The busiest of them all seem to be the label Field Hymns from America, whom have been keen on releasing a booklet with a very special artist. This artist is Yves Malone – the creator of music for himself and to soundtracks for 1980′s independent movies – like Abysscoteque, The ECHO People and Zenith City. A common theme is the 1980′s but also the fact that every movie that he’s created his own music for, perpetuating a soundtrack of his own, are horror movies from this time period. Those kind of horror flicks that you wouldn’t know anything about unless you stumbled upon his creations, or if you were in any way involved in doing them in the 1980′s in America. Well, that might be stepping over the line a little bit, connoisseurs might have their thing and know it – but I sure as hell didn’t until I listened through his albums. These three releases are all a part of the booklet that Field Hymns are organizing to be put out for release, in honor of the already released albums which he put out himself in December of 2012. I’m here exclusively premiering two tracks from each album, but first you’ll get a description of what I think about them. Here you get FH044, FH045 and FH046. Now it’s time for FH045, which is “The ECHO People“!
The ECHO People. It feels like a more angular experience, with melodies in-fighting together in a perfect shape of suspense-ridden attacks to the left and the right. With an even more freaky touch which reminds you of the horror flicks that we’re subjected to, through a synthwave assault. Layers upon layers of freaked out synthesizers that bloom out into the flowers in the sound-scape in which they’re planted. Setting off an armada of different sounds that would make you believe that you’re in space. The current is strong with the analog warmth that is pulsating throughout the landscape of sound. It takes a few minutes to realize that you’ve suddenly moved on to another track and that’s perfectly fine, because Yves Malone knows how to lay down the transitions between his more suspense-ridden atmosphere and the more angelic sounds. There’s a certain carelessness with the creation he’s pushing out to you, because it feels like it is improvised to a certain degree, but at the same time it feels like he’s careful where he places his fingers. Just so he can get the right melody in tune with the fast hits and stabs, so the droned out sound becomes even more of an experience. Even though a lot is happening, there’s a certain sense of fulfillment that you get when you’ve listened through it. You’re totally submerged into the unknown territory which he explores for you, you’re just a passenger on your way from place A to place B – even though it sounds sterile – the place you’re moving through is like something sent from above. It is especially noticeable in the longer tracks where he gets more space to make grandiose creations, rather than fast pulses of synthesizer’s delight. There is no dull moment when you’re blown away by the magnificence that is his sound. The difference that can be noted for “The ECHO People” might be minimal, but there is surely payed more attention to the complexities that he’s been working with in “Abysscoteque“. Even though it might be some kind of deja vu, I’m perfectly sure that I could’ve heard this somewhere else. It’s also hard to distinguish a trilogy from the essential make-up of it. You can’t simply take away one of the albums and say that it constitutes something new, because he’s drawn a red line that he follows through with. Similarities can be heard but also the difference in between. I’m haunted (in a good way) by the astonishing malevolence of his sound, but also by the fact that he can create such a wondrous thematic. There is nothing that would surprise you when you listen to Yves Malone, because if you’ve heard just a little bit of what he’s been making, you know its his signature sound. “The ECHO People” will be included in the booklet being released by Field Hymns in June on cassette, make sure you have your eyes open so you can buy it from them when the time’s here.
The crass musique concréte is the way to go. Hollowfonts delve into a largely unattainable atmosphere through field recordings, noise, drone and musique concréte as the main components of this landscape of metamorphosing sound. With the man Michael J. O’Neal behind the steering wheel, this experimentation in sound is way above the expectations. His recorded material from 2013-2014 have been assembled into a limited cassette titled “XLVIII” – making this his debut-album on Phinery; a record-label based out of Denmark. It delves into a certain kind of industrial landscape, maybe a post-industrial one. Showcasing each component within the sound-scape, utilizing the scrapped metal writhing into an ambient, almost hallucinatory landscape. The brute intentions swirl into themselves creating a magnificent landscape which is probably out of bound for any human. A spaced-out drone is compiled between the desecrated landscape, an equivalent to a Mars-landing for the first time. Houston has no problem with indulging himself into this suspense-ridden atmosphere. Within the blink of an eye everything can be changed into something more sinister. It’s like going against a sandstorm of mighty sounds that just think nothing of you, as nature has its way. It is also going out of its own way to be fatiguing to the mind and body. I feel a certain kind of strain on my ears when I listen to it, a draining feeling – but I must keep going. The album itself can be bought from Phinery, the cassette is limited to fifty copies and you can listen to the album in full, down below.
Ytterligare ett alster kommer från den stora Beläten-maskinen. Tre låtar som blivit släppta från tre kassetter som nyligen gick upp för beställning. Detta är ett av släppen, Ashburn County – ett slags samtidsdokument över både en svunnen tid – men även ett skapat ur sig självt. Plattan i sig heter “Our Dead Selves Rise“. Influerade av den lantliga miljöerna som omgärdar Louisiana, så har de dragit inspiration från gamla bondläppsfilmer. Filmer som sällan gjort något större avtryck, åtminstone inte när det kommer till filmen självt, men som via sin filmmusik inspirerat Ashburn Country avsevärt – och som gjort deras grupp till vad den är. En av medlemmarna ur denna grupp, Leroy Delbert Quebedeaux, bestämde sig år 2012 att ta saken i sina egna händer, att producera filmmusik till en film de annars gjort – om de haft pengar till att göra det. Detta resulterade i en blandning av fältinspelningar och diverse instrument så som dragspel, tromboner, röster, synthar och cellos – för att nämna ett fåtal av de instrument som använts i skapandet av denna platta. Det viktigaste med musiken är dess influens av traditionell folk och ‘Cajun’-kultur, enligt dem själva. Detta i samklang med drönande synthar, gamla rytmiklådor, neoklassisk pompa och ståt, samplingar och mekaniserade oljud. Ett slags industriellt kollage.
Eftersom att deras beskrivning av vad de gjort var i det längsta laget, så lämnade det rätt mycket att önska. Men deras inspirationskällor är intressanta och faktumet att de använt sig utav alla dessa instrument i samklang med varandra, skapar en helt annan ljudbild. I just denna bild så blir det en väldigt skrämmande tillbakablick i något som annars skulle ha varit hyfsat humoristiskt, med tanke på dessa filmers innehåll, varav inspirationen är hämtat ifrån. De mörka samplingarna i jämförelse med de dansanta röstslingorna gör så att man känner att man är ute i det vilda. Det finns någon slags primitiv energi i denna minimalistiska ansamling, som skulle kunna vara det som gör att det finns en gnista i ljudlandskapet som återupprepas. Med tanke på att själva konceptet är så intressant så blir det ännu läskigare när man hör de utsuddade rösterna tala med varandra, i jämförelse med den konstanta och fixerade rytmiken som går i ett och samma hjulspår genom låten. Rent jämförelsevis så kan detta mycket väl vara ett ljudexempel på skillnaden mellan den härskna, hatade och fruktade betongstad som snart vräker sig in och ner i de dalar och snår som stått orörda ute i den lantliga miljön – i århundraden. En väldigt bra låt och precis vad man kan förvänta sig att Thomas Ekelund ens skulle kunna ta med i tång. Det finns en väldigt hög lägstanivå på det han väljer att släppa ifrån sig på sin etikett. Ni kan lyssna till låten “Cracks In The Wall (Alternate Mix)” här nedanför.
The busiest of them all seem to be the label Field Hymns from America, whom have been keen on releasing a booklet with a very special artist. This artist is Yves Malone – the creator of music for himself and to soundtracks for 1980’s independent movies – like Abysscoteque, The ECHO People and Zenith City. A common theme is the 1980’s but also the fact that every movie that he’s created his own music for, perpetuating a soundtrack of his own, are horror movies from this time period. Those kind of horror flicks that you wouldn’t know anything about unless you stumbled upon his creations, or if you were in any way involved in doing them in the 1980’s in America. Well, that might be stepping over the line a little bit, connoisseurs might have their thing and know it – but I sure as hell didn’t until I listened through his albums. These three releases are all a part of the booklet that Field Hymns are organizing to be put out for release, in honor of the already released albums which he put out himself in December of 2012. I’m here exclusively premiering two tracks from each album, but first you’ll get a description of what I think about them. Here you get FH044, FH045 and FH046. Right now, however, you get FH044 – which is “Abysscoteque“.
Abysscoteque. The first release in this series of three releases, all themed after horror flicks. Albeit the fact that Yves Malone has put his sight on the softer but more concentrated side of 1980’s synthwave in this release, it is clear to me when listening to it that his intentions are of creating a soundtrack. Panning into the first few melodies, to hear the static rhythm that pumps up the blood within me, to listen carefully to the basedrum which is stomping its way through the sound-scape in a rather subliminal fashion. The first setting is already here and is placed upon me to decide, as the melodies gradually change from the darker intonations to a more grandiose and melodious; shall I say clearer sound, to which I nod my head to as I get tossed around. I’m waiting with suspense just to hear any form of subtle change in the sound-scape as it moves forward in a lingering fashion, making every synthesizer stab more aggressive, freaked out and non-passive. To then be introduced after the departure of the first, to a rather gloomy entrance of different synthesizers matching the neon colors that glow somewhere in the distance. This does not remind me of a horror flick at all, even though I notice the suspense to be there all the time. A rather doom and gloom sound for synthwave – which always seem to carry an upbeat torch not falling from grace – unlike the sorrowful display of palettes that remind me of awful days. Painting a broader picturesque notion of decay, a city that earlier bloomed has gone astray and you’re alone in the darkness, catching yourself in the monotonous living, the scariness of dark alleyways and people whom you do not recognize. People whose faces are covered. Maybe in masks. The album slowly sinks into the same methodical pattern that make it what it is. Feel what you’d like about it, but it is a masterpiece none the less and the more you get into it, the further you dig – the more melodious, morbid and angelic it gets – yin & yang are present to deliver their verdict. I’m noticing that everything really lies with the overtly grandiose sound-scape, created by layers of differentiating melodies, synthesizers, drums – but mostly synthesizers – far-fetched from any reality that I know of. Abysscoteque is a true soundtrack, no matter if you say its synthwave over and over again, the execution is in the aforementioned style – which is great if you’re interested in cinematography of different sorts. I can drift away into this every day, but it seizes to be music and simply needs a visual element to be paired with. Though I’m not so sure if any of those movies would do for me, since they’re not really my reel of film. Anyhow, it’s a basic introductory to the baby-steps you’re taking when taking in Yves Malone and his music – the sincerity is never lacking. You can buy this release soon, from Field Hymns records. But you will have to wait for a bit before it is fully realized.
Det känns som att det var ett bra tag sedan som Michael Idehall var i strålkastarljuset. Åtminstone om man ser till täckningen för hans album “SOL” som kom ut 2012. Men visst är det förståeligt, eftersom att han inte släppt ifrån sig något på väldigt länge, utöver enstaka alster här och där. Michael hör verkligen hemma hos Beläten, det är där han kommer till sin rätt, tillsammans med den brutalt råa och mörka estetik som Thomas Ekelund låter representera både hans åtagna livsuppgift – men även för de artister som hamnar under det omakligt stora paraplyt. Om man ser till den låt som lades upp på Soundcloud av Herr Beläten själv, så kommer “Spiderwoman” väl till sin rätt med sin apokalyptiska och stormiga stämning. Detta är nämligen Michael Idehalls senaste alster från hans kommande släpp på Beläten betitlat “Deep Code” – som utkommer den 12:e Maj. Egentligen så får man inte vara så här hård när det kommer till dansmusik, dessutom får man inte ha så råa övertoner, för det krossar verkligen allt motstånd som någonsin ens skulle våga sig nära tronen där han sitter.
Underjordens okrönkte konung inom apokalyptisk dansmusik i harmonisk blandning med allsköns influenser men främst den rytmiska noisevagga som han hämtar allt sitt mästerliga gift ifrån – han förgiftar oss med sin makabra uppståndelse – och slår ner hårt på de som ej redan blivit troende. Varje gång den markanta bastrumman slår ner så låter det som om själve Tor och hans hammare spikar ner den sista spiken i den underjordiska kistan. Blixtarna slår till och ger upphov till den svängiga ljudvallen som spräcker trumhinnor så långt det än må höras. Det ska bli spännande att se vad som sker i de andra låtarna, men om de skulle vara ens i närheten av detta ljudlandskap så måste vi förmodligen lägga ner tangentbordet och packa ihop, det är ändå inte lönt att beskriva den mästerfullhet som med bravur svingas i kraftiga slag mot allt vad vår heder heter. Jag ger i så fall upp och låter honom stå som nummer ett året ut. Ni kan själva lyssna till “Spiderwoman” här nedanför.
I found a rather anonymous label which is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. The American label that I found is called NO! Record Label and is hosting itself on Tumblr, giving off a rather secluded interior for me to find mysterious. All the better, because it leaves much to my own imagination. This mysterious label have released two releases before those that I am going to cover in this spotlight. One of the releases are of Drekka and Assimilation – a kind of live re-work of each others live performances – but also a late introductory for me to Michael Andersons brainchild Drekka. This was actually the first release to be put out on this label. The second release was a compilation featuring the artists Drekka, NOON, John Flannelly, Canid, Assimilation and Agakus. Featured musicians working in the Bloomington, Indiana area, described by the label: “a collection of tracks that represents the loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars“. But the two releases that I’m going to cover here are Dry Socket and in the second part; Ray Creature. The aforementioned a collaboration between Michael Anderson and Dylan Ettinger. I hope you’ll enjoy this write-up.
Dry Socket. Having recorded a demo back in 2011 that never got released, this release titled “Violator EP” is a re-worked version of that recording. What strikes me at first is that it sounds like some kind of lounge version of industrial, together with the experimental tendencies that a mixture of their spaced out sound together with Michael Andersons vocals. The rhythm is slow-paced and steady, serving as a point of reference when listening, as the synthesizer sounds morph into differentiating sounds all over the place at the same time. When still being caught adrift by the first track, it feels like a combination of the expertise that Dylan Ettinger showed on his split-release with Goldendust on DKA Records and the gruesome experimentalism with his ambient touches. Even though a lot of the ambient heard in Drekka cannot be heard here, it feels like when they’ve joined forces, nothing is impossible. But I must say that when the song is about to end in the last three to four minutes, the windy atmosphere of what Michael Anderson can and have produced makes a turn back into ambient territory. Flaunting the beauty that can be heard through both synthesizers and other instrumentation. Next up is a sense of immediate urgency with the other track, with the outdrawn and melodramatic synthesizers that take each of their turn to whip you into the wonderful atmosphere of the track. Giving it even more of the old-school industrial sound together with screeching and violent vocals that make turbulence a must. The different passages in this song makes it even less vague than the first one, albeit the organic sounds and the synthesizers bounce on each other in a fist full of fury, it is easy to feel when it turns into something else – changing the pathway of the song. But just before the song is about to end, in the three to four minutes as usual, things get out of hand and a stormier landscape of sound can be heard before it dies out completely. The limited cassette of fifty copies can be bought from NO! Record Label. You’re also able to stream the release in full down below.
It came to my knowledge that Q///Q had just released some new tracks. So because of that, I’d like to make sure they’d get a showcase here. I’m not sure if they’re going to be a part of a larger release, but in total I’ve seen three tracks. The tracks are as follows: “Jardim“, “Porto Santo” and “Ossobo“. They are even weirder than what was displayed in “Azores Azul” on Skrot Up. It might even have a proper etiquette of “carnival minimal electronics“. Because it feels like something you would hear be played there, the only difference being that it is in an electronica outfit. Mix that with video-game music and you’ll have an 8-bit dinner that you’ll have a hard time to chew down. Let alone listen to with your own tired and weary ears. Q///Q doesn’t give a damn about table-manners and decide to drive it into our skulls with the hook, line and sinker. We’re in for a treat when it comes to their ingenuity, or you could argue that it’s plain and simple stupidity. Whatever it is spelled out as, I am glad that I listened to these tracks as well. The bizarre has just come a long way and doesn’t shy away from the spotlight anymore. You simply can’t say that they lack playfulness, because that is a very important ingredient in their apt electronica masquerading as tropical minimal synth, with schizophrenic experimentalism at the tip of the spear. Well, listen to all these three songs as well, down below.