Review: Die Selektion – Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt

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aufnahme + widergabe have gotten the privilege to release the second album by Die Selektion, late May. Last time they released an album was six years ago, their first self-titled album on Fabrika Records. Much have changed since then and it is a more refined and interesting Die Selektion that can be found with their newest album “Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt“. The album is roughly thirty-four minutes long.

“Schatten”, the first song off the release, is a really emotional trip. A song which slowly develops and jabs you straight in the heart. There’s so much nostalgia to be had while listening to it, essentially a very good introductory. Here darkwave meet electronic body music and dance music in an odd combination – add to that a trumpet and you’re set. It is interesting how it builds up and then unleashes mayhem upon the listener. Rhythms are on point and you’re caught up with the motions of the baselines, synthesizers and vocals. A certain distraught tone is brought out by the vocalist, making the setting even more postapocalyptic then it could’ve been otherwise.

There is really a perfect groove between the trumpet and the thumping baseline. One discovers complex melodies layered upon one another in perfect synchrony. It hits very deep just before it fades out into nothingness – there’s something really touching about how the atmosphere goes from energetic – to sullen and accepting of its own fate. Personally, there’s not been many songs that hit as deep as this one, the only exception being the repertoir of Keluar. That’s a good point of reference when it comes to how expressive the song really is.

WhenUnter Die Haut” storms in with the alluring electronic body music á la Schwefelgelb – one is immediately hooked. Repeated in this song is the atmospheric notion of the previous song, but with an extended prescence of the trumpet which gives it a huge sound. Sharp baselines tear through whilst the attendance of the synthesizer sounds make for enjoyable rhythms. One thing that is more characteristic of this song is the presence of the vocalist – he tears through like nothing with an attitude perfectly in tune with the bombasticness of the soundscape.

Not much more can be said about the song as such. It translates perfectly into “Dir & Mir“, whose atmosphere is more focused in terms of the percussion. Added into the mix is a guitar that doesn’t leave you hanging with meaningless riffs. Everything is in tune with each individual song and the laid back style in this one captures the attitude perfectly. There’s a discipline, a decadence and a retrospective imagined into sound. An unnatural blend of genres that shouldn’t have been – but became something more then a transgression into awfulness.

“Kalter Atem” almost catches one off-guard in terms of how the intro makes one expect the awfulness of aggro-tech to leap into the mix and ruin everything. Sadly enough, the beats in this song aren’t really much to cheer for. They do nothing more then keep the rhythm steady, although monotonous – it is bad monotony. The atmosphere don’t develop until the song is almost over anyway. It gives the air of being intermission before the continuation of the next half of the album.

Brennende Brücken” is really minimalistic – giving the vocalist more space to shine. Together with the low-key trumpets in this one, it adds a more sincere touch and you feel closer attached to the musicians as such. It is hard to explain, but the immaculate use of sampling and the tearfelt delivery of the vocalist reeks of passion. The further in you get, more experimentalism is added – which makes it feel like something new in electronica. As the melodies are intimately attached but so far away from one another in the atmosphere, it gives off a really nice vibe.

Wow, the intro on “Der Himmel Explodiert (feat. Drangsal)” stir things around even more. The depths of the synthesizers is a nice touch – and then, suddenly, electronic body music in its purest form is added to the mix. There’s a more exotic kind of atmosphere in this song and you really can’t get enough of the trumpets. As Drangsal is introduced, there’s a noticeable shift to the more upbeat and lighter soundscape. It is a nice addition which makes it more distinguishable from the other songs one already have listened to. The outro is what the intro of this song was but it is perfect the way it is.

If rhythm was something lacking earlier, in comparison with melody, “Der Augenblick” adds even more ambitious percussionism – giving it a multi-layered, energetic switch into danceable electronic music. You’re given an acute sense of controlled chaos. Because it is “The Moment” – which would’ve been cheesy had it been in english instead of german. For some moments one is not sure if it is about to go full-on psy-trance or if it won’t go astray at all. This goes to show what they are capable of and that they don’t limit themselves to formulaic songs, because everything is well thought out and dynamic.

Dein Hertz Wiegt Tausend Scherben” feels very retro. The synthesizers in this song add mystery into their music. It is quite a straight-forward song but the melodies are some of the nicest on this record so far. Dreamy, but saturnine to the core. The constant use of the trumpet in almost each song is about what the saxophone is to 80-90’s action movies – though the main difference would be that it never gets tiresome. Max Rieger have really outdone himself and Die Selektion were right to add his instrument into the mix. The casualness of the vocals is also another thing of note in this song – they seem so unforced and authentic. Lyrically speaking it is very good in all its simplicity.

Deine Stimme“, the last song on this album, really says something about where they might be heading next with future releases. There’s a heavier, more experimental tone to the synthesizers and the vocalist concludes the record mysteriously. Reverberated voices and noisy rambunctiousness – a cyberpunk feeling. A clarity, a mission of something even more grandiose. After having listened to this album it feels empty, especially when the last song in the end of it builds up something that might’ve even been a tenth song. aufnahme + wiedergabe really knew what they had assembled when releasing this.

Listen to the release down below in full and if it is alluring to you – buy one or both of the physical releases. Currently available on limited edition CD and vinyl.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotlight [Compilation Special]: Not So Cold and White Circles [Part II]

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The newcomers from Eastern Europe called YusYus have proven themselves to be very efficient; both musically but also in other respects. Having released three singles since March of 2013—all of them have been dedicated to compilations. Their latest track “Proleter“, which is featured on the Not So Cold – A Warm Wave compilation, is adopted lyrically from Esad Babačić—front-man for a short-lived Yugoslavian punk-band called Via Ofensiva—that were active in the 1980’s. Re-modeled from post-punkish hardcore, but containing the same melodies sung by Esad, for the melodious run-around for the minimal synth outfit that represents YusYus. What’s most interesting is the gradual shift from the warmth of the synthesized baseline to the cold re-interpreted vocals. Combining electronic tenderness with a stale cold-wave suspension. Ambitiously crafted alongside the original influences, coming at you with a straight rhythm for a rocky appearance, chiseling out the prerequisite for a marvelous sculpture. Nothing is left for the coincidence—everything is carefully planned and staked out for their seemingly effortless implementation.

Having just released a second album, Italian post-punk, darkwave, shoegaze duo Schonwald pick and choose from a range of influences. Their contribution for the compilation is “Gemini“, a track originally featured on their double-single “Mercury / Gemini“, put out on 7¨-vinyl by the American label Hozac Records, in 2013. When it comes to their sound, thoughtfulness are their strongest key to combining these different genres. A hugely sounding bass-drum that pushes everything forward, together with suggestive vocals that solicit our inner feelings—using metaphors in their lyrics to provoke an emotional reaction. Most of it seems to be somewhere in between minimal synth and those sub-genres, but that doesn’t explain the multifaceted deliverance which their darkwave vein conjure in the atmosphere for them. This is from a time where they were in between having released a first album in 2008—experimental as hell—searching for a new sound. We think it was a good situation for them to be in, because this certainly stitch everything together, from beginning to end. Both for the individual track, but also in a larger perspective.

Now here’s a newcomer (at least for us) we forgot about, namely: Tiers. Actualized once again whilst searching for music to write about, as they had been put up digitally on Artificial Records some days ago—for their sophomore release “Winter“—which had been released a year ago from now, on vinyl. Their song “Vignette” is a new one featured on this compilation. What I like about Tiers is how their atonal sound makes for a harsh cold-induced venture into depths of a snow-ridden landscape—much like the title for their release. That’s also one of the reasons I don’t really like their sound, although the vocals are OK, some of their otherwise conceptually interesting sound shows itself to be sloppy. Most of it drifts away into nothingness without leaving you with any reflections on whether you’ve just been snowed in, or if what you heard had any bearing at all—leaving a mark? It starts off good but the more you get into it the more you want to get away from it. The repetitiveness doesn’t give or take anything from the atmosphere as such, nor’ does the instrumentation at any point—it just goes into a mish-mash of… what ever one could call it. We must give them appraisal for their ambitions, because the sloppiness isn’t derived out of them not trying anything at all and just going where they feel like—but rather for trying too hard. We get nowhere and we’re going to suffer from hypothermia if we stay here.

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Staying true to the concept—Hungarian artist Adam Berces have named his track “Hőhullám” (Heatwave). His own journey began with the compilation “A Classical Collection: 2006-2011” on the label Hard Body Sounds, in 2012. Two years later his album “Posztapokaliptikus Almanach” came out in two versions on SINCRONICA. Now he’s gracing us with a completely new song, where he goes ballistic on electronic body music fused with electro and minimal synth-pop. Though his vocals are enhanced and his robotic coolness shines throughout, it merely comes off as a cheap throw-down of 1980’s synth-pop versus a re-imagined minimalistic sound—allowing no ambivalent contrasts or synchronized, swell bombardments of imaginative sounds. No, this is a primitive ravishment that leaves little to your own imagination. Be it for better or worse, things can’t get more straight-forward than this. So the negative annotations to what we feel his musical achievement delivers with this track, can be turned upside down and be used as positive remarks. It depends whether you like it this way or not, and we must admit that we like it when there’s a transcendental feeling, an enchanting vision that cannot be grasped. Another thing which saves him a little bit is the general catchiness he manages to pull off between dark layers of electro, with the minimalistic drums and triggered sounds that come crashing in.

The flagship from Tacuara Records are now entering the mix. Yes, we’re talking about Vólkova—a project that is pleasurable to be introduced to for the first time. César Canali who runs the label is a part of this duo together with Paula Lazzarino. With their song for this compilation, “Come and See“—we’re flabbergasted immediately. It’s a completely new song and it alludes to the general purpose of their project, a melancholic vibe which is blended with ambient music and a film noir touch, occasional flirts with deranged noise and on bordering from darkwave into industrial for moments—quickly replaced with a piano and the continual mesmerizing beat—suddenly entering a breakbeat outbreak which flips the atmosphere entirely.  We must say that it’s one of the more interesting songs on this release so far, unfortunately some of the atmospheric and sullen sound-scape is ruined by the accentuation in the vocals. An exotic touch at first which actually blends into everything else very well, like a subversive message being uttered now and again—but it falls short in its repetitious nagging. Whenever nothing too chaotic is happening it fits, but the further in you get the more tired you are of hearing broken English and his willful dialect. Despite that—we’re more then pleased about their contribution.

Songs from “White Circle Compilation” will also be included into this article, you’ll just have to wait until it’s updated.

Spotlight [Compilation Special]: White Circles and Not So Cold! [Part I]

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In this Spotlight we give heed to newly arisen compilations. Out from the dusk and dawn comes the White Circles Compilation – a celebratory gesture by aufnahme + wiedergabe – for the first anniversary of White Circles, a club in Leipzig with resident-DJ’s Kevin Bigo, Ralph and aehm. So it was really written in stone that the residents were those who should compile the music. With their club they specialize in the colder and more melodic sub-genres of electronica, but they’re not limited to a certain kind of genre. Conceptually they feature live gigs by local and international acts, continual rotation of guest DJ’s, and co-operation with the different themed club-nights and labels – including special events. Their first event was held on the 8th of November, it featured Automelodi as the evening’s live-act, in-house DJ’s Ralph and Kevin Bigo, together with their first guest DJane Coco Darlin (DisTanz). A year later a compilation was formed in advance for the first anniversary of White Circles. The release was held yesterday on the 15th of November, featuring live-acts such as the legendary Clock DVA alongside the fresh blood that is Phase Fatale. Their guest-DJ was :dark sounds:.

Roughly at the same time, but maybe a little bit earlier, the Not So Cold-compilation was showcased for digital streaming on the Tacuara Records bandcamp-page. They call it “A Warm Wave Compilation” – maybe to consolidate support from our frozen friends in the North – or simply a referencing the supposed warm climate of Argentina and Perú. It’s a joint release signed Tacuara Records and Cintas Triangulares. One of the creators is César Canali who also runs the aforementioned label where the compilation is currently hosted, whilst Cesar Aguirre runs the Peruvian-based label Cintas Triangulares. The wonderfully slick cover have been photographed Rui Luz, Photo Digital Art, worked into artwork by Rafael Esteche, and the mastering have been done by Pablo Zumarraga.

a2222851647_10When it comes down to business, the aufnahme + wiedergabe and White Circles curated compilation “White Circles Compilation“, starts off with Azar Swan – whose music I am most unfamiliar to – having listened only to individual songs before. But the bombastic drums together with her assuring voice make for a line between popular music and the darker movements of dark-wave that is an underlying theme. I’m not particularly fond of the style of singing which she applies to this song, which is called “Foreign“, but when the chorus hits off it’s impossible not to dig the complexity of the moving patterns of music – where you’re saved by the gong-gong (in this case, the bridge; that fires off the chorus).

After that, Cocktail Twins deliver hard-as-nails but emotional post-punk with cold-wave overtones, with their song “Rooms Made of Dust“. I really enjoy the sound of a hammer onto a bolt, together with the apathy of the singer. It creates such a distance between the warmth of sincere and calm emotions, with the scraping of nails on the chalkboard – if you get what I mean. The paradoxical sameness that harsher and more straight-forward emotions contribute with, in comparison with the soft-spokenness of true emotions that border on love. There’s a hate-and-love relationship in the deliverance of the lyrics but also when it comes to the music. I believe this synergy creates such a complex atmosphere – as well as the percussion drums up a sea of emotion.

Then comes one of my favorite names from the aufnahme + wiedergabe, but not as I remember them. Velvet Condom used to be more electronic and less minimalistic, but I like their sincere vocals which are shrouded beneath a layer of something sweet. There’s a certain kind of innocence they deliver with such a name as “Self Injury” – which in itself is a hardship and not a joking matter. But I think there’s a paradox between the sweet sound and the topic which they’re ventilating through harsh post-punk rhythms and a steady melody conjured with a synthesizer. There’s a certain indifference to the tone of the singer which is enhanced when paired to the instruments. They’ve given up and they’re just stating a fact. It might seem brutal at the first glance – but what I’m seeing is a form of acceptance. It’s just how it is, I’ll live with it. The more I think about it the more I stray away from the lyrical content – in turn I am drifting away into total gloominess.

a3555187109_10For a change, I decide to turn on the Not So Cold “A Warm Wave Compilation”. Where I’m immidietly hooked into everything by Hante – the solo-project of Minuit Machine’s own Hélène De Thoury. The project doesn’t differ that much from the duo, but there’s a certain fluidness of the sound-scape which flows more into ambient territory. There’s not a strictness that can be felt with the main project which she has with Amandine Stioui – who’s also the singer when it comes to Minuit Machine. It’s also great to hear a different voice and a more playful tone when everything comes around, even though most of it is deadpan. Hear as it slowly transgresses from a full-on assault of synthesizers until it tones down and dies out in the abyss. Most of the track feels existential even though “Falling from grace” suggests otherwise. Sure, there’s a certain existentialism embedded into the bits and pieces of the track and the title alone, but it feels like a settlement between an imagined ego and reality knocking on heaven’s door. But I don’t really want to find it out – I’d rather speculate.

Since I had to skip YusYus because of an error probably created by Bandcamp itself, making the track entirely silent and only playable for four seconds – I move into Jenny Eve & Dan Söderquist (Twice A Man). Their track “Immersion” (taken from “The Monastery“) seems francophilic at a first glance, but then an ethnic vibe is leading you through the monastery. There’s much more to a title than what anyone could suggest. An invitation, an extended hand which guides you through and lets you follow them into a certain mood – fulfilment seems to be their goal. The good thing about all this is how it’s obvious what the meaning of everything is, but it is open for interpretation. Because when you get so certain of something, you generally refuse to see anything else then what is told. Who knows, maybe it’s not an invitation at all but rather a poisonous substance for your mind – delivered with sincere and beautiful music, whispered into your ear just so you believe it to be the other way around. I don’t know, but their sound is magnificent and intriguing to say the least – relaxing, a relaxation from the electronica that have flowed through already.

Now we’re up for something really exciting. I’ve just heard their name and listened to some of their songs, but now it’s allvar (severity) for Alvar. This Swedish duo touch upon the same bizarre no-go zone that Celldöd enters when he blends the most primitive, with the most complex music. I don’t know if this is industrial and electronic body music interpreted in a practical way, or if it’s simply theoretical and primitive at the same time with the track “The very witching time of night“. We’re however taken into the industries directly, wheezing pipes and knocking on tin – sampling morbid historical content, by reciting older criminal cases from Swedish criminal history. But the thing is that I don’t even know if it’s for real or not. It all seems like a dream to me and when the chaos erupts its difficult to wake up from this nightmare. They’ve really outdone themselves with the percussion and the wrecked noises that form an almost undanceable body-beat. This is how it was supposed to be done, so it’s a good thing that someone is finally taking it seriously. This is Alvar – uncompromising and stripped from every form of conscience, strictly based on factual happenings. Cold and harsh, fair and just – or is it an illusion?

Here ends Part I. There will be a follow-up for the rest of the songs. Wait until Part II.

Listen: Xiu – One Thrilling Night

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As last year went into the last month, the compilation “Minimal Milan” was released on the then newly created label Minimal Trend Records. A label run by Oksana Rodinova, otherwise known as Xiu, whose contribution to this compilation was under a new alias called MarryMe2Night. Individual songs and remixes have been released, but the Estonian-born queen of minimal synth hasn’t stopped short of that. aufnahme + wiedergabe decided to test the waters again, having released her first self-titled EP back in 2012. This time our Berlinian label have put out “One Thrilling Night” – the latest release by Xiu up to date – a double-single of some sort featuring the tracks “One Thrilling Night” and “Turn Me On“. Porl King (In Death It Ends/Miserylab, etc) have mastered this release.

When listening to these songs, it feels like a recognizable Xiu stream of consciousness. Taken into another direction with the calmness; smeared with metallic percussion. Dreamy landscapes of sound pull the dirt with it, because she’s not afraid to have some dirt under her nails. The whole sound-scape in the first track is drifting between semi-consciousness and a state of dreaming, with a suggestive dark undertone and rhythm to angelic melodies that flow through. A difference between the first and the second track is that in the second – she introduce her vocals. Reverberated strings of some kind of hopelessness, together with sunken beats that wouldn’t really make you move but rather contemplate. You can stream the whole release down below.

Listen: The Anxiety Of Love discography!

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The Anxiety Of Love, made up by former members of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Certain General, Joan Of Arc Family, Treehouses and other bands – have just put up their discography for you to stream. From their first release “One E.P.“, which was released in 2012. To their latest release “The Anxiety Of Hate E.P.“. From having their releases put out by the notable Berlinian label aufnahme + wiedergabe, to having their releases put out by their own independent label The Essence Of Soul Limited, Vocoder Tapes and Peripheral Minimal. They’re actually one of the few bands that carry the earlier wide-spread tradition of no-wave into a whole other world, together with their rather long and drone-inspired songs plus releases, to the shorter versions riddled with what Michael B. Wood (the singer) of the band calls; “meth rock“. A most noticeable influence however, would be the looming cold wave atmospheres that knit their no-wave tighter to the most unbearable point of listening, but that is the point of what they are. Another interesting thing about them letting their discography be streamed properly, is the fact that the earlier unreleased tracks that are of compilation-variety, have been put up as samples to be listened to under the collective name of: “So Lonely In Your Crowd“. Before and after they got hinged with different labels, they actually self-released a couple of releases.

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The<<Nausea Libido>>“-single is a reminder of how great their self-released tracks got play-time through their D.I.Y-ethics, but also the live-document “soap in the blood” which features tracks from their live-performances. Another release that is probably seeing the day of light on a physical edition of vinyls, is the release that originally was scheduled for Tujunga Flats, but unfortunately never happened. This release, “The Swarm.“, is a nice reminder of how you can make it without the help of both major and independent labels – unless you’re making it darn sure to do it on your own. A lot of their music is unique in different kinds of ways, never leaving the ultimate darkness in which they brood, staying true to their core principles – makes for a different kind of listening experience – and it shines through. Their music is not that easy to categorize at best, but can be put into the goth rock, meth rock, cold-wave and no-wave, pocket. Now when they’ve been kind enough to put up their whole discography for your listening pleasure, digitally of course, wouldn’t you mind doing them a service and stream it until you drop? Because I know that I would. There are a lot of things to discover and you can do that right now. Stream their whole discography here on Repartiseraren.