Strömma Exklusivt: Dödsvarg – Glädjedödaren

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Ut från det tomma intet kommer en varg som representerar den karga verkligheten. Med hinkvis av det osande hat mot livets tristess som det mänskliga släktet vant sig vid, tittar de bortgångnas baneman ut från skuggorna. Ett djur mer fasansfullt än det hemskaste din egen fantasi kan uppbringa. Denna best är frammanad av Jon Ekström, eftersom att det är hans soloprojekt, går under namnet: Dödsvarg. Med de basala drifterna tillfredsställda, garderar sig denna helvetes uppkomling genom att dra influenser vitt och brett, utan att för den delen låta det påverka hans uppdrag—att alltid skräda ljudbilden till minsta beståndsdel. För två månader sedan släppte han en trippelsjua, där alla hans EP’s fick plats under samlingsnamnet “Människan är en ruttnande process“—inkluderar “Total System Collapse. Fuck!” (2012), “Om det där med omänskliga relationer” (2013), och “Slaget om alltings jävighet“—plus en helt ny bonuslåt vid namn “Anställd som underställd“.

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Det som intresserar med Jon Ekström och hans musik är att han just nu, åtminstone i Sverige, är ensam om att skapa något som kan sammanfattas som oljudsframkallande “industriell metal“. Ännu intressantare är hur man kan lyckas med detta umbärande när man bara är en person som i stort sett sköter all inspelning, av alla instrument, med få undantag ersatta på vissa låtar där han samarbetat med andra. Men det är oftast på fåtalet låtar och då handlar det om ett instrument eller en strupsångare som ersätter hans karaktäristiska—men plågade—underjordsvrålande. Om man bestämde sig för att förbeställa de fysiska vinylskivorna så fick man ett album på köpet, ett osläppt album som varit färdiginspelat sedan länge men som enstaka personer fick ta del av som tack för mödan; att de skramlat ihop pengar till att betala för sig.

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På detta släpp har Jon Ekström samarbetat vitt och brett, bland annat med två sångare och en rappare, varav en sångare som täcker upp för honom själv i en låt, medan de andra fått ta över med sina sångröster helt och hållet på de låtar som varit designerade för dem. Utöver allt detta så har han tagit hjälp av två trummisar, en som trummar för en sång rakt igenom och en annan som kompletterar Jon Ekströms trummande. Alla dessa personer är namngivna: Jens Ekelin,  Primatho, Samuel Skoog, David Flood och Hector Sjölund Peinado Peña. Visst kan man tycka att det är spännande med samarbeten till en viss grad, men när ett släpp är så fullständigt infekterat av samarbeten så blir man rätt motvillig inför lyssnandet. Särskilt eftersom att Jon sköter det musikaliska så bra annars, men det ska sägas att det går att genomlida med råge, eftersom att de bidragande musikerna faktiskt lägger till ytterligare en dimension till annars jävligt välsvarvad och bra musik.

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Eftersom att det är tolv dagar tills Jon Ekström släpper detta tidigare exklusiva och otillgängliga släpp, i sin helhet via sin Bandcamp så fick Repartiseraren en exklusiv förhandsströmning av albumet så att ni kan lyssna till de härliga tonerna av världens undergång; och en näve eller två för mycket nihilism. Plattan består av elva låtar, varav “Slutet“, “I Kolgruvorna” och “Satan” förblir Jon Ekströms egna alster, då alla andra innefattar ett samarbete eller två. Allting har spelats in av Dödsvarg och även mixats av honom, omslaget har även tillfallit honom att skapa. Mastering skötte Audiosiege ypperligt som vanligt. Hoppas att ni tycker om detta album lika mycket som jag gjorde. Om ni inte gör det, så går det alltid att spela albumet en gång till—jag lovar att ni kommer att fastna efter sjätte gången, eller tidigare. Njut av den karga nihilismens stålhätta, vars totala misantropi tar sönder dig inifrån.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[8th] December: Red Mecca – Sunny Day

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A decade turned into another, quickly the 1980’s faded into oblivion and the 1990s was born—Cabaret Voltaire had their release “Red Mecca” put out on CD via Restless Records and Mute Records. Nine years earlier that album was released on Rough Trade Records, being a their fourth album if you ignore the “Live At The Y.M.C.A. 27.10.79” and “Live At The Lyceum” releases. Fast-forward eight years from 1990 and you get 1998—the same year Jan Strandqvist release a maxi-single under the name Red Mecca. Coincidence? I think not. We think there’s little doubt that Cabaret Voltaire’s name of their fourth album influenced him, when it came to choosing the name of his project. The maxi-single was called “Please Goddess” and got produced during the time Telegram Records Stockholm existed, first an independent Swedish label started in 1987, in the end of the 1990’s sold to Warner Music’s sub-division to WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic). Now since some time back a defunct label.

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During the time-period where the label was still at least going forward, Red Mecca put out a song called “Underground” which was, at least for the Warner Music Sweden-release, written by Eric Svensson—co-founder of Sidelake Studios, gold & platinum selling producer and songwriter. When this solo-project which we suppose could be attributed to Jan Strandqvist alone, with some reservations, was in its first stages—the focus laid on House-music from what we can tell. A huge step away from what Red Mecca was to become, but we’re getting there. A maxi-CD called “Love Is A Savage Thing“, featuring the track with the same name and remixes of it, including a new version of “Underground” as a fourth track—Maria Ritzén of Stone Soul Picnic were the vocalist. The project itself seemed to be more of a project for Eric S as he is credited for remixing, but it’s hard to see where Jan comes in after this. Telegram Records closed down and went defunct. We’re in the 2000’s now, where it changed from the 21st Century to a millennium.

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The project wasn’t activated again until 2013. The same year, Frida Madeleine contributes to a Massproduktion compilation of interpretations by local creators for their latest vinyl-releases, the track is named “Frostjackan“—originally written and performed by the Swedish pop-band Indi. Somewhere along the lines they found one another and re-activated a long lost project which hadn’t been touched since 2000. Thirteen years later Frida Madeleine becomes the singer of Red Mecca—Jan Strandqvist the producer and machine-operator. The project changes completely from House to a combination of darkwave and indie-pop. The album “You Were Never Here” is released on Massproduktion as a CDr, featuring six tracks, one track called “Love & Hate“—with music by Anders Brodin, Henrik Brodin, Jan Strandqvist, Mikael Svensk and Peter Byström. Track three and four was written by Bonnie Rabson. Roughly a year later a proper album is released under the name “Covered With Rain“. The lyrics for all the songs are now written by Frida Madeleine, and she also made the music for “When It’s Empty“—the opening track. Jan Strandqvist produces the release, creates the cover together with Robert Persson, as photographed by Izabelle Englund. The label artwork was created by Catherine Fandén. Mastered at Cutting Room by Mats Lindfors. Let’s leave the technical aspects now.

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With their wondrous sound, gloomy and virtuous atmosphere, they create some kind of warmth which sucks you into the music. They’re an unbreakable duo that have just released a new b-side from their latest album, called “Endless – Highest Mountain On Mars Remix“. Now they’re featured in Ljudkalendern for the 8th December with an unreleased track they’ve had laying around. A humble but ultimately beautiful song which goes by the name of “Sunny Day“—a crash-course in complete melancholia. Here they show more of their darkwave-side and less of their pop-oriented blasphemy. Kidding, of course—everyone likes pop, including me. But I have a certain kind of passion for darkwave. Calm vocals, descending synthesizers that build up and create a fragmented atmosphere: “You can’t stop this motion“. Listen to it exclusively on Repartiseraren as a part of our non-commercial collection.

Poem:

Fade into darkness,
embrace it regardless
Brighten up for a day,
heighten your own stay

This is the passionate delivery of Red Mecca. We’re in Nirvana now and don’t look any further. There’s only an hour or two left of this day, so embrace whatever they’re intending to give you. Listen to it with open ears and let it sink in. Blend into a wondrous atmosphere. Here’s for the 8th December—”Sunny Day“—better not rain. It can wait until tomorrow when another track will be put up and out for Ljudkalendern.

Listen: Venin Carmin – Glam is gone

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

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

Premiere: VARSOVIE – Détruire Carthage

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Propaganda straight from Warsaw, with their telecommunications-station based out of France. Building on a concept that draws influences from concrete post-punk and stable new-wave, among other genres. The reason why they’re in any way related to Warsaw is because their band-name is VARSOVIE—the french word for “Warsaw“—capital of Poland. A debut-EP came out in 2006 titled “Neuf Milimètres” (Nine Millimeters), recorded in Grenoble 13eme Etage Studio and Chaosmic Studios. Here’s also where their aesthetic concept got set in motion by the photographer Lucas Rimbaud, which portrayed a woman lying on her back with her feet in the air—maybe relating to the title of the record—Nine millimeters bullet-type, and a gun. Their sound was virtually the same as it is now but a bit more unpolished and maybe also darker. It was also a whole other set-up when it comes to the band’s compound, different members and now there’s a whole other prerequisite for the band.

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They managed to self-release this EP which came out as a CD. Two years passed and there weren’t any new album or proper release during that time—not until September of 2008. A promo-CDr titled “Etat Civil” was released featuring an album with eleven tracks, featuring Nicolas St Morand (Hreidmarr) on backing vocals for “Etat D’Urgence” (State Of Emergency), outro music by the famous late composer Franz Schubert, for the closing song “Inertie” (Inertia). Everything was recorded at Drudenhaus Studio, located in Issé, France, the home of studio engineer Benoît Roux (Anorexia Nervosa). Now the aesthetics have suddenly changed, there’s a woman standing on train-tracks holding two bags—it almost feels like she’s moving away from somewhere, to anywhere. They used a different photographer, Manon Weiser, who’s also helped with his skills for the Velvet Condom box-set “Vanity And Revolt“. A year later a proper release of the same album came out, in December of 2009.

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Six years later their latest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, was also self-released by the band. Then something happened. A Black-Metal(!) label from France called Those Opposed Records began releasing both “Etat Civil” and their newest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, in limited editions on black vinyl and colored vinyl. It’s interesting how such a label would ever take interest in VARSOVIE, whilst mainly focusing within black metal. Good for the band. So here we are, they’ve just announced the release of their latest album and everything’s dandy. Well, everything actually is pretty dandy. Repartiseraren have gotten the opportunity to premiere “Détruire Carthage” (Destroy Carthage), a track we’re particularly fond of from the new album. It’s got a rather short running time of around roughly three minutes, but all the ingredients of this fierce post-punk band—all of the energy, the ambitious and dark conditions for a nicely crafted post-punk sound—for you as a listener to stream from here. Enjoy it as much as you can!

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

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

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

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Spotlight: baum•geist – music for the late autumn rain

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This is the first I’ve heard of baum•geist, a self-proclaimed internet performance artist and “multimedia acrobat“. Based out of Germany, obviously inspired by Japan and japanese culture in many ways – especially “絶命詩” (zetsumei-shi) – in English; a death-poem which is a poem written near the time of one’s death. A tradition in many cultures, but especially in Japan and during the Qing/Ming dynasty in Korea, from 1392-1897. I can never be certain of the fact that it’s the aim and pure goal of the aesthetics for “music for the late autumn rain“, but the artwork suggests that it might be a source of inspiration. Though the titles suggest something else, like the first track “秘密の地下室” (Secret basement, roughly translated), “瑠璃色” (Ballad drama color, obvious mistranslation via Google Translate), “大切な思い出” (Precious Memories) – all take into account the amorous nature of what it represents – together with the purely bizarre English titles like: “human egg“, mixed with the supernatural; “blue moon” and “geist“. When you don’t really know the language, it’s hard to determine whether what is translated really states the inherent meaning of the title.

However, the bizarre is matched with the supernatural and the mystical movements of mother nature. It’s as predictable as it is unpredictable. From pure ambient music with percussion reminding you of traditional instruments of Asia – specifically Japan – paired with a noisy, almost clairvoyant melodies that ring sharply when smashed together. But there are more characteristics that make baum•geist versitale with his music. The further into the album you come, the more it becomes a sample-based musical hemorrhage combined with field recording-like sounds. A track can suddenly change from three minutes long – to up to twelve minutes of length. Here’s where the more low-keyed ambient is experimented with, ending up with silhuettes of sound which fade out and when it comes in make a resounding noise. This is an album that makes up for its name and the music is really for “the late autumn rain“. Put on something cozy and travel into a world yet to be discovered.