Exclusive Premiere: Minuit Machine – Agoraphobia (Album Version)

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

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

Listen: Luminance / Acapulco City Hunters – The Cold Rush

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Belgium are steaming ahead of everyone else. Wool-E Tapes have been working hard at putting out new releases that catch one’s ear. The current ‘flagship’ could be considered to be Luminance – the electronic solo-project by David-Alexandre Parquier. In the month of July when his first 7¨-release “Obsession / Viper Smile” was released on Weyrd Son Records, he also did a split together with Acapulco City Hunters called “The Cold Rush” – which was their first release up to date. The Weyrd Son-release was more of a collaborative effort with him behind the machinery on both tracks, Felicie on backing vocals for “Viper Smile” and Nathalie Bruno on vocals for “Obsessions“. I am however not going to linger on that release but focus on the latest one. It is an interesting blend of house-music matched with a new-wave sound, whilst Luminance heads into a whole other direction than what can be found on his earlier releases. Sure, the minimalism is still there and his wittered electro comes into play with the general synth-pop minimalism that makes his sound so great. But I notice how he does not sway for the ambient reflections made in his first track on the release. I also believe that his tracks on this split are more in for a brutal sound coupled with more hopelessness, than his earlier releases. The notable darkwave influence does make itself reminded. The playful melodies mixed with a sound best described as when day turns into night. He’s nothing short of knowing how to make this concoction a danceable but seductive brew that is about as volatile as daggers into flesh – without the courage to strike when the day is lit.

When it comes to Acapulco City Hunters, their or his sound is not primarily darker because they’re on the other side of the fence – but notably well-thought out and considerate. A rhythm that is in constant motion together with an ominously sounding house-music sound. No you will not find anything remotely similar to Swedish House Mafia when it comes to this. Let the acidic sounds mix with the lead melodies and blend into a thoughtful motion that could only make you reflect. It is meditative in one sense and leads you into a nicely laden vocal palette that draws upon calmness – and then comes a tribal fusion together with a obtuse frame of melody which goes into a bridge which lets an almost The Smiths-influenced intonation by the vocalist when he goes up a notch, out for display. Even though both of these artists are closely knit-together, I believe that my favorite is Acapulco City Hunters. They deliver a strong first-timed collaborative effort by teaming up with Luminance. I like their lyrical content because they remind me of how bleak the world is and can be, with all the romanticism that shies away and comes forth when you least know it. Order this release from Wool E Tapes if you like what you’re hearing. You can stream it in whole down below.

Harvesting #14: Transistor Sphere / DRAMA! / Eoster

Without further ado, Harvesting returns with a smattering noise. It’s been about a year since you last saw something in regards to this. This time covering releases from artists that have self-released their albums, to artists whom are already on a label. Everything from Transistor Sphere, an angst-pop artist crossing into cold wave territory, to DRAMA! a Hungarian avant-garde minimal electronics outfit being released on KHK Tapes. To Eostre, whose debut-album will soon be put out in full by the label Soft Corridor Records. Three enigmatic artists with their own perks. Three artists that are going to be covered here in Harvesting number 14. The fourteenth edition of Harvesting, to date. Scroll down and read it all.

a1517745545_10With a total of fifteen songs, the artist Transistor Sphere moves and shape-shifts into whatever that pleases him for the moment. Electronica is moving swiftly from a rather calm intro, to an angst-pop assault. Clashing beats, hypnotic atmospheres and cherished dark rhythms make this moment such a bliss. A moment that can be endured, a moment that is packaged in between fifty minutes and a little bit more. Lurking transmitters wire you to this experience, that moves somewhere in between the minimalism of minimal electronics, to the fast-paced rhythms you’d otherwise hear in a breakbeat or drum’n’bass track. The album itself has a titled that describes the feeling you get when listening to it: “Disintegrated“.

Here’s where everything dissolves and at the same time it’s a trip into the utmost space of the soundscapes. It can change for a minute, a few seconds – or a little bit more – from the most beastly fast-paced running electronica – to the utmost minimalistic heresy. The melodious content of this album is not something you should underestimate. His eloquent touch with sincere electronics overshadow the whole darkness that is repetitive in the atmosphere of the tracks. It feels organic and it doesn’t feel soulless at all. Low-key beats bounce upon the samplings, the noises that can be heard are briefly swooshed away in favor for something else. Clearly a multifaceted release that goes in between ominous music, deliberate angst-pop with baselines as deep as the blue sea, to the cold wave and in touch with the emotional content at hand – to a degree that is probably not heard when listening to other artists. It’s also clear that he’s influenced by Friedrich Nietszche‘s philosophy to a degree, in regards to the quote on his page: “The future influences the present just as much as the past“. A mysterious artisan at his craft, an interesting antagonist at our hands. Listen to Transistor Sphere‘s album “Disintegrated” below.

khk03_The cacophony doesn’t stop here, as DRAMA! steps up to the plate and run amok. This is a Hungarian artist whose participation in music ranges back to a compilation this artist was featured on, which was “Central Heating” – a compilation crafted by the same label he’s on – namely KHK Tapes. It was released back in 2012 and even though this release, which is his first self-titled, was released in 2013 – we thought of featuring it anyway. He’s got a rather out-of-the-ordinary industrialized landscape of sound which is carefully crafted together between the boundaries of industrial and tape music in the first hand, and minimal electronics as the underlying motor that is pulling this workhorse forward. Forwarding public domain information from the United States in the shape of sound, mixed together with a regular rhythm make a rhythm out of the samplings that he’s borrowed from these domains. This results in a pretty weird but rather analogue experience that will drive you insane sooner or later. A lot of the tracks don’t even make it over three minutes, which makes them a lot shorter then what is expected. The release is compromised of thirteen tracks and the further in you go, the stranger it gets. Noise gets on top of the chain, whilst an almost power electronics sound is dominating throughout – resonating with the scrappy sound of the electronics. Once you go in there, you’ll come out with bad German soap operas that have been used for sampling purposes, but also dubbed things that you can’t really find the source for – unless you’re interested in that stuff. The whole ordeal you’ll have to endure when listening through it feels like a re-cycling of sound. All the primitiveness that can be heard is overlapped with interesting build-ups, heavy and noise synthesized sounds, charred beats that would make you suffer if you had to listen to it even longer. The format is well-thought out, since you can only endure it long enough until the repetitiveness kills you on its own. But mind you, it’s not boring to listen to, at least. You can listen to the whole self-titled release down below, from KHK Tapes bandcamp.

a2596681461_10Glad you’ve read this far. Lastly, we’ve got an experience for you that you’ll probably find rather enjoyable. Eostre is a solo-project that combines the ingeniousness of minimal electronics with the rather rugged sound of ambient and experimental electronics. A formula that the man behind the solo-project, the Belgian man Sébastien Schmit (K-Branding/Service Special) have made his own. Harnessing the monotone vocals that he puts out on the smooth surface of the tracks. A rather interesting paradox between the smoothness of the ambient in the tracks with the rather rugged beats that hit you hard in your neck. This is his debut-album under this moniker and it’s titled “They Were Made Of White Cloth“. Put out by the label Soft Corridor Records. What’s interesting with the two tracks made available on this release is how they change from being a rugged trip into the unknown, hitching a smooth ride – but ending with bubbling electronica and then simply fading out.

Just to change to rather ethnic beats with the other track made available, a kind of middle eastern and/or oriental touch with a sullen synthesizer that almost reminds you of that calm, but oriented emotional saxophone sound that gets played rather frequently in films from the 1980’s. Especially if these films are Action-films. It is clearly noticeable that the different instruments form an intricate rhythm together, that is being based upon underlying rhythms that soar through the dampened landscape of sound. Well, tough luck, because Sébastien is a drummer when push comes to shove. This is also noticeable in how he form the different patterns for the rhythms. Everything goes dancing throughout the soundscapes of these two tracks. Not much more can be uttered about this release, since all tracks have not been made available. It’s a joint release between Soft Corridor Records and Alt. Vinyl, and is going to be put out on the 20th of April. The cover illustration was created by Jess Pauwels, and the photography was taken (and designed) by Julien Lambrechts. Listen to and stream this release down below, from Soft Corridor Records bandcamp.

Listen: Luminance – Icons & Dead Fears

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The soulful and devotional second album “Icons & Dead Fears” was just released almost a week ago on Wool-E Tapes. Combining the atmosphere of ethereal ambient, with an overwhelming minimal synth presence, Luminance deliver what could be considered a mindful piece of electronic calm. The material on this release was recorded in between 2013 and 2014 in Brussels. There’s also a noticeable wavelength of dark-wave, together with some serious vocalization by David-Alexandre Parquier, the man behind this release. Hear the rhythm that will make you move, a rhythm that’ll make you out of breath from just moving around to this six-tracked album. Nocturnal melodies bounce back onto a more melodious and lighter note, as the whole structure of the pieces that he deliver will move further into electro territory. It’s something you must listen to if you’re even remotely into minimal synth. There are a lot of interesting complexities that overlap each other. Due to unforeseen circumstances, “Icons & Dead Fears” came out before the real debut-album by Luminance. The “real” debut was released by an American label called Young Cubs, and was titled “The Light Is Ours“.

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The Belgian label Wool-E Tapes showcase the variety that still comes out of Belgium. Having been created on Cassette Store Day in 2013, they’ve moved on from that and continue to put out releases. So this release is their latest release, and it is featured as both a digital release but it’s also out on cassette. The limited edition cassette comes in one-hundred copies and can be bought for seven euros. For those of you that appreciate skilfully done minimal synth with other influences involved, I’d say that this release is a must-have in your archives. You can listen to the whole release and stream it in full down below, so you can get a real taste of what’s being talked about. So do just that and have an enjoyable moment. Buy the cassette if you want the real deal. Both the debut-album “The Light Is Ours” and the second album “Icons & Dead Fears” can be streamed down below. So take your chance.

Watch: Little Trouble Kids – Haunted Hearts

If you’re hungering for some noise to your late-in-the-afternoon tea or coffee, look no further. As we dot the line in Belgium, a band called Little Trouble Kids e-mailed me about the fact that they’ve got a music-video out for their latest single “Haunted Hearts“. I haven’t actually heard of them until this popped up in my browser. Interestingly enough, they’ve got a nice approach to both pop-music and noise as such, together with their “grandiose minimalism“. Grandiose I say, because their percussion-focused track “Haunted Hearts” deliver a somewhat minimalistic sound, in one aspect at least – and that is the semi-acoustic atmosphere and the vocals. Resonating throughout the sound-scape is a new form, but albeit old form, of avant-garde expression. However, what makes their song interesting as such, as I haven’t heard anything from them but this song – is the fact that the percussion takes a leading role. But also the fact that their landscape of sound is shaped around the fragmenting parts that make it feel so completed. This, together with the different elements of both a female vocalist and a male vocalist. This is also where the appropriate tagline for them appear, namely: alternative. Little Trouble Kids is Eline Adam and Thomas Werbrouck.

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Watch their haunting and mystical music-video up above and download their first single “Haunted Hearts“, taken from their forthcoming album with the same name, for free from their website. The album itself will be released on the 17th of March, so I’d tell you to look out for whenever it comes out, because they’ve got a pretty interesting sound. For those of you that are interested in their discography I’d suggest that you’d check out their second album “Adventureland“, released on Little Trouble Disks in 2012, and their debut-album “Little Trouble Kids“. Both can be streamed and listened to down below. Their new track “Haunted Hearts” can be downloaded for free from here.

Exclusive Stream: This Morn’ Omina – Obeah

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These interesting figures within tribal electronics, industrial, ritual techno and everywhere in between, are making a minor come back with the album “Nagash“. Karolus Lerocq and Mika Goedrijk have been at it since 1997, in various constellations, when their first album “Decline And Fall Of Empires” was released on the label Afterfucht. Together with the sub-label of Enfant Terrible, namely; Gooiland Elektro, Invisible Guy will be transcending the realm of reality in favor for a more suggestive environment. This is simply not for the weak of mind, since the galloping hordes of beat tear into the tribal instincts of man. Some of it seems to be a tad psychedelic, when the heavy beats land their blow on your ears. Well, as it have been said, you now know what you’re getting into. This is Gooiland Elektro 011 and Enfant Terrible 029. In this collaboration, we give you the B2 track, which is the last track on this particular release, for you to listen to. It’s titled “Obeah” and you can stream it in full down below. It will be out in mid October, so if you’d like to order it whenever it shows up, you should go to Enfant Terrible.

Exclusive Stream: NSRB-11 – Consumer Programming

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We bring you the best, so fuck the rest. No, that’s not how my melody goes. This is just a provocation to fill out a sentence. We’re blessed to be bringing you yet another exclusive stream of a track, all thanks to Saša Rajković of Sensorium/Zarkoff. If you’ve heard of Gerard Donald, Sherard Ingram and Lana Jastrevski – you probably know where this is going. Their nicknames are otherwise spelled out as Heinrich Mueller, DJ Stingray and Popsimonova. Which isn’t really everything they’ve ever done, but probably what you know them as. Heinrich Mueller is the nickname of Gerard Donald, who also sport different sounds under the nicknames of Dopplereffekt, Drexciya (together with Sherard Ingram) and Arpanet – to name a few. Sherard Ingram is probably most known as DJ Stingray, but he’s also known by the names of Mystic Tribe A.I. and Urban Tribe. Lana Jastrevski is most known for her outlandish pseudonym Popsimonova, but also for being the founding member of the DAF-influenced group called Dekolaž. Anyway, you probably know that the Belgian label WeMe Records are going to release a double-LP with NSRB-11 on the menu, titled “Commodified“, on the 9th of September. Those of you that are fans of Heinrich Mueller since before, should recognize the swift arms of Detroit Electro, and see it as a continuation of his project.

What’s new is that Lana Jastrevski’s wonderful voice will be heard on several tracks, on this release. Therefore, I’ve gotten the honor to exclusively stream the full track “Consumer Programming” for you. Hard-hitting and uncompromising high-tech electro, with a detachment from the reality we know it as. In the future there’ll be no humans, so you better tune in and listen to this robotic sound-scape that will make you enter 2045. Perhaps even further into the simulation, that will be our future. Stream the whole track exclusively down below, check out more of the album over here. You can also pre-order it, as CD or 2LP.