Bright colors intertwined with VHS-quality and other psychedelic enjoyment. Together with the technology of yesteryear, Roladex have done good in their homage to where their influences come from. With their 80’s-infused synth-pop sound and their carefully executed visual FX create a hypnotic atmosphere which is almost exclusive to music-videos from that decade and before the 2000’s. You will find no polished turds á la big business labels and their PR-menagerie here. Not to mention their song “Glass Statuette” on their newly released split with ((PRESSURES)), which is saturated with the mesmerizing duo’s eloquent vocals whose delivery hypnotize you, as the spastic arpeggio rhythm continually rolls in the foreground – an aquatic melody seduces you. You can’t help but start humming the lyrics in a repetitive fashion. I also think the video captures a bizarre vein that Roladex don’t capture as well with their music, which seems to me when I listen to it to be in all seriousness, but the video itself adds that tongue-in-cheek vibe that music-videos used to give. Either because they were abhorrent in their silliness, or simply delivering a positive nerve in the musical delivery – which in Roladex’s case is true – as you also can’t help but smile.
It would’ve been great if this split-release could’ve featured a music-video by ((PRESSURES)), too. Because then it would’ve been more than two songs that you keep on the repeat. But with that said, I think the track “The Voices” complements “Glass Statuette” very well. I think ((PRESSURES)) are the ones whom deliver the futuristic touch to this release, as the B-Side coincides with Roladex’s passionate nostalgic reflections both in track and video. “The Voices” almost touch cold-wave territory, but instead of going into the coldness and reflections of that – there’s a clear disco-vibe to the whole she-bang. With vocals that soothe your soul, together with a steadfast drum-machine rhythm and cosmic synthesizers – I would say that the A-Side gives more hope for us in the future. Though a lot of melancholy can be heard in both tracks, the bleaker side is when Roladex comes on, but I’m not sure anymore after having seen their music-video. All of this might be my hypnotized me talking, but they’ve charmed me with their other side of the coin. Both tracks are complementary as I’ve said, but one wouldn’t stand with the other and they display different characteristics. I just wish they would’ve included the music-video with the release and also made a music-video for ((PRESSURES)) track. That way, their likeness and difference could’ve been visually represented as well as musically.
Since this is a joint release by Medical Records and Disko Obscura, you can either choose to order the limited edition 7¨ in thick transparent yellow, or transparent urochrome vinyl. It’s your choice whether you’d like to go with Medical Records or Disko Obscura, but they both have their unique take on it and if you’re a collector then you should go for them both. You can order the transparent yellow version here, and the transparent urochrome here. Stream both tracks digitally down below and watch the music-video above.
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.
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.
Iceland reigns supreme in this split between Icelandic natives aska and Kælan Mikla. Two different genres, but with something in common. A synth-pop track with the best elements included, a soothing synthesizer meets the retrofantastic atmosphere – in here aska creates his magic – related to the notion of “lágstemmt kuldabylgjupopp” (low-pitched cold-wave pop). This split came to be as a internet-only release. When it comes to the differences they display, Kælan Mikla deliver some kind of weird schizophrenic post-punk, with a sullen minimalistic ballad to begin with. Both alternatives are great, especially when you re-listen to the track “þögn” (Silence) by aska, as the icicles melt and simmer down into what could be an absolute breakdown of the Icelandic soul, dipped into the cold waters bordering around the island. The track which is portrayed by Kælan Mikla has a rhethoric question embedded into it, as it is titled “Ætli það sé óhollt að láta sig dreyma?” (Is it unhealthy to dream?). It’s a certain feeling that comes forth when you listen to the beautiful voice of the singer, but then suddenly it degrades into a complete post-punk frenzy – just like that with all the unhinged things it brings with it – a dark baseline later and you’re caught in her intermezzo. Even though the split only consists of two tracks, it’s a nice off-shoot into unguided territory. It also feels nice to include our Nordic neighbors into the mixture when it comes to this blog-zine. So stream and listen to this release down below.