This Italian label named Mannequin Records have long been releasing newly re-issued stuff specifically from the 80’s. They’ve actually released new bands since the beginning, but I’ve always seen them as a “re-issue” label. Since I first and foremost saw them as a re-issue label, I needed to wash that stamp away with some highly intensive synth-pop, quirky minimal synth and charged industrialized cold wave. In this Special Edition of spotlight, we’re guided to the latest releases from this magnificent label. One is a debut-release and the other is a group that has been around since 2012. Newly formed, newly shaped and freshly squeezed. We present to you reviews of: Light House and DUST.
Light House originates from Portland, where they’ve been around a couple of years. This group features the members Chris Relyea (ex- The Rapture), with Dawn Sharp and Brooks Blackhawk from Atriarch. Their debut-release “In Their Image“, is a four-tracked arachnoid, churning out poisonously addictive dark-wave and minimal synth. This EP of theirs is a somnambulist and ritualistic approach to these genres. Forged with utmost respectfulness to the ambiguous elements that rarely is concocted together with dark wave. Every hit of the longing synthesizer is a reminder that this world is much larger than we’d think it would be. As you slowly sink into the deep-end of the rosewater, when the darkened and spacious rhythms hit your ears like a concrete wall. Together with the pumping beat that continuously vibrates in conjunction with the rest of the beautifully laden sound-scape in front of you. Every mechanism is turning til’ the last component, as you slowly get indulged in the momentum that has been garnering since the start. Fleshy arpeggios, abstract motions and a charmingly sinister sound is what you’re trying to grasp. There’s nothing to hold on to, but there’s everything to hear. To the more classic dark wave experimental with darker intentions, that utilize more of the minimal synth phenomenon when it steps up to the plate. Sweeping synthesizers that forms the textures, with thin threads around the cocoon. When they play around a little bit more with the industrialized and constant rhythm of both their cold wave, the spacious sounds and the minimal synth – heads are turned on their tails. You’d feel obligated to vocalize it together with the vocalist, as she for the first time spread out more of her unorthodox arrhythmic wings. Here, the synthesizers become more grandiose, as every melody is being used to convince you that the layers upon layers of goodness is meant to be for you. It feels personal, with no strings attached, and no pretensions to be found. Deep, from within their hearts, this is for you. I can surely recommend this release, because it is some of the better dark wave mixed with other genres as a crossover, that I have heard for a long time. Especially the last song. Unfortunately the EP is already sold out, but you can listen to it down below.
DUST, on the other hand, is something different. Even though the common denominator is electronic music. Featuring the collective of korean noise goddess Greem Jellyfish, psych musician/model Angela Chambers, tech audio engineer Michael Sherburn and DJ John Barclay. Originally an dark italo project, now a “combat” techno meets acid house phenomenon. Their intentions are great, as their machines continually pound out the analogue wondrous of acidic textures upon psychedelic longing, in the form of wailing. Consisting of rhythms that would easily punch you in the face and not apologize for it. You’ll have your feet stomping to this as you make your way through this four-tracked explosion of influences. Whilst it tries to re-direct your attention from the bombastic tones, it will suddenly begin to smack your face around with its virtually unchallenged beats that make every techno-maniac shy away in displeasure. Not because it’s bad, but because it is so heavy. This is both as crazy as it can get, with the overtly psychedelic screams and insane vocals. Brace yourself, as the reverberated madness strikes you with provocative lines of futuristic synthesizers, together with charred and spontaneous hits with the electronic hammer. Whatever you’d want to fit in here, is fitted. Whether it consists of quirky synthesizers that graciously show you how to move, or if it is aggressively stomping its way through your living room. Even though some of the italo makes itself noticeable within the rhythms and the melodies, they leave far more space for other influences to grow strong and every single member adds their expertise to fulfill their sacred challenge of introducing this irrational mixture to you as a listener. The more you try to understand it, the more mysterious it gets. Don’t turn your back, because this is freakishly potent stuff. So, whether you like acid house or prefer some stompy techno, or simply just want to “chill” out to some italo influences – everything is for you. But I should warn you, this is a deadly mix in between the borders of these three genres. You should enter at your own risk, because there’s a big risk involved with listening to this. Because you might get hooked directly. There are two copies left of this release, so I suggest you make a run for it, over here. You can also listen to it down below.