Exclusive Premiere: Schonwald – Achrome

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Very much have changed since Schonwald came upon us with their debut-album “Amplified Nature“, released on Pocket Heaven in 2008. From indie rock with synth-pop overtones to pure synth-pop in five years, when they released their double-single “Mercurial / Gemini” – which was dedicated to their freshly made synth-pop endeavor, on Hozac Records. Since then one year has passed and they’ve been welcomed into a place where they fit all too good. This place being Anywave, the french connoisseur for everything from dark ambient to cold wave and minimal synth – to virtually every other sub-genre you could think of.  Here they put out a taste for what is to come with another double-single, this time called “Rays“, featuring two tracks from their forthcoming second album titled “Dream for The Fall“. Many things have changed but their signature has stayed the same, they’ve just engineered a more intriguing sound with futurism embedded as a central part of it. Dreamy, thoughtful and sincere are three words that can be used to describe their forthcoming album. They leap into a peripheral landscape of sound which reminds one about shoegaze – if it ever would fit into an electronic shape. Ethereal might be one of the better descriptions genre-wise, but they lend much of the influences elsewhere, too. Like cold-wave, minimal synth and post-punk.

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I’ve gotten the honor to premiere a track from their forthcoming album. It’s a more bombastic track which I think is separate from the other tracks, but it’s also a great summary of the album at hand. Driven by the groovyness of a baseline that with post-punkish fervor tears into the dreaminess – creating a nice paradox. This track is titled “Achrome” and is the fourth track on “Dream for The Fall“. You can listen to it exclusively from Repartiseraren and note the date of 25th September – which is the release-date for this beauty. It will be featured on CD as well as vinyl, and you can pre-order it from Anywave or Manic Depression Records, as it is a co-release between these two labels. Pre-order it already and receive the whole album digitally and ready to be downloaded, or buy it separate if you wish. Everything on this album was recorded and mastered at Duna Studio, except “Rays” and “Lower Lovers” – which was recorded and mixed at Silver Veins Studio. Post-production was made by Aurelien Delamour, and the cover was designed by Myriam Barchechat.

Listen: Dödens Dal – Ingenting Förändras

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När man talar om Dödens Dal så gör man det i dunkla ordalag. Det finns helt enkelt något dunkelt över deras musik, som även har spritt sig till deras medvetna avbild av sig själva. När de nu precis släppt den andra singeln från deras kommande album på Flora & Fauna; “Korsa Jord, Luft, Is“, så uppenbarade sig låten “Ingenting Förändras“. Kyrkklockorna ringer in till en atmosfärisk och mystisk låt som med sina förtecken stannar kvar vid lågmäld elektronisk post-punk. När väl de icke-elektroniska instrumenten korsar den väg som de utsvävande syntharna har berett, så blir det en blandning som sällan skådats. Här dras man in i en maelström av ljud som sedermera urartar i någon slags blandning av Kents långsamma men ack så hjärteskärande riff, med tillhörande atmosfär. Av någon anledning så tycker jag om att mörkret är lite närmre Dödens Dal, men här är inte som det brukar – om man undantar de lugna men målmedvetna gitarrslingorna som är själva hjärtat av uppbyggnaden i det senare skedet av låten. Hade man kastat in en tropisk version av någon utav de större Houseakterna som kommit ur Sverige på senare år, så kan man se en del likheter, men det finns givetvis också stora skillnader. Även om jag inte föredrar den vändning som de tagit i denna singel, så finns där ändå något proffessionellt och mångfacetterat över deras vandring in i dalen. Nej, jag säger precis som de själva säger, men med betoningen på “förändring“. Visst, det “Ingenting Förändras” – men de själva är bevis på att något faktiskt gör det. Det finns hopp. Lyssna till låten här nedanför, och ladda ner den helt gratis.

Exclusive Premiere: Veil Of Light – Cold Skin

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Don’t scream, just listen. This is something out of the ordinary, as usual, on Invisible Guy. I don’t know if you could say that it actually is something out of the ordinary, if it happens that frequently. But what I meant about that was the following: we’re giving you an exclusive, once again. This time around, there’s a difference. The one-man project Veil Of Light from Zürich, Switzerland. Last we heard of him, he had released his self-titled cassette on the much revered Swedish label Beläten. Now he’s up for another release, this time a two-tracked 7¨ by the same name as “Cold Skin“, will be put out on the Swiss label Edition GRIS. Invisible Guy have gotten the opportunity to premiere the track “Cold Skin” from this two-tracked single, which comes with two extra songs in a download code – if you buy it from Edition GRIS. The vinyl-release is limited to 200 copies, so you’d better hurry. When it comes to the sound, you can clearly hear that this project clearly has matured a lot since his self-titled release. Especially with the track “Cold Skin“, you can hear the agonizing ordeal that is his dark mantra – repeated over and over again. Shed your skin as you transform in the crystal clear, but sturdy atmosphere, that Veil Of Light have produced with this song. Enjoy yourselves with the first taste from this release, as you listen to those dark melodies take an upper-cut with their slowdive into oblivion. Stream the track exclusively from Invisible Guy and share it whenever you’d like to introduce your fellow man to this promising project.

Premiere: Colornoise – Pieces [FREE DOWNLOAD]

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Does it seem to be noisey in here? No, I’m not talking about Noisey – a part of the VICE network. I’m actually talking about color. It’s all about Colornoise, this time. A duo consisting of Sonya Carmona and Alison Alvarado, two girls from Costa Rica whom produce highly interesting experimental noise rock, with hints of garage rock and post-punk. A vital part of their machinery, which has already been mounting an offensive next to acts such as Björk, the Flaming Lips and Skrillex in Costa Rica – last year. Everything from their eerie vocals, to their more chaos-ridden medleys, are sifting through the outskirts of each genre. Their latest album, which I’m taking a song from, is called “Polychronic“. It’s their second studio album, up to date. This is rock’n’roll from the wastelands, combined with a sweet and sour relationship of the entrenched jungles – to the cosmic journeys of the astronaut. Some of their material on this particular album is different from the other, once a ballad-like entry into their wounded souls – never a ballad. Because once you think it’s all like that, you get interrupted and roughed up by their magnificent sound. Changing from the post-punk droopiness, to putting an angel in that place, til’ the dawn comes and they slowly move forward with an experimentally charged rock-edge. It is also noticeable that their singing is very much inspired by Siouxsie of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Even though it’s really not what I’m here for, their sound is uniquely and as transparent as it should be in any situation. Changeable, thematic, but still as intriguing as if they would’ve put every track out in that manner. For your sake, my readership, you’ll get a taste of Colornoise a little bit closer to your ears. Because you’ll be able to download their song “Pieces“, from their album “Polychronic” – exclusively from Invisible Guy.

Some questions for Yöri Bjártsdóttir!

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Yöri Bjártsdóttir, or Yöri, is an Icelandic/Lithuanian artist that delves knee-deep into trip-hop mixed with danceable industrial. Earlier this year, she released her first EP titled “Capsule EP“, which was produced by Andrew Means, whom also goes by the moniker of “H3X3N” – a dark electronica project. Together with Yöri, they produce some of the most wonderful pieces of crossover electronica that have been put out there, lately. With his production skills and her wonderful voice – they’re a match made in heaven. I found Yöri on the forum Violent Playground and decided it was time to introduce her to a wider audience. So, therefore I sent her a couple of questions which she answered. You’ll get to know everything about the intent of her music, what it means and also the fact that she’s collaborating with H3X3N on a new album that will come out sooner or later. Tune in!

Now, I know virtually nothing about you. More then that you’ve just released your EP titled “Capsule EP” a month ago or so. Where you mix trip-hop glitching with industrial dance music. The common denominator, at least when listening to the track “Jupiter”, influence-wise – would be Björk! It makes sense, since it seems like you’re from Iceland. But who are you and why did you embark upon making this kind of music?

– Surprisingly enough I was never a follower of Björk, don’t know why. I’m only half icelandic, the other half Lithuanian and have absorbed both cultures while growing up. I’ve been singing before I could talk and was very excited to make my debut as an electronic musician. I just basically didn’t want to make a record that has been done before. What happened was just a very beautiful musical affair between me and my producer, H3X3N/Andrew Means, doing things that we felt were right and sounded even better.

Oh and also, as much as I can appreciate her talent, for some reason I just never found my way to her music. Being compared to someone as talented as her is a very big compliment in itself and I appreciate it. I would just rather be the first Yori than the “next Björk“.

How did you and H3X3N (Andrew Means) go by when you both began to work on your debut-EP, and was it always clear to you that the music you’d be putting out there would be within the sphere of electronica?

– We kind of went from song to song, not really knowing what was going to happen next. It was an improvise-like process, very introspective. When recording, you really have to be two people. One, a teenager who does all these things unconsciously and fucks up from time to time, doing things for no apparent reason, and the adult – the other half which is always trying to rescue the other one when she gets in those situations. It’s almost like setting up a trap and organizing an accident. You put all these sounds together, gather all these ideas and then you have to sort them out.

Did you ever feel like it could’ve been more then an EP, or did you want to compromise it everything into that particular format? Have you stored away songs for future purposes?

– Um, well, it definitely wasn’t a compromise, we just felt like we’d rather start out with a 6-track EP. Yes! As a matter of fact we have a lot planned, my next release, “In Dreams” will be a 5 track EP, with a more washed out, romantic, afrobeat dreamwave house brew. That was a lot of adjectives but it does the job. Love songs tinged with oceanic feeling. It will also be more lyric-based.

Speaking of lyrics, the song you put up titled “North” was inspired by “an ogress called Gryla”. Could you elaborate? Also, what influences you?

– Gryla is part of Icelandic mythology, she is a lonely ogress who lives in the mountains and eats kids that don’t believe in Christmas. A friend of mine is working on a project about her and it was my job to contribute the music for it, so we adapted a version of it for a track. I think of pop’s boundaries to be elastic. It’s like a thunderstorm building up inside me. I think of songwriting almost as a survival instinct. Different people do different things to deal with their problems, I sing. If I dont do it, I start to suffocate. Anything can be full of inspiration if you look deep enough, a crystal, your friends, mathematics, a wind that won’t stop beating you up, a certain taste. What both inspires me and turns me on the most is mystery and the unknown.

And that’s what Capsule was, it was staring into the abyss and having the abyss stare back.

So, one could certainly say that you’re influenced by Nietzsche? That’s interesting. It seems like some of your aesthetics (besides H3X3N as a producer) adhere to witch house, which seem to have somewhat of a “naive”, but pseudo-nihilistic aesthetic to it. Do you have any relation to witch house as such, or do you simply consider the apparent genres that you tag yourself with?

– Definitely not Nietzsche, that’s overstepping it a bit. It’s not nihilistic per say, it’s just the hunger for jumping into the unknown. Jumping off that metaphorical cliff and challenging yourself. I don’t have much to say about witch-house, as I didn’t even know of it before the release of Capsule. I guess I’d classify myself as trip hop, industrial.

Well, it seems like I’m going to wrap this up. Thank you for answering these questions, the word’s yours now!

– As a finishing side-note, I’d like to just state that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my extremely talented producer H3X3N, and that everyone should check out his music.

Listen to Yöri perform on her debut-EP “Capsule” down below. Do also pay some heed to H3X3N, her producer. Delve into their world. But, do also check out the SKVM remix of her track “Coma“.

Review: Ēv of Isis – Dark Ambition (C17)

2636680941-1Suggestive, ethereal and sublime. In these times. Darkwave from the yonder, integrated into and from an heretical perspective. This collaboration between Sweden’s Josefin Hinders (Forest) and San Diego’s Amanda Schoepflin (Cathedral X) is an entirely new state of mind. With the first track “Mezzy (Intro)“, the primitive and carnal energies of both genres cloud the proper judgement. Some of it seems to be unhindered, cloaked and brutal at a first listen – but after a while the tears of joy stream down each cheek. It might not be the rightful inheritor of newly emerged dark-wave, but it has its different energies, suggestive rhythms and utterly experimental edge – to show off. At times it simply feels too basic and untempered to listen to. Simplicity blended with experimentalism doesn’t go all that well, hand in hand. Which is what can be thought about this song too. Sure, there are openings of ethereal mystery and hints of structured melodies, with undercurrents of pure darkness.

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Review: In Death It Ends – Futureblack

3040548142-1Solicited cold wave with ethereal components. A heart and bridge in between the ethereal sphere of alternative music and a homage to the new school cold wave complex. Fierce components rage in between the cowbell and baselines in a surging lo-fi sound-scape that shape the whole progression. It feels like there’s energy to light up the more subliminal features in the song “Futureblack“, which relies on the beat to continually pulsate through a wall of spears before wrecking itself in a minimalistic fashion. Oddly enough, the cowbell(?) is what marks the change and stands out from everything else. Since the all-round sound feels like a perfect release from this ambitious (and ambiguous) cold wave act.

Like a perfect combination of weird but apt and soaring cold-wave futurism, the ethereal dimension picks off the slack. As they mention themselves, the label “occult” can be translated into the aforementioned. By closely monitoring their releases, one can say that this is a perfect transgression from the darker power electronics, into a more laid back version of the act itself. If they hadn’t already come up with a label for this themselves, someone else would’ve, but they match the description of “ghost-wave” as their ghastly sound-scape leaves you wanting to delve deeper below the line that is drawn in the sand. Even though it sometimes can get a little bit shallow, they always back it up with a barebacked structure that lays itself out upon you.

As the other wonderful track comes into play, the title “The Banishing“, feels even more relevant. Here they bring out their post-punk influence, which can largely be heard from the lingering baseline and darker edge. Even the name of the track is describing it well enough, as it plays a big part in the placement of the song itself. It is also one of the more intriguing but repetitive songs I’ve heard this year, it seems to invite you into their world but only as an observer. As it continually develop and transgress beyond the boundaries of petty labels, they cannot be ignored.

This is a slap in the face to people who’ve ever wondered if they’re something you can count on, which you evidently can, as this up-tempo and post-punk flavored piece of magic, take its hands on the wand and enthrall you. Forget everything about time that have passed, look straight into the belly of the beast and find yourself at home. As the edge slice deeper into flesh, the catchy overtones are slowly dragging you over the line and making you commit to In Death It Ends. Which is a commitment you’re not going to regret, even though it’s only two tracks, you’ll soon have it all. Their job here is done and the rest is up to you, as this wonderful two-track release makes it onto your cassette-player.