Spotlight: aska / Kælan Mikla split!

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Iceland reigns supreme in this split between Icelandic natives aska and Kælan Mikla. Two different genres, but with something in common. A synth-pop track with the best elements included, a soothing synthesizer meets the retrofantastic atmosphere – in here aska creates his magic – related to the notion of “lágstemmt kuldabylgjupopp” (low-pitched cold-wave pop). This split came to be as a internet-only release. When it comes to the differences they display, Kælan Mikla deliver some kind of weird schizophrenic post-punk, with a sullen minimalistic ballad to begin with. Both alternatives are great, especially when you re-listen to the track “þögn” (Silence) by aska, as the icicles melt and simmer down into what could be an absolute breakdown of the Icelandic soul, dipped into the cold waters bordering around the island. The track which is portrayed by Kælan Mikla has a rhethoric question embedded into it, as it is titled “Ætli það sé óhollt að láta sig dreyma?” (Is it unhealthy to dream?). It’s a certain feeling that comes forth when you listen to the beautiful voice of the singer, but then suddenly it degrades into a complete post-punk frenzy – just like that with all the unhinged things it brings with it – a dark baseline later and you’re caught in her intermezzo. Even though the split only consists of two tracks, it’s a nice off-shoot into unguided territory. It also feels nice to include our Nordic neighbors into the mixture when it comes to this blog-zine. So stream and listen to this release down below.

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Listen: extravague – L’Ombre d’Un Doute EP

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Ah oui, c’est incroyable,” I uttered. When you combine the melancholic aura that revolves around those pesky Frenchmen, since this gave way for the romanticism and coldness of cold-wave. It’s always surprising when you find the less atonal cold-wave, the wave that rides on a stringent melody. So therefore, when I looked around I came upon the group extravague –a duo consisting of two guys lost in “a hall of dashed hopes“. Before their first EP they released a live album with eleven demo-tracks, titled “Demo / Live in Empty Room” – which they recorded at home with only one microphone. This was three months ago, fast-forward and you’ll see the realization of their debut-EP which is aptly titled: “L’Ombre d’Un Doute EP” (Shadow Of A Doubt EP). A rather bleak example of what can be done when you combine the coldness of cold-wave with a post-punkiness, changing into a more new-wave styled phase which garner the wondrous melodies which they’ve carefully composed. There is actually only a small difference when it comes to how they’ve recorded this one, in comparison to their first release, because it’s also been recorded live with a microphone – but a hell of a good microphone at that – being able to pick up their music. But this time it’s also mixed into the wonderful sound-scape. You should listen to their release down below and stream it to your francophilic joy, or despair. Whatever you choose to do, it’s a great release that deserves to be listened to.