Listen: Walk Onto Sun – Grow Static

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Walk Onto Sun released his second release, and second EP “Grow Static” in October of 2017, it’s been a long time since I was introduced to it by the musician himself – but now is the time to delve into the music – and see if it holds up as well as his first debut-EP “In the Inside“.

First trackIsn’t Real” is a stunning piece that grows on you after the first erratic steps the beats take in different directions, stuttering beats that flow upon an atmosphere of otherworldliness and paranoia – slowly taking the form of a regular four-oh-four beat, but taking bits and pieces out of the sound-scape the further in you get, making it as weird as it was starting out, as you get to the end.

It’s like a bad dream that you can’t awake from. Some of the vocals make you wonder when it will turn into a proper martial industrial piece, but it holds its guard up against such a transgression. Even though some if it might seem out of rhythm, the blending of arrhythmic noises and confusing electronic synthesizers together – makes you realize what time went into making this song.

Hollowed Out” is more sinister, it follows less of an experimental route, and includes the deep baselines you’d want to hear in his music – a more ritualistic approach in combination with industrial music, in the setting of a post-industrial séance. Even though it is more primitive in relation to the first song, the vocals make it a monotonous piece of music as it drives you into a feverish state of mind.

Though some of the vocals might turn you off from the track, you take time to appreciate the wondrously created atmosphere – as it seems to turn for a more wicked approach each time a new sound is added in, but never lets you down when it come to being consistent without making it too predictable.

InFeral Plains“, Ben Engebretson (Walk Onto Sun) is assisted by Steve Holms in the form of metal percussions – this is really what keeps the song on track and adds a focused vibe to an otherwise outdrawn, hazy kind of downtempo ambient industrial music. We’re not sure if the vocals are meant to be so monotonous, but it both adds and takes away from the general feel of the song.

Ironically enough, the title-track “Grow Static” and the last song of the release, is actually the best one in our opinion. It summarizes what Walk Onto Sun is capable of when he channels the right percussion at the right time, the right rhythm at the right time – and the right atmosphere at the right time. Everything in this song seems way more planned then in the other ones, so hopefully this can make a full-length album a reality in this year before it ends.

All-in-all it is an interesting album, he strays away from the first EP a lot, but much of it is more of the same. It doesn’t matter if it stays this way or if it develops, but some of the more experimental elements in his music is not that alluding – but the vocals on the last song is more impressive then those on the rest of the EP.

Make up your mind on your own and listen to it in full down below.

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Listen: Giant Swan, Rivière de Corps, Luminance, and V/A – Spänningen Band II

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We’ve had quite a run for many years, the machinery have worked as intended but sometimes they need to be carefully restored to their former glory once again. We have no excuses to not post anything, it is just that the current musical climate is so lethargic – either waddle through a pool of mud – or directly finding the gems you’ve sought out for so long.

Running your own label takes time, and having a full-time job hinders the crew from working on this site at all times. The intention for the future is to update more frequently, the ideal would be once or twice a day – but time needs to be portioned up for this to work – which is difficult to say the least.

If you haven’t checked our label out yet, here’s some shameless self-promotion, visit our bandcamp-page and support us: https://repartiseraren.bandcamp.com/

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It’s been a long time since anything from Mannequin Records was featured on this webzine, we’ve not really been keeping up with what they’ve been doing – but they’ve released quite a number of records since then.

The latest of their releases is “High Waisted“, by a Bristol-based duo Giant Swan, their second EP in their discography and a really good mixture of ominous industrial music that have an outstretched hand into more obfuscated music like rhythmic noise.

It is too complicated in rhythm to be equated with regular techno, even though some of the settings and moods suggest otherwise. Maybe industrial or hard techno would share more similarity with the genrebending they’re doing in this maddening approach. “The Rest Of His Voice” is easily the best song on the whole record, as it captures their whole essence on this EP, furiously stomping into your eardrums without any hesitation.

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Maybe this french one-man outfit, Rivière de Corps have drawn a lot of influence from Pure Ground? A lot of the material is reminiscent of the earlier outputs of that duo. Both aesthetically and musically, a lot of it sounds alike, some of the songs are alright on this release but other songs like “retour du dieu plutonium” should’ve had more thought put into them.

Even though a lot of songs on this release needs a few adjustments here and there, the general theme of the record and the aesthetic aspects of the release as a whole make it better. With the song “échec critique” they reach a high point of the release itself, if only all the other songs had the same standard, it would be an even better release.

In general, it is satisfying to listen to and it explores a lot of themes and moods that don’t need that much more additional presentation. If you like the music, consider buying a cassette directly from the bandcamp of Vague à l’Âme, and listen to the release in whole down below.

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We’ve covered Luminance some time way back when, but now they’re released a single, a different version of the song “Martyr” (from The Cold Rush), which is more mystical in its approach and a calmer version, titled “Martyr” (Version Longue). The only reason for us to cover a single, is basically because this is a great version that stands on its own and challenges the original version.

This is the point of music, to exponentially go in different directions and instead of stagnating it evolves in manners that might be unknown to the listener until he or she hears it. Could we all agree that french lyrics, when done properly, adequately enhances music and takes it into a whole other dimension? It adds a perfectly great mysterious undertone which is desperately needed in the first minute of this song.

Listen to it down below and give them some money if you like it.

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When I boast about Sweden, I boast about these kinds of compilations. We’re truly great at discovering obscure artists and groups, and we’re even better at showcasing them in equally as obscure compilations. It haven’t been on our horizons, but since we heard about Yta Recordings, we felt we needed to give them some coverage somehow.

Spänningen Band II” is the second compilation in a series, coming in strong with a hard-hitting claustrophobic track by Adore that gently shove in hints of a compact, ambitious dreary landscape of sound that is equal to none. Most of these artists and groups are unknown to us, but when you pass through the quirky repetitive acid mixture that is hidden between Nima Khak and Lrh, a more urgent response is felt within the song by United Hive Mind Of Sweden, perfectly igniting the next artist Stilnoct.

We must admit that we find some of these artists hard to listen to, and that is not because of the music itself, but it is because the same boring archetype of techno music is repeated throughout the compilation in ways that are common with these compilations, unfortunately. The music itself is well-produced, there is no question about that – but after Adore dropped “Time Is Anima“, everything else was pale in comparison.

Celldöd graciously ends this compilation with “Du Som Försvann“, maybe it was the start and finish that would keep you listening throughout? If so, it’s a good compromise. Even though some of the music is not really in our ballpark, it is a good enough compilation to recommend because of its aesthetics and that it contains a few really good tracks, and two really great tracks.

Listen to it down below in full and support them by buying the physical cassette of this release.

 

Listen: DECADES / FAILURES, BURA BURA, Soft Riot

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Though the cover is too macabre for our taste, as the once beautiful woman have been thoroughly manipulated into looking as a piece of modern art – which in itself is very distasteful – DECADES / FAILURES musical aspect trumps everything else. As written in the description for the release, this piece of music was mastered in all haste, only using meager methods of recording – such as a blown speaker – all-in-all it adds more then it takes away from the music.

A bed-ridden and sickly vibe transformed into brazen post-punk, with an atmosphere of chords that are simply otherworldly together with the heavily distorted vocals. There’s a hopelessness that can be found in the lyrics and the general mood of each song, especially “Song 5” – but as a closing song it manages to ooze with hope, a light shining through in our darkest moments. Had this been mastered a bit more, or maybe been recorded in a different setting – it quickly would’ve lost its inner message and tone.

Listen to the release in full down below, buy it digitally to support the artist, so this can hopefully be made into a cassette.

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Uncompromising body-music turned into a mish-mash of new beat industrial greatness, Australian outfit BURA BURA manages to catch a depth which is overlooked within electronic body music, as his heavily transformed vocals bounce against the complex percussion in each song. A lot of the songs would fit better in a cinematic setting, but some of them are outright ridiculously great to listen to in some parts, especially “Flex Like Rex“.

Ironically enough, what he manages to pull off best is the neo-noir vibe of post-punk lewdness and electronic body madness – not so much with the more electro and industrial-influenced tracks – a catastrophic mess of blends and meshes that need to be more thoroughly tested for the forthcoming releases. The passages of swirling ambient that takes you into new heights of your own consciousness is frightening at first, but when the beats whirl around your head and you go further down the tunnel, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

The release is available both digitally, and on cassette via Moontown Records. If you’re into it, you can also purchase one of the totebags specifically made for this release. Just follow the link through bandcamp down below.

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Soft Riot have long been one of our favorite artists, as he dabbles with the most comedic aspects of synth-pop music – but manages to keep a straight face through everything – delivering complex and atmospheric synthesizer music – especially in this new release, “The Outsider In The Mirror“. When it comes to the lyrics of some of these songs, he reveals how much talent it takes to create such imaginative lyrical content – whilst keeping the music in tune with everything he utters. It might not be the prettiest voice in the world, but there’s a sinister tone in his voice, there’s a sincerity being delivered with every word.

Waiting For Something Terrible To Happen” is a spastic ambush, a ticking clock of weirdness and anticipation, delivering catchy arpeggios and creative outbursts of heavy, deep electronic vibes. Even though it might not be some of this best releases of all time, it is a more cheerful and less moody vibe to this, a sense of belonging is shown between the lines of tongue-in-cheek lyrical brazenness. We’re eager to hear more of this, even though he’s heading in a very experimental yet freakishly pop-oriented direction.

The release is available for purchase via Possession Records, digitally, on CD, vinyl and cassette. You can purchase it below by following the bandcamp-link, or simply stream until you make your mind up.

Review: Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae / Proselytes (CD)

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Caligari Records have been a favorite of mine since some time back. Always on top with new releases, always on point with the darker themed musical styles (mainly metal) – everything is allowed if it is contained within these limits – and they don’t do a half-arsed job at it. The proprietor of the label was kind enough to send a physical edition of the release about to be reviewed, and we’re glad to finally be able to listen through and critique an item from their discography.

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Unfortunately to our own dismay, the case was slightly damaged with what seems to be small cuts on the front of it. The CD itself was not damaged but the plastic attachment which keeps the CD in place was in half, thus there was no use for it at all – thanks to our wonderful shipping company PostNord – who seems to take much joy in making sure that shipments arrive as damaged as possible, unless packed very tight and secure.

 

The aesthetic aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Aesthetically the whole package, despite it being a standard jewelcase, is really magnificent to look at. The booklet comes with lyrics for each song, and at the end of it (pictured) there’s a very well-drawn image of a man which could resemble any statue from ancient Greece, holding a rope which yields a perfect representation of the band’s name. Just beside the man is a tightly knit rope, where the words “Venerate the rope! Fear The Rope!” is written beneath it. Makes for a very sinister impression.

The decorative‘ aspect of this release is what makes it, though the fonts are somewhat off-putting except on the front of the CD where it almost seems to be sketched out rather then digitally put there – even though, in the end, part of that dimension as well. You know very well what kind of genre it ought to be by looking at it, even though you might not be able to place the sub-genres, which is a slightly ambiguous touch that makes it even better. Shows how much can be done aesthetically without the release having to be more then a jewelcase.

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The musical aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Rope Sect as a band is a trio, consisting of ‘Inmesher‘ (guitars, drums & vocals), ‘Harbinger‘ (bass) and ‘Gaarentwynder‘ (additional guitars). The release is a compilation, a combination of their first EP released by Caligari Records on cassette, “Personae Ingratae“, and their double-single “Proselytes” released on vinyl by Iron Bonehead Productions. We want to make it perfectly clear that we haven’t heard these releases in their physical format, therefore we can’t do any comparisons and if we had we wouldn’t any way because it would only make sense as that instead.

Fallen Nation” starts off with an ominously sounding German quotation in sound sampled from somewhere, heck knows where. Then what could be described as some crossover between metal and punk, but without the -core in it. Somehow it reminds us of a better, less outdrawn version, maybe heavier in certain aspects – later Katatonia. If they had mingled with Jawbreaker, but without the cheesy lyrics. It is hard-hitting, straight up emotional and there is where the first comparison is drawn, out of a sense of nostalgia and not so much musically – even though some of it is similar, in terms of melody.

It feels weird that a first track on a release can be so addicting. A perfect cocktail of nihilistic tendencies together with a dim, bright light of hope in the end of the tunnel. The drums are muddy, distorted and together with the guitar work and baseline create a malformed, rowdy atmosphere – which is then smacked together with clean vocals. The vocalist is really talented, he pulls off such an emotional but assertive tone in the way he articulates each word, lyrically.

The second song “Tarantist” ups the instruments a notch in terms of how the solos, the riffs and the overall rhythm is concerned. Sure, much of it is similar with the first song, but it has a more deathrock-ish vibe over the atmosphere, perfect for a December’s evening like this. We find ourselves digging more to this song, even though the first one had its perfectly laden harmonics. The psychedelic edge in some of the riffs are absolutely glorious in all their simplicity – they manage to bridge to the chorus in a down-tempo – to maniacal uptempo after a few seconds, so effortlessly.

Even though it makes no sense in text at all, the most powerful lyrical content in this song is when the singer calmly but ominously proclaims: “We’re gonna die – why?“, it hits so close to home that it almost frightens. It is so existential in a beautiful way – yet it gives you an unobjectionable push into the grim realities of life, which isn’t as romantically charged as the notion of living forever either as a memory in the past, or resurrected in the future.

Pretty Life” heads in a different, more downtempo way that has a lot in common with atmospheric black metal, instead of the punk (and sub-genres of it) overtones that dominate on this record so far. Too bad that it is so repetitive and doesn’t really cast a good light on the vocalist as it has done with the uptempo, more aggressive songs before this one. Sure, some moments are great as when the more ‘acoustically’-oriented passages that add an upswing to an otherwise not that interesting song.

Some facets of it can be intriguing to listen to but it is not what we’re expecting after we’ve listened to Rope Sect, we’re sorry to say that. If anything, the abrupt ending is in a class of itself, since this song doesn’t need to be more outdrawn and killed right away. Don’t get it wrong, it is not a bad song per se, but it is an OK song in comparison with the other two which set the standard very high.

King Of The Night” remind us, in a good way, what the commercially successful band Ghost would’ve been if they hadn’t sold out from the get go. Rope Sect is like the better version of what the ideal would’ve been with that band, even though it was dead from the get go, really. A really trashing song from the get go which includes the better parts of good death metal, with the melodically oriented stance that actually, by now, defines their music for us.

Not to mention the classic rock’n’roll vibe coming out of the second chorus, the solos from the guitars are fantastic. They also slap the darker atmosphere on it so that it doesn’t flip out and go into full deranged death’n’roll. In this song comes another memorable line, which also touches emotionally through how the singer delivers it vocally – “We found the gallows sling in the light / A lost reversal of fortune“. What a great line lyrically. It gives off a very subliminal message as it goes through your brain, an ambiguity not easily taken away.

On this compilation, “Recess” feels like the dividing line between “Personae Ingratae” and “Proselytes“, even though it originally wasn’t. A good piece of death-doom metal but with much better melodies then there generally is in that crossover genre. They are really accentuated and heightened in this short song. An uproar of the most desperate anguish, but without the cheesiness that would be attached to it otherwise with bad lyrics, so it is actually good that they went full instrumental for once. Though it wouldn’t of been any trouble for the singer to lay his unique touch on it as well, had it not been.

Ochlesis” is the longest track on the release, and feels like a combination of all the good in the first few songs and the otherworldly nature of their atmosphere. Simple but ingenious riffs lay the foundation of the choruses, as one is transported between all possible sub-genres and back again. From metal to post-punk, doom metal to gothic rock. There’s also an downtempo part that is fanatically great – they leave room to each instrument, and let the different textures blend together through silence and noise – completing the sound in a vividly imaginable perfect scenario.

Though the first part shines the brightest, as that is their stronger side, it is accompanied by an even heavier laden barrage of the finest metal you could imagine. Nothing is compromised when they get to do their own thing, whatever that could be called in a summary. Though, as written in the first paragraphs about this song, it is clear that it is a combination of all the best elements so far from this record.

Death Is Your Lover” is by far the roughest sounding track so far, having more dark riffs then ever before. The title alone suggests what you’re about to hear when turning it on. The drumming also goes into different riffs, as it almost wants to go into full blast-beat as soon as possible, but is hindered by the fact that it is as gloomy as doom metal can be when it is at its best – in combination with the psychedelic, slow and hard-hitting aspects of that certain genre.

Little bits of pieces in this song are good, but together it doesn’t stand out that much in comparison with other songs. There are different ambiance that could’ve been adjusted a bit more, and the singing gets a bit dull after parts of it, but without a doubt the lyrical content of this song is one of the best. Especially the repetitiveness of it all, which lulls one into uncertainty.

Rattenkönig” is so pleasurable to listen to. It holds up great in all aspects and is except the first two songs, “Fallen Nation” and “Tarantist“, which in itself makes it a great song. The lyrics flow so well, as if the vocalist have lived what is described himself. As if it is recited by a great orator. There’s really nothing more to be said then that it gives off a spiritual feeling when listening to it. Such a great, uncompromising and skilfully made song that it isn’t even funny. Nothing could be done better in it that would make it even more outstanding.

BothQuietus” and “Proselytes” is if you had inverted the record itself, not that they are identical to the first two songs musically, it is just that they are as great in their own respects. Here, they’ve added a bit more that gives the atmosphere that knife-sharp edge and volatility which some of the other tracks miss out on. The first song mentioned actually contain some blast-beats to our joy, and it is the better one of the two, but both are god-damn impeccable.

Such a great ending to an otherwise more than good compilation of two releases. We could not recommend it more, actually. It is just a shame that it hasn’t gotten more publicity, because this sure is a hidden gem in the Caligari Records discography – despite it being the next-newest release there. If anything, you should really get this CD because nothing beats having the physical item. You can get it digitally and on CD from Caligari Records, stream the release down below to make up your own mind.

 

Review: Keep – For Your Joy

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With strange but charming aesthetics to a degree, Virginian duo Keep made an effort and released their debut full-length album now in June. Finding them wasn’t difficult, they’ve been featured on VICE before, and their sound is something that sticks out in many ways. We decided to do a track-by-track review of this release, titled “For Your Joy“. It clocks in at around 41 minutes total.

YHB” is the introductory to this album, a sullen gothically sounding track which suddenly bounce into alternative territories. It has that slow, decimating feeling and nicely crafted harmonics, together with afflicted vocals. At one point it almost lends itself in whole to a sludge-rock, doomy kind of sound – making the atmosphere bigger and more psychedelic the further in you get. The drumming goes from the steady rhythm into a frenzy and then back again as if nothing had happened. It is a downbeat experience throughout but pack a relentless upbeat punch if needed.

Their sound feel like something unique but at the same time pays homage to their influences. It’s weird to realize that it is a duo, because their sound is much greater then just that. “Temporal Drift” pick up and switch into post-punk and goth directly, there’s no time for the lull and slowness of the first song, and here they clearly make use of the beauty in their simple melodies – alluding to the core in their songmaking. When the quick, bleak riffs come and go – they break through in the chorus, blooming into a special kind of song – together with the vocals.

As they drift farther away with their rhythm and melody, they still attain a charismatic sound. The seriousness in their lyrical content shape the soundscape and even though it derives out of the simplicity in short – but emotional vocals – they’re outdrawn and carry one with the atmosphere and the totality of the sound itself. An absolute joyride in terms of uncanny craftsmanship in music. I’m stunned after hearing this song.

Welcome To” is jumpstarted by “Temporal Drift” as it faded out. What is even more clear in this song is how the baseline and the individual items in the drumset make way for a sinister apocalypse – in the manner of heavily distorted guitars – which take the song to a definitive crescendo. Even if there is only one chorus, it feels like it has multiplied and represents the mix of two songs in one, a harsher part and a gloomier more softer sound that give away another side of them. From here it just gets better, with “Response” – that go from a promising introductory to a complete anthem in just a few seconds. The glaring noise of the synthesizer and more electronically-based soundscape masquerade, adding a theatrical feel and an even bigger sound.

Being the shortest song on the album, one wants it to go on forever. It feels like it could easily turn into something completely ambient, but as it is torn apart by the instrumentation, it hides away what lurks around the corner, taking the listener by surprise as it carries on. When hearing “In Perfect Order“, it just feels like one has found the perfect blend of shoegazy vocals and atmosphere, in a post-punk setting with that ingenuity that helps it be anything but confined within those genres. The vocals are chanted more, giving it a whole other vibe in general. The playfulness they display is obvious in this song – it sounds more like a session turned onto its head and into a very well made final product.

WithEarthly Desired” I am reminded by how RA sounds and how their nordic noir sound is something that stand out on its own. Keep have got that kind of touch in their vocals, especially, in this song. This is as emotional as it can gets and the lyrics stand out on their own here, the ingenious dark melodies are churned out with total attitude. So far, this is one of my favorite songs on the whole release. Damn, these guys really know how to make music and one is still flabbergasted by the fact that it is a duo.

As Testament” goes off, the more slower side of things return. Here’s the anti-thesis of the last couple of songs. A downer and a shapeshifter, at least. One suddenly feel the urge to bob head side to side. Everything’s so concentrated, the twang in the baseline and the precision of the drumming, the plagued vocals. When you think it is going to sound absolutely the same all the way through, they step their game up and slam on the drums and create a rambunctious setting where nothing is sacred. From this to “My Love” which almost sound industrial to begin with, as they carry on with a distorted basedrum. The vocals being as distorted as they are in some of the parts of the song adds a little rock’n’roll in the middle of everything.

The attention to detail in the atmosphere is remarkable. Everything has been thought out but at the same time, volatile. From this complete predestined setting to an even more industrially sounding track, “Man Made it“, completed with the pure delight of gothically sounding post-punk. This is the good variant of it. Noteable about it is how the lyrics, especially this passage: “Feet don’t touch the ground, ear don’t like the sound“, pass right through and make you feel it by the singer’s emphasis. The reverberated sound of the riffs together with the dark, pounding baseline give the rhythm a whole other dimension – a more sinister one. This song is mysterious, callous in a way – but realistic.

Lastly, “7 Days” is a pure ballad. Not in the traditional sense, but in the sense of how Keep wants it. With it you have more time as a listener to focus on the vocalist and the lyrics. The riffs are absolutely on point in this song – making it one of the more beautiful ones on this release as a whole. Their lyrics are absolutely phenomenal on this song, when combined. It is sad to have listened for this long and then hear how it slowly fades out into nothingness. I’d like to thank Keep for delivering such a solid record, one of my favorites of 2017 so far. Thank you.

Check out their earlier releases first, but if you want to you can start as we did, with their latest one: “For Your Joy“. You can listen to it in whole down below.

Spotlight: Liquid Transmitter, Nikmis, None, Palissade

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Midsummer is upon us. A new line of spotlights are due to appear sometime every week. I’ve picked out some new and interesting releases for you all to enjoy. From post-punk to IDM and everything in between that. Everytime I do this, I see what I can find under different categories on Bandcamp – writing about each release that is featured in the article, summarizing the components and recommending it.

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Have you ever dreamt about something ever so vividly exciting, strange or beautiful? Liquid Transmitter’s release “Turn” is turning IDM on its edge, presenting to us a less rhythmic annihilation and more complex atmospheric development. From the introductory “Morning Watch“, to the last one “Uncertain Dusk“, each track is imaginative and explorative. It is as if an artist outlines his visions carefully and break the transgressiveness between genres in an uncanny way. Connecting the dots in every way, both musically and by the titles themselves.

It is finely woven into good electronic music. Slightly drone, more ambient and definently something to be heard. The quirkyness of the melodies add in the personality of this project very well – it’s self-explanatory really when you hear the music. Check it out on Bandcamp and purchase his release there, listen to it in full down below.

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Now here’s a whole soundtrack for you to enjoy. It is really odd music in a way, but perfectly obstinate and neatly created. Nikmis release “Widdendream” on Third Kind Records go forth in its own manner, holding up the banner of experimental electronica in a way – considering the composition of each track, first and foremost. From the cute little first steps of “The Big Fence On The Other Side“, to the more classically-oriented “Embarrasingly Paralell“, each facet of this album have its own sides of it. I think “Tremendous House” capture an oriental vibe and contribute to a summary of everything in Nikmis music that make it stand out in originality.

So if artists and bands alike want to describe something with their music, or capture a feeling, this picturesque wandering between the oddities in synthesizer-based music and the outrageousness of it – make it very easy to follow the story. Instead of capturing something by writing it in lyrics, he manages to break free from that and with instrumental music capture the essence of storytelling anyway. I suggest you check out the album via Third Kind Records, and listen to it in full down below.

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Abstract, frightening and cold. With resounding, repetetive vocals and majestic synthwave – Anna of None deliver a great sounding album, titled “Vacuum“. There is a lot of focus on the bombasticism of the drums in the atmosphere of some of the songs, but it does not take away from the fact that the rest of the instrumentation is equally as good, and thought out. There are serene melodies that encapsulate the hopelessness she is portraying, especially in the aptly titled song “No“. Things develop further in terms of the sound itself in “Faces“, which almost becomes theatralic with the continuous haunting baseline.

She really breaks apart from the dry and stale projects that have been popping up everywhere. Wherever you read post-punk, it either consists of a band trying to ape a style they can’t grasp by inspiration of classic post-punk releases, or the one-man project that doesn’t hold up at all – with them being predictable as ever. The song “Nightmare” really touches on the synthwave this project relies on, giving it great effect and with “Flesh” fulfil the epitome of it. I suggest you check it out, it was released by Black Verb Records and I recommend it of all my heart. Listen to it in full down below.

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Canadians have been providing us with some really good synth-pop, but have they pulled off the post-punk? As of now, Palissade can be considered a contender, with their release “Éclats“. This four-tracked release have beautiful aesthetics in terms of artwork and their music does not lack those aesthetics either. There is a certain focus on the vocalist and more bittersweet melodies then one have heard before, it is not that fast-paced to begin with, as one hears in “La Fin“. Their more alternative and highly melodic way of post-punk is attractive. There is not that much emphasis on the baseline alone, but more on the whole togetherness of everything.

The rhythm stabs and the melodies entwine as one hoped they would. As the layers shift in character, the soundscape looms on steadfastly and “La Vie des Autres” combine the first two songs into one, it feels like. Every song is interesting to listen to and each one of them give off a different emotion. It’s a solid release that I recommend and you should check it out. If you’re interested in wayward but challenging post-punk – this is the release for you. Listen to it in full down below.

 

 

Spotlight: Kazeria, A.D. Mana, Strucktura, TRAITRS

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In this spotlight we’ve chosen four artists/groups that are different – yet alike in many ways. There will be a lot of darkwave, coldwave and industrial music in this spotlight. Mostly because those are the genres where we find ourselves at home, because there’s immense talent to be found there. We start off with noisy industrial music and end with gloomy post-punk extravaganza.

nhm

Kazeria was unknown to me when I found his music via Gradual Hate Records. It was his latest release, “Nihilist Militant“, that caught my eye. The aesthetics were impressive when it comes to the artwork for this release, but more was to be discovered when pressing play. He’s created very intimate and atmospheric industrial music, coupled with dark ambient overtones. Keep in mind that these songs are totally unedited versions, created between 2003 and 2007 – which is a representation of how it sounded back then.

There’s a great assertiveness in his music, it almost borders to the bombasticism of martial industrial. As stated by the label, this is a “very personal” release, which really shows in the emotions he conveys with his music. It is both harsh and atmospheric, with destructiveness at its core. One is very impressed by the percussive rhythms he produces, which can be heard the clearest in “Evrazia Regnat” – a very disciplined and ambitious track in regards to melodies as well. Even the very short ballad-like song “Irminsul” has a certain grace.

This release is a great way to get into his music and if you pre-order the last copy in the special package – you get a gas mask as well. Can’t get more industrial then that. Listen to the release down below, buy it if it is of interest to you.

admana

A.D. Mana is a relatively new artist from Berlin. The re-release of his first and only, self-titled EP, on cassette – had me at the first song “Take Hold” – a stern coldwave rendition that catches multiple influences, like synth-pop and darkwave, molding it into a sinister blend together with his voice. The synthesizer stabs are clear but at the same time dark and brooding, a strange combination which at first doesn’t seem to work but as the song progresses it is obvious that it does. “Down The Wire“, another song on the release, almost funnels the post-punk vibes into some odd kind of grungy synth-pop-‘n’-roll.

My favorite song on the release, except the first one, is “Honour“. It adds gracefulness to the messy environment of the songs in general. Even though you’re caught slightly off-guard by his voice – not in a good way – it fits in place after a few moments into the song. There are some great rhythms as well, aptly executed. The melodies are unorthodox, which makes me like it even more. You expect more of the same but get tricked into the wondrous atmospheres, the groovy electronic beats – and the charming ballad-like ending within “Soulware“. A perfect instrumental track and appropriate farewell. You should really check it out, and buy the cassette from sentimental, if it suits you.

statuesfall

I’ve actually heard about this artist, Strucktura, whilst browsing through the bandcamp-feed. But I never paid much attention to the music. There’s some really solid darkwave-inspired music in his “Statues Also Die” release on Oráculo Records. While the synthesizers and beats are on point in the release, there’s some really cheesy lyrics. In a weird way they go along well with the music, so I will leave that alone. The music seems awfully cheerful but at the same time moody and distraught – which is something that adds character to the songs. Especially in “Val D’Aran“. 

There’s a nice futuristic vibe about each song and it comes out differently, even though most of the rhythm and melodies are alike. As dreary as the atmospheres may be at times – they come out as dreamy – and are filled with nicely laden synthesizer sweeps, alongside well constructed rhythms and melodies. It is a release you should check out, if it is something for you – buy the limited edition vinyl via Oráculo Records.

traitrs

Torontian band TRAITRS have created some of the most soothing, coherent post-punk music I’ve heard in a while. The oomph of the baseline resounds throughout in the first song “Witch Trials“. It is really weird how each and every song on the release is anthemic on its own – it is mostly reserved to one or a few songs – but this is catchy, ambitious and on fire from the matchsticks up until the light goes ablaze. It is especially noticeable in “Lya“, one of the more minimalistic songs. The singer gets a certain kind of emotional streak in the chorus which makes you want to sing along to the lyrics.

Not to mention how massive “Gallows” is. Here they’ve really gotten through with the originality of their sound. They both have an edge in the music and somewhere to stand firm – nothing is left to chance, everything is constructed meticulously. When one gets as far as their last song “Heretic“, the percussionism is simply mindblowing. Of all the releases recommended in this spotlight, this is the one I will have to choose myself as the best one. You can get it from the Warsawian label Alchera Visions, buy it here and stream it down below.