Spotlight [Compilation Special]: White Circles and Not So Cold! [Part I]

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In this Spotlight we give heed to newly arisen compilations. Out from the dusk and dawn comes the White Circles Compilation – a celebratory gesture by aufnahme + wiedergabe – for the first anniversary of White Circles, a club in Leipzig with resident-DJ’s Kevin Bigo, Ralph and aehm. So it was really written in stone that the residents were those who should compile the music. With their club they specialize in the colder and more melodic sub-genres of electronica, but they’re not limited to a certain kind of genre. Conceptually they feature live gigs by local and international acts, continual rotation of guest DJ’s, and co-operation with the different themed club-nights and labels – including special events. Their first event was held on the 8th of November, it featured Automelodi as the evening’s live-act, in-house DJ’s Ralph and Kevin Bigo, together with their first guest DJane Coco Darlin (DisTanz). A year later a compilation was formed in advance for the first anniversary of White Circles. The release was held yesterday on the 15th of November, featuring live-acts such as the legendary Clock DVA alongside the fresh blood that is Phase Fatale. Their guest-DJ was :dark sounds:.

Roughly at the same time, but maybe a little bit earlier, the Not So Cold-compilation was showcased for digital streaming on the Tacuara Records bandcamp-page. They call it “A Warm Wave Compilation” – maybe to consolidate support from our frozen friends in the North – or simply a referencing the supposed warm climate of Argentina and Perú. It’s a joint release signed Tacuara Records and Cintas Triangulares. One of the creators is César Canali who also runs the aforementioned label where the compilation is currently hosted, whilst Cesar Aguirre runs the Peruvian-based label Cintas Triangulares. The wonderfully slick cover have been photographed Rui Luz, Photo Digital Art, worked into artwork by Rafael Esteche, and the mastering have been done by Pablo Zumarraga.

a2222851647_10When it comes down to business, the aufnahme + wiedergabe and White Circles curated compilation “White Circles Compilation“, starts off with Azar Swan – whose music I am most unfamiliar to – having listened only to individual songs before. But the bombastic drums together with her assuring voice make for a line between popular music and the darker movements of dark-wave that is an underlying theme. I’m not particularly fond of the style of singing which she applies to this song, which is called “Foreign“, but when the chorus hits off it’s impossible not to dig the complexity of the moving patterns of music – where you’re saved by the gong-gong (in this case, the bridge; that fires off the chorus).

After that, Cocktail Twins deliver hard-as-nails but emotional post-punk with cold-wave overtones, with their song “Rooms Made of Dust“. I really enjoy the sound of a hammer onto a bolt, together with the apathy of the singer. It creates such a distance between the warmth of sincere and calm emotions, with the scraping of nails on the chalkboard – if you get what I mean. The paradoxical sameness that harsher and more straight-forward emotions contribute with, in comparison with the soft-spokenness of true emotions that border on love. There’s a hate-and-love relationship in the deliverance of the lyrics but also when it comes to the music. I believe this synergy creates such a complex atmosphere – as well as the percussion drums up a sea of emotion.

Then comes one of my favorite names from the aufnahme + wiedergabe, but not as I remember them. Velvet Condom used to be more electronic and less minimalistic, but I like their sincere vocals which are shrouded beneath a layer of something sweet. There’s a certain kind of innocence they deliver with such a name as “Self Injury” – which in itself is a hardship and not a joking matter. But I think there’s a paradox between the sweet sound and the topic which they’re ventilating through harsh post-punk rhythms and a steady melody conjured with a synthesizer. There’s a certain indifference to the tone of the singer which is enhanced when paired to the instruments. They’ve given up and they’re just stating a fact. It might seem brutal at the first glance – but what I’m seeing is a form of acceptance. It’s just how it is, I’ll live with it. The more I think about it the more I stray away from the lyrical content – in turn I am drifting away into total gloominess.

a3555187109_10For a change, I decide to turn on the Not So Cold “A Warm Wave Compilation”. Where I’m immidietly hooked into everything by Hante – the solo-project of Minuit Machine’s own Hélène De Thoury. The project doesn’t differ that much from the duo, but there’s a certain fluidness of the sound-scape which flows more into ambient territory. There’s not a strictness that can be felt with the main project which she has with Amandine Stioui – who’s also the singer when it comes to Minuit Machine. It’s also great to hear a different voice and a more playful tone when everything comes around, even though most of it is deadpan. Hear as it slowly transgresses from a full-on assault of synthesizers until it tones down and dies out in the abyss. Most of the track feels existential even though “Falling from grace” suggests otherwise. Sure, there’s a certain existentialism embedded into the bits and pieces of the track and the title alone, but it feels like a settlement between an imagined ego and reality knocking on heaven’s door. But I don’t really want to find it out – I’d rather speculate.

Since I had to skip YusYus because of an error probably created by Bandcamp itself, making the track entirely silent and only playable for four seconds – I move into Jenny Eve & Dan Söderquist (Twice A Man). Their track “Immersion” (taken from “The Monastery“) seems francophilic at a first glance, but then an ethnic vibe is leading you through the monastery. There’s much more to a title than what anyone could suggest. An invitation, an extended hand which guides you through and lets you follow them into a certain mood – fulfilment seems to be their goal. The good thing about all this is how it’s obvious what the meaning of everything is, but it is open for interpretation. Because when you get so certain of something, you generally refuse to see anything else then what is told. Who knows, maybe it’s not an invitation at all but rather a poisonous substance for your mind – delivered with sincere and beautiful music, whispered into your ear just so you believe it to be the other way around. I don’t know, but their sound is magnificent and intriguing to say the least – relaxing, a relaxation from the electronica that have flowed through already.

Now we’re up for something really exciting. I’ve just heard their name and listened to some of their songs, but now it’s allvar (severity) for Alvar. This Swedish duo touch upon the same bizarre no-go zone that Celldöd enters when he blends the most primitive, with the most complex music. I don’t know if this is industrial and electronic body music interpreted in a practical way, or if it’s simply theoretical and primitive at the same time with the track “The very witching time of night“. We’re however taken into the industries directly, wheezing pipes and knocking on tin – sampling morbid historical content, by reciting older criminal cases from Swedish criminal history. But the thing is that I don’t even know if it’s for real or not. It all seems like a dream to me and when the chaos erupts its difficult to wake up from this nightmare. They’ve really outdone themselves with the percussion and the wrecked noises that form an almost undanceable body-beat. This is how it was supposed to be done, so it’s a good thing that someone is finally taking it seriously. This is Alvar – uncompromising and stripped from every form of conscience, strictly based on factual happenings. Cold and harsh, fair and just – or is it an illusion?

Here ends Part I. There will be a follow-up for the rest of the songs. Wait until Part II.

NO! Spotlight: Dry Socket / Ray Creature! [Part I]

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I found a rather anonymous label which is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. The American label that I found is called NO! Record Label and is hosting itself on Tumblr, giving off a rather secluded interior for me to find mysterious. All the better, because it leaves much to my own imagination. This mysterious label have released two releases before those that I am going to cover in this spotlight. One of the releases are of Drekka and Assimilation – a kind of live re-work of each others live performances – but also a late introductory for me to Michael Andersons brainchild Drekka. This was actually the first release to be put out on this label. The second release was a compilation featuring the artists Drekka, NOON, John Flannelly, Canid, Assimilation and Agakus. Featured musicians working in the Bloomington, Indiana area, described by the label: “a collection of tracks that represents the loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars“. But the two releases that I’m going to cover here are Dry Socket and in the second part; Ray Creature. The aforementioned a collaboration between Michael Anderson and Dylan Ettinger. I hope you’ll enjoy this write-up.

a0823392091_10Dry Socket. Having recorded a demo back in 2011 that never got released, this release titled “Violator EP” is a re-worked version of that recording. What strikes me at first is that it sounds like some kind of lounge version of industrial, together with the experimental tendencies that a mixture of their spaced out sound together with Michael Andersons vocals. The rhythm is slow-paced and steady, serving as a point of reference when listening, as the synthesizer sounds morph into differentiating sounds all over the place at the same time. When still being caught adrift by the first track, it feels like a combination of the expertise that Dylan Ettinger showed on his split-release with Goldendust on DKA Records and the gruesome experimentalism with his ambient touches. Even though a lot of the ambient heard in Drekka cannot be heard here, it feels like when they’ve joined forces, nothing is impossible. But I must say that when the song is about to end in the last three to four minutes, the windy atmosphere of what Michael Anderson can and have produced makes a turn back into ambient territory. Flaunting the beauty that can be heard through both synthesizers and other instrumentation. Next up is a sense of immediate urgency with the other track, with the outdrawn and melodramatic synthesizers that take each of their turn to whip you into the wonderful atmosphere of the track. Giving it even more of the old-school industrial sound together with screeching and violent vocals that make turbulence a must. The different passages in this song makes it even less vague than the first one, albeit the organic sounds and the synthesizers bounce on each other in a fist full of fury, it is easy to feel when it turns into something else – changing the pathway of the song. But just before the song is about to end, in the three to four minutes as usual, things get out of hand and a stormier landscape of sound can be heard before it dies out completely. The limited cassette of fifty copies can be bought from NO! Record Label. You’re also able to stream the release in full down below.

Article: Imaginary trips into outer space with Adderall Canyonly – the Field Hymns years! [Part I]

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Introduction

Tumblr-esque aesthetics have never ever been so nauseating. We’ve seen it everywhere, and continue to see it here. But somehow Adderall Canyonly fed this appearance to the monster of the 1980’s, an American ghastly and gargantuan 1980’s beast, whose aesthetics are similar to Tumblr fast-food. One must admit that the aforementioned decade is more impressive when it comes to the aesthetics, then what Tumblr ever could deliver. It seems like this man is tired of putting out material for almost an eternity, well yeah – four years now – and not getting as much as a glance from the trendy music-press (both mainstream and the so-called ‘underground’). However, what makes the aesthetic nerve of his project even more interesting is the covers for his releases, which seem to be bright pastille-colors blended together with the adolescence of cartoons. Add that together with their rather psychedelic influences and you have a formula that they’ve settled for. If you’re not being fooled, Addreall Canyonly is the alter-ego of Wayne Longer, based out of somewhere-in-America. Probably a rather boring place, with regards to his musical fantasies. This is Part I.

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Part [I]: Back in the hemisphere of Nostilevo!

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Nostilevo is still one of my favorite labels from America. In the beginning, when they came around, industrial once again got revitalized. I asked the label-owner a few questions back then, and reviewed the whole she-bang of releases. At first, I thought it resembled Nestlé, but then I slapped myself and got myself together. Khristopher Reinshagen have had this label since 2011, and now he’s got a lot of releases out, that haven’t been payed much attention to from my side. More than the branching out from Nurse Etiquette, which was his earlier label. Which is why I decided to ask him a bunch of new questions and review the whole May batch of tapes. This includes Pure Ground, Mammal, Ritual Howls, The Glass Path and Church Shuttle. Not in that direct order, though. Hope you enjoy reading this and return afterwards. But first up is the interview I conducted with Khristopher himself, in Part II you’ll get the reviews.

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Review: Various Artists – A Tale Of Rotten Orange (2010) (Part I)

tale-of-roten-orange-LPA compilation with some undiscovered tracks and great punk acts from the US. First song is by the band Druglords of the Avenues, which is titled “This is a Pig“. Which feature some of the well-known punk-elements that deserve to be in the foreground, with rapid drums and an interesting anthemic touch to it. Reminding about the sorely missed days of the earlier punk eras of mainly the end of the 80’s and the beginning, but also middle of the 90’s. The drums are absolutely ravaging the sound-scape as it gives you an adrenaline injection in an instant. Some of it is nostalgic, but the singing blokes in this song heighten it and make it a great track for starters. Which makes the need for a continuing punk-overdose even more thought about. Next up is the band Disguster with the song “My Kick“, which doesn’t escalate in such frightful tempos as the first one. But it certainly doesn’t lack the original punk-sound of the beginning of the end for the 70’s, coming off with a more rock-oriented phase of the punk rock sound. The singer’s voice may not hold up such a sound-scape, but he at least has the ambition to drive it further and the sound-scape doesn’t lack anything that it should’ve needed. But sometimes you feel a need to wake the singer up a little bit more and tune him up a notch, but it is all fine in the end, because its a pretty good song overall.

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Harvesting #13: Do I even feel anything? [Part I]

You know it! Since I’ve been on hiatus for a number of days, because I’m struggling with other things, like my studies – I’d like to continue with Harvesting. So this time around, we’re up a number and it’s time for the #13th edition of the loveable thing that is called Harvesting. Today, I don’t have much to say. It’s getting a little bit darker in Sweden and soon I get to sleep one hour more, since we’re setting back the clock one hour. Which could do wonders with my productivity these days and give you more material to enjoy. But I’ll get straight to the point! In this edition of Harvesting, you’ll get to know more about the following bands/artists/label(s): 阿飛西雅 APHASIA, Agent Side Grinder, Bombangrepp and AVANT! Records. I’ve asked Andrea from AVANT! Records a couple of questions and the rest are, as usual, reviews. Enjoy this time around too and I hope to see you on the carousel before its gotten to the end of the ride.

阿飛西雅 APHASIA – 提去買藥仔 Take it, You Need Medicine

Strong, emotional, vague – but beautiful at its essential roots. First song “樹林 The Woods” is a balancing act between the finer moments of post-rock glory and on the other hand; melodic alternative rock with some influences from shoegaze, with the outdrawn and dreamy riffs. It’s a complete trip from the start and it doesn’t give in to any of the lustful misdemeanors that can be found along the way. With excellent drumming and an exact change in structure, makes this uncut gem set itself ablaze with the wonderfully emotional sense of post-rock, which is how it should be done. The climax in the song introduces some of the elements used earlier in the song, with catchy drumming, different riffing and interestingly enough a truly provocative instrumental at heart. In the sense that it induces some of the most wonderful emotions from deep within, grasping them and making something out of it. Next song “秘密 A Secret“, continues in the wake, but is a more down-tempo song at the core. But there’s a sense of that something is going to happen, even though it pushes through, slowly paving the way. Like picking the most luscious berries for your homemade pie, eating it and getting an overload on the taste-buds. Even though they at times seem to be somewhat bland, there’s always something happening, a change in the drums or a change within the riffing. I also feel like there’s some kind of rock-oriented rhythm going on later in the song, which enhances the structure even more, amidst the wailing shoegaze-riffs that flow through the virtual earpiece that I imagine I’m listening through. There’s something high-tech about it, something futuristic and it touches you deep within your own mind and soul.

In one of the later songs, which in my mind sounded the best after the aforementioned, there’s something naive being thrown into the mix. I’m talking about “蚵仔寮 Kerzliao“, which really heads on its own way, instead of mimicking what has been going on before. A mellowed out and funny song, when I listen to it there’s something calming about it. It makes me giggle when I think about it, but that’s because everything is so relaxed and my brain is slowly shutting off the functions which are needed for enormous concentration. Not that it doesn’t take any concentration while listening to it and trying to analyze it, but it makes my work here even easier. Because there’s something special about the high-pitched riffs and the drums, but also the baseline, which pulsates in rhythm and touches everything else with the monotonous and repetitive style. Somehow, they manage to make this kind of style seem less boring than it would’ve if any other band tried the same formula. They have something unique, which is noticeable in the way they handle their instruments and how the structure in their song reveals itself. Surely, a must have if you like this kind of style and appreciate the general awesomeness of some great post-rock, but with some of the mellowed out rock-oriented parts, integrated with a sprinkle of shoegaze at times.

You can listen to their album over here, but you can buy it from White Rabbit Records.

Agent Side Grinder – Hardware

Minimalistic and retro-futuristic, if that made any sense at all. In the first song “Look Within“, it sounds like they’ve sharpened the funky undertones of Nitzer Ebb, tuned it down to fit the down-tempo outfit. With the mellowed out, but sincere and somewhat in-your-face vocals, this piece of electronics makes wonders when you listen to it. There’s always something going on, like the synths that activate themselves in the background and come out as a buzzing noise in your headphones. It might not be pure EBM, but it’s got some of the features that are used in those arrangements. I’m thinking about the repetitive and monotonous drums, accompanied by the funky main-synth and the amount of intrigue these few instruments and sounds can capture. There’s definitely some New Beat going on there also, when I think about it. I imagine myself standing in an abandoned industrial town, getting my own private show by Agent Side Grinder, while standing in a totally decayed environment. I hate to say it, but one of the more memorable songs on this album, “Rip Me“, really sounds like Depeche Mode-light. There’s also a pinch of Pankow on the edges, but only vaguely. Maybe less bombastic than them, but I definitely see some of it in the vocals at least. Feels like I’m on an endless trip on the train, to a destination which I know very little about. To say the least, if I were to make some modern analogy, I would also compare them to Metroland. Seems like they have about the same minimalistic synth-scape when it boils down to it, the kind of minimalism meets naive little synths and drum-machines.

Another track that gives me shivers down the spines, is the one featuring Henric De La Cour on vocals, titled “Wolf Hour“. He manages to fill up the emptiness between different parts of the song, connecting them with his own thing vocally, which really makes the song a lot better. His emotional singing fits the sound-scape perfectly and adds another touch of sincerity to the mix. With the more aggressive singing, in another kind of style, handing in a contradiction in the sound-scape itself. Which makes it even more enjoyable to listen to. As the instruments clash, between the layer of aggressiveness á la Brigade Werther (especially the song Killbeat), with Henric De La Cour as the master of the chanson, there’s an edge that plows straight through me with full force. The last song that I want to mention that gave me something I was searching for, was the song “Pyre” which is more ballad-oriented. A synthetic goo filled with both the mystery of coldwave and the loveable cheesiness of both future-pop and synth-pop. Slowly moving forward into the distance, catching on to the whole mood of the sound-scape, with a singer’s voice that’s as sweet as the most sugar-filled soda pop you’d ever find yourself drinking. I think they’ve got something going that is out of the ordinary, but I don’t really dig their sound overall. But they’ve surely grasped the craftsmanship behind this kind of music and made it their own deal, which is wonderful and respectable.

You can listen to one of the tracks from the album below and you can also buy it from here.

Bombangrepp – Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud

There’s something edgy about this, differentiating from the general d-beat chaos. As can be heard within the first song “Livets Refräng“, the general mood of the song is total chaos and anarchy. But there’s something that makes this stand out from all the other bands that do the same thing, I don’t really know what, but some of the riffs are innovative and bring a great strength to the rest of the sound-scape. The singer is also hell-bent on this, which also makes it easy to understand how they’ve managed to make this song so great. He’s got somewhat different vocals and they’re bearable. At times, there’s the same kind of feeling to it, as it feels a little bit like everything else, but it continually fades out the more I listen to the song and understand the greatness of it. One of the other tracks on the album, namely the fourth one, titled as “Den Inre Striden” has some really cool riffs that make it much more enjoyable to listen to. The whole sound-scape as a whole is just making it even better, whereas the drums take a little bit more room in this song. At times it almost sounds like it’s knocking on the door of metal, but that’s just how the riffs sound in some parts of the song. There’s really a raw Mob 47 and Bizex-B feeling in it, if you blended those two together and kept the tempo of the aforementioned.

I feel like some other songs also need to be mentioned. The sixth song, which is also the title-track, namely: “Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud“, delivers a fierce combination of the best in both punk and d-beat. It’s absolutely raw throughout, it’s almost as if they’re a bunch of skeletons performing, since the fury of the song have already gnawed down to the bone. That’s how it feels when listening to this song, there’s a total sense of apathy but at the same time the tempo just continually keeps punching me in my ears. One of the best songs on the album, hands down, is the eighth song “Inget Hopp – Ingen Framtid“, which is indescribably majestic in its musical appearance. So if this song haven’t made you loose all your hope and just say fuck it, you’re down in deep water. The riffs are excellent, the drumming is on point and the vocalist makes his best effort so far. Since this album was released in 2011, I was hesitant at first to do a review on it, but I thought it would be cool to put this one out too. You should get this album if you have the chance, definitely one of the better d-beat punishers out there.

Download their album for free over here, but I suggest that you give them some cash, because they’re worth it.

I asked some questions for the label-owner Andrea of AVANT! Records. Hope you like this one too.

So, where did your idea for AVANT! Records come from and what was your aim for the label when you started it and who are you?

– The label was born in 2007 to co-release the split 7-inch between my band His Electro Blue Voice and the French black metal punk band Nuit Noire. It started with the intent of doing something good and well done with kind(s) of music I dig the most and that’s the spirit I carry it on by.

In what way do you think your label has developed since the first couple of releases?

– I like to keep things simple, minimal, neat and effective, and that’s surely a constant. This said, every release is or can be a new spot explored. I would never have thought of doing any dark-folk record before Cult of Youth, just as I’d never have imagined of releasing pure electronic music before Scorpion Violente. So yeah every step can lead to new directs. Wait and listen to the debut album by How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? and you’ll see how another new shore has been touched.

How do you decide what you want to release and what you don’t want to release, what’s your criteria?

– Basically if I like it? And if it can fit in with the label, I mean a like a lot of different stuff but one label cannot just do everything y’know. You gotta have your own identity as a label.

Could you tell me anything about the releases you’ve done so far and how they became a finished product ready to be sold?

– Well, there’s an entire productive process behind every label which is exacly the label’s job. I don’t mean to bore you with details but that’s what a label does: contacting the band, offering one kind of deal, being in touch with vinyl pressing plant, with distributors, with zines, blogs and music journals… it’s our whole world.

Thank you for answering these questions! What’s happening for you in the near future?

– Out right now are HORROR VACUI – In Darkness You Will Feel Alright LP (over here) and NIGHT SINS – New Grave LP (the opening song here down below), while November the 26th will be available HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD? s/t LP (Joy & Rebellion video)  and LUST FOR YOUTH – Saluting Rome EP.

Harvesting #11: Q: Are we Phoebus? A: No, we’re Chrille P! [Part I]

Another day, another edition of Harvesting. This time I venture into well-known territory and drag you along with me. I’ve been doing a podcast-series about Swedish Punk and Hardcore, which solemnly died and this is what rose from the ashes of it. The difference between this edition and the podcast is that I’ll be including foreign hardcore and punk-bands into this. So this time around you’ll get to know the following bands a little bit better, whether it’s a review or an interview: Prowler, Grueling Sentence, Hassler, Christer Pettersson and Phoebus Beat Clan. The last two of these bands will also be interviewed in this edition, which will be in two parts. So you can look forward to Christer Pettersson and Phoebus Beat Clan being interviewed in this part of it. Enjoy this Part of the deal and I hope you’ll enjoy the second part of it too. The second part will be released tomorrow.

Prowler – Prowler EP

I rarely find any hardcore in the regions of New Zealand and Australia, but this band comes from the NZ area and surprised me a lot. The first track “Choker” sounds a lot like the older hardcore-sound of America, specifically bands like Poison Idea and the likes of it. It’s got the banging sound of early hardcore and everything seems to be in place. Even though the tempo could be a little bit faster at times, it’s a basic and pretty repetitive formula but with their own touch added to it like it should be. So in the end, it can be a little bit frustrating, but the song isn’t that long to begin with and it ends with a burst of riffs and fades into oblivion. However, the second track “H.R.D” is more of a melodic punk song.

With much more weight added onto the melodic parts of it and the less up-tempo feeling of it. A higher feeling of joy and a lighter feeling of the punk-oriented sound of yesteryear. The only thing that sets them off is the basic formula that they’ve employed with this EP, but since it’s one of their first, I can understand why. I also believe that there’s been a lot of things that have sounded the same, but I think Prowler distinguish themselves from that category by having such a variation in songs and the structure is easier to bang your head to than other bands that just do the same over and over again. So at least that part of it is intact and I’m looking forward to other releases from this band, but it seems like they’ve been quite inactive since they released this EP in the beginning of 2012.

You can buy their EP over at their bandcamp if you want to, but it’s a digital-only download release this time around. There’s also a possibility to download it for free, but I think you should give the guys some cash for what they’ve managed to put out there with this release.

Grueling Sentence – Metaphysical Decomposition

Time for some of the first grindcore in these series. One of the more interesting releases in that category this year. Beginning with the track “Bodies Subscribe“, the Moog does that it does best. There’s a lot going on here and I feel myself headbanging to this piece of crossover hardcore. A good combination of hardcore in the down-tempo parts, serving as a breakdown kind of thing. Even though the third song “Bloodless” only lasts for some seconds, it’s one of my favorite songs of the album. Almost as if you’d put some powerviolence on a grindcore record. I don’t know how well it matches, but it sure as hell lets off some well-deserved steam. I could keep going for hours, whilst listening to that single song. One of the later songs, titled “Immersed“, is also one of my favorites. I like everything about this record, but some tracks are better than others.

There might be a lot of variation in one single track, as they sometimes go from pure metal to hardcore and then directly force themselves into the hardcore category. But I think it’s great that bands like these get some light shining upon them, because they’re hopping from genre to genre and they do it good. Another song that is one of my favorites on this album would be the song “Destructive Purpose“, blastbeating the fuck out of me and leaving me with my jaw close to the floor. I try to keep up with the tempo, but they’ve surpassed me five times already. Even though it’s such a heinous tempo, they still manage to keep it controlled to a good degree at least. The riffs are insane and the drumming is out of this world, I don’t really care to much for the growling, but it serves the purpose of the sound-scape as a whole and is a good catalyst to the speedy tempo.

Either you buy it and download it for 5 dollars from their bandcamp. Or, you could add 5 more dollars and get the 10 dollar physical CD in your hand. I don’t think it’s limited, but I think you should get it just to listen through it physically and not via the player.

Hassler – s/t 7¨

If you like bone-breaking hardcore, you will like this. It’s fucking crazy, but at the same time catchy. Starting off with the first track “Asphyxiate“, which makes the whole world rumble beneath my feet. Inviting me to a darker world than what I know of, moshing around in my head until I fall down and puke on myself. With crazy riffs, catchy vocals and a murky sound-scape which could be described as raw-fi. I think I should begin to promote the use of that word in situations like this. I like the straight-forwardness of the song and it just takes me by surprise as it storms into my living room and occupies it. The ultimate setting for something like Hassler, with everything developing into a controlled mayhem with undertones of sweet old-school crust. Or maybe it’s just me being confused thanks to the sound-scape, because it sounds crustier. Next song that I like very much from this album is “Beatdown“, which is straight-up hardcore with rock-oriented rhythms and crazy riffing.

Reminds me of a lot of Swedish bands, but they keep the American sound intact at least. Could be compared to a noisier version of Damage morphed into something in between with Misantropic, but without the sharp sound-scape and overtly bass-ridden songs. The hooks in these songs are fucking amazing too and leave me even more surprised. I was thinking, at first, that this was just one of the basic and straight-forward releases but nothing more than that. Fortunately for me, I was wrong about that and these guys serve as an example, at least when it comes to the synchronization and harmony in between the instruments. The way they manage to manipulate the instruments into sounding so damn crazy is above me and beyond. One of the greater records this year, in the hardcore category, for sure. Canada, you haven’t disappointed me this time around.

Support this band with all the money you have and buy a copy of their record over at Schizophrenic Records.

Christer Pettersson – Play Fast

Are we spoiled in Sweden? Yes, we are. We have Christer Pettersson. It’s a combination of Swedish and English fastcore/power-violence. I’ve been awaiting that day and I found them some time ago. They pull it off with such excellence that it almost feels bad for me to review this gem. The first track “(We are) Christer Pettersson” blows my mind and it’s one of those fastcore gems that you can’t stop listening to. With some hints of Bruce Banner and the good old (real) powerviolence, swedish style! Second song “Våldsmonopol” is very much about trying to be even faster than in the first song. And I believe that it’s the point of this record, the fucking drums are insane and I stomp along with it just to annoy my neighbors. They’ll be power violence-enthusiasts by the end of this week alone. One of the best songs on this album is the song “Don’t Stop” which sounds like something in between Uzi Suicide and Charles Bronson (thy legendary pv-band) and that’s not something bad.

The obligatory sampling and the fucking nutty riffs, almost as if there’s no point to the song when it comes to vocals or sampling. A point I get though is the: “…and hardcore”, which is being swarmed afterwards with a ridiculous amount of in-your-face attitude and also one obligatory “mmhh… dee-rop“. I feel that there are a lot of wonderful power-violence and fastcore anecdotes on this album, the only thing I missed was a “let’s fucking go” or “go!“. Hopefully this band have inspired loads of metalcore bands from Sweden to put down their guitars and go for some crazy power-violence instead. Another great song, which is only great for its beginning intermezzo between guitars and drums, is the song “Simulation of Reality” which brings a real hardcore and fastcore fusion to the table, just to shove it down your throat. Great shit!

Buy their shit or download it for free from their bandcamp, but I’d suggest that you give these poor men some money so they can record some more power violence. Hopefully they’ll pinpoint all the other anecdotes that are worthy of revolving a song around.

I asked Tor from the band Christer Pettersson some well deserved questions that needed to be answered immediately. He accomplished it.

Why did you pick the name Christer Pettersson, how did it once start up and have you played in any other band before this one?

– Me and Jakob played together in a thrash metal band called Oppression a couple of years ago and had been jamming every now and then since Oppression folded. Around 2011 we started to talk about playing some fast hardcore since we’ve been crazy about Scholastic Deth and bands like that for a couple years. We wrote some songs and asked Frank from Undergång to handle the bass. The name was mostly a joke from the beginning but kinda grew on us.

Christer Pettersson is an iconic name and stands for so many things. The class structure, drug abuse, the way that you’re easily judged in the eyes of media and the public, no matter what the law says. The artist Hop Louie got the question why he’s been putting the face of Christer Pettersson in his art and replied that he felt a closer connection to the likes of Christer Pettersson than the swedish king or something like that. That’s an interesting way of looking at it and I, we, could relate to that. Plus, Christer Pettersson ends up right next to Charles Bronson in iTunes.

So you’’ve released a fastcore/powerviolence record in Swedish and English, but where have you gotten your influences from?

– A bunch of japanese bands like BREAKfAST, Lie, Exclaim, Jellyroll Rockheads and so on. A bunch of american bands like Spazz, Infest, Lack of interest. A few Swedish bands: Bruce Banner, I Quit and E.T.A.. There are so many bands out there and I can gladly hook you up with a huge list, just say the word.

What was the general thought behind your first album, what were you trying to accomplish and did you have any message you wanted to put out?

– High energy hardcore. Fast thrash. We wanted it to be intense and interesting. The lyrics are mostly dealing with the fucked up structures of society. Alot of people consider Sweden to be a free country but we still live within a capitalist hegemony. If you’re not productive then you’re useless and basically doomed. It’s more important to get homeless people out of the downtown area of Stockholm than to make sure they don’t starve. It’s more important to make sure that homeless people are thrown of the subway trains than to make sure they have a home to go to. There are cases of power abuse from the police every single day, there are kids being beat up by security for drawing a beard on a billboard. I would say that society at large have got their priorities wrong.

Are you going to release anything new before the year is over or are you planning to do anything else?

– Hopefully we will put out the ”Play Fast” recording on wax, time will tell. Other than that we’re gonna focus on doing some shows and maybe do a tour next summer.

Thank you for this “interview”! Final words?

– Stay in school and play fast as fuck.

I asked some questions for Nicke Svensson from the band Phoebus Beat Clan and he gladly answered them with long sentences.

Who are you guys and what would you say separates Phoebus Beat Clan from other bands?

– Ok, hi. The first time we rehearsed we didn’t really play instruments, we drank heavily and burned some weed, then we decided to build a 9 mm Submachine Gun from a really detailed drawing that Odd, our singer had brought with him. And since I do a lot of machine work in my spare time it just felt so natural that we all agreed to be a band from now on, that’s not really something that would separate us from other bands though I guess, but let me put it this way; some time back in here in Stockholm our Minister for foreign affairs Anna Lindh, was murdered by a person named Mijailo Mijailovic. That took place at a local mall inside the city called NK, then just the week after that another person violently drove a car in the extremely narrow streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) causing several deaths of pedestrians.

Both Mijailo and the driver’s first words to the police after they were caught was that they had no memory what so ever of what happened or why they did it, only that they had this voice inside their heads repeatedly telling them to complete these horrible acts. Thing is this, right between these locations are the studio, it’s named The Dustward – this is where we rehearse and record, so if you look at a map and mark the local mall NK, the street in Gamla Stan where the driver finally stopped and The Dustward studio located in the ‘Phoebus Block’ in Gamla Stan you’ll get a perfect triangle. Make no mistake, this was a mind control attempt from the Swedish Royal Family, who also has their Castle building real close to this triangle, Bermuda had nothing to do with it, neither had Roky. We’re still trying to find out what our exact part in this blood curdling scenario is, but until we do I can’t really give you a good answer what it is that separates us from other bands, but it is something for sure – the voices inside our heads are growing louder by the hour, I guess you just have to stay tuned on that one.

How did it feel to record material for your first release and how did you go about it when recording?

– It felt great, human observers have two eyes and two ears but they only count as one, that’s a reassuring fact to feel while creating music, it cuts down the pressure to 50%. I mean the only thing we wanted to do here was to raise a great chromatic web the size of a spinnaker and then filter peoples minds through it, make them understand the importance of this virgin path of spiritual communication. We didn’t have any of the songs done before we recorded them – all we had was shitty iPhone recordings that always seemed to be somewhere else when we needed them the most. And our singer was deep inside the jungles of Borneo for like 5 weeks writing lyrics.

So when he got home we pretty much got together like we always do, got some good times going, feeling the inspiration and just jammed out the songs one by one at the time, then we had like two weeks of Sitar tuning, laying down some Wurlitzer, glockenspiel along with some other various medieval string instruments, this recording sounds pretty medieval, I mean in a sixties way, we feel it’s very sixties with medieval music – and we’re not even a sixties band, that’s how medieval we are.

Could you motivate why people should buy your upcoming release “Reincarnation Of The Circle Melts The Wheel”?

– Valentino Liberace’s feet. It’s actually quite simple, the world followed and admired Liberace’s fingers but it was his feet that got him to the piano, and that’s how we feel about it – elementarily, we are Liberace’s feet. Apart from that, just the good times, getting in contact with whatever you wanna call it, actually I could not tell you since I’ve never been in your shoes if you know what I mean, just ride the spectral transitions of electrical soundscapes and try to stay away from the dark side of Eden, eat all the apples you want to – fuck the serpent, get your kicks before the teddybear turns into a cloud.

So, what’s happening in the near future for you guys? Thank you for your presence! Could you recommend anything here in the end?

– We’re rehearsing at the moment trying to get a good live set going, we’re almost there so I’d say we’ll be performing live in no time. About the recommendations; Be aware, stay in contact, live your life to decode the lies inside the heart of rock ‘n roll, – one of the most famous Jerry Lee Lewis quotes of all times must be “I am right, I’m always right, once I thought I was wrong, I checked it out – I was right”. – So, he was wrong. He was wrong about being wrong and that is being wrong none the less and that’s one of the reasons that we don’t believe in rock ‘n roll, but we love Jerry Lee. Thank you.