Harvesting #10: We’ve come so far with New Ideals! [Part I]

I started up Harvesting as a source of renewal. What inspired me to start Harvesting was the fact that I’ve tried everything else and I wanted to break free. So I started it up and reckoned I needed a name first, so I came up with the name “Harvest” as it symbolizes what I do when I search for music. I look for it online and Harvest what I think is worthy of a place in it. But then I decided to change the name to “Harvesting“, because that’s something you actively do, as opposed to harvest (which you’ve already done). My original thought was to only let the “best of the best” have some space in the edition to begin with, even though I after the first three decided to let loose on the genres and be a little bit more inclusive. Thanks to everyone that read it and appreciated it, I must say that it became a huge success. Which means that I will be keeping Harvesting running on an (almost) day-to-day basis. The second most important thing about it is that great people, be it bands, artists of any kind, clubs or record-labels – everyone has a place, if you’re insignificant enough. That, in turn, doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything great. It just means that you’re unpopular in today’s mainstream society and it means that I have to shed a light on you. If you’re interested in being featured here yourself, don’t hesitate to contact me.

In this edition of Harvesting you’ll get to meet the following: BRANES, Moral Hex, Rule Of Thirds, New Ideals and Momentform. In other words, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. Since this is free and all. Hope you enjoy it even more this time around. You’ll also get a closer relationship with New Ideals and Momentform, since I’ve asked them a few questions.

Branes – Perfection Condition

An interesting duo which seem to lay more emphasis on their aesthetics than anything else. But I’m interested in the music at hand, and it sounds pretty funny. I don’t know if that was their intention, but their music sounds like a mix of sarcasm, death rock and synth-pop. The first song “Veronica Box Lunch” is a great insight into the most underrated death-rock, with a slice of intriguing and dark synth-pop. Since they hop in between a lot of genres, one of the more appreciative things they’ve done is the vocals. It’s got the theatrical and enthralling sound of the old-school, but at the same time a little bit of dark cabaret sliding in between. Rhythmically, it’s a monster, that just plows through you with the force of ingeniousness. Even though some of the songs can be a bit boring at times, the up-tempo pop-song “Abracadaver” bring a smile to my face each time.

It feels as if I’m being shown a hysterical show that tries to employ everything they’ve ever learned, at the same time. I believe that there’s a more humorist touch to their album more than anything else, because everything seems a tad too dis-organized. But I think they’ve got something going for themselves that could develop into something even better. The last song on this album, titled “Ramsey in the Dark” is one of the better songs on the album. A genuine slab of dark-wave angst, accompanied by quirky rhythms and weird melodies. Sounding like a robot in between and developing into a hysterical piece of art.

Buy their album over at their bandcamp and finance their continual absurdity. Oh, yeah, the digital-only version costs about 8 dollars. I believe it’s only released as a digitally-only download thing, since they ain’t got it in their shop. But you could snoop around, because there’s t-shirts and their first album also. There’s also a possibility to download the songs individually, for free.

Moral Hex – S/T 12¨

Apparently, there’s so much great goth rock and death-rock out there, it’s a shame that I didn’t find it earlier. This piece of interesting anarcho-punk mixed with goth rock, is what I’m going to listen my ears off to. First song “Corporate” is a battle between the drums, galloping away, along with a nice goth-sounding baseline. Accompanied by sincere guitar-riffs in the background and an obligatory vocalist that sounds like any older goth rock band. Even though they have a lot of influences on the side of goth rock, it’s obvious that punk is getting the firmer handshake this time around. I like the speedy, yet static tempo that fuels the sound-scape. The lyrics are also a stark reminder of what kind of world we live in and how it’s operated. Second song “Constant Regret” is a more vaudevillian kind of song, with high ambitions of being the melodic wonder you’d invite to your back alley for a live session. With nice drumming and a tempo that’s a little bit more compromised, just to suit the general mood of the sound-scape.

A kind of scaled-down version of the first song, but with its own touch and reigns to hold by. It seems like it slows down even more, the further in you get on the album itself. The third song “Behind the Mask“, is a masterpiece in itself. Employing some of the almost pop-oriented vocals, surfacing amongst a sound-scape that utilizes the best of the different instrumentation. A baseline to die for and drumming that is sufficient enough to bear the sound-scape up on its bare shoulders. A great experience of both worlds, whether it’s the punk-oriented side of it or if it’s the goth-oriented side. Both hold a great influence on this band and all their songs. It also feels great to find out that both are as exquisitely expressed as possible. Good riddance.

Buy the album over at their bandcamp for 4.99 dollars as a digital download-only album, or you could venture over to their label Mass Media Records, to look for it. I didn’t find it over there though, so the best would be to get the digital version of it first and then see if they’ve got a physical version available anytime soon.

Rule Of Thirds – DEMO

Tis’ a new addition on the scarce death-rock sky. I chose a lot of death-rock/goth-oriented releases because I wanted to show it to the world. Actually didn’t know they existed, but found out about it some days ago. Been listening to this record since then. The first song “No More Moon” has several strengths that reveal themselves the longer you get into the album, with a relatively repetetive and lo-fi sound-scape they manage to scrape on your inside and figure out which emoticons that need to come out. I felt pretty bedazzled when I listened to this for the first time, I think its ingeniousness in a bottle. Feels like I’m in an abandoned church and hearing the nonliving orchestra playing this tune for me. In the next song on the album, namely “Total Disappointment“, the singer sounds a little bit lite Anja Huwe from X Mal Deutschland. It’s also a little bit more down-tempo than the first song and sounds enthralling to say the least, there’s a pinch of nocturnal-feeling in it too.

As the melody on the guitar sounds completely in touch with the rest of it. One of the later songs on the album, “Northanger Abbey“, gets me everytime. I don’t know if it’s the sincerity in the screechy voice or if it is the stand-by drumming. But everything sounds so bombastic, yet it has that punk-feeling to it, like it’s been done wholly by D.I.Y.-measures and standards. It’s like a chaotic landscape of different instrumentation, that just fights to survive and be included in the wonderful landscape. There’s something dreamy about it, but it’s quite noise-filled. I don’t really know how that combination can be pulled off, but apparently Rule Of Thirds succeeded in doing that, especially with this song. This will be a band that I’ll keep an eye on in the future, because their demo, quite frankly, rocks the socks off me and it’s got that certain feeling that I get when I listen to old goth rock. Surely a keeper and it will probably be with me until they release something new. Hopefully they will, because I would like to see which label that would squander this kind of talent.

So if you want to buy it, you can venture over to their bandcamp as usual. You’ll get a digital-only download for 2.50 AUD, which isn’t that much to be honest. Packed with five songs and the first release this band has given away to the public. But I’m guessing that they only have a digital release because it’s quite a small label to begin with. Major Crimes Records released this pearl on the 22nd of June 2012.

There’s a new label on the rise and it’s name is New Ideals. It’s run by a music-enthusiast by the name of Joe and the label currently resides in London, UK.

Did you have any experience of labels before you started New Ideals, and what’s the main idea behind it?

– New Ideals is the culmination of much daydreaming, which consequently, is also why it has taken me so long to start it. My own views on music are terribly uncompromising so it seemed a natural step to set up a label where I could control every concern. However, it was only when I moved to London a year ago that the idea developed a clear narrative that extended beyond simple musical considerations. Certainly true for our first releases, there exists a critique on ones discordant relationship with the city.

I first approached Ianis from Momentform as their previous releases appeared to portray a similar message, which he confirmed. As we spoke more it became clear that we shared many of the same influences, and happily he agreed that Momentform would provide the debut release from New Ideals. My only useful label experience comes from a thirst to consume as much as I possibly can relating to Factory Records, an undeniable influence.

What kind of music are you specializing in when releasing?

– The label and its collaborators share a belief that music should provoke austere feelings of love and discomfort, a statement we shall be looking to uphold with each and every releases. There is little concern for adhering to a particular genre, however with much of my own musical taste rooted in post-punk, unwittingly, I am sure this will be reflected in many of our releases.

Since you’re from London, could you tell me anything about the climate there? What’s hardest about having a label over there and what challenges do you have in front of you?

– London is an all consuming city, impossible to escape, often exhausting, but ultimately enthralling. As I touched upon earlier, it was only when I moved here that the idea for the label developed a clear focus. At the moment there is a certain sense of dystopia to London, that like much of the world, is currently feeling the full force of austerity. With Momentform and blablarism both based in their respective capital cities, and myself in London, the city is a shared is a shared reference point for us all.

The greatest challenge for the label is ensuring every release gets the exposure its creators so richly deserve. If this happens then everything else will follow.

Are there coming any other releases planned before the end of 2012, and if so, could you tell me anything about them?

– IDEAL 002 will be the debut release from Ukrainian solo artist blablarism, due for release in late November. I can’t reveal too many details at the moment, but the release is similarly informed by living in the city, with Kiev the source of both inspiration and desperation

Thank you for letting me interview you about your label! Say what you want here in the end!

– It has been a pleasure, thank you. Be sure to follow New Ideals as there are some great releases planned in 2013 that we are beyond excited for, including a band who have already appeared on my favorite record label.

Before we get started on the questions I sent to Momentform, I need to emphazise that it’s Ianis Lallemand from the band, answering the questions asked.

Could you tell me anything about the history of the band and when it first started out?

– Momentform started out of discussions with my friend Pierre Suarez in the south of France, in the summer of 2010. I had been playing bass and releasing electronic music for some time; Pierre writes a lot, mostly short and very intense pieces. I was quite tired at this time with the process of producing complex electronic pieces, stuff that usually took me days to complete. I wanted to delve into something much more visceral, something I could write and produce more instinctively – music which could function as snapshots of certain states of mind. It seems to me Pierre’s lyrics respond to the same urge of instantaneous, cathartic expression. Hence it seemed natural to mix my music and his texts.

Although the tracks born from this collaboration where amongst the first to be finished, Pierre vocals only appeared in the second release, Four Days (released in June 2012 by Modern Tapes, Chicago). I see Momentform as an open project – which means that it might also take instrumental forms. However I’m very proud to have Pierre doing its great spoken word vocals once again on Yearn.

You’ve released your first 12¨ on American label WT but now you’ve released on New Ideals – what was the reason for this?

– This wasn’t planed, it just happened out of opportunities. I’m very happy to work with New Ideals. Joe (the label’s owner) is a really nice person and I wish him and his label all the best for the future.

What does the minimal synth genre mean to you?

– Apart from the quality of 80s pastiche that is undeniably has in some extent, I think the sound quality of the genre is particularly relevant to electronic music now as a path out of overly-polished productions, and out of the abstraction of club-oriented music.

Do you have anything else planned for the near future? Anything you could reveal?

– I’m working on a live set that I want to play at very special and intimate occasions. I have a few tracks ready, which are quite different than what I’ve done in the past releases. There are also a few other projects that I cannot reveal yet.

Good thing that you chose Invisible Guy! Or yeah, I chose you. But, what do you have to say here in the end?

– Thanks for the great work you’ve been doing with the blog and the Harvesting series. Thanks to Joe from New Ideals, Patrick from Modern Tapes and William of WT Records for their support!

This is the end of Part I.

Expect Part II to be released on Monday!

Harvesting #9: Something in between but not too far away! [Part I]

So I know you’ve been waiting a long time for this. I know that you just love the Harvesting. Before I get too egoistical, you should know that there’s only one edition left until I’ve done this ten times. This wasn’t really supposed to happen to begin with, but I decided that I wanted something new and fresh. Something consistent yet interesting, something that wouldn’t be crappy. When I think of how the bigger magazines get money for what they do, it makes me sick to my stomach, because most of their material isn’t even worthy a read. Therefore, I give you this, totally free. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this edition too, as it consists of the following bands and one of their releases: Martial Canterel, Belgrado and Brusque Twins. Move in, settle down and make yourself a cup of tea. Or have some dark coffee, some very dark coffee. Welcome to the ninth edition of Harvesting, where you’ll get the best of unpopular cultural phenomenons and music.

Martial Canterel – Empire

Swooping up the forgotten cold-wave sound and engraving their logo within it. A finely coordinated rhythm that persuades you to join in and start to move. First song “No Contact” is really the first introduction to that description, making it a good starter. The music fits perfectly into the general field of minimal synth meets cold wave. A vocally-oriented and melodic journey from bottom to top, with dark baselines and melodramatic symphonies. As could be felt with the second song on the album, titled “Kiev Park“. Which almost feels like a throwback of 90’s influences meeting the colorful 80’s. There’s also a measurable amount of up-tempo intrigues that can be find in this music, and it also employs some of the lo-fi elements to sound believable. In a scarce and desolate landscape which would be too far away to even rub you on the back. Instead, they manage to touch the inner feelings with an approach that should be used more frequently. The vocally-driven, yet tasteful minimalism, and shy performance that it is. Standing on the line between “too much” and “too little“, balancing like a circus-act in between the two firm categories. Overall an album worthy of more praise than its gotten so far, and also worthy of a continuation. There’s much more to discover and some things feel like they’re missing.

Drive your virtual car and park it at their station. They’ll re-fuel it with some of the goodness from this album, but it will cost you 7.99 euros. You’ll be one of the luckier ones to receive a limited and hand-numbered CD containing six pretty different tracks, each with their own charming intonation. So, drive it over there and return with your new addition. Do also check out his other releases before you close your browser and enjoy the mail you’re getting in the upcoming days. You can find it over here.

Belgrado – Panopticon / Vicious Circle 7¨

There’s always a joyful feeling in finding one of those bands you didn’t know exist. It’s goth rock from the old-school to the new-school. With heavy influences from both the death rock department and post-punk. While listening to the first song on the single, “Vicious Circle“, it becomes totally clear that they’re seriously great in what they do. Interestingly enough, they play around with the feedback of the vocalist and manage to incorporate the kind of melodies and rhythms heard in pre-1990’s goth rock reign. It’s melodic in itself, but not boring from that aspect. Still sounds fairly underground and mix in well with the rest of the sound-scape. It seems like they’ve focused a lot on the percussion itself, because the rhythms in there are totally gorgeous. The aesthetics themselves fit in very well with the per-disposed picture I had of them and I get even more impressed when I realize that this is totally D.I.Y. The second song “Panopticon” is more baseline-driven than the first song and show just how much they’ve managed to develop since their first release. Galloping drums, mystical baselines and nocturnal vocals. Everything you’d ever want from the old school, yet taken into a whole other direction rather than mimicking the old. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s even remotely fascinated by the goth and death-rock sound, molded into a modern piece of art.

You should buy it, or else you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Head on over to their bandcamp and listen to it, because it will be able to buy in the nearest future. However, you can buy their first release over here. One of the more anticipated bands for myself, since I discovered them. So venture over to their bat caves and join them in their struggle for a more goth and post-punk environment.

Brusque Twins – A Voice In The Night

The perfect catalyst of dance music and minimal synth. At least I think so, but it’s more than just that. There’s some kind of mellow feeling that I receive, when listening to the first track “Speaking In Colour“. I must say that there are a lot of things happening at the same time and the music is very loud to begin with, but somehow the soothing synths take me up in the sky. I think there’s a great contrast in between the sound-scapes bombastic sound and its almost angelic feeling. A kind of familiar connection in between, which shapes up the whole thought of the sound-scape. Never on the verge of being lo-fi, and on the edge of being too much. Like a finely woven piece of wool, it keeps enhancing itself, layer by layer. I also think that the female vocals make it all better, because the vocalist isn’t bad when she performs. There’s perfection all the way through, which is very noticeable in the second track “Wait For Me“. It feels kind of nostalgic, but it instills some kind of appreciation of here and now, rather than being too nostalgic. I think they’ve managed to modernize the way I look at minimal synth also, they’ve taken out the experimental ground of it and gotten rid of the almost mandatory lo-fi sound-scape. I also like the repetitiveness, since it doesn’t feel static. The sound-scape is almost always moving in one direction, but there’s a lot of things happening along the way. A great addition in your library and definitely something you should look into getting.

Go over to their bandcamp and check out their other albums. Do also head over to their label Visage Musique, to buy yourself a limited edition CD. It’s limited to 150 copies and costs 6 pounds to buy. Then you’ll get six tranquil songs that will change a little bit of your mind, time after time again. If you don’t like that, you could always get a digital-only download for 5 dollars on their bandcamp.

Harvesting #4: Should darkness engulf us or nostilevo? [Part I]

Welcome back to another edition of Harvesting. Since I missed out on writing about it yesterday, I will be writing two parts about a detroit-label nostilevo. First I’m going to start off with a completely unrelated tune that you’ll find down below, and then I’ll venture into the world of nostilevo. So you’re reading Part I of the recommendation and review right now, which will mean that Part II is going to be featured on my blog within some hours. This time, you’re going to open your eyes and see with your third eye, because in this edition the following bands are featured: Mirror Talk and Dream Affair. Prepare yourself by lighting some candles and fetching some nice stuff to eat, because this is going to be a trip into the ultimate darkness. Therefore I’ll start it off with a little bit of light in the end of the tunnel, hope you enjoy it.

Mirror Talk – secret homes

Probably one of my favorite tracks as of now. Discovered it recently, a project called “Mirror Talk“, steered by Dominik Noé from Berlin. Since this is only a song, I will make this one short. Wonderful melodies, rhythms and sound-scape overall. Think of a blend with the best analog pop, synth-wave and cold wave. The song he’s got up that I’m going to recommend in this edition will be a song called: “secret homes“. Clear and fast-paced synths, combined with funky rhythms and a singer that knows what he’s doing. You should check out his other songs too, but I think you should buy this song for one dollar. It’s catchy and leaves a mark, it’s got a special touch and will make you dance until the break of dawn. There’s many adolescent feelings in this song too, and also feelings of nostalgia. With the best from the 00’s and the most influential 80’s, if you like that kind of crossover, make your way over to his bandcamp. I’ll be linking it in the end of this sentence.

Dream Affair – Aborted State

It’s been a long time ago since I heard some awesome goth rock. Good for me, since I don’t have to look any further. Dream Affair have taken care of me, ever since I found them. With their embrace of the first wave of goth, with a touch of the second wave. There’s been a lot of bad goth rock bands lately, so this one could serve as a breaking point in between them. I’ve focused a lot on their latest album Aborted State which is bound to be released on the 9th of October. With muddy textures and suggestive lyrics, the first song “Syndrome” really indulges itself with worship of sworn times. But there’s not only that, since they’ve developed their own version of this mighty genre. It’s not a copy of a copy, but rather something new and interesting. Even though they use about the same techniques as the bands did back then, they’ve maxed out and I’d put them somewhere in between Rozz Williams project Christian Death and one of the newer additions whom have also been interviewed on this blog, namely Psychic Teens.

Since the first track is pretty straight-forward and embody everything good about the genre, the second track “Outside” employ more of a darkwave approach to the goth rock sound. A rather weird sounding combination of both genres, but sometimes the enthralling vocalist and his back-up singer manages to pave the way and uphold the sound-scape. There’s something nocturnal within this song, something you’d want to fix your ears and eyes on. As if the aesthetic is repeating itself in the music. Even though some parts turn me off, they’ve managed to pull of a sincere and emotional song titled “The Porter“, which at times remind me of Nightmare Fortress in many ways. What I love about the song is the futuristic vocals and the endless piano-stick that moves through with the rest of the sound-scape. It’s filled with visions and it’s ready to take off, and I’ll take my hat of and nod in your direction, Dream Affair.

You can buy their 4-track album over at the nostilevo bandcamp. If you order the digital-only version of it, you’ll have to give them five dollars. However, if you want a limited edition cassette, you’ll have to put out eight dollars. But I assure you that it’s worth the money. Then you’ll get both the digital and the physical version of it, and since it’s limited to 100 copies, you’ll be one of the lucky ones that will have this great album in their hands.

The Invisible Tape Nr. 2 – Selected Few (Part I)

It was time for Invisible Guy to have his own mixtape. This is the second one in the series, and it will be extended even more in the future. However, I’ve made room for seven wonderful artists on this mixtape and the other seven artists will be featured on the next one. Therefore, make room for these aspiring souls. Amongst one of those are Unwoman whom you’ll find an interview with over here. The others include Structural Disorder, where you can find an interview with (in Swedish) over here. Mat Dryhurst, whom also goes by the name of Total Accomplishment, you can find the interview with him over here. The wonderful alt-classical punk-band Birdeatsbaby have also been featured on this site and you’ll find the interview with them over here. Also, dive deep into the ocean of synth-pop and accompany Seacrypt in their interview over here. The hungarian artist Piresian Beach will make you love lo-fi, find the interview with her over here. Ever wanted to be a star in the Masquerade? Find the jokers from Pink Narcissus over here.

A nice blend of different styles and genres are going to be introduced to you. Enjoy!

Track list:

Unwoman – Is She Secretly On My Side (Soundtrack Of Her Life) (Unremembered, 2010)

Structural Disorder – Rebirth (A Prelude To Insanity, 2012)

Pink Narcissus – Masquerade (Block Your Ears Shield Your Eyes, 2011)

Mat Dryhurst – Deep Packet (2012)

Birdeatsbaby – I Always Hang Myself With The Same Rope (Here She Comes a Tumblin’, 2009)

Piresian Beach – Keine Falle (Alle Falle, 2012)

Seacrypt – Edge Of Time (A Momentary Rift, 2012)

The Invisible Tape Nr. 1 – Fishrider Edition!

It’s time for me to enter the “scene” of mix tapes. I’ve been wanting to do one for ages, but haven’t really had the time on my hands to do it. So I thought I’d give you a peek into the world of Fishrider Records. You’ll find an interview with Ian Henderson who runs the show, over here. A song from the interesting alt-pop act Opposite Sex, and you’ll find an interview with Lucy Hunter (the singer) over here. To the astonishing psychedelic-pop project The Shifting Sands consisting of Mike McLeod and a backing of New Zealands finest. You’ll find an interview with him over here. They’re accompanied by many other fine acts, rare songs and exclusive material just for you and only on Invisible Guy in symbiosis with Fishrider Records. Press play and enjoy your stay!

Track list:

The Shifting Sands – Tonight (Feel, 2012)

Opposite Sex – Dada Creep (Opposite Sex, 2011)

The Puddle – The Vitalist (Secret Holiday / Victory Blues, 2012)

Adalita Srsen & Robert Scott – That’s What I Heard (That’s What I Heard, 2010)

Opposite Sex – La Rat (Opposite Sex, 2011)

The Dark Beaks – Dream About You (Spill Your Heart, 2005)

The Shifting Sands – Kitchen Sink (Feel, 2012)

The Puddle – English Speaking World (Playboys In The Bush, 2010)

Opposite Sex – Panther Fight (Opposite Sex, 2011)

The Dark Beaks – Nothing

The Puddle – Friends (The Shakespeare Monkey, 2009)

Approximate length: 39 minutes!