Repartiseraren recommends coldwave and darkwave: European Ghost, EΛEVEN, ALVAR and Caeruela


Here we are once again. It’s finally Sunday, it’s finally time for another round of recommendations. For avid Repartiseraren readers, you might’ve noticed that bonus-content was written for Friday – as a taste of what’s to come tonight. They were not the same bands I’m going to write about in this article. I delved into coldwave and darkwave, picked out the best of the bunch that I had researched for this round of recommendations. You will be able to read three of them via and the full article will be readily available for reading via Repartiseraren.


European Ghost – Pale and Sick

Imaginitive, out of this world, esoteric to the core – completely within the strict confinements of the darkness that is coldwave and darkwave. Originally released by Unknown Pleasures Records in May, this gem shines darkly on the world – a weird but nice touch for a debut-album. Usually, the debut only explores the basics of what a band, artist or group really is, but when it comes to European Ghost, this does not apply.

When the first song “Trip On Mars” resounds through my headphones, the calmness lures me into thinking it will be something else then it was originally tended to be. Then, after a few seconds, I am smitten by the atmosphere of almost orchestral synthesizers, a sullen piano clinking away and the ultimate carelessness of the vocalist. The lyrics fills you up with emptiness, a certain melancholy, it’s psychotic to a degree – with outdrawn laughs, and chants in the background. Add to that a nice rhythm, cold beats and a soundscape that is filled to the brim with instruments.

When the more beat-oriented song goes over into “Preset“, a sliver of post-punk is added into the mixture. In comparison, a more straight-forward song with set melodies and a chorus to die for. Adding the best of the influences from German, Swedish, Danish and American post-post-punk – with that I mean the new generation of post-punk – albeit I have no idea if these influences are there directly, or indirectly – I’m just reminded of them. The only bad thing I feel when listening to this song is that it ends too quickly, the pace is increased and therefore it becomes harder to enjoy the multitude of layered, delightful, ambitious post-punkish dark and cold wave.

Now for the epitome of the whole album, the title-song “Pale and Sick“, which for me is essentially what make an album stand out of the crowd, at least aesthetically and intentionally – from others. Here they set a whole other tone, it transgresses with all the aforementioned genres, into an industrialized and harsher state of mind. What I love about this song is how it gradually progresses, rather then slow-and-fast, into a perfect representation of what I’m thinking of European Ghost at the moment.

It is careless, but at the same time cautious, as it flies into an even darker mood, a paranoid and mesmerizing sound. I’m hypnotized by the time more non-electronic instrumentation is set to take the stage, about two minutes and a bit more into the song itself. What a perfect ending, as well. It ends when it is on top of the world, when it feels unbeatable, and it surely is the best song I’ve heard so far, of the three I’ve listened to.

Enter thelost Highway“, where the synthesizers in conjunction with one another, create a gloomier and more brooding atmosphere. Where the non-electronic instruments have to stand back, making it “not just another post-punk release“. Hear how eloquently the synthesizer sweeps from one position to another, how exotic drums sound off in the distant – closing in. The melody that stands out is one that enters the sound-scape at 1:26. I’m starting to feel really emotional. Later on in the song, it is enhanced and paired with more exquisite instruments, giving the whole atmosphere that kind of emotional feeling that you just can’t shake off. Here’s where you get hooked, for real.

Unreal Space” – minimalism returns, enough with the splendour and maximal sound. Minimal cold-wave, deathrock and post-punk vibes, complex rhythms and thoughtful melodies. There are more shifts in the soundscape here then in the entire album so far, it changes into so many different choruses that I don’t really know which one to pick. Even though it might possibly be one or two choruses, they multiply by the minute, or so it feels. This is an overly ambitious song, and I don’t really like that. However, it holds the same quality that I’ve witnessed when hearing the album up until now, and the song is definently a good one. It’s just something, like that, which seems off about it.

Drummachines, more drummachines, please. It’s clear in “The Spiral” how we’re spiraling down now. It’s an OK song, not much more. The vocalist outdoes himself in this song, though. It is a crystallized effort, a colder one. Only other thing I like about it is near the end when it transgresses into beautiful melodies, a simple and easy song structure, but the house of cards quickly implode on itself and I’m not satisfied with the ending. I’m just hoping the album isn’t declining.

I feel like the next song, “August In Winter“, hold up better – but it’s still in the same category as the aforementioned song. There’s nothing new brought to the table, there is not the same intensity that once was, like it were with the other songs on this release. I’ve, however, taken a liking to the changing vocals, how it is getting better and better on that front – not to mention the sublime nature of the atmosphere, as some moments of the song holds this up to the same standard as the other, better songs.

Here’s where it quickly shifts into the right gear once again, with “Sex In Kepler“, an industrious sound and electronically sounding atmosphere forms out of high-pitched sounds. Shackles are rolled on the pavement, they’ve let go and are concentrating on making up for what I’ve lost earlier. Concentrated guitar-riffs shape a melody that goes well with the intro, it feels like being contained within the confinements of the genres, which is completely fine – without letting the experimentalism take over. After hearing slow synth-jabs blur out everything else, we’re drilled into the emotional aspect of European Ghost again – as the baseline, guitars, percussion – all come out of the woodworks at the same time. A perfect timing, an almost pristine song. Intense.

The last two songs, “Trip in the Night” and “European Ghost” vary in quality. After I’ve heard “Sex In Kepler“, they do not sound even remotely as interesting. It’s a shame they didn’t put the aforementioned song last, because what an ending that would’ve been. All-in-all, I’m satisfied with recommending this album and having listened to it. It’s a great album, but it is unfortunately put down by some of the songs, which makes it better then good and not as great as it would’ve been otherwise.

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EΛEVEN – Black Sun

This artist almost goes into the neo-folk category, but the overlapping genre that can be heard is coldwave. EΛEVEN is a Moscowian artist, his newly released album “Black Sun (version)” is a work of art by itself. Hearing the title-track sends cold shivers down my spine, simply because of how much that can be done with simple percussion, synthesizers, a beautiful voice and other instrumentation. It is eerily atmospheric and has a melancholic touch to it. If the lyrics could be understood, had I learnt Russian, it would probably have an even bigger impact on me. This is a song that really sets the tone of the album itself and I’m hoping the other songs will hold up, because this one is definitive.

You’re not let down, “Into the Woods (version)” has a female back-up singer that gives the main singer’s voice another boost. She doesn’t let anything through the cracks and they, together, form something almost as good as the first song. This one is more of a ballad or lullaby, the other one had a subliminal fury behind it. There’s something very simple about it, but it feels rewarding listening to it. The colder it gets, the further into the song you get.

For the third song, “Requiem“, I hope it is as bombastic as the name alludes to. There’s something darkly medieval about this, it’s a very suggestive song at the start of it. As the acoustic guitar blares out long, outdrawn melodies, the vocalists add a colder, more electronic touch to the atmosphere. There’s something bombastic about it, for sure, as the snare and basedrum drums up a whole other atmosphere then the more calm, semi-acoustic one. It goes on like this until the song is ended. After having the acoustic elements blended well in together with the more bombastic ones, it makes for a great song to listen to and it is very thoughtfully planned, as every instrument is used to the maximum.

Bifacial Angel (version)” is beautiful on its own and feels like an ethereal trip into nothingness. When you hear the callous sounding riffs paired with the desperate vocals, it creates an atmosphere on its own, that alongside the baseline – makes you want to venture further into the phenomenon that seems to be EΛEVEN. How is it that even in this time and age, something like this can surprise one so much? I don’t really know, but there’s something about this song that stands out of the album itself, almost deserving its own spot as a single for something forthcoming.

Next up is “Away From Here (feat. A. Minister)” – where the other vocalist has a more noticeable presence. She sings so beautifully that it feels like it is out of this world, even though it is quite simple. It’s like the best bits of darkwave mashed into the coldwave sounding environment. Everything’s sullen, everything’s sweet – there’s something not too dark about this – but essentially about beauty. The simplest of things are oftentime the most beautiful.

When the main singer gets his spot back, “Remember (version)” is what it sounds like. Around here I grow tired of the whole concept of the album, as it sounds alike the others, but he includes new instrumentation into the mix which keeps it floating above the atmosphere, but also down below. The trumpet sounds off, the whole character of the song becomes different. It feels desolate, barren and abandoned. It’s certainly not one of my favorite songs, but as the melodies become better the more the song progresses – I’m intrigued to have finished hearing the song – continuing to “The Road (feat. Teatr Yada)” – another collaborative effort.

Here they utilize more of the guitar and the bass, creating a more industrial sounding coldwave, mixed with rock and an opera-like execution of darkwave. I must say that even though Teatr Yada sounds like Mr. Doctor in some bits of the song, oh what a great artist Mr. Doctor is, he doesn’t encapsulate what’s great about that particular artist. It is probably not the intention, but unfortunately his effort drags down the song somewhat – even though there are interesting parts of the song where Teatr Yada feels in place.

The most bizarre is “Dark Water (version)” – but in a good way. It feels like synthwave incorporated into darkwave and coldwave, with the massive acoustic elements playing a huge part in the development of the song itself. It is probably the most unintentionally orchestral piece of music on this album, with complex synthesizer melodies and perfectly laden guitars, alongside vocals (chanting) in the background.

A good piece on its own, as “Bifacial Angel (version)” also was – I’m feeling as if they should’ve been included in another release – a future double-single, instead? Now, the ending is probably what I dislike the most but it makes Teatr Yada shine – so that’s what is good about it. It feels very out of place, a doom-drone piece mixed into a fury of jungle/ drum’n’bass sounds by the middle of it. I don’t really know, but, it is not what I had expected. Maybe that’s for the better, as it ended for me on dark waters.

alvar i cut out all the stars

Alvar – I Cut Out All The Stars

Ironically, alongside another rehearsal also in its demo-stage, ALVAR might’ve released their best album as of yet. It doesn’t get harder then this, it doesn’t get more extravagant, it doesn’t get more blood-pumping – if you’re familiar with their earlier material. With the first song “Blodpumparmuskeln” (a demo song), you get a taste of their very great Swedish lyrical content. It is not so much about the text itself, but that it fits their concept better then their english-spoken material.

What I would like to hear is the other part of ALVAR to be incorporated as well, meaning: both chanting/singing. In regards to the whole song, it is very beat-oriented, with hammer-smashing beats that could crack skulls if it could. It is like some bizarre metamorphosis between Celldöd and the old ALVAR. As if they’ve been lent the underlying aggressiveness of the aforementioned artist, to be the foundation upon which the more ethereal, mystic incantation of this duo can be heard.

To Give In” (also a demo) almost goes into electronic body music territory. If cold wave and electronic body music had been exectued properly, together, giving it that cold vibe that is sorely missed between the chantable singing and melodious rhythms. This is what I like with demo recordings, the fact that it showcases the talent of a band, artist or group.

This just goes to show that ALVAR knows their way through severeal genres, at times almost even venturing into minimal electronics, SPK-esque old style industrial and ambient atmospheres paired together. To do that comparision justice: I’m not saying just as SPK, but I feel like the resounding vibe is more memorable, more oldstyle industrial – then new-style, with no compromises that have been done to please an audience.

Wunde” is also a demo, alongside it being a hidden song on the cassette-release itself, which is already sold out since a few days back. They’ve managed to incorporate the same kind of extremely cold atmosphere that only ARM has managed to do – at least for me, when hearing this song. It’s like the bastard child of ARM and Distel – all in one package – but at the same time something uniquely entwined into the whole being of ALVAR.

There are suggestive rhythms, subliminal clinks, a whole different setting then the more beat-oriented and brutal first tracks on this release. It is like something is brooding down below, begging to be released. A whole air of mysticism accompanied by noise, metal against metal, chanted vocals and a more uncompromisingly shaded atmosphere. I feel like I’ve waited for this.

Interestingly, they’ve also made place for a demo song re-interpretation of a Bikini Kill-song titled “Suck My Left One“. I know that they’ve done other eclectic covers before, but hearing this one makes me wonder. I’m sorry to say that the original really sucks. ALVARs interpretation of it is much better, more subtle and ambitious. Smashing beats, industrial melodies, almost Youth Code-sounding. There’s that uncompromising side of them again and it feels great to hear the other side of them as well, as the other J (the duo is J&J) contribute with her vocals. Please, make another cover where you will have the ability to shine, because I really can’t make anything out of this more then that it has a lot of power behind it. I want to hear more of it.

Terminal 5” is a good, near darkened ambient kind of goodbye – with ritualistic elements attached to it. Ritual ambient, maybe? I don’t really know, but I like what I’m hearing and its a good wrap up of an almost continually good album. It holds up and I feel like there should be some kind of addition to this release, something more. But maybe that’s for the next cassette-release.

Also, if you decide to have it properly mixed and mastered, please do not strip off what made it great. Apparently, the cassette itself was released on Kalabalik på Tyrolen – one of Sweden’s greatest electronic-festivals. It feels sad to not have been a part of it, not have been there, and missed my opportunity at owning this cassette. Oh, well, you lucky few know who you are.


Caeruela – The Mess of Love

Now, to something even sadder – Caerulea. A promising experimental synth-project, whom many months ago released their first and last album, via the label Perfect Aesthetics. How could one let this go to waste? I don’t really know, but we’re getting into it with “False Alarms (Version)” – the first song off this release. A nice combination of percussive elements, darkwave, coldwave and whatnot – alongside darkened vocals that are shrieked all the way through the song. There are some synth-pop vibes in there too, that will take your mind off the saddened news. Hopefully they will be in another group not too far from this. There’s some really interestingly sounding synthesizers, as the song progresses.

Abuse Of Trust (Version)” sounds somewhat more hopeful, but then the hopelessness exceeds critical levels once again. It’s a shame that this song sounds alike, vocally, because here’s the time where there should be something different. The soundscape itself is terrific and held up with an underlying positivism, even though it is apparent how it is clouded by the negativism – which is perfectly displayed with a melancholic synthesizer melody.

Bizarrely enough the beat doesn’t really allude to the more ambitious parts of this song, like the percussion or the rhythms created in the different synthesizers melodies, plus baseline. There’s something out of place about it, like the joyousness is getting the upper-hand – but let’s not hope it does – and we do not, since the song quickly regresses and has its spikes out, for another round of melancholy.

It then fades into “She Hates The Way She Looks“, an almost Soft Riot-sounding track with ambitious synthesizers, layer upon layer, but not with the charming lyrics of J. Duckworth. I’m somewhat reminded about the clarity and sudden darkness of Keluar, but without the elements that make the heavy beats swing and splash upon the rocks, like the ocean itself. I’m impressed that they’ve stepped up their game when it comes to the beats, because they add so much to the sound-scape – making it sound fuller and less deprived of the neccessarry instrumentation needed. Controlled chaos, here we are, and now I’ve completely understood why she hates the way she looks.

The one and only collaborative effort on this album is with Perfect Human and Mála, titled “Hold Tight“. I’m not sure, but this reminds me of a Lust For Youth-song, from one of their newer albums. It’s got that kind of upbeat tempo of it, but almost melancholic undertones. This is the song which has the best vocals on the entire release, but the lyrical content is not something to strive for.

Not that it is clichéd or anything, but it could’ve used some more ambitious writing – because the music itself outweighs the lyrical content – and as this song is a lot more centered around the vocals, it makes it clear to see what is out of place and what is not.

Collapsed Lung Syndrome” takes us to the more melodious parts of this release. An almost constant pounding beat, alongside creative synthesizer sweeps, darkened baselines that lay beneath, a landscape of differently sounding – but coherent – synthesizers, beats, percussion and vocals. There’s really nothing more to it.

I understand it perfectly musically, and I find it alluring to not understand the rest of it. I want it to be a mystery, because as mysteriously sounding as it is – I want it that way, unspoilt. “Purity and Exile” serves as a perfect goodbye, both conceptually and musically. It feels like I’m here to wave them off, wherever they may be going. It’s really been up-and-down, but it’s at least been an adventure, listening to this album. I’m ready to move on to something else now.

Repartiseraren recommends coldwave and darkwave (bonus-content): Grist, L A P I S, Walk Onto Sun

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Since Repartiseraren is writing another article for this Sunday, we’re preparing a special treat for you readers today, as we delve into coldwave and darkwave – which is also the main theme for the recommendations this coming Sunday. But we’ve picked out three acts that differ a bit from what we’re going to cover then. These acts include: Grist, L A P I S and Walk Onto Sun – all relatively unknown and new. The earlier recommendations (new-wave and post-punk) can be read via our page and two of the recommendations can be found on


Grist – Grist EP

Can it get grittier? Grist is a plethora of all things less joyous, all things that are more sentimental. Drawing direct influences from darkwave, I’ve decided to include them into this bonus-article. Having released what seems to be their first EP, this three-song strong release is featured on Flesh Records. From “Eponym“, the first track on this release, they rely heavily on the upbeat new-wave influence to drive both their darkwave and post-punk outfit into full gear. The music itself is thoughtful and elaborate, with severeal intrinstic melodies and an ambitious atmosphere.

It almost feels like the first song is going on forever, in a good way. I’m enthralled by the wholeness of it, how everything is in place and not too disorderly. When “Darker Still” comes out of the shadows, their second song, there’s a punkier and rock’n’rollier vibe being delivered – as the singer almost chants in perfect unison with everything else. I believe that after having heard this song, the singer’s addition to the project is on the same page as the rest of the band – a really ambitious singer that knows what he must do to carry everything from the beginning to the end.

Something odd happens when I push play for the third and final track of this release. It’s called “Ataxia” and is more of a fast ballad then anything else, and here’s where the melodies are absolutely perfect but there seems to be something missing – it doesn’t really do it for me – albeit the start being absolutely glorious. Then comes a baseline you simply can’t ignore, after that – the drums begin galloping into a controlled frenzy – finalizing the song and making it much better then I really had wished it to be – though I still feel slightly disappointed, the whole release is definently worth to check out.



Have the United States of California ever let me down? No, not really, because it doesn’t exist – it’s only California – you dummy. There’s been a lot of great acts coming out of the States recently, and I can’t ignore that this particular state have been involved in delivering much of those artists and bands. L A P I S is virtually unknown to me and it feels like this demo-release is their first, since I can’t find that much more about them then this release.

The first song “Media Media” is a bit disappointing when it comes to the vocals. It sounds like some kind of performance art – that I don’t particularly enjoy at all. What leaves me hanging in there is the dark coldwave beat and the continually mowing drum-machine alongside the baseline. Minimalistic, not without errors, but at least I’m willing to take another step in the wrong direction.

Although the second song happens to go in the same direction as far as the sound goes, “Decode” is more well-thought out and feature a noisy atmosphere, transgressing into total coldwave mayhem – with the other one in the duo participating with his vocals – which I must admit goes better with the soundscape as a whole. It’s much more imaginative then the first song.

Now when we arrive at the third station – the song “Tech-ni-que” blares through. The vocalist is less malplaced here then she ever was in the first song, and it almost transgresses into no-wave, some kind of combination between that and coldwave. The better part of the song, however comes later on, although the vocals themselves slowly decline – it’s a decent song anyhow.

The finishing song, “Monuments“, sound like it could accompany “Gallowdance” anytime. Like the bastard children of Lebanon Hanover, we’re taken on a not so picturesque trip into the darkest corners of coldwave – as the vocals almost are chanted and repeated over and over again – it feels like walking on barbed wire. There’s a thin line between this and industrial, there’s a thin line we’ll have to walk on for the rest of the song. Very minimal, dark, and brooding.


Walk Onto Sun – In the Inside EP

This last recommendation wasn’t anything I researched myself. It was recommended to me by one in the duo itself. This five-track EP is something out of the ordinary, as it goes straight into darkwave without any clichés – relying heavily upon atmosphere and the more ritualistic side of it. “Steps To Center” – the first song, almost goes into the dark ambient side of industrial, as it is harsh, calculated and feels like a ritualistic gathering of sorts. There’s a very resounding and sharp noise, that sounds like a ringing bell, which is used throughout the song.

When it comes to “In The Inside“, the title-track of this release, it’s a darkwave-oriented post-punk song executed properly. Existential vocals with a very clear and deep baseline that brings forth the percussion – which portrudes through a synthesizer sweep – into well-thought out but basic lyrical content. This is one of my favorite songs on the whole release, it is so complex in its simplicity that it is almost ridiculous. But I must say that I really loathe the chorus, since it stops the rhythm completely in its tracks and feels out of place.

Prince Of Lies” is a trip in itself, the most atmospheric song on the entire EP. Here’s where they let the more electronic elements shine on their own, which is where they should be, honestly. I’m all for the more non-electronic influences, but this is straight up, from top to bottom, darkwave with a rhythmic component that is out of this world.

As the fourth song waltzes in, titled “Too Far“, we’ve moved even deeper into the cloudiness upon which Walk Onto Sun relies on. It is beyond sentimentalism, beyond the ridiculousness displayed earlier. It is very real and feels like one of the more emotional songs on this release. Everything is well-placed and the rhythms work great when paired together, the instrumentations takes a bigger place in this song as well, but is co-joined good with the vocals.

Lull” wraps everything up for me. Around here, I feel like I don’t want to stop listening, but now I really have to. This release gives me great hope for something more finalized in the future. Something that can be even better then this. Don’t get me wrong, this oozes of quality and ambitiousness – but beneath the layers there’s something that simply doesn’t work – but that’s how it is for most groups. It’s a good release all-in-all.

Exclusive Swedish Premiere: The Album Leaf – Between Waves

the album leaf

Repartiseraren, in collaboration with Relapse Records, is giving you the full stream of the forthcoming sixth album “Between Waves“, a week ahead of the scheduled release date (26th August). This is the Swedish exclusive of this album, which you get to stream in its entirety right here and now. The release itself will be available in a wide-range of formats on release: CD, LP, DLX, 2xLP, and of course digitally. The physical pre-orders can be done via this link, the digital via The Album Leaf’s own bandcamp. The single “New Soul” will become available on 7¨ vinyl via bandcamp as well.

Well, what do we think about it? This is not something that we’d cover regularly, so it’s kind of special to us, in a sense. We haven’t paved our way through The Album Leaf’s discography yet, but when listening to the release itself, there’s a certain sublime atmosphere in the songs – and the ambitiousness of the percussive elements, synthesizers and general feel of it – can be heard through and through.

It’s not your standard run-at-the-mill music and they have not just picked the basic elements of each genre they find themselves in, which is more then we need to have this on here. When we’ve listened through it, everything is up to par and possibly even better then what we anticipated it to be. There’s also a certain allure to their cover and a perfect representation of the aesthetics of the name – on the artwork.

Full tracklist is as follows:

1. False Dawn

2. Glimmering Lights

3. New Soul

4. Back to the Start

5. Wandering Still

6. Never Far

7. Lost in the Fog

8. Between Waves

The Album Leaf (Facebook):

Relapse Records (Facebook):

Repartiseraren (Facebook):

Repartiseraren recommends five new-wave and post-punk bands: Choreography, Absent Friends, Mica, Ciruela Split and Strange Passage

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There’s gone much time since I last ventured into the depths of post-punk. It is time to dig up what has long been buried down below. Together with, Repartiseraren (formerly Invisible Guy) will lend you a hand in searching – without a spotlight – for those hidden gems nobody really cared about. If they did care, they didn’t utter a word about it. For us it remains a treasure to be uncovered, just for you readers to digest and take in – hopefully resulting in a renewed hope, cherishing the underground, like dusting off a book you haven’t read for a while, that might’ve given you more then what you hoped for at a first glance.


Choreography – Recollected (EP)

A band you might not know much about at first, but what you uncover when you listen to them is guaranteed satisfaction. Even though the name “Choreography” might allude to something less, they’ve made sure to find their location among all the noise. Their minimalistic approach to post-punk is all about rhythms, all about the singer’s careless voice, all about emptiness – but finding a place of their own among it all – is difficult. Even though it is only four songs long, this almost 15-minute long EP leaves you hopeless – all your amounted hope is forlorn, but you’re not shipwrecked.

FromThird Progression” to “Memory Fails“, there’s always something there holding you down, grabbing you by your arms, dragging you into the depths. It might sound desolate, but their versatile atmosphere, their ingenious structuring of each song, is just what you’d want out of post-punk. Everything is down to the core, but in different ways. Where “Nowhere” ends, “Imposed” picks up and completely nails this EP down for me, hopefully for you too. There’s just something essential about the band, this release, especially the last song – which is what made me add this release to this list. As they’ve written on their page, all that is needed is to “Tear away the veil“.


Absent Friends – Stand Up And Fight

Now for something not entirely different, yet different. With empowering tunes, somewhat inspired by post-punk, but mostly new-wave – the trumpet melodies found in the first tune “Stand Up And Fight” reminds me a lot of Essential Logic’s more joyous brother. Although the song feels like a chorus through and through, it’s too good of a song to be left unheard by the masses. Apparently, this release is included in the Discogs usury scheme where some people try and sell rare or sold out releases for ridiculous prices. So instead of buying it for sixty dollars, you can get it for two dollars from the band themselves.

Drift Apart” is on the other hand more of a love-ballad, clad in the simpleness of exotic drums and good lyrics. The singing doesn’t interest me as much as the atmosphere itself, but there’s something nostalgic and eerie about everything – so this is for you lovers out there who might not be on the best terms – listen to this and hopefully it will mend your relationship. When it comes to the drumming, it’s just so unnervingly calm, but just as it gets to that point of when you’d just want it to stop – along comes that trumpet again – and you’re stuck with what you’ve got. “It’s a good release so far“, I said to my self, as I slowly faded away and drifted further into the mood, into the rhythm.

You should all realize what you had from the start. It does not get better then this, folks. So take care of yourselfs now. Take it slow, let it be what it is and not what it was.


Mica – Static / Pick Up

Here’s for the demos. Remastered to be something better then they were at first. Even though the Australian outfit Mica might be too uncomfortable to wear, there’s something about the percussion in the music that makes it all worthwhile. You’ll see how it fits by listening to “Static“, as the song slowly builds up to be something uncontrollable yet tangible. A perfect blend of the minimal no-wave influence in the song itself and complete post-punk. This is something to shake your hips to, not in a dark club, but rather when you’re out for a walk – delving into the nighttime – as time flies by, before the night goes into another day.

Whilst the second song “Pick Up” is more of that ballad-oriented b-side once again, there’s a sullen sound to it that distinguishes it from the aforementioned “Absent Friends“-release. Heavy baselines alongside a damp voice, with simple lyrics and a consistent message. There’s ultimately something depressing about it, but I like how this song is actually better then the first – which makes it less doom and gloom – from a listeners perspective. “What a dizzy day, today“, indeed. There’s some more to cover yet and we’ve only just started. A must-listen even though it just was a demo originally.


Ciruela Split – Isvara

Enough with the doom and gloom, here’s to the outrageous and somewhat bizarre. I don’t know if it would fit, but thought it should be included just because there’s a hint of artistry somewhere in there still. It’s a strange blend of darkwave, pop-oriented new-wave, synthwave and alternative glam. This trio is from Argentina, and calls themselves Ciruela Split. If it were not for Grimes, Ladytron and The Birthday Massacre, I wouldn’t have payed any attention to this. Sure, it sounds similar in some ways, but this is entirely different. Though their first song “November” is mostly electronic, there are hints of alternative rock and post-punk beneath their glammy appearance and performance.

Some of their songs bring sweet synth-pop harmonies and melodies, but “Until” – their second song on the release – is a bit different then the first. Now it gets a bit darker beneath the surface. Then suddenly, they move into even weirder territory – some kind of bizarre cultural turn to France – taking their electronic instruments with them. Now there’s some more sublimity in the singers approach to the song itself. “Excusez moi, monsieur” is what the song is comprised of when it comes to lyrics, basically. It is indeed very basic, but yet somewhat enjoyable.

Sun Glasses” and “Krsna” are by far the best songs on the release – and basically what you can get out of it – in total. When it comes to the outro song, “Praia”, is one of the songs that made me reluctant to even include them on this list of recommendations, but they’ve got something brewing that I can’t really fathom. There’s something about their music that is simple – yet good – and you’ve got to include something that is out of the ordinary, even for this, right? Well, excusez moi if this doesn’t appease to you.


Strange Passage – Shine and Scatter

I want to end this on a good note. This is a band I found last of all, yesterday, when I was scouring the internet for music.It’s not straight up post-punk, but it is britpop, post-punk and jangle pop all in one. Strange Passage have really created something out of the ordinary, as it isn’t really what you’d expect. From the lyrical content of “Lament“, to the furiousness of “Viaducts Burning Down“, there’s both the seriousness in post-punk and the playfulness of britpop to keep you going for hours on end. You can also find some of the good parts of shoegaze when you tune in to “People Being People” – at least when you hear the outdrawn and droozy riffs, when included into the mix.

Of what I found for this recommendation, this is probably one of my favorites, alongside Absent Friends. Though the experimentalism is a key ingredient in the aforementioned band, Strange Passage takes heed and includes a bit of it into their soundscape – which makes it interesting musically. They do not fall into the stereotypical interpretations of these genres, which makes them stand out quite well – and they can handle it after all – as they have not scattered the music all over the place. It is quite ambitious, it holds up and is sturdy, because it is built on something that might actually last.

Spotlight [Forthright]: ıšdavıkaı / Dold


For those of you that loathe techno as much as I do, read no further. Even though it might be true that I’ve covered that genre and am going to in this article as well, I would like to have that said before you read. This is, however, no ordinary techno. This is how techno could sound like if executed properly. There are severeal examples of this. I’m just tired of everyone starting labels that only do techno, which goes by different names, but is essentially the same tired repetetive nonsense.

Starting off with two similar characters, working within similar genres, ıšdavıkaı is the first one to appear in this spotlight. It’s ambient and noise, rhythmic noise to an extent but definently ambient as a whole. Second one is Dold.

I saw this link which took me to offworldcolonies, a bandcamp-page for that artist which also expands into different, other artists. ıšdavıkaı is by far one of the more intriguing ones on that page. From the essence of ambient to the core of noise and beyond, you’re taken on an inverted trip, with atmospheric content beyond your wildest imaginations. He also stays within those drawn borders so it doesn’t get too eclectic.

From the constant churning of “Brigand“, to the more resounding and dim “Flashbang, Flashbang“, the album itself – “Tear Down Tactic” – is a joyous moment that lasts more then briefly, an outdrawn one, which takes you into different genres with a mixture of many, creating a wide-spread cocktail of influences and total submerged annihilation. There’s always something brooding beneath the surface.


When it comes to Dold, he’s featured on the second release via Intimate Silence. His sound is a bit more bombastic then ıšdavıkaı, but a lot of it is virtually the same – when it comes to genres and maybe also influences. There’s an industrial-clad ambient seance that in some tracks transforms into perfectly fine techno. Most of it, though, grabs a hold of itself and stays within noise, industrial, ambient – which I am thankful for.

The second release from Intimate Silence is a good one, there are many moments which surprise me, other moments which do not. The third song off this release is the most memorable. There’s a certain clarity about the song that just doesn’t wear off, it sounds like one of those Stendeck-tracks that you could listen to over and over again. Nothing else is comparable between those two artists, but I really like the general atmosphere and the direction in which the song is heading, as it slowly builds up to blindly fade away.

Recension: Drottning Omma – Iris Av Is


När allt kommer omkring så kan ambient bli enastående om det utförs på rätt sätt. Det finns gott om exempel på hur man inte gör ambient, så vi tänkte att det är dags att ta uti med ett verk av Drottning Omma, nämligen albumet “Iris Av Is“, där ambient får en att vilja slänga på sig ett par vingar och flyga upp i luften – för att blicka ut i landet. Detta släpp känns ungefär som när man såg “Den oändliga historien” för första gången.

Även om den filmen kändes märklig, skrämmande och spännande på samma gång – så prickar detta album in åtminstone två av dessa punkter, på direkten. Det verkar som att släppet enbart består av två låtar egentligen, som blivit uppdelade i tio spår. Från 1-5 står det “I minnet av en målning“, från 6-10 så står det “som aldrig förändras vad som än händer“. Låt oss ta itu med den första låten först – eller ja – fem stycken fragment som bildar en låt.

De förstauntitled“-låtarna är bombastiska men återhållsamma, det är förståeligt varför namnvalet har med en målning att göra, eftersom att det känns som att det är olika penseldrag som i sitt sammanhang målar upp en större bild. Det känns mjukt, inbjudande, skräckinjagande, överdådigt, stormigt – på alla sätt och vis – vilket inte minst märks i det andra fragmentet.

När man höjts till skyarna av det första fragmentet så släpps man ner i havet, långt därnere någonstans befinner man sig efter att ha lyssnat igenom mer än halva låten. I trånga hörn, mitt där pärlorna befinner sig, det kanske dyker upp en båt ovan ytan? Man kanske hör en val kommunicera någonstans långt, långt borta från en. Även om ljudbilden är rätt konstant så kan man skymta små glimtar som för låten framåt, det blir inte enformigt även om man gärna vill tro det vid en första lyssning. Det är en bild som långsamt målas fram, penseldrag för penseldrag.

Efter att ha hört de två första fragmenten så går jag vidare till det tredje. Det låter nästan som en marschsång, om någon nu skulle få för sig att göra det i ambientform – vilket Drottning Omma fått för sig att göra. Ståtligt är ett ord som jag skulle vilja använda och det är vad som för låten framåt. Medan vågorna slår från havet så går den ostoppbara kraften bara framåt, den lämnar ingen orörd. Detta är min favoritlåt från den repertoar som är “Iris Av Is“.

Senare blir det mer techno och noiseaktigt, vilket drar ner albumet avsevärt. Från att ha varit ett väldigt bra ambientalbum, till att bli något som besudlats av technons händer. Tyvärr så gör det att förväntningarna inför nästa fragmentariska låt, “som aldrig förändras vad som än händer“, blir lägre än vad det varit innan jag kom till sluttampen av den första.

Från en mer sammanhängande och målande ljudbild, till en dystrare och technokaotisk röra. Nej, jag är inte alls imponerad. Även om fragmenten har sina höjdpunkter, som i en av låtarna där den rytmiska noisemattan ödelägger allt i sin väg, eller det sista ögonblicket i denna fragmentariska resa – där allting lappas ihop och där man inte behöver ha någon förväntan – så finns det delar av denna resa som aldrig skulle blivit av. Men det kanske är tankegods för uppföljaren.

Köp det digitala albumet. Den fysiska kassetten är redan slutsåld.