Ljuslykta – [Är du inte en del, så är du utesluten] – Del II: Knivtid, Trepaneringsritualen, Fähund och Andra Svart

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Känner ni igen er? Bra. Vi hoppas att den första delen fick er att uppskatta detta initiativ. Nej, vi är fortfarande inte en del av vad andra gör utan vi ställer oss utanför det. För vad kan man göra när allting är strömlinjeformat – man kan i alla fall inte skapa något exakt likadant som alla andra gör. Oavsett vad de skriver om så läses det och hörs likadant, det kvittar egentligen om det är i podcastformat eller om det är i textformat.

Vi tycker att det finns något större, något mer än bara technopodcasts. Något mer än bara korta stycken av text som inte egentligen tillför något överhuvudtaget. Det må så vara att dessa fanzine och tidningar har skribenter som rent tekniskt får till det bättre än oss, men egentligen är det inte vad det handlar om, alls. Även om vi strävar efter att ha ett så korrekt språkbruk som möjligt så är det inte vad det står och faller med – det står och faller med originalitet.

Åt helvete med falsk journalistik – åt helvete med falsk originalitet – åt helvete med allt som inte är sant.

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Knivtid – Knivtid EP

Vad skär igenom oss om inte känslor? Hur ska man lyckas emulera olika känslotillstånd på bästa möjliga sätt? Det finns olika metoder som man kan använda sig av för att nå dit. Rent musikaliskt så är Knivtid väldigt nära dessa tillstånd, men inte bara på det viset utan också estetiskt. Man föreställer sig en storstad, stor, tom och själlös – finns det verkligen något att hämta där, egentligen? Enligt artistens självbetitlade EP via London-baserade ACR – så finns det något där ändå.

Direkt känner man saknad. Fan, måste det här verkligen hända, är det verkligen den känslan vi känner när vi lyssnar? Ja, i alla fall i “Feelings By Numbers“, som i låten tar sig an att samla på sig de innersta känslorna storstadsmänniskorna bär på. Det känns som om han katalyserar och bänder upp, rör om och öppnar upp, tömmer oss på den känslomässighet som existerar. Man hör måsarna skrika, närheten till naturen och den tärande betongen – två motsatsförhållanden som i slutändan är i samexistens. Verkligen underskön ambientmusik när den är som bäst. Med en detaljrikedom som pockar på känslornas uppmärksamhet, omedelbart.

I “262” finns en helt annan atmosfär. Kortare, mer intensiva kickar förmedlas med elektroniska instrument. Någonting lurar där under ytan, regnet porlar ner för rutan och det verkar som att något är i görningen. Kontrollerat kaos. Från de lägre frekvenserna som tar upp mycket plats, till de högre som har reserverats för att skapa en atmosfär som är mer grandios än vad man uppfattar i början. “Circles” har en mer romantisk framtoning, den är varmare och bär inte på lika mycket kyla som de andra, tidigare låtarna. Man känner sig mer välkommen, en känsla av stundens hetta – euforin man kan ha känt, det mer nostalgiska – men även det som finns i vissa ögonblick.

Inflammatorisk” är precis vad namnet säger att det ska vara. Ljuden blossar upp som från ingenstans och lägger sig platta för det mer industriella ljudet. Det finns en viss lekfullhet i låten som återspeglar sig i knackande, mindre utdragna och återkommande elektroniska vibbar. “Paus I” som i egenskap av sista låt och outro, bjuder på en början av något helt nytt. Förhoppningsvis något som är lika beroendeframkallande som detta släpp. Det är helt ofattbart hur detaljrikt och gripande detta släpp är.

Lyssna till det här nedanför och beställ en kassett. Det är för närvarande i sin andra utgåva eftersom att den första redan sålt slut.

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Trepaneringsritualen – Deathward, To The Womb

Sveriges, i mitt tycke, bästa undergroundbolag var Beläten. Thomas Ekelund har låtit utveckla sitt eget projekt Trepaneringsritualen efter att Beläten tyvärr gått i graven. Även om det är svårt för oss att förstå oss på det bakomliggande estetiska på detta släpp, kanske till och med det rent esoteriska, så är det lockande ur andra aspekter. Efter att ha varit obetydlig till att ha varit med på Boiler Room – till att ha funnit egenhet i sitt ljud på “Deathward, To The Womb” – är nog detta projekt ett av de nyare, som inom svensk industrial har chansen att bli något att räkna med.

Vad som gör detta projekt så spännande är hur långt man kan ta ljudmanipulationer. För det är vad Thomas gör på just detta släpp, men han tar det ett snäpp längre rent konceptuellt – både estetiskt och musikaliskt. De rungande infernaliska ljuden som borrar sig in i en med all kraft, strös omkring i en ruggig stämning vars uppbyggnad ger en kalla kårar. Särskilt märkbart är det i titelspåret “Deathward, To The Womb“. Tillsammans med Ekelunds magvändande stämma blir ritualen komplett, något som förmodligen måste upplevas live men som likväl blir imponerande i en ljudfil.

She Is Flame Of Life” är en låt som bevisar vad Trepaneringsritualen går för. Det är sinnessjukt men underskönt, det är smutsighetens fula tryne som visar sig. En uppvisning i konsten att förvränga allting och göra det vackra till något man bara vill stampa under skon. Om man ska sätta att “ha en aura” i ett sammanhang, så är detta verkligen en beskrivning för hur man kombinerar elektroniska ljud och framkallar något större och mer än bara musiken självt. Det finns en aura över denna musik som både kan vara vämjelig men imponerande samtidigt.

All Hail The Black Flame” är verkligen, i atmosfären, en sammanfattning av den mörka våg som uppstått främst i Sverige – men även annorstädes – i rytm och intensitet. Man tänker direkt på Celldöd, Alvar, Michael Idehall och Æther​. Givetvis finns det andra som figurerar i närheten av detta, rent ljudmässigt, men eftersom vi bara tar upp svenska artister, band och grupper i dessa artiklar så blir det rätt logiskt.

Vi rekommenderar verkligen att ni köper en CD eller LP. Stöd projektet, så att vi kan få en anledning att se vad som händer på den fronten härnäst. Lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför, men om ni vill få tillgång till “I Remember When I Was God” – köp vinylskivan i så fall.

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Fähund – 15.0

För den som vill ägna sig åt något som nästan är lika mörkt som Trepaneringsritualen, men på ett annat sätt, kan lyssna på “15.0” av Fähund – vars släpp innehåller två låtar på över tjugo minuter vardera. Mörkare ambient som är rätt experimentellt och påminner en hel del om Övervarning, ett annat projekt som vi täckt i övergången från Invisible Guy till Repartiseraren. Ungefär samma intresse väcks när man lyssnar till detta, som är en del i diskografin hos det fristående skivbolaget Sound-driven society rec.

Långsamma ljudlandskap som hänger sig totalt åt experimentella ljud. Den svajar fram och tillbaka, från att man tror att den ska utvecklas till något helt annat än det man hör, till att invecklas i sig självt och bli en större del av sina individuella små delar. Krackelerande, fragilt och med en förmåga att stå på egna ben trots en skakig grund. I “15.1” är det intensivt hela låten igenom. Utdragna och målande elektroniska paletter gör en annars väldigt kylig atmosfär till en mer eftertänksam, halvvarm resa in i djupet av vårt medvetande. In i ett främmande, men ändock närbeläget landskap, ett Nordiskt sådant. Mellan is och forntid till en skrämmande framtid.

Om intensiteten i den första låten behölls, men ökade lite grann och breddade på sig, är det vad “15.2” kan beskrivas som. Det känns som att det finns mer att höra, annorlunda ljud och ett större omfång för lyssnaren att ta in intryck från. Skevheten i det hela blir mer och mer uppenbar, det finns en speciell klarhet som Fähund vill förmedla men som inte skall förstås bara på några minuter – utan måste upplevas tills den upplöses i slutet av låten. En lång resa man får följa med på.

Skulle vilja påstå att det kanske inte är musik för vem som helst att lyssna på, men den har sin plats och hör hemma inom experimentell ambientmusik, mörkare sådan, på gränsen till att vara helt omfamnad av drone. Ni kan lyssna till bägge låtar nedanför.

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Andra Svart – Vascular Sound System

Detta var något jag ursprungligen såg Dan Söderqvist rekommendera. Länken sparades i bokmärken, längst bak – minneshålet. Mörk elektronisk musik att beskriva hjärtats funktion och omgärdande system med. Andra Svart har via Red Eye Consortium levererat “Vascular Sound System” – som är precis vad det beskrivs som. Cirkeln är alltså sluten och det har tillkommit ännu en artist som visar vad som är möjligt i ljudform. Vad är bättre än att beskriva en av kroppens viktigaste organ? Ingenting, hittills.

Rent konceptuellt översvämmas man av läkartermer. Latinska ord. Från att hjärtat pumpar i den självklara låten “Heart“, till de brummande oljuden i “Subclavian” – vars bas fullkomligen tar en på sängen. Fördelen med detta album är att det inte är något som tar avstamp i morbiditet, utan snarare i att vara olika beskrivande låtar för olika funktioner som kan relateras till det kardiovaskulära systemet. Utan den magnifika atmosfär som Andra Svart ger upphov till i varje låt, som påminner en om vad man besitter i sin vidunderliga kropp, så hade det rent konceptuellt fallit platt. Han gör något som kan vara intressant mycket intressantare i ljudform – det inspirerar på olika sätt.

Detaljrikedom är något vi tycker om på Repartiseraren. Allting tas fram i förgrunden och gestaltas på olika sätt, man kan höra alla instrument och alla ljudmanipulationer. Ingenting faller bakom förvrängningarna. Riktigt bra mixat och mastrat. “Illiac” är intressant på så sätt att den har en futuristisk prägel, synthljuden flyger in och ut men lämnar inte en oberörd. Ju längre in man kommer desto mer utvecklas låten och blir något av en favorit, när allt vävs samman och kombineras på bästa möjliga sätt – för att bli så unik som möjligt, men samtidigt ha kvar sin karaktär.

Jugular” blir en känslosam, knastrig resa in i det djupaste, mörkaste. Genomgående är hur saker passerar förbi och återkommer, funktionellt. Man blir en åskådare som får beskåda något audiovisuellt, och i vissa delar är melodierna väldigt koncentrerade samt välutvecklade. Det finns inget utrymme för några som helst felaktigheter. Genomgående ett förvånansvärt bra albumsläpp.

Ni kan lyssna på släppet i sin helhet här nedanför. Föreslår även att ni köper släppet.

 

 

 

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

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The newcomers from Eastern Europe called YusYus have proven themselves to be very efficient; both musically but also in other respects. Having released three singles since March of 2013—all of them have been dedicated to compilations. Their latest track “Proleter“, which is featured on the Not So Cold – A Warm Wave compilation, is adopted lyrically from Esad Babačić—front-man for a short-lived Yugoslavian punk-band called Via Ofensiva—that were active in the 1980’s. Re-modeled from post-punkish hardcore, but containing the same melodies sung by Esad, for the melodious run-around for the minimal synth outfit that represents YusYus. What’s most interesting is the gradual shift from the warmth of the synthesized baseline to the cold re-interpreted vocals. Combining electronic tenderness with a stale cold-wave suspension. Ambitiously crafted alongside the original influences, coming at you with a straight rhythm for a rocky appearance, chiseling out the prerequisite for a marvelous sculpture. Nothing is left for the coincidence—everything is carefully planned and staked out for their seemingly effortless implementation.

Having just released a second album, Italian post-punk, darkwave, shoegaze duo Schonwald pick and choose from a range of influences. Their contribution for the compilation is “Gemini“, a track originally featured on their double-single “Mercury / Gemini“, put out on 7¨-vinyl by the American label Hozac Records, in 2013. When it comes to their sound, thoughtfulness are their strongest key to combining these different genres. A hugely sounding bass-drum that pushes everything forward, together with suggestive vocals that solicit our inner feelings—using metaphors in their lyrics to provoke an emotional reaction. Most of it seems to be somewhere in between minimal synth and those sub-genres, but that doesn’t explain the multifaceted deliverance which their darkwave vein conjure in the atmosphere for them. This is from a time where they were in between having released a first album in 2008—experimental as hell—searching for a new sound. We think it was a good situation for them to be in, because this certainly stitch everything together, from beginning to end. Both for the individual track, but also in a larger perspective.

Now here’s a newcomer (at least for us) we forgot about, namely: Tiers. Actualized once again whilst searching for music to write about, as they had been put up digitally on Artificial Records some days ago—for their sophomore release “Winter“—which had been released a year ago from now, on vinyl. Their song “Vignette” is a new one featured on this compilation. What I like about Tiers is how their atonal sound makes for a harsh cold-induced venture into depths of a snow-ridden landscape—much like the title for their release. That’s also one of the reasons I don’t really like their sound, although the vocals are OK, some of their otherwise conceptually interesting sound shows itself to be sloppy. Most of it drifts away into nothingness without leaving you with any reflections on whether you’ve just been snowed in, or if what you heard had any bearing at all—leaving a mark? It starts off good but the more you get into it the more you want to get away from it. The repetitiveness doesn’t give or take anything from the atmosphere as such, nor’ does the instrumentation at any point—it just goes into a mish-mash of… what ever one could call it. We must give them appraisal for their ambitions, because the sloppiness isn’t derived out of them not trying anything at all and just going where they feel like—but rather for trying too hard. We get nowhere and we’re going to suffer from hypothermia if we stay here.

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Staying true to the concept—Hungarian artist Adam Berces have named his track “Hőhullám” (Heatwave). His own journey began with the compilation “A Classical Collection: 2006-2011” on the label Hard Body Sounds, in 2012. Two years later his album “Posztapokaliptikus Almanach” came out in two versions on SINCRONICA. Now he’s gracing us with a completely new song, where he goes ballistic on electronic body music fused with electro and minimal synth-pop. Though his vocals are enhanced and his robotic coolness shines throughout, it merely comes off as a cheap throw-down of 1980’s synth-pop versus a re-imagined minimalistic sound—allowing no ambivalent contrasts or synchronized, swell bombardments of imaginative sounds. No, this is a primitive ravishment that leaves little to your own imagination. Be it for better or worse, things can’t get more straight-forward than this. So the negative annotations to what we feel his musical achievement delivers with this track, can be turned upside down and be used as positive remarks. It depends whether you like it this way or not, and we must admit that we like it when there’s a transcendental feeling, an enchanting vision that cannot be grasped. Another thing which saves him a little bit is the general catchiness he manages to pull off between dark layers of electro, with the minimalistic drums and triggered sounds that come crashing in.

The flagship from Tacuara Records are now entering the mix. Yes, we’re talking about Vólkova—a project that is pleasurable to be introduced to for the first time. César Canali who runs the label is a part of this duo together with Paula Lazzarino. With their song for this compilation, “Come and See“—we’re flabbergasted immediately. It’s a completely new song and it alludes to the general purpose of their project, a melancholic vibe which is blended with ambient music and a film noir touch, occasional flirts with deranged noise and on bordering from darkwave into industrial for moments—quickly replaced with a piano and the continual mesmerizing beat—suddenly entering a breakbeat outbreak which flips the atmosphere entirely.  We must say that it’s one of the more interesting songs on this release so far, unfortunately some of the atmospheric and sullen sound-scape is ruined by the accentuation in the vocals. An exotic touch at first which actually blends into everything else very well, like a subversive message being uttered now and again—but it falls short in its repetitious nagging. Whenever nothing too chaotic is happening it fits, but the further in you get the more tired you are of hearing broken English and his willful dialect. Despite that—we’re more then pleased about their contribution.

Songs from “White Circle Compilation” will also be included into this article, you’ll just have to wait until it’s updated.

Part [II]: Channeling the power of Nostilevo!

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Suffice to say, this is the second part of your indulgence with Nostilevo. I’ll keep pressing it to your face, so you can hear it for yourselves, as you roam your apartment late at nights. Peacefully, you’ll sail with me on the wide oceans that is the Spring batch of tapes from this label. Controllable, uncontrollable – everything is relative, but relatively hopeless. Everything from the purest of experimental endeavors, to scarred Gothic delights, topped of by industrial heaviness. For those of you that haven’t checked it out yet, Part II includes reviews (and only reviews) of the following artists/groups/bands: Pure Ground, Ritual Howls, Church Shuttle, Mammal and The Glass Path. Enjoy it while its enjoyable, return when you feel like returning – and read when your eyes aren’t shut.

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Harvesting #13: We’re gothicly arranged – electronically estrange! [Part II]

Since I’ve been pretty sick lately, I wanted to produce another Harvesting. I’m getting better now and I’ll be putting out the 14th edition of Harvesting in the next couple of days. I need to get it running again, so I have gathered some of the darker bands for this edition. Always wanted to do this and now I had the chance, so there’s a lot of gothic rock involved and post-punk from the edges of hell. Soon, I’ll also get to turn back the clock and sleep another hour, so I can continue to make these editions. In this edition, the following bands/artists/compilations are featured: Tchernoziom, V/A – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music! and Terminal Gods. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be any interview in this Part of Harvesting #13. So you’ll have to look at these instead, enjoy!

Tchernoziom – Silure Asphalte

The finest post-punk from the regions of France. Beginning with the first track “Les Loges Germinales” which starts off with a nice baseline, it almost sounds like some of the older 90’s stuff when it comes to both grunge and almost borders to metal at times. Even though the focus in this song is more in the post-punk genre. I like the french language, because it gives a whole other feeling of the song at hand. There’s much passion when the singer releases his own arsenal towards me as a listener. The repetitive sound-scape forms like a huge bubble around the vocalists efforts when it comes to wailing and a more aggressive singing-style. At times, the sound-scape can be a little bit too unvaried for my taste, but it’s got some of the dark essence colluding within its core. Which is a good thing, since I like the darker side of post-punk. The instrumentation is pretty intriguing at times, but puts me off when all I hear is a baseline moving in the same tempo, with the same riffs coming over and over again.

On the next song from this single, titled “Vegetable Swallow“, there’s a little bit change to the unvaried sound-scape at least. Employing some of the alternative rock in the mix, which enhances the sound-scape further and gives a great amount of variation to it. There are some good parts in the song, but it’s not really in the post-punk domain that much anymore. Getting some good feelings on this October-evening, because the baseline is stomping and the drums are like a galloping horde which is thrusting towards me. The singer tries too hard at times, but it sounds really Gothic at the edges of it. Might not be my favorite song of both, but it’s got some grooviness to it at least. I also think they’re stepping way out of their own territory at times, but that’s just how it can turn out. Pretty good record, you should give this a chance.

You can listen to it below but there’s currently no way to buy it.

Various Artists – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music!

Overall, a pretty good compilation with some nice artists and bands. First song “In My Arms” by Principe Valiente is really a nice drop of shoegaze with new-wave. There are some dreamy elements that flow with you in the mix, with some kind of up-tempo happiness. Even though the subject at hand might not be that merry lyrically. A concoction of synths and guitars come around the corner and blind you with their light and the fast drums shift in color the further in you get into it. But there’s also a shredding riff going off in the background, which is drenched in reverb and bounces forward and backwards into the mix. The sound-scape itself could’ve been a little bit less chaotic, but with such influences, you can’t really tone it down. I think it’s a pretty good song overall, because it’s got everything necessary and pulls it off with style and a pinch of glamor. Next up is the song “Take A Walk” by one of the more well-known acts on this blog by now: The Foreign Resort. Reminds me a lot about The Hives when it comes to the energy, it’s also one of those songs that border from post-punk to new-wave. Also one of the more energetic bands in that category, taking away the more cheesy factor of new-wave and instead heightening the musical experience by fast riffing, drumming and a great singer. It also feels pretty lengthy, because you have to endure the breathtaking up-tempo and the very emotional sound-scape at hand, both lyrically and musically.

I had to skip one of the songs, because it didn’t really fit into the category of my favorites on this compilation. Therefore the fourth song “No Way” by the band M!R!M took its place. One of the more original acts I’ve heard for a while, I don’t really know where to place this music. It’s some kind of mix between synth-punk, post-punk and goth. I sense a little bit of KaS Product in the mix, with the cold wave vibes that can be heard throughout the sound-scape. It also feels a wee bit nocturnal, with a crushing baseline munching into your flesh and bone as fast as it can. There’s also a little bit of a psychedelic edge to it, feels like you’ve invited a circus of flesh eating zombies that are following you through an open landscape, making you end up in a downward spiral of survival. The next song on the menu, titled “The Wiser” is played by a band called Winter Severity Index. A calm introductory to some mish-mash of goth rock and post-punk, with an emotional vocalist and a sound-scape that is perfect for my taste. Even though there’s not much going on, I like the bands that can combine a chaotic environment with a little bit more down-tempo. Because there’s much going on, but at the same time it sounds pretty minimalistic. Actually one of the better bands that have combined those two elements, because some of those that have tried before haven’t really succeeded. Surely, one of the best songs in that sphere for a while if I have a say in it.

Since I don’t want to be a party-pooper, I’ll have to say that these songs are the best from the compilation. There’s a lot of more songs that you can experience on your own, but I suggest that you’d get the digital version of it at least. Because the physical version is sold out.

Terminal Gods – Electric Eyes

Another “new” goth rock band from the UK, with surprisingly high endurance. Within the first song “Electric Eyes“, there’s a little bit catchyness within the song. I think they’re trying to mimic The Sisters Of Mercy at times, which they don’t succeed with. But I think they’ve got their own thing going, with nice baselines and tight riffing. At least the vocalist is trying to put himself in that category, but that’s just what I think after having listened to the track over and over again for some days. I like their goth sound a lot, but I’m a little bit turned off by their more mainstream approach to it. I don’t think the alternative rock in this sound-scape has any depth, even though the vocalist is trying to make it even better in the chorus. The edge sounds good, but the core of it is a little bit bland. I don’t like the lyrics at all, but I guess that’s just me. It’s not my cup of tea and it doesn’t feel engaged with the overall picture that I’m receiving from it musically. So, I’ll have to say that I’m impressed by the goth rock-edge to it, but the rest of it really feels like it’s stumbling on its own feet before crossing the line.

I’ve already been getting it, that they’re trying to get the traditional goth sound. But I think that the second song “God Child” lacks what the first song did also. Everything is pretty UN-engaging until you get to the chorus, which is really the topping on the chocolate cake. This could also be one of the bands that try too hard to be traditional goth, but manage a part of it at least. So I have to see that as a sign of healthyness, as opposed to those bands that try to be something they cannot be. Since they’ve got their own thing going, it bears up the sound-scape a little bit. But it crumbles to dust the more you listen to it. I think the riffs are pretty bland and should be more uncompromising, and I don’t like the more mainstream edge that can be heard at times. I think the vocalist makes this song a little bit more engaging than it could’ve been, but it’s got to get better from this. Hopefully they’ll release something else in the near future, I’m hoping that they’ve gone further with this, because it could be a success story musically.

You can buy the digital-only download edition of this single since the physical limited edition vinyl is already sold out.

Harvesting #10: We’re hungering for Branes! [Part II]

Everything can be said, but not everything should be said. In Harvesting, we say it all. There’s much more coming your way and you’ll like it very much. As we continue to venture in the deep minds of others, in search for music that can be fine-tuned to your liking. Or, yeah, there’s no modification to this kind of thing, but I’m trying to expand it genre-wise. It should be for everyone and it would be great to attract more readers that like different underground genres. There have been a lot of focus on minimal wave, synth, industrial, power electronics and cold wave so far. I have also been eager to display some of the finest post-punk bands out there and just started to venture into the morbid hands of the goth and death rockers. Therefore, in this part of the tenth edition, you’ll see this: The Humanoids, Automatic Writing and Wazu. You’ll also get some more of BRANES and Bruzinski, which I have asked some questions to this part of the “anniversary” of Harvesting. Hopefully you’ll like this one too, because it will expand your mastermind even further. Soon we’ll take over, it’s just a matter of time. But, yeah, I have no plans for that more than musically. Check this one out and spread the word!

The Humanoids – The Humanoids

It’s a catchy ride from rockabilly to the intriguing sibling which name would be psychobilly. Starting with the first track on their first release “Reptile Man“, is a melodic and very rhythmic piece that instills every part of your body in such a mood that you just want to swing along. The tempo is great and it’s actually an instrumental song, a short one at that too. I sense some punk in this song too and it delivers with every means it’s got. There’s also a sense of the wild west within the song with sets the premise for the whole sound-scape, as if you’d be in a bumpy ride somewhere in those times. Maybe robbing a train or something and then riding away on a horses back.

Second songNeon Death” is more in the way of a punk-oriented song, which concentrates on the vocalists efforts to indulge in the crazy ride that is The Humanoids. She really times everything right and it goes in the tempo she wants it to go, like a borderline psychobilly, yet concentrated rockabilly punk song. The best song on the album would be their cover of the famous song “House of the Rising Sun“, which they pull off with an instantaneous creativity and interesting approach. The only thing I would like them to refine would be the sound-scape as a whole, but I guess that’s what keeps the punk going in it. It’s almost as if some instruments are higher than the others and that the drums don’t really get any love in some songs. But otherwise I think it’s a nice approach and it’s a great introductory for me, since I’m a novice within that genre too. Remember, a challenge is always fun.

I’d suggest that you’d buy their album from their bandcamp. Currently, it can be downloaded for free but you should tip them some cash. Recorded on the 20th of September, with 10 tracks, ranging from one minute to two minutes in the time-span that they’ve offered themselves.

Automatic Writing – Falling/Continuous

Forget about everything I’ve said, at least when it comes to the word “bombastic“. This piece of utterly eclectic and interesting electronica deserves that word more than anything else. With the first track “Falling“, I delve into a microscopic landscape of dreamy synths that push the barriers of sound rather than embrace the tiny space they’re within. It sounds like the rhythms want to push out of the box they’re trapped within, a sense of belonging that is beyond the world they’re compromised to live within. I love the analogue feeling to it and the absolutely outrageously loud synths both heard in the back and front of the sound-scape. One of the more interesting songs released this year, and also one of the more experimental when it comes to the sound-scape itself.

Not in the sense that they could be put off as “experimental”, but I think they’re a bit daring on that part of it. There’s no control of the boundaries for this electronica and that’s what make it beautiful. As if this wasn’t enough, the second track “Continuous” push the boundaries once again. A kind of dark mixed electronica with a more rough texture to it, laden perfectly in harmony with the more melodic parts of the darker textures. Almost as if they’re part of a symphony, playing every tune to get in control of the darkly and majestical sound from multiple sources. I am finding myself liking the chorus of the song and the vocalist is absolutely marvelous, his voice goes after the melody and fit the premise, on the spot. Touching, reverberating and multifaceted electronica – both right in your face and at the same time shy.

Buy this piece of art from their bandcamp and you’ll also have the remix of the second track. Three songs and a wonderful cover to put your eyes on, with aesthetics that hit my spot where it should. You’ll get a physical edition of the release for 5 pounds, limited to 200 copies. Get your own quickly, get it now!

Wazu – Robobo

I haven’t really had borderline electro on this blog for ages, if any at all. So I decided that Wazu would fill that place perfectly. A very talented duo from New York. Their latest release only has one available song and I’ll try my best to review it in the way I see fit. Their only song available, “Councillor“, is a landmark example of how electro and darkwave can be combined to create a great end-result. With almost no-wave tendencies at times for the vocals, that both of them operate with their wonderfully fit melodies, that interact with the harsh drums and fluorescent synths in the foreground, make for an excellent combination. At times, the repetitiveness gets to me and flings me into their sound-scape. I try to find anything wrong with it, but I simply cannot. Even though the song isn’t that long, it feels like it’s on for an eternity. There’s no boring passage in this song, with the exception of some seconds by the outro, but I can live with that.

There’s almost an aristocratic feeling to this, as if they’re battling the “emperor” with his own means. It reminds me of some of the old future-pop and borderline electroclash (yes, a misused term, I know) mixed up with the likes of Soho Girls (to some degree) and Ladytron. But Wazu manages to pull of their own thing, with both modesty and aggressiveness when it comes to the harder electronic beats. I know that it’s a paradox, but they’re a great paradox for all I care. Too bad that there are no more songs available for my listening pleasure, because I’d love to listen even more to it. This opening song, however, is a good indication for what I’m going to hear on the rest of the album. Hopefully they’ll surprise me even more with their excellence, and I hope that it will be sooner than later.

Buy their digital-only release of this record for 7 dollars from their bandcamp. Which I reckon they deserve for putting on such a show with the first and only song you get to pre-listen to. I’d say it’s worth a buy even though you only know it by the song “Councillor” which I reviewed above, but it’s worth it, because that song is effin’ great.

I asked some questions for the interesting band with the unusual name of BRANES.

What did you do before BRANES and how did you go from performance art to musicians?  

– We are still performance artists. A large part of BRANES is the live aspect of the show. We like to have themes for our shows and dress accordingly. We make all of our own set designs and like to use props. It’s harder to do all of these things when we’re touring on the road, but when we play local shows this is definitely an important aspect of our art. Before BRANES became a focus, we were involved in other music projects and costume design. We’ve always been creative people needing an outlet and this currently happens to be that outlet for us.

How would you define what you do?

– We are doing what we want. You know that Devo song “What I Must Do”? We’re doing that. No, we’re not.

So, you’ve got some pretty fascinating aesthetics when it comes to different outfits – but where does one find your influences when it comes to aesthetics?

– We find that our personal aesthetic is applied to all of our artistic endeavors, be it costumes or visual art or lyrics. It seems to be more of a philosophy that influences us. We are most influenced by that fringe reality of “nothing next”. This is a broad reflection of the whole picture, and so we find inspiration in many different places. The absurdity of it all is a major part of our sense of humor, which majorly influences us. When we get ideas for costumes or themes we jot them down. We have a lot of lists of notes and ideas. Lots and lots of lists. So many lists. We love lists.

Could you tell me about the making of your latest album “Perfection Condition”?

– The songs for Perfection Condition were written in 6 different cities over the course of a year and a half. We toured around the US a few times before sitting down to produce the album in Los Angeles. The record was produced in 3 months and picked up by Burger Records in July. We had the fortunate experience of working with Vahe Manoukian of Nu-tra who shared the same vision as us for the album. There were a lot of late nights in the studio crammed into our already busy schedules. It was a lot of hard work but we feel that the end product is something that is a genuine reflection of ourselves.

I asked some questions for the wonderfully talented artist Burzinski, whose real name is Laurent.

Who are you and what makes Burzinski an excellent choice if you want to listen to music nowadays?

– I’m a french guy, living in Paris, inspired by indie, cold wave, post-rock music. Well, generally speaking; melancholic music. I’m dealing with guitars, vocals, basses, synths and pianos, drum programming inspired by hip hop sampled beats (even if it doesn’t sound hip hop at all). And black and white photography for artworks. My musical project really started in 2010 with the release of my first album, Untimely Tales.

I started photography at the same time and it’s now a strong part of what I’m doing, photos inspired by music, music sometimes inspired by photos. I’ve also been lucky to meet online talented people who made videos for some of my songs, relying on the same black and white, melancholic spirit. So I guess if you’re into melancholic, dreamy music, with a hint of darkness, listening to it might be a option.

I saw that you haven’t released anything for quite some time – but how did you go by when creating your albums?

– Well, I’ve been quite busy with other stuff the past months, so I didn’t find enough time to be totally involved in what is going to come after the Ghostly Female Faces EP. A shame. I actually recorded a Cure cover and a Lamb remix this year, but it’s not new material. Been also involved into playing live a little bit. The creative process might sometimes sound like a bunch of trials and errors, but it always starts with writing the songs. I mean simple songwriting, with an acoustic guitar and vocals.

When I feel comfortable enough with the structure of the song, I can go and work on the next steps. For recording and arrangements, I’ve always been focused on the idea to define an overall sound, so I don’t work on one song after another. I really need to find a mood, by choosing types of sounds and instruments I’m going to use on all the songs. Then I focus on drums first, then basses, then the other parts.

How have the trip been so far with Burzinski – what sort of things have you encountered since you started out?

– First of all I’ve had the opportunity to meet nice people thanks to it all, something which would have never happened otherwise. The mastering engineer I work with lives in Los Angeles, italian friends shot wonderful videos, I played an in-house acoustic gig in Sweden this year, met a fellow musician friend whereas we started to talk on a music forum seven years ago, had dinner here in Paris with a portuguese blog owner… and so on… Quite amazing… The other surprising fact which comes to mind is how the music world changed.

The DIY way is something fascinating and the way to go for me. No need to spend months anymore in trying to find a label in order to release something. Music comes first whatever happens. Of course nice opportunities come along sometimes (the Ghostly EP released on Moon Palace records for example), but it’s not an issue anymore. I actually got lost a little bit with this old process, but it’s no longer so. Of course some might complain it’s harder and harder to be heard, that music incomes are stalling. But I guess the good point is more and more people can write and record music, and distribute it. I’m sure nice niche music will appear thanks to it, with one and only thing in mind: how can a song be written and recorded the best it can at a given moment. Nothing else matters, imho.

Are you releasing anything new before the year comes to a halt or do we have to wait until next year?

– Afraid I won’t be releasing anything this year, even if I’m working on the next album at the moment. It always takes more time than expected to record. It takes on average a month to finish a song, considering music is not my main job. Hopefully I’ll be quicker this time, so it won’t last too long. But I’m quite confident because the songwriting is done (it’s been done for a year or so, actually), the drum beats are set and I started to record some bass lines and a couple of arrangement ideas.

Thank you for wanting to be featured in Harvesting! What have you harvested musically in the last couple of months?

– You’re welcome, glad you found me out somehow somewhere.

The more I’m into music the less I listen to other stuff, so I didn’t harvest much. I bought the last Sigur Ros and Soap & Skin albums, just took my tickets to see The Soft Moon live in November, I’ll also probably see Beak> playing, and I can’t wait to hear the next Crime & The City Solution album to come. They just started a new tour after 20 years, too bad they don’t come and play here in Paris, hopefully they’ll find a way later.

Harvesting #9: Too far away but not something in between! [Part II]

Since I had to get the first Part rolling, I started to think about including another part. Just to be fancy and to cram in as much as I can within the tenth edition of Harvesting. I’m hoping that it will expand and be something more than just the writing here. Hopefully it will be symbolic and reek of quality. I know that I’m not the greatest writer out there, but I have a great passion for music and I’m hoping that it’ll be showing even more in this part. The bands and artists included in this part of the ninth edition will be the following: Erik De Vahl, Burzinski, the Hex Dispensers and Bitapart. There will be questions asked for Bitapart and you’ll have to enjoy the customary reviews and introductions to bands I find need more exposure and are unique in any way, shape or form. Stay with me now and carry the torch further down the aisle, let’s create some history!

Erik de Vahl – 121012

One of Sweden’s finest pearls right now, music-wise. There’s a sincerity in this music that moves on a much deeper level than anything else. Every word that comes out from his mouth is precise, every intonation is great and the atmosphere is blistering of emotions. Normally, I don’t prefer anything that can be related to pop. It has to be very experimental or unique, and Erik De Vahl shows off his skills and strengths on this latest album. Even though it’s just a collection of older songs, it sounds fresh and new. On “Side A” of the album, featuring six different songs, the first one: “Skogsbrand” sets the pace for the rest of the album. The fiery but controlled spark of light travels throughout the tunnel and meet its connector, a jazzy feel-good kind of thing mixed with strong melancholic pop-vibes. Even though I wouldn’t say that it’s purely in that category, since it switches itself in between the ambient landscapes and catchy hooks.

The second song, “Stolen Parts“, sounds even more experimental and it boils down to an ambitious project. Continuing to deliver the means to an end and also a whole new world of Swedish music, at least when it comes to this kind of waddling in between the genres, never attaching himself to any label. Though it’s apt to describe it in this way, there’s also a need for this music to gather around something. He has a lot of potential when it comes to music and he shows it off very well with this album of connected melodies. I believe he’s the new starlet of the bunch and could surely pave his way to a place in musical history. I must say that the genres per se may not be my cup of tea for the moment, but it reminds me of a dearly missed period of Swedish indie-pop in one way and a sorely missed ambient sphere that hasn’t really caught up with the rest of the world yet. But if he develops it, more will follow and it will be a good period. Also, I prefer “Side B” over the first side, but it really hits its full potential closer to the end of it.

Buy this limited edition cassette of 61 copies for 8 dollars. Or if you prefer the digital version, pay 5 dollars and download it yourself. Even though I’d prefer you buy the real deal instead, so you can listen to it in these cold times. It’ll bring something to you, both emotionally speaking and as a memory. There’s nothing stopping you now, and since it’s cheap, you should head over to the Zeon Light bandcamp and purchase it.

Burzinski – Female Faces EP

Even though this album dates back to the 15th November 2010, I had to recommend it. It’s one of the best new romantic gothic that I’ve heard for a while. There’s some kind of odd touch to this album that is hard to grasp while listening to it for the first time. A kind of ethereal feeling to it, but at the same time not too inaccessible. The first song “Ghostly Female Faces” envelops a sense of romanticism within itself, shrouded in the darkness that is the gothic sound. A feeling of being abandoned at one of the scariest places in the world: a graveyard. In this music, there’s also a sense of not belonging. It feels like its melancholic, but not to self-obsessed really. There’s a stronger and bigger philosophical perspective to the songs. With calm guitars, fine percussion and down tuned baselines – you get the best of me. In the second song “A Useless Tale“, I get dragged even further down in the catacomb.

I like the calmness in the singer’s voice and the sound-scape as a whole when he utilizes his dark voice and it collides with the bassdrum and the melodic background noises. It would be ideal to listen to this song when you’re moving through the vast landscapes of the big city. Every time I listen through it, each song grows on me individually. There’s a kind of repetitiveness to the songs, which make them catchy even though they’re far from it. I remember the two first songs the most, since they caught my attention with the different instrumentation and as a whole landscape. I feel free when listening to this and feel even freer when I stop the songs. Not because I don’t like them, but because I feel relieved each time I’ve listened through it and gotten to the end. A huge delivery, even though there are not many songs on this EP.

Either buy it over at their bandcamp as a digital-only version for free, or move on to this link and buy the limited edition CD. I suggest you give him some cash though instead of downloading it for free, so offer him some of your hard earned money if you like what you’re listening to.

the Hex Dispensers – Paralell 7¨

I think of a modern version of The Damned. This is also one of the older albums that I’ve found, but it’s from this year. Released on the 1st of April 2012. I think there’s a lot of crap out there when it comes to straight-forward punk, but the Hex Dispensers manage to sort themselves out of that category. With a little bit freaky lyrics and interesting approach to it melodically. Actually one of those releases that I’ve listened a little bit more too than other stuff that I’ve encountered. A friend of mine recommended the band and I heard a song from one of their albums. First song “Paralell” really caught my attention musically, it’s such a catchy song and it still delivers the brutal underground “smack-in-the-face” sound, but without pretensions or trying to hard. The thing about the first song is that it’s the best and set a high standard for the other songs. It’s also a pinpoint to other punk bands to follow, since they’ve managed to set the stage for my favorite form of punk.

When it almost borders to psychobilly and the likes of it, since it very much sounds in that way and manner on many of their songs. Both the drumming and the riffing is excellent and the vocalist make the sound-scape sound much more alive. Even though it would’ve held itself without him. This is even more obvious with the second song “Young Blood in the River” which is one of the other great songs on this release. If only more bands would follow the path that they have taken, they’ve decided to make something and make it good. It sounds unique but still reminds me of other great bands with the same attitude. Powerful rhythms and savvy melodies, would be great to finally see these guys live sometime. Hopefully they’ll release something new within the next couple of months. Or at least in the next year, so we can get more of this greatness.

Find their music over on their bandcamp and buy their 7¨ from here. It’s a limited edition and it’s got some great artwork going on. You can also download it digitally if you pay 2.99 US dollars for it, which would be great if they didn’t have a physical version. Though you should get the physical version instead. Great piece of music and definitely something you should hold on to.

Who are you and why did you choose the name Bitapart?

– My name is Bitapart and I live at the grid, a digital world of the 80s. It’s about vector graphics and a lot of neon lights as you can tell by looking at my logo/picture.

How I chose my name? I was looking for a name to fit my style of music. It’s quite hard to find a good name these days because every name I came up with was taken, so I asked a friend if he could help me with it. I wanted something associated with digital and different. He came up with the name “Bitaparte” like the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. I dropped the “e” and voilà. You can read the name as two words: BIT- as in bits and bytes (the digital part) and -APART (something different, not from this world). To make it even more interesting I added the grid story to it. It’s still at the beginning so it has to evolve further during the production.

How would you define your own music if you had to describe it to listeners?

– My music is like a soundtrack to an 80s movie. You get action, romance and that typical 80s feeling. In short: It’s like Miami Vice busting Tron for illegal possession of home-recorded cassette tapes.

What kind of gear do you use when you make music and how would you describe your creative process in making different tracks?

– I use almost exclusively the Op-1 from Teenage Engineering. It is so intuitive and with it’s vector graphics and visuals seems to support my creative work. I started to use the Roland JP8000 for warm pads and baselines as well.

Description of the creative process: I got a muse which is inspiring me to all of my creative work and is to find in every track and artwork. In the beginning there is a feeling I want to capture with my music. On that basis I make a visualization of it, a neon artwork to intensify the feeling and to know what my music not only feels but also looks like. That’s why to every track there is an artwork. After that I start with the drums or the bassline on the Op-1 and start building up a track. There is also watching a lot of Miami Vice episodes involved in the creative process but I can’t tell you any more about that, it’s a secret.

Are you going to make any EP or album soon?

– I’m releasing my first EP soon. I have to get the tracks remixed in a professional studio though. At the moment I’m working on new tracks for another EP. Some of the concept is already planned. The tracks will be released all together instead of one after another as I did on soundcloud with my previous tracks.

Thank you for answering these questions! What do you have to say?

– Thank you for featuring me it was a pleasure answering your questions. What I have to say? Spread the word!

Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Minimal Wave! (Part II)

 

This list is by no means my all time favorite minimal wave gems, but more a blend of both obscure and more well-known artists and groups from this dimension. The numbers mean nothing. Hopefully it will be ten great tips that people can be inspired by and find music they’ve never heard, but also help them get into the genre that is minimal wave. Not everything in the list may qualify as one hundred percent trve minimal wave, but I try to keep it as close to it as possible.

You’re now entering Part II of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

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