Lyssna: Baula, Stadens Brus

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Baula är tillbaka återigen med en låt inte helt olik deras förra, “Just Like Yesterday“, men i denna är det mer sväng och känslan andas svensk indie-pop mer än någonsin. Det finns en mer post-punkig vibb till denna i bemärkelsen att basen är tyngre, musiken koncentrerar sig mer kring det mörka, det obestämda. Även om utsvävelserna är få så finns de där för att påminna oss om det känslosamma som genomsyrar låten.

Nova” är ett steg i samma riktning, mot ett konkret mål och mot någonting större än vad de levererat hittills. Lyrikerna i låten är simplistiska men tjänar syftet till att sätta ett större fokus på musiken som sådan även om de tar upp en stor yta i låten. Sommarslutet hade väl inte kunnat sluta på ett mer passande vis? När vi nu tagit oss in i September känns det mer passande för detta mörker att tränga igenom. Låt oss få vägen dit visade av självaste Baula. När staden ekar tom så är dett vad som kan ljuda igenom. Omslaget är gjort av Fanny Valentin och låten spelades in av bandet tillsammans med Henryk Lipp i studio Music A Matic i Göteborg.

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Markus Hulthén har passat på att utvidga sitt musikaliska engagemang och rötterna har spridit sig till Stadens Brus – där han med hjälp av Henrik Öhberg (på trummor), Petter Lindhagen från Feeder Recordings (filtersvep) på mix och samproduktion av låten. Vad heter den? Jo, “Oväntat Möte”. Enligt honom själv är det ett försök att låta Etiopisk (Hailu Megra som inspiration), men det faller kort för en psykedelisk masspsykos.

Personligen tycker jag att det psykedeliska gärna får ta utrymme på bekostnad av vad han försökt att få det att låta som. Det är välproducerat, fint utskissat med tillfälle för utmärkta allegorier som passar sig bäst i ett underjordiskt zine. Tyvärr är det abstrakta konstverket som är omslaget tänkt att föreställa något (eller inte), en påminnelse om hur denna sorts musik inte borde gestaltas överhuvudtaget. Även om det psykedeliska gärna får influera musiken så gör det sig inte särskilt bra i övriga medium. Illustration av Andre Kleine. Denna låt släpps på Feeder Recordings och det går att lyssna här nedanför.

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[9th] December: Skulsyr – Blodrengr

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TheOld Ways” (read: wicca) are reinterpreted into a occult ritual noise ‘ensemble’ manned by one individual—Samantha, known from T.O.M.B. and Dreadlords. Skulsyr is her solo-project; whose intent seem to mixture Coven ritualism through experimentation with blackened noise and dark ambient. Intriguingly enough, the word “Syr” is a nickname for the Norse goddess Freya’s magical swine—a ‘Hildisvin’ (battle-boar). ‘Syr’ can also mean “sow“. Either “Skul” is referring to World of Warcraft, or something out of the Prose Edda, though a deeper intention of the name might not be thought out. It must be related in one way or another to neo-paganism and Norse mythology to a certain degree—but Wiccan solemnization runs through like a drawn line in red. The year goes around in seasonal festivals—different holidays for different months.

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She’s actualized for Ljudkalendern with an exclusive track newly produced for that purpose for 9th December. The track was recorded during Samhain—a sabbat where you generally celebrate those who’ve passed on. So the ritualistic tone was already set, considering what month it was recorded in: November. Although a solo-project, her track which is called “Blodrengr” (Blood Warrior) was created together with Duncan McLaren (Enneract) on vocals, Samantha can be heard banging a tribal drum and she’s conjured a hazy atmosphere which lets you delve into a maze of brooding, sinister but captivating music. From Duncan’s eerie distant chanting to an ever so present drumming, fading away into otherworldly hymns created on what sounds like thin air—as the gloomy cloud disperses. It might be so poetic that it actually does not need any poem because it’s self-descriptive.

Here a ritual begins and ends in the blink of an eye, though at great length. Tomorrow here will be another track but for the 9th December this place is reserved for Skulsyr and her track “Blodrengr“.

Listen: Venin Carmin – Glam is gone

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We must admit that we’ve gone and gotten ourselves stuck with a ‘guilty pleasure‘. Venin Carmin from the electronica duo Kelly und Kelly, have moved on to a solo-project. She calls it ‘dead pop‘ but we’re not sure what she means by labeling it that. Her sound is in between the peppiness of popular electroclash artists and groups, with an emphasis on pop. The album “Glam is gone” is her debut-effort that is ten tracks long and spans over thirty minutes in length all together. We’re not sure if the glam has gone away but we’re pretty sure that elegant glam, glitter have gone and died somewhere, in the depths of the club’s catacomb. Though questions arise when it comes to descriptions—we’re intrigued by the sound if we could strip away the inane lyrics—but also the singing style. The whole internationally-styled delivery, often courtesy of Ed Banger Record’s entrance into French electronic music, have always been unbearable to listen to—as proven by Uffie‘s debut in the limelight with: “Pop The Glock“.

She does it way better when her chansons turn into semi-ballads with an emotional message, rather than the mindless and vain attempts to create a hybrid of melodic synth and generic post-punk. So when about half of the album have been listened through, songs like “Fade & Forget” enhance our understanding of her music. When she has the capability to create such an emotional barrage that is catchy but not too deep into pop-oriented templates, it’s intolerable to start everything over again and endure the first songs. After that song everything seems to have started over again and then—”The Spiral Dance” starts—changing everything again, to a melancholic ballad with its main focus on percussion—with lovely, but static synthesizer-pads that create a whole new atmosphere. The last song is the title-track “Glam is gone” which surprise us as she focuses more on a cold-wave singing style, a concrete and stern voice resounding. Matched with an equally as restricted atmosphere that is well-produced, but intriguing. Listen to “Glam is gone” down below and make up your own mind.

Listen: Syndicate – Demo

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Entertain the thought of a proto-punk band from California. Namely: Oakland. There, now you’ve got some imagination and a brain to think with. Join the Syndicate now. Syndicate is a trio from Oakland, California—an American band with roots deep into both punk, post-punk and proto-punk. Rats are running rampant through the city while these cyber-surfers make the best of a minimalist sound-scape, overwhelmingly punk and they actually make good use of the obligatory post-punk baseline—trying to make it even more melodic. Most of their music seem to heed to infrastructure, technology and the likes of it but is contrasted by their atmosphere of minimalist chaos. An explanation to this is written in the words that stake out “Demo“, although a romantic thought would be to not refine it further, more than make the vocals more audible and the sound less shaky. James Bond would have an awfully good time with this band, considering his choice of drink is a Martini that’s shaken—not stirred. Exactly how they’re portrayed by me when listening to them.

This whirlpool of different influences are mangled into a punk-sized knock in the face, with more afterthought instead of primitive rage. There’s an intellectual vein running through; a rather ambitiously chiseled, type of music. Frankly, they sound like a non-electronic homage to all the minimal synth and minimal wave, slash cold-wave acts operating out there. Stretch it to an even more plausible theory—and you might end up with synth-punk without a synth. Somewhere and somehow we would like to put them into a melodic punk category, or rogue surf-punk—surfing on nails, bolts and steel through a decaying post-industrial society. Feel the hopelessness but be uplifted and rooted in the sense that they’re playing just for you and your needs, even though your attitude says: “It’s completely different”! Stream and listen closely to their first release, their “Demo“.

Premiere: VARSOVIE – Détruire Carthage

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Propaganda straight from Warsaw, with their telecommunications-station based out of France. Building on a concept that draws influences from concrete post-punk and stable new-wave, among other genres. The reason why they’re in any way related to Warsaw is because their band-name is VARSOVIE—the french word for “Warsaw“—capital of Poland. A debut-EP came out in 2006 titled “Neuf Milimètres” (Nine Millimeters), recorded in Grenoble 13eme Etage Studio and Chaosmic Studios. Here’s also where their aesthetic concept got set in motion by the photographer Lucas Rimbaud, which portrayed a woman lying on her back with her feet in the air—maybe relating to the title of the record—Nine millimeters bullet-type, and a gun. Their sound was virtually the same as it is now but a bit more unpolished and maybe also darker. It was also a whole other set-up when it comes to the band’s compound, different members and now there’s a whole other prerequisite for the band.

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They managed to self-release this EP which came out as a CD. Two years passed and there weren’t any new album or proper release during that time—not until September of 2008. A promo-CDr titled “Etat Civil” was released featuring an album with eleven tracks, featuring Nicolas St Morand (Hreidmarr) on backing vocals for “Etat D’Urgence” (State Of Emergency), outro music by the famous late composer Franz Schubert, for the closing song “Inertie” (Inertia). Everything was recorded at Drudenhaus Studio, located in Issé, France, the home of studio engineer Benoît Roux (Anorexia Nervosa). Now the aesthetics have suddenly changed, there’s a woman standing on train-tracks holding two bags—it almost feels like she’s moving away from somewhere, to anywhere. They used a different photographer, Manon Weiser, who’s also helped with his skills for the Velvet Condom box-set “Vanity And Revolt“. A year later a proper release of the same album came out, in December of 2009.

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Six years later their latest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, was also self-released by the band. Then something happened. A Black-Metal(!) label from France called Those Opposed Records began releasing both “Etat Civil” and their newest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, in limited editions on black vinyl and colored vinyl. It’s interesting how such a label would ever take interest in VARSOVIE, whilst mainly focusing within black metal. Good for the band. So here we are, they’ve just announced the release of their latest album and everything’s dandy. Well, everything actually is pretty dandy. Repartiseraren have gotten the opportunity to premiere “Détruire Carthage” (Destroy Carthage), a track we’re particularly fond of from the new album. It’s got a rather short running time of around roughly three minutes, but all the ingredients of this fierce post-punk band—all of the energy, the ambitious and dark conditions for a nicely crafted post-punk sound—for you as a listener to stream from here. Enjoy it as much as you can!

Listen: …Of Tanz Victims – Fighting False God / Haunting the Empire

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From the current hotbed of synthesizer-based acts, mainly the Canadian city of Montreal, there’s more than a resurgence of artists and groups from the 2000’s. From the depths of dungeons, assembled yet again but in exactly the same shape as before, comes a resurrection for …Of Tanz Victims in a digital format—rather then on vinyl. This Montrealian (Québecian-based) group had their peak during the 1980’s—then associated with the independent label and store (now defunct) Bunker Records—not to be confused with the Netherlands-based “acid-house” label with the same name. It consisted of the members Robert de la Carignan (Robert Mailloux) on guitar, bass and vocals, Denis Wooty (Dany Wauthy) and Roy Batty (Roy Batty) on synthesizers, drum-machine and vocals, with Sat W. Ford (Stefan Figiel/Stephan Faulkner) sampling, percussion and vocals. Everyone in this trio contributed with their voice for the project. Now they’ve put out their first single “Fighting False God“, and their fourth album “Haunting the Empire“—as a digitally buy-able and downloadable item for your consumption.

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Their rather shady description on their Bandcamp-page suggests a contrast in between a real identity and a fake one, all for the purpose of entertaining theories on the origination of the project—but mainly questions about their identity. We don’t really want to find it out. Since their original releases on vinyl seem to have held quite a nice quality, there’s no reason to believe that the music have been re-mastered for this purpose—just digitized. But who really knows. The name of their project is equally ridiculous and fascinating. Not to mention how much more fascinating their music is, which seems to dwell in between an avant-garde take on industrial, electronic body music, noise and electro. Those main influences bring forth assorted non-electronic music with overt electronic ingredients—masterfully utilized in total synergy. We give our warmest recommendation for this group and hope this return bring them back with more interesting material—heads up to any and every re-issuing label out there. Listen to both releases down below.

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Listen: Coarse Language – Definite Hiatus

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There’s a Canadian indie-label that emerged in 2008, that have just put up a forthcoming release for digital streaming. It’s a label called Artificial Records – and their latest addition to their quick growing discography is an album called: “Definite Hiatus“, produced by Coarse Language—an artist (or group) unknown to us. A suitable description for their music would be “deranged electronica“, since the erratic beats and paranoid whispers conjure a prime setting for weirdness. One could also name it experimental minimal wave, but there are so many different influences at play so an umbrella term is hard to set for this kind of music. Not to mention how their melodies swiftly change, with dark baselines that draw out the worst sides of mankind in a musical setting. Multiple personalities, or alter-egos, which make the arrhythmic noise seem more friendly from one track to another — but be on your guard because they’re predators. Sometimes the melodies take the upper-hand but there’s always a minimalistic reminder of how shrouded, clad in spikes, dressed for destruction their environment is — thrashing melodies, relocating sound into bizarre harshness.

We’re not that interested in the psychological aspects of the sound, but rather how it is audio-visually—a thing Coarse Language seem to know how to do. They’re perfect alarmists with a subliminal message, whether it was originally intended for it to be like that, is not something to take into account. But a lot of the complexity in the sound reveal that another more obvious vein shows—a repetitive message (lyrically) which is contrasted by the sheer amount of invention—they seem to possess. If we’re wrong, they might even be playing with illusions to deceive; with their maniacally tedious passages later on in other tracks on the album. Even though it only contains six tracks, it’s a gem that you might not appreciate right away—rather when you’re able to sculpt your own interpretation of them. Listen to their release down below and buy a limited edition cassette (50 units) from Artificial Records — if you want a physical item.