Listen: Giant Swan, Rivière de Corps, Luminance, and V/A – Spänningen Band II

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We’ve had quite a run for many years, the machinery have worked as intended but sometimes they need to be carefully restored to their former glory once again. We have no excuses to not post anything, it is just that the current musical climate is so lethargic – either waddle through a pool of mud – or directly finding the gems you’ve sought out for so long.

Running your own label takes time, and having a full-time job hinders the crew from working on this site at all times. The intention for the future is to update more frequently, the ideal would be once or twice a day – but time needs to be portioned up for this to work – which is difficult to say the least.

If you haven’t checked our label out yet, here’s some shameless self-promotion, visit our bandcamp-page and support us: https://repartiseraren.bandcamp.com/

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It’s been a long time since anything from Mannequin Records was featured on this webzine, we’ve not really been keeping up with what they’ve been doing – but they’ve released quite a number of records since then.

The latest of their releases is “High Waisted“, by a Bristol-based duo Giant Swan, their second EP in their discography and a really good mixture of ominous industrial music that have an outstretched hand into more obfuscated music like rhythmic noise.

It is too complicated in rhythm to be equated with regular techno, even though some of the settings and moods suggest otherwise. Maybe industrial or hard techno would share more similarity with the genrebending they’re doing in this maddening approach. “The Rest Of His Voice” is easily the best song on the whole record, as it captures their whole essence on this EP, furiously stomping into your eardrums without any hesitation.

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Maybe this french one-man outfit, Rivière de Corps have drawn a lot of influence from Pure Ground? A lot of the material is reminiscent of the earlier outputs of that duo. Both aesthetically and musically, a lot of it sounds alike, some of the songs are alright on this release but other songs like “retour du dieu plutonium” should’ve had more thought put into them.

Even though a lot of songs on this release needs a few adjustments here and there, the general theme of the record and the aesthetic aspects of the release as a whole make it better. With the song “échec critique” they reach a high point of the release itself, if only all the other songs had the same standard, it would be an even better release.

In general, it is satisfying to listen to and it explores a lot of themes and moods that don’t need that much more additional presentation. If you like the music, consider buying a cassette directly from the bandcamp of Vague à l’Âme, and listen to the release in whole down below.

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We’ve covered Luminance some time way back when, but now they’re released a single, a different version of the song “Martyr” (from The Cold Rush), which is more mystical in its approach and a calmer version, titled “Martyr” (Version Longue). The only reason for us to cover a single, is basically because this is a great version that stands on its own and challenges the original version.

This is the point of music, to exponentially go in different directions and instead of stagnating it evolves in manners that might be unknown to the listener until he or she hears it. Could we all agree that french lyrics, when done properly, adequately enhances music and takes it into a whole other dimension? It adds a perfectly great mysterious undertone which is desperately needed in the first minute of this song.

Listen to it down below and give them some money if you like it.

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When I boast about Sweden, I boast about these kinds of compilations. We’re truly great at discovering obscure artists and groups, and we’re even better at showcasing them in equally as obscure compilations. It haven’t been on our horizons, but since we heard about Yta Recordings, we felt we needed to give them some coverage somehow.

Spänningen Band II” is the second compilation in a series, coming in strong with a hard-hitting claustrophobic track by Adore that gently shove in hints of a compact, ambitious dreary landscape of sound that is equal to none. Most of these artists and groups are unknown to us, but when you pass through the quirky repetitive acid mixture that is hidden between Nima Khak and Lrh, a more urgent response is felt within the song by United Hive Mind Of Sweden, perfectly igniting the next artist Stilnoct.

We must admit that we find some of these artists hard to listen to, and that is not because of the music itself, but it is because the same boring archetype of techno music is repeated throughout the compilation in ways that are common with these compilations, unfortunately. The music itself is well-produced, there is no question about that – but after Adore dropped “Time Is Anima“, everything else was pale in comparison.

Celldöd graciously ends this compilation with “Du Som Försvann“, maybe it was the start and finish that would keep you listening throughout? If so, it’s a good compromise. Even though some of the music is not really in our ballpark, it is a good enough compilation to recommend because of its aesthetics and that it contains a few really good tracks, and two really great tracks.

Listen to it down below in full and support them by buying the physical cassette of this release.

 

Exclusive Premiere: Knifesex – Living Flame

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Finally, Vanessa Irena of Knifesex – as she calls her solo-project – is getting a proper debut-release via 3t3rnal Records on the 17th of November. Repartiseraren have gotten the exclusive opportunity to premiere a full track from her album “Babalon“. According to herself the inspiration for this release have come through an appreciation of the occult, a dedication to the apocalyptic. The ritualistic nature of her music is expanded upon in this release, for those of you who’ve heard “Blood From Stone” from the first compilation on Repartiseraren will not be disappointed – it is more of the same and even furthers the experimental, but ambitious electronic sound.

There is no secret either that she draws these inspirations together within a feminist approach. The album consists of seven songs and we’re going to give you “Living Flame” to listen to, a week before the release-date. You will be able to purchase the album digitally through 3t3rnal Records on the 17th of November. Listen to the exclusive song down below.

Review: Canter – Traveller

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Ever since I first heard a song by Canter, their sound have struck me as something unique and out of the regularly mashed out minimal wave, cold wave, dark wave, and synth-pop sound one has gotten used to nowadays. There’s a transgressive notion in their music that descends the genres and picks influences from each one of them. When I saw that TONN Recordings had released a new album by them, I just had to listen through it and do a track-by-track review of it.

What begins as a musical seance, “Deflection” slowly descends into a mixture of industrial and synthesizer-based music. It has a very unorthodox approach as to what track it should be that starts off an album, as this song isn’t very introductory but rather downtempo and experimentally odd. As if they’d walk on the steps of acapella, electronic music and post-punk – simultaneously. Subliminally it is a wicked song that etches onto your brain and have a very disturbing approach in general, vocally.

It very much seems to continue down the trodden path in “Traveller” for the first seconds or so – but instead takes a turn for melodic, surprisingly pop-oriented synth-pop music. They seem to be splintered as a group musically, but it builds on you and it feels like the metaphorical line on which they tread is ever expanding. Especially noticeable are the vocals in this song, how the singer accentuates the last lines in the lyrics and sets the melodies up for a continuum of greatness. Being their first album ever this song gives off a really promising and unique sound in the sense that it is like nothing I’ve heard before, in terms of simplicity but also in terms of ambiguous and ambitiously sounding synthesizer music.

One’s mind is blown when “Metal to Metal” comes on. What an imaginative and stylized type of electronic music they’re capable of making. Melodies upon melodies that are layered sufficiently to create both an overtone of raw energetic music and a mystic undertone. Unfortunately the vocals aren’t that inspiring on the song, but it doesn’t matter as they go well with the sound-scape anyway, so that is just a minor nuisance. It’s a dreamy song, a well-thought out one in terms of synthesizer sweeps, minor stabs and general rhythm. Slowly fading into nothingness one more time, the more you listen to it, the more you’re hooked and can’t stand anything else.

Just to have an upbeat song, titled “Red Heather“, throw em’ into the kind of maniacal but genial type of electronic body music Schwefelgelb handles – if they’d be stripped to the core and devoid of that harsh rhythm, and beats. This is more of a fast-paced electro-punk – at the core melodious darkwave – which goes from that spastic rhythm into a controlled, hard-line maelstrom of punishing emotional electronica. After each song they seem to outdo themselves in terms of musicality, as they play around with the clay in which they mold their wondrous, dreamy but human music.

Now this song I recognize, having had the pleasure of uploading it myself into my compilation titled “Ljudkalendern III” – the song “Same” was first to be featured there. It is more of a ballad, really. Breaking from the shyness of the vocals and maturing together with the uncompromising synth-pop. I notice this might come off as being a bit biased since I’ve released the song myself some time ago, but let it be that – I’m just giving you my honest opinion. The song is great in and of itself and it was well-placed on this release, since it feels like you’re moving to the end – as the album is.

The last song on the release, “Highest Peak“, reminds me a lot of one song from the Person:A-release “Beneath The Grey Line (Sketches)“. They share a lot of attributes at least, but Canter have a more shadowy approach. It is unfortunately one of the least great song on this release. It feels too splintered in and of itself that it only works as an outro, not as a way of bridging the release towards the end and making you (the listener) want more, or at least a forthcoming second album. Even though it fails in many ways it builds up quite a momentum – only too late.

I’m surprised that TONN Recordings have released such a good album. The other releases on that label haven’t been that much of interest, but with this one they’ve managed to set themselves up for future releases. It is more then a decent release, it is actually good and most of the songs hold up. Order the physical vinyl from them if you can, otherwise you can settle with the digital release itself. Listen to it in whole down below.

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

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

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

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

 

Review: Keep – For Your Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exclusive Swedish Premiere: The Album Leaf – Between Waves

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Repartiseraren, in collaboration with Relapse Records, is giving you the full stream of the forthcoming sixth album “Between Waves“, a week ahead of the scheduled release date (26th August). This is the Swedish exclusive of this album, which you get to stream in its entirety right here and now. The release itself will be available in a wide-range of formats on release: CD, LP, DLX, 2xLP, and of course digitally. The physical pre-orders can be done via this link, the digital via The Album Leaf’s own bandcamp. The single “New Soul” will become available on 7¨ vinyl via bandcamp as well.

Well, what do we think about it? This is not something that we’d cover regularly, so it’s kind of special to us, in a sense. We haven’t paved our way through The Album Leaf’s discography yet, but when listening to the release itself, there’s a certain sublime atmosphere in the songs – and the ambitiousness of the percussive elements, synthesizers and general feel of it – can be heard through and through.

It’s not your standard run-at-the-mill music and they have not just picked the basic elements of each genre they find themselves in, which is more then we need to have this on here. When we’ve listened through it, everything is up to par and possibly even better then what we anticipated it to be. There’s also a certain allure to their cover and a perfect representation of the aesthetics of the name – on the artwork.

Full tracklist is as follows:

1. False Dawn

2. Glimmering Lights

3. New Soul

4. Back to the Start

5. Wandering Still

6. Never Far

7. Lost in the Fog

8. Between Waves

The Album Leaf (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/TheAlbumLeaf/

Relapse Records (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

Repartiseraren (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/Repartiseraren/

Exclusive Premiere: Bad News From Cosmos – Akira

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Ukrainian improvisers Andrii Hrachov and Iryna Bodnar are two-dimensional in concept; life and death, but three-dimensional when producing, musically; free improvisations, analogue synth commanders and bound to no certain genre. For them, it’s important to conjure a narration that binds together an otherwise escapist, avant-garde free-form of music with its’ static topic. Not to say that it necessarily means that the motive itself isn’t open for various interpretations – but just so the music doesn’t go too far away into abstraction. They themselves say it’s an “eternal experiment” – which makes you wonder if and when they’re going to finish experimenting? Maybe that’s the point with the project and when it ceases to exist—so does the experimentation.

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Bad News From Cosmos have been alive and kickin’ since 2010, releasing their first album in 2013 called “kongogumi“—which may be a reference to “Kongō Gumi” (株式会社金剛組)—Japanese construction company, and one of the oldest independent companies still existing in the world. The album artwork features a White Cherry Blossom (Sakura) – Japan’s national flower, which represents different aspects of Japanese history, but also their culture. Here’s where they seem to have started to wander into a certain topic, whether they like it or not—or maybe, just maybe it’s a reference to bloom (life) and withering (death)—could it be? We’re not sure, but it is a possibility due to their strict enforcement when it comes to topics, but not as strict as not being re-interpretable within the linguistic possibilities of the words.

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The same year when Autumn turned into Winter, “Fjord EP” was released on the Russian label Simphonic Silence Inside. Etymologically speaking, the references sprawl into obscurity, where it not for that we in Sweden have fjords and our brothers in Norway also have it—calling it: “Fjord“; (“a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs“). What comes to ones mind is the landscape of Oslofjord, a rocky landscape, an inlet (or fjord) which seem to metaphorically strew and divide the Islands Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene on either the left or the right side. We’re not so sure if their reference is even close to ours, or if they simply had a different take on it considering the artwork’s display of a mountain. We would however wish it was true. Or maybe it’s just a reference to Norway and their highest mountain – Galdhøpiggen. We as Swedes would’ve wished for it to be Kebnekaise, so we could take pride in being interpreted by their avant-garde.

We didn’t want to delve any further into their releases, it’s just that those two in particular interested us more and that we would be writing much longer, not getting to the main point of this article, if we were to cover everything. Which we’re not interested in. However, they’ve released three albums since the aforementioned releases and they’re titled (not in order): “Laid down to earth“, “Kids of the Soviet Tree“, and “Turquoise Hearts“—their latest release so far, on Amok Recordings. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got to the point now? Yes. So let’s begin.

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French label Anywave Records recently created a sub-division, or sister-label if you will, composed of a palindrome of Anywave—called Evawyna. The purpose was to have a label for digital releases only. So far Heather Celeste have gotten her single-track release “Austere“, re-released on on Evawyna. In this article we’re focusing on the second release, the continuation of Bad News From Cosmos, their forthcoming album “Pearls for Guttiere“—by now down below the sea, if we reference the artwork. Here they’ve taken “nippon-pop” from what we think is their debut-album (“kongogumi“), polished it and put it as the sixth track on this coming album. The mellowly sounding and beat-orientated experimentation relax our senses—feels like diving into the sea, snorkeling, seeing the beauty of the fabric in the ecosystem—and all the wonderful creatures living there. As it is sung in Japanese, we’re vaguely reminded about “Kaneda’s Theme“—from the by now legendary Akira 『AKIRA』(アキラ)(1988) film’s soundtrack, due to the sound but also the name: “Akira“. We’re proud to be streaming it exclusively from our blog-zine and we hope it fascinate you as much as it did for us.