Exclusive Premiere: Bakunin Commando – Void Desire

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Post-electronic body music that has morphed into a monstrous repetitive being, a permanent assault on your eardrums that is as uncompromising as the outlay in Bakunin Commando, Signore Baudazzi’s brainchild takes as much as it gives the listener in return – an anarchic point of view transmitted directly and forcefully into your mind.

The split-release is coupled with more industrial hemorrhage, as Veleno Viola takes the lead roll, the main alter-ego of this man’s twisted world. No matter what you think about the music itself, the release is aesthetically pleasing in different ways, even though much of it could be enhanced – the small tidbits that you get to enjoy are enough.

In collaboration with Kess Kill we exclusively premiere this track, as this is written it may already have been released, the eight release in Kess Kill’s discography (KESS08), paving the way for even more ambitious music in the future. You can get the vinyl here, listen to the track exclusively down below.

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Listen: Walk Onto Sun – Grow Static

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Walk Onto Sun released his second release, and second EP “Grow Static” in October of 2017, it’s been a long time since I was introduced to it by the musician himself – but now is the time to delve into the music – and see if it holds up as well as his first debut-EP “In the Inside“.

First trackIsn’t Real” is a stunning piece that grows on you after the first erratic steps the beats take in different directions, stuttering beats that flow upon an atmosphere of otherworldliness and paranoia – slowly taking the form of a regular four-oh-four beat, but taking bits and pieces out of the sound-scape the further in you get, making it as weird as it was starting out, as you get to the end.

It’s like a bad dream that you can’t awake from. Some of the vocals make you wonder when it will turn into a proper martial industrial piece, but it holds its guard up against such a transgression. Even though some if it might seem out of rhythm, the blending of arrhythmic noises and confusing electronic synthesizers together – makes you realize what time went into making this song.

Hollowed Out” is more sinister, it follows less of an experimental route, and includes the deep baselines you’d want to hear in his music – a more ritualistic approach in combination with industrial music, in the setting of a post-industrial séance. Even though it is more primitive in relation to the first song, the vocals make it a monotonous piece of music as it drives you into a feverish state of mind.

Though some of the vocals might turn you off from the track, you take time to appreciate the wondrously created atmosphere – as it seems to turn for a more wicked approach each time a new sound is added in, but never lets you down when it come to being consistent without making it too predictable.

InFeral Plains“, Ben Engebretson (Walk Onto Sun) is assisted by Steve Holms in the form of metal percussions – this is really what keeps the song on track and adds a focused vibe to an otherwise outdrawn, hazy kind of downtempo ambient industrial music. We’re not sure if the vocals are meant to be so monotonous, but it both adds and takes away from the general feel of the song.

Ironically enough, the title-track “Grow Static” and the last song of the release, is actually the best one in our opinion. It summarizes what Walk Onto Sun is capable of when he channels the right percussion at the right time, the right rhythm at the right time – and the right atmosphere at the right time. Everything in this song seems way more planned then in the other ones, so hopefully this can make a full-length album a reality in this year before it ends.

All-in-all it is an interesting album, he strays away from the first EP a lot, but much of it is more of the same. It doesn’t matter if it stays this way or if it develops, but some of the more experimental elements in his music is not that alluding – but the vocals on the last song is more impressive then those on the rest of the EP.

Make up your mind on your own and listen to it in full down below.

Review: Identity Theft – Reconnaissance

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Some things change while other things remain the same. The developmental process of Identity Theft have taken some time to get used to, but on his latest endeavor he doesn’t have any qualms with getting rid of the chains of the past – embracing the future and what it holds for him and his project.

Identity Theft is the solo-project of Michael Buchanan, spanning multiple years of experience in other projects and with electronic music in general, and he was kind enough to send me the physical edition of his fifth proper solo-album, which was released in November of 2017 by Treue Um Treue.

With the assistance of Mara Barenbaum (of Group Rhoda / Max + Mara) on three tracks, plus one remix by Arktaion of one of the tracks on this release, this can be considered to be a project mounted by himself, only utilizing the experience of others to enhance it further. I’m thankful that he sent me this physical release for me to share with you, my thoughts on the release in full, a track-by-track in-depth review that has taken a longer time to finish then originally intended.

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The aesthetic aspect of Reconnaissance

When I view the cover from afar, it seems so distant aesthetically that I just want to get a magnifying glass to see what it is that is revealed on the dark exterior of the cover. It is almost an 1980’s-esque vibe that it brings in terms of color, even though it is a more darker and less screechy one that is otherwise found in movies from that era.

There is a certain distance from itself, it is remote and it fits the theme of the process in which the album itself was written – three days of complete isolation from civilization. Even though at first glance the cover might not be something special, it conveys an eerie meaning that in my opinion goes lost within the urbanized centers of the city – there’s something else then you out there, something bigger and more meaningful, something that should be preserved.

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 The musical aspect of Reconnaissance

If you’ve listened to any of Mara Barenbaum’s music, especially Group Rhoda, it becomes clear that their style of music mix very well with Identity Theft’s, the introductory in “Reconnaissance Peak” which is the first song – is at the same time as it is sincere, very forthright about its existence – proclaiming proudly that “I am here, we’re in the moment, but we’re a presence to be reckoned with“. Additional rhythms are perfectly timed and blend in to the general atmosphere, which is forever changing.

Once you let it slip, it will seep out through the rest of the components that build up the songs, from a more hands-on approach to music making into a thoughtful display of ambitiously layered synthesizers that take off into nothingness. You feel so small when you listen to this, it is so graciously laden that once it slips through the cracks of your pathetic being – you just want to hear more of it, playing it over and over again.

Eagle’s Peak” is almost double in length, and has a more subtle tone to it. Even though it can be felt to be much of the same, just in a different pace, it is even more serene and sincere as it plays on the simple notes that go from barely noticeable to a resounding plethora of different synthesizers layered perfectly upon one another – a click away from generating a monstrosity – you feel as if it is about to leap straight into you.

Some of it is too angelic to even fit in, being taken out throughout the back-door by the more sinister themed atmospheres that lurk nearby. Once you feel at ease you get caught off-guard by a sudden blast of noise, it is meant to be enjoyed but it is difficult to be completely on your guard as it is not a song that is foreseeable – you cannot simply categorize it and be aware of all the elements, it is not such a song that leaves you with no lasting impression – it grasps you gently and takes you into it.

It symbolizes perfectly the name it was given, “Eagle’s Peak” is a summary of what you could expect, but you will not know before you enter.

Last Chance Creek” is on the other hand something completely different in terms of atmosphere, it is much more urgent in tone and you get thrown into the mixture directly by the loud base-drum, the soothing percussion and the grandiose synthesizers that blend it into perfect synthesizer-based music that would be a fitting beginning of a movie or the end of the same.

It is by far the most beautiful song on the album yet, and there are many contenders for that throne – but here’s where the king enters and the queen become one. A futuristic blip on a radar that shouldn’t be ignored, an unfathomably great conversion of straight-forward electronic music and the ambiance which is so often ignored – Identity Theft manages to keep control of everything and never slip up.

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My Sentence” is more of an intermission, a placeholder-song that is not bad but it is not equally as great as the other tracks I’ve listened to. There is a place for these kinds of songs on albums, so even though the judgment is quick to come, there’s a certain quirkiness to the sound that can’t be missed out on. You can’t really add much more to the description of this song, it is there but it does not evoke anything, it pumps you up for another song.

Blood Moon” is the next song, it evokes a feeling of hope and that you’re about to be redeemed. There is an underlying sense of belonging, you feel like you’re a part of the atmosphere as you childishly gaze upon the stars and point your finger as to were you’d want to go – the different emotions that are involved range from those described, to some kind of sorrow – that you at the moment don’t have anything of that.

You’re desperate to find a place, but this calms your nerves and make you forget about it for a moment or two, maybe some kind of nostalgic memory is invoked as you travel into the electronic realm, a progressive dream that becomes more and more of a real, tangible kind of matter that you can actually grasp physically and mentally. An ode to the moon, the one that can affect our moods.

What’s coming next is about to stun me, make me fall off my high horses and into the arms of you – whoever is the next to be embraced, to enter my life. The stunningly creative way of making an even more emotionally touching song is just the sheer brilliance of Michael Buchanan, simply marvelous as “Misanthropocene” goes from the meager time it has to be played – into an extended form of electronically charged synthesizer-bliss of a landscape of sound, covering all bases.

How can the sound be so bold? Yet so refreshing, calm and sensitive? There’s a warmth to it but a stone cold outlook in atmosphere of sound, as you float on by, passing your own self by without any reflection – you’re taken aback by the sound as it drives you on, as the motivation of doing rather then listening becomes painfully obvious. At the same time you want to sit still, you want to experience and move with the sound.

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The Unreliable Narrator” is a more unhinged song that move to the left and the right, from the center and to the top, everywhere but within a controlled manner like the last song. Just like the title suggests, it is a more chaotic song with a gloomy mood that fits perfectly between the casual intermission delivered in “My Sentence” and “Blood Moon“.

Though much more repetitive then other songs on this album, there is some kind of progression that can be felt throughout the whole song, the rhythm isn’t that much of an interesting thing – but it hearkens back to older days of Identity Theft – which is reminiscent of some of his first material.

Soft Alibi” is the next one, one of the more experimentally oriented songs on the album so far, clashing between the normal kind of bombastic maximality that virtually all of the songs so far have been attached to, into a monotonous but minimalistic experience that is only alluding to bombastic vibes through the rhythm – which is unusual if you’re trying to create an atmosphere on it alone.

The rhythm is what makes the song enjoyable on itself, but it is clear that it is nowhere near the same infective nature as the more grandiose songs he’s been churning out after one another earlier on the album.

I don’t know what to make of “Lost Frontier“, whether to see it as a genial move away from the more obvious tracks on the album itself, but the baseline packs a real punch and is what drives everything forward in the song itself – after a while it flips out into something out of the ordinary, which is what one can appreciate when listening to this kind of music – the controlled inventiveness of the past songs – and the chaotic nature of the shorter songs.

It latches on well to the next song “Leave No Trace“, which spins from virtually a stale and non-atmospheric mess into a solid, emotive gargantuan that is just waiting to devour you as a whole – the roundness of the synthesizers become more clear the more it develops, as the more sharp nature of the sound in the beginning fades into a whirlwind of magnificent electronica.

The last song, “Prosopagnosia” is not only an outro, it hopefully shows the way to what can be expected from future releases. It is a well-needed break from the more experimental vibes that were delivered in the latter part of the album, it is a firm and shakable landscape of sound that is predictable in its nature but never lets you down. You know what you are getting and you can expect what is around the corner, but it leaves much to be fantasized about.

I don’t consider the remix itself to be the last song, but we’re taking it last as it is a track-by-track review which goes from point A to point B. “Last Chance Creek (Arktaion Remix)” adds a rougher edge to “Last Chance Creek” which couldn’t be felt there, it hypnotizes in a whole different manner then what the original song did, it is crashed into different pieces making it sound like a crossover between the electronica of Identity Theft, spliced into the erratic mood of IDM music.

It is not a bad remix actually, but it makes you wonder what kind of remixes could be done on the other tracks? Maybe there should be a release which features some of the tracks remixed by different artists, that would be a really nice offshoot from the original release itself.

This album is a must-have if you’re interested in the better domains of electronic music, the parts that have not yet been infected by ridiculous clichés. It is a must-have physically for any collector, so I am proud to be in the possession of the review-copy of this album. You should get it yourself, there are only five copies left, you can find it down below.

Listen: Giant Swan, Rivière de Corps, Luminance, and V/A – Spänningen Band II

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We’ve had quite a run for many years, the machinery have worked as intended but sometimes they need to be carefully restored to their former glory once again. We have no excuses to not post anything, it is just that the current musical climate is so lethargic – either waddle through a pool of mud – or directly finding the gems you’ve sought out for so long.

Running your own label takes time, and having a full-time job hinders the crew from working on this site at all times. The intention for the future is to update more frequently, the ideal would be once or twice a day – but time needs to be portioned up for this to work – which is difficult to say the least.

If you haven’t checked our label out yet, here’s some shameless self-promotion, visit our bandcamp-page and support us: https://repartiseraren.bandcamp.com/

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It’s been a long time since anything from Mannequin Records was featured on this webzine, we’ve not really been keeping up with what they’ve been doing – but they’ve released quite a number of records since then.

The latest of their releases is “High Waisted“, by a Bristol-based duo Giant Swan, their second EP in their discography and a really good mixture of ominous industrial music that have an outstretched hand into more obfuscated music like rhythmic noise.

It is too complicated in rhythm to be equated with regular techno, even though some of the settings and moods suggest otherwise. Maybe industrial or hard techno would share more similarity with the genrebending they’re doing in this maddening approach. “The Rest Of His Voice” is easily the best song on the whole record, as it captures their whole essence on this EP, furiously stomping into your eardrums without any hesitation.

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Maybe this french one-man outfit, Rivière de Corps have drawn a lot of influence from Pure Ground? A lot of the material is reminiscent of the earlier outputs of that duo. Both aesthetically and musically, a lot of it sounds alike, some of the songs are alright on this release but other songs like “retour du dieu plutonium” should’ve had more thought put into them.

Even though a lot of songs on this release needs a few adjustments here and there, the general theme of the record and the aesthetic aspects of the release as a whole make it better. With the song “échec critique” they reach a high point of the release itself, if only all the other songs had the same standard, it would be an even better release.

In general, it is satisfying to listen to and it explores a lot of themes and moods that don’t need that much more additional presentation. If you like the music, consider buying a cassette directly from the bandcamp of Vague à l’Âme, and listen to the release in whole down below.

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We’ve covered Luminance some time way back when, but now they’re released a single, a different version of the song “Martyr” (from The Cold Rush), which is more mystical in its approach and a calmer version, titled “Martyr” (Version Longue). The only reason for us to cover a single, is basically because this is a great version that stands on its own and challenges the original version.

This is the point of music, to exponentially go in different directions and instead of stagnating it evolves in manners that might be unknown to the listener until he or she hears it. Could we all agree that french lyrics, when done properly, adequately enhances music and takes it into a whole other dimension? It adds a perfectly great mysterious undertone which is desperately needed in the first minute of this song.

Listen to it down below and give them some money if you like it.

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When I boast about Sweden, I boast about these kinds of compilations. We’re truly great at discovering obscure artists and groups, and we’re even better at showcasing them in equally as obscure compilations. It haven’t been on our horizons, but since we heard about Yta Recordings, we felt we needed to give them some coverage somehow.

Spänningen Band II” is the second compilation in a series, coming in strong with a hard-hitting claustrophobic track by Adore that gently shove in hints of a compact, ambitious dreary landscape of sound that is equal to none. Most of these artists and groups are unknown to us, but when you pass through the quirky repetitive acid mixture that is hidden between Nima Khak and Lrh, a more urgent response is felt within the song by United Hive Mind Of Sweden, perfectly igniting the next artist Stilnoct.

We must admit that we find some of these artists hard to listen to, and that is not because of the music itself, but it is because the same boring archetype of techno music is repeated throughout the compilation in ways that are common with these compilations, unfortunately. The music itself is well-produced, there is no question about that – but after Adore dropped “Time Is Anima“, everything else was pale in comparison.

Celldöd graciously ends this compilation with “Du Som Försvann“, maybe it was the start and finish that would keep you listening throughout? If so, it’s a good compromise. Even though some of the music is not really in our ballpark, it is a good enough compilation to recommend because of its aesthetics and that it contains a few really good tracks, and two really great tracks.

Listen to it down below in full and support them by buying the physical cassette of this release.

 

Spotlight: Kazeria, A.D. Mana, Strucktura, TRAITRS

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In this spotlight we’ve chosen four artists/groups that are different – yet alike in many ways. There will be a lot of darkwave, coldwave and industrial music in this spotlight. Mostly because those are the genres where we find ourselves at home, because there’s immense talent to be found there. We start off with noisy industrial music and end with gloomy post-punk extravaganza.

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Kazeria was unknown to me when I found his music via Gradual Hate Records. It was his latest release, “Nihilist Militant“, that caught my eye. The aesthetics were impressive when it comes to the artwork for this release, but more was to be discovered when pressing play. He’s created very intimate and atmospheric industrial music, coupled with dark ambient overtones. Keep in mind that these songs are totally unedited versions, created between 2003 and 2007 – which is a representation of how it sounded back then.

There’s a great assertiveness in his music, it almost borders to the bombasticism of martial industrial. As stated by the label, this is a “very personal” release, which really shows in the emotions he conveys with his music. It is both harsh and atmospheric, with destructiveness at its core. One is very impressed by the percussive rhythms he produces, which can be heard the clearest in “Evrazia Regnat” – a very disciplined and ambitious track in regards to melodies as well. Even the very short ballad-like song “Irminsul” has a certain grace.

This release is a great way to get into his music and if you pre-order the last copy in the special package – you get a gas mask as well. Can’t get more industrial then that. Listen to the release down below, buy it if it is of interest to you.

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A.D. Mana is a relatively new artist from Berlin. The re-release of his first and only, self-titled EP, on cassette – had me at the first song “Take Hold” – a stern coldwave rendition that catches multiple influences, like synth-pop and darkwave, molding it into a sinister blend together with his voice. The synthesizer stabs are clear but at the same time dark and brooding, a strange combination which at first doesn’t seem to work but as the song progresses it is obvious that it does. “Down The Wire“, another song on the release, almost funnels the post-punk vibes into some odd kind of grungy synth-pop-‘n’-roll.

My favorite song on the release, except the first one, is “Honour“. It adds gracefulness to the messy environment of the songs in general. Even though you’re caught slightly off-guard by his voice – not in a good way – it fits in place after a few moments into the song. There are some great rhythms as well, aptly executed. The melodies are unorthodox, which makes me like it even more. You expect more of the same but get tricked into the wondrous atmospheres, the groovy electronic beats – and the charming ballad-like ending within “Soulware“. A perfect instrumental track and appropriate farewell. You should really check it out, and buy the cassette from sentimental, if it suits you.

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I’ve actually heard about this artist, Strucktura, whilst browsing through the bandcamp-feed. But I never paid much attention to the music. There’s some really solid darkwave-inspired music in his “Statues Also Die” release on Oráculo Records. While the synthesizers and beats are on point in the release, there’s some really cheesy lyrics. In a weird way they go along well with the music, so I will leave that alone. The music seems awfully cheerful but at the same time moody and distraught – which is something that adds character to the songs. Especially in “Val D’Aran“. 

There’s a nice futuristic vibe about each song and it comes out differently, even though most of the rhythm and melodies are alike. As dreary as the atmospheres may be at times – they come out as dreamy – and are filled with nicely laden synthesizer sweeps, alongside well constructed rhythms and melodies. It is a release you should check out, if it is something for you – buy the limited edition vinyl via Oráculo Records.

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Torontian band TRAITRS have created some of the most soothing, coherent post-punk music I’ve heard in a while. The oomph of the baseline resounds throughout in the first song “Witch Trials“. It is really weird how each and every song on the release is anthemic on its own – it is mostly reserved to one or a few songs – but this is catchy, ambitious and on fire from the matchsticks up until the light goes ablaze. It is especially noticeable in “Lya“, one of the more minimalistic songs. The singer gets a certain kind of emotional streak in the chorus which makes you want to sing along to the lyrics.

Not to mention how massive “Gallows” is. Here they’ve really gotten through with the originality of their sound. They both have an edge in the music and somewhere to stand firm – nothing is left to chance, everything is constructed meticulously. When one gets as far as their last song “Heretic“, the percussionism is simply mindblowing. Of all the releases recommended in this spotlight, this is the one I will have to choose myself as the best one. You can get it from the Warsawian label Alchera Visions, buy it here and stream it down below.

 

Lyssna: Sanne De Neige – Dans La Forêt / / Insomnie // Venin

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Det blir alltid lite förvirrande när så mycket musik släpps på en och samma gång, men nu har Sanne De Neige lagt upp tre stycken nya låtar, som inte borde stå okommenterade. Med en trummaskin, bas, synthar och gitarrer till sitt förfogande, så lyckas duon mästerfullt med att framförallt blanda de gotiska undertonerna med experimentell coldwave musik. Det framträder väldigt klart i och med sångerskan Sanne de Neiges vokalmattor som lurar i bakgrunden, men som tränger igenom den trummaskinfyllda atmosfären, täckt av ett lager med förvrängning vilket gör att rösten förutom att vara lite disträ även omvandlar en annars stickande ljudbild till ett glödgande hett inferno. Kaoset har bara inte brutit ut och tur är väl det. Särskilt i första låten “Dans La Forêt” så utvecklas omgivningen organiskt och går från att vara tämligen lugnt, till att lägga på lager efter lager och med en omvälvande kraft förvandlas till någonting alldeles eget. Utan att egentligen ta med nackdelarna som hade kunnat finnas, lyckas en tämligen statisk ljudbild bli större än förväntat.

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För den som aldrig upplevt sömnlöshet, känns det som att “Insomnie” är en representation av det i ljudform. Med en förvrängd röst sköljs stämman bort till förmån för ett industriljud med diskant, för att sedan falla in i en mer kontemplerande fas där allting känns mycket klarare. Här känns det som om man vaknar upp från sin sömnlöshet – istället för att behöva vandra i en trötthetsdimma utan dess like. Rytmerna är medryckande men fokuserade på att ställa till så mycket trubbel som möjligt, för att sedan återgå till en mer kontrollerad sväng vars melodier bygger upp en kaskad av känslor – som släpps lös till slut. Det finns också någon slags lättsamhet som inte direkt kommer av den kalla vågen, utan snarare den popiga ljudmatta som influerar små delar av hela deras ljudlandskap. Den finns inte där alltid, men är en del av det mer detaljstyrda som gör att det finns utrymme för mer än bara ond bråd kyla och allt som följer med det. En hoppfullhet som smittar av sig på allt annat.

Sedan när den sista låten “Venin” kommer, så är det i form av ett slags avskedsbrev. Det är ett tack och adjö med ett stilla lugn som omgiver allt – nästan lite balladaktigt – om man gör undantaget och inte väljer att definiera en ballad som en smörsångares sista urusla suck. Det här är mil ifrån det och tack och lov för det. Det finns en reflekterande ådra som gömmer sig i vaggorna, men så brister Sanne ut i en så kraftfull sång vilket ger låten momentum, för att sedan med trummaskinen långsamt suddas ut av den tidsram som låten är satt på. Det passar helt utmärkt. Tystnaden varar ett tjugotal sekunder, innan man egentligen förstår att låten är slut. När allting är över så finns där en förhoppning om att det ska dyka upp fler låtar, eller kanske att låtarna sammanställs i ett självsläppt album – eller att någon av våra tyngre och bättre bolag som Beläten kan ta tag i den talang de besitter. Det känns som att de passar bra ihop och att det är en pusselbit som kanske fattas hos dessa bolag, även om de sedan innan – och fortsätter att släppa – hejdundrans alternativa album som andra skivbolag ignorerar, trots dess potential. Lyssna till alla tre låtar här nedanför.

Spotlight: IC3PEAK – Vacuum

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Three releases on the same year ain’t bad for a duo. Nick and Nastya are two audio-visual artists based out of Moscow, that have released three EPs to date, one being a remix done for their track “I’ll Be Found” by MXXN, Sidewalks and Skeletons, Feki, Tyler Tastemaker and PrayForYourself. A track featured on their debut-EP titled “Substances“, which they had released by a label called STYLSS. What’s interesting about this duo is that everything you hear and see is made by them, as you can experience every medium you’d ever need to appreciate them. Mixing digital audio with analogue, to create their nice blend of untouchable witch house and hard-hitting bass music. Two genres I rarely appreciate, which these two have changed my opinion on – but only in regards to what they’ve been putting out. Now they have a third EP, or second – if you want to count it by original material.

So this release is titled “Vacuum” – a perfect description for their artistry on this release, by the way. You can’t help but adore the sincerity which overflows throughout their blend of steel and fluff. A balance of Yin & Yang, an experience that is captivating and showcased with the first track and it never really stops. No moment is a dull moment. It’s amazing how they fit you through their hourglass and decide what kind of time you’ve got left, because they’re in complete control of your senses. It can be hopeless to fall so quickly for a release, but it has really happened and it is hard to admit when confronted with genres that are often so banal. Nothing here is banal and it hooks you immediately. If I had a hate and love relation to Grimes, I have nothing but love to offer IC3PEAK. You can download the whole album digitally for free, but also order a physical CD, limited to 50 copies, from the label Stellar Kinematics – now!