Free Download: The Harrow – The Fall / Milk And Honey

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To everyone’s delight, I’ve snatched myself two songs from The Harrow – with their permission of course. Their dampened dream-pop would make any shoegazer go up in arms, and their post-punk would make a goth sob instead of trying to be misanthropic. These New Yorkers have both a literary connection, but also a musical. Consisting of Vanessa, Frank, Barrett and Greg – whom themselves come from varying musical backgrounds. I spoke with Frank, whom I’m going to have on this site in the near future, too. He lent me the two tracks “The Fall” and “Milk And Honey” from their latest, and currently only, EP-release on Function Operate. Since it was hailed by so many people, we’re going to let you download those two tracks for free. So you can head on over to Invisible Guy‘s soundcloud and download those tracks, free of charge. The EP itself is great and so are these two tracks, so I advise you to stop reading this gibberish and head on over to download them.

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.

Some questions for Ashrae Fax!

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Ashrae Fax could be legendary by now, but they chose not to be. All kidding aside, I wrote about their album “Static Crash” a long time ago. Their background is in Greensboro, North Carolina – which lies in the United States of America. The band mainly consists of Alex Chesney and Renee Mendoza. What can really be said about them? They’re imaginative, to say the least. Combining elements of electro-pop, dream pop and gothic, together somewhat hard-hitting industrial undertones. One could say that they’re really original, and then one could agree with that statement. Now they’re back, to play a couple of shows. Also, because the label Mexican Summer decided to pick them up and re-master their first release “Static Crash“. So, I wanted to ask them some serious questions, and some that were not. A chilled out experience which would be an easy read for everyone that would bother with it. Have fun!

Why did you choose to reunite to play live, and release a re-master of your “Static Crash” album?

– Mexican Summer made us do it. No, really we want to support them supporting us, if that makes sense. We need to get out there and play some shows for the people who want to see us. It’s simple give and take.

Since you’re releasing it very soon, I wanted to ask you about the album itself. What was it like in the process of recording it?

– It was recorded in a 16-track studio on black face ADATs. Shitloads of outboard gear with patch bays and a 20 channel 8 bus console… we could go on and on. The gear part is fun to talk about, but still is pretty simple, we didn’t fuss over it, we just got takes and moved on. But we cut it really close because we booked tour before the record was done and were busting ass to get copies made and silkscreen the art work the day before we left.

You’ve teamed up with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer for this re-master. Why is that?

– They found us really. We had no serious intentions of doing any more releases or putting anything else out. We had a successful small run re-release on Hot Releases’ label and were toying around with the idea of doing more when Mexican Summer emailed us. We had lots of material to work with so we signed up to release our entire discography.

What have you two been doing these years when you weren’t occupied with Ashrae Fax?

– Alex has been playing electronic/techno music as Faster Detail. I got married, played in a band with my husband called Filthybird for about 8 years of that time, started a tech career, bought a house. Mostly normal life stuff with music as a second job.

You’ve already gotten some rave reviews on the re-master, as I send you this. Any review in particular that got you “going”?

– I really liked Surfing on Steam’s review. I felt like s(he) really got it and shined light on the things that make our music unique. Especially the vocal performance which I think really sets our music apart from the abundance of dream-pop/goth-synth bands that are out now.

I’ve also been wondering, for some time now – who’s the man portrayed on the album itself and why did he get the pleasure to find himself on the front of it?

– It’s actually a female Chinese Air Force pilot. Our friend Scab Von Havoc from Aluminum Noise created that art work for us and it has stood the test of time.

Since your music is comprised by so many different influences, aesthetics and the likes – what kind of “aim” do you have with your songs, both lyrically and musically?

– Lyrically, the aim isn’t always clear. Some songs are more about sounds than words while others tell more of a story or are words about sounds. Musically, we just wanted to make something futuristic. And to make the kind music that we wanted to hear.

I’m not sure that people know that much about you two. What’s your background?

– We’re both X-cons.

Alright, you’re playing live in North Carolina and on the Hopscotch Music Festival later this year. What can one expect?

– A four piece band comprised of the original Static Crash players: Alex, Renee, Mike, and Robert. Some dancing. Probably some awkwardness and shoegazing from some members as we get our sea legs back. Maybe some singalongs.

Thank you for answering these questions. As I’m a robot, I expect you to leave your message here in the end. What have you got to say?

– Word up.

Head on over to Ashrae Fax’s bandcamp, so you can listen to two tracks from their re-imagined release “Static Crash!“.

Premiere: dead leaf echo – Thought & Language

Never been, but now is. It’s time to premiere a stream for you that just came in, which in turn is dead leaf echo’s debut-LP titled “Thought & Language“. Mixed by John Fryer (4AD/This Mortal Coil/NIN) and mastered by Joe Lamber (School of Seven Bells/Deer Hunter). I must admit, I haven’t been able to pay much attention to this – since I’ve been doing a lot of things lately that have been related to other acts. But since I got this just in time, I had to write something about it. Their debut is somewhere in between new wave, dream pop and shoegaze, with glittery ambiance and joyous shoegazy feelings. Surely, it’ll be the ultimate album to begin spring with, since we haven’t really gotten rid of all the snow yet. There’s a lot of summer in it too, like a seasonal outburst of emotions. Sincere, true to itself, reeking of soft-spoken but subliminal thoughts. Including a colourful palette of differentiated riffs, easy going drums and almost an symbiosis between catchy upbeat and emotional downbeat. Ready to hit it off, but staying with you, since that’s more worth their time. Stream it down below and check out their latest video for the track “Kingmaker“, above.

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Dreamlight: architecture – diamond mind

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Caress your body, feel your brain floating around. It’s not messy, it’s not careless – rather; dreamy and lush. The duo architecture compose melodies that can be considered clandestine. Furthering our destiny, towards something higher than just the category titled “pop“. Somewhere in between the sincere analogue experience and the digitalis futurism that is blended through the cracks of the music. Faithful, whispering, psychedelic – but also filled with concrete and raw emotions. Downbeat when they have to, upbeat when they see the sun. Albeit gazing through a layer of pouring rain. Rhythmically, they utilize the best they themselves can offer. As the melodies are played, you do heed to the rhythmic notion that they deliver with an utmost arch towards the naive. Don’t look, because it might hit you. Just feel how the music is siphoned from architecture, into your own mind. Wind down, relax a little bit and just take it in. It might be a grandiose experience at large, but you’ll also find pockets where you can breathe. This is their newly released 7¨ titled “diamond mind“, featuring the two songs “diamond mind” and “bb beware“. Released by Notes and Bolts, coming out on the 17th of April in physical format. Also, they will soon release a full-length album.

Poplight: unmo × mitsugo – ロアレ

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Sometimes I can’t really stand pop. But there are limitations to that. For once, pop that I can stand has to be either experimental or Japanese. This time around, it’s Japanese and dreamy. Two combinations that are made to be matched with each other, as the J-pop I’ve heard have always been slightly more dreamy and melodic than everything else. With few exceptions, of course. But this is electronic mixed with pop, which brings out an essence of dream-pop and a different edge to it overall. It’s matched beats with pop overtones, that heads out to be in the more classical vein. At least if you consider it from this perspective. So head on, go and listen to their dreamy variation of pop meets electronica. You can listen to it over at their bandcamp or stream it directly on Invisible Guy. It was released today, the 11th of March.

Extremely Huge Showcase [#4]: The Straw Men, Ballerina Black, DieTRAX/FFF, Bulletins, MUGSTAR and Skinner Box!

Have we got something for you right now! First up is The Straw Men, which basically was a post-punk/alternative band from the Sydney 1980s and they’ve re-released some forgotten material from their album “inland sea“. They’re really unconventional when it comes to post-punk, as they deploy some more funky and blues-oriented sound combined with that particular genre. At times, they sound like a combination between Au Pairs and some other unknown band that I can’t really categorize. Every single riff, the drumming and the atmosphere tells a story in itself. I would say that they don’t even need any lyrics, because you can tell by the sound-scape that it’s a whole adventure put down into the mix. There’s always been some different takes from Australia when it comes to post-punk, which is appreciated. You shouldn’t underestimate their employment of the psychedelic elements either, since they pull it off perfectly. The songs featured on this release range from “Refugee Stomp” to “Into The Night“, and it seems like they’ve self-released it.

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