Review: The Bug vs Earth – Concrete Desert

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This is one of the first times I’ve taken a good look at a bigger artist and wanted to review what they’ve released. I found the concept worthy of investigation track-by-track, since the whole theme surrounding it is alluring. The aesthetics are interesting and it feels worthy to delve into deeper and see what can be found or what can not be found. I am now about to dissect this release. It clocks in at around 90 minutes – making it around an hour and a half long.

City Of Fallen Angels” is a dreamy but dreary experience. Stating what the title is isn’t enough to describe how the song is. Conceptually it makes perfect sense why it is titled that way – as it infects the overall sound as well. Experimental electronica seep through the headphones and the barren landscape appears ahead of you. The atmosphere is such that it represents that and it takes you from tumbleweed and calmness into the stormy heart of a city. As you come further into the song it charges up for a second and then unleashes the noisyness which is normally reserved for industrial music, coupling it with laidback electronica – messing up your points of reference and as it progresses you’re stunned by the intensity of it. The soundscape is bombastic and doesn’t hold back, but comes in with assertive ease. Lulling you into submission.

Gasoline” is eerie. Keeping the listener at bay while he awaits what happens around the corner. Nothing. Then, suddenly, a slow rhythm brings out the melody and adds to that a solid baseline that is strung out by an electric guitar. Even though it remains in the solid rhythmics that it started with, it warps you into different ones that make you wonder if you’ve lost your mind or not. Layer upon layer of mighty instruments that figuratively catch on fire as he pours on more gasoline. Still, even though it broods primitive melodies and an unorthodox soundscape – it fades out the way it faded in. Nothing catches on in this track but it manages to hold a special kind of craftiness that make it broad and intense under the surface anyway. No need for it to give off a spark.

Agoraphobia” – if you weren’t to begin with, maybe this murky and spaced out song will make you experience the phobia. What feels like the development of a smashing song goes out of its own way to create weird melodies within the melodies and rhythms in the rhythm. The amplified sound of the rambunctious noise that is created by the baseline – or what at least seems to have been created from it – is suddenly paired with riffs that would make you feel a transgression from electronica to non-electronic music is happening. That, however, never happens. I’m not too sure about whether to feel positive or negative about this song, but I’m impressed about how the seemingly out-of-motion melodies later in bring out the experimentalism in its purest form. It is odd, it is weird, it is intimidating to a degree – just to fade out like the other ones have.

Here’s a grime-infused track, “Snakes Vs Rats“, that gathers the best out of that genre and ignore the vocals. They create a sort of underground opera-like electronic music together with the grime-beats. Dissecting the genre for what it is good for and creating a pleasantly huge sound. The most solid rhythm combined with the most forward-thinking of synthesizer sweeps – a glance into the futuristic world as imagined a decade ago – almost bordering to one of the great soundtracks accompanying sci-fis of the 1980’s. The sound portrayed is not an idealistic one, it is a rather bleak non-picturesque and alarming narrative that is being pushed with the song. Somewhere we might be, where we don’t want to be – stuck in the middle, nowhere out, control is absolute.

Broke” is minimalistic to the core. What drives it is a few sounds here and there, well-placed beautiful synthesizers and a claustrophobic atmosphere. A cry for help. Symptomatic of the sound so far is that it relies heavily on the baseline, which helps it progress throughout the soundscape in a great way. Where there is no rhythm, one have to create it in between the noisy and deconstructed melodies that are repetetively churned out – as the outdrawn riffs play a vital role in keeping the maniacal atmosphere livid. There is something about the song that draws on what solid ground The Bug (and Earth) create everything. It is immersive and too real.

From the beginning, “American Dream” is a piece of work just seconds in. Unfortunately everyhing looses its meaning after the monstrous opening. Maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be, as it is certainly not a portrayal of the american dream in any positive way at all. But it by now only feels like an empty statement, having heard the other songs that contain something more then just the formulaic approach he has in this one. It’s good how he draws from his earlier creations and put it into a whole, synchronized experience. What’s bad is that it feels like one has already been here, listened through it and discarded it on the way. Sure, the attention to detail is very ambitious, but it in the end becomes just an outdrawn piece of ambient music that do no justice at all.

Don’t Walk These Streets” hits you over the head and immerse you into a gruesome world. Blindfolded, struck repeatedly by the knife-sharp rhythms and the playful melody of the piano, the message of the song becomes apparent. It is violent in its nature but you don’t have to fear anything, listening to it. You’re far away from the emotions itself – it is like you’ve detached from them and become a part of this message. They marvelously craft something you want to listen to repeatedly, expanding the song every step of the way to make it even more enchanting. The depths of the synthesizers and the crassness of the beats are not temporary – they exist there to give meaning to the soundscape. A very well-rounded song all-in-all.

Other Side of the World” gives off a meditative feeling. After you’ve been entangled into the music – a basedrum hits and catches you off-guard. Every single part of the song has some kind of magnificent tone to it. The different facets stand and fall together, nothing can be separated or it will knock the rhythm and melodies away from one another. As simple as the song might seem, it is very addictive. Here’s a perfect transgression from different genres and what it lacks in rhythm it makes up for in melody and structure.

Hell A” is too hip-hop for me. A genre that is not of my liking at all. If that kind of rhythm and those beats have been reserved for something else – it would be fine. Had it been stripped from the atmosphere and replaced with a better rhythm, it would’ve been a glorious listening as the dark synthesizers come in, sweeping the floor with everything else. It becomes a very energetic song that doesn’t stray away from the better aspects of his music. Without that edge and vibe to it – it would’ve been a lost cause and nothing worthy to listen to at all. It is good that he at least keeps that in but he should’ve left more out this time – in terms of beats.

The title-trackConcrete Desert” is a phenomenal ride from curiosity and into the bleakness of the human soul itself. Right from the start you’re immersed into his world, you’re taking part of what he has created and he leaves no ends open, instead of thinking, one seems to be in need of visualising the music – it really gives off an audio-visual experience that is on the next level. After some of the previous songs it wouldn’t seem possible but he manages to create the narrative, spin it into the conciousness of the listener and give meaning to the instrumentation in more ways than just the musical. Which is good, since this song should be the summary and epitome of what this album is about.

Dog ft JK Flesh” is the resounding adaptation of one of the other songs from this release. He manages to add a whole other sound to it than The Bug and Earth could do. It becomes much angrier, more cheeky. When they had to choose a vocalist, nobody could fit the bill more perfectly – this simply cannot be unheard and fits too perfectly. Same can be said about “Pray ft JK Flesh” – here JK Flesh is allowed to be as expressive as possible through his powerful vocals. After listening this far in it is nice to have this addition in the release becomes it helps it become more vital instead of rehashing everything over again – instead creating something new of it, even more intimidating.

Nothing more can be said about this album other then that “Another Planet” is the perfect outro. Easy to listen to and it makes you yearn for more of this kind of music. When you think about it, the album is solid and pretty good despite its faults. I suggest you get it from Ninja Tune (or The Bug vs Earth themselves) in physical form, instead of digital. Though you might want to listen through it a couple of times before, it still is a good headphone experience. Stream the whole album down below.

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Exclusive Premiere: DYN & Bleib Modern – Live Split EP (A-Side – DYN)

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Black Verb Records is a new collaborator and have granted us access to their latest release, namely “Live Split EP” – an EP recorded live at Badehaus in Berlin on the 14th of May – split between DYN and Bleib Modern. We’ve been allowed to showcase the a-side of this release, which features the music of DYN, a psychedelic and shoegazy adventure between insanity and sanity. Opposites attract, they say.

You can listen to it here exclusively on Repartiseraren before release. This split will be released on the 22nd of June and you can pre-order it over at Black Verb Records. You’re in for some really psychedelic tunes, in an alternative way. Stream it in whole down below and find the tracklist as well.

Tracklist:

1. Two Times
2. Day In Life
3. Just A Little Bit
4. I Can Handle This
5. Love Of Mine

 

Premiär: Æmɨt teaser, spelning på Under Bron den 9/3

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Under hemlighetsfullhetens fana, nåja, åtminstone i ljudväg – har Æmɨt skapats – sprungen ur eller åtminstone inspirerade av uråldrig Egyptisk mytologi (läs: Ammit), och med fanbärarna Jonas Fredriksson (ALVAR), Erik Söderberg (Kinder aus Asbest) och Jimmy Svensson (Yabibo Hazurfa/Slusk), så blir deras gemensamma insats monumental på enbart tre minuter. Det de levererar är motståndskraftig industriell techno med fokus på en trollbindande slags atmosfärisk industriell musik, där mystiska syntslingor drabbar samman med rungande bastrummor – som blir en hetlevrad men återhållsam kombination. Det måste påpekas att det förmodligen är såhär det skulle låta när dessa män låter sina alter ego formas till ett – på pricken.

Musiken har en trollbindande rytm och en säregen karaktär. Ljudlandskapet har en röd tråd man kan hänga med i och den är väldigt dansvänlig. Estetiken är mörk som den borde vara, vilket ger en sammanhängande känsla i sig då det även påminner en om att detta gemensamma projekt drar i flera trådar samtidigt – eftersom att man lyckas vara både musikaliskt och estetiskt tilltalande – detta hade varit något som hade kunnat släppas på Beläten om den etiketten fortfarande hade varit i bruk. Rent produktionsmässigt är det ingenting som fallerar heller, alla små nyanser som bidrar till musikens helhet kan skönjas. Från minsta underliggande slaginstrument till knastret och bruset som understödjer det atmosfäriska och brutalt undersköna.

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På torsdag i nästa vecka intar de scenen på Under Bron i Stockholm (Skanstull, gratis entré) (ALVAR presenterar) med sin första livespelning någonsin, tillsammans med en utvald skara av artister och DJ’s. Mellan 17:00 och 03:00 så kan man även se Celldöd och Dissociō Modus Trāns live – medan de som DJ:ar kommer att vara Mattias Anger (Complete Control Productions, Kollaps Records) och Daniel Jonasson (Covenant, S.A.W.).

Man kan hittills bara lyssna till ett smakprov av vad som komma skall, men det som ni kommer att få höra kommer att sätta sig i hjärnbarken omgående – vilket lindrar ens begär för fullständiga låtar, någorlunda. Lyssna här nedanför via Soundcloud.

Exclusive Premiere: Ausramp – Third Dimension Diploma

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Bringing back the oldstyle seems to be in fashion nowadays. Everything from retrofuturism to old formats like VHS – are embedded into an artists embroidery. Not to mention how the decadence of the 1980’s seems to have hit a peak, there’s also people whom are playing around with techno. You probably know the sound of the 808’s, the old-school vibes that were originally gathered from Detroit, Michigan. When that was the place to be – it still can be. There’s a man whose work you might recognize when you hear ‘Members Of The House’, the more obscure ‘Unit 2’ – or simply his full name Nicholas Bernard Marks — shortened to “Niko Marks”. He’s teamed up with Robert Des Iles, a rather passionate southern European man whose slick grooves are enhanced by the presence of Mr. Niko. Well, it’s not really that mysterious, but I would like to keep it a secret. Robert Des Iles is really a pseudonym but I will not reveal who he might be.

The thing is, Niko and Robert are now a duo called Ausramp. Yes, it sounds fascinatingly German but at the same time they keep the Americana in it by including “ramp“. Precisely the name a techno-project that goes back to its roots and includes a swing of electrofunk, should have. Their debut-release which features three songs is due to be released in two weeks and I’ve gotten my hands on one of the songs from this release. It’s a self-titled release and the track is called “Third Dimension Diploma“. They bring out the best when they return to the oldstyle of techno, adding certain aspects that might not traditionally have been it. But there’s a lot of legs swinging to the left and the right when listening to it, the rhythm is simple but the groove is out of hand. When the melodies strike in, there’s not much to do but to dance to the beat – classic stylee. No, I’m not that clichéd so you’ll have to choose what to do, but I promise that it’s a catchy track. Stream it exclusively on Repartiseraren, down below. It will be released on Kraftjerkz as their eighteenth release, in two weeks.

Listen: Radio Skanstull and Radio Bar – Northern Electronics Radio

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Yesterday, the local radio-show based out of Skanstull, namely Skanstull Restaurant and Radio Bar – had a four hour show with the label Northern Electronics. This meant a lot of unreleased tracks, a lot of new tracks, and a lot of old tracks. Even though, judging by the older shows, there’s a lot of very uninteresting artists and bands that have participated – we must give our credit to the crew at Radio Skanstull for a great four hours of total atmospheric dissent, crackling vibes through adamant techno, forcefully put on by Northern Electronics. This label is the parent label of Blodörn – the label I’ve written a lot about lately. It’s a rather new label if you count the releases and the dates that they’ve been put out upon. Since 2013 the man himself Varg have released seven releases, the first release being “Misantropen“, which he’s composed himself under the name Varg. An experimental pathway into futuristic techno. Channeling everything from acid techno, to the melancholy of Norrland (northern Sweden), to the sullen misanthropy that the title itself of the release suggests. Interestingly enough, the tracks on this first release were all recorded live, in studio Hebbershålet, Sweden.

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Since the first release, artists like Acronym, Ulwhednar, Råd Kjetil Senza Testa and Korridor – have had their releases put out on this label. So it’s a clear look into the soul of this label when you’re listening to four hours of excellent music. Upon hearing tracks presented to you that haven’t had a breath of air since the show itself, it makes you feel a part of Northern Electronics, in itself. A much deserved appropriation of space for a label that I didn’t even know about. It’s a testament to the high quality of the music that Varg puts out on the label. You get your own view of the bedrock upon which this music originally comes from. Thanks to Radio Skanstull and Radio Bar, you can now also pick a part of that bedrock and take it with you to your home. The radiowaves have never been as infected with the sound of Scandinavia, and primarily the Northern parts specific soul. A clear path to the northern wilderness and untamed brutalism, philosphy – and heartland. Norrland, here we come. Stream the radio-show that premiered last night on the 21st of March, down below. It’s a pleasure to even listen to it in such a close proximity. Tame the wild beast and flow into the mood, slowly.

Spotlight: Rude 66 / Kord!

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Enfant Terrible just released a track by Kord and Rude 66 from their forthcoming releases – on the sub-label Gooiland Elektro. The first one being “Radio Peace and Progress“, a new track by Rude 66, the moniker of Ruud Lekx from Holland. A long-going artist whose contributions to music, and mainly albums, have been made known from Bunker Records in the early to mid nineties, to an off-shoot into Silver Recordings, way into 2008 with Créme Organization. Having released notable singles and E.P.s on a wide-array of record-labels including Acid Planet, Djax-Up-Beats, Speedster Records, Kultbox, Viewlexx, Vynalogica, LoEB, Custom Made Music – and the latest release being “The Kill“, an E.P. released by Bordello A Parigi. He’s hailed as being “the king of the dark electro-wave death race” by promoters, according to Discogs. Having perfected his sound through a multitude of genres, including atmospheric acid, dark industrial, electro-funk and melancholic electronic wave disco – he’s a man of different facets. He originates from the old-school acid scene in The Hague. There could be a whole book written about him and his influences, his notable collaborations, and everything in between – but we’re staying at his forthcoming album. Gooiland Elektro will be releasing a forthcoming 12¨-release with him, featuring four tracks, whereas two are vocal tracks where Beta Evers and Sololust appear and wreak havoc. These four tracks are titled “Under Cover Of The Night (featuring Beta Evers)“, “Stars Get Hurt (featuring Sololust)” on the A-side, with “Mutual Assured Destruction” and “Radio Peace and Progress” on the B-side. This assures the fact that it might be a great release. This is his coming addition to the enormous discography he’s been building up through the years. You can stream and listen to the track “Radio Peace and Progress” from the B-side of the release, down below.

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When it comes to Kord, he’s a notable figure within the underground Swedish scene. He’s more known as one of the figures in Frak, a weird outfit first released by Börft Records in 1989 – with their debut-album “Raggarslakt“. Maybe a reference to the vicious fights that were occurring between synthers and raggare in Sweden in the 1980’s, made to be something much bigger then small fights, by the media and newspapers at that time. But we’re not here to talk about Frak as such or Börft Records, whom have been thoroughly investigated by Sveriges Radio (public domain radio) in an episode of “Electronic in P2“, done by Andreas Tilliander whom is also known as TM404. Anyway, Kord is Johan Sturesson of Frak, in a much more pleasant image musically. Having recorded his first album under that moniker in 1998, with an album titled “Gymnast I Sockiplast” released by Börft Records – later on things seemed to get more serious. Even though the maniacally influences from Frak remain within his synth-pop mixed with disco, there’s a certain dancefloor focus which these tracks deliver. Now he’s going to have a release on Gooiland Elektro, titled “We Live In This 12″” where he features Annie Gylling on vocals as a much needed side-kick, which gives the project a whole other dimension. There’s a certain psychedelic vibe to her vocals being processed on the tracks “Lovestruck” and “Black” on the A-side, whilst the yet unheard tracks from the B-side “Control” and “Vacation” might be another world. We’ll see. Annie Gylling have earlier been featured on “Soviet Stars” from 2012, on the track “Push Your Button“. Meet your maker with this crazy combination of noisy, unpolished and rampant discotronic that will make you loose your mind on the dancefloor. Gooiland Elektro continue to shine, as one of the best labels around for electronic music. Especially that of an odd kind. Stream and listen to the track “Black” which have been made available on Enfant Terrible for listening purposes. Both releases can be pre-ordered here.

Exclusive Premiere: Distel – Japanese Eyes

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Just when you thought it would’ve ended, it just started. You might’ve anticipated this, but for a later release, not up on Invisible Guy at all. They take it to a whole other level with their grainy angst-pop, filling it to the brink with menacingly sublime chants, rumbling baselines and shockingly heavy drums. That’s how it goes when the unorthodox mixture of minimalism, noise and dark wave gets taken to a whole other level. Welcome to the world of urban Tokyo meets the feudal Japan. Knitting together both in one atmosphere, making it even more fascinating as you try to decipher what it’s all about. You get the interpretative prerogative, lent to you all so easily by Distel. Yes, it was them whom you’ve all waited for so long. Since their release; “Puur“, on Enfant Terrible last year, you couldn’t hold it together and simply wanted some more. At least a sign of life, a sign of a new release on the horizon. That’s what you all got, but you didn’t get to hear anything.

It was only one label who could proceed to take the task of releasing their tracks after their presence on Enfant, and who could it be if not: Beläten. As this cassette is the third of the three cassettes that are being released in the near future, this atmospheric and sublime entrance into a new world of Distel, is pleasantly arriving so you can enjoy them when they’ve taken off their masks. Their stature in the catalog is of the runic inscription, and rune itself, Peorð (). It denotes the sound “p” in the Elder Futhark runic alphabet, and goes by the aforementioned name in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem. It does, however, not appear in the Younger Futhark. The meaning of this word in Germanic could be referring to: “pear-tree”, in the context of “recreation and amusement”. Well, I’m here to tell you, it might be amusing and interesting to get something new out of this duo, but it sure as hell doesn’t display anything amusing. No, its cloudy, sublime and horrifying. But its mystique is what makes you wander into their world all to much, just to have the trap-door shut right behind you. It’s enigmatic and sullen.

But enough of the talking, let’s get to business. Invisible Guy is proud to give you the track “Japanese Eyes” from the forthcoming release “Ultra2012“, that is being put out there for the world by Beläten on the 31st of January. This is probably one of the most anticipated releases, since you folks got a hold of the news that it’s actually coming out. One thing must be told, and that is that five of the tracks are interpretations on Mekanik Komando, and only one is an original track by them. This is because they wanted to pay homage to the Ultra movement of the late 70’s and 80’s, all this was encompassed by the first of four Ultra2012 events that were held in Dutch cities in 2012. If you know this background-story, it would be good to check out “Japanese Eyes” by Mekanik Komando, an electropunky and funky trip that was unleashed with the “It Would Be Quiet In The Woods If Only A Few Birds Sing” album, from 1981. But you now get the opportunity to stream and listen to the interpretation that Distel made of the track “Japanese Eyes“, as you can stream it exclusively from Invisible Guy and we hope that it will make your day a little bit better, or worse. Well, get on to it, and read more about the background of it down below!

Label: Beläten

Cat#: Peorð

Artist: Distel

Exclusive Song: Japanese Eyes

Title: Ultra2012

Format: C24

January-2014

After last years’ magnificent Puur LP on Enfant Terrible, Distel return with a cassette featuring five interpretations of Mekanik Kommando and one original composition, all made for the first of four Ultra2012 events held across four Dutch cities in 2012.

Performers were asked to in some way pay homage to the original Ultra movement of the late 70’s and early 80’s, and Distel choose to do so by covering five songs from Mekanik Kommando’s debut LP »It Would Be Quiet In The Woods If Only A Few Birds Sing« from 1981. The closing original Onde was used as a sort of theme song for their performance at the event in Nijmegen.

In the hands of Distel these songs are transformed from jittery white-boy punk-funk into menacing, pulsating krankheitspopmusik Robotic voices call from deep beneath the layers of thundering bass. Euphoric rave arpeggios pierce through the din of squealing analog synthesizers and urges the listener to dance, or at the very least move in unison.

Through the Japanese Eyes of the mysterious figure behind Beläten