Spotlight: ZX Electric and Asesina!

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Time for your daily Spotlight. It’s been lacking from my side, since there’s been a lot to cover when it comes to exclusive premieres – but not much when it comes to regular bands that you stumble upon – or artists. Since it’s been a long time, I want to introduce two of the more peculiar acts that I have found when scouring the internet: specifically Bandcamp. One of the bands are from the UK and the other is from Spain. ZX ELECTRIC is a band that plays weird krautrock with the occasional stab of minimal synth and post-punk, whilst Asesina are the Spaniards whom has a singer that really can’t sing – but all the better that he can suffer, because that’s what it’s all about – it seems.

a3200966171_10Negative Outline” is the latest release that ZX ELECTRIC can offer to the world, having released two other albums earlier, titled “Obsolete” and “Fixed Unknown” – a rather odd blend of genres that shouldn’t be mixed, really. But there’s something about the latest album that signals to me that they’re serious. How can you even manage to fit in krautrock with minimal synth? I get that it can be applicable when it comes to post-punk, but not the other way around. However, they manage to create a rather melancholic image which they spit upon, managing to fit a semi-acoustic environment somewhere in between each track. I like the singer’s voice, it’s sincere but rather goofy at times. All the better then – that his rhythm is intact and his groove is where it should be – when the synthesizers slowly grace him and fill up the sound-scape. Not to mention how cold-wave helps to keep the semi-acoustic trance to a pleasurable level, where you just nod your head to everything you see around you.

a4144603658_10What striked me when I browsed Asesina, were their marvelous aesthetics. The slick lines that are pleasing for the eye to watch, alongside a rather odd – almost dragon-like – goose that feeds her youngin’. Maybe this has something to do with where they’re from in Spain, or maybe not. I, however, really like the way this becomes their insignia. Enter bleakness with “EP“, their first release. Together with the bleakness that appears through using black and white. When it comes to their music, I must say that I don’t know if I should hate or adore the singer. He can’t sing. But thanks to the psychobilly, surf punk or whatever they’ve mixed together into a mish-mash of difference and alikeness – his voice gives a touch of severe angst that doesn’t go away. The best thing about it is when he screams in his own language and I don’t really get anything. I don’t really want to know, either. Noise rock goes well together with every other genre they’ve plucked asunder. The good thing about it is how their low-keyed sound-scape makes you wonder when they’re going to step into black metal territory, but that really never happens – full-scale. A good listen to anyone whose interest lays in any of these more obscure genres – especially when mixed together.

Spotlight: Celldöd

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Om du någonsin hört talas om pulsdisco, så har du förmodligen kommit rätt. Namnet klingar nog bekant för den som på något sätt intresserat sig av Celldöd. Anders Karlsson som annars fördriver sin tid med projektet Vargdöd, eller som en del av skivbolaget Complete Control Productions, är den som står bakom namnet Celldöd. Ett solo-projekt han driver, som sedan en tid tillbaka fått honom att i början av året släppa “Pulsdisco#1” – som är det första officiella släppet av låtar, på kassett – signerat hans alter-ego. På exakt samma datum, nämligen den 31:a January så kom det även ett nytt album med Severe Illusion – ett projekt som Anders Karlsson också är insyltad i. Så förutom de olika grupper han är med i annars så levererar hans soloprojekt guldklimpar ur den musikgruva som han utvinner mineraler från. Det är något med detta soloprojekt som får en att inse hur bra det är i jämförelse med allt annat som bara försvinner in i periferin. Allt från den acid-sturskna låten “Betong” – som verkligen gör skäl för sitt namn – till det råa musikartilleriet “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)“, så förstår man att det här projektet gömmer många överraskningar. Även om låtarna har mycket gemensamt så är det en hel del som skiljer dem åt, allt från hårdheten i de bultande trummorna, till den karga atmosfär som går från att vara en oljudsvägg till att bli ett mörklagt inferno.

När man talar om det gemensamma så är det förtjusningen inför en slags gammeldags acid-techno-influens som sliter hål i väggarna, men också den stadiga rytmen som bara har ett mål och det är att gå i takt. Det finns inget utrymme för avvikelser när det kommer till rytmen, men det går utmärkt att svänga med syra-melodierna och låtarnas atmosfär. Fast även om det finns restriktioner så kommer det låtar där allting ballar ut och den nya låten, förutom “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)“, är ett bra exempel på det. Den heter “Terrorbalans” och är tagen från ett kommande split-släpp med Vargs alter-ego Black Leather Harness vid namn “Krig“, som släpps på skivbolaget Brutal Disciplin inom en snar framtid. För den som vill bekanta sig med pulsdisco är det förmodligen ett släpp man bör hålla utkik på. För den som vill bekanta sig med Celldöd så duger det första släppet gott och väl tillsvidare, men det kommer att vara spännande att se vad som kommer ut ur denna allmänna hopplöshet. Man får väl hoppas på att det inte tar allt för lång tid innan man blir invaderad. Ni kan lyssna till låtarna “Betong“, “Pulsdisco 1.2 (Dirty House Mix)“, “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)” och “Vi Andas Syra” här nedanför. Musik-videon till “Terrorbalans” kan ni hitta ovanför. För den som är intresserad av att se och lyssna till Celldöd live så går Kalabalik på Tyrolen av stapeln den 22:a Augusti.

Det går nu även att förlyssna på utdrag från Celldöd-sidan av “Krig“-släppet. Gör det här nedanför.

Chondritic Spotlight: Klinikal Skum and Fejhed! [Part II]

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These are the earlier releases from Chondritic Sound. Since these releases, including Sissy Spacek and Jason Lescalleet’s VHS-release, there’s a lot more coming. But since I haven’t written about Klinikal Skum and Fejhed, I am about to do that right now. What’s interesting about these two releases and specifically one of them – is that both of them are dribbling in experimental territory – whilst one is wrought upon the grounds that Puce Mary stands on, with a part of Hoax (the crusty and dark punk band). You’re right, Frederikke Hoffmaier of Puce Mary fame have teamed up with Jesse Sanes of Hoax. They’re creating a regurgitated landscape of sound which can be found within the confinements of “Persona” – the latest release on the Danish label Posh Isolation, by Frederikke. But what is equally as interesting is how these confinements are diluted with this duo. There isn’t really any borders for how horrid and claustrophobic a noise-act can be. When it comes to Klinikal Skum, his sound-scapes are long and dampen from the suggestiveness of his exploration into the human psyche. From the delusional nature of humanity and what kind of psychosis lay hidden beneath the shallow appearance of so-called “sane” human beings. These are the two bands that I will delve into in this edition of the Chondritic Spotlight, which might actually be the last one.

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Ryan Oppermann. Klinikal Skum. Two different names that coincide with one another, one his real name and the other his pseudonym or alter-ego (if you prefer). Released his first album in 2005 on the label Ghost King, then aptly titled “Pulsating” – a word that can be pinned to his music now as well. Besides having started this project back then, he’s indulged into aliases as: Fabbrico Incubo, Neuntöter Der Plage, Post-Mortem Junkie, Redrot, Xombie and groups by the name of; All Bells Grounded, Aram Chaos, Black Lace Drag, Narcoleptic Ward, Rust Owl, S.P., Some Larval Dream About Smothering, Unveiling Asylums and maybe even more that I am not aware of. The similarity between these groups are his fascination of genres like power electronics, noise, industrial, ambient and whatnot. Add experimental in front of these labels and you might pinpoint where he’s been heading to. Besides that, he’s also kept busy with his own label Skeletone which have almost only released material with his different aliases as authors of it.

Now I’m here to describe his latest release under the name of Klinikal Skum. This particular release; “Negativ Psykotelepathi Surveillanz” was put out by Chondritic Sound back in May of this year and is actually some of the more disturbing blend of experimental industrial and power electronics that I have heard. It is sickening and almost unbearable to listen to and feels clinical in the way you wouldn’t want it to be. I feel like I’m visiting a morgue as a dead body and experiencing the wide-range of tools that Ryan Oppermann is going to use to dissect me. That is one of the more insane thoughts that have entered into my mind after listening through this album. What is more horrid than being exposed to this ecstatic wasteland of normal human dignity is to hear the complexity of the music he delivers – as it is actually well-thought out and that is probably the most scary part about it.  It could serve as a blueprint for how you’re supposed to enter a state of mind which we rarely, if ever, encounter in the real world. This is the kind of music that bring it upon us. I can actually offer a free download of the track “Dizeaze Blotter“, which is the track I find to be the best on this album.

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Frederikke Hoffmeier + Jesse Sanes = Fejhed. In Danish, the word “fejhed” translates into “cowardice” in English. It actually translates well into the name of some of the titles, like “Sorry“, “Silence” and “Drinking Spit“, for example. But when it comes to what they conjure together, it feels like might is right and that you’re stuck in a situation with someone whose might is above what you can say or do, a situation which you try to pathetically cower out of. Everything from the freaky atmosphere that lumbers on whereas Jesse and Frederikke take turns to shower you in pure filth. Feel your own disintegration as you fade away from this horrid reality that you have been forced into. This album of theirs is self-titled and is actually the first release under this duo’s name. I’m more than eager to just turn it off before it gives me a headache or any thoughts in my head that shouldn’t really be there. When it comes to the genres they mix in together it could be some kind of minimal wave nonsense blended into the harshness of “normal” noise, but it also feels experimental in the fact that they utilize the unorthodoxy of beats, rhythms and the general sense of an atmosphere, as you travel through a horror-show. I’m not sure if I could describe it any other than just that so you will have to check it out for yourself. All I can bring to the table is a free download of the track “Sorry“, which is the one I felt had the best overall feeling to it and that I really like. You can stream it down below, and this is the end of the spotlight.

Skördetid [Del 2]: Vågen är slutet – Ingen Våg är bara början!

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Tidigare har vi haft med Ingen Våg Kassetter, som även kommer med denna gång. Det handlar om Skördetid, och allt ni behöver veta om deras kassetter kan läsas i första delen av Skördetid. Vi skördade Miljoner Döda, Sandor Rado och Femtekolonnare. Denna gång så skördar vi Solo Archivist-släppet “Present Is Eternally Past” och Miljoner Döda, vars släpp går under namnet; “Ingen väg ut, bara ner“. Med andra ord så är det Ingen Våg 015 och Ingen Våg 016 som lyssnas igenom, denna gång. Det som är mest intressant när man avhandlar mindre skivbolag, är när man inser hur mycket dedikation det egentligen ligger bakom dessa släpp. För merparten av låtarna ligger alltid över nio minuter, och kassetterna fullkomligt skriker D.I.Y.

Det måste även påpekas att det är härligt att upptäcka vad som växer i den underjordiska myllan, när det kommer till Växjö – något man kanske inte upptäckt annars, om man inte fått något intresse visat från det andra hållet. Hur som helst är det sprängfyllt av dystopi, precis som förra gången, men det gömmer sig faktiskt en eller annan överraskning också. I denna del blir det som sagt två styckna recensioner, precis som det var i den förra. Skillnaden är liten, och det är fortfarande låt för låt som gäller när det recenseras. Välkommen till Del 2 av Skördetid, och den andra delen i den mytologiska beskrivelsen utav Ingen Våg Kassetter. Jag hoppas att ni finner stort nöje i att läsa vad som skrivs.

a2190587791_10När det kommer till Miljoner Döda så kan man lugnt säga att den här kassetten innehåller det värsta hjärntryck en människa någonsin kunnat tänka sig. Nu åsyftar jag trycket som samlas på hjärnan, när den trycks in med en noisekavalkad så tung att öronen håller på att spräckas. Outhärdligheten har fått ett musikaliskt ansikte endast en minut in av lyssningen, och jag försöker att erinra mig om när jag senast hörde ett sådant extremt klaustrofobiskt ljudlandskap. Det är som om de övergivna industriella giganterna kommit till liv igen, fastän de varit övergivna i flertalet decennier. Den karga Sibiriska tundran som bankar på det ödsliga huset, i form av en järnhand, som levererar musikaliskt snömos till extrem överdrift. Nej, den nästan 19-minuter långa låten kan inte konstateras att var enformig, men det är svårt att pulsa igenom och ta till sig då det bedövande ljudet lämnar en rungande huvudvärk av guds nåde. Även om det finns en hel del komplexa arrangemang i denna låt, så kan jag tyvärr säga att det är väldigt svårt att ta sig till det som kommer ur hörlurarna. Eftersom att man knappt ens kan ta sig igenom de första minuterna. Inte för att det är dåligt, utan för att det är så otroligt extremt att det inte finns utrymme för en hjärna – som inte är byggd av stål – att ta sig till slutet av låten. Dock, efter ett antal plågsamma stunder där “musiken” varit tvungen att stängas av, så finns där ändå någonting som letar sig tillbaka till mig.

a2753412439_10Den ensamme arkivisten. Solo Archivist förgyller min dag genom att släppa sol igenom måltäcket. Det känns som någon form av tribalistisk ambient, som ändrar skepnad ju längre in i ljudlandskapet som man kommer. Trots att detta kraftpaket är indelat i olika sektioner, från den flummigaste flöjtmusik till en blandning av karg akustisk folkmusik. Det enda man vet säkert med detta är att det sakta men säkert flyter in i vartannat och lämnar mycket till de experimentella krafterna att få övertaget. Sedan, bara sådär helt plötsligt, så kan allting ändras till en melankolisk noisevagga. Ond bråd död väntar vid hörnet när de långsamma drönarna lagt sina vantar på oljudet som strömmar ur högtalarna. Bubblande och släpiga ljud kan höras längs med ljudkorridoren som istället för att vidga sig, sluter sig och blir klaustrofobisk. Två världar möter varandra mellan varje låt som går. Det låter som om någon har övervintrat i Indien och tagit med sig deras inhemska ljud. Där sådana instrument får spela en större roll än vad som är nödvändigt. Ibland känns det onödigt flummigt att lyssna på och det leder inte direkt någon vart. Man blir inte direkt uppiggad av det heller utan snarare slö i huvudet. Snabbt så ändras det till förmån för det noisekör som man har vant sig vid när det kommer till det andra släppet. Även om det känns hårt till en början så är det snarare dova oljud som hörs mellan de sprakande ljuden som låter väldigt likt leksakspistoler. Det rent av syrliga ljudet som långsamt krånglar sig ur högtalarna är lika segt som polkagris kan vara. Men det är en positiv överraskning emellan varven, även om det inte direkt är musik som tilltalar en själv. Både när det kommer till det rent psykedeliska och när det kommer till noise. Här känns det som om man släppt på klicheérna och bara kört på.

Spotlight: Squieti and Pastel – the Italian D.I.Y!

a0073546405_10With their debut-release “Impronte Nella Cenere“, the Italian math-rock outfit Squieti blend those post-hardcore vibes with a punk-attitude. Their eight-tracked album showcase their melodic talent with rather melodramatic drumming. It feels like being caught in a limbo with no way to get out of it, together with a constant barrage of melodic post-hardcore with a despaired vocalist. Even though emptiness might be his schtick, the band itself make up for a lack of atmosphere with the clinging of riffs with the concrete drumming. The technical aspects seem inverted. The arguably short hints of what could make up a rather soothing atmosphere is quickly struck down with the beat of a drum, favoring the rather amelodic connection between vocals and the general melodies of the guitars. It is clear that Squieti focus their darnedest on delivering a rather original hardcore-sounding math-rock experience, where the melody is the center of attention whilst the drums control the rhythm of the sound-scape. Positioning themselves in a fortress of their own whilst not letting anyone enter for real. There are lots of great things about their music but they have their weaknesses. Sometimes the math-rock inspired wholeness of their sound is hard to really appreciate. However, they make up for this with interesting choices of melodies and their rhythmic greatness. Their tracks seem to loosen up for the real hardcore sound when you get past the fifth track, so that’s by all means a time-stamp for when shit hits the fan for real. Listen to their album in full down below. Made possible on vinyl thanks to their friends Annoying Records, Boned Factory, Fast DIY or Die, L’oltraggio Autoproduzioni, Speed-Up Agency and Sons Of Flies webzine. Recorded and mixed by Stefano Romano in 2013, released on the 29th of January 2014.

a1784089479_10Another Italian band called Pastel did a split with the British band Merridew, featuring two songs by them titled “Momento nove” and “Laminal“. Their sound is very reminiscent of Squieti, with the difference of it being more into the screamo sound. Which is more of a 90’s-inspired one, together with desperate vocals which can also be heard from the aforementioned band. It wouldn’t surprise me if they share the same singer, because it really sounds alike when everything comes together. One main difference is the atmosphere which Pastel manages to curate from a whirlwind of drums, guitars with a rather dreamy but realistic sound, together with the stillness in between breakdowns and experimental touches of rhythm. A rather weird combination of deciding to go with a baseline that dominates through sections of their songs, especially when it comes to their second song from this split. Then it all suddenly blasts away again, making it feel like I’m able to reach further for myself, into the sky and the distant continuum that is space. They’ve got a rather space-y sound which is psychedelic when it comes to some of what it contains, but not all of it. Even though a lot of their sound is based around tempo and going downtempo, there’s nothing that can stop me from completely relaxing to this sound. Maybe it’s because of their passion which is channeled throughout, or their off-shoot from the shoegaze to the screamo sound. Whatever you’d like, this is certainly borrowing a lot of the greatest stuff from the 90’s, fueling their gruesome invasion into enemy territory. It’s because there’s a certain unfamiliarity when you try to decide for yourself what’s next. You never really know with these guys, which is a plus in my book. I might’ve heard it time and again before, but I am really into what I’m hearing. This split-release was put out by Glass of Spit Recordings on the 13th of March, and you can listen to the Pastel-side down below.

NO! Spotlight: Dry Socket / Ray Creature! [Part II]

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I found a rather anonymous label which is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. The American label that I found is called NO! Record Label and is hosting itself on Tumblr, giving off a rather secluded interior for me to find mysterious. All the better, because it leaves much to my own imagination. This mysterious label have released two releases before those that I am going to cover in this spotlight. One of the releases are of Drekka and Assimilation – a kind of live re-work of each others live performances – but also a late introductory for me to Michael Andersons brainchild Drekka. This was actually the first release to be put out on this label. The second release was a compilation featuring the artists Drekka, NOON, John Flannelly, Canid, Assimilation and Agakus. Featured musicians working in the Bloomington, Indiana area, described by the label: “a collection of tracks that represents the loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars“. But the two releases that I’m going to cover here are Dry Socket and in the second part; Ray Creature. This is the last part and it features Erich Booth and Natascha Buehnerkemper, known as Ray Creature. Let’s see if you enjoy it.

a3748909156_10Ray Creature. The fourth release on NO! Record Label is “Don’t Stop Talking EP“, featuring four tracks. Lo and behold, what I find is one of the finest examples of what can be done with post-punk. Combining it with the wide-array of genres like dark wave, no-wave, synth-pop and a rather odd experimentalism is the way to go. The fact that Ray Creature is a duo is mind-boggling, because they sound like they’ve had a whole band and that they just quit after this EP due to the difficulty of conveying such a sound. Such a huge sound is being created by two people. A shady sound, with funky undertones of the baseline and the general feel of it is somewhere in between the bizarre and the ingenious. Unfortunately all the steam goes to the track “Don’t Stop Talking” which is probably the best track on the release. After the haziness of the minimal synth landscape, which suddenly just shifts into some kind of disco-vibe mess, featuring no-wave vocals and a general sense of disobedience. The modular synthesizers are working hard on delivering the undertones of electronica to such a harsh example of the successes this band has, with experimentalism. After the first track which could be regarded as setting the theme for the rest of the release, it just delves into some kind of weird example of how the electronica doesn’t really cope with the weirdness of the atmosphere. There’s such a messy landscape of sound that you don’t really know what to look for. Too much happening at the same time.

Even though I know their ambitions have been great, they once again pick up where they left off the stream after “Success“, when we enter “Ripped Apart” – a totally energized maelstrom of the best synthesizers and up-tempo beat you could find. Cocky vocals at that, too. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of “Success” is good to begin with, but I just end up finding myself reminded about the melody – but in the way of that is the general anarchy that actually turns me away from that track to begin with. The last track seems to be a whole long intermezzo between catchy instrumentation, steady rhythms and a snare-sound that i find myself enjoying more than the general mood of the track at all. The vocals in this track is so good, but I don’t really enjoy the lyricism. Even though I have a lot of criticism to give, the general feel of the EP is great. It seems to be long in between when you hear about a sound that has taken off, then you listen to it and find out that it’s like something you’ve heard before – but not really in this format. They do a good job of pulling off the crossover between genres and fill it up with nice experimentalism. I must say that without the soothing but urgent vocals that Natascha deliver, this wouldn’t be as great of an experience as it really was. Enjoy it yourselves by streaming and listening to it here, down below.

Spotlight: Passion Slaves – Demo 2014

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It’s a nice day for a nip of post-punk. Canada have been boasting with their simmering environment of talents that have been emerging from nothing. One of those seem to be Passion Slaves, which I frankly know nothing about and whose imagery suggest minimalism – to such a degree that I might not even agree. But my weakness for the classic approach to post-punk seem to have tainted me this time around. The only thing which bothers me is the vocal part, but that’s a miniscule objection to their sound as such. They’ve actually recorded their first demo, so that objection might be weak to begin with. One thing I like about the vocalist is her energy when she sings, but there seems to be a show-stopper in their unharnessed energy – because at times it feels like they don’t master it yet. With that in mind, the two demo-tracks “Mortal Coils” and “Shadow Grounds” have an interesting goth rock and post-punk sound. The gloomy melodies resound in my own mind and their boasting sound as a whole give me an impression of them as serious musicians. It feels good to observe that they haven’t submitted themselves to every cliche possible when handling such an environment of genres. The fast riffing, great drumming and overall performance of this group makes me want to hear more of them. It seems like they’ve given much thought to these two songs so I wouldn’t really be hopeful for more in the near future, but who knows. I feel like there’s a mystery within their imagery and the visuals that are put into my head when listening to them. I just hope that the one ingredient, e.g. the vocalist and the lyrics, don’t steep too far down into the unlisteneable fold. Stream their whole release down below and give them some money if you like it.