[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: Bad News From Cosmos – Akira

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Ukrainian improvisers Andrii Hrachov and Iryna Bodnar are two-dimensional in concept; life and death, but three-dimensional when producing, musically; free improvisations, analogue synth commanders and bound to no certain genre. For them, it’s important to conjure a narration that binds together an otherwise escapist, avant-garde free-form of music with its’ static topic. Not to say that it necessarily means that the motive itself isn’t open for various interpretations – but just so the music doesn’t go too far away into abstraction. They themselves say it’s an “eternal experiment” – which makes you wonder if and when they’re going to finish experimenting? Maybe that’s the point with the project and when it ceases to exist—so does the experimentation.

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Bad News From Cosmos have been alive and kickin’ since 2010, releasing their first album in 2013 called “kongogumi“—which may be a reference to “Kongō Gumi” (株式会社金剛組)—Japanese construction company, and one of the oldest independent companies still existing in the world. The album artwork features a White Cherry Blossom (Sakura) – Japan’s national flower, which represents different aspects of Japanese history, but also their culture. Here’s where they seem to have started to wander into a certain topic, whether they like it or not—or maybe, just maybe it’s a reference to bloom (life) and withering (death)—could it be? We’re not sure, but it is a possibility due to their strict enforcement when it comes to topics, but not as strict as not being re-interpretable within the linguistic possibilities of the words.

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The same year when Autumn turned into Winter, “Fjord EP” was released on the Russian label Simphonic Silence Inside. Etymologically speaking, the references sprawl into obscurity, where it not for that we in Sweden have fjords and our brothers in Norway also have it—calling it: “Fjord“; (“a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs“). What comes to ones mind is the landscape of Oslofjord, a rocky landscape, an inlet (or fjord) which seem to metaphorically strew and divide the Islands Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene on either the left or the right side. We’re not so sure if their reference is even close to ours, or if they simply had a different take on it considering the artwork’s display of a mountain. We would however wish it was true. Or maybe it’s just a reference to Norway and their highest mountain – Galdhøpiggen. We as Swedes would’ve wished for it to be Kebnekaise, so we could take pride in being interpreted by their avant-garde.

We didn’t want to delve any further into their releases, it’s just that those two in particular interested us more and that we would be writing much longer, not getting to the main point of this article, if we were to cover everything. Which we’re not interested in. However, they’ve released three albums since the aforementioned releases and they’re titled (not in order): “Laid down to earth“, “Kids of the Soviet Tree“, and “Turquoise Hearts“—their latest release so far, on Amok Recordings. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got to the point now? Yes. So let’s begin.

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French label Anywave Records recently created a sub-division, or sister-label if you will, composed of a palindrome of Anywave—called Evawyna. The purpose was to have a label for digital releases only. So far Heather Celeste have gotten her single-track release “Austere“, re-released on on Evawyna. In this article we’re focusing on the second release, the continuation of Bad News From Cosmos, their forthcoming album “Pearls for Guttiere“—by now down below the sea, if we reference the artwork. Here they’ve taken “nippon-pop” from what we think is their debut-album (“kongogumi“), polished it and put it as the sixth track on this coming album. The mellowly sounding and beat-orientated experimentation relax our senses—feels like diving into the sea, snorkeling, seeing the beauty of the fabric in the ecosystem—and all the wonderful creatures living there. As it is sung in Japanese, we’re vaguely reminded about “Kaneda’s Theme“—from the by now legendary Akira 『AKIRA』(アキラ)(1988) film’s soundtrack, due to the sound but also the name: “Akira“. We’re proud to be streaming it exclusively from our blog-zine and we hope it fascinate you as much as it did for us.

[1st] December: Xiu – Law Of Light

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Winding down, coming home and changing around to accommodate ourselves to the reality we left for another — is not an easy task. We’ve just headed for a vacation and here we are, strong-armed by the world we left a couple of days ago. Time flies by so quickly, so we’ve just calmed down before there was a storm heading for us — a metaphorical one. Now when everything is moving back to what it was before we left it, we have something exciting to announce for everyone reading this blog-zine. You will not believe your eyes, nor’ your ears.

We’ve been working on a project in secrecy. Today is the day when we reveal what’s to come and what you’ll never want to hear, anyway. This project started some months ago and they were only going baby-steps, if anywhere, forward. It all began when I asked Xiu if she wanted to participate and lend an exclusive track for this purpose. She did so and asked if we could not include more people who would be featured in the project to come – so we said: “sure, why not?“. This resulted in the project being even larger then we could have ever anticipated. It grew from one to a number I won’t reveal right now, that will be revealed once the project is over. One of the corner-stones is that it is a non-commercial collection – not really a compilation to be released — but rather a “project” collecting fragments of what Repartiseraren is, and what is preferred around here. I put an emphasis on “non-commercial” and “collection“, just so there will not be any confusion with what it really is and what it is meant to represent.

It was really easy for the artists and groups that are featured on this non-commercial collection — to realize what they should and should not contribute with. Either an exclusive unreleased and newly composed song — or an already composed (but unreleased) track — for the sole purpose of being collected. What can be said, other then “we’re really overwhelmed by the response“? Nothing other than that. We would like to thank everyone that were and still is involved, because without you — this would not even have been possible to begin with. You’ve put your sweat and craftsmanship into it and you can tell by the way it sounds, no matter what genre you’ve set yourself up for.

So let’s get to the point. Since Oksana Rodinova (Xiu) was kind enough to give us ideas which helped the project further, she’s the one who starts this project off with a bang. We’ve gotten our hands on the track “Law Of Light” which is exclusive for this project. We think it displays how she’s evolved and how she can stop in evolution just to give another side of what Xiu is about, another insight — if you will. A suggestive and dark, but transparent song which deals with a certain topic in so many ways possible, within the realms of minimal synth and cold-wave — combined. Before you go ahead and listen to it, we’re also able to present a music-video for your viewing and listening pleasure. You can watch it above. So do that first and then read the first poem when you’ve opened the first window in this calendar:

Take me into the light,
let me be your plight
Lead me to your law,
so that I can withdraw

This is 1st of December and now the story begins. Tomorrow a new track will be released and the story will be continued. But until then, enjoy the exclusive song “Law Of Light” and the music-video for it, on Repartiseraren.

Spotlight: IC3PEAK – Vacuum

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Three releases on the same year ain’t bad for a duo. Nick and Nastya are two audio-visual artists based out of Moscow, that have released three EPs to date, one being a remix done for their track “I’ll Be Found” by MXXN, Sidewalks and Skeletons, Feki, Tyler Tastemaker and PrayForYourself. A track featured on their debut-EP titled “Substances“, which they had released by a label called STYLSS. What’s interesting about this duo is that everything you hear and see is made by them, as you can experience every medium you’d ever need to appreciate them. Mixing digital audio with analogue, to create their nice blend of untouchable witch house and hard-hitting bass music. Two genres I rarely appreciate, which these two have changed my opinion on – but only in regards to what they’ve been putting out. Now they have a third EP, or second – if you want to count it by original material.

So this release is titled “Vacuum” – a perfect description for their artistry on this release, by the way. You can’t help but adore the sincerity which overflows throughout their blend of steel and fluff. A balance of Yin & Yang, an experience that is captivating and showcased with the first track and it never really stops. No moment is a dull moment. It’s amazing how they fit you through their hourglass and decide what kind of time you’ve got left, because they’re in complete control of your senses. It can be hopeless to fall so quickly for a release, but it has really happened and it is hard to admit when confronted with genres that are often so banal. Nothing here is banal and it hooks you immediately. If I had a hate and love relation to Grimes, I have nothing but love to offer IC3PEAK. You can download the whole album digitally for free, but also order a physical CD, limited to 50 copies, from the label Stellar Kinematics – now!

Exclusive Premiere: Zex Model – Rokk

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Pink Sexdeath, Degenerate Slug, Demon City Reaper? Three names have one thing in common – they’re all names thought out – and executed in musical form, by a man living in Kaliningrad, Russia. Not only does he have all those alter-egos, but many more that I won’t list. He is or have been a part of two groups called Modern Howl and Ninika, each one different from the other, but also closely knitted together by darker genres. Even though he’s had a lot of projects going on at the same time, he’s dabbling with a special kind of project which he calls “Zex Model“. This musical project started out not too long ago and pushed him further into musical obscurity than what you’d think. Considering this, his project has risen in popularity since his first releases – and opening for Lust Of Youth in Russia. With his official debut-album “Mind Slaughter” having been released on desire records in 2013, and a self-released EP titled “First Mutation” – he solidified his presence further. Once a darling in the brooding underground, now a good rated artist fit for another level in the underground.

Simultaneously in another part of the world, a man by the name of Fade Kainer (Theologian, etc) self-releases his first album “Mask Visions Poison” under the name of Statiqbloom. This is in 2013. America have gained yet another notable industrial-act that strays away from the cliches, and embraces their own version of what inspired them in the first place. Meaning; they decide to twist the originals of the 1980’s and 1990’s by layering their own vision upon the ground which those men built upon. The building blocks are on a steady ground. The album itself sells out on cassette and remains on CD up until now. Two alternatives offered, one bought and sold. Even though both Zex Model and Statiqbloom are very much alike, the last-mentioned relies on heavy electro beats and a body rhythm, whilst Zex Model is utilizing the rough texture of industrial on experimental soil; to the maximum. Then we entered 2014 and brooding for Statiqbloom was yet another album which he gave the title “Black Mirrors“, released only on a limited edition cassette. This was to be a release before two kings met up and decided to build upon a platform settled by them both, and others. Diplomacy entered the game and here we are.

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Fast-forward to later October, early November this year and you’re in for a treat. It was only a matter of time until desire brought these two new-comers closer together. In regards to their sound, it was a sound choice. Zex Model and Statiqbloom engage in a split-release that features eight tracks in total and four tracks by each artist. The apt design for this release is what Fade Kainer thought out and did. From the first four “Atropy Of Three“, “Contaminate“, “Slow Void” and “Behind Glass (Second Pane)” courtesy of Statiqbloom on side one. To side two featuring “Forbidden Alterations“, “Rokk“, “Teosophia” and “Tokyo Blitz” by Zex Model. I chose the second track “Rokk“, because of the atonal message that is what makes his project what it is in the first place. From his ode to Skinny Puppy and the likes, to his experimentalism that fiddles with a classic industrial atmosphere and makes the atonality spin the wheel – a confusing sound which at first obfuscates the rhythm – but later on is quite a trip into the originality of his project. A harsher version of Nexus Kenosis might actually find a way through your mind, intentionally or not. Stream the exclusive track “Rokk” down below and see to that you buy the vinyl from desire records when it comes out, if you like what you’re hearing.

Review: Various Artists – Artificial Selections

a3207601573_10More then a week ago, a new compilation emerged out of the alternative underground. A compilation that caught people off guard because of the beautiful representation of cold-wave, post-punk and experimental selections – including a wider variation of genres. Featuring both unrepresented artists and those who are not. First off are Excuses, the solo-project by Matthew Rowe whose debut was put out on the now defunct label Function Operate, back in 2012. This self-titled release featured five songs but his contribution to the compilation was with the track “We Are Fuel“. It is a raw track which lets a dodgy atmosphere with shoegaze fill out the sound-scape, together with the ambivalent riffing you’d only find within darker post-punk. Although his vocals on this song isn’t up to par with the rest of the landscape of sound, it is held up by the general mood that he delivers with sincerity. I just wish it was coupled with a better vocal representation because right now it sounds too cheesy. But I must say that it is a good opener which sets the bar for the rest of the compilation higher up.

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Spotlight: CromwellC – 13th Dawn

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From the Russian winter we’ve gathered a darkened ambient gem, that was just released past midnight. A combination of the darkly atmosphere that can be found in dark ambient, entwined together with the strong sound of martial industrial. Combine that with eerie violins, a sense of urgency and a sense of peacefulness between the lines. Steady rhythms and bombastic drums sound a call for war, or might it be a call for a remembrance of history as such. Some of the tracks are well-thought out, whilst other seem to be out of place in some sense. Might is right with “13th Dawn” by CromwellC. Neo-classical themes can be heard on the overtones for some of the tracks, as the slowly-paced and rather harmonic classicism spread out its wings. The seriousness of slowed down samplings of a rather unknown origin is paired together throughout. This project also originates from Germany. Harkening to cheering crowds, intellectual quotes from German philosophers, men of honor – and others. The project bears resemblance to what they look up to, according to themselves; Arditi and Toroidh. Even though one couldn’t give much for some of the instruments that resound, since they sound rather digital, you should at least check out the project. It can be downloaded for free from Inhermanland Files, which is the label that it was released on. CromwellC still have a long way to go, but the project itself sounds interesting. So take heed and download it to hear for yourselves.