Stream: Veil Of Light – Cold Skin

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Finally, the latest album that Veil Of Light has put out there is up for grabs. “Cold Skin” not only takes you into another dimension with the music at hand, it also proves that the Zürich-born project can be done single-handedly. Of course, he’s had the help of Viktor Ottosson when it comes to mastering, and Edition GRIS when it comes to releasing. But when you think of it, it’s kind of impressing that Michael Ho (Veil Of Light) has managed to do something only a band should be able to do. Everything about it reminds you of the past, yet in a more callous form. Nothing is about nostalgia, but it is obvious that the influences are put apart and put together again – so he could have something to play with. The almost ethereal and shoegazing sound that he graces you with in “Treasure“, to the slower and more gripping dark rock anathema of “Cinereous” – pave way for a whole new way of doing it, without copying the way it’s been done before. Not to mention the hazing atmosphere that “Into The Night” gives off. It’s as if you’d pick up a demo from yesteryear’s crazily underrated gothic outfits, put into the 21st century, done without the cheesiness of it. I must say that I like demos, but I like this even more. There’s something about the chastised atmosphere that makes you want to swing your arms around, but not too much – so you don’t embarrass yourself. What am I really talking about? I don’t know by know, because I’m so enthralled by it. I must say that this is something you should consider buying. If you buy it, you’ll have to be quick, because it’s limited to 200 copies. When you buy it, you get a download-coupon to the other two tracks. You can buy it from Edition GRIS over here, and stream it down below.

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.

Part [I]: Back in the hemisphere of Nostilevo!

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Nostilevo is still one of my favorite labels from America. In the beginning, when they came around, industrial once again got revitalized. I asked the label-owner a few questions back then, and reviewed the whole she-bang of releases. At first, I thought it resembled Nestlé, but then I slapped myself and got myself together. Khristopher Reinshagen have had this label since 2011, and now he’s got a lot of releases out, that haven’t been payed much attention to from my side. More than the branching out from Nurse Etiquette, which was his earlier label. Which is why I decided to ask him a bunch of new questions and review the whole May batch of tapes. This includes Pure Ground, Mammal, Ritual Howls, The Glass Path and Church Shuttle. Not in that direct order, though. Hope you enjoy reading this and return afterwards. But first up is the interview I conducted with Khristopher himself, in Part II you’ll get the reviews.

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Intervju med Twist Action Heroes inför deras 2-årsfirande!

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Tiden går snabbt ibland. För snart ett år sedan intervjuade jag Twist Action Heroes, som ingår i en DJ-allians under samma namn. De är rockentusiaster med höga ambitioner, där de utöver att bara vara DJ’s – även driver klubben Beggars Banquet på Debaser i Malmö. Mycket har hänt sedan dess och det kändes rätt i tiden att återigen, inför deras 2-årsfirande, återkomma till deras territorium. Som ni kanske redan vet så är det Olle Helkimo och Martin Gustafsson som står bakom detta. På Lördag den 20/4 så fyller deras klubb Beggars Banquet två år. Inför detta så har jag intervjuat bägge två, där man bland annat får reda på vad som har hänt sedan förra året, konceptet som sådant och där den hemliga gästen som kommer att uppträda på firandet, avslöjas. Förutom detta så utlovas det en hel del annat, utöver det. Så ta er tid och läs igenom, och skänk ett ögonblick till att ta detta till er. Hipp hipp, hurra!

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Sweating Tapes and desire are releasing a split with Bestial Mouths & Deathday!

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Things are happening in North America. Namely in Los Angeles, where the sweet label Sweating Tapes is situated. Currently on the way of releasing a limited edition 12¨ split-vinyl with the Los Angeles bands Bestial Mouths and Deathday, together with the European label desire. It’s the first release from them since October, when they released their second compilation “A Compilation Volume 2: The Bay Area“. Since then, there haven’t been as much action on at least the release-front, so the machinery seems to be up at full speed once again. Their split-release feature four tracks, two of each band, and is limited to 500 copies with a two-colored insert, also including download when bought. It costs 13 USD and ships on around the 2nd of April, the digital release for it is on the 26th of March. You can read a summary of the both bands by Jerome from desire below. The tracks featured on the release can also be listened to via streaming. Pre-order this release via the Sweating Tapes bandcamp.

Sweating Tapes & desire are proud to present an unique record: a limited 12″ split between two of the hottest bands in LA, Bestial Mouths and Deathday.

Pooling together a group of influences as diverse as its members, BESTIAL MOUTHS present a raw, synth-driven energy propelled by singer Lynette Cerezo’s powerful vocals. Often likened to Diamanda Galas, Siouxsie Sioux or Lydia Lunch, Cerezo delivers each note with fury and abandon. Synthesists/keyboardists Christopher Myrick and Gustavo Aldana channel early industrial, EBM, goth and minimal synth pop in turns, blending harsh electronics and lush melodies. When fused to Aldana’s splintered programmed beats and the tribal rhythms and samples of drummer Jessica Reuter, the harmonics combine to breathe new life into post punk, weaving their own distinct creation in the process. Bestial Mouths has released an album on Dais Records.

Constructed from the aggressive textures of early industrial music, the ambience of coldwave, & the carnal energy of post-punk, DEATHDAY blends dark and often esoteric images with sparse, primal analog sounds. The quartet has recently contributed tracks to Downwards’ So Click Heels, Mannequin’s The End Of Civilization compilations.

Deathday’s self-titled debut will be reissued on limited white vinyl later this year via Sweating Tapes & desire.

Showcase: BOY, Diät, Minus!

1007920612-1Militaristic outfits, concrete hardcore and furiously ripping. That’s what BOY is about. As these Czech masterminds control the war-zone, they also deliver a catchy moment 22 right in your face. You don’t know what hit you, but you like it anyway. I suggest that you check out the songs they have on their 7¨ “I’m Weird” that was released today on the 9th of February. I would recommend the whole record, it sounds polished but still behaves in a gritty manner. Every song is pretty much phenomenal and contain those feelings you’d want to get from a band like this, playing in a genre filled to the brink with emotions. As you move on through, you just want more and more. The songs featured on this release is “Anti-social“, “I’m weird” and “Insane worlds“. Everything you hear and see is totally D.I.Y.

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There’s currently one song out, which doesn’t tell you everything about the motives. But the band Diät deliver what you post-punkers have waited for a decade to hear once more. A smoothly outlined but dirty post-punk, power violence and everything-in-between mix of genres. The overlapping sound tends to fend itself of the post-punk marker, but drags it along the lines together with a new-wave sound. Don’t underestimate them, because the melancholic atmosphere and vibrant melodic sound-scape will drag you down with it. As there’s only one song out, by the name of “Everyday“, you’ll have to wait a little bit more before you get the whole deal. Featured on their upcoming album “Positive Energy“, being released on the ungodly label Iron Lung Records sometime this year.

3380082928-1With both arrhythmic and rhythmic, this Sydney-outfit called Minus delivers a shockingly broad landscape of decaying sound and bubbling noises. The album might not be fully completed, as he states himself, but it surely brings a whole other level to the music at hand. Some instrumentalist vibes here, some quirky electronics there, and a totally darkened quest for musicality as an embodiment of his own philosophy and experience. Featuring ten tracks of well-produced goodness which takes you from nowhere to everywhere, with seconds in between the arrangements. Also influenced by horror scores and trip-hop, so you’ll have to grasp the whole idea and its widespread claws that grabs a hold of you and gives you the varied potency of a lethal mixture. Songs range from “Relapse” to “The 13th Conjunction“. It’s also totally D.I.Y.

The top 5 interviews on Invisible Guy in 2012! (Part II)

Another one of these coming up on the site. I was sifting through all the interviews I’ve ever done and I noticed that I’ve done a lot of them. When I once started up this blog, it was nothing more than a hobby project. Even though it still is, I’ve added a layer of professionalism when it comes to the content written. I really had no idea how WordPress worked until I had used it for a long time. As I look back on the interviews I did when I first started out, I’m not really ashamed about them, but I see what kind of progress I’ve made since then. My questions have improved and I have also learned what questions that work and those who don’t. Hopefully I will learn to do even better interviews and increase the amount of interviews that I do in real life. I was thinking about starting up a podcast-oriented series where I interview the bands before they go on stage and ask them a little bit of questions. It’s a formula that I’ve been thinking about, but I don’t really have time for that right now. I’ve been planning on doing a lot of more interviews and there’s a huge one coming up soon.

Welcome to Part II, hope you enjoy your stay!

belaten-header3. Interview with Thomas from Beläten published 2012-06-08

I remember how I found out about Beläten from a totally different source than normal. After that, I also found out about other great labels. Beläten had gotten one of the most intriguing designs and continually updated the website of his label. There are many interviews that I’ve done, but I believe this is one of the absolute best I’ve done for a while. As I stepped into his domain, I asked him a lot about philosophical questions and important issues that we’re facing in the world today and I think I got adequate answers. It was a very interesting thing to do and it rendered in someone using my interviews for his students to see and practice on. I don’t know if he did though, but it feels good that someone appreciates the interviews that I conduct. I also think that this interview marked the clear cut line between the better questions and even longer interviews, which is a great thing. I would like to quote a passage from this interview:

What’s your opinion on internet piracy? Have you been affected by it?

File sharing affects everyone to some degree, and of course it will only get more and more difficult to sell records and tapes. There are still enough people around who wants the actual artifact, but we’re seeing a generation of kids that have NO relationship with records. And I think THAT is the root of the problem, and it can all be blamed on the music industry. They’ve worked very hard at making pop music utterly disposable, turning records from beautiful artifacts into a lifeless storage medium, and in the process turned music into something that just isn’t worth any money to most people.

I think the question of piracy is quite difficult. I fully support the concept of intellectual property, but if the price for maintaining it is constant state surveillance, then I say to hell with it. I try to support the small labels that are around, by buying their releases, because I like records, and I pay for downloads if there’s no analog format available, but I am quite aware that at some point, there won’t be any records around. It might not happen soon, but it will happen eventually.

I think the saddest thing about being able to download just about any record ever made, is that it has devalued music, even for me. A new record used to be an event, something almost sacred, and you would listen to it over and over and over. Nowadays you hear so much music, all the time, that it’s rare to spend any time getting to know an album. That’s something I really miss actually.

196279_1901977398166_1503655181_2067577_4706497_n2. Interview with Strap On Halo published 2012-11-19

This is actually one of the latest and longer interviews that I’ve published recently. Even though I have some more coming up, this interview is a good representation. I think that the questions were thoughtful and I got some pretty great answers from this band. This was one of those interviews that took some time to get back, but when I got it, I loved how the answers were a representation of thoughtful answers. Which is something you get as a reward when you think up better questions than you’ve done before. Even though this project is still on the hobby level, I think this interview is one of the best that I’ve conducted for this blog. I would say that I could do even better interviews, but that will be postponed for next year. But due to the lack of quality interviews, I believe that this one if still pretty much one of the best. So I would like to quote from this interview to give you a little bit of insight:

I read that you’ve had a long tour this summer, how was it to embark on the west coast and Texas? What have been memorable? You played four shows with The Spiritual Bats in September, as if that wasn’t enough – you also played at the Age of Decay festival. Were you stoked and is there anything you could tell me about this? 

West coast has always been a planned destination for us. Marc being from Seattle made hitting it not even a question, as with Texas for me. Seeing family and old friends seemed to hit the top of our unwritten priority list. Touring is always exciting and the things we see always sparks conversation that we share over and over, only to extend the “post tour blues”.

Having The Spiritual Bat as tour mates was probably one of the most memorable experiences from this summer’s tour. We met Rosetta and Dario in 2009 at the start of our “Quick Fix Tour”. We hosted a show in Omaha for them, met in New Orleans to perform at the same festival and during some off time that we had in-between both our tours we met up in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. We really connected and kept in contact. So in 2012 they asked us to join them on tour. I had already booked and confirmed gigs for our tour so it was unfortunate that we could only do the Midwest part. Weekends were spent on the road playing shows and during the week we retreated to the Strap On Halo home base. We had an evening ritual and would converge in the studio just to enjoy each other’s company. It was fantastic to have them stay with us at our home and truly spend time with our friends. The house was full and alive. A comment Augustine made stuck with me. He said, “It’s all Straps and Bats in here”! He was also bunkered down with us for most of the summer. The past two tour was just the three of us and this time we had the pleasure of taking our good friend/roadie Augustine Strange who ended up being the best tour assistant ever. I honestly don’t know how we managed this long without him.

Age of Decay was a perfect end to our summer tour. Our hosts Alethea and William Carr were amazing. Florida goths are extremely welcoming and have made for us a permanent stop each year. We made new friends, had time to talk with all the bands and look forward to seeing them all again. The event had such a fulfilling vibe, I can say with full confidence that everyone had a great time and all the bands were happy to be there. I couldn’t have asked for a better finale to 2012.

This year was an extremely good year and I cannot wait to see what unfolds in 2013!

fishrider_eco_bag1. Interview with Ian Henderson from Fishrider Records published 2012-06-10

The interview I did with Ian Henderson of the mini-label Fishrider Records is one of the longest interviews I’ve conducted. But it wasn’t only long, it also delved deep into the influences of the label, Ian Henderson himself and everything around him. I also liked the appreciation that was aimed my way, because many people loved this interview. Even though I have chosen interviews on the basis of that I like them, I chose the first place for this interview because I got a lot of people telling me how great it was. It is a great challenge to be on the top when you’re an obscure and underground blog, but one of the nicest things is the appreciation when you do something good. Like helping the smaller labels and artists, which an interview could do too. Since they almost never get to tell their own story, Ian Henderson got to tell his, even though he’s done it before. But I think it turned out really good and this interview is probably the best I’ve done this year so far, hopefully you’ll enjoy the interview. I will quote a passage I like from it:

So, when a band is signed to Fishrider, what makes you different from major labels and other labels around? What defines your attitude towards the artists and creativity?

Bands don’t really ”sign”. We just talk and exchange e-mails confirming the arrangement. In general I work on the Rough Trade 50/50 profit share after expenses model. But with pressings of 500 CDs and 200 LPs there are not a lot of profits to share! So mostly what bands gain from being on Fishrider is only not having to pay to record or release their music. They also get some promotion and sometimes some help with expenses and stuff.

Each arrangement is different depending on the circumstances. The label exists to help the artist release their music. Of course I want to cover production and marketing costs and get a little return to help finance the next release. But the deal should alway favour the artist over the label.

If I have made or paid for recordings myself Fishrider still doesn’t own them exclusively. They belong to the artists, although they usually insist Fishrider at least co-owns them, which is what Opposite Sex did when I tried to give them ownership of the recordings I made for them.

Vinyl is hard because a 200 pressing will often just recover costs if you sell it all because of the freight. There is no pressing plant in NZ, Australia is way too expensive, so I get records pressed in Nashville get them freighted back to NZ so I can post them around the world! It’s crazy. That’s why I’m so happy about the UK pressing and release for Opposite Sex.

I think it is important for labels to have these discussions upfront and for everyone to be aware what is happening and to be happy with it.  My arrangements might be unusual and not very business-like but the business part of the label is just a necessary evil and a means to an end. My goal is to mix altruism with commerce and for Fishrider to be ”music arts & crafts” more than ”music industry”. I hate the word ”industry” used in conjunction with music. It is art, not industry. Sadly most commercial music labels are ”industrial”.

I read a lot about labels and managers being irrelevant now. Musicians don’t need them and can do their own thing now.  Yes they can and, if they want to, then they should.  But not everyone has the time, skill or self-confidence to run their own business and market and promote themselves and their music. Few in NZ can survive on music alone so they have to balance work and/or study with music. Opposite Sex and The Puddle don’t want  to do the business side of things, or maintain websites and don’t have the time or skills to do that. I would rather they concentrate on making music and trust a friend to be a partner to help with the non-musical stuff for them. I can’t make the music they do, yet I want to hear it made. So I offer the skills I do have so they can make and release their music. I said it was altruism, but really it is selfishness!  I do it to get the rewards of pleasure and satisfaction from it.

So, I think there is still a role for labels and managers but it has to be for the right reasons – a partnership to facilitate the artists’ art, where everything is transparent, fair and done with mutual agreement

I also believe the artists have artistic control. I still like to have ideas and make suggestions but in the end it is the artist’s decision.  It can be a fine line between being encouraging and pushing too much. Sometimes I do things that need to be done without checking with the artist to save time or not to disturb them. Opposite Sex have strong ideas on visuals and this caused a bit of tension once. I know what they expect now.

Thank you everyone for making Invisible Guy what it is today! Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!