[14th|15th] December: STURQEN & Zex Model!

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raiaFrom the beginning there was “Raia” – third album STURQEN ever put out, self-released and all. A calmer more abstract release as opposed to “Peste” and “Colera“—two digital Eps discharged into oblivion, a Yin & Yang of total resignation. Also featured as physical editions in Cdr. With their third album they formed a pattern of recognition. They seemed to have wanted to step into paradise for one last time, before heading back from a retro-perspective “Praga” and “Pirahna“—their first and second album. The meaning of “Raia” is ‘Batoidea’ – which is the taxonomical (biological) super-order of rays, more specifically a cartilaginous marine fish which means that they, like sharks, have no bones in their body. These mammals are not the kings of the sea but they’re close to being. We think of manta rays – these huge rays that carelessly patrol the depths of open seas.

When you read the titles, they’re inspired by everything from the native ecosystem of Portugal – to Johannes Kepler, candelabras, mountains, CD’s, and Canary birds – a reference to Canary Islands? Also might be because “Canário sound like a chirping bird. Every song on the album seem to be an interpretation musically, also of linguistical importance title-wise – through genres STURQEN like to be associated with—or by accident. They break from this gateway completely with “NEOPHOBIA“, as they seal their original intentions in a box not to be opened again until it’s time.

neophobiaNeophobia seems to be a complete anti-thesis, full-on rhythmic noise techno experience, higher frequencies and a dystopic vision of the future for Mother Earth. The term ‘neophobia‘ can be summarized as: “a phobia for anything new“, in this case a disintegration musically – disseminating the “post-industrial“—specifically a technologically maddening, freakishly abundant, information society in which nothing has any meaning no more.

The world is entering a state of emergency, alarms sound nearby and everything is organized for resistance. Or might it be Earth rejecting its own organic structure? We hear a militarized sound, a call to war, in “Justo“, a machinated process rebooting and aircrafts lifting in “Ateus” – consisting of minimal analog instrumentation; distorted rhythmic sounds and a harsh beat. Just to mention two contrasting examples from NEOPHOBIA. Same theme – different characteristics and takes on a subject we yet have to uncover—perfect time for a thorough investigation.

What resonated with me the most visually was the edgy and spot on music-video for “Toxinas” – a song clenched from their third album “NEOPHOBIA“, released on the Ukrainian label Kvitnu, in 2013. The sport of fencing was suited perfectly with the experimental rhythmic noise David Arantes and César Rodrigues of STURQEN produce. Though we’re not impressed by how the elegant sport of fencing is portrayed as if it were post-mortem. Though it can be interpreted in different ways as was our first understanding of the music-video accompanying the song as some kind of tribute, but the more we think about it – the less plausible that theory becomes.

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Now when they’ve been accustomed—to such a wide degree of change, they settle in with an unreleased track for Repartiseraren own non-commercial collection Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Pidde” and will remind you more about their debut-album “Piranha” than anything else. At least that’s how we hear it when listening to the song. A diffuse, experimental noise atmosphere that quickly fades in with a thrusting buzz, but stinging poisonous touch which decays – as the machine wheezes out its last steam, the same day the industrial workplace is shut down to pleasure the coming post-industrialists. Listen to the 14th December exclusive premiere of the earlier unreleased song “Pidde“.

 

dark-myth-ankoku-shinwa-takeshi-servant-of-brahman-and-god-of-darkness-susanoah-oh-eight-armed-horse-lotusZex Model is back once again, with a new track for Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Ankoku Shinwa” and is influenced by the Anime-serie with the same name – which is synonymous to: “The Dark Myth,” original title in Japanese: 暗黒神話. In short the series revolve around prehistoric Gods from Japanese mythology, whose presence in the early days of Japan had a task to protect their sworn secrets—hidden in modern society. Since darkness is beckoning, the Kikuchi Clan have seen the warning and are ready to fight the spirits of the mythological creatures. The main character—a boy who tames the powers of the gods, could be the embodiment of the boys’ spirit in this song. A protagonist who does his utmost to defeat those who wish to do harm.

The religious Croatian christian orthodox chanting, might be a direct translation of the Kikuchi Clan warning about impending darkness—as his own voice, heavily distorted, out of the blue descends; to affright the listener. You hear a better, more improved version of the Zex (Model), as he rips up a wind of nostalgia, reminding us about some kind of crossover between Brigade Werther and other such experimental, borderline electronic body music, industrial acts. His inspiration from Anime is not to be taken lightly, as it gives a depth to the influence of this particular track. Not to mention his other discography. It feels like he’s found his spot and continually develop, so it can hopefully bloom out and become something unique.

He delivered a newly produced and unreleased track which everyone should listen to. It’s a step away from his electronic body music with a multitude of samples, focusing on fewer samples and entrenching his own distorted vocals. His contribution to Ljudkalendern may have more inspiration from elsewhere, but it mainly comes from that Japanese anime-serie. For the 15th December you can enjoy everything about a new model, not by any means finished, but a prototype.

Exclusive Premiere: Os Ovni – No Time Static Hide

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The clock is ticking, time is running out. We’re just here to be with you for a while. The duo Os Ovni have been releasing their delightful mixture of synth-pop, minimal synth and dream pop, also channeling other differentiating electronica that can be hard to put together – since 2010. The duo consists of Logan Owlbeemoth and Omebi Velouri, whom have been performing together beneath various experimental electronic aliases in a period of 15 years. By the way, did you know that “Os Ovni” actually means “The UFO” in Portuguese? Now you know. Back in 2010, they released the single “Something In The Sky” on Answering Machine Recordings. A year after that, they followed it up with a split-release with Modern Witch, which got placed on the label Tundra Dubs. After a lot of moving around on different labels, releasing a split with Blue On Blue and then thundering on to participate in yet another split-release with TWINS, they’ve finally settled down and decided to release an album of their own. Together with their soothing love for specific sci-fi, our cosmos and everything in between – Os Ovni have been planning a release which goes by the name of “Lets Leave Reality“. Matt Weiner of Featureless Ghost have been the overseer when it comes to the production of this particular album. Something Cold Records have gotten the honor to release this, and this is probably what further cements their wish to turn away from reality and embrace space. I must say that this record is oozing of minimalism, twirling synthesizers, space-y virtual rooms that places oneself into their cybernetic shoes. Invisible Guy has gotten the honor to premiere a single from their album, and more to come, but first up is “No Time Static Hide” – the fifth song on this eight-tracked album. You can listen and stream the song down below, so you can get more of a taste of what’s coming in November. I also asked Justin Carver of Something Cold (Records) about the release itself and what’s on the menu in the near future.

Last year you released a compilation of tracks, and now you’re going to release an album by Os Ovni. What can you tell us about this?

– I’ve been a fan of Os Ovni since I first heard their split 7″ with Modern Witch. Their music always stood out amongst other minimal electronic bands because of how harmonious their vocals were on top of very fragile synth work. I was able to meet them firsthand when they performed in Detroit for Something Cold in December of 2011. The show took place in a very weird little banquet hall in Mexicantown! Their performance blew me away, they had the most simplistic set up but filled the room with the most psychedelic synth waves. From then on out we stayed in touch and I continued to follow their releases and excellent video work they do (Tachyons+). Their track on the Something Cold compilation was one of the albums most well received tracks, so one day I told Logan when you’re ready, I’d be happy to release your debut LP. Him and Omebi agreed to let us release it for them! They are both incredibly hardworking musicians and I’m proud to be working with them.

What was the original purpose of Something Cold records?

– Simply to release new (and rediscover old) exciting music within the minimal electronic, industrial and wave underground on vinyl. I’ve been running the Something Cold parties in Detroit since 2009, so moving forward and starting a label seemed like the next logical step. My friend Jason Amm (Suction Records/Solvent) has provided an enormous amount of help with the label and helping it come together.

Since your first release has been sold out now for some time, what kind of reactions did it get?

– I was surprised with how fast it sold out and how well received it was. I’ve gotten a few emails from people who picked it up on a whim in record stores and wrote to express their enjoyment and curiosity about the label/party. It’s cool to see tracks from the LP pop up on playlists from radio shows and DJs around the world. Thankfully, while it is sold out, it’s not being price gouged on Discogs or Ebay yet!

Are you going to release anything else in the near future on Something Cold records?

– Absolutely. We’re talking to a few artists at the moment about our next releases. Expect it out around the first of this coming year. We also plan on doing a limited repress of the initial Something Cold compilation LP eventually as well.

Spotlight: Tendagruta – Ensalmo do Sargaço

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Portugal delivers a mystic group that goes by the name of Tendagruta. They’ve been around for a compilation in 2011, by the name of Futuro Primitivo, released by You Are Not Stealing Records and Chilli Com Carne. In May, they also released “Cloaca“, which was originally released on Latrina do Chifrodo in 2011. However, their latest effort, which goes by the name of “Ensalmo do Sargaço” – is a record which compiles tracks they recorded from the time-span of 2010 to 2012, in various locations. Some of the tracks have also been featured on various releases. Now, let’s get to the point at hand. Their solemn and sincere mixture of the fundamentals of industrial, with a gritty layer of dark ambient, surely paves a way into the ancestral but occult thinking of Tendagruta. You’re drawn into the atmospheric content, in a malignant sphere of collectivized agony. Channeled into the medium that is the aforementioned genres, in an unorthodox and unprecedented heavy-weight competition, in between the different elements that constitute the make-up of each song. Hailing these dark landscape, showing immense respect for what can be thought to be a natural conscience, driven between the edges of virtuous and natural industrial – to the brink of thoughtfulness. Imagine yourself seeking a treasure that is hidden from plain sight, in a barren world where caves are your friend and the water can be unpredictable. As elements form together and shape the world you’re orienting yourself in. Tendagruta does precisely that, as they utilize whatever they can get, just to have those naturalistic sounds. Nothing can be more analogue than this, and it feels like they’ve gone long ways to make it sound like that. Perhaps I’m wrong, and this is just an illusion to frame my mind into this way of thinking, but either way – they’ve succeeded with their intentions and that’s what counts.

Thee Showcase [#8.2]: The Otters and Les Baton Rouge!

1886079149-1We continually march on, even though we’re not in a band. It’s time, once again, for Thee Showcase. Letting you know about some new music and what we think about it. This time we’re up for The Otters, whom are a duo from San Diego. I don’t think they’re active anymore, but I found their only song “Nowhere At All” from their coming album (now on hold) “LP I“. This song is everything you’d want your own band to be, I think. Everything from the emotional intro, shyly moving along with the artsy vocals. Indie rock couldn’t possibly be better when combined with art punk and surf punk. Every detail on the song is interesting in its own aspect, as it contributes a lot to the wholehearted vision of the song at hand. The different nuances are in essence what makes this band great, or at least their song that they’ve premiered. In the beginning, you can also sense some of the odder post-punk, if you turn back the clock to the 80’s once again. What also feels out of shape, is the fact that they heed to every little detail. Not many bands do this, not many bands seem to catch every detail perfectly. However, everything in the song might not be intact, as the synthesizer reminds me a lot about other things than a great song or band. Sometimes it isn’t tight either, but I’ll leave that for now. The different changes in structures are superb and it sounds inviting enough, it also reminds you a lot of the calmer indie pop/rock acts that can convey a range of emotions through a little sphere in one song. All I can hear in my mind right now is: “I don’t want you, I don’t need you…“, but to be fair; I really need you now. The song “Nowhere At All” from their supposed future album “LP I” is what’s featured here, which is a shame – since I wanted some nuances to compare with. However, you should donate some cash or download it for free from their bandcamp down below.

1529479584-1I can figure out why this band is one of the most influential ones. Where are they influential? In Portugal, where the band, which goes by the name of Les Baton Rouge, is from. They’re currently at bay with a new album titled “Canal Express“, which is a blend of new-wave and more alternative rock. It feels like much of their music revolves around suspense, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t sense as much art rock as I sense alternative rock in the mix, with some subtle new-wave influences that can be found here and there. Everything about them is concrete, there are fastened structures that make listening even more bearable. Nothing is sloppy, everything is calculated and on point when you listen to it. The vocals reminds you a lot of older punk bands, when it comes to the sheer energy and volatile expression. A little bit of it also reminds you a lot of an eccentric Siouxsie, even though she’s been referenced a million times when it comes to bands of this caliber, you’d have to say it again. High-pitched yells, metamorphosing melodies and rhythms – as you move through one of their passages. Sometimes the landscape of music can be a little bit stale, when it goes with the same pair of drums you’ve heard a song before, but it mellows out when you realize that there’s only four songs. At times the music feels adaptable, as it changes around in the overlaying structure, rather in the fundamentals. Especially when it comes to the quirky, and sometimes sinister, riffing that goes on in the overtly noticeable sound-scape. Pay attention to those changes, because I know you will. It can change in any minute, but you will not anticipate it, therefore you can surely call it “suspiria” – like the band itself does. Interesting music that stands on its own feet, doesn’t mind to sway the conventions a bit and tries hard to do something worthwhile. Featuring the four songs “Carburator“, “Punch Timeline“, “Abrasive Humdrum” and “So Much For Evolution“. Their digital version of the release is live since the 1st of March and their 15-year celebratory CD will be released at their gig in Lisbon on Musicbox on the 23rd of March.

Portoguese duo Sturqen’s latest self-released album RAIA for free!

I got a mail from this duo, consisting of David Arantes and César Rodrigues. They’d like to notify you all that their latest self-released album RAIA is downloadable for free on their bandcamp. If you didn’t know about this duo, you’ll know it while reading this. They’ve won two prizes on the 2011 Qwartz Electronic Music Awards, crowned in the following categories: “The Best Artist” and “Discovery“, for their digital EP titled Peste.

Since they started out in 2009, they’ve released two EP’s and three albums. A big thank you to Sturqen for liking the work I put into this blog, also a big thank you to them for contacting me about a release of theirs. I like promoting artists that are creative and my main focus have always been to be there for the “little guy“. So do check out all their albums and download their latest album from their Bandcamp.

A preview of the album can be found over here: