From the western world of America, primarily New York, to the eastern realms of Croatia. Two worlds have met when Neud Photo and Zarkoff decided to let each other off the hook. Zarkoff got the chance to totally rework Neud Photo’s gloomier “Dimensions“-track, which has been out since a year ago. This time he used Iva Viskovic, a melancholic pop-queen, to enhance the peppier side of synth-pop. Even though the melancholic vibes can be felt, this rework is a lot more melodic and less atmospheric in a sense. Maybe it’s for the best, maybe it’s for the worst. The listeners don’t have to agree, but this is how Sasha Rajkovic (Zarkoff) have interpreted the original song, through his own lens. On a release that is called “Dimensions/Famous Grouse“, the reworked track is standing tall on the A-side of things – whilst his underground techno track “Famous Grouse“, is representing the Zagreb underground, packaged to the rest of the world – for them to hear. Kraftjerkz, a label from the US run by one guy – was the one that decided to put this release out. A year earlier, the track that you’re about to hear that is reworked, was released in its original shape by them. This is a time when the world is clashing, and what is better than to embrace it by reworking a track and making it into another version? I think you’ll have to listen to it for yourself if you want to believe it. It’s a tell-tale story that can easily be approached by the excitement of the listener. Tune in to “Dimensions (Zarkoff feat. Iva Viskovic Mix)” and forget where everything else came from, just take a deep breath and let yourself be swayed in. You can stream the track exclusively on Invisible Guy, down below. If you want to buy it, go to Downtown 304.
Missing out on different great releases seems to be my gig, or at least when I forget that I have actually listened to them. Pure Ground haven’t gone unnoticed by Invisible Guy and have been featured here before. This group’s magnificent blend of minimal synth with industrial is pulled off perfectly. Put in some experimentalism and you’ll have common ground with them. As their latest release “Protection” was put out on the internet on the 10th of November, I would notice the first track immediately. A gloomy and dark assault of minimalism and industrial, portraying the “Atlantic Wall“, which was national-socialist Germany’s coastal fortifications – to fend off the anticipated allied assault, as it was being built between 1942 and 1945, along the western coastline of Europe and Scandinavia. We delve into a world of complete darkness, as the nihilist tendencies are overtly seeping through with harsh vocals. The lyrics are genial, especially when this comes forth: “the difference is between them, fade and evaporate, to never come to consequence – of struggle based on hate*“. It’s a strong track that gets you into the record immediately, with the thoughtful lyrics that are placed perfectly. A synth-stab comes in – to the wobbling and bubbling baseline that covers everything. They manage to make everything out of the harshness that industrial can deliver, with sharp noises – to the darkest degree of minimal synth. Placed so perfectly, so harshly beneath. There’s a certain aspect of their music that keeps getting harder as they go by, but their original signature melodies that can be found throughout, is something they haven’t scaled away. The place went dark and silent, as “Protection” came out. You can listen to the whole release down below and stream it to your will. If you pre-order the record, it won’t be shipped out until the 25th of November. The release is limited to 100 copies on cassette.
* A word or two might’ve been misheard, but that doesn’t make the lyrics loose their inherent meaning.
Nihilism, it should’ve been combined. Joined together with the dark overtones of minimalism, as we’re at it with full speed. No glitter, no joy and a fist full of apathy. Let the dark melodies, swift jabs of minimal synth and evil vocals of Image Of Life conquer your mind. Los Angeles seems to be a hotbed of these experiments, at least when it comes to synthesizer-based music. As usual, I am not able to keep up with the continuous flow of great music that you’ll have to dig out yourself. Which made me feel embarrassed, since this release has been out for a month by now. Well, it’s titled “7¨“, and is short and stout. If I didn’t know anything about this release, I would’ve thought it was an obscure gem from the minimalistic underground of the 80’s. This is probably one of the best combinations of minimalism and nihilistic tendencies that I’ve come upon. As the atmosphere is suffocating anything lively, except the melodies, the dark overtones approach you slowly – to simply shift their aim and jab you right in the head, with enormous speed and force. Downtempo is not the only thing you’ll find here, but an industrial landscape fused with concrete sound. It certainly makes your mood swing 360 degrees, from happiness to a toned down kind of apathetic state of mind, with depressive thoughts just around the corner. So, when it comes to feelings, he’s able to twist and turn them – shaping them into the thematic consequence of the release itself. The songs are basically entwined within a certain pattern, but the ambiguous nature of it makes it feel like the illusion has been set in place. On one hand, there’s an general feeling of up-tempo, which changes imminently after the first song is heard. Turning head on tail, making it impossibly darkened. As it was said before, this is probably one of the best, if not the best, release that has come out this year in the minimal synth category. If these words need to be revised, this would probably still be in the top-5, contending with its overall landscape of soothingly (but uneasy) nihilistic, tempered and warm – fusion of both bad, good, evil – soaked from head to toe, in quality. The release feature two songs and was released on the 5th of April by Chondritic Sound.
Sometimes, it’s hard to come by a really quirky but serious band. Sometimes, you’ll simply have to fish in a sea – empty of fish. I threw a grenade down into the sea and up came a jolly fellow. Their name is Vundabar, a band from Boston, consisting of the duo Brandon Hagen and Drew McDonald. Their debutalbum goes by the name of “Antics“, which is a neatly packaged and at times, tricky concoction of both electronic influences in their almost exclusively non-electronic music. Feel the vibes of dance(eable) garage rock, with nothing but soft-spoken – and at times; ridiculous lyrical content. Imagine the mightily, and accentuated eccentrics from The Pixies, meeting a whole range of both unemotional and emotional contemptuous gadfly, surfing in with higher speed and energy. Fused with the soft-outspokenness of acoustic splendor. We’re certainly caught in their spiderweb, in the midst of their working shift, where they produce tracks with the swift motion of their hands. Surely, if you’re looking for a duo – you’ll probably hear an orchestra. They sound much larger than they should, since they’re only two people. Technically, there’s nothing you could complain about. Sometimes they venture into rare surf rock territories, with the eccentric overlook of a more outlandish attack on your freakishly generic brain – which craves generic garage rock. But you’ll get something completely different. Probably one of the more enthusiastic and bright-minded music I’ve heard for a while. The optimism, but also snarky cynicism shines through their hallow casket. For now, it’s up there in the top with some of the releases that I’m anticipating in the near future. You’ve outdone yourselves, bright boys – with your snickering smiles and uniquely diverse music. Conquer my heart and I’ll lock you in for at least a short time in my continuum, which is more than anyone else can bargain for, ever. There are eleven tracks on this wonderful album and it was released by themselves on the 24th of April.
Oh, what a perfect blend. These sincere patrons from Boston blend punk, blues, rock’n’roll, garage and surf together, which elevates into a fantastical emotional outburst. Coloring the world with their aesthetics, freely floating away in the summer breeze as the wind takes a hold of them. Yet another sign that Spring is here and that Summer is coming, as this will probably be the tune of these seasons entry into our lives once again. Let the catchiness of their songs reap what it sows, let them into your world as you gracefully swing your feet to the melodic and rhythmic content. The Shones is Paul Arbaje, Henry Stoehr, Franciscus Pobar Lay, Alex Leeds and Chevy Mathews. Also, this is more than a story about changing seasons, emotional outbursts and good music in general – it’s a story about a re-located band and sound. Listen to their newly released debut-EP down below.
Sweet, sensational melodies that touch your nerves and proceeds to you grant an emotional reaction. The perfection of math rock, rock’n’roll, psychedelic rock, post-hardcore and good old experimentalist post-rock. Interestingly enough, they’ve worked on this EP for a mere four months and are now finished. Working hard pays off, or so it seems. If you grab a hold of my hand, let me take you into the world of Pilgrimage. Where the melodies are central to the word of mouth that’s coming out. Instrumentally indulgent to a degree, fierce and with a talkative notion of riffs that are spaced out. Born like a wildflower, stepped on like a rock, plucked out of the lot as a bright example. Pilgrimage is Matt DeOliviera, Charlie Reese, Jeremy Cranmore and Clint Wooley. They’re from Lakeland, Florida and they do this all by themselves. Or yeah, they got a little help Johnson Sound & That’s That Fire, Inc. and Marcus McCants. But anyway – support D.I.Y, spread the message and listen to their first EP down below.
Ni har förmodligen hört talas om bandet från Svensk Punk och Hardcore, men har ni inte följt min numera nedlagda podcastserie, eller läst min intervju med dem här borta, så kanske de är desto mer okända. Struntsamma, de lirar i alla fall en variant av melodiös punk, vilket innebär att de lagt grunden för en hel del medryckande låtar. Nu har de skruvat upp produktiviteten igen och har därför släppt sprillans nytt material. Låten som nu har släppts går under namnet “Radio Song” och spelades in för några månader sedan hos Nordliga Breddgrader. Ett 8-kanalers ljudkort användes, men utan pre-amps och andra hjälpmedel. Fäst er blick nedanför och spela låten direkt.
Melodic punk with the intention of being in your face. Their first song on this 7¨ is “Brand New Girl” and recants a time where I wasn’t around, musically. It sounds like a throwback of the best melodic punk from the 90’s, mixed with their own intention and mischievous attitude. There’s a lot of things coming out at the same time, but it isn’t confusing, it just keeps the slick melodies locked and loaded for the listeners pleasure. It’s also got a lot of rock-vibes which is pretty uncommon when it comes to the more melodic side of punk, whereas there always seems to be an easy set of chords coming in your face. Even though I haven’t listened to much melodic punk lately, I think this makes up for the loss of music that I’ve had to put up with myself within that genre. The vocals are an absolute charm and the solo in the song is mind-numbing in a good way. I’d surely want to take this song down the highway, it will be my first priority when I get a driver’s license. This song is an ultimate mix of the best with what rock’n’roll can be and the fierce punk that should’ve been.
As I finish listening I step the gas and listen to the B-side and the song “A Little More Time”. It’s got the typical intro of a hardcore punk song, but goes straight into the regular punk-mood. Since I love the pressure that the baseline puts on the sound-scape, it becomes painfully obvious how this song is an extension of the first song. But in one way or another, I learned to appreciate this song more. It’s got more of that energy that can sometimes be lacking in punk and the variation is enormously important as well. I don’t find anything that I would be missing that this song doesn’t contain, it’s purely an even better song than the one on the A-side of this 7¨. Really loving the combination of the different instrumentation and the nostalgic vibe it reeks of. What we’re in dire need of these days is a melodic punk band that can kick ass at the same time and keep the melody going strong, which isn’t that easy to find actually. The Hitchhikers demonstrate that they’re something you should consider, but instead of cutting the slack, they cut the whole beef. Definitely something that should be heard by you and I can recommend that you should get it.
You can buy it from Orange Fight Records.
Label: Orange Fight Records
1. Brand New Girl
2. A Little More Time