[8th] December: Red Mecca – Sunny Day

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A decade turned into another, quickly the 1980’s faded into oblivion and the 1990s was born—Cabaret Voltaire had their release “Red Mecca” put out on CD via Restless Records and Mute Records. Nine years earlier that album was released on Rough Trade Records, being a their fourth album if you ignore the “Live At The Y.M.C.A. 27.10.79” and “Live At The Lyceum” releases. Fast-forward eight years from 1990 and you get 1998—the same year Jan Strandqvist release a maxi-single under the name Red Mecca. Coincidence? I think not. We think there’s little doubt that Cabaret Voltaire’s name of their fourth album influenced him, when it came to choosing the name of his project. The maxi-single was called “Please Goddess” and got produced during the time Telegram Records Stockholm existed, first an independent Swedish label started in 1987, in the end of the 1990’s sold to Warner Music’s sub-division to WEA (Warner Elektra Atlantic). Now since some time back a defunct label.

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During the time-period where the label was still at least going forward, Red Mecca put out a song called “Underground” which was, at least for the Warner Music Sweden-release, written by Eric Svensson—co-founder of Sidelake Studios, gold & platinum selling producer and songwriter. When this solo-project which we suppose could be attributed to Jan Strandqvist alone, with some reservations, was in its first stages—the focus laid on House-music from what we can tell. A huge step away from what Red Mecca was to become, but we’re getting there. A maxi-CD called “Love Is A Savage Thing“, featuring the track with the same name and remixes of it, including a new version of “Underground” as a fourth track—Maria Ritzén of Stone Soul Picnic were the vocalist. The project itself seemed to be more of a project for Eric S as he is credited for remixing, but it’s hard to see where Jan comes in after this. Telegram Records closed down and went defunct. We’re in the 2000’s now, where it changed from the 21st Century to a millennium.

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The project wasn’t activated again until 2013. The same year, Frida Madeleine contributes to a Massproduktion compilation of interpretations by local creators for their latest vinyl-releases, the track is named “Frostjackan“—originally written and performed by the Swedish pop-band Indi. Somewhere along the lines they found one another and re-activated a long lost project which hadn’t been touched since 2000. Thirteen years later Frida Madeleine becomes the singer of Red Mecca—Jan Strandqvist the producer and machine-operator. The project changes completely from House to a combination of darkwave and indie-pop. The album “You Were Never Here” is released on Massproduktion as a CDr, featuring six tracks, one track called “Love & Hate“—with music by Anders Brodin, Henrik Brodin, Jan Strandqvist, Mikael Svensk and Peter Byström. Track three and four was written by Bonnie Rabson. Roughly a year later a proper album is released under the name “Covered With Rain“. The lyrics for all the songs are now written by Frida Madeleine, and she also made the music for “When It’s Empty“—the opening track. Jan Strandqvist produces the release, creates the cover together with Robert Persson, as photographed by Izabelle Englund. The label artwork was created by Catherine Fandén. Mastered at Cutting Room by Mats Lindfors. Let’s leave the technical aspects now.

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With their wondrous sound, gloomy and virtuous atmosphere, they create some kind of warmth which sucks you into the music. They’re an unbreakable duo that have just released a new b-side from their latest album, called “Endless – Highest Mountain On Mars Remix“. Now they’re featured in Ljudkalendern for the 8th December with an unreleased track they’ve had laying around. A humble but ultimately beautiful song which goes by the name of “Sunny Day“—a crash-course in complete melancholia. Here they show more of their darkwave-side and less of their pop-oriented blasphemy. Kidding, of course—everyone likes pop, including me. But I have a certain kind of passion for darkwave. Calm vocals, descending synthesizers that build up and create a fragmented atmosphere: “You can’t stop this motion“. Listen to it exclusively on Repartiseraren as a part of our non-commercial collection.

Poem:

Fade into darkness,
embrace it regardless
Brighten up for a day,
heighten your own stay

This is the passionate delivery of Red Mecca. We’re in Nirvana now and don’t look any further. There’s only an hour or two left of this day, so embrace whatever they’re intending to give you. Listen to it with open ears and let it sink in. Blend into a wondrous atmosphere. Here’s for the 8th December—”Sunny Day“—better not rain. It can wait until tomorrow when another track will be put up and out for Ljudkalendern.

[3rd] December: Shielding – No Ice

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A metamorphose from beat-orientation to grassy knolls of ambient delight. That is a sentence that can be written for Big End and Shielding — a two-way street of the same project — different approach. Simon Olsson from Sweden have been creating various techno and ambient progeny, sometimes as a unit where he shapes Big End / Shielding under the same guise, oftentimes he just separates the two and create what he prefers, never restricted within the confinements of what techno and ambient are supposed to be, but with a clear vision he separates his visuals from ultraviolet to black and white. Both of the alter-egos influence one another so at times they become inseparable at least to the listener. Pretty much every theme, at least title-wise—have an existential question embedded into it—which doesn’t move away from the depressive notion of daily life. His music is not a cybernetic fortress but rather a human-like enterprise which makes the music easier to relate to.

This is the first time we’ve ever dealt with him. Which makes this moment even more special, as it, after all is a part of Ljudkalendern and the 3rd of December. His music channels the need for something calmer, but at the same time rather unique but complex pattern which he follows when he creates music. Everything seems to be delicate, in order and focused—the sharpness can sting like a needle. So instead of choosing the more beat-oriented side of Simon Olsson’s alter-ego, this was an easy choice which sparked our interest in ambient anew. Parts of it remind you about sound-manipulation but without those pesky R&B-samples or other shenanigans. It’s like pure ice hitting silken and making a path down the steep hill of clothesville—but without any thought on being pretentious. We’ve composed a poem for this occasion, too. You can read it down below.

Poem:

Frosted windows make bad weather,
take us to winter’s meadow
Icy patterns move out,
the chessboard of purity is shattered

This is 3rd of December and now we’re in the Hinterlands. Tomorrow a new track will be released and the temperature will be down below zero. But until then, enjoy the exclusive song “No Ice” by Shielding, on Repartiseraren.

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.

Mix: Celldöd – We will not allow any dancing…

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Medan han letade i arkiven så stötte han på en större mängd musik som skulle passa. För de som är lyckligt lottade svängde han ihop allt från chicago house, detroit techno, acid house, industrial, electro, och alla övriga kombinationer som man själv inte ens visste fanns – förrän man satt sig ner och lyssnat igenom allt. Celldöd slevade ihop det bästa han kunde hitta från 1980 till 2014, däribland några klassiker och en del nya grejer som man inte hört tidigare. Bland dessa finns FISHERMEN och en ny låt av Johan Sturesson. Det finns egentligen inga pretentioner i denna mixen, det är helt enkelt en timme och lite till av det som Anders Karlsson (Celldöd) tycker om. Måhända är det så att urvalet är begränsat för hans alterego, men det är ändå en eklektisk blandning som på många sätt saknas på andra ställen.

Nog för att det finns många fler som gör mixar och spenderar tid på att förfina eller förfula dessa, men det känns som om man fått någonting personligt. Inte i den bemärkelsen att det är så in i märgen personligt, utan snarare att det finns en del av tanken bakom Celldöd planterad i själva mixen, men också tidigare projekt som Anders har stått bakom. Innan ni skruvar igång denna mix så ska ni veta att det mestadels är elektronisk musik som ni kommer att höra, men det finns en eller annan avvikare under lagren av bombastisk, minimalistisk, aggressiv electronica. Repartiseraren kan stolt presentera “We will not allow any dancing…” (1980-2014), en mix gjord för detta blogg-zine och som jag säkert tror att ni kommer att uppskatta. Lyssna nu.

Spotlight: Celldöd

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Om du någonsin hört talas om pulsdisco, så har du förmodligen kommit rätt. Namnet klingar nog bekant för den som på något sätt intresserat sig av Celldöd. Anders Karlsson som annars fördriver sin tid med projektet Vargdöd, eller som en del av skivbolaget Complete Control Productions, är den som står bakom namnet Celldöd. Ett solo-projekt han driver, som sedan en tid tillbaka fått honom att i början av året släppa “Pulsdisco#1” – som är det första officiella släppet av låtar, på kassett – signerat hans alter-ego. På exakt samma datum, nämligen den 31:a January så kom det även ett nytt album med Severe Illusion – ett projekt som Anders Karlsson också är insyltad i. Så förutom de olika grupper han är med i annars så levererar hans soloprojekt guldklimpar ur den musikgruva som han utvinner mineraler från. Det är något med detta soloprojekt som får en att inse hur bra det är i jämförelse med allt annat som bara försvinner in i periferin. Allt från den acid-sturskna låten “Betong” – som verkligen gör skäl för sitt namn – till det råa musikartilleriet “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)“, så förstår man att det här projektet gömmer många överraskningar. Även om låtarna har mycket gemensamt så är det en hel del som skiljer dem åt, allt från hårdheten i de bultande trummorna, till den karga atmosfär som går från att vara en oljudsvägg till att bli ett mörklagt inferno.

När man talar om det gemensamma så är det förtjusningen inför en slags gammeldags acid-techno-influens som sliter hål i väggarna, men också den stadiga rytmen som bara har ett mål och det är att gå i takt. Det finns inget utrymme för avvikelser när det kommer till rytmen, men det går utmärkt att svänga med syra-melodierna och låtarnas atmosfär. Fast även om det finns restriktioner så kommer det låtar där allting ballar ut och den nya låten, förutom “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)“, är ett bra exempel på det. Den heter “Terrorbalans” och är tagen från ett kommande split-släpp med Vargs alter-ego Black Leather Harness vid namn “Krig“, som släpps på skivbolaget Brutal Disciplin inom en snar framtid. För den som vill bekanta sig med pulsdisco är det förmodligen ett släpp man bör hålla utkik på. För den som vill bekanta sig med Celldöd så duger det första släppet gott och väl tillsvidare, men det kommer att vara spännande att se vad som kommer ut ur denna allmänna hopplöshet. Man får väl hoppas på att det inte tar allt för lång tid innan man blir invaderad. Ni kan lyssna till låtarna “Betong“, “Pulsdisco 1.2 (Dirty House Mix)“, “Ingen Går Säker (Rå-Mix)” och “Vi Andas Syra” här nedanför. Musik-videon till “Terrorbalans” kan ni hitta ovanför. För den som är intresserad av att se och lyssna till Celldöd live så går Kalabalik på Tyrolen av stapeln den 22:a Augusti.

Det går nu även att förlyssna på utdrag från Celldöd-sidan av “Krig“-släppet. Gör det här nedanför.

Exclusive Premiere: Zarkoff – Terraform

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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.

Listen: Luminance / Acapulco City Hunters – The Cold Rush

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Belgium are steaming ahead of everyone else. Wool-E Tapes have been working hard at putting out new releases that catch one’s ear. The current ‘flagship’ could be considered to be Luminance – the electronic solo-project by David-Alexandre Parquier. In the month of July when his first 7¨-release “Obsession / Viper Smile” was released on Weyrd Son Records, he also did a split together with Acapulco City Hunters called “The Cold Rush” – which was their first release up to date. The Weyrd Son-release was more of a collaborative effort with him behind the machinery on both tracks, Felicie on backing vocals for “Viper Smile” and Nathalie Bruno on vocals for “Obsessions“. I am however not going to linger on that release but focus on the latest one. It is an interesting blend of house-music matched with a new-wave sound, whilst Luminance heads into a whole other direction than what can be found on his earlier releases. Sure, the minimalism is still there and his wittered electro comes into play with the general synth-pop minimalism that makes his sound so great. But I notice how he does not sway for the ambient reflections made in his first track on the release. I also believe that his tracks on this split are more in for a brutal sound coupled with more hopelessness, than his earlier releases. The notable darkwave influence does make itself reminded. The playful melodies mixed with a sound best described as when day turns into night. He’s nothing short of knowing how to make this concoction a danceable but seductive brew that is about as volatile as daggers into flesh – without the courage to strike when the day is lit.

When it comes to Acapulco City Hunters, their or his sound is not primarily darker because they’re on the other side of the fence – but notably well-thought out and considerate. A rhythm that is in constant motion together with an ominously sounding house-music sound. No you will not find anything remotely similar to Swedish House Mafia when it comes to this. Let the acidic sounds mix with the lead melodies and blend into a thoughtful motion that could only make you reflect. It is meditative in one sense and leads you into a nicely laden vocal palette that draws upon calmness – and then comes a tribal fusion together with a obtuse frame of melody which goes into a bridge which lets an almost The Smiths-influenced intonation by the vocalist when he goes up a notch, out for display. Even though both of these artists are closely knit-together, I believe that my favorite is Acapulco City Hunters. They deliver a strong first-timed collaborative effort by teaming up with Luminance. I like their lyrical content because they remind me of how bleak the world is and can be, with all the romanticism that shies away and comes forth when you least know it. Order this release from Wool E Tapes if you like what you’re hearing. You can stream it in whole down below.