Lyssna: Baula, Stadens Brus

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Baula är tillbaka återigen med en låt inte helt olik deras förra, “Just Like Yesterday“, men i denna är det mer sväng och känslan andas svensk indie-pop mer än någonsin. Det finns en mer post-punkig vibb till denna i bemärkelsen att basen är tyngre, musiken koncentrerar sig mer kring det mörka, det obestämda. Även om utsvävelserna är få så finns de där för att påminna oss om det känslosamma som genomsyrar låten.

Nova” är ett steg i samma riktning, mot ett konkret mål och mot någonting större än vad de levererat hittills. Lyrikerna i låten är simplistiska men tjänar syftet till att sätta ett större fokus på musiken som sådan även om de tar upp en stor yta i låten. Sommarslutet hade väl inte kunnat sluta på ett mer passande vis? När vi nu tagit oss in i September känns det mer passande för detta mörker att tränga igenom. Låt oss få vägen dit visade av självaste Baula. När staden ekar tom så är dett vad som kan ljuda igenom. Omslaget är gjort av Fanny Valentin och låten spelades in av bandet tillsammans med Henryk Lipp i studio Music A Matic i Göteborg.

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Markus Hulthén har passat på att utvidga sitt musikaliska engagemang och rötterna har spridit sig till Stadens Brus – där han med hjälp av Henrik Öhberg (på trummor), Petter Lindhagen från Feeder Recordings (filtersvep) på mix och samproduktion av låten. Vad heter den? Jo, “Oväntat Möte”. Enligt honom själv är det ett försök att låta Etiopisk (Hailu Megra som inspiration), men det faller kort för en psykedelisk masspsykos.

Personligen tycker jag att det psykedeliska gärna får ta utrymme på bekostnad av vad han försökt att få det att låta som. Det är välproducerat, fint utskissat med tillfälle för utmärkta allegorier som passar sig bäst i ett underjordiskt zine. Tyvärr är det abstrakta konstverket som är omslaget tänkt att föreställa något (eller inte), en påminnelse om hur denna sorts musik inte borde gestaltas överhuvudtaget. Även om det psykedeliska gärna får influera musiken så gör det sig inte särskilt bra i övriga medium. Illustration av Andre Kleine. Denna låt släpps på Feeder Recordings och det går att lyssna här nedanför.

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Listen: Fathers – 3 Songs

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Though everything in their graphic outlay doesn’t interest us the least, mostly because of the irritative pink color that drowns out everything else, we’re indeed satisfied not having to look at it close enough for too long. When it comes to their music—it’s is a cunning blend of three different genres—that would be extremely bland if they were to be separated. People can say anything they want about clichés, but the lyrical content is fairly good and is above average when combined with the overlapping electronic music they combine with bombastic, subliminal percussion which upholds the rest of their magnificence – alongside dreamy riffs, indie-pop melancholia and oddly enough – dark-wave.

The rhythms they’ve created entwine with the darker waves that break through, connecting them with the inherent structure of the lyrics and also the rest of the sound-scape. Whereas their name might be a bit odd when you think about it, Fathers can’t be held accountable for delivering yet another repetitious wreck of music. It’s actually inspiring and calming to hear everything come together as if it was meant to be. There’s a red line through and through, interestingly enough they have accomplished the near-impossible of connecting the dots almost perfectly in their first output. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they’re veterans when it comes to making music, but if they aren’t – it doesn’t really matter – because these three songs are masterpieces in and of themselves. One song is a beauty, the others are the beasts, but not nearly as ghastly as anything else you would pass by to find out about this release. Listen down below.

Listen: Ancient Methods × Black Egg – The ‘Ohne Hände’ Remixes 12″

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Chaos-disciplinarians Black Egg have been ushered from their sheltering oval cistern by Wollenhaupt. The group had their magic rejuvenated as he channeled the sullen vigor for his own intentions. “Michael Wollenhaupt!“, they shouted in unison. Now his name was finally to be known to the world. He had long before hidden under the guise of Ancient Methods—a brutally resounding, uncompromising manner. Now he was finally a part of the collective aufnahme + wiedergabe—if only a loose connection between an egg and its hatchery.

Michael himself take proverbial inspiration in the word “method“, as seen with his other alter-ego Ugandian Methods. Everything’s aligned properly to become a method, pluralism: methods—a course his specific choice of music takes, while it may be unbeknownst to him in the initial stages—or change with the different alter egos of his. His other aliases suggest that he likes not only to be a part of systematic music-making, but also less musically involved, as suggested by the naming of “Backseat Driver“, and the furious “Midnight Madness“—retrospective impressions. This is of course just an interesting side-note to the primary objective of writing this article.

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One year before his involvement in remixing one of Black Egg’s tracks, Michael Wollenhaupt released his sixth album—if one counts earlier releases, with Conrad Prutzmann—as Ancient Methods originally were a duo. It bore the name “Seventh Seal” and from the titles of the tracks, resembles an allegory of Ingmar Bergman’s legendary film with the same name. An unavoidable settlement with the past and the acceptance of his coming fate—the dance of death—in Michael’s case a figurative separation from Prutzmann as his co-musician. 30th May a digital and vinyl-release of the album was put out via his own label bearing the same name: Ancient Methods.

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A year and one month later Black Egg formulated their first appearance, an album titled: “Legacy From A Cold World“. The group’s flighty musical base is constituted by the following members: USHERsan, Vera, Corina KRAUTER, Normotone, Sebastien FD, Peter Render, HIV+, and Judith Juillerat—whom parted from the group after in June after the release. The release got a favorable review on Gothic.at, summarized by the following words and I quote: “…die es zu einem kurzweiligen, vielseitigen und spannenden Werk” (…which is an entertaining, versatile and excitingly made work) roughly translated via Google Translate—my apologies beforehand. It is no secret that the masterer for this album is Friedemann Kootz; notable for mastering November Növelet’s masterpiece “Magic” and other Galakthörrö-releases. Other members whose involvement are to curate the aesthetics surrounding Black Egg are Mimi Gall—graphic designer photographer (for their debut), alongside Titus Le Pèse Nerfs who create art and alchemy—what ever the last-mentioned title is supposed to mean. Maybe entertaining the groups’ dynamic.

Now we’re on our way out of 2014—earlier this year a fruitful combination yet to be was chiseled in stone—announced figuratively on aufnahme + wiedergabe‘s Facebook in May. Ancient Method’s experimental and calculating techno was set loose, for the purpose of conjuring remixes, plucking apart Black Egg’s song “Ohne Hände” (Without Hands)—molding it gradually with methodical precision. He chiseled away sublimity, kept the pulsating energy, turned it up a few levels to make it energetic and strayed away from his own artistry—with “(Pogo Im Säurebad Plural Mix)” sounding like what could be called: noisy ritual drum’n’base. Doubling the running time in comparison with the original track, with the exception of “Ohne Hände (A Capella)” but in that case it’s comprehensible. The release The ‘Ohne Hände’ Remixes 12can be bought from the label aufnahme + wiedergabe, and is limited to five-hundred copies. You can also get it from Berlinian distributors Hard Wax. Stream the release in its entirety, below. Ancient Method’s “justified ancient” t-shirt is available for pre-order.

Listen: Venin Carmin – Glam is gone

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We must admit that we’ve gone and gotten ourselves stuck with a ‘guilty pleasure‘. Venin Carmin from the electronica duo Kelly und Kelly, have moved on to a solo-project. She calls it ‘dead pop‘ but we’re not sure what she means by labeling it that. Her sound is in between the peppiness of popular electroclash artists and groups, with an emphasis on pop. The album “Glam is gone” is her debut-effort that is ten tracks long and spans over thirty minutes in length all together. We’re not sure if the glam has gone away but we’re pretty sure that elegant glam, glitter have gone and died somewhere, in the depths of the club’s catacomb. Though questions arise when it comes to descriptions—we’re intrigued by the sound if we could strip away the inane lyrics—but also the singing style. The whole internationally-styled delivery, often courtesy of Ed Banger Record’s entrance into French electronic music, have always been unbearable to listen to—as proven by Uffie‘s debut in the limelight with: “Pop The Glock“.

She does it way better when her chansons turn into semi-ballads with an emotional message, rather than the mindless and vain attempts to create a hybrid of melodic synth and generic post-punk. So when about half of the album have been listened through, songs like “Fade & Forget” enhance our understanding of her music. When she has the capability to create such an emotional barrage that is catchy but not too deep into pop-oriented templates, it’s intolerable to start everything over again and endure the first songs. After that song everything seems to have started over again and then—”The Spiral Dance” starts—changing everything again, to a melancholic ballad with its main focus on percussion—with lovely, but static synthesizer-pads that create a whole new atmosphere. The last song is the title-track “Glam is gone” which surprise us as she focuses more on a cold-wave singing style, a concrete and stern voice resounding. Matched with an equally as restricted atmosphere that is well-produced, but intriguing. Listen to “Glam is gone” down below and make up your own mind.

Listen: Syndicate – Demo

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Entertain the thought of a proto-punk band from California. Namely: Oakland. There, now you’ve got some imagination and a brain to think with. Join the Syndicate now. Syndicate is a trio from Oakland, California—an American band with roots deep into both punk, post-punk and proto-punk. Rats are running rampant through the city while these cyber-surfers make the best of a minimalist sound-scape, overwhelmingly punk and they actually make good use of the obligatory post-punk baseline—trying to make it even more melodic. Most of their music seem to heed to infrastructure, technology and the likes of it but is contrasted by their atmosphere of minimalist chaos. An explanation to this is written in the words that stake out “Demo“, although a romantic thought would be to not refine it further, more than make the vocals more audible and the sound less shaky. James Bond would have an awfully good time with this band, considering his choice of drink is a Martini that’s shaken—not stirred. Exactly how they’re portrayed by me when listening to them.

This whirlpool of different influences are mangled into a punk-sized knock in the face, with more afterthought instead of primitive rage. There’s an intellectual vein running through; a rather ambitiously chiseled, type of music. Frankly, they sound like a non-electronic homage to all the minimal synth and minimal wave, slash cold-wave acts operating out there. Stretch it to an even more plausible theory—and you might end up with synth-punk without a synth. Somewhere and somehow we would like to put them into a melodic punk category, or rogue surf-punk—surfing on nails, bolts and steel through a decaying post-industrial society. Feel the hopelessness but be uplifted and rooted in the sense that they’re playing just for you and your needs, even though your attitude says: “It’s completely different”! Stream and listen closely to their first release, their “Demo“.

Listen: …Of Tanz Victims – Fighting False God / Haunting the Empire

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From the current hotbed of synthesizer-based acts, mainly the Canadian city of Montreal, there’s more than a resurgence of artists and groups from the 2000’s. From the depths of dungeons, assembled yet again but in exactly the same shape as before, comes a resurrection for …Of Tanz Victims in a digital format—rather then on vinyl. This Montrealian (Québecian-based) group had their peak during the 1980’s—then associated with the independent label and store (now defunct) Bunker Records—not to be confused with the Netherlands-based “acid-house” label with the same name. It consisted of the members Robert de la Carignan (Robert Mailloux) on guitar, bass and vocals, Denis Wooty (Dany Wauthy) and Roy Batty (Roy Batty) on synthesizers, drum-machine and vocals, with Sat W. Ford (Stefan Figiel/Stephan Faulkner) sampling, percussion and vocals. Everyone in this trio contributed with their voice for the project. Now they’ve put out their first single “Fighting False God“, and their fourth album “Haunting the Empire“—as a digitally buy-able and downloadable item for your consumption.

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Their rather shady description on their Bandcamp-page suggests a contrast in between a real identity and a fake one, all for the purpose of entertaining theories on the origination of the project—but mainly questions about their identity. We don’t really want to find it out. Since their original releases on vinyl seem to have held quite a nice quality, there’s no reason to believe that the music have been re-mastered for this purpose—just digitized. But who really knows. The name of their project is equally ridiculous and fascinating. Not to mention how much more fascinating their music is, which seems to dwell in between an avant-garde take on industrial, electronic body music, noise and electro. Those main influences bring forth assorted non-electronic music with overt electronic ingredients—masterfully utilized in total synergy. We give our warmest recommendation for this group and hope this return bring them back with more interesting material—heads up to any and every re-issuing label out there. Listen to both releases down below.

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Listen: Coarse Language – Definite Hiatus

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There’s a Canadian indie-label that emerged in 2008, that have just put up a forthcoming release for digital streaming. It’s a label called Artificial Records – and their latest addition to their quick growing discography is an album called: “Definite Hiatus“, produced by Coarse Language—an artist (or group) unknown to us. A suitable description for their music would be “deranged electronica“, since the erratic beats and paranoid whispers conjure a prime setting for weirdness. One could also name it experimental minimal wave, but there are so many different influences at play so an umbrella term is hard to set for this kind of music. Not to mention how their melodies swiftly change, with dark baselines that draw out the worst sides of mankind in a musical setting. Multiple personalities, or alter-egos, which make the arrhythmic noise seem more friendly from one track to another — but be on your guard because they’re predators. Sometimes the melodies take the upper-hand but there’s always a minimalistic reminder of how shrouded, clad in spikes, dressed for destruction their environment is — thrashing melodies, relocating sound into bizarre harshness.

We’re not that interested in the psychological aspects of the sound, but rather how it is audio-visually—a thing Coarse Language seem to know how to do. They’re perfect alarmists with a subliminal message, whether it was originally intended for it to be like that, is not something to take into account. But a lot of the complexity in the sound reveal that another more obvious vein shows—a repetitive message (lyrically) which is contrasted by the sheer amount of invention—they seem to possess. If we’re wrong, they might even be playing with illusions to deceive; with their maniacally tedious passages later on in other tracks on the album. Even though it only contains six tracks, it’s a gem that you might not appreciate right away—rather when you’re able to sculpt your own interpretation of them. Listen to their release down below and buy a limited edition cassette (50 units) from Artificial Records — if you want a physical item.