes to the general sound of an album. The lyrics are interesting and are at best a reminder of the wonderful eccentrics of Virgin Prunes, and the grandiose setting of Theatre of Hate, with The Birthday Party‘s total madnesscombined into a wonderful, triple symbiosis. No, they’re not the same, but you’re reminded once more of how much of a revitalization this genre needed to have. Eternal Crimes instantly fix this disparity and uphold the morality of what needs to be done – is to keep the core, but move in the outskirts of the territory. To never remove themselves completely from that particular region. Their album feature eight songs, and was released on the 6th of May by Bad Archer Records.

Minimalight: Image Of Life – 7¨

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Nihilism, it should’ve been combined. Joined together with the dark overtones of minimalism, as we’re at it with full speed. No glitter, no joy and a fist full of apathy. Let the dark melodies, swift jabs of minimal synth and evil vocals of Image Of Life conquer your mind. Los Angeles seems to be a hotbed of these experiments, at least when it comes to synthesizer-based music. As usual, I am not able to keep up with the continuous flow of great music that you’ll have to dig out yourself. Which made me feel embarrassed, since this release has been out for a month by now. Well, it’s titled ““, and is short and stout. If I didn’t know anything about this release, I would’ve thought it was an obscure gem from the minimalistic underground of the 80’s. This is probably one of the best combinations of minimalism and nihilistic tendencies that I’ve come upon. As the atmosphere is suffocating anything lively, except the melodies, the dark overtones approach you slowly – to simply shift their aim and jab you right in the head, with enormous speed and force. Downtempo is not the only thing you’ll find here, but an industrial landscape fused with concrete sound. It certainly makes your mood swing 360 degrees, from happiness to a toned down kind of apathetic state of mind, with depressive thoughts just around the corner. So, when it comes to feelings, he’s able to twist and turn them – shaping them into the thematic consequence of the release itself. The songs are basically entwined within a certain pattern, but the ambiguous nature of it makes it feel like the illusion has been set in place. On one hand, there’s an general feeling of up-tempo, which changes imminently after the first song is heard. Turning head on tail, making it impossibly darkened. As it was said before, this is probably one of the best, if not the best, release that has come out this year in the minimal synth category. If these words need to be revised, this would probably still be in the top-5, contending with its overall landscape of soothingly (but uneasy) nihilistic, tempered and warm – fusion of both bad, good, evil – soaked from head to toe, in quality. The release feature two songs and was released on the 5th of April by Chondritic Sound.

Darklight: Last Light – Last Light

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I’ll have to admit, I’m not an innocent human being. When it comes to trip-hop, I mostly despise it. But when it’s combined with other genres, such as darker electronica like coldwave or industrial – I will be hooked immediately, if it’s properly executed. This is Last Light, they’re a duo consisting of Laura Boland and Jeremy Moss, whom are currently situated in Brooklyn. They released their self-titled debutalbum “Last Light” two months ago. Unfortunately for you, I didn’t find it until now. It feels like they’re a part of a wider spectrum, or a wave if you’d like to call it that – which has (mostly) been brought upon us from the US. These minimalistic torches that have been carried from the East to the West in the US, slowly making their way to Europe – landing in Northern Europe, this time around. What differs, is that they blend in trip-hop in the mix. The sincere and whispering voice of Laura Boland is enough to have you hooked for hours. Simply by listening to the blistering synthesizers revolving around her or Jeremy Moss. But I most concur, she’s a part of the wonderfully esoteric machinery of darkness, which can be felt by the stinging of a wrecking arpeggio that slices your heart in parts. Look no further, because this might also be the uniform split between the heavy electronics and more classical vocals. At times, however, it feels like the abomination that is and has been some of the dark electro – for a long time. If you ignore that part, in some of the songs, it’s actually a memorable album which will take you to new heights. I know that there’s a lot out there right now, but this one is a given if you want to stir the potpurri of influences a bit. So take a listen, because it’s definitely worth it, seven times over. The release features five songs and was released by themselves on the 18th of March.