Listen: Xiu – One Thrilling Night

a2047628584_10

As last year went into the last month, the compilation “Minimal Milan” was released on the then newly created label Minimal Trend Records. A label run by Oksana Rodinova, otherwise known as Xiu, whose contribution to this compilation was under a new alias called MarryMe2Night. Individual songs and remixes have been released, but the Estonian-born queen of minimal synth hasn’t stopped short of that. aufnahme + wiedergabe decided to test the waters again, having released her first self-titled EP back in 2012. This time our Berlinian label have put out “One Thrilling Night” – the latest release by Xiu up to date – a double-single of some sort featuring the tracks “One Thrilling Night” and “Turn Me On“. Porl King (In Death It Ends/Miserylab, etc) have mastered this release.

When listening to these songs, it feels like a recognizable Xiu stream of consciousness. Taken into another direction with the calmness; smeared with metallic percussion. Dreamy landscapes of sound pull the dirt with it, because she’s not afraid to have some dirt under her nails. The whole sound-scape in the first track is drifting between semi-consciousness and a state of dreaming, with a suggestive dark undertone and rhythm to angelic melodies that flow through. A difference between the first and the second track is that in the second – she introduce her vocals. Reverberated strings of some kind of hopelessness, together with sunken beats that wouldn’t really make you move but rather contemplate. You can stream the whole release down below.

Spotlight: Various Artists – Transmission Barcelona – Second Anniversary

ffe

Having put on a show with the first anniversary a year ago, of the monthly party in Barcelona called Transmission, which is a party dedicated to the international scene of post-punk, new-wave, cold wave and dark wave. Domestica Records return once again with the second anniversary of this party. The first compilation featured the following artists and groups: The KVB, Selofan, Paralelo, White Hex, Bonjour Tristesse, Ssleeping DesiresS, Crystal Soda Cream, Principe Valiente, Die Selektion, Lebanon Hanover, Chevalier Avant Garde, Police Des Moeurs, Petra Flurr + Modernista, Miserylab, Accident, Jewels Of The Nile, Fernand and Press Gang Metropol. Once again, the compilation is compiled by DJ Sandman – a long-going DJ since the 1980’s, that have played every notable club in Barcelona and Madrid by now – but also internationally at the Nachtwerk Club in Karlsruhe, and for having performed at the 17th edition of Wave Gotik Treffen Festival. As the last time, the artwork for this coming release have been created by Jordi Serrano, and the release itself has been mastered by Roger Cuixart. Interestingly enough, our favorites Női Kabát returns with a cover of an Associates-track called “Kitchen Person“. A fine new artist have also shown himself to be of much pleasure, namely Madmoizel, with his track “Come” – his first track since 2009.

This release will also feature contributions by Seacrypt, Phosphor, Des Âmes Libres, Schonwald, enigmatic group In Death It Ends, Más Allá, In A Lonely Place, and the lovely Xiu with her track “Dancing With You“. Last year the compilation which celebrated the first anniversary, featured more artists and groups, but even if that’s true – this second anniversary contain a lot of contributions that should be checked out. Virtually every track is priceless in one way or another, so it sounds really good having it comprised of only ten tracks. This also makes it less of a nuisance to listen through and every style imaginable is represented within the boundaries of electronica. It will be released on the 19th of May by Domestica Records. You can stream this release down below in full.

Spotlight: Transform | Transport | Transcend

1516743163-1

An impressive compilation compiled via teamwork between the German labels aufnahme + wiedergabe and Totally Wired Records. This joint operation is passing through the genres of minimal synth, post-punk, cold wave, garage punk, power electronics and much more. Artists featured on this release are the following: Dot Dash, Bruch, Ana Threat, Gran, Pü, Crystal Soda Cream, Kate Kristal, Dazed Pilots, BruchGran, Al Bird Dirt, Clemens Denk, Tommy Weinberg and the Dreams, Rigor Mortis, Krafftmalerei, BLACK VASE, The Anxiety Of Love, In Death It Ends, Die Selektion, Bloodygrave und die Lust!, Novva Falla, Marrow Mandler, La Fete Triste, Death Of Abel, Xiu, Bloated Backdoor and Die Nerven. So this 26-tracked compilation is split in between the both labels. Totally Wired Records have curated the tracks from 1-14, whilst aufnahme + wiedergabe curated 15-26. Go on a field-trip in sound and discover bands you’ve probably never heard about. Below is a descriptive piece of the purpose, written by them:

aufnahme + wiedergabe teamed up with TOTALLY WIRED RECORDS to compile “Transport | Transform | Transcend” [a+w TWR], a free download sampler, in honour of the TRANSFORMER INAUGURATION. if you choose to pay for this compilation (“name your price”), you directly support the new TRANSFORMER shop in Vienna.
there is also a limited edition of 40 C-100 tapes of [a+w TWR] that are exclusively given away for free to customers at the opening day of TRANSFORMER.
www.transformermusic.at
www.facebook.com/events/137323306443094/

What is Invisible Guy and how did we get here?

invisible guy logo

It’s been a great year for this blog and I can’t thank my readers enough. Since the start in the end of 2011, there’s been a constant surge and I believe I’ve put this blog on the map. To compare, this blog isn’t a journalistic blog at all, it’s a hobby or a zine if you’d stretch it that far. All this year, I’ve been working hard to keep up with everyone else and came up with my own material. There’s been a lot of in-depth interviews, reviews, promos and articles featured. Even though my project was meant to be and still is a hobby, I believe that I’ve outgrown my own shoes and I’m planning to do some new stuff in 2013. Some people have thought that this blog has many authors, but I’ll have to burst that bubble and tell you that I’m the sole writer behind all this material. Which means that I have put some real time and effort into this. I also think that I’m one of the only blogs that do track-by-track reviews, but I hope that someone will prove me wrong. The one thing I’ve been missing on Invisible Guy is the contact between me and the readers, which I hope that I can improve. Feel free to send me a mail. I’d like to thank every reader, associate, musician, blogger, friend and basically everyone that has supported me and kept me doing this for so many months. I promise you, there will be many more. Hope you have a Happy New Year and settle down with more great releases of this year, brought to you by Invisible Guy. A huge thank you to everyone.

Dream Affair – Aborted State

A somber combination of the best in post-punk, goth rock and dark wave. Scouring through the more traditional sphere of the music, picking up on the newer vibes, making it a delight to listen to. I only wish that it could’ve been a little bit longer and feature more tracks, but it certainly keeps you on the edge and reminds you of some great acts. This is the time for rock noir.

Momentform – Yearn

Blissful but moody dark wave, featuring some minimalistic synth-pop. Coming from the newly founded New Ideals label, this french act taught me well. It may not have reached the bottom, but it certainly hammered the lid and got it off in time. A sullen, yet emotional piece of music that make you waltz around in the middle of the night, as the rain is blaring on the window.

Suffer The Pain – The Last Massacre

Metallic punk, which will drive you nuts. Forcefully taking upon the mission of plaguing your ears, with some pretty decent co-operation between punk and metal. Even though it’s repetitive, I would say that I had a certain attraction to the record as a whole and I enjoyed it pretty much. It might not be a favorite, but it affected me in one way or another.

White Blush – S/T

Probably one of the more interesting genre-hopping this year. I’m not at all into pop, but this album changed the game for me. She walks in between genre, plucking stuff that seems to fit in and making it fit. Even though it was released not too long ago, I think it affected me in many ways. Amongst other things, Carol Ryu’s voice would be one of them. I suggest you check this out, because it’s a much bigger endeavor than pop.

Beyond Pink – Pride and Prejudice

One of the most powerful acts in the hardcore-scene as of today, at least when it comes to Sweden. This album has it all, it’s catchy, driven and they do hardcore the way it should be. Everything is in its place, the vicious momentum of the riffing and the drums make you want to go at it. The vocalists are also great, as almost everyone in the band sings at one point.

Night Sins – New Grave

Heavier post rock, blended with loads of other genres. A nostalgic piece that looks down the aisle and continue to walk down. Besides the lyrics, the baseline and the bonecrushing sound-scape, I also enjoy the delicate riffing that goes on in the songs. There’s really something about them that is fantastic, it also brings back glory to genres that should’ve been shelved a long time ago.

Rättens Krater – Den Stora Stöten

Some edgier stuff that haven’t been tried out for years. Reminds me of some good ole’ Onkel Kånkel, but with some new wave attachment, also add some dadaism. It’s really hard to place them anywhere, because they’re so straggly with their sound. However, one of the better releases this year and they deserve some recognition for that. Pretty original.

Barren Womb – On the Origin of Fæces

This is also some weird stuff. Country mixed with black-metal and noise-punk? Only Norwegians could think something like that up. But it works and they deliver their music with a strong hand and they’re something you should count on when browsing music online. Be sure to check them out.

Structural Disorder – A Prelude To Insanity

A fantastically skilled progressive metal band from Stockholm. Producing some of the finest quality metal to date and even though it’s an EP, I think they deserve a place here and hope you understand my situation. Looking forward to hear more material from this act in the future.

Institution – Domen Är Satt

Do I even need to say anything else? Fine Swedish hardcore blended with crust. I ended this year with a bang, as I did my last review. It is one of the best sounding hardcore albums from this year alone, with a little bit of competition from here and there, but they manage to stay alert and hold their ground. This is definitely something you should check out.

Övervarning – Mellan Rummen

I don’t really like dark ambient, so when I stumble upon an act that I like, I tend to like it a lot more. This dark ambient act from Sweden(?) surprised me a lot when I listened through it. As the sound galloped through my headphones, I couldn’t do anything but to immerse myself into the sound-scape. A notable success for someone that doesn’t like the genre.

E. E. Engström & The Twin Street Tree Trunk Love Ensemble – Loving Fog Fiends

Sweden needs some real dark jazz. At least a band with the ambition of being a little bit more eccentric and experimental, when it comes to the sound. It reminded me a lot of the great eras that have already passed, imagine yourself sitting down in a shady bar, somewhere in New York, with a whiskey being poured down in your glass, listening to this music.

Soundmeds – Hospital EP

Yeah, I know, it’s another EP. I changed the rules before the end of this year. One of the better acts within the rock-sphere. This is some ambient stuff, that will make your head turn around in a 360, waiting for the next doses of psychedelia, alternative rock and post-rock being served straight into your ears.

Notable mentions (albums/EPs/singles):

Nocturnal – Until the morning light

Dalaplan – Ta mig när jag faller

Paranoid – Hardcore Addict

V/A – Dimmorna Skingras Vol. 2

In Death It Ends – Forgotten Knowledge

Imiafan – Old School Surprise

Ekman – Kalla Rytmer Att Dansa Till I Ensamhet

V/A – The Peter Out Wave

Agent Attitude – Never-ending Mess

Thank you to everyone for making this blog what it is. I couldn’t have done it without you. Hopefully my work here has paid off and I hope that you’ll check it out in 2013 as well. Let’s hope that this year ends with a bang and that I get on track as quickly as possible, so I can supply you with more interesting reviews and in-depth interviews. I would also like to do a shout-out to Jesper Bjerke also, who made the logo and the design for this blog. Thank you for everything this year and let’s hope that you have a Happy New Year!

Best tracks of 2012 according to Invisible Guy!

10. Seacrypt – Other Worlds

Taken from their debut album A Momentary Rift which I found randomly while browsing bandcamp. Certainly also one of the greater albums this year, with a roster of eight powerful and mind-numbingly great tracks. An ode to the greatness of darkwave, synth-pop and ambient – all in one.

9. Curxes – Spectre

One of the better bands this year and definitely one of the greatest songs I’ve heard this year. The noir pop-esque feeling that never seems to let go, wherever you lay your eyes, they’re there observing you. An emotional wonder that will hopefully stand the toll of time, and that also have lived the post-destruction era that is and was 2012.

8. Inkvisitionen – Dö som lejon

Knuckleduster hardcore from the city of Gothenburg, representing their city with a monstrous track, demanding complete annihilation of everything. One of the fiercest hardcore tracks I’ve heard this year, fortunately released before next year so it could be included in this list. Like it was meant to be.

7. INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ – The Banishing

A softie from this phenomenal constellation. Featuring my favorite genres, done completely right, with absolutely no regard whatsoever for labels to be smacked upon them. Which is an attitude I mostly support, so you should support them by tuning in and buying their stuff. With that said, this track (and the other one) are totally different from their earlier material, featuring a highly ambiguous (and) ambitious effort from their side.

6. Velvet Condom – Kalter Lippenstift (INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ Remix)

I must say that I enjoy the regular version as much, but I had to choose, so I chose the remix by INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ. Why? Because there’s so much energy in this remix, which overshadows the original song. I’d like to say that they’re good in different ways, but this one is (by far), superior.

5. Black Table – Heist

One of the more surprising tracks in this list. I must say that I have a feeling when I’m about to hear something extraordinary. So, I will have to say that this progressive metal/black metal/post-metal act deserve all credit where credit is due. This is their best track on the EP they released recently. I don’t know why, but the lyrical content and the musical ambitions are outstanding. With a pretty unique vocalist, whom I thought was a man at first. Sorry, Mers, I should’ve known that you’re a she and not a he.

4.TSTI – Love & Truth

Straight from a bedroom somewhere in New York. A man with a quest to enhance his own sound, release his creativity on analogue machinery and be a part of something organic. This track have all the little details, every influence and a feeling that shouldn’t be underestimated. Synth-pop from the glory days, but with a new twist and certainly not a copy of a copy. Deserving everything and definitely fitted for this list.

3. Niels Nielsen – Shadow Twin

I’m going back to the drawing board, I’m hoping that Zeigeist will re-establish themselves, but until then; Niels Nielsen is adequate with this wonderful track. Even though it contain some lethal doses of mainstream, I have endured and must say that this is one of the best tracks this year. Nostalgia may have gripped me by the balls, but I don’t really care. This track will be played on New Year’s eve.

2. Henric de la Cour – Grenade

Calm yet bombastic. One of the tracks I’ve wanted to get a hold of physically, but failed due to my own incompetence. Along with everything else he’s done, I would say that this is probably the epitome. This track is the best that I’ve heard from him yet, so let’s hope that he continues in this fashion.

1. the Hex Dispensers – Parallel

What can I say? I’ve been playing this track non-stop since it was released. The record has been reviewed thoroughly and there’s probably nothing that can match this. Also, it feels good that someone decided to accompany Gérard Depardieu with this track, it enriches it even more.

The runner-ups are the following tracks:

10. Alina Devecerski – Jag Svär

9. Damage – Keeping It Wild

8. The Foreign Resort – Buried

7. Agent Side Grinder – Wolf Hour

6. Övervarning – Det heliga korset

5. Monozid – rita, you know we are doomed

4. Bombangrepp – Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud

3. Beyond Pink – Statements on statement

2. Xiu – Life Is A Lie

1. Linea Aspera – Malarone

Review: In Death It Ends – Futureblack

3040548142-1Solicited cold wave with ethereal components. A heart and bridge in between the ethereal sphere of alternative music and a homage to the new school cold wave complex. Fierce components rage in between the cowbell and baselines in a surging lo-fi sound-scape that shape the whole progression. It feels like there’s energy to light up the more subliminal features in the song “Futureblack“, which relies on the beat to continually pulsate through a wall of spears before wrecking itself in a minimalistic fashion. Oddly enough, the cowbell(?) is what marks the change and stands out from everything else. Since the all-round sound feels like a perfect release from this ambitious (and ambiguous) cold wave act.

Like a perfect combination of weird but apt and soaring cold-wave futurism, the ethereal dimension picks off the slack. As they mention themselves, the label “occult” can be translated into the aforementioned. By closely monitoring their releases, one can say that this is a perfect transgression from the darker power electronics, into a more laid back version of the act itself. If they hadn’t already come up with a label for this themselves, someone else would’ve, but they match the description of “ghost-wave” as their ghastly sound-scape leaves you wanting to delve deeper below the line that is drawn in the sand. Even though it sometimes can get a little bit shallow, they always back it up with a barebacked structure that lays itself out upon you.

As the other wonderful track comes into play, the title “The Banishing“, feels even more relevant. Here they bring out their post-punk influence, which can largely be heard from the lingering baseline and darker edge. Even the name of the track is describing it well enough, as it plays a big part in the placement of the song itself. It is also one of the more intriguing but repetitive songs I’ve heard this year, it seems to invite you into their world but only as an observer. As it continually develop and transgress beyond the boundaries of petty labels, they cannot be ignored.

This is a slap in the face to people who’ve ever wondered if they’re something you can count on, which you evidently can, as this up-tempo and post-punk flavored piece of magic, take its hands on the wand and enthrall you. Forget everything about time that have passed, look straight into the belly of the beast and find yourself at home. As the edge slice deeper into flesh, the catchy overtones are slowly dragging you over the line and making you commit to In Death It Ends. Which is a commitment you’re not going to regret, even though it’s only two tracks, you’ll soon have it all. Their job here is done and the rest is up to you, as this wonderful two-track release makes it onto your cassette-player.