Review: Marker – Marker

marker

Medical Records haven’t gotten that much attention over at Repartiseraren, which needs to be changed right away. They’ve been putting out some really solid releases throughout the years, but as they’ve been etched to the back of the brain for some time – it felt necessary to take a closer look at one of their latest releases. One of those releases is a self-titled one by Marker – it is also a debut full-length release from him – which makes the reviewing more exciting in a way. The album clocks in at around forty five minutes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anything this laidback and dreamy, yet in-your-face emotional. The first song “Identification Of A Woman” stands out from the stereotypical shoegaze drivel, laying down a serious beat and having an atmosphere that isn’t drowned out by the reverb. There are undertones in the vocals that make for an outdrawn, dreamlike scenario that could be listened to for as long as one pleases – without pauses, really. As the song grows on you, it develops that pleasantly emotional vibe which pushes every instrument at the forefront suddenly.

Having been more of a concentrated song that relied more on the combination of the instruments, the synthesizers, the drum-machine and guitar-riffs stand out on their own to add their own urgency to it. As the song comes full-circle in the end and fades out, “Nothing New” draws in from nowhere and is more nonchalant. There’s a boldness that is added into the rhythm, which feels very solid and present. It is a bit less bombastic then the first song and have been stripped a bit. One great aspect that gets more noticeable half-way in is how the reverb is used perfectly to draw out the atmosphere and extend the song, giving it a different character – then bouncing back to the established rhythm.

Now I Know What You Really Think” – the name of the song alone is something that draws you in. As it starts, the accentuated baseline fetch a certain groove together with the basedrum. Starting off minimalistic, gradually attaining the more atmospheric sound which by now feels very characteristic and established only three songs in. What is exceptional about this song is how the melodies are applied with a soft touch and are unleashed with their maximal potential in the end. A nice addition is how the intro and the outro of the song is – as if something tuned on/off a radio or a TV-set.

At The Memory” is nicely laden musically – perfectly set up as a more retrospective kind of track. The melodies are nicely paired up with one another in the beginning of the song, but it kind of sets off on its own further in. I’m not sure what to think about that, but it is made up by how the melodies hold together impeccably. The main ambition in this song are the melodies. Everything else is a bit lacking, honestly. It could be because you don’t notice it as much or because it might’ve been become slightly formulaic by now. The song organically floats on and is caught up in some kind of intermezzo as it ends. Entangled in greatness.

By now it would seem as if this bedroom-pop metamorphosed into shoegaze could become a bit boring – this is proven wrong in “A Problem With No End” – whose atmosphere stands out even more. The vocals add up even more in creating the general feeling of this song. When one thinks it sounds out of tune, the sheer complexity of it all prooves it to be wrong, as it changes in the last second to progress the rhythm and melodies further. As the baseline trickles down and become darker and darker, everything else drifts away and becomes even dreamier. When “Classic II” comes on, it feels like every one of the songs are intimately connected, but not in the traditional way.

Let me explain. Each fragment of sound from each song is collected and utilized throughout, which give similarities but also differences. He plays around with the melodies, the rhythms, the atmosphere – not trying to create anything completely unique with every track – but giving them common denominators – which is especially noticeable with the vocals and melodies. While not straying to far away with experimentalism, his attempt at creating worthwhile music has succeeded. But when you’ve come as far as “Pale Silver“, it feels as if the album could’ve been shortened a bit.

As soon as that feeling is taken into account, there’s an off-shoot of the melody that create something new. Unexpectedly. The anguish in the vocals in this particular song feel really powerful. It is probably one of my favorite songs off the whole record. “What You Do To Me” is a more ballad-like and slower track which make the instruments shine more on their own. It is not as harsh and it in some way encompasses the ride one’s taken as one embarked upon listening to this in the first place.

Come Out“, the next-last song is more of the same but the expressiveness can’t be left uncommented. You feel very frail, but at the same time it gives initiative. One is filled with energy by the sudden shift of rhythm and the angelic synthesizers. A certain kind of hopefulness can be found in the middle of all anguish. Though after having heard this song, as it switches into the last one, titled “Follow It Down” – it feels like a mish-mash of everything – executed poorly. To begin with, there’s a good kind of atmosphere but after a while it goes bonkers. Had it been more structured – it would’ve been a great end to a good album.

You can listen to it in full via Medical Records bandcamp here below. If it is anything for you, I suggest you get it. Apparently it releases on the 21st of July, but if one is to generalize about this album in whole – it is definently worth laying your hands upon. Get the vinyl by following this link.

 

Exclusive Stream: Tangerine – The Runner

cover

Tangerine have been working intensively to bring you yet another release. I hadn’t noticed, because I was occupied with everything else. Swoon Records are going to release their forthcoming EP titled “Radical Blossom” on August the 31st. It feels like they’re much more secure in their place where they are standing. They’ve walked in their own shoes for a while, so they’ve settled down from the more melodic and sprawling content they put out with their first release “Pale Summer“. They’re way much more sincere now with their pop-ballads that come streaming through your head, with the catchy lyrics and the concrete rhythms. Even though it might seem to be nothing out of the ordinary at the first listening, there’s some interesting things going on. It is nice to see that it seems like they’ve settled down for now. Maturity is everything, even with intensive guitars and a red line to match your eyes with, as you lock on to target and head for your goal. Dance to the pop that’s always on your side. We give you “The Runner“, which is the last track on the EP itself. It is their best track on this release, if I had to choose any of the songs. Which I had to, in the end. You can stream this track down below and wait until it’s released on Swoon Records. Do also visit their release-party if you live in the US, it’s on the 6th of September at the Comet Tavern in Seattle.

Premiere: The West – It was Disco and it’s Over [Music-Video]

The West have been a band that has been featured here before, namely with their album “In Low Light“, which was and still is a great album. Now, it’s gone a lot of time, and they’ve been readying up a music-video for the song “It was Disco and it’s Over“, which seems to be a flirt with the late 70’s disco-era that ended pretty quickly. Not that weird, considering that they have a disco influence within their music. Anyway, the video for this mellowed out song was shot on location in Seattle and Bellingham, by All Mod Cons and Hand Crank Films. It was directed by Jordan Albertsen, and choreographed by Gabrielle Schutz. Below, band member Anthony Darnell shares his own thoughts related to both the video itself and other things:

We couldn’t have made it happen without the support of local dancers and all the others who donated their time, cars, and un-burnt skin to the making of this video. We’re also indebted to Everyday Music, Melrose Vinyl Market, Oddfellows, Super Mario’s, and many more businesses for lending their scenic locales to us. The West has an upcoming show at Columbia City Theatre on Sat. Aug. 10th w/ Nude Pop and Yevtushenko. In late August, we’ll be going on tour to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vegas, Phoenix, Missoula, and more.
a0742987199_10
You can listen to their album down below, after you’ve checked out their music-video above. It can also be found online on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon. If you want more information, be sure to check out their official website.

Exclusive Stream: Machine Circuit / DJ U – 700112462481 Split

cover

Invisible Guy have been enlightened by the apparition that is I Had An Accident Records. Which means, that in a sweet collaboration, we’ll be streaming three albums that are all due to be released on the 18th of June. This means that you’ll have a treat on set dates up until that particular date. Now, on the 10th of June, it’s time to listen to the crackling electronica of the split-release with Machine Circuit and DJ U. Representing the cities that are Los Angeles and Seattle. These fellows are on the borders of the noisy extravaganza that simply would make your ears ache for more. In a fitted balance between the egregious underground, with a foot in the more general genres, you’ll get a cocktail of the best of two worlds. With great pleasure, please insert your identification-card and venture to a world of machinery and debauchery. Now, it’s time to introduce these fellows for us deadly folks. As their invincibility is raging, with a snapshot of a totally adventurous mix, maybe you should lay back and prepare yourself. If you need to know more, you should consult the cyborg that is IHAA, whom put out the following statement about the release:

700112462481 represents a barcode, a machine readable representation of data. Numbers and lines that form meaning only when interpreted through mechanics. Machine Circuit and DJ U fill out this split tape as an illustration of how mechanics can be interpreted, repositions, and reinterpreted. Machine Circuit is the collaboration of Igor Amokian and Big Epoch. The circuit bent master crafts his own distorted delusion of tweaked toys and noise that escalate and fall in-between the cracks of beats and production of Big Epoch. The longevity is rendered and kept in time, cleanly drained and fringed. DJ U deconstructs the already deconstructed. A further exploration of the work of ’89palms of who he represents one half of, DJ U’s remixes are reminiscent of the broken LP style but limits to vocal constraints and develops its own dubbed out destroyed sonic sounds.

The two groups stand alone as distinct albums, but placed side by side they compliment one another and provide a very unique blend of machine readable representation of sound.

Machine Circuit is from Los Angeles and DJ U finds Seattle as his home. Limited to 60 yellow cassettes.

You can stream the whole release down below, exclusively, thanks to a collaboration between Invisible Guy and I Had An Accident Records. Now there’s only one release to go, which will be put up and ready to stream on the 12th of June.

Some questions for Tangerine!

45432_340965012682165_2017856807_n

Tangerine is a band that formed in 2012. As a band, they play something in between new-wave and indie rock, with hints of pop here and there. They’re located in Seattle, Washington. Since they’re a relatively new band, it’s interesting that they’ve already released their debut-EP titled “Pale Summer” on Swoon Records. Which prompted me to ask them some questions about the band itself and their newly released album. Just so you can get to know them a little bit better, as these posts are a little bit formulaic. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it anyway, because I know that I do.

Could you tell me anything about the history of the band?

– We formed over the summer, but we’ve all been playing music and performing for years. Miro (drums), Toby (guitar), and Marika (vocals/guitar/keyboard) were all part of an earlier group called The Sutures during high school, and Ryan (bass) was a member of Goldfinch while still in high school as well. After taking a few years off for college and other interests, we recently re-formed the Sutures as Tangerine, and brought Ryan on as our bassist. We jammed in Marika and Miro’s basement for a while, and in January we played our first show and recorded our first EP with Jeff of Swoon Records

When it comes to your music, you’ve been featured on a compilation from The Station Record Club. Since then, you’ve also recently released your debut-EP, titled “Pale Summer”. Are you satisfied with everything so far?

– We’ve been really fortunate to get to work with Swoon and so many other great people in the Seattle area. “Satisfied” is an interesting concept, we’re really happy with where we are at right now, but as a musician it’s probably hard to ever feel fully satisfied; we’re always trying new things and trying to push our own personal creative limits.

As you’ve made a lot of progress since you’re a relatively new band, could you describe the making of the EP as a whole?

– We’re always writing new material, so it was hard to pick which songs to record, but we feel like the four songs on “Pale Summer” are a good introduction to our sound. We recorded the EP during a weekend at Jeff from Swoon’s house and the process was relatively straight-forward. I think we discovered that for us, the recording process is almost like a live performance; we don’t tweak too much or change too much. Although we did obsess over some of the edits afterwards.

Do you have any recorded material that will be featured on a future release or anywhere else?

– Being included on volume 5 of the Station Record Club was great, and we are definitely open to being featured on other compilations in the future. As of now, we have no specific plans.

Thanks! What are you going to do in the near future after this release?

– We have a string of shows coming up in the Seattle area, as well as a music festival at a university in British Columbia in early April. We’re constantly working on new material, so we just want to keep on performing, keep on recording, and eventually, we would love to do a mini west coast tour – especially California! Hopefully that isn’t too far off.

2097987104-1

Grungelight: Glintshake – Evil

3832827250-1

Probably one of the more energetic acts when it comes to melodious and concrete psychedelia. Happy grunge, tipped with rock’n’roll and slimy psychedelic content. Completely featuring all the necessary unorthodox probabilities, packed with foreseeable mixes of freshly squeezed energy. Layered with the sweet and sturdy vocals of the singer Kate Shilonosova. These susceptible Russian rockers from Moscow have certainly aimed high, beyond the grunge rockers of yesteryear, but they specifically lend a little bit from the 90’s era of grunge. Swing with the different atmospheric traits, dance on the shaking floor and feel the grooviness of the atypical concentration of rhythms. If you have lemons and a little bit of snot, make a little bit of Glintshake with those ingredients. Snotty, it is, at least when it comes to appearance. You can listen to their album down below if you wanna.

Five questions for Stab Me Kill Me!

Stab Me Kill Me is a band from Seattle that play melodic punk rock. They’re notable for their first demo, which featured four very interesting tracks. Currently, the band doesn’t have a label, but should any label be interested in their material – they should contact them over here. I asked David Dead, one of the guitarist/vocalists in the band, a few question about Stab Me Kill Me and their progress so far.

Tell me more about Stab Me Kill Me and when did you start your band up and who are you guys?

– We started up in May of this year. About once a month we’d end up getting together, almost always by chance or accident, and we’d fuck around with some songs. As of a month ago we’ve talked about trying to figure out a way to get together a little more regularly, but so far that’s pretty much how we’ve been operating. Jeff plays bass and sings, K2 plays drums and sings, and I play guitar and sing. My name is David by the way.

Who is the artist behind the cover of your self-released demo and how long did it take for you to put it out? What have you accomplished with it so far?

– I’m glad that you asked this question! Tom Lowell is a good friend of ours here in Seattle and does all of STAB ME KILL ME’s artwork. In the future if you see a cool drawing on something of ours just know Tom did it. You’ll see some more art of his on some things we have planned for the near future as well as tons of other bands records, t-shirts, flyers, etc. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments and “positive feedback” from people and blogs about our demo. It’s been pretty cool. We should really try and make more of an effort to get it a little more out there, y’know?

So, have you had any labels that want to put out your material yet?

– We haven’t contacted any labels and we haven’t been contacted by any labels as of yet. I can promise you that we will be putting out a seven inch. We’re kicking around the idea of just putting one out ourselves. Of course, if a label wants to step forward and do one for us we’re certainly not going to make any arguments and would love to chat.

Have you written more material that you’re thinking of putting out and if so – are there any plans on releasing something beyond the demo?

– Right now we’ve got enough material for two seven inches. There are a number of songs that we haven’t learned as a band yet as well. We will totally be putting out more music.

Good luck with your music-making and thanks!

– Thanks for having me J!