Tidigare så har Most Valuable Players åkt upp lite varstans i bloggosfären, där människor varit som mest lyriska. Idag så åker de upp här, på grund av att de har en musikvideo till låten “We Came Out Of Our Hiding” vars låt har delats så många gånger att man nästan tappat räkningen. Nu har de dessutom hoppat på Kalligrammofon, som släpper deras album den 1:e September. Musikvideon i sig verkar vara en oddyssé över bandet, från när de var unga till när de blev lite äldre. Med andra ord så är det en perfekt video för deras ankomst inom indiesammanhang på riktigt. De har nämligen spatserat runt i mer okända territorium tidigare, i och med Friendly Noise-tiden. Eller så är det kanske så att inte mycket har ändrats, mer än att de har mognat ordentligt och lagt på sig ytterligare ett lager av mogenhet, innan de gett sig ut på riktigt. Här finns det mer rum för indierockens svada, men fortfarande så håller de på den experimentella lo-fi rytmiken. Även om det onekligen är mer grandiost än det någonsin har varit och deras sång är mer slipad än den någonsin varit förut. För att inte tala om all krimskrams som flyter omkring i ljudlandskapet och påminner oss om att vi faktiskt lever. Levande musik för levande människor, i en död tid. Känslomässig tillhörighet i en kall tid. Man kan lätt säga att Most Valuable Players har hittat rätt spår. Ni borde verkligen lyssna till musiken och ta till er av musikvideon. Nostalgi kan inte undvaras. Men tack, ni ger oss åtminstone något hopp om framtiden. Musikvideon är för övrigt skapad av Sebastian Rozenberg.
Sequestered among wonderful tones and harmony, within a whizzing but delicate landscape of motion and sound – we find Érica and her newly released album “To Believe“. This mend of singer-songwriter going solo, together with the psychedelic hints of her earlier constellations, she combines the unfaithful rhythms of minimalism. Cutting, breaking and flanged into pieces of materialized drips upon your eardrums. When popular music concedes with the impopular, a harbinger of totality is brought upon the mood, spirit and soul – freely embracing itself in a wonderful manner. It’s just as sincere at is can get, with her powerful voice that strikes a resemblance in my nostalgic nerves. The wonderful lyrics are nothing short of genius, maybe not in originality – but in the sense that they are in symbiosis with the music. Released by the Brazilian label MAWW Records on the 11th of April.
Cryme är primitiv, renodlad och analog smärta, som känns ända in i benmärgen. Åtminstone om man kombinerar denna smärta med äldre teknik, som rullbandspelare och trummaskiner. Det märks att samarbetet är mellan Daniel Fagerström (Skull Defekts/Optic Nest/osv.) och Mattias Gustafsson (Altar of Flies/Jam Sessions/osv.). Rent konkret så kan den första låten “Diagonal Lines” sättas i samma fack som; experimentell synth-pop möter destruktiv industrial. Dock så finns där någonting utöver det, men som inte går att kategorisera på samma vis. Känslan av den analoga primitivismen som sköljer rakt in i hjärnbalken, är brutal i sitt sätt, men samtidigt så känns det som att den inte kommer att tillfoga någon smärta. En slags naivistisk synvinkel, som levereras likt en plasthammare på känsliga nerver. Objektet, i detta fallet Cryme, känner sig manad att orsaka så mycket skada som möjligt. Problemet är att den inte är fysiskt, utan snarare psykisk. Den smärta som uppkommer är den förbarmande känslan av hur den mest narcissistiska av människor, tror att den är något utöver vad dess fysiska uppenbarelse. Således blir det knappast någon smärta. Däremot blir det en hel del krossande beats, överexperimentell atmosfär och sällsynta ljud. Blandat med lo-fi instrumentation som med sin fulla sinnesnärvaro, i symbios med musikerna, skär likt en knivegg mot de arytmiska utläggningarna som presenteras – sinsemellan varandra.
Även en del utav Svart Städhjälp, men denna gången inom ett soloprojekt, är Martin Nilsson som kallar sig själv för Superjam Presents: Upper Layer Cruisers. Första låten på detta släpp är “Directions Through The Midnight Maze“, som påminner väldigt mycket om äldre TV-spelssoundtracks. Där ljudet på ett långsamt men säkert sätt letar sig fram mellan de olika vrår de kommit ifrån. Introt skulle mycket väl kunna simulera någon avlägsen djungelfärd in i djupaste Amazonas, där lekfylldheten hos synthpartierna letar sig in mellan tribalistiska trumslag och avslagna ljud. Retro är bara förnamnet när den minst sagt experimentella bakgrunden synar sin inte alltför avlägsna melodiska kusin. När man kommer längre in i ljudlandskapet så är manipulation A och O, då Martin på ett nästan hänsynslöst sätt utnyttjar sin potential till att vrida och förändra karaktären hos synthslingorna, på det mest bisarra vis hittills. Allting känns som om det kommer utmynna i något större, vilket det till en stor del gör, då en domedagssynth får för sig att komma in när man minst anar det.
So, have you grown tired of Harvesting yet? Yes? No? Didn’t think so either! I was thinking of expanding this day’s Harvesting and so I did. I included a lot of new artists and this time it also goes under a whole different name. You’ll get to know a little more about the following artists: Roman Skirts, Featureless Ghost, Lasers For Eyes and Aerôflôt. Even though there’s a huge overlap in between the non-electronic genres and the electronic ones in this edition of Harvesting, I just had to showcase some of the new artists that I’ve found when I was scouring the web. They had and have a lot of potential, and you should listen to it. There’s also a lot of free downloads this time around, like the other time around. So if you’re short on money, you can still get hold of some of them. Hope you enjoy this day’s edition of Harvesting, which will be continued tomorrow. This time, it’s number #3 of Harvesting brought to you by Invisible Guy.
Roman Skirts – Roman Skirts
Unknown is a great word, when describing Roman Skirts. From what I’ve read, I at least know that they’re from Spain or any other similar country. But what I know, besides that fact, is that they combine cold wave and minimal wave with great precision. Forget the bombastic music that you’re cared for, because it’s time to throw it aside. This would be the opposite of bombastic, a lo-fi injection of the finest crossover I’ve heard for a while. Especially with the first song on the album, titled “Karen Read”. It’s amazing what you can do with a few catchy and repeatable synth stabs, a little bit melody and arpeggio. I must admit that I’m not a big fan of other languages, when it comes to synth in general, than the three combinations of either English – Swedish – or German. But I must say that the second track, “Despierta”, sounds enthralling from top to bottom. With shy vocals, sincere emotions and aggressive minimalism, you’ll dance your tiny toes off to this. Add some of the more desperate dark-wave influences and the night will be complete. The more I get into this, the more I want to recommend it. I also like it when the influences are more clear to me, as they sometimes aren’t. Even though I’m not fond of categorizing, I need to have some words to describe it with. The feeling of falling down, hurting yourself and channeling it into music would be Roman Skirts. But that’s when you’ve been forgotten for ten years and have crawled in your own misery for too long. Hopefully the music will be a remedy, rather than the factual scenario.
This particular album was actually released about a year ago from now, plus one month. It’s sad that I haven’t heard anything about it and that it continues to be overlooked. Therefore I gave it a place here on my blog. It’s also free to download and contain no less than twelve tracks. You should give it a listen and download it, share with your friends or do as I’ve done; write about it on your own blog or your site. I’d also give you a heads up about this one, the further in you get into the album, the more cold wave it sounds. So if you’re a fan of the minimal wave side of it, you should listen to the beginning of the album. On the other hand, if you’re a cold wave fan, you should delve deeper into the album and discover more. You should do it anyway even if you’re not too fond of cold wave.
Featureless Ghost – MindBody
Are you ready to dance your ass off for real? Do you like dance floor music that was made for the intention of entertaining the darkest souls? You’ve found your match here, but add a little bit of that funky shtick, which resembles more of an advancement of Richard Bone, the legendary NYC minimal-wave artist. There’s some really catchy electro, minimal wave and synth-pop in these fellows. Or should I say: duo, from Atlanta. It consists of Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins. This release have been out since the 2nd March this year. Their first song displays a lot of different feelings and ranges of emotions, and it’s titled “Use My Voice”. I would call this music for those who hope too much, and an eclectic blend of the most interesting sounds yet to be found. Their music can both be catchy and dark at the same time, but they also have a large dose of “getting used to”, since it can be hard at a first listen to really grasp their whole concept. With those rumbling baselines, catchy rhythms and processed vocals, it makes you feel like you’re part of an ensemble from the future. It also feels as if the vocalists are holograms that are performing in front of me, if I close my eyes and envision it. There’s also this kind of lounge-feeling to it, which includes the funkiness, the almost Elvis-enhanced voices that transgress from a deeper state of mind, just to resurface and be in your face. The deep synths in this music make me flow in harmony, take some steps to the left, relax and everything in between. Also, it either stops in a slow-paced state or begin to bark with big drums. I’m fine with both.
So, if you want this album, you should go to their bandcamp. Here’s a link to that. You can buy it from there for five dollars, which is virtually nothing. Then you’ll get seven interesting songs, as a digital download. Or, if you want, you could order it as a tape from the Night-People website. If you live in the US, you’ll get it for 7,50 dollars. And if you have the pleasure of living in either Canada or Mexico, you can get it for 9,50 dollars. The rest of the world will have to pay 12,50 dollars, but that isn’t too shabby either.
Lasers For Eyes – Cult of the White Orchid/The People Long Only to Live
If you know Sweating Tapes, you know that they’ve got some crazy releases. This is a release with Lasers For Eyes, that came out two years from now. I haven’t heard much about it though, but I’m hoping you’ll dig it. It’s some kind of weird crossover in between post-hardcore, cold wave and dark wave. The first song, however, sounds more like it could be categorized like post-hardcore. It’s titled “Same Time Last Year” and is really oblique in a positive sense. There are some different and crazy switches in the structures and it definitely doesn’t consist of your regular build-ups. I’d say that it sounds like schizophrenic rock with obvious and spastic noise. Funny thing about it is that the second song “Cult Of The White Orchid” sounds more like some psychedelic rock blended together with garage-rock. I can’t really equate anything, except some subliminal cold-wave influences. Though the non-electronic elements are more noticeable, this album will take you through your worst nightmare and add some insanity to it. Like when you have to open your dark closet, there’d jump out a whole rock-band playing weird music. Even though it’s pretty weird, I like how they’ve strayed from the conventional rules and just created a roundabout of petty, weird, freaky and seemingly crazy mix of noise-driven madness. It gets more and more disorganized within the sound-scape the longer into the album you get.
You should and must check this out, and you can get this album for a small donation or free on their bandcamp. Link will be displayed at the end of this sentence. The album consists of different recordings they’ve done throughout the years, but these are on the rougher edge of the line and that’s definitely noticeable. Crazy thing about it is that they’re a duo, consisting of Josh Beck and Justin Cory. So, now that you know that too, why don’t you get your ass over there and either download it or send some money and download it? I think you should give them some tips for their amazing music.
Aerôflôt – Santa Muerte
Krautrock isn’t dead. It’s very much alive. Can I prove it? Look at Aerôflôt! A perfectly brewed post-punk and krautrock experience. Heavily driven by both straight-forwardness, fine rhythms and an organ. What certainly tickled my fancy was the electronic and non-electronic mish-mash, with bells and a driven electronic baseline. There’s a minimalistic touch to it, a bombastic sense and a feeling of grandeur. Oh, I mean the second song on the album, of course. It’s titled “Dance of the dead” and it feels like I’m at the graveyard doing the boogie. Electronic boogie, or something. Or maybe I’m in the afterlife, rocking with the dead? I don’t really know, they give me such mixed feelings. The third song on the album, “God Is Satan”, have the backbone that’s been prevalent in the second song. But this time it holds up the sound-scape instead of performing right in front of it. There’s such majestic bass in this song that it’s not believable, I had to pinch myself many times before I understood that this came from a musical source. Never heard any of these genres combined, but now that I have, it’s like I feel refreshed again and not blase because of my overfed brain. I believe that the fifth song on the album, titled “Humanos”, perfectly describes the phenomenon that is Aerôflôt. Genialness in a bottle, put into music by living creatures, popping up like flowers from the decayed ground. Certainly one of my more recent musical “A-ha” experiences. I’ll be listening to their other albums, to find out where the development came from.
Move over, take over, take a chance. Hover your mouse over this sentence, follow the link at the end of it and end up on their bandcamp. There you can order the album from their bigcartel-site. It costs 10 euro, is comprised on a CD and features ten songs. Make sure you finance this French group so they can continue and put out this kind of wonderful material. The album was released on the 3rd of May this year. I haven’t heard of it on any other site, so I decided to leave a spot for it in this recommendation. So, by concluding this weeks three Harvestings, I’ll be back with another one tomorrow. Then you’ll get my syringe in your vein, and I’ll start to pump some great musical experiences into you. See you next time.
Now I’m back with another topic that can be categorized by the name of Harvest. Sometimes your friends recommend music to you, but often you don’t get to expand your own vision and tastes. They often recommend something that many people already have heard. In general, people aren’t that interested in music. So if you have friends that like to recommend music to you, or like to plague you with distasteful genres and certain artists, show this list to them. Hopefully they’ll convert into someone that appreciates music for what it is and tries to venture out in cyberspace, finding new music and developing their senses for what music is and should be. After all, music can be art and that’s what I’m going to show you in this edition of Harvesting. Good friends don’t let friends listen to shitty music, good friends develop on their own and take you under their wings.
So let’s begin with the basics, this will be a brief history or introduction to the music at hand and a fitting description is going to be plastered on like a label.
Civil Civic – Rules
They’re from the United Kingdom and are loosely based around the concept of combining post-punk, post-rock and noise into an all-out instrumental en devour. Yes, that means that they ain’t got no use for vocals. First songs “Airspace” combines the sweetness of what almost sounds like a non-electronic version of drum’n’bass, when it comes to both the fast-paced drums in the background and the sound-scape overall, the baseline sounds like one of em’ speedy electronic baselines that are included in that genre. Even though it might’ve not been my cup of tea, the next song “Run Overdrive” surely fits the more calm and dreamy, yet bigger sound-scape that’s been prevalent in the first song. I like it, because it reminds me of a lot of other bands that use the same formula, but they’ve got their own edge with the extremely distorted baseline and serene synth. But the fact that it isn’t built completely on the breeding ground of noise, makes it much more enjoyable. Essentially, they’ve got a pretty commercial sound when you boil it down to the different parts that it’s made up of. I think their sound has a potential when it comes to that, because it’s not entirely mainstream, even though it sounds like it at times. They’ve balanced it out very well in between the sections of the song, and it’s pretty straight-forward even though they utilize some unconventional elements.
So, should you be interested in this? Yes, you should, because it’s damn catchy and full of life. If you’re interested in it, you should head over to their bandcamp and order this album. Here you’ll get a link. Twelve pounds is pretty expensive, but I really like their music. And they haven’t gone with the standard jewel-casing, which is a good thing and brings you a lot of value for your money. The digipak is designed by themselves and hold ten great songs. I think it’s got a great quality when it comes to the variation on the songs in general, even though it’s over a year old, it still holds the test of time. So you’ll have to wait ten more years to figure out if this kind of music still has that edge in it when you pick it up then. I’d suggest you do pick it up and fund them, because it sounds like they’ve done a huge amount of work on this album. Do also check out their other stuff, like the newest song “NEW!” which was released in June of 2012. Giddy up, set sail and dock your ship in their harbor.
Haul – The Hidden Spy / New Sewn Pocket
Are you a musical connoisseur when it comes to musical taste? Do you regularly test your ears by listening to the most magnificent music out there? So, you like when the music is a little bit darker? You’re right, so do I. Therefore I should introduce you to Haul, which is an experimental post-punk project engineered by the Swedish owners of Yta Recordings, which in turn are Pehr Herb and Hampus Mörk. On this 7¨ of theirs, they have two recorded songs that sound like the old-school sound of post-punk. But I like their experimental approach to it and the fact that they combine the post-punk aspect and the drone one. The first song “The Hidden Spy” makes me feel like I’m in a film noir movie of some sort, or maybe a thriller. It feels dirty, but has some kind of smug look on its musical face. I wouldn’t want to listen to this while I’m going through a dark alley, it feels as if something is about to happen, it feels like things are gradually heading for the worse. I’d say its got some kind of dystopian touch to it, a depressing and melancholic wandering through the world we live in today. Fittingly enough, it could describe everything that’s bad about this world. It wouldn’t surprise me if this song could be used in a soundtrack in the future, it’s very beautiful and also displays the angst that we have to put up with. Darkness, decay and feasting leeches suck us dry of life.
Second song, titled “New Sewn Pocket” isn’t as slow-paced as the first song. Like a more alarming song, with cold-wave influences. Switching from down-tempo to more adrenaline-pumping uptempo music. The strongest instruments in this mix is definitely the continuous baseline and the screeching noises that are being made in the background. As if you’d record someone scratching a surface, very slowly, producing an almost instantaneously and annoying sound.
If you like this, you should venture to their bandcamp. The link is in this sentence. You get two well-produced songs for 2,5 euros each, with a hand-made packaging. Since it’s also limited edition, you should grab one of the 200 copies that have been made. It’s, without a doubt, something you should have in your record collection. Since it’s also cheap and handmade, I believe it’s worth every euro you spend on it. Head over there and be the happiest man or woman on earth, or maybe boy or girl? I don’t know. Just get over there and purchase it.
Crops – Ana
What could be better than emotional synth-pop, with cold-wave influences and dark-wave undertones? Nothing! It’s actually three of the genres I like the most, but it’s also some of the hardest genres to master, in my opinion. With carefully laden and synchronized sound-scapes, the first song “Ana” made my synapses work harder than ever. Even though the vocalist is pretty good, sometimes he puts me off with his all too familiar wailing, but that’s just a side note when it comes to this great record. The funk within the song also displays itself amongst the rhythmic sections and interesting melodies, the melancholic vibe in this song is tremendous. I must say that the lyrical content is pretty good as well, it may not be the best around, but it’s catchy and very easy to get into your head. I found myself humming: “Ana… ana… ana”. Everything with a girl’s name in it, will turn out good, at least when it doesn’t turn out with boring and bland structures within the song.
The next song, “Awaken”, takes me into familiar territory. Almost as if they tried to get some minimal wave with the synth-pop, minimalistic melodies and dark rhythms accompanied by our good vocalist. He doesn’t try to be something he isn’t vocally, which is a relief. I absolutely despise those vocalists that wail without a reason. There’s also a fight between the elements of light and dark in this song, transgressing into an almost avant-garde use of a creamy synth-pop song I’ve ever heard. The rest of the album is really amazing too, but I guess these songs were on my mind since they’re so catchy and are easy to remember. Even though it’s hard to pick a favorite, since almost every song is on the same wave-length of quality music.
Check it out, follow this link. You can actually download the whole album for free. I hope this encourages our mysterious characters and make them create more music. It’s sad when you see that they’ve released an album two years ago but then faded into the dark as quick as they released their album. Hopefully they’ll return this year, preferably in December, to celebrate how much of an awesome album Ana actually was. If they don’t, then shame on them. I hope this post generates many downloads for this album, and I’ll also give you a direct-link to where you can download it. Just so you don’t need to click on one link and put your cursor over the “Free Download” button.
Art Is Hard Records is an independent record-label which started in 2010 by two friends and is based in their own hometown of Weymouth in the UK. The two friends Richard and David run this label and it’s strictly influenced by other labels which have had a “family”-kind of ethic to their name. So ethics is a big thing for this label, but also releasing interesting artists and bands from about every genre possible. They’ve up until now had a load of interesting releases and almost each one of those releases feature something beyond just the music and the album in its packaging. Like one of their latest releases, the The Biweekly 5¨ Pizza Club which was a compilation that featured a handmade pizza-box for one lucky customer. If you want to know more about this awesome label, check out the interview below which I conducted with Richard (one of the friends) from the label. I asked him all sorts of strange and interesting questions, and you’ll get to know this label a little bit more after reading it.