Harvesting #14: Transistor Sphere / DRAMA! / Eoster

Without further ado, Harvesting returns with a smattering noise. It’s been about a year since you last saw something in regards to this. This time covering releases from artists that have self-released their albums, to artists whom are already on a label. Everything from Transistor Sphere, an angst-pop artist crossing into cold wave territory, to DRAMA! a Hungarian avant-garde minimal electronics outfit being released on KHK Tapes. To Eostre, whose debut-album will soon be put out in full by the label Soft Corridor Records. Three enigmatic artists with their own perks. Three artists that are going to be covered here in Harvesting number 14. The fourteenth edition of Harvesting, to date. Scroll down and read it all.

a1517745545_10With a total of fifteen songs, the artist Transistor Sphere moves and shape-shifts into whatever that pleases him for the moment. Electronica is moving swiftly from a rather calm intro, to an angst-pop assault. Clashing beats, hypnotic atmospheres and cherished dark rhythms make this moment such a bliss. A moment that can be endured, a moment that is packaged in between fifty minutes and a little bit more. Lurking transmitters wire you to this experience, that moves somewhere in between the minimalism of minimal electronics, to the fast-paced rhythms you’d otherwise hear in a breakbeat or drum’n’bass track. The album itself has a titled that describes the feeling you get when listening to it: “Disintegrated“.

Here’s where everything dissolves and at the same time it’s a trip into the utmost space of the soundscapes. It can change for a minute, a few seconds – or a little bit more – from the most beastly fast-paced running electronica – to the utmost minimalistic heresy. The melodious content of this album is not something you should underestimate. His eloquent touch with sincere electronics overshadow the whole darkness that is repetitive in the atmosphere of the tracks. It feels organic and it doesn’t feel soulless at all. Low-key beats bounce upon the samplings, the noises that can be heard are briefly swooshed away in favor for something else. Clearly a multifaceted release that goes in between ominous music, deliberate angst-pop with baselines as deep as the blue sea, to the cold wave and in touch with the emotional content at hand – to a degree that is probably not heard when listening to other artists. It’s also clear that he’s influenced by Friedrich Nietszche‘s philosophy to a degree, in regards to the quote on his page: “The future influences the present just as much as the past“. A mysterious artisan at his craft, an interesting antagonist at our hands. Listen to Transistor Sphere‘s album “Disintegrated” below.

khk03_The cacophony doesn’t stop here, as DRAMA! steps up to the plate and run amok. This is a Hungarian artist whose participation in music ranges back to a compilation this artist was featured on, which was “Central Heating” – a compilation crafted by the same label he’s on – namely KHK Tapes. It was released back in 2012 and even though this release, which is his first self-titled, was released in 2013 – we thought of featuring it anyway. He’s got a rather out-of-the-ordinary industrialized landscape of sound which is carefully crafted together between the boundaries of industrial and tape music in the first hand, and minimal electronics as the underlying motor that is pulling this workhorse forward. Forwarding public domain information from the United States in the shape of sound, mixed together with a regular rhythm make a rhythm out of the samplings that he’s borrowed from these domains. This results in a pretty weird but rather analogue experience that will drive you insane sooner or later. A lot of the tracks don’t even make it over three minutes, which makes them a lot shorter then what is expected. The release is compromised of thirteen tracks and the further in you go, the stranger it gets. Noise gets on top of the chain, whilst an almost power electronics sound is dominating throughout – resonating with the scrappy sound of the electronics. Once you go in there, you’ll come out with bad German soap operas that have been used for sampling purposes, but also dubbed things that you can’t really find the source for – unless you’re interested in that stuff. The whole ordeal you’ll have to endure when listening through it feels like a re-cycling of sound. All the primitiveness that can be heard is overlapped with interesting build-ups, heavy and noise synthesized sounds, charred beats that would make you suffer if you had to listen to it even longer. The format is well-thought out, since you can only endure it long enough until the repetitiveness kills you on its own. But mind you, it’s not boring to listen to, at least. You can listen to the whole self-titled release down below, from KHK Tapes bandcamp.

a2596681461_10Glad you’ve read this far. Lastly, we’ve got an experience for you that you’ll probably find rather enjoyable. Eostre is a solo-project that combines the ingeniousness of minimal electronics with the rather rugged sound of ambient and experimental electronics. A formula that the man behind the solo-project, the Belgian man Sébastien Schmit (K-Branding/Service Special) have made his own. Harnessing the monotone vocals that he puts out on the smooth surface of the tracks. A rather interesting paradox between the smoothness of the ambient in the tracks with the rather rugged beats that hit you hard in your neck. This is his debut-album under this moniker and it’s titled “They Were Made Of White Cloth“. Put out by the label Soft Corridor Records. What’s interesting with the two tracks made available on this release is how they change from being a rugged trip into the unknown, hitching a smooth ride – but ending with bubbling electronica and then simply fading out.

Just to change to rather ethnic beats with the other track made available, a kind of middle eastern and/or oriental touch with a sullen synthesizer that almost reminds you of that calm, but oriented emotional saxophone sound that gets played rather frequently in films from the 1980’s. Especially if these films are Action-films. It is clearly noticeable that the different instruments form an intricate rhythm together, that is being based upon underlying rhythms that soar through the dampened landscape of sound. Well, tough luck, because Sébastien is a drummer when push comes to shove. This is also noticeable in how he form the different patterns for the rhythms. Everything goes dancing throughout the soundscapes of these two tracks. Not much more can be uttered about this release, since all tracks have not been made available. It’s a joint release between Soft Corridor Records and Alt. Vinyl, and is going to be put out on the 20th of April. The cover illustration was created by Jess Pauwels, and the photography was taken (and designed) by Julien Lambrechts. Listen to and stream this release down below, from Soft Corridor Records bandcamp.

Harvesting #7: Through deeper electronica armed with Featureless Ghost?

Welcome back to another edition of Harvesting. This time around I’ve been experimenting in between different forms of writing. I’ve decided that I wanted to continue with the five questions asked for different artists, bands and underground phenomenons. So in this harvest I’ll be deepening your interest in the following: Featureless Ghost. A duo consisting of Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins, which have been around since 2007. They have also been performing in Something Colds venues some time ago. Therefore I’ll also be revealing something new coming their way. Hope you enjoy this edition of Harvesting and I also hope that you’ll come back, hungering for more and more. I’ll be having a great feature tomorrow that you should not miss out on. But now, back to the interesting duo Featureless Ghost. I took some time to ask Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins five questions and I’ll also review one of their latest tracks in this edition.

So I get that you’ve been making music together since 2007, but where did it all begin and why the name Featureless Ghost?

– Our musical collaborations took on many forms and styles before we fell into the music we make as Featureless Ghost. The first official FG recordings were made in the beginning of 2011. Everything we had done prior to that lead us to where we are now. Our style was much looser and more experimental before FG, a lot noisier too, and it wasn’t until we both became more confident vocalists that we felt like we could attempt the sort of minimal-synth/dark-pop songs that we’re writing now. As far as the name goes, Featureless Ghost is a concept we picked up on from reading, thinking about, and talking about identity: the spirit-ghost, and the information net. Our songs definitely come from this space.

Could you tell me anything about the creative process behind your releases up til’ now?

– With the exceptions of “Projections” and “Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies,” the recording process is almost identical to the live performance. We write everything on our live rig (which doesn’t include a laptop) and try to limit ourselves to things we can pull off using what we have in front of us. We do have a few synths and drum machines in the studio that we don’t use live and will sometimes pepper the recordings with them or sample them on the MPC to trigger as we need. Synths are both sequenced and hand-played over the drum sequences written in the MPC and vocals are performed and processed live on top of it.

What kind of landmark memories have you had in your time together as Featureless Ghost?

– Our first tour of the midwest in April and May 2012 was a pretty special time. We were treated extremely well in each city and got to meet some amazing bands/artists and play to some great crowds both large and small. We didn’t go broke, although Elise got terrible bronchitis and felt miserable for a good chunk of the trip but she stayed strong and powered through regardless. It was a good first tour and definitely made us realize the benefits of hitting the road and linking up with new people.

You’re going to release your debut-LP now in October, are you stoked about it and could you reveal anything you haven’t revealed about it?

– We are extremely stoked to be releasing this LP, “Personality Matrix.” If you go to our bandcamp page you’ll see that we have 5 releases out, but unlike “Personality Matrix” none of the releases we have out are really representative of where we’re at now and where we’re going. The only way to know, without hearing the upcoming LP, is to catch us live.

Thank you for letting me ask these questions! What do you have in store now in the near future?

– Thank you! Coming up we have a tour of the East Coast and Canada and we are currently working on some new songs and recordings for upcoming FG releases. We’re always working on something new! We have also co-founded a label with our friends Chris Daresta and James Andrew called “DKA” and we will be releasing the first 3 DKA cassettes before the end of the year and have plans for future vinyl releases as well. We also have a bunch of FG videos produced by Fantastic Lands (Elise) in the works that will be released over the next few months.

The most interesting part about this song is that it sounds timeless and share the components of what makes Featureless Ghost stand the test of time. I think they have a different approach on this single if you compare to the other songs. But they’re essentially the same. If I’d think wishfully, it sounds like they’ve taken care of the more minimalistic touches that can be found within their music and made that their top effort. At least when I listen to this song, the wonderfully monotone, but at the same time varied song is drilling itself right into my eardrums. There’s some kind of retro feeling to it as well as futuristic, but I guess this could be because they’re good at that balance. It’s not obnoxiously nostalgic, yet it’s at the same time futuristic. A feeling that comes to mind when I listen to it, is that it’s got a calm and controlled tempo, yet it’s got that pushy kind of drive that turn things up a notch. Basically, it’s also built around the vocalists different expressions vocally. That sounded pretentious of me to say, but I think they get more room to experiment with their vocals in this song than they’ve had in songs prior to this one. So I’m hoping for a new turn on their behalf, and I’m also dying to hear another single-song that I can listen to.

Au revoir for this time around! In the next edition of Harvesting, namely the #8th, you’ll find yourself on familiar grounds.