Lyssna: DDR Space Program – Race To Win

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Ett uppiggande släpp, minst sagt. DDR Space Program från Stockholm levererar optimistisk och dansant retrowave, i och med det senaste släppet “Race To Win“. Det låter som något som skulle kunna vara ett reklamsläpp för Tour De France på åttiotalet. Allt handlar om fart och flärd, ‘var den förste i mål och ta hem vinsten’.

Uppsvinget som denna slags musik har fått på senare tid är intressant och kan reflekteras över, för vem kan egentligen ifrågasätta den framtidsoptimism som kännetecknade 80-talet? Hur väl passar den in i 2010-talet? Det känns väldigt främmande att denna tidsanda kunnat återuppstå, så det är magiskt hur väl den kunnat anpassas i musikform till hur vi lever nu. Trots att det ibland känns malplacerat, så lyckas DDR Space Program producera en ambitiös och närmast gudomlig ljudbild.

Det måste också tilläggas att en av de främsta influenserna är italo disco, kanske inte i sin renaste form, men i samklang med nyare electroclash – vilket gör det hela ett snäpp intressantare, eftersom att den genren i sig sällan är något att hänga i granen. Det här är vad han själv har att säga om släppet:

Race to win är DDR Space Programs andra släpp. Som vanligt är den inspelad i min hemmastudio på mina analoga syntar och sedan mixad ihop med min kompis i hans studio. Det är viktigt att för mig att använda riktiga syntar när jag spelar in. Det är en viss känsla i att sitta och ratta på riktiga grejer och så låter det oftast så mycket bättre.

EPn har ett cykeltema, vilket kanske märks. Mest för att jag själv börjat cykla väldigt mycket och tycker det är otroligt frigörande och kul, samtidigt som det på något sätt passar genren eftersom både spacesynth och cykling är snabbt och tufft. Från början var nog inte tanken att det skulle handla om just cykling, men när jag skrev “Le Tour” så kände jag att alla låtar passade in ett sådant sammanhang.

EPn har skrivits och spelats in parallellt med att jag skrivit låtar och spelat in med mitt andra projekt “Carino Cat” som är renodlad italo disco. Självklart tar jag ibland idéer från det ena projektet och lånar ut till det andra, vilket säkert gör att italoinfluenserna är ganska tydliga i DDR Space Program. Känslan jag vill få fram med DDR Space Program är att folk som lyssnar på det ska känna att det andas 80-tal. Tiden då gated reverb var norm, virveln var blaskig, syntarna var analoga och musiken var bäst.

Lyssna till släppet i sin helhet här nedanför. Man kan också köpa en CD-skiva för 50 kronor om man mejlar till ddr.space@gmail.com

Exklusiv Premiär: Celldöd – Våldsamt Motstånd (Mix1)

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Igårkväll så gjorde Celldöd, enligt en trollbunden publik; en av sina bästa spelningar någonsin. Han uppträdde, precis innan legendaren Douglas McCarthy’s samarbetsprojekt Fixmer/McCarthy gjorde entré – som huvudakt. Detta utspelade sig på Nalen i Stockholm och har garanterat etsat fast sig i minnet på konsertbesökarna. Förutom att han gjorde det kan skulle och det med bravur enligt många som var där, så var säkert Fixmer/McCarthy ett ögonblick att minnas. Tyvärr så kunde man inte närvara eftersom att det rent geografiskt var avlägset. Men däremot kunde man höja ögonbrynet på ett antal Celldöd-fans med hjälp av att få lägga upp en exklusiv låt. Det var nämligen som så att Anders valde att släppa en kassett, i oerhört begränsad upplaga om tio kassetter – vars namn är “Affektiv Storm” – som enligt uppgift redan är slutsålda.

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Eftersom att det var många som inte skulle få tillfället att äga kassetten, så lade Repartiseraren i samarbete med Celldöd upp låten “Våldsamt Motstånd (Mix1)“, en låt som är tagen från den kassett han hade med sig till uppträdandet på Nalen. Det är en väldigt kaosartad låt som förvränger det redan förvirrande konceptet av Celldöd, ytterligare. Man vet aldrig vart man hamnar när Anders är den som vrider på rattarna och får den ena ljudbilden efter den andra, att låta helt annorlunda. Här är det mer synthpunkigt, mer rått – primitivt som attans. Så för alla er som inte fick tillfället att äga kassetten, kan i alla fall få tillfälle att lyssna på en låt från den. Lyssna här nedanför.

Watch: Roladex – Glass Statuette

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Bright colors intertwined with VHS-quality and other psychedelic enjoyment. Together with the technology of yesteryear, Roladex have done good in their homage to where their influences come from. With their 80’s-infused synth-pop sound and their carefully executed visual FX create a hypnotic atmosphere which is almost exclusive to music-videos from that decade and before the 2000’s. You will find no polished turds á la big business labels and their PR-menagerie here. Not to mention their song “Glass Statuette” on their newly released split with ((PRESSURES)), which is saturated with the mesmerizing duo’s eloquent vocals whose delivery hypnotize you, as the spastic arpeggio rhythm continually rolls in the foreground – an aquatic melody seduces you. You can’t help but start humming the lyrics in a repetitive fashion. I also think the video captures a bizarre vein that Roladex don’t capture as well with their music, which seems to me when I listen to it to be in all seriousness, but the video itself adds that tongue-in-cheek vibe that music-videos used to give. Either because they were abhorrent in their silliness, or simply delivering a positive nerve in the musical delivery – which in Roladex’s case is true – as you also can’t help but smile.

It would’ve been great if this split-release could’ve featured a music-video by ((PRESSURES)), too. Because then it would’ve been more than two songs that you keep on the repeat. But with that said, I think the track “The Voices” complements “Glass Statuette” very well. I think ((PRESSURES)) are the ones whom deliver the futuristic touch to this release, as the B-Side coincides with Roladex’s passionate nostalgic reflections both in track and video. “The Voices” almost touch cold-wave territory, but instead of going into the coldness and reflections of that – there’s a clear disco-vibe to the whole she-bang. With vocals that soothe your soul, together with a steadfast drum-machine rhythm and cosmic synthesizers – I would say that the A-Side gives more hope for us in the future. Though a lot of melancholy can be heard in both tracks, the bleaker side is when Roladex comes on, but I’m not sure anymore after having seen their music-video. All of this might be my hypnotized me talking, but they’ve charmed me with their other side of the coin. Both tracks are complementary as I’ve said, but one wouldn’t stand with the other and they display different characteristics. I just wish they would’ve included the music-video with the release and also made a music-video for ((PRESSURES)) track. That way, their likeness and difference could’ve been visually represented as well as musically.

Since this is a joint release by Medical Records and Disko Obscura, you can either choose to order the limited edition 7¨ in thick transparent yellow, or transparent urochrome vinyl. It’s your choice whether you’d like to go with Medical Records or Disko Obscura, but they both have their unique take on it and if you’re a collector then you should go for them both. You can order the transparent yellow version here, and the transparent urochrome here. Stream both tracks digitally down below and watch the music-video above.

NO! Spotlight: Dry Socket / Ray Creature! [Part II]

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I found a rather anonymous label which is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. The American label that I found is called NO! Record Label and is hosting itself on Tumblr, giving off a rather secluded interior for me to find mysterious. All the better, because it leaves much to my own imagination. This mysterious label have released two releases before those that I am going to cover in this spotlight. One of the releases are of Drekka and Assimilation – a kind of live re-work of each others live performances – but also a late introductory for me to Michael Andersons brainchild Drekka. This was actually the first release to be put out on this label. The second release was a compilation featuring the artists Drekka, NOON, John Flannelly, Canid, Assimilation and Agakus. Featured musicians working in the Bloomington, Indiana area, described by the label: “a collection of tracks that represents the loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars“. But the two releases that I’m going to cover here are Dry Socket and in the second part; Ray Creature. This is the last part and it features Erich Booth and Natascha Buehnerkemper, known as Ray Creature. Let’s see if you enjoy it.

a3748909156_10Ray Creature. The fourth release on NO! Record Label is “Don’t Stop Talking EP“, featuring four tracks. Lo and behold, what I find is one of the finest examples of what can be done with post-punk. Combining it with the wide-array of genres like dark wave, no-wave, synth-pop and a rather odd experimentalism is the way to go. The fact that Ray Creature is a duo is mind-boggling, because they sound like they’ve had a whole band and that they just quit after this EP due to the difficulty of conveying such a sound. Such a huge sound is being created by two people. A shady sound, with funky undertones of the baseline and the general feel of it is somewhere in between the bizarre and the ingenious. Unfortunately all the steam goes to the track “Don’t Stop Talking” which is probably the best track on the release. After the haziness of the minimal synth landscape, which suddenly just shifts into some kind of disco-vibe mess, featuring no-wave vocals and a general sense of disobedience. The modular synthesizers are working hard on delivering the undertones of electronica to such a harsh example of the successes this band has, with experimentalism. After the first track which could be regarded as setting the theme for the rest of the release, it just delves into some kind of weird example of how the electronica doesn’t really cope with the weirdness of the atmosphere. There’s such a messy landscape of sound that you don’t really know what to look for. Too much happening at the same time.

Even though I know their ambitions have been great, they once again pick up where they left off the stream after “Success“, when we enter “Ripped Apart” – a totally energized maelstrom of the best synthesizers and up-tempo beat you could find. Cocky vocals at that, too. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of “Success” is good to begin with, but I just end up finding myself reminded about the melody – but in the way of that is the general anarchy that actually turns me away from that track to begin with. The last track seems to be a whole long intermezzo between catchy instrumentation, steady rhythms and a snare-sound that i find myself enjoying more than the general mood of the track at all. The vocals in this track is so good, but I don’t really enjoy the lyricism. Even though I have a lot of criticism to give, the general feel of the EP is great. It seems to be long in between when you hear about a sound that has taken off, then you listen to it and find out that it’s like something you’ve heard before – but not really in this format. They do a good job of pulling off the crossover between genres and fill it up with nice experimentalism. I must say that without the soothing but urgent vocals that Natascha deliver, this wouldn’t be as great of an experience as it really was. Enjoy it yourselves by streaming and listening to it here, down below.

Exclusive Premiere: Kord feat Annie – Control

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Playful synth-pop with that odd Börft angle when it comes to rhythm and melody. Börft Records have been the sole proprietor of Johan Sturesson‘s own project Kord at first, but he’s switched to different labels during his years, releasing material on his own label Råsynth I Blekinge, Djuring Phonogram and just before this release, on the Malmö-based Rundgång Rekords in 2013. When he’s not busy with his own solo-project, he’s also one of the brainiacs in Frak, a rather mystic and anonymous group at first – but a national jewel for Sweden’s odd electronica-lovers. He’s also been involved in an off-shoot duo with Daniel Svraka (Adolf Filter), called Monster Apparat, with whom they released the double-single “Moster Dajm / Rymdmotstånd” on the Kernkrach sub-label Hertz-Schrittmacher back in 2009. It would seem like the ironic touch of Börft Records have been appropriated on every project that is related to it. A kind of Swedish humor, with a touch of Blekinge in it. A certain kind of humor that is very funny if you’re tired, but also if you’re working with music for most of the time. In Sweden we call it “torr humor“, which means “dry humor“, but do not let it take you astray from the wonderful music that is being produced. This is only when it comes to some of the song-titles and titles of releases by him. Rather than being an insult, it’s a good thing when they first incorporated this humor into it. In regards to the artists and groups that have had their material released on Börft. So when Kord finally is releasing something new, he’s including Annie Gyllin on vocals, making it an album that features her brass attitude amidst a carnage of weird synth-pop, electronic body mayhem and dance-music.

This release is being put out by the Enfant Terrible sub-label Gooiland Elektro which deals with everything from dark electro to experimental electronica. A four-tracked released titled “We Live In This 12¨ is being put out upon this label, the first release from Kord since a year back when older songs were released as “Midsummer Night Special“, together with a collaborative track featuring Glenn Stenbring and Rebecca Lindell, called “Boy” – which was recorded in 2005 as a school-project of his. Anyway, Repartiseraren have been in a collaborative effort together with Martijn who’s the label-boss of both Enfant Terrible and Gooiland Elektro, where I’ve had the honor to put out exclusive tracks from coming releases. This is also one of these efforts, as we give to you the track “Control” which is featured on the B-side of this release, for you to exclusively stream from Repartiseraren. As I’m re-launching my platform, this comes rather unexpected, but I welcome it and would like to thank Martijn for his continued faith in my blog-zine. Hook your stereo in, put your headphones on, lay back in your chair or what ever you find pleasurable to be resting in – and tune in for this weird mixture of the best of many worlds of electronica. Stream the track down below and pre-order the vinyl from the Enfant Terrible webshop. First edition comes in 100 copies of pink vinyl, second edition in 200 copies in black vinyl. Expected to be released at the end of April.

Spotlight: Rude 66 / Kord!

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Enfant Terrible just released a track by Kord and Rude 66 from their forthcoming releases – on the sub-label Gooiland Elektro. The first one being “Radio Peace and Progress“, a new track by Rude 66, the moniker of Ruud Lekx from Holland. A long-going artist whose contributions to music, and mainly albums, have been made known from Bunker Records in the early to mid nineties, to an off-shoot into Silver Recordings, way into 2008 with Créme Organization. Having released notable singles and E.P.s on a wide-array of record-labels including Acid Planet, Djax-Up-Beats, Speedster Records, Kultbox, Viewlexx, Vynalogica, LoEB, Custom Made Music – and the latest release being “The Kill“, an E.P. released by Bordello A Parigi. He’s hailed as being “the king of the dark electro-wave death race” by promoters, according to Discogs. Having perfected his sound through a multitude of genres, including atmospheric acid, dark industrial, electro-funk and melancholic electronic wave disco – he’s a man of different facets. He originates from the old-school acid scene in The Hague. There could be a whole book written about him and his influences, his notable collaborations, and everything in between – but we’re staying at his forthcoming album. Gooiland Elektro will be releasing a forthcoming 12¨-release with him, featuring four tracks, whereas two are vocal tracks where Beta Evers and Sololust appear and wreak havoc. These four tracks are titled “Under Cover Of The Night (featuring Beta Evers)“, “Stars Get Hurt (featuring Sololust)” on the A-side, with “Mutual Assured Destruction” and “Radio Peace and Progress” on the B-side. This assures the fact that it might be a great release. This is his coming addition to the enormous discography he’s been building up through the years. You can stream and listen to the track “Radio Peace and Progress” from the B-side of the release, down below.

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When it comes to Kord, he’s a notable figure within the underground Swedish scene. He’s more known as one of the figures in Frak, a weird outfit first released by Börft Records in 1989 – with their debut-album “Raggarslakt“. Maybe a reference to the vicious fights that were occurring between synthers and raggare in Sweden in the 1980’s, made to be something much bigger then small fights, by the media and newspapers at that time. But we’re not here to talk about Frak as such or Börft Records, whom have been thoroughly investigated by Sveriges Radio (public domain radio) in an episode of “Electronic in P2“, done by Andreas Tilliander whom is also known as TM404. Anyway, Kord is Johan Sturesson of Frak, in a much more pleasant image musically. Having recorded his first album under that moniker in 1998, with an album titled “Gymnast I Sockiplast” released by Börft Records – later on things seemed to get more serious. Even though the maniacally influences from Frak remain within his synth-pop mixed with disco, there’s a certain dancefloor focus which these tracks deliver. Now he’s going to have a release on Gooiland Elektro, titled “We Live In This 12″” where he features Annie Gylling on vocals as a much needed side-kick, which gives the project a whole other dimension. There’s a certain psychedelic vibe to her vocals being processed on the tracks “Lovestruck” and “Black” on the A-side, whilst the yet unheard tracks from the B-side “Control” and “Vacation” might be another world. We’ll see. Annie Gylling have earlier been featured on “Soviet Stars” from 2012, on the track “Push Your Button“. Meet your maker with this crazy combination of noisy, unpolished and rampant discotronic that will make you loose your mind on the dancefloor. Gooiland Elektro continue to shine, as one of the best labels around for electronic music. Especially that of an odd kind. Stream and listen to the track “Black” which have been made available on Enfant Terrible for listening purposes. Both releases can be pre-ordered here.

Spotlight: Roladex – Anthems For The Micro​-​Age

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Two people participatory in retro-futurism. Texans, synth-poppers, VHS-lovers, retro-lovers – a lot in common. The granular imagery from the VHS gives off a mystic visual representation, maybe even a leery introduction for those whom almost have a fetish for technical progress. A current that has been actualized more and more when we entered the 2000’s, a shift that you might’ve noticed but didn’t care too much for. Tyler Jacobsen and Elyssa Dianne have a lot of things in common, their common denominator being; Roladex. It should be so more enticing then the name would ever suggest. Synth-pop with a retro-fantastic touch, infusing lovely melodies with the charming disco-vibes, quickly shifting focus into their lovely rhythm – moving into their minimalistic undertones. Equate that to their latest release “Anthems For The Micro-Age“, which was released on the 13th of February on Medical Records. Harnessing both the qualities of the long-lost, but now re-emerged – minimal synth of yesteryear. This release can also be seen as a compilation of tracks from earlier releases. If you hold a grudge against analog synth-pop, this is probably not the spot for you.

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From 2013 to 2014, Roladex released their first single “Pink Halloween“, with remixes by Police Des Moeurs and Tiger Team being featured on it. The label back then was AMDISCS, and it was released in May of 2013. After that, a Mini-EP titled “Love Surgery EP” was born, featuring contributions from TSTI, Video Look, REDREDRED and Some Ember – released by the label Beko, in June. Then, the notable label Night People got it together and they got their first cassette put out there. The name of that cassette was to become “Cathode Rays“, whereas the name was taken from the first track on that release. Later on, in 2014, as it has been said – they got released by Medical Records, on vinyl. Which birthed the album, and rather compilation, of tracks that would come together under the title of “Anthems For The Micro-Age“. A lot of tracks that had been previously released were also featured here, but as new versions re-done for the release – like “Love Surgery” as A3, and “Scan Lines” as B4 – taken from their release “Love Surgery EP”. Whilst the track “Pink Halloween” appeared as B2, taken from their first single with the same name. The tracks from their cassette-release “Cathode Rays”, the track with the same name being represented as A2, also got featured on this compilation. “Blacklit Disco” is A4, “Empty Streets” is A5, and “Anthem For The Micro-Age” is A1 – and also the track that the album is named after.

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With this, their latest release, only the tracks “Color Channels” on B1, “Single Cell City” on B3, and “Nuke It Out” on B5, could be considered to be new tracks. One could say that the release represents all they’ve done so far, but also how they’re looking into the future a little bit more. They know themselves that there’s a lot in store for them, and as this compilation becomes even more anthemic in both a semantic way – it also represents a slight bit of how anthemic their tracks also can be. This might be their current state, but take it for what it is, because they’re evolving. You will be satisfied with how they are, and you should take them as they are. A duo couldn’t be much more of a perfect match – in fact. If you want to support them, look for their earlier releases, but do also buy the limited edition vinyl-release from Medical Records – if you want a cross-section of what they sound like, and what they are. Buy it down below.