Listen: Michael Idehall – Solar Symmetries

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Noisetronica. The further in you come within the soundscape, the deeper the metaphysical cuts are – in “Language Of The Birds” (as remixed by Tanz Ohne Musik). There’s a minimalistic layer upon a grandiose structure in which the song slowly builds up from nothingness to something, it gradually becomes more skewed and wicked in tune, the further into the song one gets. The tribalistic elements lent by Tanz Ohne Musik make it a horrific experience in sound, a claustrophobic and inwardly looking track, gradually gnawing away on the little flesh remaining. A strong and subliminal start to his “Solar Symmetries” remix-album, as released on ant-zen now in December.

To be quickly shifted into the megalomaniac chantings of the “Omphalos.” remix courtesy of Grand Mal x. It is a more beat-oriented song which relies heavily on the way the beat swings into rhythm, to create a darkened atmosphere where nobody goes safe from the anger brewing down below, like a powder keg almost about to blow up – but the fuse is never properly lit and the agonizing soundscape just keeps on reaping havoc until there’s no more to be found. A monster of a remix even though it clocks in at just around three minutes. Giving it that original touch but keeping the intent the same.

Despite the name, “Feline.“, this hymnlike remix by Nordvargr makes the track all that more beastly – shrouded in mysterious vocals that add so much to the soundscape itself – it almost makes the whole song. The chanting together with the bubbly and enchanting atmosphere makes for a venture into the pitch black depths of the mind itself, it is a slow-moving, dark chanson that isn’t afraid to take out the lower frequencies and the more disturbed noises to make it a thoroughly menacingly experience throughout. Everything’s left to itself and this machine cannot be stopped by any human, it just keeps on churning and going forward with no intention of stopping.

Here come one of my favorite remixes, another one of “Language Of The Birds“, by Synapscape – which makes the electronic influences more prevalent. There’s a certain rhythmic feeling to the whole atmosphere which makes use of bass-sounds and the electronical chirping of birds, which slowly moves into a noisier more rambunctious and heavily beat-oriented maximal electronic sound. As opposed to minimal electronics, there’s nothing really minimalistic about this remix – it’s just a showstopper which makes the most out of what it generates – remix-wise. A really great remix.

As if anything stopped there, it just continues to move straight ahead, with noise in mind – as the “Horsemen.” remix by Tony Blomdahl – attacks from out of nowhere and pins you to the corner. This is the first harsh noise installment of the release itself and it shows how fury can control the whole atmosphere itself and make for a rather original touch which never ceases to be anything but full-blown harsh noise – in-your-face – kind of remix. Manipulated vocals, screeching and violently smashing noise-oriented atmospheres that clash and finally come to a halt – just like that.

Then, one of my favorite names – Hadewych – enter the album, with the sixth song being a remix of “Language Of The Birds.” once again, but in that original soft but dark Hadewych-oriented staple, vicious baselines that resound throughout and an atmosphere that relies much more on the general instrumentation then it does on the vocals themselves. They accompany each other well and the general development of the soundscape comes from the lyrical development itself, which then sees a general upswing into a psychedelic and twisted song after four minutes in. This remix is surely one of the better ones on this release as well, in terms of the ingeniousness of it.

Slow Spiral.” as remixed by Thoth Construct, is a more 4/4-oriented techno song that utilizes the original elements of the song to construct a more danceable version of this original track. What can be said about it? Not that creative, but in terms of the general rhythm, it becomes more and more hypnotizing the longer you listen to it. This is one of those monotonous tracks which, the longer you listen to them, develop into something far greater then what can be possibly heard after a few listens. There’s also that deep industrial tone to the whole song which makes it far more enjoyable then your regular techno. A banger after a few listens, rhythmically a great remix.

Now things get even crazier, with “Lucifer.” remixed by Disco Korrosiva, heavy noir beats and manipulations which make for a lunatic’s pathway into your own mind, together with the vocals. Your heart must skip a beat when listening to this song, because there’s something so insane about the composition of it – the remix helps to make it even more sinister and totally out of its own mind – or should we say: soundscape? Crushed vocals, dampened beats that get heavier and noisier the more you listen to it. Not to mention how it ends and lights the fire of another, heavy remix courtesy of Alvar.

Spiderwoman.” as remixed by Alvar – sees their heaviest work yet, even though it is just a remix. Especially when the snaredrum and the vocals go into a maelstrom of otherness, together with the kickdrum and the whole atmosphere. The vocals are as dark as they can possibly get and the beats, together with the rhythm and the electronic synthesizer that comes in from the sidelines, make for a greatness that you shouldn’t even see Alvar entering – but it only gets better, with piano-stabs and a swooping snaredrum that picks up on the rhythmic splendour that is their strongest card, with this remix. It’s a great one, probably one of the best remixes on this release.

Next remix, this time of “Lucifer.“, sees a more drum’n’bass-oriented remix by Voytek. It is like entering a psychedelic trip into tribalistic lands, there’s a certain tribal feeling to the undertones of the remix itself, whilst the overlay is shrouded in the bass-oriented depths of the original track itself. Relying much on the general atmosphere itself and the repetetiveness of it to drive the psychedelia as deep as possible, making it a rather monotonous experience on its own but it keeps on giving, instrumentation-wise and in the general composition of the track itself. It is a mind-bender for sure.

Feline.” once more, this time remixed by Nordwall. Here’s one of the most seancetronica true remixes on this release. Deep baselines that guide you throughout, with hypnotic swirls of sound that would make any sane man question himself. Not to mention how blackened everything gets when the vocals come in, perfectly fitted to the heavier and heavier baselines – layered upon one another, creating ripples upon the sea of sound on which they float. This is a deep remix, not for everyone, it gives off the illusion of being something more then it really is, or are we to imagine it to be less – just to be proven wrong by the creatively flowing, constantly moving, song and soundscape? I don’t know.

The catchiest one is saved for last, which is “Lucifer.” as remixed by Per Åhlund. There’s a certain vibe to his acidic interpretation of this song, almost sounding off like an alarm – just to have a rhythm given by the percussion itself – which makes it even more straight-forward of a song, which isn’t really what was expected. Then, suddenly, a synthesizer strikes out of nowhere and adds another notion to an already monstrously great remix. Damn, this remix-album is something else – and you can find a remix and interpretation that suits you and your mood. Get it via ant-zen, digitally. Listen to it down below in full.

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Lyssna: Yabibo Hazurfa – Svärtans Hav (C30 Cassette)

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Det är fortfarande bara förhandslyssning som är tillgänglig, men “Svärtans Hav” är en djupdykning i en svartkonst som skulle kunna sägas vara en blandning av Michael Idehall och ALVAR – om man ska göra någon form av jämförelse. Utifrån förhandslyssningen så står det klart att den första låten: “Det Stora Alvaret” – är en hyllningslåt till ALVAR. Låten i sig är något mer atmosfärisk än vad som är brukligt när det kommer till den gruppen, men så är det också bara en hyllningslåt, men Yabibo Hazurfa gör det till något helt annorlunda men ändå så likt deras material.

Nästa låt är nästan en tripp in i en mer psykedelisk och mörk dubstep, av låtnamnet att döma “Svärtans Hav (Svart Version)” finns det fog till varför det just blivit de genrerna – mörkret svärmar runt kropp och knopp – ett veritabelt musikaliskt angrepp från de mest svartbeklädda delarna av vår fantasi. Där den låten dör ut så föds en ny, nämligen “Mörkrets Tron“, som låter emfasen vara på melodislingor som på något sätt ska framkalla det mest grymma inom oss – Jimmy Svensson är bra på att skapa atmosfäriska landskap, målade med en musikalisk pensel i breda drag.

Utöver det så bjuds det på andra låtar ur hans repertoar. Alla bär de på något eget men mycket är hämtat från andra håll. Men hans mästerfulla låtar tål tidens tand och även om de är nötta efter att man lyssnat ett par gånger, så håller de ändå – på sitt egna lilla vis. Han är verkligen duktig på att måla upp det mest dystra och gudsförgätna ljudlandskap man lyssnat på, på en lång tid. Det här är samtidigt som det är något gammalt och beprövat så är det något eget, måhända trots att inspiration hämtats från bland annat ALVAR och andra som håller sig inom liknande, eller samma, genrer. Men trots allt någonting som är värt att lyssna på, om och om igen, flera gånger.

Lyssna till hela släppet, men tyvärr kan ni inte köpa någon kassett då de sedan ett tag tillbaka redan är slutsålda. Så ni får hålla tillgodo med det digitala släppet tillsvidare.

Listen: Local Blood – A Lure Of Sights

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Yet another post-punk band that is dabbling with minimalism and electronica? No, not really. Local Blood is something different, a more droned out and focused post-punk outfit from Vilnius. With concentrated, dark riffs, they take you into a whole other world then your own. It is somewhat more oriented around the instrumentation itself and less around the fact that it is post-punk – which is good – there need not be another band happily proclaiming to be post-punk because that almost always ends with a bad taste.

The Night A Forest Grew” is a perfect post-punk song. It doesn’t even need vocals to be good, it just need these continuous riffs and melodious passages that ooze out sincerity and melancholy – both vibes can be gotten from an early stage of the song, and it just continues from there. This band reminds me a lot of The Foreign Resort, or at least their earlier material, which is good since it is a great band.

The last song, “Total Guidance“, becomes a post-punk ballad you can really listen to – rather then an outro that just cuts things off musically. Everything on this release harkens from the same theme and tries to walk the thin line they’ve put out there as a guideline to follow. All the songs on this release are good in their own peculiar way, you should really pay attention to them and listen to their release “A Lure Of Sights“, down below.

Lyssna: RA – Then I Woke Up In Paradise

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Det här är nog deras mest imponerande alster hittills. Inget band har lyckats personifiera 040-andan så bra som RA lyckas med detta släpp. Det känns som om det är ämnat för någon som är från Malmö att förstå, men samtidigt inbjudande för internationella lyssnare. De svepande melodiösa gitarriffen, ackompanjerade av försiktiga trummor och en mer kontrollerad sång – gör att dessa fyra låtar alla blir hymner, fast på olika sätt och vis.

Särskilt låten040” är en kaskad av melankoli som får den som är under isen att på något sätt få upp ett glödgat hopp. Någonstans mellan de kraftiga musikaliska humörsvängningar som inkluderas, så finns där ett tätt sammanknutet sammanhang vars mening inte går förlorad i musikens vilda värld. Där finns, åtminstone som vi ser det, en stark lokal förankring som inflyttade smålänningar och andra utbölingar aldrig kan förstå sig på. Detta är en av de viktigaste ingredienserna i det som gör RA till ett så bra band.

Förutom att melankolin piskas upp gång på gång så finner man sig själv svängande med huvudet – dock hållandes det högt och blankt skita i vad andra tycker om det. Man skulle kunna gå så långt som att säga att detta är en hymn som passar alla oss som skulle kunna gå i döden för det som verkligen är 040. Det är inte lika uppenbart för alla hur stort avtryck detta släpp verkligen gör och har gjort – men de har lyckats komprimera allt det bästa med RA – för att utveckla det ytterligare med elektroniska ljudmattor.

Man blir stolt när man lyssnar till detta släpp. Särskilt av ovannämnda orsak. Det finns saker som kommer och går, men det finns saker som faktiskt består. Alla som förstår – ni förstår – och de som vägrar att förstå sig på det, eller som låtsas sig tro något annat – ni har helt fel. RA är här för att stanna och har man inte fått upp ögonen för dem tidigare så får man det nu. I och med släppet via franska Third Coming Records cementerar skivbolaget sig som mästerligare än förut – i och med detta släpp. Lyssna till det här nedanför.

Watch: group A – Deadly 16

As enchanting as destructive, group A deliver an unfathomably great music video for their bonus-track “Deadly 16” – as taken off the vinyl edition of their third album “70+a=“. It is a really catchy synth-pop and harsh minimal electronics song which leaves nothing to the imagination. The song itself is very imaginative and straight-forward, with pulsating beats and sudden clashing instrumentation, which startles, to say the least. It’s a song you can dig the whole way through without being disappointed.

With the help of Eric Van Wonterghem (Absolute Body Control), they’ve gotten the track remastered, and to say the least it sounds really warm at the same time as it is one of the coldest tracks we’ve ever laid our ears upon. They have managed to create a really catchy and good rhythm – with the help of chanted vocals that go well alongside the general beats and other instrumentation. There’s a certain kind of vibe which goes well alongside with the theme of the video, centered around an almost claustrophobic view of the world itself, masterfully directed by Sayaka Botanic (group A) – as everything blends into the darkness that is portrayed through the theme, nuclear power plants and what not, adding an edge to the track which would be lacking otherwise.

The song itself was recorded and mixed by Tommi Tokyo (group A) – and even that is on point. There’s really nothing to complain about when it comes to this song, it is as forceful as it is reserved – as hard-hitting as it is soft beneath the layers of heavy beats. There’s a sincerity within this song that makes it what it is, they’ve really given their all to conjure as bleak of a picture as possible, which is only enhanced by the video itself. Watch it up above and enjoy this latest song from the remastered release of “70+a=“.

Watch: ALVAR – SteelWerks Live 2016

It’s fun to watch how Alvar slowly have developed into something extraordinary, especially as seen here in a live excerpt, with footage taken by Erik Söderberg (Kinder aus Asbest) – where they are live on-stage together with Fredrik Djurfeldt (Analfabetism, Boar Alarm) and Jimmy Svensson (Yabibo Hazurfa). Together they present a grandiose beatmaking machine that thunders on until eternity, with melodies that swing harder then a guillotine. Get ready for your mind to be twisted and turned upside down.

When accompanied by the dark vocals of what supposedly is Jonas Fredriksson, nothing can go wrong. The melodies also have a lighter touch to them which helps the beats along, as the complex rhythms complements the general structure of the song, when introduced together with the melodies. SteelWerks is a really dark inward look into the world of Alvar, a cinematography as minimal as the songs are – which makes it accompany their general aesthetic very well. Their whole mythology showcased to the utmost degree.

They say goodbye to 2016 with this black, white and almost blueish clip – only outlining their silhouette – adding to the mysteriousness that surrounds the group itself. Watch the clip up above and get the full immersive experience.