The busiest of them all seem to be the label Field Hymns from America, whom have been keen on releasing a booklet with a very special artist. This artist is Yves Malone – the creator of music for himself and to soundtracks for 1980′s independent movies – like Abysscoteque, The ECHO People and Zenith City. A common theme is the 1980′s but also the fact that every movie that he’s created his own music for, perpetuating a soundtrack of his own, are horror movies from this time period. Those kind of horror flicks that you wouldn’t know anything about unless you stumbled upon his creations, or if you were in any way involved in doing them in the 1980′s in America. Well, that might be stepping over the line a little bit, connoisseurs might have their thing and know it – but I sure as hell didn’t until I listened through his albums. These three releases are all a part of the booklet that Field Hymns are organizing to be put out for release, in honor of the already released albums which he put out himself in December of 2012. I’m here exclusively premiering two tracks from each album, but first you’ll get a description of what I think about them. Here you get FH044, FH045 and FH046. Now it’s time for FH046, which is “Zenith City“!
Zenith City. Here’s where you go to cool off all that cyborg steam. The difference between Zenith City and the other albums might be miniscule at a first listen, since they have a lot in common. The difference here is that this album utilizes more of the chillwave which is residing in the genre of choice; synthwave. A calmer yet more urgent stream of different feelings are catching on. Everything from the mournfulness you feel when the synthesizers hit that sweet melody, or when you feel a sense of camaraderie when the urgency in the sound is topped up a notch. It feels like déja vu, because I’m sure that I’ve heard this somewhere before. Even though Yves Malone seem to have set the record straight before with his complexity, this is where it reaches its peak. These concentrated rhythms that softly breaks out the melody is simply flabbergasting. He’s also not afraid to show the roughness which he can channel into the sound at any given point, which is virtually unheard of in the starting and the middle parts of this album. It begins to break down into some kind of hard industrialized sound which meets the synthwave half-way. Let’s meet at the crescendo. As the beat gets harder and harder, the magnificence in the landscape of sound is noticeable – as it is crushingly apparent in the undertones of the latter part of this album – because it’s coming for you. Yves did an amazing job when it comes to the atmospheres of some of the tracks, when nothing much is happening, until you realize how you pick out the clues in the atmosphere as a whole. There’s a whole lot going on subliminally, with dampened synthesizers that glimmer for a short period of time, just to fade out into the sound-scape. Morphing into a whole different sound which takes its place and keeps the track relevant and energetic for the whole run. It’s a soundtrack that I would’ve loved to have for a film that I will not be making any time soon. But I know who to get in touch with if I want an all-round amazing electronic soundtrack to an independent film, a horror flick or a slasher. Unfortunately to say, this is the last album that I have been reviewing in short for you to read. It’s saddening to see that it has come to an end, because I was awaiting a couple of more albums, even though I knew it was a trio in a coming booklet. This is probably music I want to listen to whenever I want to relax, even though some of it give a sense of stress-induced, energetic flagellation. I feel like there’s a lot of intelligence that had to go into these projects, these albums as a whole, because even though it’s not IDM – there’s a certain kind of craftsmanship that takes a lot of intelligence to pull off. Intelligent synthwave is coming your way and it will be here soon, as a soundtrack for virtually anything sci-fi, horror or the likes of it. Stream two exclusive tracks from this release, namely “Through His Grace’s Burned Flats” and “Standing On The Ruins“. The booklet, three limited edition cassettes, will be released by Field Hymns in June.
Since this release didn’t get the proper exposure, I thought that I would elaborate why it should get it. This release was a split between Ectoplasm and Jaqkquil, a playful distinction between light and darkness. With Jaqkquil representing the decayed urban environment with neon-signs, carefully selected dub and interesting dream-hop. Utilizing the chopped up samples in favor of creating a dreamy landscape of sounds, that sound unsettling to say the least. Maybe the dichotomy is the other way around, but I think (myself) that Jaqkquil represent the darker side of this cassette. Enchanting you with the poison of modern society, you twirl into position and imminently release information about yourself. It’s a tyrannical form of seduction, which leaves you hopelessly exploitable. It feels like they’ve found your weak spots and are using it against you, in a mesmerizing kind of way. The wayward feeling of longing, of the temporary loneliness that is a relationship. When everything breaks from its soil, the moment of clarity when you realize that everything could be fixed, but you didn’t do it anyway. Aggravatingly slow beats that pound the last bit of truth out of you, within the cherished landscape that feels like dreaming away, but is slowly pinching away on your own reality. You live in a world constructed by you and Jaqkquil, a false world that is about to break. Even though the tracks don’t clock in at more than 3 minutes maximum, it feels like an eternity.
Coming from a totally different perspective is Ectoplasm, with its gargantuan track that clocks in at roughly twenty minutes. A looming sense of ambient calmness is putting its blanket around you. Everything suddenly feels better, more meditative. You’re slowly floating outwards from the false world you were in, which is shattered by now. Together with a chillwave narrative that sets the premises. Nothing is more important than the surrounding cataclysm of cosmic might. Now, we’re living in NOW. The past and the future don’t count. As an out of body experience, you can steer the wheel a bit, but when it comes to the continually more abstract senses tingling around you – there’s nothing more you can do. It’s not a prison, but you’re stuck in your own immovable body. Carried by the waves of synthesized delight, which erupts into a weirdly uncanny rhythm of darker thoughts. Spaced out feelings collide with the cosmos itself, as the more minimalistic wrap is ripped apart in favor for a more melodic but grandiose entry. Weirdly enough, it feels like the track could be more than one single track. The experimentalist vein explores more than one dimension in this tattered landscape. At first, it illuminates and acts as a guide, but then you’re suddenly on your own – stomping on uncommon ground. I would recommend them both.
You can order this cassette from I Had An Accident Records. It’s worth it if you like crazy combinations. This is not classic in any way shape or form, this is pretty damn original.
They’re at it once again, they are considered to be: Skinny Reptile Youth. I’ve written about them earlier, as they’ve released an EP in March. Since I’ve compared them to the obvious, which is Crystal Castles, they’ve since released two tracks. One of them is a cover of the song “Black Panther” from the aforementioned band’s first self-titled full-length “Crystal Castles“. But they’ve also released a track from their own compartments, which is titled “71723“. Needless to say, you need to check them out if you haven’t done that already. Also, you can listen to both tracks down below and download them free of charge.
Well, if Crystal Castles and Atari Teenage Riot had a baby? This would be the end result. It’s a two man project, where the duo that is Skinny Reptile Youth collaborate, as they’re in two different countries. Namely: Italy and Spain. Even though their latest release “EP” is unmixed and unmastered, it sounds pretty rad. Think of some of the danceable rave sound of the 90’s, mixed with dark wave and witch-house. With an element of 8-bit smashed to pieces within the sound-scape. At times it sounds peculiar, at times their sound sear through my ears. Wondrous, in a dark time, in an encroached bastion of atonal madness and rhythmic destruction. Featuring the same apathetic sound graced by the looks of the mainstream, by far from it all together. Crackling spacious synthesizers brush against the cliffs of sound, that is pouring down upon the listener. To top it off, the ever changing landscape of audacity, noisy calmness and unfathomable ingenuity. If anything, it’s a case that is deplorable but at the same time adoring. Degeneration with flowers of grace, futurism with years of old. At times despicable and vile, at times fierce like fire. Some of the songs might not be that great, but if they get to develop their own sound even further – it might just be channeled into their future selves. Featuring songs ranging from “White Forest” to “Black Mouth“, released in a D.I.Y. fashion. If any label reads this, listen through their music down below and look into it.
För tre vintrar sedan hade allting stannat av, för tre vintrar sedan var inget glasklart. Men här är saker och ting annorlunda. I och med att synth-popare ömsar skinn, uppkommer i Norge och består av en trio, så kan spelets regler vändas åt ett annat håll. På den första låten “Atrocities” så är långsamhet en dygd. Uppbyggnaden från att vara ett ekande tomt skelett, till att bli en kraft att räkna med, sker på mindre än en minut. Likväl som att det minimalistiska ges andrum, då skelettet plockas ned igen. Det är inte den klassiska synth-popen vi möter och framförallt inte den som varit på språng. Nej, det är en mer välavvägd blandning av de mest drömska syntharna, till de mest mörka vrår av schackbrädet som de använder sig utav. Alla nyanser befästs, de tyngre och statiska bastrummorna lämnar inget övrigt att önska. Där det finns ett tomrum, fylls snabbt upp utav en melodisk ingång. Äntligen är vi på banan igen.
An interesting voyage into the realms of Budapest. Or no, I mean, into the realms of art rock meets electronica. These guys chose to name themselves Kamikaze Scotsmen, which is a funny name when you see where they’re from (Budapest). Their latest album “ARK” had its premiere today. Anyhow, I don’t care really, because the name is pretty suitable. Probably something I couldn’t have come up with myself. However, this music sounds like a metamorphosis of the wicked 70’s psychedelic era and the more “up to the sky” kind of philosophy, whereas holding a piece of land isn’t enough, since you need to transcend beyond the ground. The strange “full-of-motion” music, but at the same time motionless music, makes your head twirl around, for 360 degrees before it finally stops and re-iterates some strangely familiar vocals. Like someone seducing you with their voice, simply by understanding the pattern of the brain in that moment. I don’t even want to talk about the lyrics, they’re good as they are, but as confusing as this blend of art rock and the aforementioned stuff that I couldn’t really bargain for. This is probably one of the strangest releases I’ve ever experienced, but it’s original and that’s mainly what I’m after in Showcase. Sometimes I’m after other things too, but the originality of this piece frightened me so much that I had to include it. All kidding aside, some pretty psychedelic music here. Featuring the four tracks “Chapter II“, “Rising (Inhale Me)“, “Minsk” and “Slaves“. You can buy it down below if you think this is something you’d enjoy listening to.
Det har inte gått särskilt lång tid sedan Niels Nielsen och hans entourage uppenbarade sig. Då släppte de loss en best som har etsat sig fast i hjärnan, som vägrar att släppa taget. Denna gång så är det dags igen och i form utav den första låten på singeln som även är tittelåten, nämligen: “Dpend“. Sedan tidigare har man kunnat anta åt vilket håll det skulle dra sig till, men man kunde inte för en sekund tro sanningshalten utan behövde bevis. Här står popmelodierna starka, av egen vigör och släpper loss ett nästan Göteborgskt pop-sound i perfekt synkronisation med synthesizervågorna som sköljer utmed ljudlandskapets kuster. Jag må ha fel, men de nostalgiska vibbarna som sköljer över en när vågorna har kommit in mot stranden, är överväldigande en blandning mellan; åt The Tough Alliance-hållet, med en flört mot den amerikanska vågen av chillwave. Trots att referensramarna har utvidgats, har även deras självförtroende sedan den förra plattan verkligen blivit grandiost. Här känns det som om de övervägt att köra åt alternativehållet, men de har kastat de melankoliska vibbarna överbord.