Exclusive Stream: NSRB-11 – Consumer Programming

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We bring you the best, so fuck the rest. No, that’s not how my melody goes. This is just a provocation to fill out a sentence. We’re blessed to be bringing you yet another exclusive stream of a track, all thanks to Saša Rajković of Sensorium/Zarkoff. If you’ve heard of Gerard Donald, Sherard Ingram and Lana Jastrevski – you probably know where this is going. Their nicknames are otherwise spelled out as Heinrich Mueller, DJ Stingray and Popsimonova. Which isn’t really everything they’ve ever done, but probably what you know them as. Heinrich Mueller is the nickname of Gerard Donald, who also sport different sounds under the nicknames of Dopplereffekt, Drexciya (together with Sherard Ingram) and Arpanet – to name a few. Sherard Ingram is probably most known as DJ Stingray, but he’s also known by the names of Mystic Tribe A.I. and Urban Tribe. Lana Jastrevski is most known for her outlandish pseudonym Popsimonova, but also for being the founding member of the DAF-influenced group called Dekolaž. Anyway, you probably know that the Belgian label WeMe Records are going to release a double-LP with NSRB-11 on the menu, titled “Commodified“, on the 9th of September. Those of you that are fans of Heinrich Mueller since before, should recognize the swift arms of Detroit Electro, and see it as a continuation of his project.

What’s new is that Lana Jastrevski’s wonderful voice will be heard on several tracks, on this release. Therefore, I’ve gotten the honor to exclusively stream the full track “Consumer Programming” for you. Hard-hitting and uncompromising high-tech electro, with a detachment from the reality we know it as. In the future there’ll be no humans, so you better tune in and listen to this robotic sound-scape that will make you enter 2045. Perhaps even further into the simulation, that will be our future. Stream the whole track exclusively down below, check out more of the album over here. You can also pre-order it, as CD or 2LP.

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Preview: Xiu & Spatial Relation – Split! w/ questions for Peripheral Minimal!

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Peripheral Minimal is a sub-label to Peripheral Records, which is a label based out of Britain. In a short period of time, Jason B Bernard have garnered a lot of attention. Maybe not on the basis of blogs writing about it, but he’s gotten a lot of followers for his rather newly created sub-label. The first release was Replicanti, a synth-wave group based out of San Fransisco, whom released their first EP á la four tracks on Peripheral Minimal. Main focus is on minimal synth and cold wave, which makes it even more interesting. So, as the 7¨ split between Xiu and Spatial Relation was announced to be released sometime now in Fall, it wasn’t enough for me. Therefore, in an attempt to collaborate, Invisible Guy and Peripheral Minimal will give you an exclusive preview of both the tracks that will be featured on this release. It will mark the second release on this label. But, I also  had some time left on my hands to ask the label-boss Jason Bernard a couple of questions regarding his first release, the purpose of the label and the second release. Plus some other question that magically happened to be thrown in. You can stream and listen to previews of Xiu’s “Highgate” track and Spatial Relation’s “Mystery Of Chance” track, down below.

I know that Peripheral Minimal is a sub-label for Peripheral Records. But why did you want to branch out and focus on minimal synth and coldwave, too?

– Well ultimately it was like returning or going home, if you like, to my original love of Synthpop or Future Pop as it was known when I was younger, anything from Depeche Mode to Fad Gadget via Cabaret Voltaire and The Human League! Plus it’s re-emergence in recent years made me decide to ‘test the waters’, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the latest crop of Synth acts, basically reinterpreting the classic late 70s / early 80s sound.

Since it’s a sub-label, do you go by things the same way when releasing or are there more differences than a particular focus on these two genres?

– I don’t think there’s much difference in the way I operate either label, perhaps just the way in which I advertise releases to different markets. Marketing is ultimately the hardest part to get right!

Your first release was “Electric Mistress” by the San Fransisco synthwave act Replicanti. Why did you choose to make that one your first one and how did you go by before you released it?

– I was initially approached by Replicanti as he had an E.P. ready and was looking for a new label via a ‘tip-off’ from a friend! I really liked what I heard and decided to give it a chance, it seemed like the perfect marriage between early EBM and Synthwave. I haven’t been disappointed.

Do you have any acts that you’re going to sign in the near future, since Xiu and Spatial Relation will be releasing their forthcoming split on your label?

– There are a few releases in the pipeline, a 7″ by Irish duo ‘KuBo’ and another 7″ by ‘Ferdinand Carclash’. There are also some tentative deals on the way, but I’m keeping that a secret for now!

How did you go by when you decided you wanted to release those two on a 7¨?

– I’d heard both acts separately and thought that the two together might make a fantastic pairing! They’ve both gained a lot of publicity and attention of late, down to the sheer fact that they create great modern synth music, with that classic retro touch!

Thanks for answering! What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

– Trying to organize a two day festival next Spring. More news soon.

Listen to previews from the upcoming 7¨ split with Xiu and Spatial Relation, down below. The release itself will come out sooner or later, but definitely this Fall.

Premiere: Softly, Dear – Know My Name [+FREE DOWNLOAD]

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I received a note from John Praw about Softly, Dear. It felt like it was urgent and I needed to respond to it. Therefore, I listened through the whole thing and found out that I liked it very much. In collaboration with his record label Mine All Mine, situated in Wisconsin. Since they got their album “Portico” released recently on this particular label, we decided it would be great to offer you a free download of one track. Since they’re all available for streaming on Bandcamp, you get to download the track “Know My Name” for free. You can also stream it if you like to. I chose this track because it is in the darker vein, being this album, as I’m more attuned with the darker stuff now when it’s beginning to turn into Autumn. Actually, the sampling on the track reminds me far too much about industrial then it does remind me about indie rock. It is also their debut, which makes me feel even more honored to be listening to it, yet offering you something in return. The ballad-like track is smooth as silken, but at the same time nostalgic as nobody in their right mind would be. Soothingly taking us back throughout their lyrical venture, making the whole ordeal an adventure for those that prefer indie rock over everything else. This was actually self-released by their band on CD at first, which was so successful that it almost sold out immediately, but now they’ve gotten released by Mine All Mine on cassette and as a digital download. The band is compromised of: Tyler Hart, Josh Frederick, Alex Adkinson, Ben Possi and Addie Strei. So, if you like this, grab a limited cassette for only five dollars. Stream the track itself and download it here down below, or stream the whole album. It’s your choice.

Exclusive Stream: Tangerine – The Runner

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Tangerine have been working intensively to bring you yet another release. I hadn’t noticed, because I was occupied with everything else. Swoon Records are going to release their forthcoming EP titled “Radical Blossom” on August the 31st. It feels like they’re much more secure in their place where they are standing. They’ve walked in their own shoes for a while, so they’ve settled down from the more melodic and sprawling content they put out with their first release “Pale Summer“. They’re way much more sincere now with their pop-ballads that come streaming through your head, with the catchy lyrics and the concrete rhythms. Even though it might seem to be nothing out of the ordinary at the first listening, there’s some interesting things going on. It is nice to see that it seems like they’ve settled down for now. Maturity is everything, even with intensive guitars and a red line to match your eyes with, as you lock on to target and head for your goal. Dance to the pop that’s always on your side. We give you “The Runner“, which is the last track on the EP itself. It is their best track on this release, if I had to choose any of the songs. Which I had to, in the end. You can stream this track down below and wait until it’s released on Swoon Records. Do also visit their release-party if you live in the US, it’s on the 6th of September at the Comet Tavern in Seattle.

Spotlight: Ectoplasm / Jaqkquil – Ectoplasm / Jaqkquil!

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Since this release didn’t get the proper exposure, I thought that I would elaborate why it should get it. This release was a split between Ectoplasm and Jaqkquil, a playful distinction between light and darkness. With Jaqkquil representing the decayed urban environment with neon-signs, carefully selected dub and interesting dream-hop. Utilizing the chopped up samples in favor of creating a dreamy landscape of sounds, that sound unsettling to say the least. Maybe the dichotomy is the other way around, but I think (myself) that Jaqkquil represent the darker side of this cassette. Enchanting you with the poison of modern society, you twirl into position and imminently release information about yourself. It’s a tyrannical form of seduction, which leaves you hopelessly exploitable. It feels like they’ve found your weak spots and are using it against you, in a mesmerizing kind of way. The wayward feeling of longing, of the temporary loneliness that is a relationship. When everything breaks from its soil, the moment of clarity when you realize that everything could be fixed, but you didn’t do it anyway. Aggravatingly slow beats that pound the last bit of truth out of you, within the cherished landscape that feels like dreaming away, but is slowly pinching away on your own reality. You live in a world constructed by you and Jaqkquil, a false world that is about to break. Even though the tracks don’t clock in at more than 3 minutes maximum, it feels like an eternity.

Coming from a totally different perspective is Ectoplasm, with its gargantuan track that clocks in at roughly twenty minutes. A looming sense of ambient calmness is putting its blanket around you. Everything suddenly feels better, more meditative. You’re slowly floating outwards from the false world you were in, which is shattered by now. Together with a chillwave narrative that sets the premises. Nothing is more important than the surrounding cataclysm of cosmic might. Now, we’re living in NOW. The past and the future don’t count. As an out of body experience, you can steer the wheel a bit, but when it comes to the continually more abstract senses tingling around you – there’s nothing more you can do. It’s not a prison, but you’re stuck in your own immovable body. Carried by the waves of synthesized delight, which erupts into a weirdly uncanny rhythm of darker thoughts. Spaced out feelings collide with the cosmos itself, as the more minimalistic wrap is ripped apart in favor for a more melodic but grandiose entry. Weirdly enough, it feels like the track could be more than one single track. The experimentalist vein explores more than one dimension in this tattered landscape. At first, it illuminates and acts as a guide, but then you’re suddenly on your own – stomping on uncommon ground. I would recommend them both.

You can order this cassette from I Had An Accident Records. It’s worth it if you like crazy combinations. This is not classic in any way shape or form, this is pretty damn original.

Exclusive Streaming: Ekman – Don’t Let Them In

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Enfant Terrible and its sub-label Gooiland Elektro team up, one last time, together with Invisible Guy. This time we’re pushing for another release that is coming out simultaneously, in the end of August. The dutch producer Ekman have graced us with his wonderful “Nervous” 12¨, featuring four songs. You might know him from such releases as “M.S.P.” on Solar One Music, or the more well-known release for our Nordic brothers; “Kalla Rytmer Att Dansa Till I Ensamhet” on Beläten earlier this year. With one foot in acidic techno, another one in frightening electro. Also, a third one in new beat and a fourth one in early techno. You never know where he’ll step with his feet, but when he does, you’ll know it will be excellent. This release is no exception. He unleashes some of his dirtiest and darkest stuff, topped up with the characteristics of a beaten up urban environment. As you might know, you’re in for a treat once again when we collaborate. We decided to let you stream the track “Don’t Let Them In” from the A-Side of his forthcoming 12¨, for you to stream your ears off with. You can stream the whole track down below, exclusively on Invisible Guy. If you like what you hear, you might want to consider to pre-order it. You’ll be able to do this here. For those that are wondering, this release will be out somewhere in the end of August.

Some questions for Yöri Bjártsdóttir!

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Yöri Bjártsdóttir, or Yöri, is an Icelandic/Lithuanian artist that delves knee-deep into trip-hop mixed with danceable industrial. Earlier this year, she released her first EP titled “Capsule EP“, which was produced by Andrew Means, whom also goes by the moniker of “H3X3N” – a dark electronica project. Together with Yöri, they produce some of the most wonderful pieces of crossover electronica that have been put out there, lately. With his production skills and her wonderful voice – they’re a match made in heaven. I found Yöri on the forum Violent Playground and decided it was time to introduce her to a wider audience. So, therefore I sent her a couple of questions which she answered. You’ll get to know everything about the intent of her music, what it means and also the fact that she’s collaborating with H3X3N on a new album that will come out sooner or later. Tune in!

Now, I know virtually nothing about you. More then that you’ve just released your EP titled “Capsule EP” a month ago or so. Where you mix trip-hop glitching with industrial dance music. The common denominator, at least when listening to the track “Jupiter”, influence-wise – would be Björk! It makes sense, since it seems like you’re from Iceland. But who are you and why did you embark upon making this kind of music?

– Surprisingly enough I was never a follower of Björk, don’t know why. I’m only half icelandic, the other half Lithuanian and have absorbed both cultures while growing up. I’ve been singing before I could talk and was very excited to make my debut as an electronic musician. I just basically didn’t want to make a record that has been done before. What happened was just a very beautiful musical affair between me and my producer, H3X3N/Andrew Means, doing things that we felt were right and sounded even better.

Oh and also, as much as I can appreciate her talent, for some reason I just never found my way to her music. Being compared to someone as talented as her is a very big compliment in itself and I appreciate it. I would just rather be the first Yori than the “next Björk“.

How did you and H3X3N (Andrew Means) go by when you both began to work on your debut-EP, and was it always clear to you that the music you’d be putting out there would be within the sphere of electronica?

– We kind of went from song to song, not really knowing what was going to happen next. It was an improvise-like process, very introspective. When recording, you really have to be two people. One, a teenager who does all these things unconsciously and fucks up from time to time, doing things for no apparent reason, and the adult – the other half which is always trying to rescue the other one when she gets in those situations. It’s almost like setting up a trap and organizing an accident. You put all these sounds together, gather all these ideas and then you have to sort them out.

Did you ever feel like it could’ve been more then an EP, or did you want to compromise it everything into that particular format? Have you stored away songs for future purposes?

– Um, well, it definitely wasn’t a compromise, we just felt like we’d rather start out with a 6-track EP. Yes! As a matter of fact we have a lot planned, my next release, “In Dreams” will be a 5 track EP, with a more washed out, romantic, afrobeat dreamwave house brew. That was a lot of adjectives but it does the job. Love songs tinged with oceanic feeling. It will also be more lyric-based.

Speaking of lyrics, the song you put up titled “North” was inspired by “an ogress called Gryla”. Could you elaborate? Also, what influences you?

– Gryla is part of Icelandic mythology, she is a lonely ogress who lives in the mountains and eats kids that don’t believe in Christmas. A friend of mine is working on a project about her and it was my job to contribute the music for it, so we adapted a version of it for a track. I think of pop’s boundaries to be elastic. It’s like a thunderstorm building up inside me. I think of songwriting almost as a survival instinct. Different people do different things to deal with their problems, I sing. If I dont do it, I start to suffocate. Anything can be full of inspiration if you look deep enough, a crystal, your friends, mathematics, a wind that won’t stop beating you up, a certain taste. What both inspires me and turns me on the most is mystery and the unknown.

And that’s what Capsule was, it was staring into the abyss and having the abyss stare back.

So, one could certainly say that you’re influenced by Nietzsche? That’s interesting. It seems like some of your aesthetics (besides H3X3N as a producer) adhere to witch house, which seem to have somewhat of a “naive”, but pseudo-nihilistic aesthetic to it. Do you have any relation to witch house as such, or do you simply consider the apparent genres that you tag yourself with?

– Definitely not Nietzsche, that’s overstepping it a bit. It’s not nihilistic per say, it’s just the hunger for jumping into the unknown. Jumping off that metaphorical cliff and challenging yourself. I don’t have much to say about witch-house, as I didn’t even know of it before the release of Capsule. I guess I’d classify myself as trip hop, industrial.

Well, it seems like I’m going to wrap this up. Thank you for answering these questions, the word’s yours now!

– As a finishing side-note, I’d like to just state that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my extremely talented producer H3X3N, and that everyone should check out his music.

Listen to Yöri perform on her debut-EP “Capsule” down below. Do also pay some heed to H3X3N, her producer. Delve into their world. But, do also check out the SKVM remix of her track “Coma“.