With monumental influences taken from black metal aesthetics, it’s weird to realize how trip-hop can be thrown in to make it something completely different. Hailing from Paris, this collective of nocturnal souls make up Cape Noire – an outfit that flourishes in the catacombs. With their catchy trip-hop sound and their atmosphere lent from darkwave and other electronic genres, they fuse soulful vocals with different aesthetics. You could honestly say that “Fire” – their only publicly available track – have a musical ground available in more commercial music. Although that song is more of an anthemic introductory to this collective, it’s nice to see how you actually can stray away into darker melodies, ambitious vocals and still keep some kind of artistry connected to more widely attractive genres. But it’s good that all clichés are swept under the rug and that they develop their own sound, because that’s ultimately what gives the listener a more steadfast connection to their music.
Repartiseraren have gotten the honor to premiere another piece of music from the strictly limited CD-release put out by Cape Noire on the 11th of October. This item will probably be a collectible, so you’d better hurry and buy one because they’re limited to thirty copies, handmade all matte black and silver ink buffered package. Their aesthetics revolve a lot around the mystery of who might be the actors behind the moniker of Cape Noire – in turn fueling the relevance of their music – besides it being masterfully crafted for your listening pleasure. Now you get to listen to another track from that release, namely: “Avalanche“, which gives you an insight into how versitale they seem to be. You can sense some dark cabaret influences that move their way through a more carefully laden atmosphere, but with utmost sincerity the trip-hop beats are laden in perfect conjunction to the marvelous vocals. Listen to the track down below. Buy the CD from them here.
When everything had settled through the eyes and ears of Hélène De Thoury, she launched a duo together with Amandine Stioui – whose voice had been a wake-up call for Hélène – she adored it. Since 2013 they’ve been working together on shaping their first release, which took them a few months to put out. This self-released EP, called “Blue Moon“, quickly gained a lot of attention and appraisal from those who found out about them. Although their sound can be found somewhere in between the minimal synth and new-wave categories, their rather complex structure and beautifully laden vocals make them unique to genres fond of taking it literally when translating a fixed category into something more. There is a large hint of minimalism in their sound, but all the influences they gather together shape a uniqueness which takes them away from traps that quickly become clichés. With their new-wave sound, enchanting structures and pinpointed melodies – affect you in all the ways they might want you to feel. From the year 2013 to 2014, they’ve worked on their debut-album and now they’re soon ready to unleash it as a whole.
The french label Desire Records are releasing their debut-album “Live & Destroy” will be released on the 6th of October. Before the release, they’re playing live at the french venue La balle au bond, on the 1st of October. On the 30th of November they will go on a tour, hitting countries like Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. I exclusively premiered “Agoraphobia (Album Version)“, a track which is what I consider to be the beating heart of their record. This track is so emotional and delivers a whole other insight to what minimal synth can sound like, when transformed by other genres which overlap or have less to do with a genre like synth-pop. I think it is their strength and it sounds like they’ve worked hard on every single track. Let this be the anthem that will carry you away and put you into the mood for listening to “Live & Destroy”. Look out if you want to buy it, because soon it will be available from Desire Records. Stream the exclusive track down below.
Never have I heard or seen a band form such picturesque landscapes of sound, with the help of a battle-scarred theme so detached from the music itself. Though it seems to be like that, Marignan 1515 use their illusive droning to mock up every little detail, making the suggestiveness even greater. From what I can find out about “Marignan”, it seems like their name is taken from the “Battle of Marignano“, where France and the Old Swiss Confederacy duked it out in the year of 1515. It was a part of the Italian Wars that spanned from 1494 to 1559, which was a series of battles during the Renaissance that were also aptly called the Habsburg-Valois Wars. There were different belligerents fighting against each other throughout those years, bu the Battle of Marignano was won by Francis the 1st and resulted in the “Eternal Peace” the year after, where they sought to resolve future battles with diplomacy and judicial resolutions – instead of on the ground, against each other – on a battlefield.
I think this first self-titled release by Marignan 1515 symbolizes both the struggle of the battle itself, but also the calmness and suggestiveness of peace-times. Will there be another war or will it be solved through other measurements? There are a lot of questions that pop up in one’s head when you listen through both sides of this release. Both tracks are almost twenty minutes long, the shortest at 17:48 in running time. Even though I like their sound, the aesthetics of it all and the historic connotations make listening to them even more enjoyable. To mixture with shoegaze, ambient and drone is perfect for this setting. I am amazed at how their sound is so calm in regards to what they portray, but I am also fighting the urge to want it to be anything else. This is music to be listened to when you need to have some time for yourself and reflect, because their outdrawn melodies and basic structure of the songs develop slowly for your listening experience. Take your time, listen to everything down below. These Frenchmen know what they’re up to.
Yet another hit is churned out of the Zarkoff factory. It is unimaginable how the creative process for Saša Rajković continue to go on and on. Something is fueling what he’s doing, but I don’t know what it could be. Having focused on the more danceable side of electronic music, with this split-release that also features Honored Matres – he goes off-bounds to create a really dark but rhythmic piece of technotic experience. Technotic as in techno. The release is titled “Pannoia Noir“, so even the suggestiveness of the title is embodied into the sound-scape of this four-tracked release. Honored Matres represents the more house-oriented side of this split, although the track by Zarkoff titled “Diminished” have some of those vibes, it feels like it is just when its about to cross over into Matres territory. This split is an outright experience in how you can mix techno with house, without it being a total catastrophe. This release represents the darker side of those genres and brings forth everything from an acidic touch to an almost industrialized version of what ought to be regular techno. There are a lot of surprises hidden between the rhythm and the bridge. You’ll just have to find them.
So I got the opportunity to showcase one of the tracks from this release. I did not have a choice in this matter, but I believe that Kraftjerkz delivered the most potent track on this release. It’s a rather dark journey into combative elements of both techno and the underlying house-vibe. You feel like something is about to tear the roof off it, but the sound-scape lingers onto the dark experience that you can turn techno into. A path right into the gully of the steady rhythms, nocturnal melodies and forceful visions that Zarkoff makes you share with him. So from this ordeal came a track which is titled “Terraform”, it’s the first track on the release and it is a rather nice track as you’ve probably read. Everything can be found here for those of you that enjoy those darker moments that techno has, with the regular signature of Zarkoff imprinted into the sound-scape. Stream this track exclusively from Repartiseraren and buy the release if you like it, over here.
Vrystaete is yet another endeavor by the already busy Martijn from Enfant Terrible. It is a new sub-label meant to capture folklore, psychedelic and lo-fi sounds, with emphasis on small editions that come handcrafted with packaging, artwork and everything attached to a release. The first release on this label was an album with Kaval, a Holland-based duo compromised of Ian Martin (DJ from Rotterdam) and Derk Reneman, who’s also a DJ (and producer) from the Netherlands, known by the name of Roberto Auser. The album is called “Zee Van Gedachten” and is an ominous release featuring the likes of field recordings mixed into ambient, not too far of a leap from their first album “Sky Of Mirrors“, but rather more well-thought out. A soundtrack to the new generation of folk-fearing peoples that only get their doses of that through electronic music, although much of it could be considered to be non-music – rather a palette of different thoughtful sound-scapes – all centered around the vibes that instruments and ambiance create together. When listening through it, I came to the conclusion that “Mechaniek Der Dingen” would be my tune of choice, because it brings a lot of nostalgia to me and could’ve been a track featured in Diablo 2 or any of those earlier games, those games with a darker atmosphere around them which made them more enjoyable – yet with undertones of scariness. You can listen to that track exclusively down below. If you like what you’re hearing, consider buying the vinyl from Vrystaete, over here.
The second release on this label, whose great start with Kaval could not be mentioned enough, was with Niedowierzanie (meaning: disbelief, in polish). He’s been around for much longer, having released his first album “Niedowierzanie” in 2008 on the label Reue Um Reue. I kid you not, the man behind this project is French and his name is Léo Maury – an experimental artist delving into the Mediterranean folk-sound. Otherwise known for his projects; Hjärna (Brain), Helaas – a four-man experimental group, and the three-man neofolk duo that is Wermut. When it comes to Léo Maury’s track record, nobody can deny that he hasn’t got the experience to pull off something this delicate. Even though a project like this sears with the passion of our Southern European brothers, there is a certain delicacy which comes into play when listening to the album, which is by the way called “Felicita” (to congratulate?). It feels like a combination of World War II french recordings, together with the romanticism that have shrouded the french for years and years to come – with the rather raw passion that is delivered amidst a barrage of traditional instruments – a call for some kind of Italian and Spanish (Catalan) folklore music. I know that I am not an expert when it comes to this, but it is what my impressions were when first listening and what they still are. Have all that and the experimentalism which lays the foundation of Léo Maury’s craft and you have the complete product. I chose the track “Bappa“, an exclusive track for you to listen to, because I feel like it embodies what my impressions were and it is like a summary of the album. If you like what you’re hearing, buy the album here.
“Ah oui, c’est incroyable,” I uttered. When you combine the melancholic aura that revolves around those pesky Frenchmen, since this gave way for the romanticism and coldness of cold-wave. It’s always surprising when you find the less atonal cold-wave, the wave that rides on a stringent melody. So therefore, when I looked around I came upon the group extravague –a duo consisting of two guys lost in “a hall of dashed hopes“. Before their first EP they released a live album with eleven demo-tracks, titled “Demo / Live in Empty Room” – which they recorded at home with only one microphone. This was three months ago, fast-forward and you’ll see the realization of their debut-EP which is aptly titled: “L’Ombre d’Un Doute EP” (Shadow Of A Doubt EP). A rather bleak example of what can be done when you combine the coldness of cold-wave with a post-punkiness, changing into a more new-wave styled phase which garner the wondrous melodies which they’ve carefully composed. There is actually only a small difference when it comes to how they’ve recorded this one, in comparison to their first release, because it’s also been recorded live with a microphone – but a hell of a good microphone at that – being able to pick up their music. But this time it’s also mixed into the wonderful sound-scape. You should listen to their release down below and stream it to your francophilic joy, or despair. Whatever you choose to do, it’s a great release that deserves to be listened to.
The seventh release by Hare Akedod – a label specializing in electro-acoustic “improvisation rituals” on limited cassette-runs – is Ōgon Batto. It stands for “Golden Bat“, in Japanese; “黄金 バット” – which is a Japanese superhero invented by Ichiro Suzuki, a Japanese illustrator, in 1930. Symbolizing what came to be the first superhero of Japan, at least when it came to cartoons. References to this character have been made in the anime Paranoia Agent, for example. This first release, however, was created by someone whose real name is Bent Von Bent. He also created the beautiful artwork for this particular release of his own. Bent has a history of being involved in different releases on Hare Akedod, specifically on the first release “001” with various instrumentation, whilst David Edren took care of the synthesizers and guitars. David shares the label with Bent, as they run it together. Anyhow, Bent was also a part of the second, fourth and fifth release – in the same kind of way. This seventh release marks a third year of releases, together with Hare Akedod and Forklong Daruplat before this one. Even though a lot of the electro-acoustic music on this label don’t touch me emotionally, this seventh release manages to do just that. Carefully laden guitar-chords that make up the landscape of sound, together with improvised selections of riffs that – together with the swirling and sublime background guitar – make up a wondrous atmosphere that is relaxing to hear. Another thing which makes this music even more exciting is the locations at which he’s recorded field recordings in. To get a local kind of vibration to everything, he’s recorded on site at Xi’An (西安) in the Shaanxi province of China and in Sapporo (札幌市), the fourth largest city in Japan. The intensiveness of the music itself is laden into place with a mellow string of variation instrumentation. Some kind of chaos is brewing down below.
You can fetch the release through Hare Akedod themselves, or soon through distributors ex-Vinylo in France and Tomentosa in the US at the moment – as more international re-sellers will appear. The cassette itself is limited to 80 smokey clear tapes with white print in a black cassette case with black screen-printed golden j-card and fullcolour insert. The music was recorded on site with Field Recordings in Xi’An and Sapporo, but the release itself was recorded in studio with everything else at Zol Der Wahn, whilst the first, fifth and sixth track were recorded by Roest at Jocques & Die Scheldebunker. Synthesizer on track number five, namely “Bunker Symfonie IX : Opmars“, was recorded by D. Edren at CEM Rotterdam. Artwork for the cassette was made by Bent Von Bent and the cover-photograph was taken by Roest. Everything you’re hearing was recorded in between 2013 to 2014, with the assistance of others, but mainly by Bent Von Bent. Stream the whole release down below and listen to it, carefully.