Listen: Veil Of Light – Pale Eyes

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The day has come when Veil Of Light finally got the run-up to his forthcoming debut-album released. Together with the Swedish label Beläten, five remixes and one original track have been put up digitally. Since there’s still about a month left until “Ξ” – the full album signed Veil Of Light. A.R.M., Ghost Actor, S S S S, Distel and Th. Thot have remixed four tracks — five if you include “Pale Eyes” — from the forthcoming album, which are “Falling Apart“, “Martyr“, “In Ruins” and “They Said“. When judging on the only available track, it feels great to realize how far he’s come from his earlier releases. It seems like he’s matured even more and the music sounds more organic. Even though a drum-machine is present at all times, the riffs seem even more melancholic, when tuning in to “Pale Eyes“.

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Judging from the remixes, they’ve all done a great job in their own peculiar way. Even though my preferred remixes have been created by Distel and Th. Thot – the others are okay if you like subdued atmospheres. S S S S are more like Distel, keeping the mythic environment alive and shapeshifting away from the calmness. Abiding by no other rules than what is set up by the rhythm. The industrialized mammoth that is coated with a layer of noisyness feels like smoke clouding your eyesight – you’re caught in the middle of a tense situation. Distel on the other hand keep at their signature sound, keeping their original rhythms but straying away from the atonal sound for a more melodic chanson. The melodies are otherwise not as prominent and clean. When you get to the end, the deep baseline takes you out of bound and into a completely meditative setting.

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The favorite of all remixes is clearly stated by Herr Thot himself. Th. Thot is Thomas himself, stirring up a whirlwind together with a static rhythm and simple melody that slowly progresses and in itself give an added value to the song. Now that I haven’t heard the original track, it is hard to state how true it is. But I really like how the manipulated vocals add a layer of melody and harmonics – that wouldn’t pack the same punch without it. All in all it’s a wonderful free release that Beläten is generous enough to give out before the “real” release is put out to the masses. Not to mention how the combination of emerging artists and steadfast champions make it a total brawl. Veil Of Light will release his debut-album “Ξ” on the 7th of November which will be the first ever vinyl-release Beläten have ever done. While you’re waiting for that release you can download this digital release for free.

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Listen: Zarkoff – The Big Ripoff

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Exquisite but ominous electro and techno are out in favor for a more classic 1990’s rave and techno sound. Mute the melodies and come into your groove with a harsh acid baseline that will make you go bananas. This is exactly what Zarkoff has done when he for a moment strayed away from his original sound and decided to go full-on tribalistic rave and classic techno in “The Big Ripoff“. The spirit of the track is not tainted by what he himself thinks is a huge rip-off, because even though a lot of people are going to reminiscence about the good old days – his craftsmanship shines through yet again – so don’t be so harsh on yourself. It’s a perfectly unplanned gesture that shields us when we’re heading into the colder months of the year – the warmth of his track is what keeps you grooving.

After I’ve listened through it a few times I’ve come to appreciate it even more and I hope Zarkoff changes route completely and starts to heave acid house or classic techno music at us, hopefully in a raver’s setting of neon lights and with a drugged out atmosphere. Or maybe he should go full-on gabber so he can be acredited of reviving a genre whose life is in a total stalemate nowadays. What ever he chooses to do, nobody can deny that he’s skilled at what he does and that his transformations are what keep you listening to his music. Anyway, you can stream the track down below or download it for free.

Chondritic Spotlight: Klinikal Skum and Fejhed! [Part II]

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These are the earlier releases from Chondritic Sound. Since these releases, including Sissy Spacek and Jason Lescalleet’s VHS-release, there’s a lot more coming. But since I haven’t written about Klinikal Skum and Fejhed, I am about to do that right now. What’s interesting about these two releases and specifically one of them – is that both of them are dribbling in experimental territory – whilst one is wrought upon the grounds that Puce Mary stands on, with a part of Hoax (the crusty and dark punk band). You’re right, Frederikke Hoffmaier of Puce Mary fame have teamed up with Jesse Sanes of Hoax. They’re creating a regurgitated landscape of sound which can be found within the confinements of “Persona” – the latest release on the Danish label Posh Isolation, by Frederikke. But what is equally as interesting is how these confinements are diluted with this duo. There isn’t really any borders for how horrid and claustrophobic a noise-act can be. When it comes to Klinikal Skum, his sound-scapes are long and dampen from the suggestiveness of his exploration into the human psyche. From the delusional nature of humanity and what kind of psychosis lay hidden beneath the shallow appearance of so-called “sane” human beings. These are the two bands that I will delve into in this edition of the Chondritic Spotlight, which might actually be the last one.

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Ryan Oppermann. Klinikal Skum. Two different names that coincide with one another, one his real name and the other his pseudonym or alter-ego (if you prefer). Released his first album in 2005 on the label Ghost King, then aptly titled “Pulsating” – a word that can be pinned to his music now as well. Besides having started this project back then, he’s indulged into aliases as: Fabbrico Incubo, Neuntöter Der Plage, Post-Mortem Junkie, Redrot, Xombie and groups by the name of; All Bells Grounded, Aram Chaos, Black Lace Drag, Narcoleptic Ward, Rust Owl, S.P., Some Larval Dream About Smothering, Unveiling Asylums and maybe even more that I am not aware of. The similarity between these groups are his fascination of genres like power electronics, noise, industrial, ambient and whatnot. Add experimental in front of these labels and you might pinpoint where he’s been heading to. Besides that, he’s also kept busy with his own label Skeletone which have almost only released material with his different aliases as authors of it.

Now I’m here to describe his latest release under the name of Klinikal Skum. This particular release; “Negativ Psykotelepathi Surveillanz” was put out by Chondritic Sound back in May of this year and is actually some of the more disturbing blend of experimental industrial and power electronics that I have heard. It is sickening and almost unbearable to listen to and feels clinical in the way you wouldn’t want it to be. I feel like I’m visiting a morgue as a dead body and experiencing the wide-range of tools that Ryan Oppermann is going to use to dissect me. That is one of the more insane thoughts that have entered into my mind after listening through this album. What is more horrid than being exposed to this ecstatic wasteland of normal human dignity is to hear the complexity of the music he delivers – as it is actually well-thought out and that is probably the most scary part about it.  It could serve as a blueprint for how you’re supposed to enter a state of mind which we rarely, if ever, encounter in the real world. This is the kind of music that bring it upon us. I can actually offer a free download of the track “Dizeaze Blotter“, which is the track I find to be the best on this album.

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Frederikke Hoffmeier + Jesse Sanes = Fejhed. In Danish, the word “fejhed” translates into “cowardice” in English. It actually translates well into the name of some of the titles, like “Sorry“, “Silence” and “Drinking Spit“, for example. But when it comes to what they conjure together, it feels like might is right and that you’re stuck in a situation with someone whose might is above what you can say or do, a situation which you try to pathetically cower out of. Everything from the freaky atmosphere that lumbers on whereas Jesse and Frederikke take turns to shower you in pure filth. Feel your own disintegration as you fade away from this horrid reality that you have been forced into. This album of theirs is self-titled and is actually the first release under this duo’s name. I’m more than eager to just turn it off before it gives me a headache or any thoughts in my head that shouldn’t really be there. When it comes to the genres they mix in together it could be some kind of minimal wave nonsense blended into the harshness of “normal” noise, but it also feels experimental in the fact that they utilize the unorthodoxy of beats, rhythms and the general sense of an atmosphere, as you travel through a horror-show. I’m not sure if I could describe it any other than just that so you will have to check it out for yourself. All I can bring to the table is a free download of the track “Sorry“, which is the one I felt had the best overall feeling to it and that I really like. You can stream it down below, and this is the end of the spotlight.

Listen: Various Artists – Let’s Peter Out

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För nästan två år sedan så släpptes “The Peter Out Wave“, vilket var det första samlingssläppet signerat Peter Out Records. Henrik Leander, som driver detta skivbolag har även ett vidare engagemang i duon Monument, vars vinylskiva jag recenserade för ett bra tag sedan. Under dessa två år har han blickat framåt och släppt en ny samlingsskiva med några band, artister och grupper som varit i framkant när det gäller det som skulle kunna samlas under paraplybegreppet “post-punk“. Eftersom att hans ambition med dessa samlingar har varit att låta de som varit mest aktuella men inte direkt fått skina få ta plats, så är det en salig blandning av musik från de mest avlägsna delarna borta i USA, till de som ligger oss närmre. Bland annat så får vi bekanta oss med en ny låt av det danska post-punkbandet Metro Cult, som för övrigt fick en plats på det här blogg-zinet också, vid ett tidigare tillfälle. Sedan finns det även mer populära band som legat i framkant på sistone, som solo-projektet Veil Of Light, det svenska bandet Hemgraven, Sally Dige, amerikanerna i The Harrow och åtskilliga band som gått mig förbi likt Moth, Low Sea, Komplikations, Cemetery, Cosmetics och The Flatfield. Dessutom så har även Henrik Leander upplåtit plats ått sitt egna band Monument, som verkar ha lärt sig av historien och levererar en riktigt mörk låt som i all sin glans förs fram av de mörka basslingorna, den vackra kvinnoröst signerad Linda Löfqvist och virveltrumman som sätter en särskild rytm och tempo för musiken. Kombinera detta med den allmänna atmosfären i låten så har du något alla monsterdiggare springer ur sina mörka hålor för att lyssna till.

Även om det för två år sedan var aktuellt med “The Peter Out Wave” där jag fann Svarta Hundar vara det mest njutbara, så har konceptet utvecklats till att mer omfamna de uttryck som kommer post-punken till. För i den första samlingen så återfanns även Agent Side Grinder och andra akter som inte direkt kan kategoriseras som det. Jag tycker att det är bättre med det senare konceptet eftersom att det är vad Henrik Leander gör bäst, han är kanon på att sammanställa det bästa och mest aktuella, utan att hänföra sig till de etablerade. Vilket i många fall är väldigt tråkiga, även om vissa kan ha nyanser i sig som man tycker om. Men det som är bra är att även om det är han som valt artister, grupper och band – samt tillhörande låtar – så påvisar det styrkan med att leta i underjorden lite mer. Man får rent generellt plats med bättre musik, helt enkelt. Det som är fascinerande är även hur han lyckats plocka ut dessa människor från mängden och hur denna samlingsplatta introducerar mig till de jag inte ens visste fanns – och då har jag bättre koll än eljest. Det är allt från den mest minimalistiska och klaustrofobiska post-punk du kan finna, till den mer elektroniskt lagda post-punken, till drömsk shoegaze-aktig sådan och allt emellan. När man tycker att det mesta på samlingsskivan låter bra så har man gjort rätt. Det är inte ofta samlingsskivor blir bra, men det här är sannerligen en med mycket eftertanke och där det prickats helt rätt. Men jag hade inte förväntat mig något annat. I samband med denna samlingsplatta så kan ni även ladda ner låten “Döden i drömmen“, helt gratis. Titta till det här nedanför och lyssna till hela alltet också.

Some questions for Ray Creature!

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Ray Creature is a band that I thoroughly admire since hearing their first release “Don’t Stop Talking EP” which was recently put out on NO! Record Label. Both of them are Americans and I first thought they were a band, but they’re actually a duo. This duo is compromised of Jon Erich Booth and Natascha Buehnerkemper, having been Jon’s solo-project at first it transformed into a duo. Which is both surprising, since most of their sound is so underrated and explicitly great that I actually wouldn’t have thought that it would’ve not been a band, but hey, here they are. Right after their first release they actually had another one which is getting put out by Sister Cylinder, a full-length S/T debut album. I wanted to clear out some things that I wanted to have answered, so I put out a series of questions which they answered. JEB stands for Jon Erich Booth and NB stands for Natascha Buehnerkemper. Enjoy it. You might also enjoy the freely downloadable track “White Suits” – taken from their S/T debut.

It’s interesting to note that you’re a duo. I would’ve expected it to be a whole band, considering the variety in your sound. Why are you a duo and not a whole band?

JEB: – That’s an effect of layering instrumentation. We take ideas from No Wave and other minimal aesthetics, but our music is in no way minimal. If a song calls for more instrumentation, we add it. Natascha and I have similar ideas about music, and we’ve found ways to reproduce the songs live, so adding more musicians seems unnecessary at this point. Anyway, it’s hard to find people who won’t dilute ideas with compromises or conflicting theories about how the music should work.

NB: – Ray Creature actually started out as Jon’s solo project, and I joined in August of last year. My addition brought along with it the possibility to add even more dimension, both live and recorded. When we play live, there’s so much going on in the backing tracks, having just two of us brings a minimal element to the live shows that is counter to the complexity of the music, which I think makes it more exciting. On another note, being a duo as opposed to a whole band gives us a lot more flexibility regarding touring and shows. Less scheduling bullshit to deal with.

You started out with three demo-tracks and later on you were picked up by NO! Record Label, or how did it go by? What went into recording “Don’t Stop Talking”?

JEB: – When we played a show with Dry Socket, Dylan Ettinger couldn’t make it so Joseph McGlone, the founder of NO!, filled in on synth. After the show he expressed interest in putting out a cassette tape. We had already been producing the self-titled LP with Scott Ferguson of Sister Cylinder Records, so we took an extended version of the opening track, “Don’t Stop Talking,” and three other tracks that didn’t make it on the record and packaged them together as the “Don’t Stop Talking” EP.

“Don’t Stop Talking” is our modest attempt at an austere funk track. Like most of our songs it started with drum machine and bass. The interplay of the guitar, my and Natascha’s vocals, and the lead synth followed from an attempt to keep an unvarying bass line interesting over the course of several minutes.

NB: – I view the “Don’t Stop Talking” EP as a companion release to our LP. It seems that it might be confusing to have two separate releases coming out at the same time on different formats, but in my mind the cassette release was perfectly timed. Even though some of the songs didn’t make it onto the LP, I think they’re really great, and they fit well with the LP aesthetically. It’s possible that we could end up going in a slightly different direction with our future releases, so it’s exciting that all the songs from this songwriting phase were able to make it onto some physical format at once.

Why did you decide to go with such a varied sound, was it the result of experimentation during a long period?

JEB: – I try not to over-determine the music with genre requirements or restrictions. Each song points in its own direction and writes itself to some degree. That’s to say, a set of elements in a song will suggest further styles of instrumentation, which lead to unexpected sounds and song structures. This can create weird stylistic juxtapositions, but it also sets up dramatic transitions within songs, which I think is one of our strengths. For better or worse, that’s the only way I’ve been successful at songwriting while keeping myself interested. There are enough people writing minimal, genre consistent electronic music —I don’t see myself contributing much of interest to that.

NB: – It actually opens us up to being flexible for different shows. Depending on the bands with which we’re playing, we might decide to play our more poppy, dancy tunes. Or we might decide that it’s more appropriate to go a more abrasive, dark route. Since our songs tend to go in a few different directions, it really opens us up to being able to play with lots of different types of bands.

You’re going to have a self-titled debut album out in June with another label called Sister Cylinder. I also noted that you’ve gotten mastering help from Mahern Audio. Have you been mastering your releases on your own before this, or what? How did it feel to have your debut mastered there?

JEB: – I recorded the self-titled LP and recorded and mastered the “Don’t Stop Talking” EP, but I’m an amateur engineer and a dilettante mastering engineer. Since I’m untrained I end up trying too hard in that area. I was exhausted with recording by the time we had the LP mastered by Mahern. I felt relieved to have songs taken out of my hands and began trying desperately and unsuccessfully to forget about them forever. I’m proud of them, but I’ve grown to hate them in some ways. They’re like time-sucking kids I was ready to kick out of the house. Any opinion I have about them is by now irrelevant.

Since you’re going to play a lot of shows in the near future, what are your experiences when playing live? In what way are you stoked for your future performances?

JEB: – We now know the songs well enough to occasionally forget we’re playing them, which is ideal. I like presenting the music at shows, but from the perspective of live performance, the idea is to let the songs go and be inside them rather than exert control over them. We’re touring with Bad Psychic, another electronic act from Bloomington, which is a pleasure because the music is great and the style works with ours. So I’ve been looking forward to every show.

NB: – We’re writing to you right now from Nashville, TN on our third day of a two-week tour. I think this is true of most bands, but people get the best idea of what we’re like from our live performances. We play pretty loudly with a lot of speakers and the live, often repetitive drum parts add an element of intensity that I think people find entertaining, even if they may not be digging what we’re actually playing. It’s always hugely rewarding to see people in the crowd looking pumped about what we’re doing, and it’s a huge payoff for all the hard work we put into this.

It’s nice to be having a freely downloadable track from you. Could you tell me something about it and also what’s in store for you in the coming months?

JEB: – “White Suits” is what passes for another Ray Creature dance track. There was some debate over whether or not to include it on the LP because of its length and atmosphere, but I think it ultimately worked. I tend to think of it as an alternate approach to ideas we were trying to get at with “Don’t Stop Talking.”

In the coming months we hope to start recording our second LP. The plan is to write more relentlessly aggressive songs and incorporate more of Natascha’s vocals alongside my own. Beyond that, we hope it will inspire some confused sexual feelings in people who thought they weren’t confused to begin with—the noblest ambition of rock music.

Down below you can find the track “White Suits” which is freely downloadable as a part of this questionnaire. Hope you enjoy it and do listen to their sound from their own Bandcamp, too, as a complement. If you want to buy it, you should check out Sister Cylinder.

Free Download: Zoo Books – Why Not Scorpion?

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Getting interesting e-mails is a part of what being a blog-zine is all about. Sometimes you get so many that you can’t sort everything out, and sometimes you get a few of them. Even though I believe this is the fact for many blog-zines, I don’t think that bigger magazines and so-called “alternative” websites take the most interesting out of the bunch. We aim to take both the interesting, and also those that might interest the audience. It’s not always about personal taste, even though it makes up a bit of what you’re doing. You try to stay objective, or at least as those conservative label-guys in the 1960’s, that according to Frank Zappa, said: “…now look at who the executives were in those companies at those times. Not hip young guys. These were cigar-chomping old guys, who looked at the product that came and said: I don’t know, who knows what it is, record it, stick it out – if it sells; alright. We were better off with those guys then we are now with the supposedly ‘hip’, ‘young’ executives, you know, who are making the decisions of what people should see and hear in the marketplace“. I thoroughly agree with that philosophy, and it can also be applied to the “art” of writing about music. I am by no means an artist, but I get the perspective.

Anyway, enough with my babbling. The people whom call themselves Zoo Books, sent me an e-mail in regards to their newly released demo. This trio are playing something in between post-rock and math rock, or so it appears when listening to it. This is also what they categorize themselves as. Don’t worry, their music is way more interesting to listen to than it is repeating their name in my head. The trio is comprised of Matthew Mawhinney on guitar and back-up vocals, Jeremy Link on bass, and Ruben Veguilla on drums and vocals. Their sound is a weird metamorphosis of what was already said, but it also ranges into post-hardcore territory – a genre that I have a hard time grasping, or understanding, the dynamics of. But I know what it sounds like, and there are more then hints of it in this demo. We consulted them ourselves and got them to lend us a hand when it comes to their music, by letting us put up a free download of the last track on this release, namely “Why Not Scorpion?” – a track I think symbolizes what their demo is, as a whole, but also where they might be heading afterwards. You can listen to their demo in its entirety if you wish, down below, but lend them a hand and spread the word. I think they deserve it. Download the track for free and listen to it wherever you please. The artwork for this release was created by Alicia Link.

Watch: Little Trouble Kids – Haunted Hearts

If you’re hungering for some noise to your late-in-the-afternoon tea or coffee, look no further. As we dot the line in Belgium, a band called Little Trouble Kids e-mailed me about the fact that they’ve got a music-video out for their latest single “Haunted Hearts“. I haven’t actually heard of them until this popped up in my browser. Interestingly enough, they’ve got a nice approach to both pop-music and noise as such, together with their “grandiose minimalism“. Grandiose I say, because their percussion-focused track “Haunted Hearts” deliver a somewhat minimalistic sound, in one aspect at least – and that is the semi-acoustic atmosphere and the vocals. Resonating throughout the sound-scape is a new form, but albeit old form, of avant-garde expression. However, what makes their song interesting as such, as I haven’t heard anything from them but this song – is the fact that the percussion takes a leading role. But also the fact that their landscape of sound is shaped around the fragmenting parts that make it feel so completed. This, together with the different elements of both a female vocalist and a male vocalist. This is also where the appropriate tagline for them appear, namely: alternative. Little Trouble Kids is Eline Adam and Thomas Werbrouck.

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Watch their haunting and mystical music-video up above and download their first single “Haunted Hearts“, taken from their forthcoming album with the same name, for free from their website. The album itself will be released on the 17th of March, so I’d tell you to look out for whenever it comes out, because they’ve got a pretty interesting sound. For those of you that are interested in their discography I’d suggest that you’d check out their second album “Adventureland“, released on Little Trouble Disks in 2012, and their debut-album “Little Trouble Kids“. Both can be streamed and listened to down below. Their new track “Haunted Hearts” can be downloaded for free from here.