Haunting is the first word that comes to mind when La Fete Triste and The Harrow join forces, releasing a split together with the title “Giant / Axis“. The solo-project La Fete Triste is the enigmatic and sorrowful new-wave project by Gabriel Brero, one of the men involved with aufnahme + wiedergabe, based out of Berlin (now in Hamburg). His twisted synthesizer and drum-machine-driven project derive inspiration out of both minimal synth and post-punk, coating his arms with a new-wave overlay that deliver the greatest sadness with melancholia at the middle, together with melodies that will ensnare you imminently. Add to that a guitar with concrete rhythms that adds a touch of your own dismay in the mix. Before this release, he had put out a single called “Lèvres Froides“, and he also did a split-release together with Lebanon Hanover, titled “Lebanon Hanover / La Fete Triste” where four tracks were put out. A lot of people have apparently been longing for new material for quite a while, three years to be exact. Together with The Harrow, he delves into this split-release with the track “Giant“. An at first ballad-esque track which soars through the landscape of sound with a post-punk sound with an almost anthemic touch to it. The mournful and depressive vocals with a German intonation at the end makes it a lot more impressive, because it builds up to a magnificent track because of that. An interesting anecdote is that Justin Stephens (Passion Play) is doing back-up vocals on this track, he’s produced and mixed it as well.
The Harrow, on the other hand, had delivered their first official self-titled debut on the now defunct label Function Operate last year. Even though some of their sound isn’t that emotive for me to begin with, I must say that I am impressed when I hear “Axis“, a track which breathes the otherwise so scarcely atmosphere that had been lacking before. It’s got more warmth than the earlier release of theirs, and to add insult to injury – Vanessa Irena‘s vocals attract you to their post-punk sound even more, as she adds another dimension to an otherwise good track. Making it even greater. The Harrow have been interesting in several ways before, but they haven’t really made anything that have been as great as this. Here, they show their true potential as craftsmen. Bringing their music to a whole other level together with their minimal approach to post-punk, with goth undertones that make you take it in even more. Everything is emotionless, but at the same time very emotive. A good paradox to be written upon their release as it is. Looking forward to hearing more of this kind of sound, in future releases. An interesting sway into the right direction. Stream both tracks down below and wait until you can buy the physical edition on vinyl on the 18th of May on aufnahme+wiedergabe.