Recension: Kuggljud – Industri & Näring Vol. I

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Robin Smeds Mattila (Human Rays) har startat upp ett skivbolag alldeles nyligen. Fokuset ligger främst på etablerade men även okända artister inom experimentell elektronisk musik. Kuggljud har anordnat olika evenemang i Stockholm där musiken som återfinns på detta samlingssläpp, består i artister som spelat på dessa evenemang tidigare. Släppet är en del i en serie av samlingar. Vi tar oss an detta släpp i en recension, låt för låt – och den klockar in på cirka 39-40 minuter totalt.

Först ut är “Den Första Snön“, en låt av Jonas Röde, som tidigare släppt EP:n “Går” på Zeon Light. Med en konstant rytm som lämnar mycket åt tankeverksamheten och en rungande saxofon, så målas det upp en inre bild av just det låtnamnet symboliserar. Men den mer pittoreska lilla svenska byn mitt i snön förvandlas till någon storstadsdystopi tack vare saxofonen. Det är fräckt att höra hur melodierna sakta flyter in i varandra och utvecklas, men det blir egentligen inte mer än en låt i ständig rörelse. Man får ta det man hör och ta tillvara på det, vilket gör skäl för sin sak när saxofonens rytande långsamt försvinner och ersätts med lågmälda toner.

När låten egentligen borde försvunnit ut i snöstormen så hänger den efter en tiotals sekunder, förändras lite grand och håller nästan på att utvecklas till något helt nytt precis innan det sista av den konstanta syntslingan hörs – som om den höll på att inneslutas i en bubbla från omvärlden, för att rekonstrueras och bli mer än bara ett slut på en låt – kanske en början på en annan del, vem vet.

Man kan verkligen tala om kontraster, när “Glaciär“, en låt av Unknown Sister, knastrar in bestämt. Konsten att gå från en oljudsvall till eftertänksam IDM-musik, är verkligen något man kan kalla för märkligt i detta fallet. När den hårda bastrumman spränger bergsväggen så sker det till några av de vackraste melodier jag hört inom dessa genrer, eller i alla fall denna korsningen, på ett bra tag. Det känns härligt när fokuset ligger på att understödja melodierna för att få fram rytmen, genom att blanda så hejvilt som det gjorts här. Låtnamnet är det ingenting fel på för det beskriver exakt det som sker i låten.

Pissmöten” är nästa låt, av Besökaren. För den som har varit tvungen att genomlida onödiga möten borde väl detta nästan vara den heliga graalen. Man känner riktigt hur tristessen lyser igenom och hur den svenska, kanske norrbottniska, lynnet gör sig påmint genom en person (förmodligen besökaren själv, då) orerar om hur “mötet blivit framflyttat tre gånger” redan. Eftersom att det finns en hög igenkänningsfaktor i denna låt så fastnar skrattet i halsen – för hur orimligt det än kan vara att göra en låt om det, så har det nu gjorts och det passar helt perfekt i en samling för experimentell (svensk) elektronisk musik. Kanske är detta till och med själva markören för volym ett.

Från att gå till karg socialrealistisk lyteskomik på ett vis, till seriös rytm så fort, är intressant. Det är nog också det som är charmen med den experimentella elektroniska musiken. Hur annorlunda allt är vartannat. CHIAB lämnar avtryck med låten “Modern Money“, och man kan konstatera att det finns ett visst hantverk involverat i låtarna, särskilt denna. Av enstaka samplingar och manipulerade ljud så kan man skapa något helt fantastiskt. Det är en hektisk låt som står och faller med rytmen – det är kärnan i det hela – och med den skapas det fasansfulla melodier.

Besökaren har tydligen fått äran att ha två låtar på denna samling. Nu blir det på snudden till att gränsa över till Onkel Kånkel-musik, eller kanske något Arvid Tuba-liknande – eller varför inte något annat? Jag vet inte riktigt. Låten gör en förvirrad. Instruktionerna är dock klara och låten är över efter en minut. Även fastän det kanske låter löjligt när det beskrivs så finns det i alla fall någon substans i det och även om det är simpelt så är det njutbart.

Sist så är det Förbandet Krunic Schmidt som levererar field recordings, parat med ambient och drone – för att leverera något riktigt underskönt, med låten: “Skilda Vägar (Barnen i 163)“. Även om denna låten kanske inte direkt gör något intryck, så får man leta i hur det är komponerat för att komma någon vart. Det känns som om det kunde utvecklats lite mer, det känns för kompakt och instängt – när det kunde varit grandiosare. Men de levererar en snudd på sorgsen ljudbild, så någon känsla väcker de i alla fall till liv med musiken.

Human Rays har faktiskt lyckats rätt så bra med sitt första samlingssläpp. Det känns som ett bra tvärsnitt för de (oss) som inte känt till Kuggljud sedan tidigare, och som förmodligen inte heller varit på någon av livespelningarna. Man vill ha mer utav det här och då passar det utomordentligt med en serie samlingssläpp – så håll ögonen öppna.

Ni kan lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför, passa på att köpa en kassett för att stödja nästa släpp i serien.

 

Spotlight: Kazeria, A.D. Mana, Strucktura, TRAITRS

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In this spotlight we’ve chosen four artists/groups that are different – yet alike in many ways. There will be a lot of darkwave, coldwave and industrial music in this spotlight. Mostly because those are the genres where we find ourselves at home, because there’s immense talent to be found there. We start off with noisy industrial music and end with gloomy post-punk extravaganza.

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Kazeria was unknown to me when I found his music via Gradual Hate Records. It was his latest release, “Nihilist Militant“, that caught my eye. The aesthetics were impressive when it comes to the artwork for this release, but more was to be discovered when pressing play. He’s created very intimate and atmospheric industrial music, coupled with dark ambient overtones. Keep in mind that these songs are totally unedited versions, created between 2003 and 2007 – which is a representation of how it sounded back then.

There’s a great assertiveness in his music, it almost borders to the bombasticism of martial industrial. As stated by the label, this is a “very personal” release, which really shows in the emotions he conveys with his music. It is both harsh and atmospheric, with destructiveness at its core. One is very impressed by the percussive rhythms he produces, which can be heard the clearest in “Evrazia Regnat” – a very disciplined and ambitious track in regards to melodies as well. Even the very short ballad-like song “Irminsul” has a certain grace.

This release is a great way to get into his music and if you pre-order the last copy in the special package – you get a gas mask as well. Can’t get more industrial then that. Listen to the release down below, buy it if it is of interest to you.

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A.D. Mana is a relatively new artist from Berlin. The re-release of his first and only, self-titled EP, on cassette – had me at the first song “Take Hold” – a stern coldwave rendition that catches multiple influences, like synth-pop and darkwave, molding it into a sinister blend together with his voice. The synthesizer stabs are clear but at the same time dark and brooding, a strange combination which at first doesn’t seem to work but as the song progresses it is obvious that it does. “Down The Wire“, another song on the release, almost funnels the post-punk vibes into some odd kind of grungy synth-pop-‘n’-roll.

My favorite song on the release, except the first one, is “Honour“. It adds gracefulness to the messy environment of the songs in general. Even though you’re caught slightly off-guard by his voice – not in a good way – it fits in place after a few moments into the song. There are some great rhythms as well, aptly executed. The melodies are unorthodox, which makes me like it even more. You expect more of the same but get tricked into the wondrous atmospheres, the groovy electronic beats – and the charming ballad-like ending within “Soulware“. A perfect instrumental track and appropriate farewell. You should really check it out, and buy the cassette from sentimental, if it suits you.

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I’ve actually heard about this artist, Strucktura, whilst browsing through the bandcamp-feed. But I never paid much attention to the music. There’s some really solid darkwave-inspired music in his “Statues Also Die” release on Oráculo Records. While the synthesizers and beats are on point in the release, there’s some really cheesy lyrics. In a weird way they go along well with the music, so I will leave that alone. The music seems awfully cheerful but at the same time moody and distraught – which is something that adds character to the songs. Especially in “Val D’Aran“. 

There’s a nice futuristic vibe about each song and it comes out differently, even though most of the rhythm and melodies are alike. As dreary as the atmospheres may be at times – they come out as dreamy – and are filled with nicely laden synthesizer sweeps, alongside well constructed rhythms and melodies. It is a release you should check out, if it is something for you – buy the limited edition vinyl via Oráculo Records.

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Torontian band TRAITRS have created some of the most soothing, coherent post-punk music I’ve heard in a while. The oomph of the baseline resounds throughout in the first song “Witch Trials“. It is really weird how each and every song on the release is anthemic on its own – it is mostly reserved to one or a few songs – but this is catchy, ambitious and on fire from the matchsticks up until the light goes ablaze. It is especially noticeable in “Lya“, one of the more minimalistic songs. The singer gets a certain kind of emotional streak in the chorus which makes you want to sing along to the lyrics.

Not to mention how massive “Gallows” is. Here they’ve really gotten through with the originality of their sound. They both have an edge in the music and somewhere to stand firm – nothing is left to chance, everything is constructed meticulously. When one gets as far as their last song “Heretic“, the percussionism is simply mindblowing. Of all the releases recommended in this spotlight, this is the one I will have to choose myself as the best one. You can get it from the Warsawian label Alchera Visions, buy it here and stream it down below.

 

Review: Baldruin – Biotische Verwitterung

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Recension: dB/Mz – The Light To Come

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dB/Mz är den oheliga alliansen. Vid närmre eftertanke är den kanske inte så ohelig som den verkar – David Bengtsson (dB) har tidigare gjort musik inom samma genrer som detta släpp – det har även Magnus Zetterberg (Mz). Däremot kan musiken betecknas som ohelig, eftersom att den trots sin experimentella karaktär varken platsar inom det experimentella eller dark ambient som sådant. “The Light To Come” är inte precis ett hafsverk, utan det är en koncentrerad form av musik som följer en röd tråd rakt igenom.

Här på Repartiseraren så tar vi oss vidare i denna recension genom att, enligt praxis, frångå den ytliga sammanfattningen som recensioner oftast gör. Vi tar oss igenom detta album, låt för låt. Albumet är släppt av Silken Tofu för två år sedan (2015) på CD, totalt innefattar den sex låtar med en total speltid på cirka 50 minuter.

Den första låten, “Untitled” (1), är mörk – men någonstans där långt inne finns ett ljus som aldrig slutar att brinna. Genomgående för låten är att det känns väldigt filmiskt, det verkar som att någon eller något är fast, tillfångatagen. Efter ett par minuter så tar lågan vid och det börjar brinna – metaforiskt så innebär det att andra instrument introduceras – från de svepande syntslingorna ringer en gitarr.

Det ekar mellan bergsväggarna. Atmosfären är väldigt föränderlig, men det som sker är i samklang med allt det andra. Från en mer organisk och någorlunda klaustrofobisk resa – till en vild och bombastisk avstickare. När låten väl har tagit slut så gör den det på ett snarlikt vis som den började – ljuset som brinner släcks långsamt, tills endast det omslutande mörkret är kvar.

Untitled” (2) tar vid, och levererar en lite mer groggy upplevelse. Låten utvecklar sig på ett helt annat vis, man tas direkt in i centrum och från vänster till höger kan man höra hur ljudbilden skakas om rejält – man blir faktiskt nästan lite svimfärdig. Allting är på sin plats men ändå inte, trots att man kunde svurit på att det funnits en struktur så kastas allting om och utvecklas långsamt till något mer skrämmande.

I jämförelse med den första låten är denna mer dekonstruerad. Det finns utrymme för hur många utsvävningar som helst – men det är fortfarande långt ifrån att vara olyssningsbart, musikaliskt dravel. Basen i låten får en mer framträdande roll ju längre in man kommer i lyssningen – så även de lägre frekvenserna – som efter ett tag blir enerverande. Men just när man fått nog av låten så är den passande nog slut – tack och lov för det. Hade den varit en eller två minuter längre så hade man fått stänga av direkt.

När den tredje låten, “Untitled” (3) kommer igång så är det i form av en puttrande gryta. Noiseinfluenserna är mycket tydligare i denna låten, då den knastrande och sprakande ljudmattan drar igång – utan någon som helst förvarning. Genomgående för låten är att den är monoton, men den överraskar i intensitet och blir nästan industriellt bombastisk ju närmre slutet av den man kommer.

Rent atmosfäriskt är den brutal. Dock är det överraskande när det blir en mer klassiskt industriell prägel, en ivrig men konstant oföränderlig rytm som är medryckande. Eftersom att man är på mitten av albumet känns det inte konstigt överhuvudtaget, men det är intressant med variationen och den uppfinningsrikedom som finns i låten. Hittills är den ett landmärke på detta album, om man jämför med de andra låtarna. dB/Mz börjar att öppna upp sig för de andra närbesläktade genrerna.

Nummer fyra, låten “Untitled” (4) är inte så annorlunda i jämförelse med de andra låtarna – men det finns något drömskt över den. Det känns som en tillbakablick över det mer industriellt övergivna – dåtiden – som möter det hypermoderna och dess abnorma framtidstro. Futurismen är här, men det är en falsk dröm som snarare slutar i en mardröm. När signalerna avtar så är det enda som finns kvar aska av det som kunnat vara. Man finner sig i något slags motsatsförhållande av musiken, men samtidigt provocerar den fram något inom en. Man vill så gärna lyssna och upptäcka – så känns det när man lyssnar till den här låten.

Sammanfattningsvis så är det en riktigt komplex ljudbild som sträcker sig över de ynka sex minuter som avvarats för låten. Det är den näst-kortaste låten på hela albumet, men det finns så mycket att hämta i den. I ständig förändring, med en långsam utveckling mot slutmålet, där flera stopp görs för att bygga på den koloss som blivit. Byggsten för byggsten. Det känns verkligen som ett jätteprojekt sammanfattat. Avslutat.

“Untitled” (5) är den näst-sista låten på albumet. Det känns nästan vemodigt att lyssningen snart är avslutad. Men här får man allting på en och samma gång, det mörka i dark ambient som får ens nackhår att resa sig. En syntslinga som känns mer avlägsen än någonsin, ihopblandad med snabba elektroniska missljud – gör detta till den mest skrämmande och sinnesrubbade låten på hela albumet. Basen i synten gör att den låter som ett hovrande rymdskepp – en okänd farkost som långsamt närmar sig i mörkret. Detta hade varit en perfekt låt för ett skräckspel.

David Bengtsson och Magnus Zetterberg blir mer som Mr. Jekyll och Dr. Hyde. Två sidor av samma mynt, en och samma person egentligen – men deras kunnighet rent musikaliskt blir verkligen, rent koncist: en utomordentlig upplevelse. I jämförelse med den tredje låten på detta album så är detta vidunder på femton minuter en slags uppvisning i vad dB/Mz är kapabla till. Denna låt är i alla fall bland det bästa jag hört inom genren dark ambient.

Efter att ha lyssnat så här långt så blir den kaosartade avslutningen, i och med den sista låten “Untitled” (6), ett välkommet avsked. Det mest smutsiga i noiseväg löper linan ut och fullkomligt saboterar ljudlandskapet. Intensiteten som funnits i de tidigare låtarna dubblas och allt läggs ihop och blir något makabert. Inte den mest fantastiska låten om man säger så, men det var bra tänkt att lägga den sist och att den är så kort som den är. Vid slutet av detta album så är man redan slutkörd. Då orkar man inte mer.

Å andra sidan är det kanske tanken. Det är inte en låt som sammanflätar albumet och fulländar det – utan det är snarare ett farväl där de visar fingret. Allt som allt är det ett väldigt bra album och man kan inte förstå varför de under denna tid som gått inte släppt något nytt. Törsten för något mer från dB/Mz är nämligen reell. För den som är intresserad kan man köpa CD:n från Silken Tofu via denna länk. Albumet går att lyssna till i sin helhet här nedanför.

[16th] December: Yves Malone – Yellow Sweater & Junos

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One of our favorite synthwave acts as of late, Yves Malone, have chosen to grace us with an appearance for Ljudkalendern. For those who don’t know, he’s been featured in three reviews and premieres on Repartiseraren, back when Field Hymns compiled three of his earlier released albums into a box-set of cassettes. Since then he’s also released a separate album called “Ebony Sunrise“, on Orange Milk Records. What’s unique about him is how he manages to transfer soundtrack-music out of the box and into proper synthesized music, instead of it sounding exactly like a soundtrack is to sound – if you’ve ever had that feeling of how you can distinguish between the two. Which we’ve had plenty of times. That kind of transcendental move is hard to make when you’re not able to think outside of the box, which Yves is certainly very capable of at least musically. There’s always a thin line between. He crosses them all and it resonates throughout the atmospheres of his songs. Even though a box like the one on Field Hymns have a certain purpose, that had been cemented way before it was re-released, we like his craftsmanship and ambition when it comes to layering synthesizers over one another, creating a heavenly output for both dismay and happiness. Both rhythm, overlapping textures of synthesizers and melodies are important building blocks for his music. We don’t know how he so carelessly pulls all of this off.

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For Ljudkalendern it was originally intended to be an already produced song he had stashed away, from somewhere. As we haven’t had the time to write freely as we’ve wished, we therefore asked Mr. Yves for a concoction that would be linear in theme, but irregular when it comes to the music. Well, maybe not that structured. We proposed that he should produce a completely new track and out came two. Two different tracks both in general atmosphere, but also because one of them, “Yellow Sweater” is more beat and rhythm-oriented, whilst “Junos” take an upper-hand when it comes to perfectly laid melodies that make the whole thing a lot funkier. In a way we’re reminded of a synthwave Group Rhoda, if there ever would be one. A tropical rhythm with playing synthesizers that act as triggers for the rhythm in some cases, but when the melodies come together and shape a grandiose melody everything starts to roll down the hill and become even more exciting. First it fades out, feels like it is rebooting and slowly builds up a baseline that holds up the melodic construction. We give you these two newly procued tracks to stream exclusively for Ljudkalendern and the 16th December – on 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.

[12th] December: Bombardier – In Ecstacy

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2013 was the year we found out about Jason Snell‘s music. We had been mindlessly browsing Bandcamp for something to write about for my Showcase – a series of articles I ran – when my blog-zine had a completely different name. A scene plays up in ones head, an abandoned empty industrial workshop, hammers resounding as a fragmented memory of times’ past—exactly how Bombardier came in; one threatening step – and a barrage of well-produced, heavy techno was unleashed. All it took was a single track to get oneself hooked, it came as a lone-wolf released by the New York label Division 13. Even though much of it remained a vague, entertained thought left on a metaphorical loft—we have not forgotten his music and how it thoroughly cleaned our system; fed up on bland and uninteresting cliches strewn across the genre called Techno.

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Though Jason’s first project is Bombardier, which emerged in 1999 with the self-released album “Haine Collective“, he’s maintained different monikers, like for example (The) 13th Hour – primarily an industrial project – extending it’s tentacles pinning them to rhythmic noise and in some aspects even hardcore. First release being a triple-split released on the same label; Division 13, in 2002, with the industrial project, his main project Bombardier and a third side-project called: Kamphetamine. One can not accuse him of coming from nowhere – it’s noticeable that he’s been around for a while, because you can hear it reflected in the skill, ambition and sheer expertise – in creating solid music; classified in so many different genres and styles. So when an opportunity arose to continue writing about him, since he’s wished us to cover releases we hadn’t the time to cover, we took action and were able to put him into a perfect place—a project originally secret and planned since way back—finally materialized the 1st of December.

It’s not what you’d usually hear from this man, it’s not the style we vaguely remembered, it’s a style developed from releases “Absolution” (w/ Mahr) and “Nowhere“. So now he’s completely turned his side on the more concentrated, beat-oriented style he’s refined since many years back, tending to a softer and more ambiguous genre—Ambient. For the 12th of December we exclusively premiered an unreleased and newly produced song by Bombardier, titled “In Ecstacy“—which you were able to pre-listen to before an article ever was written. We sincerely apologize for it turning up so late, but here it is and you mustn’t ignore this wonderful track. It will draw you into a finely woven atmosphere. Here’s for Ljudkalendern and the 12th of December—let’s skip the darn poem—listen to this musical poetry instead.