Review: Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae / Proselytes (CD)

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Caligari Records have been a favorite of mine since some time back. Always on top with new releases, always on point with the darker themed musical styles (mainly metal) – everything is allowed if it is contained within these limits – and they don’t do a half-arsed job at it. The proprietor of the label was kind enough to send a physical edition of the release about to be reviewed, and we’re glad to finally be able to listen through and critique an item from their discography.

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Unfortunately to our own dismay, the case was slightly damaged with what seems to be small cuts on the front of it. The CD itself was not damaged but the plastic attachment which keeps the CD in place was in half, thus there was no use for it at all – thanks to our wonderful shipping company PostNord – who seems to take much joy in making sure that shipments arrive as damaged as possible, unless packed very tight and secure.

 

The aesthetic aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Aesthetically the whole package, despite it being a standard jewelcase, is really magnificent to look at. The booklet comes with lyrics for each song, and at the end of it (pictured) there’s a very well-drawn image of a man which could resemble any statue from ancient Greece, holding a rope which yields a perfect representation of the band’s name. Just beside the man is a tightly knit rope, where the words “Venerate the rope! Fear The Rope!” is written beneath it. Makes for a very sinister impression.

The decorative‘ aspect of this release is what makes it, though the fonts are somewhat off-putting except on the front of the CD where it almost seems to be sketched out rather then digitally put there – even though, in the end, part of that dimension as well. You know very well what kind of genre it ought to be by looking at it, even though you might not be able to place the sub-genres, which is a slightly ambiguous touch that makes it even better. Shows how much can be done aesthetically without the release having to be more then a jewelcase.

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The musical aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Rope Sect as a band is a trio, consisting of ‘Inmesher‘ (guitars, drums & vocals), ‘Harbinger‘ (bass) and ‘Gaarentwynder‘ (additional guitars). The release is a compilation, a combination of their first EP released by Caligari Records on cassette, “Personae Ingratae“, and their double-single “Proselytes” released on vinyl by Iron Bonehead Productions. We want to make it perfectly clear that we haven’t heard these releases in their physical format, therefore we can’t do any comparisons and if we had we wouldn’t any way because it would only make sense as that instead.

Fallen Nation” starts off with an ominously sounding German quotation in sound sampled from somewhere, heck knows where. Then what could be described as some crossover between metal and punk, but without the -core in it. Somehow it reminds us of a better, less outdrawn version, maybe heavier in certain aspects – later Katatonia. If they had mingled with Jawbreaker, but without the cheesy lyrics. It is hard-hitting, straight up emotional and there is where the first comparison is drawn, out of a sense of nostalgia and not so much musically – even though some of it is similar, in terms of melody.

It feels weird that a first track on a release can be so addicting. A perfect cocktail of nihilistic tendencies together with a dim, bright light of hope in the end of the tunnel. The drums are muddy, distorted and together with the guitar work and baseline create a malformed, rowdy atmosphere – which is then smacked together with clean vocals. The vocalist is really talented, he pulls off such an emotional but assertive tone in the way he articulates each word, lyrically.

The second song “Tarantist” ups the instruments a notch in terms of how the solos, the riffs and the overall rhythm is concerned. Sure, much of it is similar with the first song, but it has a more deathrock-ish vibe over the atmosphere, perfect for a December’s evening like this. We find ourselves digging more to this song, even though the first one had its perfectly laden harmonics. The psychedelic edge in some of the riffs are absolutely glorious in all their simplicity – they manage to bridge to the chorus in a down-tempo – to maniacal uptempo after a few seconds, so effortlessly.

Even though it makes no sense in text at all, the most powerful lyrical content in this song is when the singer calmly but ominously proclaims: “We’re gonna die – why?“, it hits so close to home that it almost frightens. It is so existential in a beautiful way – yet it gives you an unobjectionable push into the grim realities of life, which isn’t as romantically charged as the notion of living forever either as a memory in the past, or resurrected in the future.

Pretty Life” heads in a different, more downtempo way that has a lot in common with atmospheric black metal, instead of the punk (and sub-genres of it) overtones that dominate on this record so far. Too bad that it is so repetitive and doesn’t really cast a good light on the vocalist as it has done with the uptempo, more aggressive songs before this one. Sure, some moments are great as when the more ‘acoustically’-oriented passages that add an upswing to an otherwise not that interesting song.

Some facets of it can be intriguing to listen to but it is not what we’re expecting after we’ve listened to Rope Sect, we’re sorry to say that. If anything, the abrupt ending is in a class of itself, since this song doesn’t need to be more outdrawn and killed right away. Don’t get it wrong, it is not a bad song per se, but it is an OK song in comparison with the other two which set the standard very high.

King Of The Night” remind us, in a good way, what the commercially successful band Ghost would’ve been if they hadn’t sold out from the get go. Rope Sect is like the better version of what the ideal would’ve been with that band, even though it was dead from the get go, really. A really trashing song from the get go which includes the better parts of good death metal, with the melodically oriented stance that actually, by now, defines their music for us.

Not to mention the classic rock’n’roll vibe coming out of the second chorus, the solos from the guitars are fantastic. They also slap the darker atmosphere on it so that it doesn’t flip out and go into full deranged death’n’roll. In this song comes another memorable line, which also touches emotionally through how the singer delivers it vocally – “We found the gallows sling in the light / A lost reversal of fortune“. What a great line lyrically. It gives off a very subliminal message as it goes through your brain, an ambiguity not easily taken away.

On this compilation, “Recess” feels like the dividing line between “Personae Ingratae” and “Proselytes“, even though it originally wasn’t. A good piece of death-doom metal but with much better melodies then there generally is in that crossover genre. They are really accentuated and heightened in this short song. An uproar of the most desperate anguish, but without the cheesiness that would be attached to it otherwise with bad lyrics, so it is actually good that they went full instrumental for once. Though it wouldn’t of been any trouble for the singer to lay his unique touch on it as well, had it not been.

Ochlesis” is the longest track on the release, and feels like a combination of all the good in the first few songs and the otherworldly nature of their atmosphere. Simple but ingenious riffs lay the foundation of the choruses, as one is transported between all possible sub-genres and back again. From metal to post-punk, doom metal to gothic rock. There’s also an downtempo part that is fanatically great – they leave room to each instrument, and let the different textures blend together through silence and noise – completing the sound in a vividly imaginable perfect scenario.

Though the first part shines the brightest, as that is their stronger side, it is accompanied by an even heavier laden barrage of the finest metal you could imagine. Nothing is compromised when they get to do their own thing, whatever that could be called in a summary. Though, as written in the first paragraphs about this song, it is clear that it is a combination of all the best elements so far from this record.

Death Is Your Lover” is by far the roughest sounding track so far, having more dark riffs then ever before. The title alone suggests what you’re about to hear when turning it on. The drumming also goes into different riffs, as it almost wants to go into full blast-beat as soon as possible, but is hindered by the fact that it is as gloomy as doom metal can be when it is at its best – in combination with the psychedelic, slow and hard-hitting aspects of that certain genre.

Little bits of pieces in this song are good, but together it doesn’t stand out that much in comparison with other songs. There are different ambiance that could’ve been adjusted a bit more, and the singing gets a bit dull after parts of it, but without a doubt the lyrical content of this song is one of the best. Especially the repetitiveness of it all, which lulls one into uncertainty.

Rattenkönig” is so pleasurable to listen to. It holds up great in all aspects and is except the first two songs, “Fallen Nation” and “Tarantist“, which in itself makes it a great song. The lyrics flow so well, as if the vocalist have lived what is described himself. As if it is recited by a great orator. There’s really nothing more to be said then that it gives off a spiritual feeling when listening to it. Such a great, uncompromising and skilfully made song that it isn’t even funny. Nothing could be done better in it that would make it even more outstanding.

BothQuietus” and “Proselytes” is if you had inverted the record itself, not that they are identical to the first two songs musically, it is just that they are as great in their own respects. Here, they’ve added a bit more that gives the atmosphere that knife-sharp edge and volatility which some of the other tracks miss out on. The first song mentioned actually contain some blast-beats to our joy, and it is the better one of the two, but both are god-damn impeccable.

Such a great ending to an otherwise more than good compilation of two releases. We could not recommend it more, actually. It is just a shame that it hasn’t gotten more publicity, because this sure is a hidden gem in the Caligari Records discography – despite it being the next-newest release there. If anything, you should really get this CD because nothing beats having the physical item. You can get it digitally and on CD from Caligari Records, stream the release down below to make up your own mind.

 

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Review: L’Avenir – Soir

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A couple of months ago Cold Beats Records announced the fourth album by L’Avenir, titled “Soir“. In terms of aesthetics he’s been consistent but it is not the most pleasing artwork to lay your eyes upon. There’s a certain connection between each of his albums and it is noticeable even though he’s shifted to a more ethereal approach on this release. He’s kept the most interesting elements of his music and developed it into an otherworldly experience – but how that holds up in practice is what you’ll find out – in this latest track-by-track review on Repartiseraren.

The introductory for this album, “Modern World” is excitingly refreshing to hear as it starts off but when the melody is laid down in the song, it gets increasingly mind-numbing. Going from laying a creative and ethereal sound, bouncing from ambient to minimal wave, synth-pop and back again – is simply astonishing. The lyrics hold up well and the dismayed tone of the sound is also an unpleasant reminder of the topic that Jason brings up in this song.

As the song comes to a close, another melody is laid upon the frankly cheesy melody that he decided to delve too much into. This other melody is more in tune with the overall sound and fits the picturesque notion he deliver with the rhythm, drums and occasional synthesizer bravado. Conceptually the song is much better, however it lacks severely in captivating melodies and make it a blunder in terms of the passage between the intro and the outro.

Desert” is way more of a stable track, which in its essence has a great melody and move toward a decent sound. The problem with the song is that it suffers from the opposite of what the first one did, that is the vocals and lyrical content isn’t that good to begin with -but the melodies, rhythm and everything else that carries the atmosphere and develops it into something more are consistently surprising – in a good way. The alarming nature of high-note synthesizers is reminiscent of Person:A.

Another thing must be said about this and that is how the rhythm in the beginning slowly drags the listener into the sound-scape and lets the ambient side of L’Avenir glisten. It is good that the vocals and the lyrics don’t take up much of a space in general and that one can drift away, enjoying the remainder of the music itself and how he professionally crafts what is his own sound.

InThe Stranger” the beats get heavier and more pulsating. There’s an eerie darkness and the synthesizers get to be in the background a lot more, as the vocals and the rhythm are the first and foremost benefiters in this song. The rhythm is simple yet hypnotizing when the base drum resounds and the snare drum hits, a very unchanging atmosphere that relies on what already has been presented in the beginning of it. It’s overall the best sounding tune so far.

As it switches into more ambient settings the further in you get, the melodies layer beautifully upon one another and connect marvelously, inserting that much needed emotional touch which L’Avenir can pull off brilliantly. This is where the transition into “Mirror Men” goes painfully, as they share many of the elements that made “The Stranger” and “Desert” much better then “Modern World“.

WithMirror Men” you can almost hear some of the hints that are so lovable in Drab Majesty, for example. A sound-scape clad in an ethereal form, where smoke sifts through the cracks and give off a mysteriously but huge atmospheric draped in a synth-pop outfit. The melodies are crystal clear and put forth some kind of eerie existentialist but immortal vibe to it. Your body is more then a vessel, it is one metaphysical step closer to god and the divine. The beats have also become more concentrated and punched up, there’s more guts in this song.

Silence Shouts” become more of a standardized song for “Soir” after the aforementioned one. A bridge to something else. But he utilizes the differentiating vocals in this song to create a worthwhile listening experience. The more you get into it the further it develops in the background, together with the constant synthesizer-baseline and then a grandiose section is dropped in – the synthesizers get more brazen and deliver a more confident version of the same song. Hearing the different components go out of their way, some of them in a minuscule fashion, others drift away into complex melodies, is very satisfying.

Then comes a transgression from regular minimal synth and synth-pop, a more electronic body music oriented vibe in “Winter Calls“. If the other songs had a string of sublimity in it – this is when the hammer hits the nail – it is without any mysterious intent and more with a colder touch. Here’s where the concept have been on point with the actual song it self. As the beats stumble more and stutter, the synthesizers are more concentrated then ever. It doesn’t stand and fall with the rhythm and beats, it stands on its own in melodies and general atmosphere.

Now whenOutside” comes on, it hits right at home but there’s something off with the sound, one doesn’t know if it is intentional or if it is the masterer’s fault. We on Repartiseraren have released “Outside (Just Like Home)” on a compilation before this. It sounds a bit different. The melodies should be more apparent then they really are, the beats are too hollow and in front of the atmosphere that should be felt in a different way. It is as if someone activated a drum-machine and had the intentions of making another song, at the same time that L’Avenir made “Outside“. It doesn’t really fit.

It is one of the more serious disappointments on this release. “What Happened To Yesterday” is, however, a great example of the adaptiveness of Jason’s music as it is a pure synth-pop gem. The melodies are central and bring out the soul of the song immaculately. Even though some parts of it ain’t my cup of tea, one can not dismiss it in its entirety. Atmospherically the song is huge and covers more territory then any other on this album. Synthesizers are in the background and foreground without the rhythm or beats interfering in an awkward way. A great addition to a so far alright release.

The songVivet” is more playful in its style and stray away from the seriousness in the music at times, giving it a more ambiguous feeling while listening to it. A very dancefloor-friendly song. Rhythmically it is enchanting and nothing bad could be said about it, it is the embodiment of what L’Avenir tries to say and establish with this release. It is funny how the songs gradually get better, then as they get better it turns for the worse and come back to the greater side where they could’ve stayed in the first place.

Had this album been released in August or September instead, “August” would’ve been the epitome of an outro – the change from summer to fall – for better or worse. A sullen baseline carries the rhythm of sharpened beats that steadily marks the end of “Soir“. Even though you’ve already been given a lot to listen to, it doesn’t end with the outdrawn melodies and simple beats to shut everything down and call it a day, there are bonus tracks and remixes available as well. Let’s take them on.

Interestingly enough, “No Destination (Bonus Track)” is a really experimental gem that should’ve been saved for the b-side instead of one of the other songs. Not to mention “Fault” – which is quite frankly one of the best songs on this release. Even though one gets why “No Destination” doesn’t fit the album, “Fault” could’ve easily outmaneuvered one of the A-Side tracks – because it is really, really great. The fast-paced rhythm, playful synthesizer melodies and overall great, ambitious sound-scape is reason enough.

Denial (Bonus Track)” is also one of those songs that would’ve made it better on the line-up for the original line-up. It has a well-crafted atmosphere and even though it might be a bit more experimental, it is way better and more inspiring then “Moonlight (Bonus Track)“. Experimentalism doesn’t always have to be on the bad side of the spectrum, it could very well be a more enthralling song more fitting on an album such as this.

Remixes, what about them? Well, they’re in most cases hit or miss – oftentimes more a miss. Forever Grey make a reasonably ok attempt at their version of “Mirror Men“, but the original stands much taller and this remix does nothing to stand out on its own, not a memorable attempt either. But there’s something about it that is charming but it is reserved for some parts of the remix only. Since the original song “Outside” was ruined, it is nice to hear the Person:A-remix which deliver some really claustrophobic, minimalistic cold-wave interpretation of the original. He’s managed to pull off a really ominously sounding melody, that make the song less upbeat and more downbeat.

The breakdowns made by Kline Coma Xero on “What Happened To Yesterday” are charming but not enough to be considered great, but it adds a different touch and a whole new version of the original track, that coupled with auto-tuning gives it an experimental electronic and electro-ish vibe. MAKiNA GiRGiR‘s rework of  the same song almost makes it a chiptune tribute, one of the best remixes on this album for sure. They have a really minimalistic approach and it becomes a song on its own, ready to stand by itself in the atmosphere they’ve created and especially the melodies.

When the song “Silent Shouts” get the remix treatment by Nina Belief, it unfortunately falls on its own into the category of uninspiring. Had the beats matched the tempo better and her vocals as well, it might’ve been an off-shoot into something different and more alluring. This is most definitely a miss in terms of the remixes. The remix of “The Stranger” by Lola Kumtus is not anything interesting either, unfortunately. It just rehashes the song and makes it more cloudy, repetitive and basic.

So this is what I think of this album. In terms of the overall quality the record is not the best L’Avenir can do but it is worth listening to, since it contains a few really great songs and some that are not as great. You can listen to the album in full down below and if you like it, you can order a double-CD or a vinyl as well from Cold Beats Records.

 

 

Review: TSTI – Endings

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Some time ago TSTI had his third album released, or second if you don’t count “Evaluated: An Album Of Remixes“. German-based Basic Unit Productions have gotten the pleasure to release “Endings” – which is the apt title of the release. Other Voices Records have also gotten their share of it and have released a limited edition cassette of it. We’ve had the possibility of listening to a few of the demos before this was released and they sounded promising, as does his whole discography. The aesthetics of the release are industrial and very cut and paste, not really anything we enjoy at all, and the first album “Evaluations” looked more alluring visually.

The album clocks in at around thirty-six minutes in total. So let’s get into what this album has to offer in its entirety, by doing a track-by-track review of it.

Things I Would Do” is a special kind of song when it comes to the atmosphere, right from the start there is an inviting kind of mystic vibe over it but at the same time an assertive industrial sound to it. We’re not really fans of the processed vocals at all but the lyrics in this song are simple but add a catchy melodious tone to an – at first – deserted landscape. The favorite part comes forth in the build-up until the chorus and the chorus itself, as they both pack a melodious punch which is remindable and emotional. It lurks in the background and comes out in full bloom together with the drum beats and snaredrum, which later on forms a stunning introductory to a hopefully, equally as great album.

We’ve been fortunate enough to hear the craftsman, S. Smith, create this marvelous tune step-by-step until it finally was released on Basic Unit Productions. Even though the fondness of the demo-version of this song have caught on, his stamp throughout it makes for a more bombastic and impactful experience.

Naïveté (feat. Jennifer Touch)” is a lot more pop-influenced then the first one, but he stays true to himself and his sound, which allows for a heavier side to take place amongst the cheesier vibes of the flute and the melody itself. It is not necessarily the build-up and climax of the song which is interesting, but rather the dissective nature of the downbeat melodies that are produced in between – giving it a whole atmosphere instead of a half one. We don’t think “Jennifer Touch” adds anything that gives this song momentum, or a different characteristic, which is probably not what was meant – but as a collaborative effort it is stale. The instruments and rhythm are more interesting here then the synthesizers for the most part, as they are more complex and add more to the song overall.

The slower nature of “Sincerity” allows S. Smith to build up a better atmosphere then in any of the other songs, this one crushes totally in terms of the synthesizers vibrancy and the emotional delivery of his vocals. It is almost like an anthemic ballad in of itself and layer upon layer of instrumentation cut right through and form the shape of a transgression between straight-forward synth-pop and ambient music. A very nice addition which sprawls from his old sound and new, to connect and make something greater then all of that. Too bad that he underestimates this kind of touch with his other songs, whom are more industrial in nature, but not in the crafty kind of way – because they build upon a foundation of synth-pop – instead of a transgressiveness between severeal genres.

It is a dreamy song and we drear the end of it, which comes at a too fast pace unfortunately. Even though it is the slowest song yet, but at the time it is allowed to brood and deliver chord upon chord of nicely laden synthesized beauty – is precisely the reason why one ought to check out TSTI in his new form.

Forgive Me” catch elements of the previous song and have also been featured on Repartiseraren’s own compilation “Whoever Am I”, long before release. It is noticeable how Sid’s (from Schwefelgelb) mastering have affected the song, because it is somewhat different from Zarkoff (who mixed the re-mastered compilation) – so it is very intriguing to hear how different characteristics, in terms of mastering – can be heard in the end product. Since we have a special bond to this song in terms of nostalgia itself, it is hard to not have a personal connection to the song itself, but it lacks in momentum although it is picked together quite good through the atmosphere of the song itself. There is never a dull moment and around the corner there’s a whole different interpretation in itself.

The song has very different characteristics throughout, which is what ultimately makes it different as well as fitting at the same time. Everything runs like clockwork and the time never stops until S. Smith cares to do it himself, by ending on a high note. It’s a very classy song in terms of tone and clarity, where the repetetive lyrics play an integral role to it moving forward at all.

Strange Times” really catches one off-guard. Damn, the first melody is a work of art in itself and from there and on you can’t turn the song off. Had S.U.R.V.I.V.E moved in a different way and taken the help of S. Smith – this is how it would sound like. There’s a certain niceness about the mysticism in the song itself, the sweet touches of synthesizers and not-too-industrial beats make this outstanding synth-pop music. By now, had it been some other album, it probably would’ve dulled off by now. Here’s the part where musicians fall short, oftentimes, if they have an album that goes on for as many songs as “Endings” does. The samples that can also be heard but in another form, on “Naïveté (feat. Jennifer Touch)” take a step into informing the listener – rather then shake the world together with beats.

It is good to hear how the first melody is expanded in the end and clangs out like it should’ve. Not that we’ve heard this song before, but because it is just what is supposed to happen – it is the destiny of this song.

To Visit You Again” is metaphorically speaking the most emotional song so far. Both in message and sound. The longing, the outdrawn beats that scrape against the soundscape and the desperation in the atmosphere that lunge towards you in an instant. It draws upon mutated choirs that between added effects and from high to low notes, add a nicely angelic touch to an otherwise doom and gloom song. It is also the only instrumental song on the whole album. Which is a pleasure to listen through. The repetetiveness of it doesn’t bother at all because it is inventive and make use of the different small touches added to the whole totality of sound. When “Flatter Me” comes on, it is obvious that it is a direct continuation of the aforementioned instrumental song. They share many of the same ambitions in being emotionally touching and direct, together with impervious melodies that never stagnate.

Here though, the melodies are taken into a different direction which both touch upon these elements and create a whole other atmosphere – the intangible nature of TSTI’s sound is one of his strengths. All of a sudden everything is downhill and from there it goes uphill, the emotions come crashing down and the beats develop intensity as they shift from rhythm to rhythm. Very flattering of him to do so.

R.A.S.” never hits home but at the same time does. It is a song filled with paradoxical sound production, with melodies that sound oriental at times and the complete opposite. There’s a shyness and awkwardness about it as a whole, as if he doesn’t want it to bloom out completely – as he holds it even closer. He shapes and unshape things, from rhythms that don’t really make sense to beats that almost put the synthesizer’s wonderful soundscaping out of play. Maybe it is the complete destruction of everything, the ending as it is, even though this certainly isn’t his last contribution in terms of sound as TSTI.

Unfortunately, the remixes of “Things I Would Do“, by Hante and Ssleeping desiresS don’t do the original justice. It is much better and their versions of it aren’t up to par with it, and it doesn’t even create anything tangible from the perspective of making a new version, or something that could possibly stand out in any way, in terms of musicianship.

The album as a whole is a decent thing to listen to. It might even be better then that, though some things are hit and miss – but when it comes down to it, TSTI hones his old sound and develops something new – not necessarily breaking everything down and making the outcome dull and boring. Listen to it in whole down below.

 

 

Exclusive Swedish Premiere: S U R V I V E – RR7349

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You might know them as soundtrack connoseurs “Stranger Things“, the second series – coming in 2017 (spoiler alert), or somewhere else. S U R V I V E is as exquisite, experimental and as concentrated as synth-pop can get. Do not forget that they have other songs (and albums), such as “Relays” which is our favorite here at Repartiseraren. They are well-deserved to be crowned the kings, of making one of the first really exciting soundtracks for a proper horror series, in a very long time.

In conjunction with Relapse Records (EU) – I’m honored to have been received the exclusive premiere of the whole of Sweden, for S U R V I V E, specifically their forthcoming album RR7349 that is due to be released on vinyl and CD. There is also a t-shirt available for you hardcore fans out there, which is gorgeous, to say the least.

What is “RR7349” and how does it hold up to their prior releases?

The hype surrounding Stranger Things season number one and season number two notwithstanding – RR7349 – it’s masterpiece if you’ve heard all their other albums, including the soundtrack for Stranger Things. They know how to use all synthesizers simultaneously, whilst triggering the functions at the exact right point (sequencers, drummachines, etc) – which makes for an atmospheric, almost ritual experience in listening. Great experimental atmospheric (electronic) synth music.

Glad to have heard this album. Sincerely recommend it.

Go and buy when you have the money, to support the artist and label. It is also available on their own Bandcamp-page in vinyl/CD/etc. Listen to it exclusively (Sweden only premiere) down below, courtesy of Relapse Records (EU).



[8th] December: Red Mecca – Sunny Day

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A decade turned into another, quickly the 1980’s faded into oblivion and the 1990s was born—Cabaret Voltaire had their release “Red Mecca” put out on CD via Restless Records and Mute Records. Nine years earlier that album was released on Rough Trade Records, being a their fourth album if you ignore the “Live At The Y.M.C.A. 27.10.79” and “Live At The Lyceum” releases. Fast-forward eight years from 1990 and you get 1998—the same year Jan Strandqvist release a maxi-single under the name Red Mecca. Coincidence? I think not. We think there’s little doubt that Cabaret Voltaire’s name of their fourth album influenced him, when it came to choosing the name of his project. The maxi-single was called “Please Goddess” and got produced during the time Telegram Records Stockholm existed, first an independent Swedish label started in 1987, in the end of the 1990’s sold to Warner Music’s sub-division to WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic). Now since some time back a defunct label.

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During the time-period where the label was still at least going forward, Red Mecca put out a song called “Underground” which was, at least for the Warner Music Sweden-release, written by Eric Svensson—co-founder of Sidelake Studios, gold & platinum selling producer and songwriter. When this solo-project which we suppose could be attributed to Jan Strandqvist alone, with some reservations, was in its first stages—the focus laid on House-music from what we can tell. A huge step away from what Red Mecca was to become, but we’re getting there. A maxi-CD called “Love Is A Savage Thing“, featuring the track with the same name and remixes of it, including a new version of “Underground” as a fourth track—Maria Ritzén of Stone Soul Picnic were the vocalist. The project itself seemed to be more of a project for Eric S as he is credited for remixing, but it’s hard to see where Jan comes in after this. Telegram Records closed down and went defunct. We’re in the 2000’s now, where it changed from the 21st Century to a millennium.

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The project wasn’t activated again until 2013. The same year, Frida Madeleine contributes to a Massproduktion compilation of interpretations by local creators for their latest vinyl-releases, the track is named “Frostjackan“—originally written and performed by the Swedish pop-band Indi. Somewhere along the lines they found one another and re-activated a long lost project which hadn’t been touched since 2000. Thirteen years later Frida Madeleine becomes the singer of Red Mecca—Jan Strandqvist the producer and machine-operator. The project changes completely from House to a combination of darkwave and indie-pop. The album “You Were Never Here” is released on Massproduktion as a CDr, featuring six tracks, one track called “Love & Hate“—with music by Anders Brodin, Henrik Brodin, Jan Strandqvist, Mikael Svensk and Peter Byström. Track three and four was written by Bonnie Rabson. Roughly a year later a proper album is released under the name “Covered With Rain“. The lyrics for all the songs are now written by Frida Madeleine, and she also made the music for “When It’s Empty“—the opening track. Jan Strandqvist produces the release, creates the cover together with Robert Persson, as photographed by Izabelle Englund. The label artwork was created by Catherine Fandén. Mastered at Cutting Room by Mats Lindfors. Let’s leave the technical aspects now.

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With their wondrous sound, gloomy and virtuous atmosphere, they create some kind of warmth which sucks you into the music. They’re an unbreakable duo that have just released a new b-side from their latest album, called “Endless – Highest Mountain On Mars Remix“. Now they’re featured in Ljudkalendern for the 8th December with an unreleased track they’ve had laying around. A humble but ultimately beautiful song which goes by the name of “Sunny Day“—a crash-course in complete melancholia. Here they show more of their darkwave-side and less of their pop-oriented blasphemy. Kidding, of course—everyone likes pop, including me. But I have a certain kind of passion for darkwave. Calm vocals, descending synthesizers that build up and create a fragmented atmosphere: “You can’t stop this motion“. Listen to it exclusively on Repartiseraren as a part of our non-commercial collection.

Poem:

Fade into darkness,
embrace it regardless
Brighten up for a day,
heighten your own stay

This is the passionate delivery of Red Mecca. We’re in Nirvana now and don’t look any further. There’s only an hour or two left of this day, so embrace whatever they’re intending to give you. Listen to it with open ears and let it sink in. Blend into a wondrous atmosphere. Here’s for the 8th December—”Sunny Day“—better not rain. It can wait until tomorrow when another track will be put up and out for Ljudkalendern.

Premiere: VARSOVIE – Détruire Carthage

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Propaganda straight from Warsaw, with their telecommunications-station based out of France. Building on a concept that draws influences from concrete post-punk and stable new-wave, among other genres. The reason why they’re in any way related to Warsaw is because their band-name is VARSOVIE—the french word for “Warsaw“—capital of Poland. A debut-EP came out in 2006 titled “Neuf Milimètres” (Nine Millimeters), recorded in Grenoble 13eme Etage Studio and Chaosmic Studios. Here’s also where their aesthetic concept got set in motion by the photographer Lucas Rimbaud, which portrayed a woman lying on her back with her feet in the air—maybe relating to the title of the record—Nine millimeters bullet-type, and a gun. Their sound was virtually the same as it is now but a bit more unpolished and maybe also darker. It was also a whole other set-up when it comes to the band’s compound, different members and now there’s a whole other prerequisite for the band.

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They managed to self-release this EP which came out as a CD. Two years passed and there weren’t any new album or proper release during that time—not until September of 2008. A promo-CDr titled “Etat Civil” was released featuring an album with eleven tracks, featuring Nicolas St Morand (Hreidmarr) on backing vocals for “Etat D’Urgence” (State Of Emergency), outro music by the famous late composer Franz Schubert, for the closing song “Inertie” (Inertia). Everything was recorded at Drudenhaus Studio, located in Issé, France, the home of studio engineer Benoît Roux (Anorexia Nervosa). Now the aesthetics have suddenly changed, there’s a woman standing on train-tracks holding two bags—it almost feels like she’s moving away from somewhere, to anywhere. They used a different photographer, Manon Weiser, who’s also helped with his skills for the Velvet Condom box-set “Vanity And Revolt“. A year later a proper release of the same album came out, in December of 2009.

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Six years later their latest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, was also self-released by the band. Then something happened. A Black-Metal(!) label from France called Those Opposed Records began releasing both “Etat Civil” and their newest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, in limited editions on black vinyl and colored vinyl. It’s interesting how such a label would ever take interest in VARSOVIE, whilst mainly focusing within black metal. Good for the band. So here we are, they’ve just announced the release of their latest album and everything’s dandy. Well, everything actually is pretty dandy. Repartiseraren have gotten the opportunity to premiere “Détruire Carthage” (Destroy Carthage), a track we’re particularly fond of from the new album. It’s got a rather short running time of around roughly three minutes, but all the ingredients of this fierce post-punk band—all of the energy, the ambitious and dark conditions for a nicely crafted post-punk sound—for you as a listener to stream from here. Enjoy it as much as you can!

World Premiere: Mlada Fronta – Strict Dress Code

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Originally a group, now a solo-project. The French electronica-group Mlada Fronta, originating from Cannes, have had a rich history which has left a huge impact on techno, electro, EBM and industrial foremost, but also on ambient and IDM. Before entering the well-deserved limelight, the group released “My Visions“, “Illusory Time” and “Tribal Apocalyptic Dance” – one debut-album, three albums – spanning from darkwave, to industrial and electronic body music. Suggesstive undertones, hypnotizing atmospheres that make way for you to enter a bizarre tunnel of sound which have swept over you before you even know it. Undeservedly underlooked albums that might’ve been the collective form that molded their critically acclaimed breakthrough “High Tension” – an album that was as varied in terms of genres – as was the sound. No room for any clichés, only a space reserved for a palette of different but equally intriguing tracks, strengthened by the crossover itself – not swallowed whole. The track “XB-33” went on to be a banger in the clubs and could be heard everywhere – in 1999. We’ve taken a liking to the title-track itself because of the harsh sound, but “XB-33” surely packs a rhythm that will even make you flail your arms around as if you didn’t have a pair.

Taking the step from Tribal Productions, which almost exclusively released Mlada Fronta’s albums – the German label Flatline Records cut their piece of the cake with “High Tension” – first album to be released by a label other than their own, or at least their first deservable spot on a whole other roster. When the 1990’s were over, it seems like Rémy Pelleschi of the group took his own route with the moniker and released “Fe₂O₃” on the French label M-Tronic. With the earlier albums they had been a collective, a group of people working closely with Rémy on earlier albums before the 2000’s, including: Gilles Saïssi (My Visions, Illusory Time, High Tension), Jan-Louy (My Visions) and Philippe Croq (My Visions). With the album on M-Tronic, Rémy took to a more experimental side, mainly laying his focus on rhythmic noise as an overlaying sheet – taking to account all other genres he’d visited and re-visited during his earlier albums.

In 2002 an album titled “Oxydes” surfaced on Rémy Pelleschi’s own imprint Parametric. It included both the original album and remixes by a number of artists such as: Gom, Tarmvred, Milligramme, Dither, Mimetic and Data Raper. He even went so far as to remix one of his own songs. There was also a limited edition release of “Oxydes + Remixes” which included live performances from 2001 in Liege, Bordeaux, Lyon and Cannes. In 2005 a DVD was created and made under the name of “Dioxydes”, featuring unreleased material in an exclusive metal box, including twelve postcards, stickers, bonus material, photos, a live video from Maschinenfest in 2004, Le Cycle Du Soleil – and a radio-documentary called “The Shaker”. During these years, from 2001-2005, Rémy gained even more fame through bigger magazines picking up on his creative outburst which flourished during this time – as it did before, but with another goal and another sound in mind – so versitale as an artist and uncompromising.

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Let’s not write a whole biography here. There’s other labels who picked up on what he was doing, including Sounds Of Industry who released compilations of unreleased material, like “Contrast 2005-2011 Unreleased And Rare Tracks” and “Contrast 1998-2004 “Unreleased And Rare Tracks“, together with digital releases of “Dioxydes“, and “Le Cycle Du Soleil” – two different versions, one as an album and the other as an EP. The torch was then passed on to Artoffact Records, whom did an ambitious project collecting copious amounts of tracks which carried virtually (almost) every release that Mlada Fronta had put out – re-mastered and re-packaged into a 10xCD Box Set, in 2013. Now they have gotten the honor that it actually is to put out his comeback, an insane album that showcases the talents he still has and reminds a lot about “High Tension” – but actually carries the executed electronic body music and industrial sound – into another dimension including IDM and Techno among the main perpetrators.

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Repartiseraren is a really tiny blog-zine. We could not in our own imagination even fathom that we’d have anything to do with Rémy Pelleschi and Mlada Fronta – ever. But since Artoffact Records will release his forthcoming album (and return) “Polygon” now on the 4th of November, we’ve gotten the rare opportunity to exclusively premiere a track from this album. It is a rather anthemic and harsh electronic body-influenced track with techno smashed into it, titled “Strict Dress Code“. We’re the first to be showcasing his material now when he’s returned. This is a world premiere only available from Repartiseraren for you to stream exclusively. We’re proud and thankful for this opportunity. Please do it justice and listen to it loudly, then go over and order what ever version of “Polygon” you want at Storming the Base. When you think about ordering it, “Night Run” will be the “companion” vinyl-release to this forthcoming one.