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

10841330_10153017701387573_344887033_n

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.

ster

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.

Premiere: VARSOVIE – Détruire Carthage

varsovie band photo promo HT small

Propaganda straight from Warsaw, with their telecommunications-station based out of France. Building on a concept that draws influences from concrete post-punk and stable new-wave, among other genres. The reason why they’re in any way related to Warsaw is because their band-name is VARSOVIE—the french word for “Warsaw“—capital of Poland. A debut-EP came out in 2006 titled “Neuf Milimètres” (Nine Millimeters), recorded in Grenoble 13eme Etage Studio and Chaosmic Studios. Here’s also where their aesthetic concept got set in motion by the photographer Lucas Rimbaud, which portrayed a woman lying on her back with her feet in the air—maybe relating to the title of the record—Nine millimeters bullet-type, and a gun. Their sound was virtually the same as it is now but a bit more unpolished and maybe also darker. It was also a whole other set-up when it comes to the band’s compound, different members and now there’s a whole other prerequisite for the band.

R-2059238-1261506149.jpeg

They managed to self-release this EP which came out as a CD. Two years passed and there weren’t any new album or proper release during that time—not until September of 2008. A promo-CDr titled “Etat Civil” was released featuring an album with eleven tracks, featuring Nicolas St Morand (Hreidmarr) on backing vocals for “Etat D’Urgence” (State Of Emergency), outro music by the famous late composer Franz Schubert, for the closing song “Inertie” (Inertia). Everything was recorded at Drudenhaus Studio, located in Issé, France, the home of studio engineer Benoît Roux (Anorexia Nervosa). Now the aesthetics have suddenly changed, there’s a woman standing on train-tracks holding two bags—it almost feels like she’s moving away from somewhere, to anywhere. They used a different photographer, Manon Weiser, who’s also helped with his skills for the Velvet Condom box-set “Vanity And Revolt“. A year later a proper release of the same album came out, in December of 2009.

varsovie cover l'heure et la trajectoire pack

Six years later their latest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, was also self-released by the band. Then something happened. A Black-Metal(!) label from France called Those Opposed Records began releasing both “Etat Civil” and their newest album “L’Heure Et La Trajectoire“, in limited editions on black vinyl and colored vinyl. It’s interesting how such a label would ever take interest in VARSOVIE, whilst mainly focusing within black metal. Good for the band. So here we are, they’ve just announced the release of their latest album and everything’s dandy. Well, everything actually is pretty dandy. Repartiseraren have gotten the opportunity to premiere “Détruire Carthage” (Destroy Carthage), a track we’re particularly fond of from the new album. It’s got a rather short running time of around roughly three minutes, but all the ingredients of this fierce post-punk band—all of the energy, the ambitious and dark conditions for a nicely crafted post-punk sound—for you as a listener to stream from here. Enjoy it as much as you can!

Spotlight: baum•geist – music for the late autumn rain

a0824998864_10

This is the first I’ve heard of baum•geist, a self-proclaimed internet performance artist and “multimedia acrobat“. Based out of Germany, obviously inspired by Japan and japanese culture in many ways – especially “絶命詩” (zetsumei-shi) – in English; a death-poem which is a poem written near the time of one’s death. A tradition in many cultures, but especially in Japan and during the Qing/Ming dynasty in Korea, from 1392-1897. I can never be certain of the fact that it’s the aim and pure goal of the aesthetics for “music for the late autumn rain“, but the artwork suggests that it might be a source of inspiration. Though the titles suggest something else, like the first track “秘密の地下室” (Secret basement, roughly translated), “瑠璃色” (Ballad drama color, obvious mistranslation via Google Translate), “大切な思い出” (Precious Memories) – all take into account the amorous nature of what it represents – together with the purely bizarre English titles like: “human egg“, mixed with the supernatural; “blue moon” and “geist“. When you don’t really know the language, it’s hard to determine whether what is translated really states the inherent meaning of the title.

However, the bizarre is matched with the supernatural and the mystical movements of mother nature. It’s as predictable as it is unpredictable. From pure ambient music with percussion reminding you of traditional instruments of Asia – specifically Japan – paired with a noisy, almost clairvoyant melodies that ring sharply when smashed together. But there are more characteristics that make baum•geist versitale with his music. The further into the album you come, the more it becomes a sample-based musical hemorrhage combined with field recording-like sounds. A track can suddenly change from three minutes long – to up to twelve minutes of length. Here’s where the more low-keyed ambient is experimented with, ending up with silhuettes of sound which fade out and when it comes in make a resounding noise. This is an album that makes up for its name and the music is really for “the late autumn rain“. Put on something cozy and travel into a world yet to be discovered.

Lyssna: Sanne De Neige – Dans La Forêt / / Insomnie // Venin

0003821860_10

Det blir alltid lite förvirrande när så mycket musik släpps på en och samma gång, men nu har Sanne De Neige lagt upp tre stycken nya låtar, som inte borde stå okommenterade. Med en trummaskin, bas, synthar och gitarrer till sitt förfogande, så lyckas duon mästerfullt med att framförallt blanda de gotiska undertonerna med experimentell coldwave musik. Det framträder väldigt klart i och med sångerskan Sanne de Neiges vokalmattor som lurar i bakgrunden, men som tränger igenom den trummaskinfyllda atmosfären, täckt av ett lager med förvrängning vilket gör att rösten förutom att vara lite disträ även omvandlar en annars stickande ljudbild till ett glödgande hett inferno. Kaoset har bara inte brutit ut och tur är väl det. Särskilt i första låten “Dans La Forêt” så utvecklas omgivningen organiskt och går från att vara tämligen lugnt, till att lägga på lager efter lager och med en omvälvande kraft förvandlas till någonting alldeles eget. Utan att egentligen ta med nackdelarna som hade kunnat finnas, lyckas en tämligen statisk ljudbild bli större än förväntat.

a3508712263_10

För den som aldrig upplevt sömnlöshet, känns det som att “Insomnie” är en representation av det i ljudform. Med en förvrängd röst sköljs stämman bort till förmån för ett industriljud med diskant, för att sedan falla in i en mer kontemplerande fas där allting känns mycket klarare. Här känns det som om man vaknar upp från sin sömnlöshet – istället för att behöva vandra i en trötthetsdimma utan dess like. Rytmerna är medryckande men fokuserade på att ställa till så mycket trubbel som möjligt, för att sedan återgå till en mer kontrollerad sväng vars melodier bygger upp en kaskad av känslor – som släpps lös till slut. Det finns också någon slags lättsamhet som inte direkt kommer av den kalla vågen, utan snarare den popiga ljudmatta som influerar små delar av hela deras ljudlandskap. Den finns inte där alltid, men är en del av det mer detaljstyrda som gör att det finns utrymme för mer än bara ond bråd kyla och allt som följer med det. En hoppfullhet som smittar av sig på allt annat.

Sedan när den sista låten “Venin” kommer, så är det i form av ett slags avskedsbrev. Det är ett tack och adjö med ett stilla lugn som omgiver allt – nästan lite balladaktigt – om man gör undantaget och inte väljer att definiera en ballad som en smörsångares sista urusla suck. Det här är mil ifrån det och tack och lov för det. Det finns en reflekterande ådra som gömmer sig i vaggorna, men så brister Sanne ut i en så kraftfull sång vilket ger låten momentum, för att sedan med trummaskinen långsamt suddas ut av den tidsram som låten är satt på. Det passar helt utmärkt. Tystnaden varar ett tjugotal sekunder, innan man egentligen förstår att låten är slut. När allting är över så finns där en förhoppning om att det ska dyka upp fler låtar, eller kanske att låtarna sammanställs i ett självsläppt album – eller att någon av våra tyngre och bättre bolag som Beläten kan ta tag i den talang de besitter. Det känns som att de passar bra ihop och att det är en pusselbit som kanske fattas hos dessa bolag, även om de sedan innan – och fortsätter att släppa – hejdundrans alternativa album som andra skivbolag ignorerar, trots dess potential. Lyssna till alla tre låtar här nedanför.

Exclusive Premiere: Minuit Machine – Agoraphobia (Album Version)

10682300_588017017977071_4441971774548459617_o

When everything had settled through the eyes and ears of Hélène De Thoury, she launched a duo together with Amandine Stioui – whose voice had been a wake-up call for Hélène – she adored it. Since 2013 they’ve been working together on shaping their first release, which took them a few months to put out. This self-released EP, called “Blue Moon“, quickly gained a lot of attention and appraisal from those who found out about them. Although their sound can be found somewhere in between the minimal synth and new-wave categories, their rather complex structure and beautifully laden vocals make them unique to genres fond of taking it literally when translating a fixed category into something more. There is a large hint of minimalism in their sound, but all the influences they gather together shape a uniqueness which takes them away from traps that quickly become clichés. With their new-wave sound, enchanting structures and pinpointed melodies – affect you in all the ways they might want you to feel. From the year 2013 to 2014, they’ve worked on their debut-album and now they’re soon ready to unleash it as a whole.

The french label Desire Records are releasing their debut-album “Live & Destroy” will be released on the 6th of October. Before the release, they’re playing live at the french venue La balle au bond, on the 1st of October. On the 30th of November they will go on a tour, hitting countries like Spain, France, Germany and Belgium. I exclusively premiered “Agoraphobia (Album Version)“, a track which is what I consider to be the beating heart of their record. This track is so emotional and delivers a whole other insight to what minimal synth can sound like, when transformed by other genres which overlap or have less to do with a genre like synth-pop. I think it is their strength and it sounds like they’ve worked hard on every single track. Let this be the anthem that will carry you away and put you into the mood for listening to “Live & Destroy”. Look out if you want to buy it, because soon it will be available from Desire Records. Stream the exclusive track down below.

Exclusive Premiere: The Way To Light – Hollow Roots

CL_front

After daring splits with America’s unknown, his journey starts anew with a second full-length album. From Horders to Crawl, to Feral and Wrecca – everything since the first album “That Place Now Forgotten” have included others. The Way To Light is Austin Rathmell’s dark folk meets ambient solo-project. He is now back to serve you with an album that strays into the wilderness completely, it is titled “Cleansing Silence” and with it he enters a whole new phase in his artistry. For the first time he gives more room to the ambiance to speak for itself, and takes away a little more of the acoustic elements which he held dearly within his other releases. It is a darker and more frightful environment that he sets ablaze with his uncompromising ambient. One thing can be said about it and that is; oh how he borders on the gleefulness of dark ambient, though his harshness yet not be mastered.

CL_gatefold

The length of his tracks continue to increase and leave more to the imagination. We’re astray in the wildness that is urbanity, but he leads us back across the plateau and into the forest. We are in desperate need to be connected with whom we came from. Our roots are in need of rejuvenation. His voice contributes to speed up the changes within the sound-scape he’s working in. There’s a calmness but also urgency to each voice he whispers. According to himself, this is what he wanted to conceive with his forthcoming release:

Cleansing Silence is an ode to that which can only exist in a solace of silence. Where other humans vanish and all that is left is your narrow path, you will see light. You will see. Yourself. You will see. All.

A solid blend between acoustic dark folk and atmospheric ambience, more so than ever before. Each track has its importance, whether an ever endless drone or layers of acoustic work, each note, each word, a mere thread in a cloak of this album.

His second album will be self-released on CD and distributed through Neuropa. The second pressing of this album will become available on vinyl, but I will not reveal where it might turn up. Time will tell. You can now listen to a track, exclusively from this forthcoming release, titled “Hollow Roots” – the second track on this album – on Repartiseraren. Stream it down below. If you wish to buy it, you can do so on the 3rd of October either from Neuropa, or his own outlet Hollow Haven.

Exclusive Premiere: Zex Model – Rokk

10437151_10203225340626632_1153315890_n

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.

10356527_10203225346706784_1968234800_n

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.

Listen: Image Of Life – Last Letters From The Leper Colony

a3010912489_10

Having only been available on self-released cassettes and vinyls, the original debut-album by Los-Angeles based nihilist-pop act Image Of Life has been put up on bandcamp in its entirety. This album features twelve tracks recorded in between 2010-2012. The A-Side was recorded in June of 2011 to October of 2012, whilst the B-Side was recorded as early as October and November of 2010. Since the cassette was limited to only 45 copies, it was hard to obtain for those interested since it sold out pretty quickly. The second edition, a vinyl-edition released in conjunction with the Pure Ground tour in Europa some months ago – was released in an edition of 90 copies, by Image Of Life himself. Since I interviewed him in 2013, when he released his “Weight Loss In Wartime / Walking In The Dark” single on Chondritic Sound, not much have been heard about him more than being featured in occasional articles. So it comes as a glad surprise that he chose to do this so you can stream the whole release digitally, before you consider buying the cassette. Since it seems like there’s a new cassette-run of 15 limited copies of this original release “Last Letters From The Leper Colony“. Stream it down below and consider buying it if you like what you hear.

Exclusive Premiere: Suren Unka – Weather Science

artworks-000075089729-uh57vn-t500x500

Suren Unka. You might’ve heard of him, or you might’ve not. He’s a descendant from India living in New Zealand, raised in the town of Opotoki, currently living in Auckland. The name he’s chosen for himself is derived from his real name, which is Suren Raj Unka. Earlier, he’s been a part of the group Ponnyfight together with Fergus Burnett, and now he’s released his own album on CD titled “El Chupacabra“. We re-visit some kind of bizarre turn into ambient dubstep of some sort, where the atmosphere is the most important for the almost clerical melodies that can be heard. It stands clear that it’s influenced very much by the modern electronica that has sprung up in the 2000’s. Currently, Suren is educating himself at MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand). Even though his music seem to be far from what I’ve been doing, I just had to have something to do with it. I must say that I despise dubstep as such, but this modern variant which clings to some of the elements of that genre, it also lets free some IDM influences, danceable ambient and other very interesting combinations. The build-ups in the structure of the tracks come from a heavy melodic content which is supplied with sampling, just to hit the climactic peak together with the baseline that itself – also is melodic as hell. So this might turn some of you off, but I guess that others will listen to it with an “open” ear, if you know what I mean. He actually contacted me via e-mail and we came to the conclusion that a track should be put up by me.

So, that’s exactly what I did a couple of days ago. The track “Weather Science” from his newly released debut-album “El Chupacabra” was put up on my Soundcloud. Just so you could hear it from yourself and get a taste of what was to come from this release. The unreleased track is up and running, and the album itself has just been self-released by Suren. Listen to this bizarre mixture of different genres and stream, but listen to, this track so you know if you want the whole album or not. It has been put out on iTunes so you can buy it. But make up your mind first and listen to the track down below.

Listen: Genus Inkasso – Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor

a1778187805_10

The British are back. At least one Brit, whose name is Joris. J. I don’t know if he is a Brit, but he lives in Britain at least. He’s been manufacturing the most odd noise, the most uncategorizable noise, under this own name since he first released “Untitled”, his first self-released album. A year later he got his first official non-self-released track “Die Antizipation Des Generalized Other“, on the German label Der Schöne Hjuler-Memorial-Fond – a label that seems to be related (or dedicated) to a German art group called Mama Baer und Kommissarie Hjuler. But I’m not really certain of that. Since his two splits done with Ratbag as the first, Filthy Turd as the second, it seems like he stopped making anything under his real name, in 2011. Already back in 2009, he made his first album under the guise of Genus Inkasso, titled “Default Swaps” which was released by Abulia Concepts. However, at the same time that it seemed like he stopped with Joris. J, another album with Genus Inkasso submerged under the title of “Occasionally Slumping, Smiling Weakly“, put out by naboa music. This was in 2011.

Since then, he’s released an album titled “The Despised Pastora” which was put out by Grindcore Karaoke. But that’s not because I’m writing about his music, it’s because his latest mini-album “Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor” was released just roughly two weeks ago on the New York City-imprint Immigrant Breast Nest. The three tracks that are featured on this release range from illbient to a general breakbeat mess, combined with an electro-acoustic layer that keeps everything somewhat in order. It is, however, noticeable that this sounds like something that was just improvised during a session. Take it from that and spin it into some remnant from the 1990’s hardcore-scene in Holland, just to bounce back into some undecipherable combination of noise and spastic movement. Just to have it change into a trip-hop atmosphere after you’ve heard some sampled piano mashed into a drier. Everything can happen between planned happenstance, what’s currently happening and how long it takes for the next thing to occur. It’s just how it goes with Genus Inkasso and his latest release “Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor“. Stream the whole release down below.