Exclusive Premiere: Bad News From Cosmos – Akira

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Ukrainian improvisers Andrii Hrachov and Iryna Bodnar are two-dimensional in concept; life and death, but three-dimensional when producing, musically; free improvisations, analogue synth commanders and bound to no certain genre. For them, it’s important to conjure a narration that binds together an otherwise escapist, avant-garde free-form of music with its’ static topic. Not to say that it necessarily means that the motive itself isn’t open for various interpretations – but just so the music doesn’t go too far away into abstraction. They themselves say it’s an “eternal experiment” – which makes you wonder if and when they’re going to finish experimenting? Maybe that’s the point with the project and when it ceases to exist—so does the experimentation.

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Bad News From Cosmos have been alive and kickin’ since 2010, releasing their first album in 2013 called “kongogumi“—which may be a reference to “Kongō Gumi” (株式会社金剛組)—Japanese construction company, and one of the oldest independent companies still existing in the world. The album artwork features a White Cherry Blossom (Sakura) – Japan’s national flower, which represents different aspects of Japanese history, but also their culture. Here’s where they seem to have started to wander into a certain topic, whether they like it or not—or maybe, just maybe it’s a reference to bloom (life) and withering (death)—could it be? We’re not sure, but it is a possibility due to their strict enforcement when it comes to topics, but not as strict as not being re-interpretable within the linguistic possibilities of the words.

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The same year when Autumn turned into Winter, “Fjord EP” was released on the Russian label Simphonic Silence Inside. Etymologically speaking, the references sprawl into obscurity, where it not for that we in Sweden have fjords and our brothers in Norway also have it—calling it: “Fjord“; (“a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs“). What comes to ones mind is the landscape of Oslofjord, a rocky landscape, an inlet (or fjord) which seem to metaphorically strew and divide the Islands Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene on either the left or the right side. We’re not so sure if their reference is even close to ours, or if they simply had a different take on it considering the artwork’s display of a mountain. We would however wish it was true. Or maybe it’s just a reference to Norway and their highest mountain – Galdhøpiggen. We as Swedes would’ve wished for it to be Kebnekaise, so we could take pride in being interpreted by their avant-garde.

We didn’t want to delve any further into their releases, it’s just that those two in particular interested us more and that we would be writing much longer, not getting to the main point of this article, if we were to cover everything. Which we’re not interested in. However, they’ve released three albums since the aforementioned releases and they’re titled (not in order): “Laid down to earth“, “Kids of the Soviet Tree“, and “Turquoise Hearts“—their latest release so far, on Amok Recordings. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got to the point now? Yes. So let’s begin.

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French label Anywave Records recently created a sub-division, or sister-label if you will, composed of a palindrome of Anywave—called Evawyna. The purpose was to have a label for digital releases only. So far Heather Celeste have gotten her single-track release “Austere“, re-released on on Evawyna. In this article we’re focusing on the second release, the continuation of Bad News From Cosmos, their forthcoming album “Pearls for Guttiere“—by now down below the sea, if we reference the artwork. Here they’ve taken “nippon-pop” from what we think is their debut-album (“kongogumi“), polished it and put it as the sixth track on this coming album. The mellowly sounding and beat-orientated experimentation relax our senses—feels like diving into the sea, snorkeling, seeing the beauty of the fabric in the ecosystem—and all the wonderful creatures living there. As it is sung in Japanese, we’re vaguely reminded about “Kaneda’s Theme“—from the by now legendary Akira 『AKIRA』(アキラ)(1988) film’s soundtrack, due to the sound but also the name: “Akira“. We’re proud to be streaming it exclusively from our blog-zine and we hope it fascinate you as much as it did for us.

Spotlight: baum•geist – music for the late autumn rain

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This is the first I’ve heard of baum•geist, a self-proclaimed internet performance artist and “multimedia acrobat“. Based out of Germany, obviously inspired by Japan and japanese culture in many ways – especially “絶命詩” (zetsumei-shi) – in English; a death-poem which is a poem written near the time of one’s death. A tradition in many cultures, but especially in Japan and during the Qing/Ming dynasty in Korea, from 1392-1897. I can never be certain of the fact that it’s the aim and pure goal of the aesthetics for “music for the late autumn rain“, but the artwork suggests that it might be a source of inspiration. Though the titles suggest something else, like the first track “秘密の地下室” (Secret basement, roughly translated), “瑠璃色” (Ballad drama color, obvious mistranslation via Google Translate), “大切な思い出” (Precious Memories) – all take into account the amorous nature of what it represents – together with the purely bizarre English titles like: “human egg“, mixed with the supernatural; “blue moon” and “geist“. When you don’t really know the language, it’s hard to determine whether what is translated really states the inherent meaning of the title.

However, the bizarre is matched with the supernatural and the mystical movements of mother nature. It’s as predictable as it is unpredictable. From pure ambient music with percussion reminding you of traditional instruments of Asia – specifically Japan – paired with a noisy, almost clairvoyant melodies that ring sharply when smashed together. But there are more characteristics that make baum•geist versitale with his music. The further into the album you come, the more it becomes a sample-based musical hemorrhage combined with field recording-like sounds. A track can suddenly change from three minutes long – to up to twelve minutes of length. Here’s where the more low-keyed ambient is experimented with, ending up with silhuettes of sound which fade out and when it comes in make a resounding noise. This is an album that makes up for its name and the music is really for “the late autumn rain“. Put on something cozy and travel into a world yet to be discovered.

Intervju och mixtape med Johan G. Winther!

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Johan G. Winther är någon som många känner till, men som många egentligen inte känner till. Han är en slags doldis, men finns egentligen överallt. Denne man står bakom projekt såsom solo-projektet Tsukimono, men har varit eller är, delaktig i grupper vid namn Blessings, Scraps Of Tape, Heathers/Hollows – och många fler som ni förmodligen kommer att ha tagit reda namnet på, vid det här laget. I samband med sitt musicerande, så skapar han även konstverk, oftast sketcher. Som han antingen säljer eller låter vara omslag på något av sina släpp. Omloppsbanan inom musiken började med projektet Mnoki, innan år 2001. Men även innan dess, så hade han gett sig fan på att lära sig använda instrument. För inte så länge sedan var han aktuell under sitt förstnämnda namn, nämligen Johan G. Winther, och fortsätter att vara det – då han den 15:e Maj kommer att släppa albumet “The Rupturing Sowle” på Zeon Light Kassett. Förutom detta så släpper han kontinuerligt material under sina olika alias, men även inom de grupper som han är verksam i tillsammans med andra musiker. Resan verkar aldrig ha ett slut, och nu kommer även ni att få åka på samma resa. Invisible Guy har haft äran att få intervjua Johan G. Winther, vilket i slutändan blev en väldigt lång intervju. Där vi gick in på rötterna, men även skrapade på ytan, för att få en helhetsbild över vem han är och vad han egentligen gör, samt vad detta innebär för honom. Utöver det, så har Invisible Guy komponerat ett mixtape, där ni kommer få höra äldre låtar, osläppta låtar – men även kommande och precis släppta låtar. Nu har ni hört nog, så jag föreslår att ni börjar läsa istället.

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Postlight: とばり – プラヌラ

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Since I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately, some of the best post-rock seems to be coming out of Asia. This time, it’s Japan, last time it was South Korea. Well, the band とばり (no idea what that means), have released an album titled “プラヌラ”, that is simply astonishing. Blending some folk vibes with post-rock and post-hardcore. Yes, you’ll also get some acoustic music in the mix, too. Sneak in some shoegaze and your formula will be complete. It seems like the folk rock music is a strong contributor to their sound, at least sometimes. Everything from the rhythm, to the instrumentation, is adequate and filled with emotions. Transpiring from the lower ground, reaching all the way up to the sky. Consequently removing any hindrance from going out in space. But we’re not there yet. Listen to their album down below.

Poplight: unmo × mitsugo – ロアレ

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Sometimes I can’t really stand pop. But there are limitations to that. For once, pop that I can stand has to be either experimental or Japanese. This time around, it’s Japanese and dreamy. Two combinations that are made to be matched with each other, as the J-pop I’ve heard have always been slightly more dreamy and melodic than everything else. With few exceptions, of course. But this is electronic mixed with pop, which brings out an essence of dream-pop and a different edge to it overall. It’s matched beats with pop overtones, that heads out to be in the more classical vein. At least if you consider it from this perspective. So head on, go and listen to their dreamy variation of pop meets electronica. You can listen to it over at their bandcamp or stream it directly on Invisible Guy. It was released today, the 11th of March.

Thee Showcase [#8.3]: Torquem, Brou de Noix and twothirtytwo!

1572809631-1Quickly, move fast, we’re at Thee Showcase again. It’s time for another round of great music. First up this time is the band Torquem, which is composed of three guys from Paris. They’ve currently released their latest album “Ansiktet“, which means “the face” in Swedish. Well, I would know, because I am after all a Swede. Delving into their world is a happenstance that would slowly but surely evolve into something greater. The tight rhythms, the suggestive melodies and the emotionally consistent music that they’ve put on for display, blends the best of jazz-influenced intermezzos and post-rock-induced experimentalism from different ages. It feels like you’re on a trip from a time and age to another, whilst you hear the clinging saxophone speak its own language, with fluency, as the baseline drums in another part of the song and; here comes a sample. They call themselves “cinematic rock“, which is something I would agree on. There’s difference changes in the structures, as the melodies change and as every mood is being displayed throughout. This multifaceted piece of music is simply unveiling itself, with ambitious intent, to knock us down on the floor. Ambitious would be an underestimate, because every song feels like an orchestra that simply puts its mouth to it. Even though the songs might not be that long, every piece of instrumentation makes sure that the huge suspense offered, doesn’t get lost in between structures. It feels like they’re connected and you can simply sit back and relax. The sound-scape itself is grandiose, but simply doesn’t want to leave any detail out of the mix, so whoever mixed this piece of interesting music should be proud. Gradually, you’re welcomed into the world of Torquem and it’s a pretty wonderland filled with experiences, extended periods of suspense, gratitude, sorrow and a sense of belonging. Thank you so much. Songs range from “Floehm” to “Elveleiet” and it was released on the 1st of March, by themselves – I guess. If you’d ever want a CD rather than the digital experience, you can mail them about it, over here.

2428207702-1Meet your maker, or meet your raver. Or something like that. Anyway, the group Brou de Noix are from France or Japan. I don’t really know which country. However, they’ve currently released an EP or something, titled “444“. If you combine the darker elements of industrial, the atmospheric guise of ambient and the concrete sound of old-school electronica, in the wake of dance or disco – is this what you get? I don’t really know. There’s so much going on when it comes to the genres, that it’s hard to categorize. But booming beats, hard industrial noises and cars driving past you is a common denominator. Well, if you’d put the word disco beside the word industrial and threw a party within the confinements of an abandoned warehouse, this is possibly what you could get. What’s clear about it is that it’s a totally new approach to what you’d think could be electronica. Everything is at its point and peak, the trashy sound-scape waltzes around, trying to get your attention. But it’s slow enough to not be a stirrer. I must agree that my brain is in total decay now that the stereotypical formula can’t be placed. You know that I’m not formulaic, but damn, this is hard to describe. Willingly, I’d bet every penny on it being one of the most experimentalist approaches in a while, worthy of that particular word, in comparison to everything that gets it slapped upon itself. Quickly, put on a gas mask and head for the elevator, we’re going to party in an abandoned warehouse – together with Brou de Noix and their post-disco-industrial-rave-music. The three tracks featured on this release are “Ashes“, “Compost” and “Where the wild things are“, it was released on the 3rd of March and is totally D.I.Y. for what I know.

3335825678-1Since I feel good today, I had to add a third band to this list. How about some alternative rock meets classic post-punk? Yeah, I know, I saw it in your eyes that you wanted it. This is another one of those bands that compare themselves with Joy Division, which is undoubtedly a little bit true. Most of the time I ain’t too keen on them, but this is an exception. They’re from the UK and have played in bands like The Xcerts, Bleech, Native and The After Party. Not that I know any of those bands, but that doesn’t matter anyway. They’ve currently released a single for their upcoming album titled “Patriot“. Something that gets me with their music, is their sense of nostalgia and how they can mix it perfectly in between shades of silence and a hurricane of riffs that face you directly. Only thing I wouldn’t be a fan of is the snaredrum sound, because it hits me off balance each and every time. Well, it’s saved by the wonderful ranges of British dialect. His sincere words cut through butter like a hot plastic knife. Or, yeah, it feels like someone is cutting an onion in front of your eyes. Very emotional, this release, with everything topped off. I guess the most important thing is how they arrange the instrumentation, how they fit in the different overpasses and how they do it with such precise vigor. Because it’s everything that you’d need to get an emotional reaction of this scale, because I recognize myself in some of the lyrics that they put out there too. Which is a great point for a band that I haven’t known anything about in the past few days. It feels like I’ve known them for ages, by now. The riffs, the drumming and the suspense when the singer and the back-up go out in a whirl is amazing in one way or another. The only track featured is “Patriot“, which was released recently and will be available for streaming on their bandcamp until the 18th of March, then it will be available for download together with the B-side titled “Lets Go Out“.

Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Gothic Rock – 1985 (Part IV)

I think it’s time to give you another treat, this time I’ll be recommending my favorite Gothic rock bands from the 80s. I begin with 1980-1981 (Part I) and then gradually move my way up throughout the years: 1982 (Part II), 1983-1984 (Part III), 1985 (Part IV), 1986-1987 (Part V) and 1988-1989 (Part VI). I’ll be continuing the fad of six different episodes and I’ll bid you my welcome into the world I knew and the world I’ve discovered and continually re-discover when I’m surfing the web. I want to give people another opportunity and to find out about bands and artists that they haven’t heard of before. Sometimes I occasionally sneak in a bigger band or two, but that’ll just be if the song is good enough. But by no means is this a top 30 of the best Gothic rock from the 80s, I’ll have to give you a top-10 list in the future of the Gothic bands that I think top my own list. I’ll also have some commentary beneath each clip as I had in the earlier parts that covered post-punk, mostly because it looks more aesthetically pleasuring and say something about the song or the lyrics. Let me take you into this world now.

You’re now entering Part IV of the recommendation.

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