Premiär: Fatal Casualties och låtar från den kommande plattan “Paria”!

FC_press

Fatal Casualties är resultatet av att Stefan Ljungdahl och Ivan Hirvonen startade upp sitt industrialband i Stockholm år 1986. De var sedan aktiva från 1986-1991 med en del liveuppträdanden, samt att de släppte ifrån sig ett par demolåtar. Bägge två är barndomsvänner och skulle inte ens kunna drömma om att släppa en platta trettio år senare. Innan dess så hade de släppt det kommande albumet “Paria” som en debut-EP i digital form, år 2012. Ett år senare så släpper de samma platta på en begränsad upplaga CD-skivor på Seja Records, den 20:e Mars. Därför valde jag att ställa några frågor till gruppen om deras historia, hur de gick tillväga när de skapade EP:n och mycket mer. Ni kommer även få en möjlighet att lyssna till två av deras låtar från plattan, här på Invisible Guy. Så dyk ner i det egensinniga industrialträsket.

Continue reading

My New Fascination: Kissing the Pink – Naked

R-116437-1203856948

Kissing the Pink is one of the most unique bands I’ve had the pleasure to listen to. They’ve got a simultaneously appreciation both for new-wave and synth-pop together and with those two genres, you can only create wonders. At least if your name is just that. The band consisted of the members George Stewart (Keyboards/Vocals), Jon Kingsley Hall (Keyboards/Synthesizer/Vocals), Josephine Wells (Saxophone/Vocals), Nicholas Whitecross (Guitar/Vocals),  Peter Barnett (Bass/Violin/Vocals) and Stevie Cusack (Drums/Percussion/Vocals). Even though Simon Aldridge also was in the band, he wasn’t involved with their first release, which is the one I’m covering. Their first release, “Naked“, was released in 1983 by Magnet Records and was mostly a synth-pop record. It had some features that could be pinpointed to new-wave and a range of different songs on the album, including different styles. Others whom were involved in the creation of their first record, when it comes to different aspect, where amongst others the producers Colin Thurston, David King, Neil Richmond, Peter Walsh and Kissing the Pink themselves. The cover was made by the now legendary UK design company Shoot That Tiger!. Do also remember that not all of them were producers in the sense, some of them were the engineers and mixers of the album, too. But they’re currently not attributed for it on Discogs. Find out more about this journey into their first album, down below.

Continue reading

Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Gothic Rock – 1985 (Part IV)

I think it’s time to give you another treat, this time I’ll be recommending my favorite Gothic rock bands from the 80s. I begin with 1980-1981 (Part I) and then gradually move my way up throughout the years: 1982 (Part II), 1983-1984 (Part III), 1985 (Part IV), 1986-1987 (Part V) and 1988-1989 (Part VI). I’ll be continuing the fad of six different episodes and I’ll bid you my welcome into the world I knew and the world I’ve discovered and continually re-discover when I’m surfing the web. I want to give people another opportunity and to find out about bands and artists that they haven’t heard of before. Sometimes I occasionally sneak in a bigger band or two, but that’ll just be if the song is good enough. But by no means is this a top 30 of the best Gothic rock from the 80s, I’ll have to give you a top-10 list in the future of the Gothic bands that I think top my own list. I’ll also have some commentary beneath each clip as I had in the earlier parts that covered post-punk, mostly because it looks more aesthetically pleasuring and say something about the song or the lyrics. Let me take you into this world now.

You’re now entering Part IV of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

Continue reading

Interview with TSTI!

TSTI is a bedroom artist who goes by the name of S. Smith, and produces wonderful electronica straight from the convenience of his own home. Mostly featuring an analogue approach to music, with loads of fascination for the 80’s and a lot of influences gathered from that particular decade. He describes his own music as “dark, hazy synthetic pop“, but generally indulges in whatever genre he seems to set his steps upon. Up until now, he’s released some demos, an earlier EP and has since the 12th of November released his latest addition to the family, an album which is titled “evaluations“. Since I reviewed his album earlier, I decided to step things up and ask him some questions about his music and everything in between. Make sure you read this piece and listen to his latest album which can be found at the bottom of this shorter interview.

You’ve currently released your latest album “evaluations” and I read somewhere that it took you ten months before it was completely done. What would you say have been the most fun with the creative process and what’s the hardest thing about it?

– Yes, I started this album right in the beginning of 2012 and finished writing, recording, mixing right around September. When I started, I had no idea it was going to be a full length, have a theme, or anything. I wanted to let the process happen organically. The most fun of the process is to hear the final product. I’m not a traditional song writer, I like to experiment until my experiments show me what a final product could look like, then I go from there. So some songs take a while for me and some are very fast. But it’s been a pleasure to do this on my own time and not stress about it. The hardest thing about it, I’d say is probably mixing, for many reasons. I’m not a professional so I can only do what I can do. I also don’t think a song is ever completed so when do you call it a day with it? Lastly, for me the mixing is a pretty long and pissed off process. I get very frustrated that I’m still working on a song I’ve already finished writing and recording. I want to move onto other things!

What do you think is the difference between your latest album and your earliest one? In what way have you made progress since then and what do you like about the both of them?

– The biggest difference is the first EP sucks, haha. The first EP was basically me being semi-happy with some songs. I didn’t really focus on the bigger picture on the EP, so they are almost like demo’s. The album is much more focused in all aspects, song writing, recoding, and behind one cohesive but dynamic product. Even though I put it together myself, I really wanted the new album to sound like a “real album.”

Don’t you think the task of being a musician can be overwhelming at times, I mean, you spend a lot of time creating your own music in your own room?

– It all depends on what kind of musician you are. For me, I don’t get too overwhelmed. I write pieces in my room during my spare time. I love having the option of running in and recording a melody I heard in my head real quick and then afterwards going on with my day. The most overwhelming process for me is trying to get down all my ideas before I loose them. I’m sure other musicians get overwhelmed about deadlines, “making it”, money, etc. I’m not worried about any of that. I just enjoy creating things.

I wonder what kind of reactions you’ve received on your latest album evaluations from different sources and how have people received your new album in general?

– So far… the people that have heard it and have responded to it, have been really positive about it. I’m sure some people heard it and didn’t like it as well, they just didn’t tell me. But overall and so far, I’m excited about the response.

There’s also an interesting aspect when it comes to your aesthetics, they seem to be bound to the traditional but also the minimalistic. Where have you sought out inspiration from for your covers and the general aesthetic nerve you have?

– For the cover of the album, I wanted to create something that was bold but minimal. I really enjoy early 80’s goth album covers and old 4AD albums and album art. I wanted to pretend the art was created during that time and not get overly fancy with it.

Do you have any favorite albums from the past that might’ve influenced you a little bit more than anything else from now or do you channel your influences from old to new, since you’re focused on the 80’s?

– Oh, so many good oldies! A few that instantly come to mind are Depeche Mode’s “Black Celebration” Sister of Mercy’s “First Last and Always” and John Foxx’s “Metamatic”. I’m not sure I’m trying to “channel” them, but they where highly influential albums for me.

When it comes to the limited CD, how was the creative process in the making of it and what did you want your listeners to receive when you thought of making one?

– Well, both CD’s are limited. The first EP is called the “Black Envelope EP” it’s a hand made, hand painted and constructed package. The CD and art comes in a Black Envelope and each has a painted number. I wanted to treat this like an invitation to bigger things coming. For the new album “Evaluations”, I had professionally printed and hand numbered the sleeves. I made a limited run of these, but there might be some exciting news in the near future on more options. I wanted the listener to feel like they had solid album in their hands with this one.

Have you got any favorite blogs that you follow on a regular basis for finding new bands and artists or just for the general content of the blog themselves when it comes to music?

– Not really, I have a ton of them bookmarked that I enjoy but when I’m looking for new music I tend to go to hype machine, search a few artist and let the domino effect of finding blogs, talking about these artist, and checking out the other artists they are mentioning as well. I also use Soundcloud and Instagram to find a ton of really great and unsigned artists.

Since you’re mainly working with analogue equipment, what would you say is the benefit with it and what kind of gear do you have currently?

– The benefit is to a 100% the sound, the emotion it can create and endless possibilities you have with analog equipment, you can totally get lost in creating 1 sound for hours, how would that not be fun? I’m not into clicking and dragging to create sounds, no offense to any readers but it’s just not for me. Currently, I’m using a Moog Voyager, Roland SH-101, Roland Juno106, Roland TR-909 and then a Roland MC-909, which I mostly use as a master clock to sync everything. Throughout my songs you may hear other synths and live instruments though. I’m constantly trading and dabbling with other peoples stuff.

You’ve also got a lot of D.I.Y in you since you release the albums by yourself but have you ever thought of getting signed to a label for releases on vinyl? What have you got planned for the future and will we be seeing anything new next year or are you having any show in the next couple of months?

– Yes and Yes, more news in the near future.

What have you got planned for the future and will we be seeing anything new next year or are you having any show in the next couple of months?

– In the near future may be the question you just asked before. But in the meantime, I’m already 3 songs into the next release. It’s got a theme, a name and I’m really excited about it.

Thank you for letting me ask these questions and thank you for your participation!

– No, thank you! And thank you for taking the time to pay attention to my creations. It’s much appreciated.

Review: TSTI – evaluations

Pretty sharp, analogue and complex for being a bedroom project. Like a throwback from the wonderful 80’s. First song “In Loving Memory” is a wonderful example of what could be done with a little bit of synth-pop and dark wave, without a forced etiquette and instead of trying to push a false sense of genuine feelings. This is what happens when you combine the finest elements of both genres, and when you have put so much effort into the music that it stays afloat without doing a thing. There’s a sense of deepness in this song that provokes the most profound feelings from inside. A sense of loneliness and a sense of love, reeks out of the holes from the sound-scape. Unable to keep it in, it spreads throughout and just stays put on the edges as they touch you slowly but with much sincerity. The synths are a huge part of that experience, which goes from angelic to dreamy, back to the darker spheres in no time spent. I cannot grasp how a bedroom project could do such an impact, as I was expecting a much more amateurish and foolish approach to the wonders of those genres he’s involved with.

Needless to say, my expectations met their match, beyond my own grasp of the reality at hand. The slow-paced synths, the bombastic elements and the utter and sheer dedication that can be felt – have moved me inside and I’m not the same again. As for the next track “Queen of Swoons“, I can feel the more industrial-oriented rhythms and controlled environment that enrich the sound even more. A totally different track at hand, but with the same sympathetic vibe noticed within. I have a slight feeling of a totally new thing, but at the same time one or another remnant from times past. If Fad Gadget had combined his ingenuity with the synth-pop serenity of a band like Depeche Mode, put into a time-capsule and moved to the 00’s, their own brainchild would be TSTI. A weird sense of a predecessor being influenced by a progenitor, all mixed down into their counterparts, but also what doesn’t separate them. It’s like everything is falling to place, with immense speed and just leaving it up to me to decide how this wonderful piece of art should be described. Not being able to grasp it fully, not being able to describe it properly. But I surely want do my best. The third track “Pull The Animal’s Teeth Out“, begins with a rather heavy intro and is masked with a nice synth-line.

When I think about it, the vocals of S. Smith are both soothing and entrancing at the same time. The whole mood of the songs feels like something Andrew Eldritch would’ve put together if he was working with S. Smith. With that said, I think the utterly complex structure of the song deepens the mood of the sound-scape as a whole and surely grasps the 80’s melodic content by the balls. No, it’s not being castrated, but it’s being squeezed out and used as a resource for the wonderful path of laying both a concrete and emotional landscape of different harmonies, synths and the wonderfully arranged drums. Fourth track “Love & Truth” is about as minimalistic as its gotten on this album, a much harder edge to both the synths and the sound-scape at hand. Somewhat decorticated to fit the means of the analogue wonders that he is working with. It reminds me of the old-school EBM-styled beats that were prevalent in that genre in the 80’s but also later on in the 90’s. Not only the fixed and repetitive synths with an unorthodox touch to it, but also the more pop-oriented and dreamy synths that works like a wonder when combined with the vocals. As I move on to the fifth track, which is titled “Acquaintance“, the harder beats get even more room in the mix. It feels like a religious experience and it feels like Smith is opening the door for me and welcoming me into his adamant home. Whilst it at the same time feels sinister and include some damn fine synths that together produce this kind of sound-scape that feels like its about to fall down below because of the pressure on it.

The progression of it is totally out of my own realm, its as if he’s got a bunch of different alter-egos that sit with him and compose these songs. One where the darker side of him is allowed entry and one where the “lighter” side is inducing the sound-scape with a refined reality. Even though it very much feels like its a well-produced piece, at the same time it feels like something beyond the borders of music. I can sense a lot of hard and cold nostalgia revealing itself here. Sixth track “Match To Friendship” is enough industrial-influenced to make me spew out nuts and bolts. At times it feels like its borrowed from indie pop, but at the same time, there’s a harsher sense to the sound-scape than that. There are synths in this sound-scape that I wouldn’t hear anywhere else than in a great 80’s song and it feels like its built up by those synths. When I listen through it, again and again, I feel like he’s borrowed a lot of influences from genres that might not be that apparent. I feel like there’s a more commercial vibe to it, but on the other hand, I don’t believe that it would be accepted there. Much because of the hard-knocking beats and severe punishment you get to endure whilst listening to it. But it’s all worth it. However, when the seventh track comes on, there are a lot of things that are about to change. It’s titled “This Damage Is Magic” and it feels more like a knock away from a harsh newstyle EBM song than anything else.

Blend it with the finest you can get in future-pop, add up some nasty elements to it and you’ll have a hybrid of VNV Nation and something else. I’m not really sure what that would be, but it surely would be something angelic. I love how the synths start sounding like dolphins communicating below surface, even though its almost a few seconds. I believe that is the essence of S. Smith, he can both be very complex at hand but when you think about it – he’s also managed to keep a basic edge to what he’s doing. Now things get even more out of hand, as I tune in to the eighth song “Because You Told Me To“, which sounds like something the cat dragged in. I’m confused now, very confused. From a mighty synth-pop and extravagant dark wave album, to a techno-oriented house-hybrid? There’s a lot of 303 in this mix. I feel Acid House, but its not even close. However, he’s close to the 80’s, which is when it had its peak. But I don’t really know, I can’t really dig it. Even though the sound-scape is perfectly fine, the softer side of it is just so malplaced amongst this 303-vibe. Well, enough with this, now its time for the last track: “In Loving Memory (anti-707 mix)“, which is basically the first song but without a 707, which means “no drums for you, sucker“. Personally, I think this song doesn’t really take on the first song, but fine, it sounds pretty good anyway. I feel like there’s something missing and I feel like the drums should be there. However, this is one of the greatest albums of the 00’s (2000’s), that I’ve heard and I’m going to bookmark his bandcamp. Thank you for such a fantastic experience, never stop making art.

You can and should buy his limited edition CD over at bandcamp, but if you don’t want to, you could buy the digital download-only album. Do also listen to his album below.

Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Post-Punk – 1986-1987 (Part V)

I’ve been through with you in the 80′s now in about six parts, four parts were about new wave and two parts were about minimal wave. Now, because of popular demand (not really), I’ve decided to unleash the post-punk monster. It will feature six different parts, whereas each one of them will concentrate on important years. I will walk you through a decade of important music, I could almost call it the golden years of post-punk. The parts will go on like this: Part I, 1980-1981. Part II, 1982. Part III, 1983-1984. Part IV, 1985. Part V, 1986-1987. And finally: Part VI, 1988-1989. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this madness, featuring (mostly) obscure or unknown bands in this sphere. New for this recommendation will be that I have different commentaries under each video, some of them are humorous and others are not. It will cover the basic aspect of each video or text. Enjoy this one.

You’re now entering Part V of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

Continue reading