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.

Listen: Equinoxious – Singles

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For some time now Equinoxious have been releasing single after single – finally compiling everything into a triple-single. It’s been a while since his E.P. “Astros Prometidos” was released, a year ago. Then it was re-released on the Valencian label SINCRONICA in April this year. But then singles showed up roughly two months ago, hinting that his forthcoming album “Cosmódromo” was due to be released, on the aforementioned label. These three singles are titled “Astrónomo Insumiso“, “Cosmódromo (ft. Kriistal Ann)“, and “Σ“. I haven’t really been following this Mexican artist more then when one of his tracks were featured on a compilation not too long ago. That seems to have been a greater mistake then what I ever could have anticipated. His music is really something which connects the otherwise blurry dots between minimal synth and synth-pop. Often times the minimalism takes a greater toll on the sound then it should, in my opinion. It becomes bleaker then intended and carries nothing much of weigth. Equinoxious manage to find a balance in the contrast between minimalism and the otherwise glamorous synth-pop sound – by relying on catchy, primitive and repetetive beats – intermixed with a clever and complex rhythmic pattern that have the ability to change – rapidly.

Another thing which hasn’t gone unnoticed is how many within minimal synth, cold wave, darkwave and other similar sub-genres collaborate more then usual. Just see how Paradox Obscur’s own Kriistal Ann is featured on one of the single-tracks featured both in this foretaste and also in the forthcoming album by Equinoxious. You don’t have to go far when you’d want to see a collaboration, just check earlier releases by other artists in nearby genres; Roladex and ((PRESSURES)), Xiu and Cold Colors, Larissa Iceglass from Lebanon Hanover on the forthcoming Selofan-release, and many more. It doesn’t just have to be split-releases but it can also be collaborations. I hope to see even more of that in the future, to say the least many of them have been surprising and others not as surprising. So now when SINCRONICA will be releasing Equinoxious new album, you’ll unfortunately have to wait until 2015 for the end result. I hope there’ll be more collaborations on the release instead of just one, but I can right now only hope for that to show up next year. I suggest that when you’re patiently waiting, stream the “Singles” down below.

Listen: Morthouse – Morthouse

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Oh how Montreal fosters our youth. With music not only from there, but also from the stronghold Toronto – which have given us much prosperous acts – that in turn don’t have to look far and wide to find accomplices. From this city comes a duo whom share the same surname, which makes you wonder if they’re indeed brothers. Thomas L’Allier and Philippe L’Allier are the main characters behind this trio, which gets their drumming lent by Samuel Gemme. He’s the one whom gives them their nice rhythm, although the riffing and the general mood of their tracks suggest a wider conspiracy – where everything needs to be fitted right to create their rather unique sound. Not that anyone else haven’t done it before, but I like the nicely done rhythms that coincide with their wonderfully spooky and melancholic theme that seems to be a re-occuring concept.

Almost a month ago or less, they released their first album which is the self-titled “Morthouse“-release. It’s among the better crossovers between mainly post-punk, alternative rock and goth rock that I’ve heard. Thrown in is the urgent vibe that no-wave creates with its messy undertones that are concocted well together with melodies – which makes this influence far too melodic to have the amelodic overtone that only no-wave can contribute with. Not to mention how they use different instruments in perfect harmony, bringing a dark cabaret touch to their otherwise completely magnificent self-image. Now they’ve also got the cockiness that is needed to really bring forth the funkiness and jazzyness that can be heard between the lines dropped by the brothers. I’m feeling like I’ve been invited to a cabaret and that I can see them behind the scenes. The music is unraveled and I’m instantly intriguied by it as they casually bring forth their more instigated selves. A must-listen for everyone of you at home longing for a proper crossover release and not a kitsch re-interpretation. Listen to the whole album down below.

Lyssna: Sanne De Neige – Dans La Forêt / / Insomnie // Venin

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Det blir alltid lite förvirrande när så mycket musik släpps på en och samma gång, men nu har Sanne De Neige lagt upp tre stycken nya låtar, som inte borde stå okommenterade. Med en trummaskin, bas, synthar och gitarrer till sitt förfogande, så lyckas duon mästerfullt med att framförallt blanda de gotiska undertonerna med experimentell coldwave musik. Det framträder väldigt klart i och med sångerskan Sanne de Neiges vokalmattor som lurar i bakgrunden, men som tränger igenom den trummaskinfyllda atmosfären, täckt av ett lager med förvrängning vilket gör att rösten förutom att vara lite disträ även omvandlar en annars stickande ljudbild till ett glödgande hett inferno. Kaoset har bara inte brutit ut och tur är väl det. Särskilt i första låten “Dans La Forêt” så utvecklas omgivningen organiskt och går från att vara tämligen lugnt, till att lägga på lager efter lager och med en omvälvande kraft förvandlas till någonting alldeles eget. Utan att egentligen ta med nackdelarna som hade kunnat finnas, lyckas en tämligen statisk ljudbild bli större än förväntat.

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För den som aldrig upplevt sömnlöshet, känns det som att “Insomnie” är en representation av det i ljudform. Med en förvrängd röst sköljs stämman bort till förmån för ett industriljud med diskant, för att sedan falla in i en mer kontemplerande fas där allting känns mycket klarare. Här känns det som om man vaknar upp från sin sömnlöshet – istället för att behöva vandra i en trötthetsdimma utan dess like. Rytmerna är medryckande men fokuserade på att ställa till så mycket trubbel som möjligt, för att sedan återgå till en mer kontrollerad sväng vars melodier bygger upp en kaskad av känslor – som släpps lös till slut. Det finns också någon slags lättsamhet som inte direkt kommer av den kalla vågen, utan snarare den popiga ljudmatta som influerar små delar av hela deras ljudlandskap. Den finns inte där alltid, men är en del av det mer detaljstyrda som gör att det finns utrymme för mer än bara ond bråd kyla och allt som följer med det. En hoppfullhet som smittar av sig på allt annat.

Sedan när den sista låten “Venin” kommer, så är det i form av ett slags avskedsbrev. Det är ett tack och adjö med ett stilla lugn som omgiver allt – nästan lite balladaktigt – om man gör undantaget och inte väljer att definiera en ballad som en smörsångares sista urusla suck. Det här är mil ifrån det och tack och lov för det. Det finns en reflekterande ådra som gömmer sig i vaggorna, men så brister Sanne ut i en så kraftfull sång vilket ger låten momentum, för att sedan med trummaskinen långsamt suddas ut av den tidsram som låten är satt på. Det passar helt utmärkt. Tystnaden varar ett tjugotal sekunder, innan man egentligen förstår att låten är slut. När allting är över så finns där en förhoppning om att det ska dyka upp fler låtar, eller kanske att låtarna sammanställs i ett självsläppt album – eller att någon av våra tyngre och bättre bolag som Beläten kan ta tag i den talang de besitter. Det känns som att de passar bra ihop och att det är en pusselbit som kanske fattas hos dessa bolag, även om de sedan innan – och fortsätter att släppa – hejdundrans alternativa album som andra skivbolag ignorerar, trots dess potential. Lyssna till alla tre låtar här nedanför.

Exclusive Premiere: Minuit Machine – Agoraphobia (Album Version)

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When everything had settled through the eyes and ears of Hélène De Thoury, she launched a duo together with Amandine Stioui – whose voice had been a wake-up call for Hélène – she adored it. Since 2013 they’ve been working together on shaping their first release, which took them a few months to put out. This self-released EP, called “Blue Moon“, quickly gained a lot of attention and appraisal from those who found out about them. Although their sound can be found somewhere in between the minimal synth and new-wave categories, their rather complex structure and beautifully laden vocals make them unique to genres fond of taking it literally when translating a fixed category into something more. There is a large hint of minimalism in their sound, but all the influences they gather together shape a uniqueness which takes them away from traps that quickly become clichés. With their new-wave sound, enchanting structures and pinpointed melodies – affect you in all the ways they might want you to feel. From the year 2013 to 2014, they’ve worked on their debut-album and now they’re soon ready to unleash it as a whole.

The french label Desire Records are releasing their debut-album “Live & Destroy” will be released on the 6th of October. Before the release, they’re playing live at the french venue La balle au bond, on the 1st of October. On the 30th of November they will go on a tour, hitting countries like Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. I exclusively premiered “Agoraphobia (Album Version)“, a track which is what I consider to be the beating heart of their record. This track is so emotional and delivers a whole other insight to what minimal synth can sound like, when transformed by other genres which overlap or have less to do with a genre like synth-pop. I think it is their strength and it sounds like they’ve worked hard on every single track. Let this be the anthem that will carry you away and put you into the mood for listening to “Live & Destroy”. Look out if you want to buy it, because soon it will be available from Desire Records. Stream the exclusive track down below.

Spotlight: Water Torture – Pillbox

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Someone enlightened me to the existence of Water Torture. I think I had heard of them a couple of times not too long ago, but it is easy to mix everything up. This band is a trio hailing from the US with members from Bestower, but also from numerous other bands. Ian Wiedrick, Matt Goodrich and Thomas Leyh are the names of the foundation which this trio stands upon. When it comes to their band, they’ve released a lot of different EPs and singles which makes me think of Agathocles and how bands within the genres of grindcore, powerviolence and fastcore – to mention a few sub-genres – release so much material that it’s insane. They first got released on Human Beard, a split-release with Dirt Eyes that was put out on cassette back in 2011. Since then a range of releases have been put out on labels such as Diseased Audio, Knochen Tapes, Mannequin Rein, Nice Dreams Records, CONTINUUM., Dead Heroes Records, Prime Eggsample Records and Nerve Altar. In other words, they’ve got a hell lot of material to be listened through for those of you interested in hardcore, grindcore and powerviolence. Not to mention that they’ve already gathered so much material that three different compilations have been released, namely “Tour 2013“, “Discography” and “Collection“. Finally they’ve been readied to put out their first real album on Nerve Altar.

The album is titled “Pillbox” and feature seventeen tracks. From what I have gathered it seems like most of the tracks are exclusive for this release alone. Everything on it was recorded in May of 2014 together with (and by) John Angelo. It feels like they’ve gotten a rather nice, well-processed sound albeit a dirty one, with the help from John. When you listen through it you notice how it strays away from the general clichés that can often be attached to genres such as grindcore and power-violence. Even though it is clear that a hand is lent to the influences with each genre, collecting around the collectivized sluggishness that only a hint of sludge can bring with itself – which is perfectly thrown in there amidst all the noisy wrath of both vocals and music alike. I am utterly dismayed when listening to it but there never comes a moment where I feel like its too heavy of a burden to listen to. Because even though a lot of discontent can be felt throughout the general atmosphere of the album, they’ve executed the setting of every instrument into the sound-scape and the general theme of it – without overextending. The noise that they display in all of this helps to create a rather ominous setting for a barrage of drums, riffs and freakish rhythm that makes them stand out. I really like it a lot and I’ll have to thank whomever that got me into Water Torture for the first time. You can stream the release in whole down below and if you like what you’re hearing, pre-order the vinyl here.