Review: The Bug vs Earth – Concrete Desert

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This is one of the first times I’ve taken a good look at a bigger artist and wanted to review what they’ve released. I found the concept worthy of investigation track-by-track, since the whole theme surrounding it is alluring. The aesthetics are interesting and it feels worthy to delve into deeper and see what can be found or what can not be found. I am now about to dissect this release. It clocks in at around 90 minutes – making it around an hour and a half long.

City Of Fallen Angels” is a dreamy but dreary experience. Stating what the title is isn’t enough to describe how the song is. Conceptually it makes perfect sense why it is titled that way – as it infects the overall sound as well. Experimental electronica seep through the headphones and the barren landscape appears ahead of you. The atmosphere is such that it represents that and it takes you from tumbleweed and calmness into the stormy heart of a city. As you come further into the song it charges up for a second and then unleashes the noisyness which is normally reserved for industrial music, coupling it with laidback electronica – messing up your points of reference and as it progresses you’re stunned by the intensity of it. The soundscape is bombastic and doesn’t hold back, but comes in with assertive ease. Lulling you into submission.

Gasoline” is eerie. Keeping the listener at bay while he awaits what happens around the corner. Nothing. Then, suddenly, a slow rhythm brings out the melody and adds to that a solid baseline that is strung out by an electric guitar. Even though it remains in the solid rhythmics that it started with, it warps you into different ones that make you wonder if you’ve lost your mind or not. Layer upon layer of mighty instruments that figuratively catch on fire as he pours on more gasoline. Still, even though it broods primitive melodies and an unorthodox soundscape – it fades out the way it faded in. Nothing catches on in this track but it manages to hold a special kind of craftiness that make it broad and intense under the surface anyway. No need for it to give off a spark.

Agoraphobia” – if you weren’t to begin with, maybe this murky and spaced out song will make you experience the phobia. What feels like the development of a smashing song goes out of its own way to create weird melodies within the melodies and rhythms in the rhythm. The amplified sound of the rambunctious noise that is created by the baseline – or what at least seems to have been created from it – is suddenly paired with riffs that would make you feel a transgression from electronica to non-electronic music is happening. That, however, never happens. I’m not too sure about whether to feel positive or negative about this song, but I’m impressed about how the seemingly out-of-motion melodies later in bring out the experimentalism in its purest form. It is odd, it is weird, it is intimidating to a degree – just to fade out like the other ones have.

Here’s a grime-infused track, “Snakes Vs Rats“, that gathers the best out of that genre and ignore the vocals. They create a sort of underground opera-like electronic music together with the grime-beats. Dissecting the genre for what it is good for and creating a pleasantly huge sound. The most solid rhythm combined with the most forward-thinking of synthesizer sweeps – a glance into the futuristic world as imagined a decade ago – almost bordering to one of the great soundtracks accompanying sci-fis of the 1980’s. The sound portrayed is not an idealistic one, it is a rather bleak non-picturesque and alarming narrative that is being pushed with the song. Somewhere we might be, where we don’t want to be – stuck in the middle, nowhere out, control is absolute.

Broke” is minimalistic to the core. What drives it is a few sounds here and there, well-placed beautiful synthesizers and a claustrophobic atmosphere. A cry for help. Symptomatic of the sound so far is that it relies heavily on the baseline, which helps it progress throughout the soundscape in a great way. Where there is no rhythm, one have to create it in between the noisy and deconstructed melodies that are repetetively churned out – as the outdrawn riffs play a vital role in keeping the maniacal atmosphere livid. There is something about the song that draws on what solid ground The Bug (and Earth) create everything. It is immersive and too real.

From the beginning, “American Dream” is a piece of work just seconds in. Unfortunately everyhing looses its meaning after the monstrous opening. Maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be, as it is certainly not a portrayal of the american dream in any positive way at all. But it by now only feels like an empty statement, having heard the other songs that contain something more then just the formulaic approach he has in this one. It’s good how he draws from his earlier creations and put it into a whole, synchronized experience. What’s bad is that it feels like one has already been here, listened through it and discarded it on the way. Sure, the attention to detail is very ambitious, but it in the end becomes just an outdrawn piece of ambient music that do no justice at all.

Don’t Walk These Streets” hits you over the head and immerse you into a gruesome world. Blindfolded, struck repeatedly by the knife-sharp rhythms and the playful melody of the piano, the message of the song becomes apparent. It is violent in its nature but you don’t have to fear anything, listening to it. You’re far away from the emotions itself – it is like you’ve detached from them and become a part of this message. They marvelously craft something you want to listen to repeatedly, expanding the song every step of the way to make it even more enchanting. The depths of the synthesizers and the crassness of the beats are not temporary – they exist there to give meaning to the soundscape. A very well-rounded song all-in-all.

Other Side of the World” gives off a meditative feeling. After you’ve been entangled into the music – a basedrum hits and catches you off-guard. Every single part of the song has some kind of magnificent tone to it. The different facets stand and fall together, nothing can be separated or it will knock the rhythm and melodies away from one another. As simple as the song might seem, it is very addictive. Here’s a perfect transgression from different genres and what it lacks in rhythm it makes up for in melody and structure.

Hell A” is too hip-hop for me. A genre that is not of my liking at all. If that kind of rhythm and those beats have been reserved for something else – it would be fine. Had it been stripped from the atmosphere and replaced with a better rhythm, it would’ve been a glorious listening as the dark synthesizers come in, sweeping the floor with everything else. It becomes a very energetic song that doesn’t stray away from the better aspects of his music. Without that edge and vibe to it – it would’ve been a lost cause and nothing worthy to listen to at all. It is good that he at least keeps that in but he should’ve left more out this time – in terms of beats.

The title-trackConcrete Desert” is a phenomenal ride from curiosity and into the bleakness of the human soul itself. Right from the start you’re immersed into his world, you’re taking part of what he has created and he leaves no ends open, instead of thinking, one seems to be in need of visualising the music – it really gives off an audio-visual experience that is on the next level. After some of the previous songs it wouldn’t seem possible but he manages to create the narrative, spin it into the conciousness of the listener and give meaning to the instrumentation in more ways than just the musical. Which is good, since this song should be the summary and epitome of what this album is about.

Dog ft JK Flesh” is the resounding adaptation of one of the other songs from this release. He manages to add a whole other sound to it than The Bug and Earth could do. It becomes much angrier, more cheeky. When they had to choose a vocalist, nobody could fit the bill more perfectly – this simply cannot be unheard and fits too perfectly. Same can be said about “Pray ft JK Flesh” – here JK Flesh is allowed to be as expressive as possible through his powerful vocals. After listening this far in it is nice to have this addition in the release becomes it helps it become more vital instead of rehashing everything over again – instead creating something new of it, even more intimidating.

Nothing more can be said about this album other then that “Another Planet” is the perfect outro. Easy to listen to and it makes you yearn for more of this kind of music. When you think about it, the album is solid and pretty good despite its faults. I suggest you get it from Ninja Tune (or The Bug vs Earth themselves) in physical form, instead of digital. Though you might want to listen through it a couple of times before, it still is a good headphone experience. Stream the whole album down below.

Video Premiere: Man, Woman, Friend, Computer – Exordium/Outgrown

Man, Woman, Friend, Computer released their debut-album self-titled album last year and now Yuliya Tsukerman (of Mana Contemporary) have created a music-video titled: “Exordium/Outgrown“. The music is electroacoustic pop music, with experimental tendencies. It is exciting to see such craftsmanship when it comes to music-videos.

The methods Yuliya have used are one-hundred percent analog. With the help of centuries old Czech marionette-techniques, the dolls are paired with modern materials and objects, creating a story that is moving. It is the story of a spaceman coming to terms with his own isolation and loss as he cares for an injured alien. A narrative is created – analogue versus digital – a re-imaginative trip from old to new – pairing them both, but  telling them apart as well.

Listen to the album down below and view the video up above.

 

Review: Keep – For Your Joy

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With strange but charming aesthetics to a degree, Virginian duo Keep made an effort and released their debut full-length album now in June. Finding them wasn’t difficult, they’ve been featured on VICE before, and their sound is something that sticks out in many ways. We decided to do a track-by-track review of this release, titled “For Your Joy“. It clocks in at around 41 minutes total.

YHB” is the introductory to this album, a sullen gothically sounding track which suddenly bounce into alternative territories. It has that slow, decimating feeling and nicely crafted harmonics, together with afflicted vocals. At one point it almost lends itself in whole to a sludge-rock, doomy kind of sound – making the atmosphere bigger and more psychedelic the further in you get. The drumming goes from the steady rhythm into a frenzy and then back again as if nothing had happened. It is a downbeat experience throughout but pack a relentless upbeat punch if needed.

Their sound feel like something unique but at the same time pays homage to their influences. It’s weird to realize that it is a duo, because their sound is much greater then just that. “Temporal Drift” pick up and switch into post-punk and goth directly, there’s no time for the lull and slowness of the first song, and here they clearly make use of the beauty in their simple melodies – alluding to the core in their songmaking. When the quick, bleak riffs come and go – they break through in the chorus, blooming into a special kind of song – together with the vocals.

As they drift farther away with their rhythm and melody, they still attain a charismatic sound. The seriousness in their lyrical content shape the soundscape and even though it derives out of the simplicity in short – but emotional vocals – they’re outdrawn and carry one with the atmosphere and the totality of the sound itself. An absolute joyride in terms of uncanny craftsmanship in music. I’m stunned after hearing this song.

Welcome To” is jumpstarted by “Temporal Drift” as it faded out. What is even more clear in this song is how the baseline and the individual items in the drumset make way for a sinister apocalypse – in the manner of heavily distorted guitars – which take the song to a definitive crescendo. Even if there is only one chorus, it feels like it has multiplied and represents the mix of two songs in one, a harsher part and a gloomier more softer sound that give away another side of them. From here it just gets better, with “Response” – that go from a promising introductory to a complete anthem in just a few seconds. The glaring noise of the synthesizer and more electronically-based soundscape masquerade, adding a theatrical feel and an even bigger sound.

Being the shortest song on the album, one wants it to go on forever. It feels like it could easily turn into something completely ambient, but as it is torn apart by the instrumentation, it hides away what lurks around the corner, taking the listener by surprise as it carries on. When hearing “In Perfect Order“, it just feels like one has found the perfect blend of shoegazy vocals and atmosphere, in a post-punk setting with that ingenuity that helps it be anything but confined within those genres. The vocals are chanted more, giving it a whole other vibe in general. The playfulness they display is obvious in this song – it sounds more like a session turned onto its head and into a very well made final product.

WithEarthly Desired” I am reminded by how RA sounds and how their nordic noir sound is something that stand out on its own. Keep have got that kind of touch in their vocals, especially, in this song. This is as emotional as it can gets and the lyrics stand out on their own here, the ingenious dark melodies are churned out with total attitude. So far, this is one of my favorite songs on the whole release. Damn, these guys really know how to make music and one is still flabbergasted by the fact that it is a duo.

As Testament” goes off, the more slower side of things return. Here’s the anti-thesis of the last couple of songs. A downer and a shapeshifter, at least. One suddenly feel the urge to bob head side to side. Everything’s so concentrated, the twang in the baseline and the precision of the drumming, the plagued vocals. When you think it is going to sound absolutely the same all the way through, they step their game up and slam on the drums and create a rambunctious setting where nothing is sacred. From this to “My Love” which almost sound industrial to begin with, as they carry on with a distorted basedrum. The vocals being as distorted as they are in some of the parts of the song adds a little rock’n’roll in the middle of everything.

The attention to detail in the atmosphere is remarkable. Everything has been thought out but at the same time, volatile. From this complete predestined setting to an even more industrially sounding track, “Man Made it“, completed with the pure delight of gothically sounding post-punk. This is the good variant of it. Noteable about it is how the lyrics, especially this passage: “Feet don’t touch the ground, ear don’t like the sound“, pass right through and make you feel it by the singer’s emphasis. The reverberated sound of the riffs together with the dark, pounding baseline give the rhythm a whole other dimension – a more sinister one. This song is mysterious, callous in a way – but realistic.

Lastly, “7 Days” is a pure ballad. Not in the traditional sense, but in the sense of how Keep wants it. With it you have more time as a listener to focus on the vocalist and the lyrics. The riffs are absolutely on point in this song – making it one of the more beautiful ones on this release as a whole. Their lyrics are absolutely phenomenal on this song, when combined. It is sad to have listened for this long and then hear how it slowly fades out into nothingness. I’d like to thank Keep for delivering such a solid record, one of my favorites of 2017 so far. Thank you.

Check out their earlier releases first, but if you want to you can start as we did, with their latest one: “For Your Joy“. You can listen to it in whole down below.

Spotlight: Liquid Transmitter, Nikmis, None, Palissade

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Midsummer is upon us. A new line of spotlights are due to appear sometime every week. I’ve picked out some new and interesting releases for you all to enjoy. From post-punk to IDM and everything in between that. Everytime I do this, I see what I can find under different categories on Bandcamp – writing about each release that is featured in the article, summarizing the components and recommending it.

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Have you ever dreamt about something ever so vividly exciting, strange or beautiful? Liquid Transmitter’s release “Turn” is turning IDM on its edge, presenting to us a less rhythmic annihilation and more complex atmospheric development. From the introductory “Morning Watch“, to the last one “Uncertain Dusk“, each track is imaginative and explorative. It is as if an artist outlines his visions carefully and break the transgressiveness between genres in an uncanny way. Connecting the dots in every way, both musically and by the titles themselves.

It is finely woven into good electronic music. Slightly drone, more ambient and definently something to be heard. The quirkyness of the melodies add in the personality of this project very well – it’s self-explanatory really when you hear the music. Check it out on Bandcamp and purchase his release there, listen to it in full down below.

nikmis

Now here’s a whole soundtrack for you to enjoy. It is really odd music in a way, but perfectly obstinate and neatly created. Nikmis release “Widdendream” on Third Kind Records go forth in its own manner, holding up the banner of experimental electronica in a way – considering the composition of each track, first and foremost. From the cute little first steps of “The Big Fence On The Other Side“, to the more classically-oriented “Embarrasingly Paralell“, each facet of this album have its own sides of it. I think “Tremendous House” capture an oriental vibe and contribute to a summary of everything in Nikmis music that make it stand out in originality.

So if artists and bands alike want to describe something with their music, or capture a feeling, this picturesque wandering between the oddities in synthesizer-based music and the outrageousness of it – make it very easy to follow the story. Instead of capturing something by writing it in lyrics, he manages to break free from that and with instrumental music capture the essence of storytelling anyway. I suggest you check out the album via Third Kind Records, and listen to it in full down below.

none

Abstract, frightening and cold. With resounding, repetetive vocals and majestic synthwave – Anna of None deliver a great sounding album, titled “Vacuum“. There is a lot of focus on the bombasticism of the drums in the atmosphere of some of the songs, but it does not take away from the fact that the rest of the instrumentation is equally as good, and thought out. There are serene melodies that encapsulate the hopelessness she is portraying, especially in the aptly titled song “No“. Things develop further in terms of the sound itself in “Faces“, which almost becomes theatralic with the continuous haunting baseline.

She really breaks apart from the dry and stale projects that have been popping up everywhere. Wherever you read post-punk, it either consists of a band trying to ape a style they can’t grasp by inspiration of classic post-punk releases, or the one-man project that doesn’t hold up at all – with them being predictable as ever. The song “Nightmare” really touches on the synthwave this project relies on, giving it great effect and with “Flesh” fulfil the epitome of it. I suggest you check it out, it was released by Black Verb Records and I recommend it of all my heart. Listen to it in full down below.

eclats

Canadians have been providing us with some really good synth-pop, but have they pulled off the post-punk? As of now, Palissade can be considered a contender, with their release “Éclats“. This four-tracked release have beautiful aesthetics in terms of artwork and their music does not lack those aesthetics either. There is a certain focus on the vocalist and more bittersweet melodies then one have heard before, it is not that fast-paced to begin with, as one hears in “La Fin“. Their more alternative and highly melodic way of post-punk is attractive. There is not that much emphasis on the baseline alone, but more on the whole togetherness of everything.

The rhythm stabs and the melodies entwine as one hoped they would. As the layers shift in character, the soundscape looms on steadfastly and “La Vie des Autres” combine the first two songs into one, it feels like. Every song is interesting to listen to and each one of them give off a different emotion. It’s a solid release that I recommend and you should check it out. If you’re interested in wayward but challenging post-punk – this is the release for you. Listen to it in full down below.

 

 

Recension: Kuggljud – Industri & Näring Vol. I

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Robin Smeds Mattila (Human Rays) har startat upp ett skivbolag alldeles nyligen. Fokuset ligger främst på etablerade men även okända artister inom experimentell elektronisk musik. Kuggljud har anordnat olika evenemang i Stockholm där musiken som återfinns på detta samlingssläpp, består i artister som spelat på dessa evenemang tidigare. Släppet är en del i en serie av samlingar. Vi tar oss an detta släpp i en recension, låt för låt – och den klockar in på cirka 39-40 minuter totalt.

Först ut är “Den Första Snön“, en låt av Jonas Röde, som tidigare släppt EP:n “Går” på Zeon Light. Med en konstant rytm som lämnar mycket åt tankeverksamheten och en rungande saxofon, så målas det upp en inre bild av just det låtnamnet symboliserar. Men den mer pittoreska lilla svenska byn mitt i snön förvandlas till någon storstadsdystopi tack vare saxofonen. Det är fräckt att höra hur melodierna sakta flyter in i varandra och utvecklas, men det blir egentligen inte mer än en låt i ständig rörelse. Man får ta det man hör och ta tillvara på det, vilket gör skäl för sin sak när saxofonens rytande långsamt försvinner och ersätts med lågmälda toner.

När låten egentligen borde försvunnit ut i snöstormen så hänger den efter en tiotals sekunder, förändras lite grand och håller nästan på att utvecklas till något helt nytt precis innan det sista av den konstanta syntslingan hörs – som om den höll på att inneslutas i en bubbla från omvärlden, för att rekonstrueras och bli mer än bara ett slut på en låt – kanske en början på en annan del, vem vet.

Man kan verkligen tala om kontraster, när “Glaciär“, en låt av Unknown Sister, knastrar in bestämt. Konsten att gå från en oljudsvall till eftertänksam IDM-musik, är verkligen något man kan kalla för märkligt i detta fallet. När den hårda bastrumman spränger bergsväggen så sker det till några av de vackraste melodier jag hört inom dessa genrer, eller i alla fall denna korsningen, på ett bra tag. Det känns härligt när fokuset ligger på att understödja melodierna för att få fram rytmen, genom att blanda så hejvilt som det gjorts här. Låtnamnet är det ingenting fel på för det beskriver exakt det som sker i låten.

Pissmöten” är nästa låt, av Besökaren. För den som har varit tvungen att genomlida onödiga möten borde väl detta nästan vara den heliga graalen. Man känner riktigt hur tristessen lyser igenom och hur den svenska, kanske norrbottniska, lynnet gör sig påmint genom en person (förmodligen besökaren själv, då) orerar om hur “mötet blivit framflyttat tre gånger” redan. Eftersom att det finns en hög igenkänningsfaktor i denna låt så fastnar skrattet i halsen – för hur orimligt det än kan vara att göra en låt om det, så har det nu gjorts och det passar helt perfekt i en samling för experimentell (svensk) elektronisk musik. Kanske är detta till och med själva markören för volym ett.

Från att gå till karg socialrealistisk lyteskomik på ett vis, till seriös rytm så fort, är intressant. Det är nog också det som är charmen med den experimentella elektroniska musiken. Hur annorlunda allt är vartannat. CHIAB lämnar avtryck med låten “Modern Money“, och man kan konstatera att det finns ett visst hantverk involverat i låtarna, särskilt denna. Av enstaka samplingar och manipulerade ljud så kan man skapa något helt fantastiskt. Det är en hektisk låt som står och faller med rytmen – det är kärnan i det hela – och med den skapas det fasansfulla melodier.

Besökaren har tydligen fått äran att ha två låtar på denna samling. Nu blir det på snudden till att gränsa över till Onkel Kånkel-musik, eller kanske något Arvid Tuba-liknande – eller varför inte något annat? Jag vet inte riktigt. Låten gör en förvirrad. Instruktionerna är dock klara och låten är över efter en minut. Även fastän det kanske låter löjligt när det beskrivs så finns det i alla fall någon substans i det och även om det är simpelt så är det njutbart.

Sist så är det Förbandet Krunic Schmidt som levererar field recordings, parat med ambient och drone – för att leverera något riktigt underskönt, med låten: “Skilda Vägar (Barnen i 163)“. Även om denna låten kanske inte direkt gör något intryck, så får man leta i hur det är komponerat för att komma någon vart. Det känns som om det kunde utvecklats lite mer, det känns för kompakt och instängt – när det kunde varit grandiosare. Men de levererar en snudd på sorgsen ljudbild, så någon känsla väcker de i alla fall till liv med musiken.

Human Rays har faktiskt lyckats rätt så bra med sitt första samlingssläpp. Det känns som ett bra tvärsnitt för de (oss) som inte känt till Kuggljud sedan tidigare, och som förmodligen inte heller varit på någon av livespelningarna. Man vill ha mer utav det här och då passar det utomordentligt med en serie samlingssläpp – så håll ögonen öppna.

Ni kan lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför, passa på att köpa en kassett för att stödja nästa släpp i serien.

 

Review: Led Er Est – Dust On Common

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To be honest, I haven’t paid that much attention to Led Er Est at all. Their sound haven’t attracted me in any way, yet I decided to do a track-by-track review of their first release “Dust On Common” (now re-released by Mannequin Records) originally released on the New York label Wierd Records, in 2009. However, my initial reaction on their music will not affect how I review this record – it is all about how good or bad the songs are, individually – and how good the album is in general. The album is around 35 minutes long in total.

For a person that haven’t listened that much to Led Er Est, the first song “Bikini Fun” is catchy and gloomy at the same time. Even though the name of it is kind of inane, it doesn’t reflect in the atmosphere at all – the amped up and bleak vocals add a whole other dimension to the soundscape – together with flipped out guitar-riffs and solid, rhythmic drumming, minimalistic synthesizers warped in and out – together with a baseline that could break through walls – make for a thoroughly wild experience.

There’s a nice way to how they tweak everything, especially the vocals. It is a very nice mix between minimal synth and new wave music, at the same time that it wants to be uptempo and is – they keep the downtempo in terms of how the song progresses – going from a stripped environment to a concentrated barrage of all instruments at the same time. It does also fade out very nicely.

AsPort Isabel” comes on, it is a more straight-forward track. It starts off very good with riffs that are put in well, together with the constant synthesizer-stabs and steady rhythm – but then, suddenly, the vocalist enters – and everything goes downhill from there. What could’ve been an emotionally touching song turns into everything but. Maybe this song should’ve been named “Bikini Fun” instead of the first one – because with such a beautiful name and pleasant introduction – it shouldn’t be reduced to utter tripe. Moving on.

Laredo” thankfully return the original song-style, which pairs much better with their music. It is a very oldschool-sounding and spastic atmosphere, giving back to the roots that started it off once. Minimal wave have never sounded better together with new wave, if that makes any sense. Instead of going too minimalistic with just the one synthesizer and the accompanying melody – they’ve added sweeping beauty to it and a perfectly laden guitar to match it up with.

It never goes out of style and one could listen to it over and over again. The song feels much longer then it really is. With solid melodies and anarchistic vocals – you can go very far, apparently. It is what Led Er Est prooves at least, with how they’ve constructed it musically. “Destination Sanity” is something entirely different, minimal in rhythm but bombastic in everything else from synthesizer to the outdrawn vocals. Connecting the dots where they left off with “Port Isabel“, adding to that even more of their own characteristic sound – the good one.

There are even some gothic-sounding acoustic guitar that paves the way for complex melodies to entwine and push the sound even further, larger then anything else that’s currently been covered. It evokes an emotional response that is sorrowful in one way, a tragicomic farce translated into music, by all means tragicomic in a way that is beautifully told musically. One is touched by the sheer wondrousness of it all, something to daydream away into.

Eerily similar to “Laredo” is the fifth song “The Unkept Area” – where the songstyle in “Port Isabel” actually fits with the running theme of it. One of the most catchy songs so far, mostly due to the more energetic performance by the vocalist, plus all the freakishly quirky synthesizers that would sound horrible if not layered on one another. The desperateness of the singer descend into a violent, chaotic mixture that make each part of the atmosphere change slightly, going more and more berserk.

What becomes noticeable as “Something For The Children” plays, is not only the irony of the song-name itself, but how they transcend genres completely and bend them to their will. This goes into noise and back again into minimalistic synth. But what would all that be without a post-punk baseline? Not sure, but they’ve layered it indistinguishable at points with the screechy noise, at times playing almost solo – giving it a melodic touch – together with the rhythm of the noise. Quite deranged in the end. Even more ironic is how it fades out and then becomes “I Wait For You” – which is different.

How different? In many ways. The rhythm isn’t pumped up to the max, but more steadily going, while the melodies are of secondary importance. The coldness of the minimalistic atmosphere is what glimmers in the dark. Clad in a remorseful outfit, it almost makes it ballad-like in all simplicity. But they way they manage to keep changing everything around, firstly with just a few tweaks here and there, finally breaking out the synthesizer to completely mesmerize the listener. One of my favorite tracks on the whole release so far.

Scissors” is their definitive anthem. It is sad to hear how it goes down the same way that “Port Isabel” did. The vocals really don’t fit, they sound so off together with the wondrousness crafted with the drummachine and the synthesizers. There was an urgency in this song that allured to emotion – but as the vocals make their presence heard – one just wants to turn it off. Otherwise, had it not been like that, it would’ve been a great song. But no, sorry, it simply doesn’t fit with everything else and if anyone suggest it does – sure, it might, but in a very weird and unkempt manner.

CC Exit” is all-in-all a nice medley, intermezzo if you will. A bridge which one would want to cross, to find out what is beyond it. Since I haven’t heard their other, later releases, it’s kind of an obstacle to describe it in relation to one another. But in regards to the album as such it is something that keeps you stunned, and motivated to seek out what comes next. Led Er Est have made an impression with this, first release. I weren’t too interested or thrilled to be listening to their music before, but this album prooves me wrong.

Well worth a buy from Mannequin Records now that they’ve re-released it. Buy it here. Listen to the album in full down below, to make up your own mind about it.

 

 

Review: Marker – Marker

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Medical Records haven’t gotten that much attention over at Repartiseraren, which needs to be changed right away. They’ve been putting out some really solid releases throughout the years, but as they’ve been etched to the back of the brain for some time – it felt necessary to take a closer look at one of their latest releases. One of those releases is a self-titled one by Marker – it is also a debut full-length release from him – which makes the reviewing more exciting in a way. The album clocks in at around forty five minutes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything this laidback and dreamy, yet in-your-face emotional. The first song “Identification Of A Woman” stands out from the stereotypical shoegaze drivel, laying down a serious beat and having an atmosphere that isn’t drowned out by the reverb. There are undertones in the vocals that make for an outdrawn, dreamlike scenario that could be listened to for as long as one pleases – without pauses, really. As the song grows on you, it develops that pleasantly emotional vibe which pushes every instrument at the forefront suddenly.

Having been more of a concentrated song that relied more on the combination of the instruments, the synthesizers, the drum-machine and guitar-riffs stand out on their own to add their own urgency to it. As the song comes full-circle in the end and fades out, “Nothing New” draws in from nowhere and is more nonchalant. There’s a boldness that is added into the rhythm, which feels very solid and present. It is a bit less bombastic then the first song and have been stripped a bit. One great aspect that gets more noticeable half-way in is how the reverb is used perfectly to draw out the atmosphere and extend the song, giving it a different character – then bouncing back to the established rhythm.

Now I Know What You Really Think” – the name of the song alone is something that draws you in. As it starts, the accentuated baseline fetch a certain groove together with the basedrum. Starting off minimalistic, gradually attaining the more atmospheric sound which by now feels very characteristic and established only three songs in. What is exceptional about this song is how the melodies are applied with a soft touch and are unleashed with their maximal potential in the end. A nice addition is how the intro and the outro of the song is – as if something tuned on/off a radio or a TV-set.

At The Memory” is nicely laden musically – perfectly set up as a more retrospective kind of track. The melodies are nicely paired up with one another in the beginning of the song, but it kind of sets off on its own further in. I’m not sure what to think about that, but it is made up by how the melodies hold together impeccably. The main ambition in this song are the melodies. Everything else is a bit lacking, honestly. It could be because you don’t notice it as much or because it might’ve been become slightly formulaic by now. The song organically floats on and is caught up in some kind of intermezzo as it ends. Entangled in greatness.

By now it would seem as if this bedroom-pop metamorphosed into shoegaze could become a bit boring – this is proven wrong in “A Problem With No End” – whose atmosphere stands out even more. The vocals add up even more in creating the general feeling of this song. When one thinks it sounds out of tune, the sheer complexity of it all prooves it to be wrong, as it changes in the last second to progress the rhythm and melodies further. As the baseline trickles down and become darker and darker, everything else drifts away and becomes even dreamier. When “Classic II” comes on, it feels like every one of the songs are intimately connected, but not in the traditional way.

Let me explain. Each fragment of sound from each song is collected and utilized throughout, which give similarities but also differences. He plays around with the melodies, the rhythms, the atmosphere – not trying to create anything completely unique with every track – but giving them common denominators – which is especially noticeable with the vocals and melodies. While not straying to far away with experimentalism, his attempt at creating worthwhile music has succeeded. But when you’ve come as far as “Pale Silver“, it feels as if the album could’ve been shortened a bit.

As soon as that feeling is taken into account, there’s an off-shoot of the melody that create something new. Unexpectedly. The anguish in the vocals in this particular song feel really powerful. It is probably one of my favorite songs off the whole record. “What You Do To Me” is a more ballad-like and slower track which make the instruments shine more on their own. It is not as harsh and it in some way encompasses the ride one’s taken as one embarked upon listening to this in the first place.

Come Out“, the next-last song is more of the same but the expressiveness can’t be left uncommented. You feel very frail, but at the same time it gives initiative. One is filled with energy by the sudden shift of rhythm and the angelic synthesizers. A certain kind of hopefulness can be found in the middle of all anguish. Though after having heard this song, as it switches into the last one, titled “Follow It Down” – it feels like a mish-mash of everything – executed poorly. To begin with, there’s a good kind of atmosphere but after a while it goes bonkers. Had it been more structured – it would’ve been a great end to a good album.

You can listen to it in full via Medical Records bandcamp here below. If it is anything for you, I suggest you get it. Apparently it releases on the 21st of July, but if one is to generalize about this album in whole – it is definently worth laying your hands upon. Get the vinyl by following this link.

 

Exclusive Premiere: DYN & Bleib Modern – Live Split EP (A-Side – DYN)

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Black Verb Records is a new collaborator and have granted us access to their latest release, namely “Live Split EP” – an EP recorded live at Badehaus in Berlin on the 14th of May – split between DYN and Bleib Modern. We’ve been allowed to showcase the a-side of this release, which features the music of DYN, a psychedelic and shoegazy adventure between insanity and sanity. Opposites attract, they say.

You can listen to it here exclusively on Repartiseraren before release. This split will be released on the 22nd of June and you can pre-order it over at Black Verb Records. You’re in for some really psychedelic tunes, in an alternative way. Stream it in whole down below and find the tracklist as well.

Tracklist:

1. Two Times
2. Day In Life
3. Just A Little Bit
4. I Can Handle This
5. Love Of Mine

 

Review: Die Selektion – Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt

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aufnahme + widergabe have gotten the privilege to release the second album by Die Selektion, late May. Last time they released an album was six years ago, their first self-titled album on Fabrika Records. Much have changed since then and it is a more refined and interesting Die Selektion that can be found with their newest album “Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt“. The album is roughly thirty-four minutes long.

“Schatten”, the first song off the release, is a really emotional trip. A song which slowly develops and jabs you straight in the heart. There’s so much nostalgia to be had while listening to it, essentially a very good introductory. Here darkwave meet electronic body music and dance music in an odd combination – add to that a trumpet and you’re set. It is interesting how it builds up and then unleashes mayhem upon the listener. Rhythms are on point and you’re caught up with the motions of the baselines, synthesizers and vocals. A certain distraught tone is brought out by the vocalist, making the setting even more postapocalyptic then it could’ve been otherwise.

There is really a perfect groove between the trumpet and the thumping baseline. One discovers complex melodies layered upon one another in perfect synchrony. It hits very deep just before it fades out into nothingness – there’s something really touching about how the atmosphere goes from energetic – to sullen and accepting of its own fate. Personally, there’s not been many songs that hit as deep as this one, the only exception being the repertoir of Keluar. That’s a good point of reference when it comes to how expressive the song really is.

WhenUnter Die Haut” storms in with the alluring electronic body music á la Schwefelgelb – one is immediately hooked. Repeated in this song is the atmospheric notion of the previous song, but with an extended prescence of the trumpet which gives it a huge sound. Sharp baselines tear through whilst the attendance of the synthesizer sounds make for enjoyable rhythms. One thing that is more characteristic of this song is the presence of the vocalist – he tears through like nothing with an attitude perfectly in tune with the bombasticness of the soundscape.

Not much more can be said about the song as such. It translates perfectly into “Dir & Mir“, whose atmosphere is more focused in terms of the percussion. Added into the mix is a guitar that doesn’t leave you hanging with meaningless riffs. Everything is in tune with each individual song and the laid back style in this one captures the attitude perfectly. There’s a discipline, a decadence and a retrospective imagined into sound. An unnatural blend of genres that shouldn’t have been – but became something more then a transgression into awfulness.

“Kalter Atem” almost catches one off-guard in terms of how the intro makes one expect the awfulness of aggro-tech to leap into the mix and ruin everything. Sadly enough, the beats in this song aren’t really much to cheer for. They do nothing more then keep the rhythm steady, although monotonous – it is bad monotony. The atmosphere don’t develop until the song is almost over anyway. It gives the air of being intermission before the continuation of the next half of the album.

Brennende Brücken” is really minimalistic – giving the vocalist more space to shine. Together with the low-key trumpets in this one, it adds a more sincere touch and you feel closer attached to the musicians as such. It is hard to explain, but the immaculate use of sampling and the tearfelt delivery of the vocalist reeks of passion. The further in you get, more experimentalism is added – which makes it feel like something new in electronica. As the melodies are intimately attached but so far away from one another in the atmosphere, it gives off a really nice vibe.

Wow, the intro on “Der Himmel Explodiert (feat. Drangsal)” stir things around even more. The depths of the synthesizers is a nice touch – and then, suddenly, electronic body music in its purest form is added to the mix. There’s a more exotic kind of atmosphere in this song and you really can’t get enough of the trumpets. As Drangsal is introduced, there’s a noticeable shift to the more upbeat and lighter soundscape. It is a nice addition which makes it more distinguishable from the other songs one already have listened to. The outro is what the intro of this song was but it is perfect the way it is.

If rhythm was something lacking earlier, in comparison with melody, “Der Augenblick” adds even more ambitious percussionism – giving it a multi-layered, energetic switch into danceable electronic music. You’re given an acute sense of controlled chaos. Because it is “The Moment” – which would’ve been cheesy had it been in english instead of german. For some moments one is not sure if it is about to go full-on psy-trance or if it won’t go astray at all. This goes to show what they are capable of and that they don’t limit themselves to formulaic songs, because everything is well thought out and dynamic.

Dein Hertz Wiegt Tausend Scherben” feels very retro. The synthesizers in this song add mystery into their music. It is quite a straight-forward song but the melodies are some of the nicest on this record so far. Dreamy, but saturnine to the core. The constant use of the trumpet in almost each song is about what the saxophone is to 80-90’s action movies – though the main difference would be that it never gets tiresome. Max Rieger have really outdone himself and Die Selektion were right to add his instrument into the mix. The casualness of the vocals is also another thing of note in this song – they seem so unforced and authentic. Lyrically speaking it is very good in all its simplicity.

Deine Stimme“, the last song on this album, really says something about where they might be heading next with future releases. There’s a heavier, more experimental tone to the synthesizers and the vocalist concludes the record mysteriously. Reverberated voices and noisy rambunctiousness – a cyberpunk feeling. A clarity, a mission of something even more grandiose. After having listened to this album it feels empty, especially when the last song in the end of it builds up something that might’ve even been a tenth song. aufnahme + wiedergabe really knew what they had assembled when releasing this.

Listen to the release down below in full and if it is alluring to you – buy one or both of the physical releases. Currently available on limited edition CD and vinyl.

 

 

Spotlight: Kazeria, A.D. Mana, Strucktura, TRAITRS

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In this spotlight we’ve chosen four artists/groups that are different – yet alike in many ways. There will be a lot of darkwave, coldwave and industrial music in this spotlight. Mostly because those are the genres where we find ourselves at home, because there’s immense talent to be found there. We start off with noisy industrial music and end with gloomy post-punk extravaganza.

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Kazeria was unknown to me when I found his music via Gradual Hate Records. It was his latest release, “Nihilist Militant“, that caught my eye. The aesthetics were impressive when it comes to the artwork for this release, but more was to be discovered when pressing play. He’s created very intimate and atmospheric industrial music, coupled with dark ambient overtones. Keep in mind that these songs are totally unedited versions, created between 2003 and 2007 – which is a representation of how it sounded back then.

There’s a great assertiveness in his music, it almost borders to the bombasticism of martial industrial. As stated by the label, this is a “very personal” release, which really shows in the emotions he conveys with his music. It is both harsh and atmospheric, with destructiveness at its core. One is very impressed by the percussive rhythms he produces, which can be heard the clearest in “Evrazia Regnat” – a very disciplined and ambitious track in regards to melodies as well. Even the very short ballad-like song “Irminsul” has a certain grace.

This release is a great way to get into his music and if you pre-order the last copy in the special package – you get a gas mask as well. Can’t get more industrial then that. Listen to the release down below, buy it if it is of interest to you.

admana

A.D. Mana is a relatively new artist from Berlin. The re-release of his first and only, self-titled EP, on cassette – had me at the first song “Take Hold” – a stern coldwave rendition that catches multiple influences, like synth-pop and darkwave, molding it into a sinister blend together with his voice. The synthesizer stabs are clear but at the same time dark and brooding, a strange combination which at first doesn’t seem to work but as the song progresses it is obvious that it does. “Down The Wire“, another song on the release, almost funnels the post-punk vibes into some odd kind of grungy synth-pop-‘n’-roll.

My favorite song on the release, except the first one, is “Honour“. It adds gracefulness to the messy environment of the songs in general. Even though you’re caught slightly off-guard by his voice – not in a good way – it fits in place after a few moments into the song. There are some great rhythms as well, aptly executed. The melodies are unorthodox, which makes me like it even more. You expect more of the same but get tricked into the wondrous atmospheres, the groovy electronic beats – and the charming ballad-like ending within “Soulware“. A perfect instrumental track and appropriate farewell. You should really check it out, and buy the cassette from sentimental, if it suits you.

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I’ve actually heard about this artist, Strucktura, whilst browsing through the bandcamp-feed. But I never paid much attention to the music. There’s some really solid darkwave-inspired music in his “Statues Also Die” release on Oráculo Records. While the synthesizers and beats are on point in the release, there’s some really cheesy lyrics. In a weird way they go along well with the music, so I will leave that alone. The music seems awfully cheerful but at the same time moody and distraught – which is something that adds character to the songs. Especially in “Val D’Aran“. 

There’s a nice futuristic vibe about each song and it comes out differently, even though most of the rhythm and melodies are alike. As dreary as the atmospheres may be at times – they come out as dreamy – and are filled with nicely laden synthesizer sweeps, alongside well constructed rhythms and melodies. It is a release you should check out, if it is something for you – buy the limited edition vinyl via Oráculo Records.

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Torontian band TRAITRS have created some of the most soothing, coherent post-punk music I’ve heard in a while. The oomph of the baseline resounds throughout in the first song “Witch Trials“. It is really weird how each and every song on the release is anthemic on its own – it is mostly reserved to one or a few songs – but this is catchy, ambitious and on fire from the matchsticks up until the light goes ablaze. It is especially noticeable in “Lya“, one of the more minimalistic songs. The singer gets a certain kind of emotional streak in the chorus which makes you want to sing along to the lyrics.

Not to mention how massive “Gallows” is. Here they’ve really gotten through with the originality of their sound. They both have an edge in the music and somewhere to stand firm – nothing is left to chance, everything is constructed meticulously. When one gets as far as their last song “Heretic“, the percussionism is simply mindblowing. Of all the releases recommended in this spotlight, this is the one I will have to choose myself as the best one. You can get it from the Warsawian label Alchera Visions, buy it here and stream it down below.