Listen: Nostilevo #55 – Men Of Bissau – To Heal In Paradisó [#1]

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Men Of Bissau, Avellan Cross and Siobhan – are all a part of the April batch of cassettes from one of my favorite label(s) Nostilevo. Three cassettes whose sound-scape become alike, but differentiate in many ways. “To Heal In Paradisó” is the first effort, “TECHNOISE [MTN K7]” the second, and “Enhancer” the third. The last-mentioned release is a re-release of a 2010 cassette – the debut-album by Siobhan. Welcome the new wave of industrial from the heartland of urban Detroit, to San Fransisco heat, and the global experiment and throwback reference of “Club Baraka” – the first release by Men Of Bissau, ever. Featured in the first section of three for you to listen to [#1], is Men Of Bissau. You don’t even know what you’re getting yourself into.

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Men Of Bissau, not the same men as before. With “To Heal In Paradisó“, these men retire from their original intentions at “Club Baraka” – just to transform their new outfit into an even more ritualistic experience. It’s hard to conceptualize what’s even new about it, more than by their rather ominous theme. Experimental industrial is what first comes to mind, as the hissing sound of tape-distortion is put out, channeling their sound-scape into a veritable sonic explosion. Spiraling upwards into a chasm of dismayed sound that would put a digital experience to shame. This is in its entirety an analogue, but freakishly lo-fi concoction of the most horrid sounds imaginable, put forth with the sabre of a new wave in industrialized nonsensical gibberish. Flying the flag of a rather minimalistic and claustrophobic, mass hysteria, in agonizing noises that grind your gears until your ears could decay. The maniacal flashbacks in a murderers sense of the world, a war-zone of stirred emotions turned upon the general whom had been a character with ill intentions, flying away into retirement, leaving behind a trail of blood. For those who take great interest in these men, it might not be hard to understand their intentions. Because they act accordingly to how they want to be portrayed through sound. We might never know if this is their real representation, or just a world they paint up with the most unimaginable atrocities in mind. Themed perfectly to suit a journey through roughly thirty minutes or more, taking an even more absurd turn when they decided to change their behavior. This will have you interested, this might even destroy you in ways not humanly possible. It’s an otherworldly experience when listening to it, but it is also hard to grasp properly. Perhaps that’s the whole meaning behind it. Six tracks, healing your soul, heated exchange with a post-apocalyptic and futuristic vision. Human decay going strong. Featured as a cassette-release and categorized as #55 by Nostilevo, limited to 133 specimens, 33 with silver label and 100 with a gray label.

Listen: Xakatawaga, Blue Krishna, Bad User Experience and David Allen!

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Finally, the four releases that were incorporated into the MMXIV Winter catalog at Nostilevo, are released. Neal Samples may be the one behind the moniker Xakatawaga, as you otherwise know him as Tollund Men, but also as the proprietor of Bleak Environment – an independent label, based out of America – that specializes in industrial, noise and black metal. The repetitive motion that is released with “Vol. 1“, which is the first release under this moniker, reminds me a lot of schranz techno, except the fact that the basis for it is more or less based on the off-shoot of techno, mixed in with industrial experimentalism and rhythmic noise. Bob your head from one place to another, as this bleak and repetitive notion keeps on rolling by – watered down by psychedelic hallucinations. Conjugating with the rough winds beneath, extracting and putting in place – what makes industrial so harsh and barren in the first place. Transgressing the narrative that techno is only techno, crossing over into unorthodox territories to make the combination even more wild and interesting. Four tracks that span up to 23 minutes in length, if added together. Featured by their names, in correct order; “Uay“, “Blue Soul“, “Cygne” and “Nu Contact”. Buy this release for 7 dollars if you want a cassette, or 6 dollars if you want it digitally. I’d suggest you getting the physical release instead of the digital, since it’s only 1 dollar more and you get something you can hold on to.

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Being one of the most interesting releases in this batch of four, Blue Krishna makes the best of what you can take from new-wave and slap their own electronic vibe onto it. It’s in the atmosphere of industrial as such, making use of the experimental nature, forcing their own synth-popish backstab, into the psychedelic trench. Alex Jarson from Body Of Light, which can be heard when you listen to it, shapes his own form of badness through Krishna. Yes, that was a really lame joke. But influences from that project can be heard in this as well. Having been tightly affiliated with Ascetic House under his aforementioned moniker, made it to Chondritic Sound in the end, and transformed into Bad Krishna for his place to be – which came to be Nostilevo. The project delivers the most interesting differentiations, as lavish synth-pop with industrial drums is turning its way into your consciousness. Leaving you with some hope, since it’s only beginning. With a ceremonious chant applied to a dance-rhythm infused into the harsh landscapes of industrial. Clocking in at 23 minutes, roughly, when all songs are added up. The album is titled “Repeat Until Death” and feature the four tracks; “Can’t See The Line“, “Taman Shud“, “Mayflower Spring” and “Rising Sun (It’s Just Beginning)“. Buy the digital release for 6 dollars and the physical cassette for 7 dollars. It seems like a lot comes out from Los Angeles, and that a lof ot it never leaves. But we’re now left with Bad Krishna. Even though it is hard to understand, it’s probably among one of the more unique sounds I’ve heard in my life.

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This is one of those projects that you wouldn’t care too much about in the beginning, but the more you listened to it, the more it enthralled you. Bad User Experience‘s release “CGi” feature a lot of tracks that have been featured elsewhere, like the track “Look NE Direction” that was on the “Industrialized [FROM] Sense” mixtape that came out last year, here on Invisible Guy. This is a total mind-bender, which allude to the more bizarre sounds that can be fitted into different categories, if at all. There’s certainly a sci-fi influence, which shouldn’t be hard to hear at all, and it basically feels like drifting into a black hole and experiencing it from within – with all the absurdities that come with it. Or maybe, if you’d incorporate the phenomenon déja vu into music-making, with the main difference; of it happening every second that you’re producing anything. Some of it is lo-fi groove in a can, other things are re-hashed hits evolving into an industrial mess of danceable beats. I believe you’ll have to have some kind of substance in you to make any sense of it as a whole. Which is certainly not anything I would recommend, but it seems to be that way. This release has six tracks and they come in the order of: “FORUM“, “The Matrix The Movie“, “BLACK HOLE BRENDAN“, “DESIGNegative“, “Look NE Direction” and “WATSMATTU“. It can be bought digitally for 6 dollars, and physically in the form of a cassette, for 7 dollars.

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It’s time for something more outdrawn. In the sense of longer tracks, more specifically. David Allen is the last one in the batch of these four cassette-releases, with his collection of three tracks titled “1188 OST (Sections I​-​III)“, which follows an abstract theme. Gradually shifting from noise in the first section, to claustrophobic industrial in the third section. It gets louder and more noisier, and then it suddenly cools off and gradually shifts to getting even louder. The inherent meaning behind this release is something that is unknown to me. He explores the different modes and settings, in which he makes music with. But this could be considered to be virtual non-music, and someone else should try to explain it more thoroughly. I must say that this release might just be for people whom are interested in experimental and noise, but also in the different subtle changes that can be made within the time-span as long as over 12 minutes. Because some of it I don’t get, and some of it is frightening. If you leave your telephone laying besides the holder, this is probably the noise it would make. Anyway, it clocks in at roughly 30 minutes all-in-all. The tracks are as follows: “Section 1“, “Section 2” and “Section 3“. It can be bought digitally for 6 dollars, and physically in the form of a cassette, for 7 dollars. So if you’re deeply entrenched in noise, this would be something considered well-worth of being bought.

Spotlight: Various Artists – The Alliance

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Seismic activity had increased in the area around Los Angeles, as Nostilevo together with Vacation Vinyl – prepared for their overtake of the industrial latitude in and around the United States. An alliance was formed which was referred to “The Alliance“, a compilation of the most hard-working and dedicated crowd within the field of claustrophobic industrial, experimental noise, apocalyptic harsh industrial, psychedelic noise – and other innovative people in and around this group. Craow (Sean Halpin) rose from the depths of Cyborg City, to infuse his field of expertise, within the group. Checkered beats that are thrown around into a pitfall of dampened industrial, with the cataclysmic atmosphere of noise itself. Scorpio & Glass (K. Reinshagen), the definition of psychotic harsh noise, descended upon Los Angeles to spread his monotonic terror. As the repetitive sounds hooked themselves into the brains of the futile human beings in the nearby area, he disappeared without a trace. Fairlight Empress shone his light upon the now decimated city, as his grainy (Greh Holger) but stingy arsenal of roughed up beats descended upon the unknowing, in a swirl of industrialized fervor. This is certainly a darkened but enigmatic source of sonic barbarianism.

Inspiring other fighters to join their ranks, Avellan Cross (Elden M.) fused his minimal electronics with the hypnotizing repetitiveness of acidic waste. It’s a taste you will not forget in the first place, so please wash your mouth (and ears) before you continue. Siobhan, what can be said? Generally the toughest of sound-scapes, combining the harshness of the collective that calls themselves “The Alliance” – with the relentless strikes of psychotic experimental industrial. Liable (K. Reinshagen) teamed up internationally, with Nepoštovanje I Glupo, as we descend into their common territory. Lots of dark ambient, with the ritualistic industrial you’d least expect to be used upon the common foe – the common people. Ritual Howls, on the other hand, is not a collaboration. It’s a joint operation with a team of hardened combatants that deliver to you the post-punk spirit encapsulated with an unforgiving atmosphere, which gives you the creeps that chill you to the bone – amidst the rituals that are chanted within the sound-scape. Yeah, basically, just check out their name. It’s frightening enough as it is.

Well, for once Mammal decided to not go solo and join the ranks. His low-keyed and acoustic vibrations doom you to hell and back if you’d even care to listen. His overt misanthropy would have a nihilist convert to a more happier ideology, as whatever he touches turns into the gray landscape he paints so eloquently in the post-apocalyptic atmosphere his tongue lets him moves himself in. David Allen could be one of them, for all I know, but it’s not what I know that’s important right now. He contributes with the plain and simple movements of harsh noise, as he pierces your eardrums with the repetitive but annihilating sounds which would’ve been better placed within the industry of making bombs. Yes, he’s bombing your mind with different associations, as the monotonous noises hack away on your sensitive brain. Nothing for the weak. Phase Fatale (Hayden Payne) bring us back to our senses, even though the lyrics are too cold for us. His almost poppy minimal synth experience invite us to be hopeful once more, whilst he strikes us from behind with his dagger. We’re falling, because he tells us to fall. Tis’ way more melodious.

Now, please, don’t get any closer. Hand To God will smite you with the ungodly wrath. Crackling noises that creep right next to you make you feel like you’re in near proximity to something living, which only brings you the ungodly insect that quickly snaps away the rest of the hope you might’ve had. An almost claustrophobic experience that settles from different angles, as the intensity of sound moves closer to that of fire. Run while you can. Desire XXVII (or Desire XXI) shapes the world, and Los Angeles, the way The Alliance first wanted it to be. Their natural playground for seismic experiments, sonic adventures and absurd musical enhancements. Basically, it’s their playground and their will, if you don’t shape up – you’ll be assimilated. Volcanic and naturalistic noise that tears up the ground and make you stumble around. Last but not least, you’re invited to the rebirth of the world. Blue Krishna (Alex Jarson) lends his hands to you as you’re awoken, or rebirthed. The mixture of spiritualistic new-wave with electronic overtones have a clarity of its own. You’re now revitalized and a part of The Alliance.

The Alliance is a compilation that was released by K. Reinshagen’s eminent label Nostilevo. Unfortunately, the Invisible Guy didn’t have much of a choice last year – therefore it was covered today. You should buy “The Alliance” on cassette, since it features new material from all these acts. It’s a sonic trip that lasts 60 minutes. If that isn’t enough for you to buy into it, then why won’t you scramble and leave? Okay, it only costs ten dollars to receive this physical artifact and compilation. So go and buy it, to support Nostilevo and Vacation Vinyl.

Exclusive Premiere: Os Ovni – No Time Static Hide

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The clock is ticking, time is running out. We’re just here to be with you for a while. The duo Os Ovni have been releasing their delightful mixture of synth-pop, minimal synth and dream pop, also channeling other differentiating electronica that can be hard to put together – since 2010. The duo consists of Logan Owlbeemoth and Omebi Velouri, whom have been performing together beneath various experimental electronic aliases in a period of 15 years. By the way, did you know that “Os Ovni” actually means “The UFO” in Portuguese? Now you know. Back in 2010, they released the single “Something In The Sky” on Answering Machine Recordings. A year after that, they followed it up with a split-release with Modern Witch, which got placed on the label Tundra Dubs. After a lot of moving around on different labels, releasing a split with Blue On Blue and then thundering on to participate in yet another split-release with TWINS, they’ve finally settled down and decided to release an album of their own. Together with their soothing love for specific sci-fi, our cosmos and everything in between – Os Ovni have been planning a release which goes by the name of “Lets Leave Reality“. Matt Weiner of Featureless Ghost have been the overseer when it comes to the production of this particular album. Something Cold Records have gotten the honor to release this, and this is probably what further cements their wish to turn away from reality and embrace space. I must say that this record is oozing of minimalism, twirling synthesizers, space-y virtual rooms that places oneself into their cybernetic shoes. Invisible Guy has gotten the honor to premiere a single from their album, and more to come, but first up is “No Time Static Hide” – the fifth song on this eight-tracked album. You can listen and stream the song down below, so you can get more of a taste of what’s coming in November. I also asked Justin Carver of Something Cold (Records) about the release itself and what’s on the menu in the near future.

Last year you released a compilation of tracks, and now you’re going to release an album by Os Ovni. What can you tell us about this?

– I’ve been a fan of Os Ovni since I first heard their split 7″ with Modern Witch. Their music always stood out amongst other minimal electronic bands because of how harmonious their vocals were on top of very fragile synth work. I was able to meet them firsthand when they performed in Detroit for Something Cold in December of 2011. The show took place in a very weird little banquet hall in Mexicantown! Their performance blew me away, they had the most simplistic set up but filled the room with the most psychedelic synth waves. From then on out we stayed in touch and I continued to follow their releases and excellent video work they do (Tachyons+). Their track on the Something Cold compilation was one of the albums most well received tracks, so one day I told Logan when you’re ready, I’d be happy to release your debut LP. Him and Omebi agreed to let us release it for them! They are both incredibly hardworking musicians and I’m proud to be working with them.

What was the original purpose of Something Cold records?

– Simply to release new (and rediscover old) exciting music within the minimal electronic, industrial and wave underground on vinyl. I’ve been running the Something Cold parties in Detroit since 2009, so moving forward and starting a label seemed like the next logical step. My friend Jason Amm (Suction Records/Solvent) has provided an enormous amount of help with the label and helping it come together.

Since your first release has been sold out now for some time, what kind of reactions did it get?

– I was surprised with how fast it sold out and how well received it was. I’ve gotten a few emails from people who picked it up on a whim in record stores and wrote to express their enjoyment and curiosity about the label/party. It’s cool to see tracks from the LP pop up on playlists from radio shows and DJs around the world. Thankfully, while it is sold out, it’s not being price gouged on Discogs or Ebay yet!

Are you going to release anything else in the near future on Something Cold records?

– Absolutely. We’re talking to a few artists at the moment about our next releases. Expect it out around the first of this coming year. We also plan on doing a limited repress of the initial Something Cold compilation LP eventually as well.

Part [II]: Channeling the power of Nostilevo!

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Suffice to say, this is the second part of your indulgence with Nostilevo. I’ll keep pressing it to your face, so you can hear it for yourselves, as you roam your apartment late at nights. Peacefully, you’ll sail with me on the wide oceans that is the Spring batch of tapes from this label. Controllable, uncontrollable – everything is relative, but relatively hopeless. Everything from the purest of experimental endeavors, to scarred Gothic delights, topped of by industrial heaviness. For those of you that haven’t checked it out yet, Part II includes reviews (and only reviews) of the following artists/groups/bands: Pure Ground, Ritual Howls, Church Shuttle, Mammal and The Glass Path. Enjoy it while its enjoyable, return when you feel like returning – and read when your eyes aren’t shut.

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Part [I]: Back in the hemisphere of Nostilevo!

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Nostilevo is still one of my favorite labels from America. In the beginning, when they came around, industrial once again got revitalized. I asked the label-owner a few questions back then, and reviewed the whole she-bang of releases. At first, I thought it resembled Nestlé, but then I slapped myself and got myself together. Khristopher Reinshagen have had this label since 2011, and now he’s got a lot of releases out, that haven’t been payed much attention to from my side. More than the branching out from Nurse Etiquette, which was his earlier label. Which is why I decided to ask him a bunch of new questions and review the whole May batch of tapes. This includes Pure Ground, Mammal, Ritual Howls, The Glass Path and Church Shuttle. Not in that direct order, though. Hope you enjoy reading this and return afterwards. But first up is the interview I conducted with Khristopher himself, in Part II you’ll get the reviews.

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Harvesting #6: Are these questions or is it Something Cold?

This time around Harvesting have decided to morph into a fearsome creature. Sending away coded messages to every receiver in town. In this edition of it, I will feature something extraordinary. At least when it comes to the Harvesting that I have had since the beginning of it. The sixth edition features: Something Cold. And if that isn’t enough for you, I’m also going to walk you through their self-released compilation which goes by the same name. In turn, it features the following artists: Autumus, Ze Dark Park, Subtitles, Deastro, YOU., The Present Moment, Further Reductions, Os Ovni and Especially Good. In this edition you’ll get to know more about Something Cold, which is both a social club and a record label, containing some of the most impopular cultural phenomenons of today. I asked Justin Carver, who basically runs it, five questions about his beloved creation. Hope you enjoy this edition of Harvesting and find your way back here after a long nights drunkenness.

Where did the idea for Something Cold come from and what’s your history?

– Something Cold began out of frustration with a lack of diverse, unique nightlife in Detroit. I’ve been a collector of obscure, rare, interesting minimal-synth, industrial, goth, post-punk, etc records for years and I wanted an opportunity to share this music with the rest of the city. Before SC I occasionally spun goth/deathrock/post-punk for friends parties and bars. Since our incarnation at the long since shuttered Trowbridge House of Coffee in Hamtramck, MI we’ve become a “roving” social club so to speak, holding events all over Detroit.

You’ve arranged a lot of stuff since you once started out, which nights have been the most memorable?

– Oh boy. Several, haha. When we were doing parties at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) we had wild crowds. The CAID sits in the middle of a very desolate area of Detroit – very appropriate soundtrack wise. We had someone piss down the heat vent upstairs on our first night there. That didn’t go over well with the owner. Sexual encounters on the dancefloor became commonplace. Guests often stole the toilet paper from the bathrooms and tossed it around on the dancefloor.

Thugs from the nearby neighborhood crashed several parties, notably Dream Affairs debut Detroit performance. On a less seedy note, our two year anniversary with Martial Canterel (Wierd Records) and Moon Pool & Dead Band (ex-Wolf Eyes) was a big standout. Martial Canterel’s first performance in Detroit really helped inspire me to create a night focusing on minimal electronic music. Being able to bring Sean McBride out to celebrate an anniversary was a proud achievement.

Since you’re both a label and a social club, I was wondering if you could tell me about your label and the releases you’ve put out so far?

– In June we released our first record, the Something Cold LP. Its a compilation featuring friends of ours and artists who have graced our parties over the years. We’ve got a few releases that should be available in early 2013.

What do you think is the best with the “niched” genres like coldwave, minimal-synth, post-punk et cetera?

– The DIY aesthetic and feel is very exciting and appealing. I truly believe that the cold, isolated and fragile sound of minimal-synth and coldwave are also reflection of the time we live in. Because of technology guiding our lives we’re becoming more detached from one another socially. The economy throughout most of the world is very unstable. Day to day life is becoming more abstracted and uncertain for many. There is a definite surge of interest in minimal/coldwave/industrial music right now – perhaps channeling to the isolation we feel in our lives nowadays?

Do you have anything to say here at the end of this questionnaire? Give me your best!

– Thanks for letting me share some insight on Detroit’s coldest social club!

V.A. – Something Cold

The aesthetics of this compilation is absolutely gorgeous, it also instills a little bit of lust. As in sensuality, but also despair, with the colors of it. Musically, the first song “Your Blue Eyes (ft. Xiu)” reminds me of some kind of cold-pop, like a combination of the cold wave influences and the more pop-oriented side of it. I just noticed that one of my favorite musicians, the past month, is featured on this track. She really gives the sound-scape more life, since I didn’t really like the main vocalist. Her angelic voice just rides on the breezy sound-scape, pass by the lo-fi drums and fit perfectly with the lightweight synth. Next song on this album reminds me a lot of future-pop, but with less visible elements of that genre. The only thing that really puts the future-pop in this one is the vocalist. However, the sound-scape is perfectly fitted for that kind of vocals. I don’t really like how the generic future-pop is shaped and this is how it should sound when done right. It also contains some nice melodies and darker rhythms that pulsate through my body.

Ever liked some analog-sounding harshness? Look no further, the third song “Cold Rain” embodies just that. The harshness, but not too harsh. One of the most interesting things in the song besides the main texture of it, is the sampled voice that almost raps over the beat. It’s not conventional rap, but it felt like they put some work into it. I always like to think that they took a sample, chopped it up and matched the different non-matched parts of it to the overall melody of it. It would be insane if they actually did that. Fourth song, titled “Preservation“, carry the darkwave and minimal-synth banner high. A great mix of dark landscapes with soothing synths and speedy drums. Almost bordering on to the 8-bit genre, but staying within the borders of the aforementioned. Don’t like the vocalist as much in this song, it sounds generic and indie-pop angsty. Otherwise, it’s a good song, but the vocals don’t really fit the picture at all. Some rhythms may be off, but they contribute with a uniqueness to it.

Other good songs on this compilation were “Times Like This“, which brings back some of the oldschool EBM sound in one way. The vocalist is pretty good also, even though he doesn’t hassle it. But the rhythm and the beat is extraordinary and make me want to do the body-dance all over again, one step forward, three steps back. It’s got such a simpleness to it, but still instills several nostalgic memories of stomping around. Overall, it’s actually a great compilation.

If you want to buy it, head over to their bandcamp. There’s a digital-only download for 7.99 dollars on their bandcamp and a fully fledged vinyl-edition for 13.99 dollars. Whereas a digital download is included in the latter one, which means that if you add six dollars, you’ll get a nice vinyl and a digital download at that. The compilation hold nine songs and most of them are great. So, there’s not excuse not to buy it. If you get your paycheck anytime soon, you should leave some dollars for this.