Exclusive Premieres: Paradox Obscur – S/T

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Rhodes is the basis of this project. A duo consisting of Kriistal Ann and Toxic Razor, two nick-names appropriated by Anna Michailidou and a furtherly unknown figure whose real name I haven’t found out about. For the solo-project that is called Kriistal Ann, Anna Michailidou created a release last year for release on Werkstatt Recordings, titled “Refraction” – a solo-project based in and out of goth mixed with dark-wave – showing a whole other side of herself. Even though she’s intimately connected with Paradox Obscur, the difference lies in the approach that the duo has in comparison with her own project. The aforementioned project is based out of dark minimal synths with a cold-wave atmosphere, content at leaving the listener in a dismayed landscape of sound – harnessing a deep inner-feeling – charged with an ambulation of emotional lyrical content. A rather bleak introductory to a sound they’ve been working on since releasing a few tracks here and there, some on their own Soundcloud and one for the Parisian podcast-mixes courtesy of M N M L. After a while, before they even had announced the release of their self-titled debut, I got introduced to their sound for real by Jason of Peripheral Minimal.

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We decided for me to be releasing a track each day, showcasing their sound to a broader audience. So I started to put up a track after another, until I hit the limit of five tracks that I decided would be appropriate. These five tracks, namely “Scourge“, “Creatures“, “Dirty Parades“, “Grieving Days” and “Conviction” – in no particular order. It got warmly received by those interested in their sound since before and those that hadn’t really been introduced to their sound yet. Everyone got a chance to listen to all these tracks, on a day-to-day basis – to form their opinion and/or interest for their self-titled release – by listening to exclusive premieres of tracks from that release. Now that these days have already went by, you get another chance to listen to these tracks, since they’re up indefinitely. Prepare yourself for a wonderfully cold receipt of what can be done with an erratic sound-scape fueled by the desperate and depressive content that Paradox Obscur shows with their passion for music, accompanied by analogue equipment for the best sound. The artwork for the cover was designed by Frantz Schlusselhuber, displaying the elephant man and various other individuals whom you might or might not recognize. However, you should be listening to these five exclusive tracks on Repartiseraren, because each track has its own character. The release will be put out on Peripheral Minimal in the beginning of May. Stream all tracks down below.

Spotlight: Roladex – Anthems For The Micro​-​Age

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Two people participatory in retro-futurism. Texans, synth-poppers, VHS-lovers, retro-lovers – a lot in common. The granular imagery from the VHS gives off a mystic visual representation, maybe even a leery introduction for those whom almost have a fetish for technical progress. A current that has been actualized more and more when we entered the 2000’s, a shift that you might’ve noticed but didn’t care too much for. Tyler Jacobsen and Elyssa Dianne have a lot of things in common, their common denominator being; Roladex. It should be so more enticing then the name would ever suggest. Synth-pop with a retro-fantastic touch, infusing lovely melodies with the charming disco-vibes, quickly shifting focus into their lovely rhythm – moving into their minimalistic undertones. Equate that to their latest release “Anthems For The Micro-Age“, which was released on the 13th of February on Medical Records. Harnessing both the qualities of the long-lost, but now re-emerged – minimal synth of yesteryear. This release can also be seen as a compilation of tracks from earlier releases. If you hold a grudge against analog synth-pop, this is probably not the spot for you.

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From 2013 to 2014, Roladex released their first single “Pink Halloween“, with remixes by Police Des Moeurs and Tiger Team being featured on it. The label back then was AMDISCS, and it was released in May of 2013. After that, a Mini-EP titled “Love Surgery EP” was born, featuring contributions from TSTI, Video Look, REDREDRED and Some Ember – released by the label Beko, in June. Then, the notable label Night People got it together and they got their first cassette put out there. The name of that cassette was to become “Cathode Rays“, whereas the name was taken from the first track on that release. Later on, in 2014, as it has been said – they got released by Medical Records, on vinyl. Which birthed the album, and rather compilation, of tracks that would come together under the title of “Anthems For The Micro-Age“. A lot of tracks that had been previously released were also featured here, but as new versions re-done for the release – like “Love Surgery” as A3, and “Scan Lines” as B4 – taken from their release “Love Surgery EP”. Whilst the track “Pink Halloween” appeared as B2, taken from their first single with the same name. The tracks from their cassette-release “Cathode Rays”, the track with the same name being represented as A2, also got featured on this compilation. “Blacklit Disco” is A4, “Empty Streets” is A5, and “Anthem For The Micro-Age” is A1 – and also the track that the album is named after.

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With this, their latest release, only the tracks “Color Channels” on B1, “Single Cell City” on B3, and “Nuke It Out” on B5, could be considered to be new tracks. One could say that the release represents all they’ve done so far, but also how they’re looking into the future a little bit more. They know themselves that there’s a lot in store for them, and as this compilation becomes even more anthemic in both a semantic way – it also represents a slight bit of how anthemic their tracks also can be. This might be their current state, but take it for what it is, because they’re evolving. You will be satisfied with how they are, and you should take them as they are. A duo couldn’t be much more of a perfect match – in fact. If you want to support them, look for their earlier releases, but do also buy the limited edition vinyl-release from Medical Records – if you want a cross-section of what they sound like, and what they are. Buy it down below.

Promo: novva falla – Before the Journey to Eben-Ezer!

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Well, we hadn’t heard from novva falla in a while, but he’s already out there with his release “Before the Journey to Eben-Ezer“. This is an homage to Austin Osman Spare, an occultist an painter from the 20th century Britain that we no longer know. He’s probably most known for his contribution to the esoteric legacy in Britain at that time, and his occult grimoires titled “Earth Inferno” (1905), “The Book of Pleasure” (1913) and “The Focus Of Life” (1921). One thing that sets novva falla apart is his dedication to personalities that no-one else would even think of. Also, the fact that they’re knitted into the history of that particular country in one way or another, which in itself is fascinating, as you learn more about it. His analog minimal synth mayhem is everything from droned out landscapes, to intimate rhythms, to self-explanatory melodies. That, accompanied by haunting vocals. You’ll get eighteen tracks that you can listen to as you delve into the history and background of this release. It was released in August on his own tape-label called “Tesua“. If you buy the tape itself, you’ll get a download code with it. Support his work if you like what you are hearing.

Spotlight [SP. ED]: A New Life / Soft Riot!

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Russia wouldn’t be my main vantage point if I think about retro-fantastic synth-pop and minimal synth. Obviously, Los Angeles have been in the headlights for far too long, even though they have some merits to withhold that certain degree of appreciation. However, it seems like the Russian label-boss have been at it, at least if you check out Other Voices Records, whom we’ve interviewed earlier on this blog. Taking influences both from legendary groups such as Human League, and specifically; Soft Cell – there’s a resurgence that simply can’t be ignored. We’ll see if any other label from that particular region of the world are up for the challenge, but it seems like they’re the number one contenders so far. To be noted, the artists themselves aren’t from this region, but the mastermind is the Russian label. In this special edition of Spotlight, I’ll guide you to the two gems “Fright †reasures” and “Your Own Private Underworld“. Courtesy of A New Life and Soft Riot, one Italian-based producer and one UK-based producer of synth-pop music, with the word “retro” in the mainline.

1481648355-1What can possibly be said about A New Life and his newly released cassette titled “Fright †reasures“? Firstly, it’s based off material that was recorded in 2011-2012, by the synth-pop producer Maurizio Pustianaz. Besides the obvious fact that it’s retro all over, there’s also the importance of analogue. Smearing our brains with a current of force, but at the same time also a sincere yearning for times that have past. The music itself strays from synth-pop, to minimal synth and he delves into the 80’s – with good intent. His abysmal fascination for that decade, is preceded by the apparent structure of the songs, whom in their natural state reveal much of the influences. But they are pretty unconventional – and are only matched, when it comes to superiority, by the fast-paced sections of synthesizer goodness. Some of the ambitious hints of melodic content, are sometimes not his strength when it comes to the music. The weird, showcased melodies in the choruses don’t intertwine in a good way, within the context that is intended – of the structured colossus that is his sound. Which at times actually can be turned in his favor, since the music itself relies on the ambitious notion and atmospheric experimentalism that is rarely seen within this decade. Sure, if you’re interested in Soft Cell, their experimentation seem to be a guideline for his music. But when it comes to the regular synth-pop, with 80’s vibes, this is not something for the faint of heart or primitive minds. No, this sounds like an intellectual approach to an otherwise pretty basic genre, at least if you gather up all your synth-pop belongings and heed to the overall quality. Catchy, it is and can be when he lets it form around the strengths that emit throughout the often heartbreaking lyrical content, but not to an extent that is in his favor. Since the vocals are 50/50, they’re just too much in some of the songs, but at the same time add up in the end – which makes this a case of how you’d like the lyricism to be. When he sings from his heart, the music itself is energized and should re-conquer the castle it needs to forcefully re-take. Otherwise, when it comes to the overall picture, it’s a picturesque cassette which needs to be listened to. At least if you compare it to the not-so-stiff competition out there.

1006979070-1As you listen to Soft Riot, which is a moniker for another UK-based producer, who goes by the name of JJD (Jack Duckworth) – there’s an instant appeal to your own monotonic glory. His single-based release “Your Own Private Underworld“, from his forthcoming cassette “Fiction Prediction“, is a fusion between the minimal synth landscape, of dark intentions morphed into a kind of shallow Miami synth-pop sound. There’s a glimmering haze around the general atmosphere of the song, along with almost atonal sounds with monotonic intentions. The contradictions that feed off this sound is astonishing. No cliches are being re-interpreted into the shrewd landscape of ludicrousness, angelic dismay and sincere synthesizers. If anything, this is simply a display of utter originality. Quenching the thirst for some post-punk, by squeezing some influences from that pathway – into an all-out electronic endeavor. At times, the vocals and the interchangeable nature of the music, reminds you all too much about the totally non-electronic band Lebanon Hanover. The kind of dry atmosphere of aridity is utilized as a kind of undertone, which is absurd when blended with the glamor in the overlying parts of the songs structures. It’s odd, but it’s actually one of the better blends of minimal synth, with irregular influences, that has a more static synth-pop ground to stand on – which in the end actually works. Since there’s only two songs, as this is a part of a forthcoming cassette, I am dismayed. Not because anything is bad about it, it’s just because there are only two songs so far – and I want him to get on with it and deliver the rest of them. The urge that simply walks into your brain and make your hands click on the mouse-button, just so you can hear the songs on repeat. Really great songs, original and unique in so many ways. This is a cassette that you simply have to listen to. You should wait until the forthcoming cassette and whole album “Fiction Prediction” comes out, but I urge you to buy the digital download of these two songs – right now!

Spotlight: Peter The Roman – Printer Silicone Machine

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If I could be a Roman for a day, something would change in every way. His name would be designated, I would be elevated and everything would certainly be electronica-related. This man is Peter The Roman and he’s a new man in this world of three-dimensional sounds, equipped with a repetitive and snarky responsiveness, musically. His latest release “Printer Silicone Machine“, could be everything in this world that you’d want to hear. Besides the fact that it’s pretty repetitive, it’s also monolithic to an extent and what I would envision myself doing musically, actually. Not in this shape, maybe, but where the sounds aren’t that predictable – and weigh a heavy amount of tonnes. At times you’ll hear some nostalgic vibes, but it’s original in the manner that the warmth exhilarated from the body of the electronica is sincere at the top, but wondrous “down below“. It might not seek anything below the underground, but he certainly has ambitions at times. However, it’s noticeable that it stems from an experimental waypath that he has embarked upon. Among all the jibberish samples, there’s a little hint of everything that makes electronica what it is. Or, at least – how it should be. I find it odd, but I enjoy it when it doesn’t set me offbeat. The album features ten songs and you can download two of them for free. It was probably released D.I.Y., by himself.

Sweating Tapes and desire are releasing a split with Bestial Mouths & Deathday!

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Things are happening in North America. Namely in Los Angeles, where the sweet label Sweating Tapes is situated. Currently on the way of releasing a limited edition 12¨ split-vinyl with the Los Angeles bands Bestial Mouths and Deathday, together with the European label desire. It’s the first release from them since October, when they released their second compilation “A Compilation Volume 2: The Bay Area“. Since then, there haven’t been as much action on at least the release-front, so the machinery seems to be up at full speed once again. Their split-release feature four tracks, two of each band, and is limited to 500 copies with a two-colored insert, also including download when bought. It costs 13 USD and ships on around the 2nd of April, the digital release for it is on the 26th of March. You can read a summary of the both bands by Jerome from desire below. The tracks featured on the release can also be listened to via streaming. Pre-order this release via the Sweating Tapes bandcamp.

Sweating Tapes & desire are proud to present an unique record: a limited 12″ split between two of the hottest bands in LA, Bestial Mouths and Deathday.

Pooling together a group of influences as diverse as its members, BESTIAL MOUTHS present a raw, synth-driven energy propelled by singer Lynette Cerezo’s powerful vocals. Often likened to Diamanda Galas, Siouxsie Sioux or Lydia Lunch, Cerezo delivers each note with fury and abandon. Synthesists/keyboardists Christopher Myrick and Gustavo Aldana channel early industrial, EBM, goth and minimal synth pop in turns, blending harsh electronics and lush melodies. When fused to Aldana’s splintered programmed beats and the tribal rhythms and samples of drummer Jessica Reuter, the harmonics combine to breathe new life into post punk, weaving their own distinct creation in the process. Bestial Mouths has released an album on Dais Records.

Constructed from the aggressive textures of early industrial music, the ambience of coldwave, & the carnal energy of post-punk, DEATHDAY blends dark and often esoteric images with sparse, primal analog sounds. The quartet has recently contributed tracks to Downwards’ So Click Heels, Mannequin’s The End Of Civilization compilations.

Deathday’s self-titled debut will be reissued on limited white vinyl later this year via Sweating Tapes & desire.

TSTI releases his first musicvideo ever!

TSTI is the product of an analog experience. We’re the listeners to his sounds and now he’s premiered a music-video for his song “In Loving Memory“, from his album “Evaluations“. Highways and cars seems to be the method you choose, when you want to venture down memory lane. Listen to his crisp and retro-sounding bombastic synth, hints of darkwave, concrete industrial – but do also adhere to his sincere singing and overall energy. If you didn’t already know, TSTI is from Schenectady, New York and his real name is S. Smith. Remember, you can buy his album, either as vinyl or CD over at Desire Records. You can also listen to his album down below.

Thee Showcase [#8.4]: Juventud Juché and Gardland!

379909952-1Well, we’re not even done here, so what am I doing? I’m searching far and wide, collecting some of the bands that needs to be showcased. Time for Thee Showcase, this time finding its way to southern latitudes. The Spaniards from Juventud Juché are featured this time. Their latest 7¨ is estimated to have been released in 2012, but they’ve put it up on bandcamp this year. It’s titled “Discos Walden” and is a messy upbeat, rhythmic annihilation that deserves a slap on the wrist for the most post-punkish thing since the 80’s. It’s probably one of the more fitting releases to have the Spanish language included on a release. Since I haven’t really bothered to listen to any Spanish post-punk, this is as close as I get. The melodies are simply outrageous in their own right. A hint of garage can also be found, in the middle of everything, making the vocalist sound crazy and confronting. In any universe where the baseline and the riffs don’t collide, will make a new planet that is deserving of the name “planet“. Both the rhythmic jig of Juventud Juché is celebratory at best and continuous at worst. The kind of energy they bring to the table is filled with suspense and it will make you rock out in your own bedroom, making a fool out of yourself. It also makes me want to learn Spanish. The crossover between garage-punk and post-punk is simply awesome, garnering the tight baselines of post-punk and the distorted landscape of garage-punk in the one and the same, tight category. Also, the variation of their sound-scape, when it comes to how they lay it out – is simply astonishing. It can go from extremely upbeat, to almost downbeat and annoyingly repetitive. But at least there’s a point to it being that, which is to withhold more of the same and bring out more of the other. Featuring songs ranging from “Gibraltar Español” to “Ainhoa“, originally released in 2012 on Gramaciones Grabofónicas, also put out on bandcamp at the 22nd of February.

1369216745-1My, oh my, do we like analogue over here? Yes we do. Remembering the true days of real shit. No, just kidding, but it is kind of nostalgic. The duo featured here is Gardland, a pair of techno-crazed Australians. He’s currently put up his self-titled debut-EP “Gardlands“. Something that’s great with analog sounds is that you get a deeper, more crisp and broadened sound. It doesn’t sound the least plastic and the dynamics between the booming base drums and the more experimental sounds in the mix sound terrifyingly close. It actually reminds you about a lot of the more classic techno, or at least of that which has seen its years. The chaotic environment, the stable and pumping beat, equipped with the analogue vitality that is Techno – can only go one way, which is the successful way. At least if you think about it in a musical perspective. Everything is connected, through and throughout, with a more subtle change within the sound-scape that totally ridicules everything that’s gone through a filter. Here’s some real stuff that will make you shake, that will make you appreciate the sound. It slowly progresses into an abomination, a rolling ball which you cannot stop and a coherent landscape in which those addicted to the genre, can get their fix. I must admit that I rarely write about this genre, their predecessors or anything related, but I can always appreciate a good round of Techno if I ever feel one. My eardrums aren’t bleeding, but they’re shaken because of the experience. Much of it is thanks to the equipment, but the work with the sound-scape is the key. Now, all I can hear is: “Repetition is the key“, which is a line from the track “1767“. Quickly, you’re focused with all your senses and you feel them activating, just to captivate the experience alone. It might be repetitive, but there are things that keep you listening to it and there are things which you simply can’t let go from. Probably some of the better Techno I’ve heard for a while. Tracks featured on the EP are “Decalogue“, “1767“, “Plague Bearer” and “Haut Mal“. Released by himself on the 28th of February. It seems to be totally D.I.Y.

Slowday Showcase [#7.1]: Ortrotasce and Knife for an Eye!

420756192-1I will share with thee a quite overlooked gem from my stash. The duo Ortrotasce are located in Portland and Brooklyn, where they sway the public with their magical electronica. Since they released a totally new album more then a week ago, I’m ashamed that I didn’t pick it up quicker. The EP I’m talking about is “Forgotten“, which was released for the public on the 12th of February and is also their debut. Quickly, when you delve into their sphere of minimalistic synth, adjacent to dark pop and electronica as a whole – you become paralyzed. It’s a great form of paralyze, because your nerves and your system is functioning correctly, but you’re put in a state of trance. Every time I listen to it, every song seems to be programmed after my body, because whenever I hear the strike of the toms, the stab of the synthesizer, or an arpeggio – my body constantly moves together with every nerve in my body. Push a button, feel the feeling and dance along to this menacingly melancholic duo and their uncontrollable whip. Strike one, you’re in, strike two – you’re totally enveloped in their dimension. Their music also puts other minimal synth projects to shame, because they’ve found a way to not make it as static as many acts can be. In the center of their core, the danceable elements of peppiness shrug along the walls but do perfectly fine within the mix. Never loose the edge and never loose the touch, because one way you’re being touched is in an meta-physical continuum of emotional, with realistic fodder. Featuring songs ranging from “Transitory” to “Grey Space“. Their release can be found on the Los Angeles-based label Function Operate.

3683314418-1So, if you like Motörhead on speed, you’ve found the right post. The band Knife for an Eye is straight out of Gothenburg city, featuring three members under the monikers of Al Rixon, Charlie Pride II and Johan. Well, only one might well be a moniker, but I’ll include them all. They’ve currently, since the 20th February, released their “Internet Tracks” collection of two tracks which are some of the hardest songs I’ve heard within the punk and rock’n’roll sphere. At least when it comes to the latest addition to that family, their hardened vocals and their overall gritty sound-scape which reeks of distortion. Sounding like some of the classic punk mixed with rock’n’roll and actually, at times, reminding me a lot of Poison Idea even though they’ve not picked up on their vehement speed yet. Yet again, Gothenburg never ceases to amaze when it comes to sound, since there’s been a lot of great bands coming out of that city lately. If you need to be kick started out of your feverish dreams, you should hook your headphones or your massive speakers – to blast this stuff right into your own ears. Hard as hell, breaking bones and throwing stones. Since I never seem to pinpoint the exact words that could describe it, I would contest with Motörhead hooked up on speed and extreme adrenaline. It seems to be some kind of mutated and awful uncle, just thrashing away and unleashing hell upon your closed gates. Check this shit out, because it’s one of the best things I’ve heard and also one of those who packed the most punches. Featuring the tracks “Getting Hooked” and “One Step Forward, Two Stabs In The Back“. You can download both tracks for free from their bandcamp, or hand them some money while you’re at it.