Exclusive Premiere: Michael Idehall – In The Black Tower Of Alamut

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The never ending stream of good, concentrated efforts of Michael Idehall are delving further into his own aesthetics and esoteric messages. With “Aion Reborn” he treads on the same path that have been created since the start, but he opens up to a softer yet harsh landscape of sound that brings forth the most deranged, beautiful experiences yet.

Most of the tracks are entwined with one another, creating a dynamic thread that runs through the whole album. There is not much to add to an almost perfected sound, but yet he manages to fit different meanings and sounds into an already crammed soundscape. He is a genrebender by nature and there is no certain word that can put these works into a specific genre, which is refreshing.

We’ve always liked the warmth of his sound emanating from below, the atmosphere swings a heavy hand onto you and you’re hooked from the first track and all the way through. Luckily we get to exclusively premiere “In The Black Tower Of Alamut” from this album, and you can stream it down below.

Make sure to pre-order this album from Raubbau, it will be released on the 12th of September.

 

Exclusive Premiere: Alles – Fala

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Unhinged to the utmost degree, fumbling in the dark to connect the dots. From a viable option to a crazed mixture, you couldn’t imagine how it would be if electro-pop was turned upside down and channeled through minimal synth. With the uncompromising duo Alles – comprised of Marcin Regucki and Paweł Strzelec – anything goes. Include a vision beyond a communist society, post-communism if you will, infused with modern society’s delusional consumerism and empty-handed materialism and you’ve got the fuse to set things off. Enhanced beats waddle through a decayed interior, an urban environment that is almost claustrophobic. With the help of different genres like cold-wave, synthwave and every other electronic sub-genre you could think of – everything’s already post-something. These two men create an invitation for both a linguistic invitation to basic Polish – to a more international touch of English, entering the digital age of errors with “404” – getting to the middle-ground with technical ingeniousness with “GPS“. If there would be any need for a red line, just follow their sound-scape and try understanding the meaning of their lyrics and the titles for their tracks. As much as they give hints to what’s going on, they might also mislead you into thinking something else – the ambivalent quality which is; their cunningness.

This is their debut-album that lies in front of your eyes anew. It’s not the physical version, but their digital packaging that you’re viewing. As forthright as their intentions are, there’s no doubt why the name of this album is “Post“. Six months ago they had a cassette which constituted the original form of their debut – now they’re re-mastered, re-packaged – officially launched on vinyl. Don’t be mistaken, the foundation they stand upon is the same and their intentions also seem to be intact. Only one thing has changed besides what have already been written and that is; this time around they have a brand new track which goes with the purchase of the vinyl. This vinyl-edition is limited to 500 copies and comes as a transparent vinyl, together with “Fala” (Wave) – the exception which confirms the rule – an anomaly which showcases their musical ambivalence. Repartiseraren have been lucky enough to receive the honor of exclusively premiering “Fala“, as we collaborate with Mecanica Records whom are releasing the vinyl. Stream this song exclusively down below and pre-order a limited vinyl, shipping on the 25th of October. Or if you don’t have the patience to wait that long, order the digital version which is out on the 15th of October. Here comes the wave that will flood your gates.

If you want to see this duo perform, their next date(s) will be 18/10 on Klubokawiarnia Chlodina in Warsaw, 31/10 on Urban Spree (Sinewaves) in Berlin, and 28/11 on C.R.K (Return To The Batcave) in Wroclaw.

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Lyssna: J.S. Aurelius / Marie Davidson – Split 7¨

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Aldrig har jag varit så mycket för Marie Davidson som nu. Egentligen var jag inte särskilt imponerad över “Perte D’Idéntite” som släpptes på Weyrd Son Records i mitten av året. Men att hon nu tillsammans med J.S. Aurelius, främst känd för det originella skivbolaget Ascetic House och som är en medlem i gruppen Destruction Unit, gör en split tillsammans – kan bara innebära en sak: förändring. Vilket i sin tur innebär att “L’Espoir Est Mon Sentiment Le Plus Noir” blir en av de första låtarna som jag kan känna är acceptabla. Även om hennes tidigare alster inte skinit likt solen, så gör denna låt att man återigen börjar tro på att hon kan leverera någonting stabilt. Atmosfären är alarmerande, den är instinktiv och primitiv på en och samma gång; lägg till en stabil rytm med synthar som gradvis stegrar upp och sedan faller ner likt furor. Under låtens gång så blir man mer och mer på hugget, man börjar undra om fru paranoia gömmer sig bakom gardinerna eller inte.

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Även om man kan påstå att “Vaste Obscurité” – som levereras med fransk låttitel såklart, innehåller en hel del spänning – så slappnar man av efter att ha fått igång sitt system. J.S. Aurelius låter en avskalad ljudmiljö utvidga mina sinnen. Det känns som om man flyter i ett orörbart tillstånd. Man bara existerar för att höra vad det är han kan ge en och ens sinnen. En ljusglimt kommer lite då och då, ibland hör man ett sprak, vid nästa hörn så öppnar sig  hela universum för en. Om man inte redan vid låt nummer ett på denna spliten har öppnat upp sig själv för musiken så kommer man inte att tycka om den. Däremot måste jag ge dem att de är skickliga musiker och kan det här med att bygga upp ljudmiljöer; för att sedan rasera allt. Men det finns fortfarande kvar någon slags mening i spillrorna av det som varit. Denna split-7:a släpps på vad jag antar är upptakten till ett performance, men som även verkar vara ett skivbolag vid namn Neuromodulation.

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Den 26:e September går en live-show av stapeln vid namn “Mysanthropologie“, där The Hand In The White Glove, Klondike, La Naegleria, Police Quest, Ater Charta och Unstained By Thought uppträder. Detta är dock ingenting som har med Ascetic House att göra, utan snarare har allt att göra med Neuromodulation – där samarbeten uppstår när de kan utföras. Lyssna till bägge sidor av vinylskivan här nedanför.

Watch: Roladex – Glass Statuette

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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.

Lyssna: Himlakropp – Tusenårssömn

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Just den här dagen, för exakt tolv timmar sedan, så släppte skivbolaget Jämmerdosa albumet “Tusenårssömn“. Det blir min första introduktion till artisten Himlakropp. Jag hade inte hört talas om honom tidigare, men när man får tio låtar rakt upp- och ned att lyssna till så tackar man inte nej. En salig blandning av dub, techno och med inspiration tagen från Nordisk folkmusik. Ja, tillsammans med en hel del som har med rymden och kosmos i allmänhet att göra, förstås. Tidigare så har han självsläppt ett album vid namn “Megamal“, vilket för mig antyder någon slags koppling till Hávamál med Megaman inslängd någonstans däremellan. Vi ska i alla fall titta in i den värld som Robert Eklund föreställer sig genom sin musik. Många, om inte alla av låtarna är så drömska att man undrar om man råkat somna medan man lyssnar till musiken. Det finns någonting avslappnande med att höra en ständigt rörlig ljudbild som inte på något sätt stör tankarna. Musik att drömma sig iväg med. Långsamt så utvecklas det lugna ljudlandskap till något annat, men precis när man tror att höjdpunkten är nådd så plaskar man ner i djupet igen. Man skulle med lätthet kunna förväxla detta med någon slags hyllning till det mörka djupet som vi kallar för världshavet, istället för att det skulle kunna vara anslutet till rymden. Kanske är det där som den Nordiska folkmusiken slår sig till ro.

Det känns som en så absurd blandning när man bara läser sig till det. Men när techno och dub möts tillsammans med de övriga influenserna så skapar det en väldigt förskönad bild av verkligheten. Man kan verkligen drömma sig bort bland synthmelodierna som så upplyst visar vägen, medan den mer sega rytmen skulle kunna vara alvkungen som långsamt rör sig mellan skogsstigarna. Även om en hel del av ljudbilden nästan kan sägas gå in i 8-bitarsfällan ibland, rent melodimässigt men också när det kommer till ljudlandskapet i helhet – så är det en del som gärna skulle kunna skalas av. En annan del som jag verkligen inte tål är när Robert går in i någon slags extas med sin egen röst, och drar den genom en sladdrig vocoder. Nej, det låter verkligen inte bra och det förstör det drömska med musiken i sin helhet. Annars finns det väl inte så mycket att klaga på, det man hör låter välproducerat och har kraft att slå igenom bergsväggar. Men tona gärna ner den grandiosa stämningen som melodierna förmedlar, för det drar ifrån hela dub-techno-känslan som det spenderats tid på att bygga upp. Det känns som att Himlakropp hela tiden ligger mellan ett välsvarvat och lugnande ljudlandskap, men att det helt plötsligt ska in något annat för att få igång saker och ting. Om det dilemmat försvinner från musiken så kan jag tänka mig att det är bland något av det underskönaste jag hört i år. Köp släppet från Jämmerdosa om ni gillar det ni hör.

Spotlight: Passion Slaves – Demo 2014

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It’s a nice day for a nip of post-punk. Canada have been boasting with their simmering environment of talents that have been emerging from nothing. One of those seem to be Passion Slaves, which I frankly know nothing about and whose imagery suggest minimalism – to such a degree that I might not even agree. But my weakness for the classic approach to post-punk seem to have tainted me this time around. The only thing which bothers me is the vocal part, but that’s a miniscule objection to their sound as such. They’ve actually recorded their first demo, so that objection might be weak to begin with. One thing I like about the vocalist is her energy when she sings, but there seems to be a show-stopper in their unharnessed energy – because at times it feels like they don’t master it yet. With that in mind, the two demo-tracks “Mortal Coils” and “Shadow Grounds” have an interesting goth rock and post-punk sound. The gloomy melodies resound in my own mind and their boasting sound as a whole give me an impression of them as serious musicians. It feels good to observe that they haven’t submitted themselves to every cliche possible when handling such an environment of genres. The fast riffing, great drumming and overall performance of this group makes me want to hear more of them. It seems like they’ve given much thought to these two songs so I wouldn’t really be hopeful for more in the near future, but who knows. I feel like there’s a mystery within their imagery and the visuals that are put into my head when listening to them. I just hope that the one ingredient, e.g. the vocalist and the lyrics, don’t steep too far down into the unlisteneable fold. Stream their whole release down below and give them some money if you like it.

Spotlight: Ōgon Batto – 007 / Ōgon Batto

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The seventh release by Hare Akedod – a label specializing in electro-acoustic “improvisation rituals” on limited cassette-runs – is Ōgon Batto. It stands for Golden Bat, in Japanese; “黄金 バット” – which is a Japanese superhero invented by Ichiro Suzuki, a Japanese illustrator, in 1930. Symbolizing what came to be the first superhero of Japan, at least when it came to cartoons. References to this character have been made in the anime Paranoia Agent, for example. This first release, however, was created by someone whose real name is Bent Von Bent. He also created the beautiful artwork for this particular release of his own. Bent has a history of being involved in different releases on Hare Akedod, specifically on the first release “001” with various instrumentation, whilst David Edren took care of the synthesizers and guitars. David shares the label with Bent, as they run it together. Anyhow, Bent was also a part of the second, fourth and fifth release – in the same kind of way. This seventh release marks a third year of releases, together with Hare Akedod and Forklong Daruplat before this one. Even though a lot of the electro-acoustic music on this label don’t touch me emotionally, this seventh release manages to do just that. Carefully laden guitar-chords that make up the landscape of sound, together with improvised selections of riffs that – together with the swirling and sublime background guitar – make up a wondrous atmosphere that is relaxing to hear. Another thing which makes this music even more exciting is the locations at which he’s recorded field recordings in. To get a local kind of vibration to everything, he’s recorded on site at Xi’An (西安) in the Shaanxi province of China and in Sapporo (札幌市), the fourth largest city in Japan. The intensiveness of the music itself is laden into place with a mellow string of variation instrumentation. Some kind of chaos is brewing down below.

You can fetch the release through Hare Akedod themselves, or soon through distributors ex-Vinylo in France and Tomentosa in the US at the moment – as more international re-sellers will appear. The cassette itself is limited to 80 smokey clear tapes with white print in a black cassette case with black screen-printed golden j-card and fullcolour insert. The music was recorded on site with Field Recordings in Xi’An and Sapporo, but the release itself was recorded in studio with everything else at Zol Der Wahn, whilst the first, fifth and sixth track were recorded by Roest at Jocques & Die Scheldebunker. Synthesizer on track number five, namely “Bunker Symfonie IX : Opmars“, was recorded by D. Edren at CEM Rotterdam. Artwork for the cassette was made by Bent Von Bent and the cover-photograph was taken by Roest. Everything you’re hearing was recorded in between 2013 to 2014, with the assistance of others, but mainly by Bent Von Bent. Stream the whole release down below and listen to it, carefully.