Countdown to Christmas – 19th December

Since I’m way off on the countdown this time, I’m going to introduce one new clip each day until the 24th of December. I’m eagerly awaiting Christmas (or Yule as we say) and this day is dedicated to Au Pairs. Which is one of my absolute favorite post-punk bands. They started off their career with their first album titled Playing With A Different Sex (1981) which is one of my favorite albums. I don’t think I have a lot to choose from here, since they only released two full albums and then continued with an off-shoot together with BBC by releasing their sessions with them. Which is packed with tracks from 79-81 and is titled Equal But Different – BBC Sessions 79-81 and is a release that I can recommend too.

I don’t really know more about them, but their catchy and original post-punk makes me dance when I hear them. Both their first album and their second album titled Sense And Sensuality (1982) are worth checking out. On this album, they’ve got tracks like “Instant Touch“, “Sex Without Stress” and “Tongue In Cheek” which I like very much. The tracks that I like from their first album are “It’s Obvious“, “Come Again” and “Love Song“. If you fancy this band and want to check out more songs, I suggest you buy one of their compilations. The best one of them is the Stepping Out Of Line: The Anthology which was released in 2006. It’s got a good mix between the session tracks and the tracks you need to get your doses.

This is the 19th of December and I’m the Invisible Guy.

Countdown to Christmas – 18th December

Since I’m way off on the countdown this time, I’m going to introduce one new clip each day until the 24th of December. I’m eagerly awaiting Christmas (or Yule as we say) and this day is dedicated to Martyrdöd which is not an obvious candidate for these posts, but whatever, it’s their time to shine. So far, they’ve released four albums, an EP and also a compilation-split with a few other renowned bands within the genre. I don’t know when I started to listen to them, but it was when I searched for a lot of D-Beat on blogs and alike. There, I found one of their albums which became my instant favorite.

The album I’m talking about is In Extremis (2005) which has a lot of great songs and I believe it’s one of their best albums up to date. Another album that I also have listened a lot to would be Sekt (2010) which is a real piece of crust punk that delivers a smack to your face instantly. With some of my favorite songs which are “Gloria Runt Iris“, “Sekt” and “Död Åt Vek Punk“. Since I’m not that into crust, I believe that they have a different formula when it comes to their music, which engages me.

I like when it’s raw and I like when there are a lot of things happening at the same time. But I like some refinement to it too, it can’t just be something effortless. They’re also going to release an album on the eminent label D-Takt & Råpunk in January/February in the year of 2013. I’m looking forward to it and it will probably be the first Martyrdöd that I buy since I bought their two CD’s a long time ago. So I’m hoping that I have enough money to buy it, because seriously, you should. I’m also telling you to check out the Parasit release, because I believe it will be as great.

This is the 18th of December and I’m the Invisible Guy.

121125_drr_flyer

The top 5 interviews on Invisible Guy in 2012! (Part I)

I really suck at writing introductions and I hate to do them too. But I will do it for you, so you understand what this is all about. I created this blog in the end of 2011, but it didn’t really pick up steam until May this year. Since I’ve mainly been focusing on interviews on reviews on this blog, there’s a lot of those here. The interviews that I’ve done for this blog is now certainly above at least thirty. Some of them have been great and others have been an absolute disaster. I don’t even know if I’ve developed my interviewing skills throughout the years, but hopefully I have so it will be worthy a read. Therefore I’ve decided to rank the best interviews on this blog exclusively for the readers of this blog. Since there is a lot of content that isn’t displayed on here, you might see a lot of interviews that I’ve done earlier this year. Welcome to Part I!

5sm-press5. Interview with Sofy Major published 2012-07-27

This interview was actually supposed to be on another site, but since I hadn’t gotten it back for ages, I decided to publish it on my blog instead. It’s actually one of the interviews that I decided to conduct via mail and I also did it while I was sick. So I think it’s great to get this result, since I wasn’t in my best shape when coming up with the questions. Everything went better than expected and I got the questions back at a vital time for update on my blog. It might not be the best interview when it comes to the questions, but I think I got some relevant and long answers to my questions. This is what brightens you up when you’ve worked on these questions for some time, even though you’re not supposed to do it at that time, but had to do it because of a deadline. I would like to quote an interesting question and answer from this interview:

So you’ve started up your own label, could you tell me a little bit more about Solar Flare Records? What makes this label unique? Will future Sofy Major releases be featured on this label?

Mathieu:Well, this was pretty unexpected; at the beginning, when we first worked with Andrew Schneider, I know he and his band PIGS had a record to be released and I asked them if I could help putting something out. I didn’t realize the amount of time which was necessary to handle such a big release and didn’t have the opportunity to listen to the whole master, but the few songs available on Coextinction Rds (they self-released an EP through their own label) and the other ones on Slutspace were killer. So I just said “Ok, let’s see what I can do”, as I’ve already put some money in some other previous Sofy Major related records, I knew how boring and time-wasting it was to take care of the PR work.

Then I finally got the final master and artworks, and I thought this record was obviously going to be a real blast. This plus the fact that I was releasing something for cool guys who’ve always been working hard, that’s why I began Solar Flare Records and decided what artistic direction this label should follow: releasing vinyls and digital versions of records from awesome bands not having the opportunity or time to do a worldwide release. I’m also interested in re-releasing LP versions of albums which were only released on CDs, some albums are really worth having a second life, you know, those forgotten gems… The artistic direction is : “We cover a part of the Rock’n Roll field, surprise me, make your own stuff, sound original, be sincere and you’ll be welcome here”. Also for Sofy Major’s upcoming record, I don’t know if we’ll release it on Solar Flare at the moment, probably not or I’ll just give the album some additional PR support but we’re actually looking for some labels to release it.

225879_173275482726128_3201622_n4. Interview with Beyond Pink published 2012-07-11

I can’t really recall the premise of this interview, because I was up at my heels in stuff to do. So I conducted an interview with them which I got back in some months time, but what was interesting is that it turned out to be great. There are a lot of insightful things into the band Beyond Pink and their members. Also a lot of stuff that I decided to ask questions about were their earlier releases, labels and stuff that has anything to do with hardcore. Since we live in the same city, it’s also a blast to do an interview with such a great band that you also share the same city with. This interview was also re-published (in part) on the polish label Emancypunx Records, that released some of their latest albums. The interview also gives a pretty good background story all-in-all and you get to know them a little bit better and the thought behind their music. I would like to quote an interesting question and answer from that interview:

What is your opinion about the hardcore-scene in Sweden?

Clara:It’s interesting when you tour in Germany because then you realize what a huge scene they have, such good places for shows and a big audience, but – no bands! Here it’s the reversed: small scene, no places for shows and often very small audiences, but –  a lot of great bands! The Swedish audience is kind of snobby compared to the rest of Europe, it’s like “don’t DARE to move unless you know that this is a band that all of our friends think is really cool and has a lot of cred”, but still, there is a few ups on Swedish audience compared to rest of Europe: we have a sense of humor, we dress better and in many cases we smell better. But as a band of course we prefer to play in front of happy, dancing people than well-dressed ones.

Cajsa:Compared to Germany, it´s also a “no dogs on shows” kind of scene, which I prefer.

..to be continued in Part II! Otherwise, happy new year!

The best releases of the year 2012! (Part I)

It’s been a very interesting year when it comes to music. There have been a great amount of releases that have been up there with the greatest of yesteryear. Since everybody seems to be doing these lists, I will join in on the fun and recommend you the best releases of this year. Some of those releases might’ve been what I’ve reviewed on this blog and some others might be releases that I haven’t reviewed yet. I think it’s fun to do these lists nevertheless and hope that you will be with me next year too, as I will be continuing with my quest to shine a light on good and unintentionally obscure gems that seem to be passing by in the speed of light, only getting picked up by the smaller blogs like mine and other blogs. I will also be doing other lists that will be turning up in the days ahead of us and I might actually do something “big” for a change, just to celebrate this year’s passing. Welcome to Part I which in an unorthodox manner, displays the four best releases of this year.

dalet-cover4. Various Artists – A Somatic Response

A compilation from the wonderful label Beläten. It’s been with me since many months back and was probably the first compilation that I ever reviewed. There is something interesting in the way the artists were compiled on this compilation, it seems like it took a long time for Thomas to sort them out and place them in the right spot. Rightfully so, it also made it a whole lot better and it felt like it had been worked on for quite some time. Even though the music at times might not have been what I expected, I could hear that it reeked of quality. There was basically nothing wrong with it and it was a suitable piece of art which hopefully will get what it deserves in the future. I think its one of the greatest compilations of this year and therefore its included in the first batch of the best releases. If you haven’t already heard it, I suggest you do. I would also like to quote a little bit from the review I did on it:

With a synthesizer brain, you can’t go insane.

solblot-fc3b6r-mig-finns-ingen-vc3a4rld3. Solblot – För Mig Finns Ingen Väg Från Hemmets Dörr

An adaptation of the wonderful poems that Verner Von Heidenstam wrote in the end of the 19th century. If anything, this album should be and is a part of Swedish cultural heritage. It also broadens the horizon of neofolk, since they’ve managed to put their own approach to the music and the genre as a whole. They’ve outdone themselves when it boils down to it, since they made a lot of variation in between the different song and it is noticeable that they have what it takes to put Sweden on that scene. I don’t think any other band in that particular genre (at least from Sweden) have managed to stay that original and still make it. The album is a milestone of their discography but also as a whole, it really enlightens the aspects that might be forgotten nowadays and heighten them to the max. Hopefully they’ll move on to create yet another album that can withstand the toll of time, as I certainly hope that this album will, because its a positive outreach and insight into both cultural and musical aspects of Sweden. I would like to quote a bit from my review of their album (unfortunately only in Swedish):

Jag hoppas att de tänker ta någon av de andra klassiska svenska dikterna och göra något av det, själv tror jag i mitt stilla sinne att Heidenstam hade varit väldigt stolt över detta om han hade levt bland oss idag. Ett riktigt bra album och förmodligen något man kommer att se tillbaka på, när Solblot cementerat sig själva ytterligare, och kunna kalla den för “en klassiker“.

2721236100-12. TSTI – Evaluations

One of the most original albums to be released this year. The throwback to the wonderful 80’s music that I love so much have also made a mark on TSTI. His latest album evaluations is a good reminder of how much greater some of the synth-pop and darkwave could be. It took me a while to find it and I even conducted an interview with him about his music. I also reviewed his album, which was a listening experience that actually could describe this year very well in every sense. He managed to pinpoint the exact things about this year, musically, that made it suck so hard. But there was always some sense of relief, even though there wasn’t much of it to begin with. His music takes out the best in me and riddles in nostalgia, which helps me remind myself of how things were before. Surely a milestone album when it comes to that genre and a very interesting addition to a pretty suffering style of genres. The analog dimension of it makes it even more worthwhile to listen to and I sincerely recommend it. I should also quote something from my review of it:

I love how the synths start sounding like dolphins communicating below surface, even though its almost a few seconds. I believe that is the essence of S. Smith, he can both be very complex at hand but when you think about it – he’s also managed to keep a basic edge to what he’s doing.

PRO002811. The Deadfly Ensemble – An Instructional Guide For Aspiring Arsonists

It’s not hard to realize why I chose this album. Since I’ve listened through it, I picked it up once again and started listening. Every time I listen to it, it blows my mind and it’s probably one of the most original albums I’ve heard in a very long time. I must also say that it was hard to review such a masterpiece, because you didn’t know where you should go and you didn’t know what to say. But I must say that I completely loved the theme of the album and I tried my hardest to describe it in a way that would be suitable. Nothing can really touch this, not even the release that is on second place in this review. The amount of quirkiness, the sincerity and the sheer complexity of the music at hand left me indecisive about including it into the list, just because it blows every other record out of the water. I would even go so far as to include an excerpt from my review of their album, which leaves nothing else to be said:

They’ve managed to fit in so many emotions into this and they’ve managed to actually keep the music alive, the lyrical content excellent and everything else top notch. Everyone involved with this have outdone themselves and I’d like to say that his is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. It absolutely smacks many other albums away from the first place and crowns itself.

Which, concludes this years (Part I) list of the best releases. I wish you a Merry Christmas!