[22nd|23rd] December: Identity Theft & Michael Idehall

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Diligent musician Michael have ran Katabatik Records for a while now. Being that of a creative soul himself, he’s occupied with a multitude of different projects, in tune with his artistry. There’s a difference between his own project and that of Seacrypt – a group that became a household name, with their smashing mini-album “Seekers” – released on Falco Invernale Records in March of this year. We shouldn’t forget to mention Nommo Ogo, a more experimental act which have been around since the 1990s, which is one of his other groups. This main difference consists of how he portrays his sounds, because under the guise of Identity Theft – he’s developed it further into the obscure, but remains a lot more unique in sound – added to his repertoire via prolonged experimentation.

For his addition to Ljudkalendern he chose a topic, saddening as it is to read about it, for his song titled “Wait For Mask Signal” – which takes up a fragment of the “Leads Mask Case“. That adds a dimension to a song which make it more emotional to say the least. This clouds our own judgement of it and we leave it as a sonic piece; regardless of the influence. Musically, it’s a minimalistic journey with a solid rhythm that furthers an atmospheric consciousness. We feel busily engaged as we normally don’t do in a minimalist’s setting, as we travel into the music instantly. There’s a certain vibe that Michael have managed to create notwithstanding the topic, sonically – which makes us tranquil. Listen to it in whole down below, exclusively for you, in tune with 22nd December of Ljudkalendern.

The master himself returns with an homage, that we interpret ourselves to be, in honor of an ancient Roman tradition. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the ancient roman celebration and festival, which according to the Julian calendar falls in between the 17th and 23rd December. Originally intended to be a celebratory gesture towards the God of sow and seed – Saturnus1. Just as this is written, “Svartkonster” have been launched on Beläten. It was originally a mix that Michael Idehall did for Repartiseraren and has now turned into physical emblems, items and a full release both digitally and otherwise. We thought we would mention it, at least. Because there haven’t been anything else since “Deep Code”, it’s interesting to bring something to those of you mainly interested in the sound – as we are.

For Ljudkalendern and originally intended to be launched on the 23rd December, but due to difficulties to find any time to make an effort for the article – it’s written right here and now, with the help of earlier unfinished scribblings, so bear with us. The song that is shared is titled “Saturnalia” and is a rough mix, both sonically and also because it is an early rendition of what might be something else in the future. Probably one of the rougher pieces he’s created, spanning not so long in time but carrying a weight that smashes through anything – maybe even Mach 1 wouldn’t be a problem if it would’ve been anything even remotely related to aerodynamics. Well, listen for yourselves and see what you feel and hear.


1 – Grout, James. Encyclopaedia Romana; Saturnalia. (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/calendar/saturnalia.html)

[16th] December: Yves Malone – Yellow Sweater & Junos

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One of our favorite synthwave acts as of late, Yves Malone, have chosen to grace us with an appearance for Ljudkalendern. For those who don’t know, he’s been featured in three reviews and premieres on Repartiseraren, back when Field Hymns compiled three of his earlier released albums into a box-set of cassettes. Since then he’s also released a separate album called “Ebony Sunrise“, on Orange Milk Records. What’s unique about him is how he manages to transfer soundtrack-music out of the box and into proper synthesized music, instead of it sounding exactly like a soundtrack is to sound – if you’ve ever had that feeling of how you can distinguish between the two. Which we’ve had plenty of times. That kind of transcendental move is hard to make when you’re not able to think outside of the box, which Yves is certainly very capable of at least musically. There’s always a thin line between. He crosses them all and it resonates throughout the atmospheres of his songs. Even though a box like the one on Field Hymns have a certain purpose, that had been cemented way before it was re-released, we like his craftsmanship and ambition when it comes to layering synthesizers over one another, creating a heavenly output for both dismay and happiness. Both rhythm, overlapping textures of synthesizers and melodies are important building blocks for his music. We don’t know how he so carelessly pulls all of this off.

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For Ljudkalendern it was originally intended to be an already produced song he had stashed away, from somewhere. As we haven’t had the time to write freely as we’ve wished, we therefore asked Mr. Yves for a concoction that would be linear in theme, but irregular when it comes to the music. Well, maybe not that structured. We proposed that he should produce a completely new track and out came two. Two different tracks both in general atmosphere, but also because one of them, “Yellow Sweater” is more beat and rhythm-oriented, whilst “Junos” take an upper-hand when it comes to perfectly laid melodies that make the whole thing a lot funkier. In a way we’re reminded of a synthwave Group Rhoda, if there ever would be one. A tropical rhythm with playing synthesizers that act as triggers for the rhythm in some cases, but when the melodies come together and shape a grandiose melody everything starts to roll down the hill and become even more exciting. First it fades out, feels like it is rebooting and slowly builds up a baseline that holds up the melodic construction. We give you these two newly procued tracks to stream exclusively for Ljudkalendern and the 16th December – on Repartiseraren!

[14th|15th] December: STURQEN & Zex Model!

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raiaFrom the beginning there was “Raia” – third album STURQEN ever put out, self-released and all. A calmer more abstract release as opposed to “Peste” and “Colera“—two digital Eps discharged into oblivion, a Yin & Yang of total resignation. Also featured as physical editions in Cdr. With their third album they formed a pattern of recognition. They seemed to have wanted to step into paradise for one last time, before heading back from a retro-perspective “Praga” and “Pirahna“—their first and second album. The meaning of “Raia” is ‘Batoidea’ – which is the taxonomical (biological) super-order of rays, more specifically a cartilaginous marine fish which means that they, like sharks, have no bones in their body. These mammals are not the kings of the sea but they’re close to being. We think of manta rays – these huge rays that carelessly patrol the depths of open seas.

When you read the titles, they’re inspired by everything from the native ecosystem of Portugal – to Johannes Kepler, candelabras, mountains, CD’s, and Canary birds – a reference to Canary Islands? Also might be because “Canário sound like a chirping bird. Every song on the album seem to be an interpretation musically, also of linguistical importance title-wise – through genres STURQEN like to be associated with—or by accident. They break from this gateway completely with “NEOPHOBIA“, as they seal their original intentions in a box not to be opened again until it’s time.

neophobiaNeophobia seems to be a complete anti-thesis, full-on rhythmic noise techno experience, higher frequencies and a dystopic vision of the future for Mother Earth. The term ‘neophobia‘ can be summarized as: “a phobia for anything new“, in this case a disintegration musically – disseminating the “post-industrial“—specifically a technologically maddening, freakishly abundant, information society in which nothing has any meaning no more.

The world is entering a state of emergency, alarms sound nearby and everything is organized for resistance. Or might it be Earth rejecting its own organic structure? We hear a militarized sound, a call to war, in “Justo“, a machinated process rebooting and aircrafts lifting in “Ateus” – consisting of minimal analog instrumentation; distorted rhythmic sounds and a harsh beat. Just to mention two contrasting examples from NEOPHOBIA. Same theme – different characteristics and takes on a subject we yet have to uncover—perfect time for a thorough investigation.

What resonated with me the most visually was the edgy and spot on music-video for “Toxinas” – a song clenched from their third album “NEOPHOBIA“, released on the Ukrainian label Kvitnu, in 2013. The sport of fencing was suited perfectly with the experimental rhythmic noise David Arantes and César Rodrigues of STURQEN produce. Though we’re not impressed by how the elegant sport of fencing is portrayed as if it were post-mortem. Though it can be interpreted in different ways as was our first understanding of the music-video accompanying the song as some kind of tribute, but the more we think about it – the less plausible that theory becomes.

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Now when they’ve been accustomed—to such a wide degree of change, they settle in with an unreleased track for Repartiseraren own non-commercial collection Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Pidde” and will remind you more about their debut-album “Piranha” than anything else. At least that’s how we hear it when listening to the song. A diffuse, experimental noise atmosphere that quickly fades in with a thrusting buzz, but stinging poisonous touch which decays – as the machine wheezes out its last steam, the same day the industrial workplace is shut down to pleasure the coming post-industrialists. Listen to the 14th December exclusive premiere of the earlier unreleased song “Pidde“.

 

dark-myth-ankoku-shinwa-takeshi-servant-of-brahman-and-god-of-darkness-susanoah-oh-eight-armed-horse-lotusZex Model is back once again, with a new track for Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Ankoku Shinwa” and is influenced by the Anime-serie with the same name – which is synonymous to: “The Dark Myth,” original title in Japanese: 暗黒神話. In short the series revolve around prehistoric Gods from Japanese mythology, whose presence in the early days of Japan had a task to protect their sworn secrets—hidden in modern society. Since darkness is beckoning, the Kikuchi Clan have seen the warning and are ready to fight the spirits of the mythological creatures. The main character—a boy who tames the powers of the gods, could be the embodiment of the boys’ spirit in this song. A protagonist who does his utmost to defeat those who wish to do harm.

The religious Croatian christian orthodox chanting, might be a direct translation of the Kikuchi Clan warning about impending darkness—as his own voice, heavily distorted, out of the blue descends; to affright the listener. You hear a better, more improved version of the Zex (Model), as he rips up a wind of nostalgia, reminding us about some kind of crossover between Brigade Werther and other such experimental, borderline electronic body music, industrial acts. His inspiration from Anime is not to be taken lightly, as it gives a depth to the influence of this particular track. Not to mention his other discography. It feels like he’s found his spot and continually develop, so it can hopefully bloom out and become something unique.

He delivered a newly produced and unreleased track which everyone should listen to. It’s a step away from his electronic body music with a multitude of samples, focusing on fewer samples and entrenching his own distorted vocals. His contribution to Ljudkalendern may have more inspiration from elsewhere, but it mainly comes from that Japanese anime-serie. For the 15th December you can enjoy everything about a new model, not by any means finished, but a prototype.

[13th] December: Acapulco City Hunters – Chaser

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Acapulco. A Mexican municipality but mainly a city, with as many as 234 communities—the most populous being Acapulco itself—with 673 479 inhabitants as of 2010, 85,25% of the people reside in the city. When counting the most populous cities except the main one, which are: Xaltianguis, Kilómetro 30, Tres Palos, San Pedro las Playas, Amatillo—the population combined account for 3,25% of the whole municipality, making it 25857 inhabitants in total, one starts to wonder where the rest of the 11,5% have gone. Where are the other cities? Are there smaller towns, considering there are so many communities? Questions remained unanswered. Here are when Acapulco City Hunters come in – it seems like they’re looking for an answer to that question. Maybe they’re straying away, in metaphors and synonyms, but they’re probably concerned.

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Or maybe, just maybe – we’ve been tricked by these con-artists. Making us think of Mexico as the main inspiration for their name, specifically related to the aforementioned questions, but it can also mean “Goin’ to Acapulco“—a track from “Dylan Basement Tapes” (1976), and I paraphrase from an outtake from Sid Griffin’s book “Million Dollar Bash” – from the source Shelton, Robert (1986)—music-journalist Clinton Heylin commented on its sexual innuendo: …featuring the usual debauched narrator, rambunctious harmonies, and euphemistic ribaldry according to Wikipedia. We can see how both sexual innuendos are fitted in a musical environment, influenced or not by either Sid Griffin’s book, Basement Tapes, or Mexico’s ‘lost’ cities and/or communities. A lot of the topics seem to suggest a strong influence of either everything – or simply one of the things listed above.

It’s interesting to note how Acapulco City Hunters is in plural, though other things like ‘his’ patchwork blog “Cosmic Beam“—suggests otherwise. Maybe since the Facebook-page is categorized as a “Community“, rather than an Artist-page, could reveal certain other possible theories. Pluralis it is because it suits the influences for ‘his’ project. If you get the reference we’re trying to make here, you’ve got a good sense of detail. The music-making dates back two years, from when he released “Haunted Bombai“—later to have a remix of the song by “DYSWIL“—filmed by Thomas Skrobek. Apparently a collective (now defunct?) named: “Negative Beat“. One of the actors’ names (Juliette Mellard) suggest that it really is a project born and based in France—collecting individual influences elsewhere.

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He’s also done a good rendition of; Marianne Faithfull‘s “Broken English“, originally released on LP in the UK 1979, via Island Records—now a sub-division to Universal Music Group. Though we’re not enthusiasts of Marianne’s intonation – we respect and understand such an immense contribution to England’s—and the world’s—music-life that she, and her discography have revealed throughout the years. With added minimalist synthesizers and a stripped-down not as extravagant atmosphere, Acapulco City Hunters make me like “Broken English“, and take the song for what it is – albeit in a completely new way. We must say that nothing beats an original, not even an original you’re not so delighted to hear in the first place, but they do a perfectly okay effort. We’re sorry to say that the bleep-synthesizer sound is too loud, which takes away part of the experience of listening.

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Now I won’t go any further into his discography, more than note that I have written about the split he did with Luminance, titled “The Cold Rush“. Sure, most of it sounds alike when listening through once in a while, but there are certain characteristics that Acapulco City Hunters had developed—that I heard when I had listened to it for a while. We prefer when he doesn’t overcharge on his ethnic vibes. When he keeps it nice and tidy, melodically ambitious and switches between different modes of electronica – is when he’s at his peak. This was exactly what he did with that release. Ironically enough he sings about evolution in “Magdalena” and evolved he has—at least musically. Recently, he also was featured in a track he did together with Luminance—on the “The Broken Window Theory“—a newly released compilation on Wool-E Records.

For Ljudkalendern he gives us, on the 13th December, unfortunately with a delayed article, a song titled “Chaser” – which might actually be the musical hunt for Acapulco. It seems to be something defining him, at the same time cranking up the tempo to maximum—making way for a spastic and erratic synthesizer-driven track. It’s a newly produced song for the purpose of this non-commercial collection – not compilation. We hope that you’ll take a bit of his musical concept with you in your thoughts after you’ve heard it—as delicate as it is forceful.

[12th] December: Bombardier – In Ecstacy

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2013 was the year we found out about Jason Snell‘s music. We had been mindlessly browsing Bandcamp for something to write about for my Showcase – a series of articles I ran – when my blog-zine had a completely different name. A scene plays up in ones head, an abandoned empty industrial workshop, hammers resounding as a fragmented memory of times’ past—exactly how Bombardier came in; one threatening step – and a barrage of well-produced, heavy techno was unleashed. All it took was a single track to get oneself hooked, it came as a lone-wolf released by the New York label Division 13. Even though much of it remained a vague, entertained thought left on a metaphorical loft—we have not forgotten his music and how it thoroughly cleaned our system; fed up on bland and uninteresting cliches strewn across the genre called Techno.

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Though Jason’s first project is Bombardier, which emerged in 1999 with the self-released album “Haine Collective“, he’s maintained different monikers, like for example (The) 13th Hour – primarily an industrial project – extending it’s tentacles pinning them to rhythmic noise and in some aspects even hardcore. First release being a triple-split released on the same label; Division 13, in 2002, with the industrial project, his main project Bombardier and a third side-project called: Kamphetamine. One can not accuse him of coming from nowhere – it’s noticeable that he’s been around for a while, because you can hear it reflected in the skill, ambition and sheer expertise – in creating solid music; classified in so many different genres and styles. So when an opportunity arose to continue writing about him, since he’s wished us to cover releases we hadn’t the time to cover, we took action and were able to put him into a perfect place—a project originally secret and planned since way back—finally materialized the 1st of December.

It’s not what you’d usually hear from this man, it’s not the style we vaguely remembered, it’s a style developed from releases “Absolution” (w/ Mahr) and “Nowhere“. So now he’s completely turned his side on the more concentrated, beat-oriented style he’s refined since many years back, tending to a softer and more ambiguous genre—Ambient. For the 12th of December we exclusively premiered an unreleased and newly produced song by Bombardier, titled “In Ecstacy“—which you were able to pre-listen to before an article ever was written. We sincerely apologize for it turning up so late, but here it is and you mustn’t ignore this wonderful track. It will draw you into a finely woven atmosphere. Here’s for Ljudkalendern and the 12th of December—let’s skip the darn poem—listen to this musical poetry instead.

[10th|11th] December: Kord & German Army

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Odd coincidences arise when you’ve got so little time to assemble a non-commercial collection like Ljudkalendern. Picking two opposites that in no way resemble the other, then you know that it’s something fate intended. It was by no means planned in complete detail ahead of time. Because I had no time I missed the opportunity to showcase to you a track for the 11th December, I’ve had to combine yesterday’s—with today’s exclusive premiere. You got to stream the first song ahead of time, before an article was to be published. So you already know that Kord (Johan Sturesson) got his time in the limelight prior to this article being written, contributing with a humorous yet ambitious piece of synth-pop venture—leaving no time at all, to impress the author, as well as the listeners.

Since we’re running out of time, before the 12th December is about to be set, we introduce to you: Germany Army—post-Tassili Plateau—stronger and odder than before. Welcomed out of the swamps where they’ve resided for revitalization, before launching a miniature drone, transmitting sound bytes to enthrall, or disperse your mind once again. Still nobody knows if they are for real or just a product of your own self-delusion. Their donation to Ljudkalendern is titled; “Life, Debt” which is a gloomy marshland of sound; where humans go to escape civilization. It’s back to how it once were—in tune with mother nature, in a rather decayed, manner. When interpreted by us, the title of the song becomes a metaphor for how you’re owing German Army your life, and your indebtedness to them. We on the other hand feel like we owe them a proper showcase since their masterful album “Last Language“—one of their best efforts.

Poem(s):

Who’s at your side,
to for you provide
It’s Johnny!
Who’s Johnny?

/

For the army,
do everything
For the army,
don’t be smarmy

This is a special and fated release, due to lack of time. 10th and 11th December in one article. Feel how you move from a spaced out adventurous story, to a draining hazy experience in the midst of a huge prairie pothole—bordering Canada, America’s own North and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and Iowa—you’re screwed. Take the aforementioned text as a hint, German Army, I might’ve given you a concept for a follow-up to Tassili Plateau.

[9th] December: Skulsyr – Blodrengr

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TheOld Ways” (read: wicca) are reinterpreted into a occult ritual noise ‘ensemble’ manned by one individual—Samantha, known from T.O.M.B. and Dreadlords. Skulsyr is her solo-project; whose intent seem to mixture Coven ritualism through experimentation with blackened noise and dark ambient. Intriguingly enough, the word “Syr” is a nickname for the Norse goddess Freya’s magical swine—a ‘Hildisvin’ (battle-boar). ‘Syr’ can also mean “sow“. Either “Skul” is referring to World of Warcraft, or something out of the Prose Edda, though a deeper intention of the name might not be thought out. It must be related in one way or another to neo-paganism and Norse mythology to a certain degree—but Wiccan solemnization runs through like a drawn line in red. The year goes around in seasonal festivals—different holidays for different months.

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She’s actualized for Ljudkalendern with an exclusive track newly produced for that purpose for 9th December. The track was recorded during Samhain—a sabbat where you generally celebrate those who’ve passed on. So the ritualistic tone was already set, considering what month it was recorded in: November. Although a solo-project, her track which is called “Blodrengr” (Blood Warrior) was created together with Duncan McLaren (Enneract) on vocals, Samantha can be heard banging a tribal drum and she’s conjured a hazy atmosphere which lets you delve into a maze of brooding, sinister but captivating music. From Duncan’s eerie distant chanting to an ever so present drumming, fading away into otherworldly hymns created on what sounds like thin air—as the gloomy cloud disperses. It might be so poetic that it actually does not need any poem because it’s self-descriptive.

Here a ritual begins and ends in the blink of an eye, though at great length. Tomorrow here will be another track but for the 9th December this place is reserved for Skulsyr and her track “Blodrengr“.