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.

 

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.

 

 

Review: Baldruin – Biotische Verwitterung

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Johannes Schebler and his main project, Baldruin, is not a novice by any means. Having four albums solo and countless split-albums, this project is not just interesting in that regard – but also because of the aesthetics he includes with his music. It surely marks the experimentalism that can be found in his music as well, in a good way. Oftentime the artists and bands whom go under that banner don’t really make it this well aesthetically. It is pleasant to look at. So, in regards to this album which is his fifth release, it is intriguing to find out that Black Horizons, Aetheric Records and Cloister Recordings US made it possible for release on vinyl – all three labels represent good artistry.

The release itself clocks in at around forty minutes in total. What is interesting about the album itself is that it follows his – since long – short adaptation of tribalistic ambient industrial music. Let’s head into this.

Opfergabe” gets straight to the point, through a muffled and calm atmosphere at first – descending upon the listener with a concrete setting in which this song turns into somewhat of a hymn. There are vocal representations that make it alluring, always accompanied by a steady and not too harsh rhythm – continually shifting the atmosphere around from being rambunctious to softening up and disappearing out of sight. An enjoyable slab of industrialized ambient.

Ins Jenseits” is definently more percussive. Fast, tribalistic drumming, an ever increasing heartbeat that go with the rhythm – to the disturbing voice of a child, amidst tribal chanting. It feels like there’s a part of someone’s life being played in reverse, at the same time as the sound gets more and more intimidating. A father, having lost something into the eternal void, having lost much of his life – it feels like it has been all for nothing. Everything was meant to turn out good but instead turned into a complete horror story.

Das Vergessene Grab” is meditative – but also more retrofuturistic – there are synthesizers that play a bigger part in the music itself. Concentrating more on the ambient landscape. There’s something mysterious about the song, as the sweeps on the synth in combination with the ceremonial percussion become an interlude to the next song – “Im Auge des Sturms” – which almost completely strips the atmosphere of the nostalgic moments that could be felt previously. Even though it feels like a continuation, there is more of a focus on the rhythm of the song rather then the unfathomable reach of the bombastic synthesizers. It focuses a lot more on simpler melodies, there’s one which is with the listener up until the end of the song – slowly evaporating into monotone noise.

Wächter” is from the beginning a sample-based cliché. Until the marvelous synthesizer rings out with an emotional melody. It is joined with the sudden barks of a dog, screeching sounds and a troublesome, intensive melody that pushes the atmosphere further – as if something out of a 80’s/90’s futuristic action flick. The steady rhythm of the massive synthesizer is what makes this song intense – and enthralling from the first tone to the last one.

Hydra“, the next song and the sixth one on this release delves into the same character of the first songs. It kind of becomes annoying with the tribalistic elements at times but it is saved by the chanting of a woman, in german of course, adding a sinister touch which gives the song a completely different edge in the end. The attention to detail of every sound in this song is immaculate. Of all the songs so far – this one is designed the best as it brings out the wondrous nature of each sound – as well as the more horrific one(s).

Der Puppenspieler” is too simple, but the added samples make it far more interesting then it should’ve been in the first place. It is an ode to the more emotional side of Baldruin – the positive, nostalgic, tearjerking side of his music. Even though the experimentalism of it is overwhelming at times and the atonal side of it becomes a little too much – Johannes really shows how nice industrial music, with ambient foreground, can be when synthesizers are utilized properly.

Zone 77” is really captivating. You really feel how complex the music is and how hard it must’ve been to fit the off-beat rhythm to the atmosphere. Pads of majestic sound is laid upon the song with much care. As rough as it sounds, there’s also something delicate about it. You’re hypnotized by the clash of harshness against the soft, picturesque landscape it portrays. How is it even possible to create anything like this? There’s a minimalism and a maximalism. Everything is oxymoronic about it but yet impressively joined together.

Raum ohne Sicht” is psychotic. The intro is off-putting. It feels like a warning, it conveys feelings of utter disgust. Rarely have I ever shrugged away from a song that is so well made, but in this case it is just too disturbing to listen to in full. Here’s a song that would fit well to any story that includes the most horrible of human nature. “Falsche Fährte” is really beautiful and the complete opposite. Even though much of the rhythm isn’t that interesting to begin with, the atmosphere becomes increasingly intense and the more you hear beautifully laden female vocals, the more of a sense of pride is instilled within. The pride of knowing that someone could construct something this beautiful and convey these feelings. A song you really shouldn’t skip.

Panik in der Fabrik” is really what the name says it is. Panic in the factory. In the beginning of it there’s a certain electronic body music influence that can be heard, but as it transgresses more into sample-based industrial music – the more disturbing it gets. There’s a certain two-facedness when it comes to the music on this album and Baldruin knows perfectly well how to pair it up musically. The contrasts are so knife-sharp that it is frightening. “ZüngeInde Flamme” seems to build off all the recent songs, transcending into something that feels very clear and represents the different characteristics perfectly. Subconciously, it is instilling a feeling of wanting more of the music as if the story progresses the further in you get. Even though there might not even be one to begin with.

Fortgeschlichen” feels like an outro, even though there still are two songs left to be heard and dissected. It is dreamy, cosmic and far away – out of your own reach. It feels like you’re daydreaming and accessing remote locations, where men have never been before. A dreary landscape of sound is pumped up with the occassional pumping beats, noisy transmissions and overall increasingly experimental song. Though in the end it just fades away, bleakly. “Fund im Laub” is assembling the lost parts and making it into a behemoth of sound, as it sprinkles darkness around itself on the assembly line. Not the most intriguing song on the release so far, but the attention to detail for each sound is – as for some other particular songs – fantastic, to say the least.

Vom Ende” is the real outro. It’s funny how it is the longest song on the whole release as well. Hopefully this more synthesizer-driven music is how his next release will progress in the future. One of the main strengths of this album, even though it is scarcely represented, is his way of handling the synthesizers and creating the most attentive songs of the release all-in-all. It went from a totally freaked out tribalistic ambient release to a futuristic synth venture and then away into screeching industrial music.

One can understand how this album would be of interest. He has more strengths then weaknesses. The whole album is of interest even though parts of it contain utterly disturbing portrayals of the human race as such – but in the end delivers a story which is created in your own mind while listening. It evokes something more then just feelings, it is cohesive and experimental at the same time, never loosing to one or the other. Buy the album from Baldruin himself, Black Horizons, Aetheric Records, or Cloister Recordings US. Listen to it digitally in its entirety down below.

 

Reviews: Multiple Man – New Metal, V/A – Strategies Against The Body Vol. 2

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Here comes a double track-by-track review of the newest releases, courtesy of DKA Records, based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Their discography includes: Boy Harsher, Dylan Ettinger / Goldendust, Profligate, Fit Of Body, Warning Light, Voice Of Saturn / Anticipation, High-Functioning Flesh, Valis, TWINS and Women’s Work.

As of the 2nd of March they’ve added two new releases to this immense discography – the debut full-length LP-release by Brisbane’s twin-brother-duo Sean and Chris Campion, otherwise known as Multiple Man, the release goes by the name of “New Metal“. Strategies Against The Bodies have now been introduced as a second volume, featuring even more artists then the first compilation. In this article I dissect each song of both releases and tell you my opinion on them. The release was mixed by Matt Weiner (CGI Records) and mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann.

Starting off with “New Metal“, having listened through their other discography, including favorites of mine from Detonic Records – the “Guilt Culture/Boiling Down” double-single – it is fair to say that when introducing this new full-length they’ve grown a bit in my eyes considering the sound itself and the general aesthetics which are pleasing for the eyes as the cover itself (created by James Stuart) reminds one about earlier industrial-releases in terms of appearance. You get a sinister and chaotic feeling in terms of the colors when they mix together, outlining the appearance of a seemingly distraught and/or desperate man. The font is also alluring and you basically get it right if you think the release has anything to do with body music or industrial music.

As the first song “Slow Code” is rung in by the scraping of metal, a violently underlying basedrum is introduced and on top of that a steady rocking beat – which together with other percussive elements mixed together – suddenly jumpstarts an electronic body music rhythm. It’s a pleasing synthesizer which develops into a harsher, more industrial-like anthemic kind of song, as outdrawn baselines and the overlying synthesizers make the rhythm multi-faceted – together with murmured vocals that add to the sinister feeling you get whilst listening to it. It is a somewhat catchy song that draws in a self-assuring vibe in terms of how bombastic everything gets after a while.

Even though it is repetetive in some parts, the soundscape itself morphs into something completely different the longer in it progresses. The chorus brings everything together into the theme of the whole song and what it is supposed to be and convey. It is a cold endeavour but at the same time it is not stripped of any emotions, as there is a whole palette of different feelings that you feel when listening to it. I feel alert, concentrated and inspired, on the edge tuning in.

If the first song was portrayed as anthemic, wait until you hear “Power Fantasy” – which starts with an off-putting “yoo-hoo“, to be smashed into your consciousness by one of the most perfect rhythms I’ve heard in this wave of new-body music. Everything about this song relies on the first synthesizer-rhythm and the percussive elements that are introduced. To add to the general heftiness of the song itself, the vocals together with additional basedrums create an enjoyable repetetive atmosphere which later on looms into a more atmospheric concentration of industrialized sound.

The sudden shrieking of the vocalist reapplies the stripped soundscape and reuses it to their heart’s content. Even after only having listened to the first two songs, one must say that this one – “Power Fantasy” – is something really special. Whether it is the retro industrial feeling that weighs in when all the beats collide, or if it is their special brand of it, is hard to say. But damn it is a really catchy song and even though the lyrical content might be unintelligible at times – the simpleness of it adds into the harsh emotional deliverance – which they manage to do perfectly. It is a jaw-droppingly good song, once you’ve listened through it way too many times.

Now with the next and third song on this release, it is less concentrated to harsh rhythms and electronic body music and more pure electronica with minimal synth weaved into it – I am, of course, talking about “Luxury Boys“. There’s a certain primitive vibe to the song even though the synthesizers, baselines and beats together concoct a swaying and interesting blend of these different forms of electronica. It feels dated, like something out of a time-machine, yet remarkably attached to the modern world as such. However, it would fit great in an alternative movie from the 1980’s.

At times the atmosphere feels like something exotic, especially when you hear the percussion and the main synthesizer which steadfastly creates a memorable thematic, which you end up portraying in your head. It is audio-visually a really great song, however I’m more impressed by the harsher side of Multiple Man. Though they’ve managed to, in their song, convey a more laidback alter ego – musically.

Skin” – their fourth song – has that same kind of feeling attached to it like the previous song. It seems like they’ve changed the general theme of their songs, as it progresses from the first and second, to the third and the fourth. It develops lyrically as well and becomes some kind of acid electronic bastard child of industrial music. When the synthesizer revs up to show its true acid colors – one is intrigued by it since it adds a whole different characteristic to the song itself – alongside the vocals that are unenthusiastically chanted and feel like they’re just being dragged along for the ride.

It is probably one of the songs up until now that have the best vocals in them. It adds so much more to the experience of listening to the song as well as the development of the soundscape as it accompanies the different influences and rhythms perfectly together. Though it might be added that the song in itself is impressive in many ways, it fails to attract any further emotions when listening to it, as it is only brought out when everything is brought together in an almost cataclysmic fashion.

Returning to the pure electronic body music with the fifth song “Negative Space” – an ominously sounding piece. A continously pounding rhythm attached to a gloomy atmosphere, feeling more like an intermission then anything else. One can’t help but feel left to the metaphorical clock ticking in the form of outdrawn synth-stabs. Somehow the electronic body music elements are of not the same importance as the more atmospheric aspects of this song. The continuity is what defines it all. It just keeps going.

Maybe this might be the dividing line that will shift the musical focus to something else or it may just be a filler for the filler’s sake. Usually, artists and bands have one of these kinds of tracks in their repertoir, in the case of Multiple Man – this song stands out from their others and in a positive manner as well. Reminding oneself about the shifting character of their sound and what they might be able to accomplish, and want to accomplish with their music.

Hotter Then Hell” is the sixth song on this neverending ride of different, excitingly fresh electronic body music with industrial vibes. This song is probably the most sublime of the bunch so far, it has got a really ambiguous vibe to it. One negative thing about it is that it is also the most boring song in terms of the soundscape, as there’s not much happening and it is not as upbeat as the other tracks. Nothing wrong with a downbeat track but this one doesn’t really cut it for me.

Ideal Self” is where it is at. It’s been tried with the other songs but it has got a funkier vibe then the other ones. The atmosphere is really wicked and the rhythm goes up and down like a jojo, embracing the more danceable elements and turning it around for them now later on in this release. It is really all about combining the more unusual genres and turning it into the new face of the Multiple Man that makes it or breaks it in terms of this song. Groovy is what characterize this musical experience the best.

Interestingly enough, as the song fades out and turns into “New Metal” – they’ve decided to put this title-track last on the record. Really a perfect summarization of what they have achieved during this eight-track long release. Even though it lacks everything that made the first few songs great it combines everything one’s heard so far into a mixture of the weirdness and the high energy electronic body music into an acid and industrial rollercoaster which holds up in the end.

I say that only because the rhythms are on point and this song is basically what you should’ve listened to first if you wanted a summary. My thoughts about this full-length debut-LP on DKA Records is that it brings something odd to the table and spins things around completely out of your own safe-zone. You must have taken a liking for electronic body music transgressing into all kinds of different music genres, plus the experimental edge in which Multiple Man hold their territory firm. Although some of the songs are a disappointment, not all of them need to be as good as “Power Fantasy” to hold up in the end. The more you listen to it, the more you enjoy the self-willed nature of this duo.

Tomorrow this article will be updated with a track-by-track review of Strategies Against The Body Volume 2. You can stream Multiple Man’s release “New Metal” down below and make up your own mind about it, but from what I’ve heard throughout the songs – they’ve surely got potential that enrich the DKA Records discography further.

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A follow-up to the 2015 compilation “Strategies Against The Body – Volume 1” have been released via DKA Records. Featuring a whole different roster of artists, containing various electronic genres, all derived from the so-called underground. Some of them more established then others. The cover for the release is very aesthetically unpleasant to lay one’s eyes on but is a reflection of what you can anticipate when listening through this compilation of artists.

Pyramid Club is the first artist and one must say that they’ve got a whole lot better songs then this one. It’s a freakishly monotonous song that doesn’t really cut it. One doesn’t really feel anything when listening to their song “It’s All Grey” – the atmosphere that is there is off-putting and doesn’t do them justice in terms of their discography, otherwise. What saves this song is the latter part of it beyond three minutes in, when the vocals go into a howling frenzy and the basedrum lunge at you as if it had gone berserk.

I really want to like this song but can’t really fathom it. Melodically it is odious and it doesn’t even give the tag ‘experimental‘ body music any revitalization. Repetetiveness and experimentalism can give you a whole other insight into what electronic music ultimately could be about – but here they just fall flat with their brand of it. Very unfortunate for anyone who’s fond of Pyramid Club’s current discography of demo-tracks with lots of potential.

Now on to Passing, who’s song “Sacrifice” starts off rather intriguingly with that bass-filled melodious atmosphere which bounce around in infinity together with acid influences as rambunctious electronica pushed to its limits. Then, suddenly, the vocals are introduced into the mix and one is instantly taken out of the mesmerizing sound – because they lack the punch and the guts which the rest of the soundscape perfectly molds into – overtime. It adds absolutely nothing that progresses the atmosphere even remotely. It would even be better if it was wholly instrumental instead, unfortunately.

All-in-all, the song itself has one hooked to the beats, rhythm and melodious extravagance. There’s a sense of emergency in the overall expression it gives, the fast-paced lunging, acidic body music with electronic overtones – masterfully executed, instrumentally at least. It’s got the perfect length as well and you can never get enough of the simple melodies that together make something out of nothing, adding complexity together with the percussion.

What never tires me is the special kind of desperate brand of electronic body music that Celldöd creates. He can make something out of nothing, it sounds huge no matter what he attaches himself to and the atmospheric feel of “Hemliga Rum” is made alarmingly brutal with his vocals alone. A hiss here and a hiss there, a steady acid rhythm with a baseline that seems to get harder the further into the song you get – the echoes of the vocals, making one uneasy listening to the song – all that is there, in the vast nothingness that he portrays – follow him into the secret room.

Imagining that it would be some kind of abandoned house or industrial setting, together with the lyrics in Swedish repeatedly saying “Take me with you, I want to see what you see, into secret rooms“, as if he is desperately clinging on to something – the deliverance is absolutely on point and adds much as the snaredrum hit is industrially enhanced by sounding like he’s hitting on a metal object – which in reality, maybe he is. It adds that extra portion of the atmosphere which would otherwise be lacking. In the end a very good song which leaves nothing to imagine, audiovisually he puts images in ones head.

Continuing in basically the same manner as the other songs, a kind of acid-inspired baseline together with melodic noises, Spatial Relation‘s song “Infinitely Wary” is now playing. I don’t really know what to say about Lissette Schoenly’s vocals – but it fits very well into the atmosphere created by the synthesizers and percussive elements – though it really does nothing for me while listening to it. I feel no emotions, it just feels like one has to get through it to get on with listening to the rest of the compilation. This brand of electronica hasn’t really gotten me interested, which is a shame, since they repeat what Pyramid Club did with their introductory song to this whole compilation.

When one has listened through the song a few more times, one finds it to be somewhat alluring – though it can’t be explained, really. There’s something avant-garde about the approach to the whole song and how they utilize the different elements of it, how it gradually progresses and how it finishes. There’s a little redemption in the form of the atmosphere as it grabs onto you in a weird way, the electro-vibe and all, which is odd to say the least but hey.

One of my favorite projects since “The Red Dress – Parts I/II“, James Andrew’s own Tifaret, is featured on this compilation as the fifth track in a total of ten. The song “Lara” interesingly enough sounds like “Keep On Driving” (one of his other songs) – the difference is if Andrew Eldritch had a son, James Andrew would be his. Their vocals are really alike and one feels like he’s drawn a little bit too much inspiration in his song-making from The Sisters Of Mercy’s front-man. It is, however, not pastiche – the atmosphere is nice and the beats are on point.

Melodically it must’ve drawn influence from his earlier song but it doesn’t really matter. This is one of the better songs I’ve heard on this compilation up until now. Hopefully this is the one that turns it around and introduces one to some equally as great songs. It should be released simultaneously as this song, as it feels like a variant and lies really close in the whole soundscape and if it weren’t for the different melodies, more emotional vocals, it would almost be identical.

Suddenly, awestricken, in a good way. Anticipation flies into your ears with that subliminal, brooding electronic body music that has a groove like no other – talking of course about the song “Photograph” – which together with samples and a rhythm out of this world is gradually making one reconsider what one’s written about the compilation in general. Now we’re talking about some serious electronic music, whose atmosphere makes one dance along to it and is catchy as no other song – currently on this compilation.

One does not mind the repetetiveness of the beats as it slowly develops over time, introducing small but noticeable changes in character which enhances the whole experience of listening to it. The continually pounding sub-baseline pushes the beats further into the forefront of the mix – and there’s never a dull moment listening to this song. Thankfully, maybe there’s still hope for the compilation in large as we proceed.

SinceGhoul” was released in 2016, Videograve have been out of the loop. Now they’re back, on this compilation. The melodies in their song “Dead Men Floating” are equally as sinister as the title of it. They’ve let the melodies be at the forefront of the atmosphere and the beats plus percussion in the back, giving off a resounding and reverberated no-nonsense sound. Videograve are one of the more interesting acts that have emerged the last few years when it comes to electronic music. They have an authentic and goddamn awesome sound. Electronic body music gone haywire, electronic body music developed from a general minimal electronics waypath – never straying away from originality.

This is my favorite song so far on this compilation. I’m very impressed in general. There’s nothing to complain about, it is a really enjoyable song to listen to and there are so many facets of it that you’ve stopped counting. They really portray a sinister picture – a rather picturesque one if one may say so – audio-visually aesthetically pleasing, if that makes any sense at all.

Now for something a lot different. Collin Gorman Weiland’s song “Indenture and Stone” – monotonous industrial techno, with minimal wave influences. A very bleak song in terms of the atmosphere, very heavy when it comes to the industrial side of it and something that brings forth a whole different sound on this compilation. It is noticeable that the end is near whilst listening to it, the very apathetic vocals and the grinding percussion that seem to have no end to it. Draining energy from every outlet where there’s even sound.

There’s an anti-upbeatness to the song, it is downtempo but tries hard to be upbeat. Looming on as if nothing ever mattered, ending rather beautifully and very unexpectedly – turning into an ambient piece that gives one inner peace while listening to it. A welcoming addition to an otherwise interesting and never-ending seance. Had the latter parts of the song been developed even further, there might’ve been a nice blend of ambient industrial and the harshness of the song itself.

Ninth song on the compilation is by ARIISK and is titled “Candid Machine” – which is one of those songs that never develop into anything. It would’ve been better if it had some progression worth to mention. All this experimental electronic body music is making one’s head spin. There’s nothing about the monotonous approach in rhythm that gives anything, it just feels like a piece that is stuck in the same rhythm and melody without ever ending or transforming into anything good.

There’s a continuous lack in the atmosphere itself that isn’t repaired by the beats nor the progression of the song itself. Not to mention the vocals – it doesn’t add or bring anything out of the atmosphere. Even though this song might be meant to sound dark and provoke some kind of emotion, there isn’t any. It feels like one wants to skip the song and head onto the last one, there’s few moments that attract any noteable attention.

Xander Harris delivers the final song on this compilation, titled “Social Leather“. When pushing play on this song, there’s a wondrous tone coming from the melody. It feels like you’re high above the clouds, or that you’re way out of your body and somewhere else. It has a dreamy touch to it and the vocals expand on that subject. There’s an electro-vibe to it vocally and the atmosphere is absolutely phenomenal. There’s a transgression between different electronic genres that he executes flawlessly.

Being the final song on this release, it makes up for other moments experienced while listening to the compilation. One must say, to DKA Record’s credit, that it is a compilation that has some kind of sense of purpose when it comes to the assortment of different artists – too bad that it doesn’t go the whole way in terms of how good that, in theory, should be. I must recommend it any way, because there are certain moments on this release that are enticing. Stream the full release down below on Soundcloud.

Spotlight [Compilation Special]: Not So Cold and White Circles [Part II]

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The newcomers from Eastern Europe called YusYus have proven themselves to be very efficient; both musically but also in other respects. Having released three singles since March of 2013—all of them have been dedicated to compilations. Their latest track “Proleter“, which is featured on the Not So Cold – A Warm Wave compilation, is adopted lyrically from Esad Babačić—front-man for a short-lived Yugoslavian punk-band called Via Ofensiva—that were active in the 1980’s. Re-modeled from post-punkish hardcore, but containing the same melodies sung by Esad, for the melodious run-around for the minimal synth outfit that represents YusYus. What’s most interesting is the gradual shift from the warmth of the synthesized baseline to the cold re-interpreted vocals. Combining electronic tenderness with a stale cold-wave suspension. Ambitiously crafted alongside the original influences, coming at you with a straight rhythm for a rocky appearance, chiseling out the prerequisite for a marvelous sculpture. Nothing is left for the coincidence—everything is carefully planned and staked out for their seemingly effortless implementation.

Having just released a second album, Italian post-punk, darkwave, shoegaze duo Schonwald pick and choose from a range of influences. Their contribution for the compilation is “Gemini“, a track originally featured on their double-single “Mercury / Gemini“, put out on 7¨-vinyl by the American label Hozac Records, in 2013. When it comes to their sound, thoughtfulness are their strongest key to combining these different genres. A hugely sounding bass-drum that pushes everything forward, together with suggestive vocals that solicit our inner feelings—using metaphors in their lyrics to provoke an emotional reaction. Most of it seems to be somewhere in between minimal synth and those sub-genres, but that doesn’t explain the multifaceted deliverance which their darkwave vein conjure in the atmosphere for them. This is from a time where they were in between having released a first album in 2008—experimental as hell—searching for a new sound. We think it was a good situation for them to be in, because this certainly stitch everything together, from beginning to end. Both for the individual track, but also in a larger perspective.

Now here’s a newcomer (at least for us) we forgot about, namely: Tiers. Actualized once again whilst searching for music to write about, as they had been put up digitally on Artificial Records some days ago—for their sophomore release “Winter“—which had been released a year ago from now, on vinyl. Their song “Vignette” is a new one featured on this compilation. What I like about Tiers is how their atonal sound makes for a harsh cold-induced venture into depths of a snow-ridden landscape—much like the title for their release. That’s also one of the reasons I don’t really like their sound, although the vocals are OK, some of their otherwise conceptually interesting sound shows itself to be sloppy. Most of it drifts away into nothingness without leaving you with any reflections on whether you’ve just been snowed in, or if what you heard had any bearing at all—leaving a mark? It starts off good but the more you get into it the more you want to get away from it. The repetitiveness doesn’t give or take anything from the atmosphere as such, nor’ does the instrumentation at any point—it just goes into a mish-mash of… what ever one could call it. We must give them appraisal for their ambitions, because the sloppiness isn’t derived out of them not trying anything at all and just going where they feel like—but rather for trying too hard. We get nowhere and we’re going to suffer from hypothermia if we stay here.

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Staying true to the concept—Hungarian artist Adam Berces have named his track “Hőhullám” (Heatwave). His own journey began with the compilation “A Classical Collection: 2006-2011” on the label Hard Body Sounds, in 2012. Two years later his album “Posztapokaliptikus Almanach” came out in two versions on SINCRONICA. Now he’s gracing us with a completely new song, where he goes ballistic on electronic body music fused with electro and minimal synth-pop. Though his vocals are enhanced and his robotic coolness shines throughout, it merely comes off as a cheap throw-down of 1980’s synth-pop versus a re-imagined minimalistic sound—allowing no ambivalent contrasts or synchronized, swell bombardments of imaginative sounds. No, this is a primitive ravishment that leaves little to your own imagination. Be it for better or worse, things can’t get more straight-forward than this. So the negative annotations to what we feel his musical achievement delivers with this track, can be turned upside down and be used as positive remarks. It depends whether you like it this way or not, and we must admit that we like it when there’s a transcendental feeling, an enchanting vision that cannot be grasped. Another thing which saves him a little bit is the general catchiness he manages to pull off between dark layers of electro, with the minimalistic drums and triggered sounds that come crashing in.

The flagship from Tacuara Records are now entering the mix. Yes, we’re talking about Vólkova—a project that is pleasurable to be introduced to for the first time. César Canali who runs the label is a part of this duo together with Paula Lazzarino. With their song for this compilation, “Come and See“—we’re flabbergasted immediately. It’s a completely new song and it alludes to the general purpose of their project, a melancholic vibe which is blended with ambient music and a film noir touch, occasional flirts with deranged noise and on bordering from darkwave into industrial for moments—quickly replaced with a piano and the continual mesmerizing beat—suddenly entering a breakbeat outbreak which flips the atmosphere entirely.  We must say that it’s one of the more interesting songs on this release so far, unfortunately some of the atmospheric and sullen sound-scape is ruined by the accentuation in the vocals. An exotic touch at first which actually blends into everything else very well, like a subversive message being uttered now and again—but it falls short in its repetitious nagging. Whenever nothing too chaotic is happening it fits, but the further in you get the more tired you are of hearing broken English and his willful dialect. Despite that—we’re more then pleased about their contribution.

Songs from “White Circle Compilation” will also be included into this article, you’ll just have to wait until it’s updated.

Review: Various Artists – Artificial Selections

a3207601573_10More then a week ago, a new compilation emerged out of the alternative underground. A compilation that caught people off guard because of the beautiful representation of cold-wave, post-punk and experimental selections – including a wider variation of genres. Featuring both unrepresented artists and those who are not. First off are Excuses, the solo-project by Matthew Rowe whose debut was put out on the now defunct label Function Operate, back in 2012. This self-titled release featured five songs but his contribution to the compilation was with the track “We Are Fuel“. It is a raw track which lets a dodgy atmosphere with shoegaze fill out the sound-scape, together with the ambivalent riffing you’d only find within darker post-punk. Although his vocals on this song isn’t up to par with the rest of the landscape of sound, it is held up by the general mood that he delivers with sincerity. I just wish it was coupled with a better vocal representation because right now it sounds too cheesy. But I must say that it is a good opener which sets the bar for the rest of the compilation higher up.

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Review: Destruction Unit – Sandy Sessions

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Ascetic House have been busy pushing out their January program, in full. So while you slept on it, Invisible Guy kept counting. According to the newsletter, they have a rather unique approach when putting out their releases. They planned 31 cassettes for their program, but each individual release was and is only available on the day that it is released. A new release appeared the next day, but since it’s already the 31st, it’s kind of late to write about their program. The releases were not announced in advance, so it was randomized. For those that follow the Asceticism of Ascetic House, these releases will ship out in the end of the month, which would be today.

Some of these releases may also end up in distribution, at selected record stores and distros. Lucky for you, each one of the out-of-print releases (meaning every release), have been put up as a free download. Unfortunately, that means that you’re turning up rather late for the physical edition. Me too. These releases remain up on their website for download until this evening, when I’m writing this, and tomorrow they’ll be gone. For me, it’s not the point to give you anything more then a taste from Ascetic Korp (Soundcloud), and write-ups of these different releases.

Since they made a concept of their own, Invisible Guy will blindly follow their concept, but he will move astray from the set dates. Because he’s out of luck this time. Each day, he will bring you a review and let you listen to a piece of a track from the release which he is reviewing.

First up is Destruction Unit and their recently released (in the January program) session “Sandy Sessions“.

1st of January!

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Destruction Unit have been around since 2004, and probably before that, even. They’ve released albums, singles and E.P.s on labels such as Empty Records, FDH Records, Volar Records, Sacred Bones Records, Jolly Dream Records, Discos Cagados, Disordered Records, Lo-Fi Records, Suicide Squeeze and BIG LOVE Records. One live-record and a session have been reserved for release on Ascetic House. The band consists, and have consisted of Ryan Rousseau, Rusty Rousseau, Nick Nappa, JS Aurelius, Andrew Flores, Justin Keefer – some of whom are a part of Ascetic House. They play a combination of psychedelic garage and noise rock. We’re going to get into their latest release, the session-release “Sandy Sessions“. Four tracks, namely “Time Traveler“, “Desert Snow“, “Poison Breath” and “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” were recorded in Brooklyn, New York at Heaven Street studio by Kyle Keays – a day before the 29th of October, when the Hurricane Sandy reached its epitome. This was when it hit New York and New Jersey, where the severest damage was done. Therefore: “Sandy Sessions“.

The first song “Time Traveler” is a catchy piece of music, which derives the most out of the psychedelia, which just sits there and looms at the beginning – whilst they rev up the noise rock, keeping a steady tempo – just so I can nod to the track and go with the rhythm. It’s constant. When it’s been going for roughly two minutes, the singer’s canned voice is picked up and as he reaches his epitome, all hell breaks loose and the psychedelia sips in like it came from a breach in the hull. The guitars are absolutely wild, gracing you with the reverberant that acts as distortion, clashing with the wildly played drums. Suddenly, it speeds up and reaches into a whirlwind of screeching guitars, gradually speeding it to its utmost limit when everything comes together once again – just to fade out into the blue. It feels like you’re caught with the wind, it feels like you’re experience what had been hitting and should just hit – New York City (amongst other cities). So the name itself is prophetic, as you’re caught in the maelstrom of guitars, drums, vocals and bass – which winds you up until you loose yourself to it. You have a clear sense of where it’s heading in the beginning, but then it picks off from there and leaves you totally clueless. You never know what hit you, until you realize it afterwards. It’s simply stunning, in the literal sense of the word.

Now, “Desert Snow“, the second track – starts off more like a rehearsal. Featuring slowly-paced psychedelic delight, entwined with the ramblings of the vocalist – rather than the up-tempo garage schtick. It’s like a lullaby, if you’d force it into a concoction of noisy rock melodrama. When you’re about to be included into their lullabies, it instead whirls into a mesmerizing feverish dream. There’s even more psychedelia included here, as if you’d be out on a whim and into wonderland. A seemingly nauseating experience when it has drawn you in for a constant rhythmic swaying, sincerely for you by the guitars and the continuous tempo by the drums. We’re at the crescendo, but we can’t get away from there. It’s like you’re dragged into the quicksand, quickly forming around you, as the snow pours down. Therefore; “Desert Snow“. A brutally chilling experience, traveling through time and space with the psychedelic vibes you’d only get from such a setting. Most of it’s predictable, but when they hypnotize you with such a fantastic performance, even though it’s just a session – you’re flabbergasted. There’s certainly no lack of energy, as they pounce away and fade into obscurity, leaving only a deserted mind. Emptied of all significance, fading into the quick-sand – never to be seen again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I reckon. Effin’ good one at that, but like some other tracks, it’s simply meant to be heard only once. You might disagree, but it is memorable, but I don’t want to ruin it.

Charging at you in a slow-paced motion, moving forwards – is the track “Poison Breath“. Yes, it breathes down your neck. Feels like you’re a part of the chase, but you’re chased, therefore you’re not only the one going to be feasted upon – you’re actually not the predator. When listening to this, I feel active and not passive. I’m slowly starting to think that they’re tricking me into this story of theirs, which has been built up since the last two tracks, only to get more obvious in this one. I don’t give much for the sound, because it feels quite repetitive. But that is probably the point, just to slowly mold into where the vocals come in – as they play their part. Locked into a closet, dampened and psychotic – far away. It’s jam-packed with the most robust, but noisy rock you’ll ever hear. Feeding into the enormous distortion generated by their general atmosphere, but also generated by their manipulation of their instruments – in regards to their setting. Chugging riffs, outdrawn riffs, crazily psychedelic guitars and an abundance of feedback feed into the most psychedelic garage rock. This crossover can be considered to be a success, if you’d ever find it below all the grimy and muddy dung that is shot your way. This track is probably the most flipped out yet, but I’m not hoping for much either. Regarding the track that comes after this, the name of that track spells even more disaster. Disaster in a totally maddening, but positive way – if that even makes sense.

The name of this track is “Do Drugs“, and is credited as “Do Drugs (Nihilism)” when reading Discogs. Well, if I’d ever get surprised by anything so far, it would be the classic rock vibe that it delivers in the beginning. A solo-driven guitar with a gurgling vocalist that spews out his toothpaste with water. In regards to the name of the track, and the music at hand, this is probably how you’d feel if a hurricane had hit you the day after – and you saw it in some kind of psychotic vision. Or maybe it’s simply a call for total decadence, who knows. “A-aa-aa-aahh“, is all I hear, as the vocalists words (that I can decipher) echo round and round, in my brain. Let’s hope they never start a dentistry, because they’d pull out your teeth without any mercy. With nippers. It’s by this time that I frankly get annoyed by listening to this release, but it’s actually the final track, so I sit down and try to endure the enormously boring tempo that has stirred up the total carnage that is in my headphones. By then, the song has already ended in an outdrawn sigh and a bang. But it fades out quietly, into a silent snip that cuts it off. Yes, this release is so sickening and dirty that you’ll have to use something else to clean your ears out. Even though it’s the shortest song on the release, it feels like hours just went by, as if the heat-wave just hit me. I feel totally deserted.

Listen to a track from a release by them of the Ascetic House program, the January program of course. It’s not a track from this release, unfortunately, but it’s from another. So get on with it.

Review: Sutekh Hexen – Monument Of Decay

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They have been welcomed into my consciousness after a while. Sutekh Hexen, they call themselves. Constituting the best of two worlds, combining the essence of black metal – with droniness all entangled into the noisy fervor of noise itself. Wander into the esoteric, the blackness and the void between heaven and earth. A lone wind whispering, a mountain to be climbed until darkness is met on the other side. In all honesty, there might’ve been some confusion on my side regarding this group. But it is all cleared out now, and I anticipated this release a while ago, whilst Beläten brought it out from his Nordic chamber – together with a simultaneous release by Black Horizons. Just to make things clear; we’re focusing on the Beläten-released cassettes. Obviously, Invisible Guy was too unimportant in the first place, as we gained nothing in the lottery that is premieres. With that in mind, it will not affect the review as such. Honesty is our approach, and it will ultimately be our strength. Note that Patricia Cram‘s (editor of Vial Magazine) photography is the artwork. The mastering was done by James Plotkin.

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Review: Női Kabát – Make Room! Make Room!

a1212866862_10Női Kabát have been on the tapestry for a long time, and I am about to disseminate why this might be a classic with longevity, already. Their first release on aufnahme + wiedergabe, titled “Make Room! Make Room!” features two tracks which I’m going to delve into. I’ve listened to both for a long time and haven’t made up my mind if I really wanted to review it. But here it comes, nevertheless.

When you get into it for the first time, the title-track “Make Room! Make Room!” is the first one to loudly come into the picturesque urban sound-scape, with swirling synthesizers and determined drumming. A ravingly good thing is that they manage to set the mood for the track already in the beginning, as the introductory phase of the song isn’t a pain to listen to or get into. Everything seems to be carefully planned out and set in stone, as they move us into it with a groove that could seldom be heard anywhere – or anyhow – in a setting like this, as our modern world seem to have swallowed most of the retro-fantastic vibes they continually deliver in the introduction. Once the characteristics of the song begin to form themselves, they take the shape of a unimaginable synthesizer that sweeps the floor with my emotions. It’s like you’re being swept away by the callousness of the waves that pulsate through your eardrums, as each hit of the synthesizers magical keys seem to be done with ultimate passion. At the same time that it brings dismay to the table, it also brings an angelic touch that is affecting your own logical dissemination. The sound itself re-sounds through layers of drums, that are being assaulted with impudence. These blows that are delivered are perfectly matching the irreversibly tasteful harmonics that let you acknowledge the vibes that are roaring, throughout. When listening to it, you don’t notice the vocals all that much, as you are too enthralled by the environmentally sonic wonderland that is manifesting itself to the highest degree. But that does not take away the importance of Dee Rüsche, whom does an outstanding job at accompanying this perfected toxin that is simply moving outwardly towards you, lunging at you with the painful reminder of total urban decay.

His vocals are filled with passion, as he sinks his virtual teeth into you for a clinging bite that will absolve your cadaverous existence. He is the total reminder of what their quest seem to be, to remind us of what’s actually happening beside us at this moment. Well, it helps to actually know of this so called “mission“, if it actually is one. But one can read their almost apocalyptic turn in the song into this particular subject. It is pretty obvious what the influence might or might not be, but the emotions that this song bring forth in a human being is so remorseless that it isn’t even funny. If anything at all, this song is the pure anthem for Női Kabát. It is their shell, their core – if you will. The further you get into it, the more disgruntled you’d be. As the sonic landscape shift in between hard-hitting drums, fierce and uncontrollable synthesizers, into a more angelic and spiritual voyage that seems to be there to put you to sleep. Not because it is boring, but because every single nerve in your body is hurting. I can’t actually think of anything that is bad about this song, because everything is so perfected – yet so imperfect at the same time. A balance that is hard to actually allow oneself to follow, but I’d imagine that it would’ve taken time. One can actually, for once imagine – that it’s a mold that is not to be re-used once again. They’ve already done their best to shape it into what it’s become, a taste for music, at the same time a taste of reality. A reality I would like to be a part of. There’s no reason to not actually have this song on a list somewhere, maybe even a top-10. What they’ve done here is a reminder of what people should do more often; build up their own room in this world, so make room for Női Kabát.

As if something hasn’t been described enough, we must sadly depart from that wonderful song and make our way to “Industry“, which is the song on the B-side of this 7¨. It feels like it was a good idea to put this song on that side, because it is much harsher and lack a lot of what they delivered with the first song. It sounds like they’ve given up, which is frankly what they’re doing with this song. The metaphysics are colliding with the idea of themselves, which isn’t good at all, because the metaphysics is exactly what makes Női Kabát so great in the first place. But their approach here is more minimal and less bombastic, which takes away a lot from the mixture that could make the track a lot better. Even though it becomes more bombastic in the middle, as the chorus wails into place, it saves the song as such. The rest of it is just a pure mess which most of those that like the more minimalistic touches that they deliver, will froth over and defend to the last man. I actually abhor everything else on the track when I hear the spastic synthesizers coming in and the continual rhythm that is turned on, which makes me check my pulse, as it pulsates to the motion of “Industry“. But in no way can it match the first song on this 7¨, because a lot of their passion seemed to have went into the first song.

Even though some of the passion is returned in the end, it doesn’t make up for some of the wasted seconds that could’ve went into a more passionate landscape of sound. Somehow, it feels like they’ve inverted everything they once held true with the first track, like they’re rebelling against their self. Putting a megalomaniac at the helm, touching us a last time with their quirky synthesizer-laden mattress, telling us to fear not – because they will be back in one shape or another. If you view it as that, much of it makes even more sense. An experimental move to say “sayonara!“, as the ship is sinking into the wreck of humanity – as the oil is spilling over; as we ignite it. Though it has its moments, it doesn’t really recover, but the end is so incredibly alarming that even those of you that have no pulse, must be shaken to your knees. Which is certainly one of the other good parts about this song, but it doesn’t make it into my harbor, at least. I’d rather see the ship sinking with it’s captain, just so he can save the crew and fade away into the blurred ocean – with dignity. However you choose to view this release, it has already become a classic amongst a lot of people. It’s a shame that it hasn’t reached more people, because it has to. Whether you like it as a whole, or simply one song, it is a landmark for the electronic genre as such and music as a whole. Probably one of the best records released this year, even though some of it really doesn’t make it ashore. They’ve made their mark, which should honor them, and more people need to delve into it. Take it, or leave it – because it’s going to be your last chance.