Review: STEREO NO AWARE – the sound of STEREO NO AWARE (LP)

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STEREO NO AWARE is completely new to us. Their sound is experimental rock’n’roll with psychedelic influences. We had the opportunity to receive the limited edition color version of the vinyl-release, which is beautiful in all its aesthetic glory. When it comes to the general aesthetics of the release there are too much colors for us and a coherent theme cannot be found – but that does not discourage listening. Each to his own. The aesthetics are on point when it comes to knowing from the first glance, what kind of genre and record this is going to be. The covers are very pattern-based when it comes to the outer layer of it, and more basic and down to earth when it comes to the inside of it.

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Lyrics for each song have been printed on the insert and is sharing the space with artistic doodles of different creatures, a computer with tentacles and something which looks like a freely interpreted version of Edward Munch’s painting “The Scream“. There have been many people involved in the making of the artwork itself (both sleeve and front cover), such as Jonathan Ash, Jane Nicola Rossi and Isaac Ashlind.

Now on to the music. The first song “Passing For A Ghost” is obnoxious in all its experimentalism at first, with the different voices and basic rhythmic beat, but it is swiftly sidelined into a more oriental vibe together with the ethereal mind of someone else. It is like there are different personalities on display within the song itself, like a madman talking to himself or an organic trip between a younger and older self. What is exciting about this form of rock’n’roll is that there are so many instruments that aren’t used normally.

From different flutes to what almost sounds like mandolins, but probably isn’t. They themselves call their music “experi-mental pop”, which might be an apt title to put on yourself, but I believe it is more then just that. Popular music has no bearing in their music, especially not in this first song. It is too “out there” to ever be popular in anyone’s mind. Probably why they used that play of words with “experi-mental” pop.

Tristram The Manipulator“, the second track is more coherent in the general sound and is a part of a huge soundscape which one could get lost in immediately. Though we’re not a fan of the almost rapped lyricism a bit into the song itself, the reverberating noise that the rhythm and baseline together with the drums produce – is astonishing in and of itself to make up for that lack of musical prowess. The vibe is switched from emotional and right up the funkier alley – right into 8-bit crunched up and claustrophobic beats. There is a lot of attention to detail in this song in general, where every shade of instruments gets a play in between the main rhythm (if there was one) and the rest of the song.

Yareta Yorona” is even more emotionally invested then the other songs so far. We’re not fans of the poetic side of the talked lyrics, though more of a fan of the stoner/psychedelic influenced vocals that appear further in. Attentively changing from a darker, more distorted voice to a louder and pitched one. Two different worlds that collide perfectly and make for nice moments. Everything flows so great together except the aforementioned babbled (though audible) lyrics. The singing parts are much better. Too bad that some of the outro goes into an obnoxious playful fogged up state, but it is saved by the more acoustic and sincere proper ending.

Cattle Calling” is messed up in a lazy way. It feels like they just let everything go, but at the same time the melodies in the song are on point. There’s too much experimental hitting on the drums, slapping on the baseline and churning on the guitar going on, until a desperate vocalist manages to save the good melodies with his voice – as it goes totally spaced out. An otherworldly sound complete with the influence of a saxophone – haven’t heard that instrument until now – but it gives off a jazzy and entwined feeling together with everything else. “Pagan Feelings” is like a continuation of “Cattle Calling”, it could almost be the same song, outro-wise at least.

The big difference between these two is that it continues down the same trodden path in which STEREO NO AWARE have made us aware of their talent. An experimental needle in the right position, delivering everything they can in terms of musicality to make up for their past mistakes. The common theme is the spaced out and less filled up, erratic soundscape. They leave silence to play a bigger part in the sound then they have before in the other tracks. Everything from the beginning of the song up until the end goes more acoustic, as it has been with the latest tracks we’ve listened to on this album so far.

Normal One” is the highpoint. They’ve managed too well to combine the organ with the drums and the vocalists ‘normal’ state. Had they not screwed up some of the rhythm by filling out the space left by the organ as it slowly disappeared, it would’ve been the best song so far. Though having said all of that, we believe it combines the best elements of their music and turn it up a notch – to make it believable.

Oaks Park” is perfect when it comes to the drums. Everything else is just a companion on this flipped out journey. They touch a deeper nerve with it and hold themselves together instrumentally. From the guitar-licks to the sharpened edges of the fast-paced strumming of guitars at some points, is replaced later on with an outdrawn saxophone that slows down the tempo a notch and bring a cloudy comfortable feeling of well-being into the mix.

As the songs grow longer, “The Great Dialator” adds a minute or more to the song in comparison with the others. Accompanied with a robotic voice, maybe this is the epitome of human and AI interaction – they can never convey that feeling which is human – they will never encompass all those facets of humanity. No matter how much Bladerunner 2049 will try and convince you otherwise. No matter how the futuristic automation will keep us from doing what we loathe. There is something humble about this song and it convey their more primal outlet.

Had they simply removed “Tongue Clouded“, the album would’ve been better off. It is a decent song, but it is so far removed from the feelings that have been given by them musically so far. Though one favorite part is the stern baselines that comes into the song, but one-two seconds later it is far gone. Just to arrive again. They could’ve built on that emotion further – it had a rejective theme to it and a more dark, sinister outlook on things then what have been made clear so far.

Conversely (Exit Tango)” is a mish-mash of everything you’ve heard so far. To get a grip on STEREO NO AWARE – you must listen to it. It gives you a grasp on what this album might be all about, musically. A very ambitious track and the longest one on the record so far, with old-school piano-playing and in more of a drunken haze then before. Imagine film noir gone completely decadent cabaret. Together with “Credits“, both are your typical outros but the first one was made into a track instead that clings to what have already passed (the other songs).

After having heard this it sounds like so much different music one have already heard, but they have something distinctly theirs. It would be interesting if they could develop it further, though they’ve already done it to good length already. Maybe this is the final product. A good album if you’re into experimental music – if you’re not, then this might not be for you. Listen to it in full down below (digitally) and do yourself a favor – order the limited edition vinyl – the colored one(s).

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Excusive Premiere: Michael Idehall – Dream Circuitry

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Michael Idehall have been featured here countless times, but he never ceases to improve in regards to his industrial music (seancetronica) – now releasing his eighth album, if you only count full, solo releases. His work spans from the occult and back into electronic music, beyond any comprehension at times and sometimes in the realm of fathomable. With this album on the German label Raubbau, titled “Machine Spirit Transmission” – he widens his approach exponentially, including more beat-oriented sounds in terms of a general theme musically.

Aesthetically it features a new emblazoned symbol which we don’t know the inherent meaning about, but for those eager to know about the symbolism of Michael Idehall (the project), you should venture through his gates and into The Hermetic Library. Without knowing all to much, Aleister Crowley seems to be an influence in terms of the occult and esoteric nature in which music like this is created.

We’re pleased to announce to you that we’ve teamed up with Raubbau to bring you a full track from the forthcoming album. “Dream Circuitry” is the middle-point in which this album is construed, or at least that’s how we feel about it. Tune in and remember to buy the physical tape from the Raubbau distributer ant-zen, or simply order the digital release from Raubbau if you prefer it that way. The release date for it is on the 25th of October.

 

Listen: Dorisburg – Venom

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First single by Dorisburg since 2016’s “Time Stretch Totem” on Aniara Recordings, make for a well-thought out venture into the deep end of techno. Mixing the best elements of both atmosphere and beat, the acidic nature of each track on this double-single release is more then enough for a listening session. Each instrument is well-placed and the texture of each sound is mind-blowing in the sense of how good it translates musically, when put together with everything else.

The artwork for the release is ambiguous but simplified and pleasant aesthetically.  Mountain Explosion Device is the home to this release, having only been used up til’ now as a platform for Stockholm producer Kalawila to release some of his own music. The release itself is a very limited edition vinyl featuring “Venom” on the A-side and “Serum” on the B-side.

Get it from Dorisburg himself or Subwax (distributor of Mountain Explosion Device releases).

 

My visit to Kalabalik på Tyrolen 2017

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Kalabalik på Tyrolen is a festival arranged by Klubb Kalabalik annually at Tyrolen – a picturesque site located at Blädinge not far away from Alvesta, in Småland, Sweden. The arrangement has a history that dates back to 2011 and live-acts such as The Horrorist, Kite, Schwefelgelb, Dernière Volonté, Absolute Body Control, Martial Canterel, and Portion Control – to mention a selection of the diverse multitude of electronic and non-electronic acts alike – that have played there. 

The club itself, Klubb Kalabalik, have hosted a multitude of club nights in Växjö since 2005. Christoffer Gunnarsson and his crew seem to have placed themselves high above many festivals, which made one eager to visit and see what it was like. This year included acts such as Diesel Dudes, Sturm Café, Die Selektion and Kaelan Mikla – in what I personally wanted to see live the most, plus acts that I had never heard about or knew somewhat of – but wanted to give a chance.

Here’s my personal account of what went down musically and socially at Kalabalik på Tyrolen 2017.

After waiting half of the day until the train was going to depart from Malmö to Alvesta, I indulged in the playlist that Klubb Kalabalik had set up on Spotify. Upon hearing some of the acts that were going to play there, I didn’t really muster up any excitement for my trip. As the time to depart came even closer, one became increasingly nervous as to what to expect from this festival. Going from the scenic beauty of the Scanian landscape to the darkness of the dense forests in Småland was a change of scenery one hadn’t felt in some time. Everything went as it should on the trip and the train was cozier then anticipated.

Upon arrival in Alvesta, it sure was very different from Malmö. A tiny society in comparison. But it felt like a breeze in comparison and somewhat of a vacation from the ‘big city’. Since there’s not an ounce in me that wanted to pitch up a tent in the now rainy Småland, a hotel felt better suited for me as a form of relaxation and a better place to live, quite frankly. After having checked in, settled in, and the time closing in for the first act that I wanted to see on Tyrolen, I called a cab and went down to await it. It took some time before it arrived, but I was greeted by fellow people going to the festival themselves.

I thought it was going to be a further ride into the forests then it actually was, about ten minutes away from Alvesta itself. Quickly the ride became more of a social event then I would’ve thought it had been and the people I shared a cab with were really nice to talk to. A dimension of traveling to this festival that I hadn’t accounted for when I was on my way there, was meeting with all the people I know through my zine and label. Upon arriving to Tyrolen, it wasn’t the picturesque kind of place I had thought it would be – but as we got out of the cab, getting closer to the entrance, I was proven wrong.

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Tyrolen at night

A very picturesque and stylish sign, in bright red and yellow stated the following: “Tyrolen“. As one walked through the entrance, the bright lights that formed a column straight forward also gave off a nice aesthetically pleasing vibe, which was especially true the darker it got throughout the day, as the evening was closing in. Before the first act was going to play, that I was personally excited to hear live, my newfound friend and I became more acquainted and discussed the schedule and what to see. We were both, apparently, going to see Kaelan Mikla.

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Kaelan Mikla live, 19:00 on Friday the 25th of August

To be honest, I had been shunning Kaelan Mikla and their music for some time. First time I heard them, they were really exciting – but it got tiresome at one point to listen. As we moved down to hear them play, it really was a seance-like appearance they quickly laid down. It was enthralling to hear every song they played and it was very different to hear them play live then it is listening to their records. One part of me couldn’t stop moving to the beat of the music and the further into the live-set we got, the more I danced.

What appeased me the most was the bassist and her style of playing, it really added to the theatrical vibe that Kaelan Mikla managed to pull off convincingly. There was something about her rocking back and forth which made one be able to completely enjoy dancing and at the same time viewing their prowess on stage. When the final song was to be played, frankincense was lit and the mood became even darker, a perfect end to a great show.

The core of their music became more appealing as they channeled their ritualistic nature completely and let it self-destruct. It was almost as a religious experience dancing to it, especially after they had plowed through a few songs. Certainly a great start to an increasingly exciting festival to be at, which had frankly just started.

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Lode Runner live at 20:20 on Friday the 25th of August

Next up was Lode Runner – a band I had never heard of, apparently they were from Russia. Having had a discussion as what to see next, I parted from my newly found friend as I went over to see what all the fuzz was about, as a bigger crowd of people were gathering outside the next, smaller stage called “Joddelero” – “Rotundan” was the bigger stage, where Kaelan Mikla performed. Here is where I began to seriously dance my ass off. Even though many of the songs had the same rhythmical component with different variations, the music was beyond great to listen to.

The energetic nature of the post-punk that Lode Runner bestowed upon us made for some very unorthodox moves on my part. Even though the experience was not close to the religiousness of the dance that went down to Kaelan Mikla, there was some shoegazing happening and a foot forward, two steps back kind of minimalist dancing. People were getting more and more excited as to what lay ahead of them and it was a noticeable shift from the more gloomy, not as enthusiastic dancing going on earlier.

After having heard them perform, it was clear that nothing could beat them live – having listened to their music afterwards in comparison. They can truly be considered to be more of a live-act then a studio act, for the moment at least. As people got increasingly drunker they let loose a bit more and it seemed like people were excited for Die Selektion. Before all of this I had also met some of the people that I met in Malmö a year ago, one of them actually performing with Forces later that night.

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Die Selektion live at 21:20 on Friday the 25th of August

Die Selektion. What can I really say? I enjoyed their latest album “Deine Stimme Ist Der Ursprung Jeglicher Gewalt” which was a refreshing insight into what they’re capable of, so of course I had to watch them play live. Enthusiastically at first, I stood in front as they began to play and song after song poured out. Here, somewhere, I hit a metaphysical state of questioning my experience at Kalabalik, induced by the mesmerizing nature of trumpet-playing and energetic maneuvering by Luca (the singer). It became some kind of existential angst, a blurred line between just existing and philosophizing – which made me go further back and sit on the bench through the rest of the show.

Really a clash of two perspectives – being active and dancing to their music – and sitting back, enjoying how other people seemed to be into it in full, at the same time analyzing the bands move from subliminal presence to a full-on assault musically and owning the stage. As the show went on it became more and more interesting to watch and listening to, from a “shy” beginning to an outburst of emotions only available to those present.

It really felt as one was blessed by their presence and the curse of the existential angst slowly but surely faded away. As they said their goodbyes and the stage was going from full to empty once again, the excitement grew for seeing Diesel Dudes live for the first time. As quickly as they set up, as quickly the show started. It was time to get involved for real. Cue a blurry picture and enter a complete war-zone.

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Here’s where the creative ambition to be a photograph faded.

In come two burly dudes. The epitome of Diesel Dudes. After laying my jacket and hoodie on the floor, I quickly were to be involved in frantic dancing with the lead singer of Lode Runner in close proximity around me. What began as frantic dancing as the most, slowly became an outdoor gym where testosterone was administered by Douglas Du Fresne (the singer) together with his pal in a quite bizarre fashion, musically. After the first song or so, the dancefloor grew to be a wild mosh-pit that included virtually everyone in a big half-circle, to the joy of more passive onlookers.

When people were beginning to flail their arms violently and totally flip out, everyone was in some sort of ecstatic camaraderie and everyone who took a tumble was quickly helped up to continue the electronic body music-infused madness that had slowly brewed into a complete storm. Douglas even influenced me to do a few push-ups. There was a certain shift in attitude the further everything went on and it was evident that people got more excited and involved as the songs were quickly thrown out there until there was none left – but then people shouted they wanted more – and were given some.

Diesel Dudes have a uniqueness about them which I’ve never felt on a show for a long time, maybe even seven years. Their brand of electronic body music takes on the anarchic side of electro-punk and the attitude they bear with them resounds throughout the audience enough to make everything you do intense. For those of you who missed out on this show, it was really one of the two highlights of the festival. A once in a lifetime experience – to be honest.

Unfortunately for the other musicians, here’s where I was fatigued enough to just sit back and enjoy everything else from a distant. Here’s where the social theme of the festival became more evident, as I met more and more people I hadn’t met before. From hearing Whispering Sons from a distance, to wondering what could be made out of Easter to completely abandoning everything to socializing backstage with people. Even though the social aspect of this festival can be exaggerated, as people tended to move within their social circles and little cliques, there were a certain friendliness backstage among the artists that had performed and us others.

Now the time had arrived to move to Forces, but unfortunately not much of it was experienced due to hanging out backstage and venturing further away from the festival, nearer the DJ-tent. But it was perfectly enjoyable to hear them play from a distance, it invoked a certain kind of feeling which enhanced the social sphere and made the conversations more appealing in the end. Unfortunately for the DJ’s the electricity came and went like it wanted, which was a shame. There were some really good jams coming out of there, as I spent my remainder of the time going from a caravan to a backstage-caravan.

For someone like me to last through the whole night is a unique thing. My last experience of a festival being Peace & Love in 2011 which was nothing in comparison to what this had become. One thing can be said about the social atmosphere of the festival and it was meeting people you’ve either made releases with, written about or simply learned to know otherwise in connection with Repartiseraren. The appreciation and knowledge of what I do was astounding, even coming from people I haven’t chatted that much with.

After almost falling asleep and not being able to catch a cab until two hours later, in the middle of the night, almost the next morning – was a frustration. Coming home from that, with the experiences that I was given on the first day of Kalabalik, was a lot to process and reintegrate into the mind the other day. So many good and positive things on the same day, giving in less and less to the more anxious side of things.

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Saturday the 26th of August

Sleeping from early in the morning the next day, up until it was time to venture out to Tyrolen once again, it became even more attracting as it was my opportunity to say hello to more people I didn’t have time to greet the first day. I decided to come there a bit later since I really wanted to start off the evening by seeing Sturm Café live for the first time ever. This was one of those moments I had been waiting for and one of the main attractions for my visit to Kalabalik.

My newly found friend from the first day was munching on a pizza and followed me to the bigger stage were we sat down to look at Sturm Café. Just about ten to twenty minutes before that I had greeted Gustav (the singer) of the band and hoped to hear what they could produce as a live-act – which didn’t concern me since they are veterans themselves, and have played many shows before. Before they went on-stage the inversion of Diesel Dudes were playing on the other stage, and they had some really catchy tunes, as Morning Hands. It was from a distance, like experience the total opposite of what Diesel Dudes had been about on Friday.

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Sturm Café live at 20:00 on Saturday the 26th of August

Queue the anticipation as Sturm Café went on and everyone from the festival seemed to be gathering at the same spot – literally most of the people were present at this concert, and from my view it was the most popular out of them all, in terms of the audience. Unfortunately I was too tired to re-live my experience at Diesel Dudes the other night, but they surely churned out some tunes and everyone were dancing lively to the pop-sounding electronic body music that Sturm Café have mastered throughout the years.

This time they played mostly classics and also delivered the best versions of these songs -as they should be heard – live. The execution of each song was absolutely flawless. After having a highlight for my first day on the festival, this became the other one and the best one, really. Upon hearing “Koka Kola Freiheit” the whole place erupted and the drums were amazing – the bass was resounding and blurting out uncompromisingly to everyone’s delight. The dancefloor was alive once more. It seemed like the quality of the sound was somehow enhanced, be that because of the production of the songs or the digging engineer in front of me, should be untold. But there was an overall difference.

I wish I had seen them earlier, they are really much more than what can be described about them. I am proud to have contributed to their discography in the form of a cassette-release. They have a certain quality musically that not many groups in the electronic body-genre can produce. Even though one might scorn them upon a first listening, this is one of those groups that can’t be dismissed just on their approach to the genre in terms of lyrics and concept.

Around the same time as Friday, the festival turned into more of a social event and I managed to hook up with more of the people I had only seen profile pictures of, or had spoken with before without being able to meet them in person. It gave a certain quality to the social interaction being on the same festival as them. It is a shame that it is only a yearly occurrence. I had been stoking the flames of my own excitement for Bestial Mouths, but even though they delivered some nice interpretations of their works, it didn’t give me the same kind of motivation I had gotten earlier.

Then I heard Xarah Dion from afar and was enthralled about her emotional deliveries of the music she’d created. I hadn’t really listened that closely to the music itself before but was attuned to it even more the more times I passed going from inside the festival to just outside in the camping-area. She had some really great songs in her repertoire, even though I didn’t experience it closer than that, it was a pleasant listening session for myself in my newly found social environment.

It is hard to sum up this festival and it isn’t necessary to have actively participated in every DJ-set or live-act, but it turned out to be a great listening experience whether one was directly involved by dancing or appreciating the music closely, or simply hearing it from a different perspective whilst engaging in other activities. I must say that I have never been to a more well-organized festival in terms of music, general pleasurableness and the non-existence of violence and anti-social behavior. Even though Kalabalik på Tyrolen is a very small festival in comparison to other counterparts – it is hands down – the best festival I’ve ever been to.

The sheer work of Christoffer Gunnarsson and his crew should serve as an inspiration to other D.I.Y.-festival makers for the future. It is really an impeccable show of hostesship. The fact that you can also get closer to the artists is a huge plus. Otherwise you’re locked out of that opportunity. They’ve really outdone themselves for me as a first time visitor and I was lucky enough to be personally invited as well, which for me is an honor and just cements the importance of Repartiseraren further. For the first time in these environments, since being invited to The Foreign Resort backstage in Christiania – have I felt that what I do make a difference and that people actually enjoy it.

I would be dismayed if there weren’t a Kalabalik på Tyrolen 2018. I would go again even if I weren’t a guest to the festival in terms of my hobby. They have another important factor about what makes them great as well and that is the representation of more established artists and smaller artists that get the same playground, basically. You’re intrigued about watching artists perform that you haven’t heard about and even though not everything might be one’s cup of tea, the variety is stunning for such a small initiative.

Thank you so much for one of my best experiences in terms of music, in 2017. It brought up so many feelings and the organizers, artists, new friends and old friends have my deepest respect. You are the variation we sorely need.

Yours sincerely,

Repartiseraren

Ljuslykta – [Är du inte en del, så är du utesluten] – Del II: Knivtid, Trepaneringsritualen, Fähund och Andra Svart

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Känner ni igen er? Bra. Vi hoppas att den första delen fick er att uppskatta detta initiativ. Nej, vi är fortfarande inte en del av vad andra gör utan vi ställer oss utanför det. För vad kan man göra när allting är strömlinjeformat – man kan i alla fall inte skapa något exakt likadant som alla andra gör. Oavsett vad de skriver om så läses det och hörs likadant, det kvittar egentligen om det är i podcastformat eller om det är i textformat.

Vi tycker att det finns något större, något mer än bara technopodcasts. Något mer än bara korta stycken av text som inte egentligen tillför något överhuvudtaget. Det må så vara att dessa fanzine och tidningar har skribenter som rent tekniskt får till det bättre än oss, men egentligen är det inte vad det handlar om, alls. Även om vi strävar efter att ha ett så korrekt språkbruk som möjligt så är det inte vad det står och faller med – det står och faller med originalitet.

Åt helvete med falsk journalistik – åt helvete med falsk originalitet – åt helvete med allt som inte är sant.

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Knivtid – Knivtid EP

Vad skär igenom oss om inte känslor? Hur ska man lyckas emulera olika känslotillstånd på bästa möjliga sätt? Det finns olika metoder som man kan använda sig av för att nå dit. Rent musikaliskt så är Knivtid väldigt nära dessa tillstånd, men inte bara på det viset utan också estetiskt. Man föreställer sig en storstad, stor, tom och själlös – finns det verkligen något att hämta där, egentligen? Enligt artistens självbetitlade EP via London-baserade ACR – så finns det något där ändå.

Direkt känner man saknad. Fan, måste det här verkligen hända, är det verkligen den känslan vi känner när vi lyssnar? Ja, i alla fall i “Feelings By Numbers“, som i låten tar sig an att samla på sig de innersta känslorna storstadsmänniskorna bär på. Det känns som om han katalyserar och bänder upp, rör om och öppnar upp, tömmer oss på den känslomässighet som existerar. Man hör måsarna skrika, närheten till naturen och den tärande betongen – två motsatsförhållanden som i slutändan är i samexistens. Verkligen underskön ambientmusik när den är som bäst. Med en detaljrikedom som pockar på känslornas uppmärksamhet, omedelbart.

I “262” finns en helt annan atmosfär. Kortare, mer intensiva kickar förmedlas med elektroniska instrument. Någonting lurar där under ytan, regnet porlar ner för rutan och det verkar som att något är i görningen. Kontrollerat kaos. Från de lägre frekvenserna som tar upp mycket plats, till de högre som har reserverats för att skapa en atmosfär som är mer grandios än vad man uppfattar i början. “Circles” har en mer romantisk framtoning, den är varmare och bär inte på lika mycket kyla som de andra, tidigare låtarna. Man känner sig mer välkommen, en känsla av stundens hetta – euforin man kan ha känt, det mer nostalgiska – men även det som finns i vissa ögonblick.

Inflammatorisk” är precis vad namnet säger att det ska vara. Ljuden blossar upp som från ingenstans och lägger sig platta för det mer industriella ljudet. Det finns en viss lekfullhet i låten som återspeglar sig i knackande, mindre utdragna och återkommande elektroniska vibbar. “Paus I” som i egenskap av sista låt och outro, bjuder på en början av något helt nytt. Förhoppningsvis något som är lika beroendeframkallande som detta släpp. Det är helt ofattbart hur detaljrikt och gripande detta släpp är.

Lyssna till det här nedanför och beställ en kassett. Det är för närvarande i sin andra utgåva eftersom att den första redan sålt slut.

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Trepaneringsritualen – Deathward, To The Womb

Sveriges, i mitt tycke, bästa undergroundbolag var Beläten. Thomas Ekelund har låtit utveckla sitt eget projekt Trepaneringsritualen efter att Beläten tyvärr gått i graven. Även om det är svårt för oss att förstå oss på det bakomliggande estetiska på detta släpp, kanske till och med det rent esoteriska, så är det lockande ur andra aspekter. Efter att ha varit obetydlig till att ha varit med på Boiler Room – till att ha funnit egenhet i sitt ljud på “Deathward, To The Womb” – är nog detta projekt ett av de nyare, som inom svensk industrial har chansen att bli något att räkna med.

Vad som gör detta projekt så spännande är hur långt man kan ta ljudmanipulationer. För det är vad Thomas gör på just detta släpp, men han tar det ett snäpp längre rent konceptuellt – både estetiskt och musikaliskt. De rungande infernaliska ljuden som borrar sig in i en med all kraft, strös omkring i en ruggig stämning vars uppbyggnad ger en kalla kårar. Särskilt märkbart är det i titelspåret “Deathward, To The Womb“. Tillsammans med Ekelunds magvändande stämma blir ritualen komplett, något som förmodligen måste upplevas live men som likväl blir imponerande i en ljudfil.

She Is Flame Of Life” är en låt som bevisar vad Trepaneringsritualen går för. Det är sinnessjukt men underskönt, det är smutsighetens fula tryne som visar sig. En uppvisning i konsten att förvränga allting och göra det vackra till något man bara vill stampa under skon. Om man ska sätta att “ha en aura” i ett sammanhang, så är detta verkligen en beskrivning för hur man kombinerar elektroniska ljud och framkallar något större och mer än bara musiken självt. Det finns en aura över denna musik som både kan vara vämjelig men imponerande samtidigt.

All Hail The Black Flame” är verkligen, i atmosfären, en sammanfattning av den mörka våg som uppstått främst i Sverige – men även annorstädes – i rytm och intensitet. Man tänker direkt på Celldöd, Alvar, Michael Idehall och Æther​. Givetvis finns det andra som figurerar i närheten av detta, rent ljudmässigt, men eftersom vi bara tar upp svenska artister, band och grupper i dessa artiklar så blir det rätt logiskt.

Vi rekommenderar verkligen att ni köper en CD eller LP. Stöd projektet, så att vi kan få en anledning att se vad som händer på den fronten härnäst. Lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför, men om ni vill få tillgång till “I Remember When I Was God” – köp vinylskivan i så fall.

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Fähund – 15.0

För den som vill ägna sig åt något som nästan är lika mörkt som Trepaneringsritualen, men på ett annat sätt, kan lyssna på “15.0” av Fähund – vars släpp innehåller två låtar på över tjugo minuter vardera. Mörkare ambient som är rätt experimentellt och påminner en hel del om Övervarning, ett annat projekt som vi täckt i övergången från Invisible Guy till Repartiseraren. Ungefär samma intresse väcks när man lyssnar till detta, som är en del i diskografin hos det fristående skivbolaget Sound-driven society rec.

Långsamma ljudlandskap som hänger sig totalt åt experimentella ljud. Den svajar fram och tillbaka, från att man tror att den ska utvecklas till något helt annat än det man hör, till att invecklas i sig självt och bli en större del av sina individuella små delar. Krackelerande, fragilt och med en förmåga att stå på egna ben trots en skakig grund. I “15.1” är det intensivt hela låten igenom. Utdragna och målande elektroniska paletter gör en annars väldigt kylig atmosfär till en mer eftertänksam, halvvarm resa in i djupet av vårt medvetande. In i ett främmande, men ändock närbeläget landskap, ett Nordiskt sådant. Mellan is och forntid till en skrämmande framtid.

Om intensiteten i den första låten behölls, men ökade lite grann och breddade på sig, är det vad “15.2” kan beskrivas som. Det känns som att det finns mer att höra, annorlunda ljud och ett större omfång för lyssnaren att ta in intryck från. Skevheten i det hela blir mer och mer uppenbar, det finns en speciell klarhet som Fähund vill förmedla men som inte skall förstås bara på några minuter – utan måste upplevas tills den upplöses i slutet av låten. En lång resa man får följa med på.

Skulle vilja påstå att det kanske inte är musik för vem som helst att lyssna på, men den har sin plats och hör hemma inom experimentell ambientmusik, mörkare sådan, på gränsen till att vara helt omfamnad av drone. Ni kan lyssna till bägge låtar nedanför.

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Andra Svart – Vascular Sound System

Detta var något jag ursprungligen såg Dan Söderqvist rekommendera. Länken sparades i bokmärken, längst bak – minneshålet. Mörk elektronisk musik att beskriva hjärtats funktion och omgärdande system med. Andra Svart har via Red Eye Consortium levererat “Vascular Sound System” – som är precis vad det beskrivs som. Cirkeln är alltså sluten och det har tillkommit ännu en artist som visar vad som är möjligt i ljudform. Vad är bättre än att beskriva en av kroppens viktigaste organ? Ingenting, hittills.

Rent konceptuellt översvämmas man av läkartermer. Latinska ord. Från att hjärtat pumpar i den självklara låten “Heart“, till de brummande oljuden i “Subclavian” – vars bas fullkomligen tar en på sängen. Fördelen med detta album är att det inte är något som tar avstamp i morbiditet, utan snarare i att vara olika beskrivande låtar för olika funktioner som kan relateras till det kardiovaskulära systemet. Utan den magnifika atmosfär som Andra Svart ger upphov till i varje låt, som påminner en om vad man besitter i sin vidunderliga kropp, så hade det rent konceptuellt fallit platt. Han gör något som kan vara intressant mycket intressantare i ljudform – det inspirerar på olika sätt.

Detaljrikedom är något vi tycker om på Repartiseraren. Allting tas fram i förgrunden och gestaltas på olika sätt, man kan höra alla instrument och alla ljudmanipulationer. Ingenting faller bakom förvrängningarna. Riktigt bra mixat och mastrat. “Illiac” är intressant på så sätt att den har en futuristisk prägel, synthljuden flyger in och ut men lämnar inte en oberörd. Ju längre in man kommer desto mer utvecklas låten och blir något av en favorit, när allt vävs samman och kombineras på bästa möjliga sätt – för att bli så unik som möjligt, men samtidigt ha kvar sin karaktär.

Jugular” blir en känslosam, knastrig resa in i det djupaste, mörkaste. Genomgående är hur saker passerar förbi och återkommer, funktionellt. Man blir en åskådare som får beskåda något audiovisuellt, och i vissa delar är melodierna väldigt koncentrerade samt välutvecklade. Det finns inget utrymme för några som helst felaktigheter. Genomgående ett förvånansvärt bra albumsläpp.

Ni kan lyssna på släppet i sin helhet här nedanför. Föreslår även att ni köper släppet.

 

 

 

Ljuslykta – [Precis som alla andra, men vi skiljer oss åt ändå] – Del I: Suffering Hour, Khem, Saturniids och Svarti Loghin

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Vi vet att det finns människor som rekommenderar musik, vi är en del av detta mikrokosmos också, varesig vi vill eller ej. Det kan hända att folk som läser detta inte tror att vi är föränderliga – fastän vi gång på gång bevisat att vi är det – dessa individer kan sluta läsa nu. På tiden att det händer något nytt och att skutan styrs i rätt riktning igen. Ner i den smutsiga underjorden, gräv upp det som andra inte finner vid första anblick, rekommendera det till folk som faktiskt bryr sig och har ett intresse av detta.

Ljuslykta är en ny serie som bygger på samma koncept som “spotlight“. Skillnaden är att detta är mer utförligt, men det finns en hake – vi söker enbart musik inom Sverige. Vad finns det som är rekommenderbart i detta landet? Man kliar sig på huvudet och tänker att det egentligen inte finns särskilt mycket, men plötsligt blir man motbevisad. Här dyker det upp i olika delar. Det finns inte en tanke på att stöta och blöta det som redan stötts och blötts miljontals gånger via andra fanzines i bloggosfären och inom mindre smickrande medium.

Nej, vi begränsar oss visserligen, men så enfaldiga är vi inte.

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Suffering Hour – In Passing Ascension

Ett debut-album rikare har svenska Blood Harvest blivit – ett skivbolag vi inte ägnat en tanke åt tidigare, så det var väl på tiden. Suffering Hour har blivit en del av detta undergroundmaskineri. När man ögnar igenom skivbolagets tidigare släpp så återfinns det intressanta släpp av bland andra Sorcery, Cemetary, Magnus, Bombs Of Hades. Så man känner åtminstone till en del band, även om vissa andra är höljda i dunkelt ljus.

In Passing Ascension” heter albumet. Åtta låtar totalt. Det märks av att de har varit inspirerade av Dead Congregation, precis som bandet själva förtäljer när de fått beskriva det. Det är också just den influensen som känns starkast, även om fokuset på omvälvande och precisa riff även känns igen från Inquisition – som de även beskriver som en klar influens. Det som är solklart från start på detta släpp är hur de integrerar atmosfären i musiken, det mer elektroniska får kickstarta den vilda käftsmäll som är Suffering Hour. Egentligen är det både de individuella delarna som gör helheten och tvärtom, men hur de lyckas att få en att hålla koll på allting samtidigt som ens huvud dängs in i väggen av hårdheten i riff, trummor, skrik och bas – är proffsigt.

Egentligen hade man kunnat tycka att det bara är en malström av allt och ingenting, men det följer en röd tråd och har många föränderliga delar som får en att gilla deras musik. Alla influenser blandas i ett någorlunda rörigt men sammanhållet kaotiskt ljudlandskap. Från vår favoritlåt “For the Putridity of Man” till “Procession of Obscure Infinity” uppvisar de en makalös kunnighet i sina individuella roller, med sina instrument. Samtidigt som det mest attraktiva i black metal behålls, kastas man in i en värld av death metal – där bägge genrer hålls åtskilda för att sedan dyka in i varandra.

Förutsättningarna för detta album från start till slut har inte varit en tidig besvikelse, eller ett sent uppvaknande hos musikerna, där de försöker ställa allt till rätta, utan snarare en kreativ imploderande metalapokalyps med stadig grund att utgå ifrån rakt från början. Efter att ha lyssnat på “Hostis Humani Generis” av Dead Congregation så att den inte längre går att lyssna på, så är nästa logiska steg “In Passing Ascension“. Verkligen. De har helt klart sina olika sätt att göra musik på men det smittar av. Så för den som är trött på oinspirerande black metal och likaså death metal – är detta påbörjan av en helt ny era av bra sådan.

Ni kan lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför, vi föreslår även att ni stödjer skivbolaget och bandet genom att köpa en fysisk vinylskiva, t.ex. I skrivande stund finns det ett exemplar kvar av silvervinylen.

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Khem – Hatehammer

De två mörkklädda männen i Khem har släppt en debut-EP som fått namnet “Hatehammer“, via Änglaslakt Productions, som tidigare släppt alster med Ultra Silvam – med andra ord två olika projekt vi inte har någon kännedom om alls, vilket gör detta extra intressant. Kvalitén är vad man kan förvänta sig av en demoproduktion, vilket det med all sannolikhet är. Eller så är det bara så att ljudet gör sig bra med musiken.

Från de smattrande trummorna till enkelheten i riffen, sprider sig en känsla av vanmakt och totalt hat. Inlevelsen i sången och den helt ohämmade atmosfären gör att detta släpp blir något av en resa tillbaka i tiden på många sätt, men dessa herrar är bra på att konstruera riff och lägga det på en väldigt hög nivå rätt omedelbart. Intensiteten i framförallt “Culling Life” verkar ha gjort så att “Hammers of Hate” får ikläda sig rollen som en av de snabbare låtarna, mellan början och slut på denna EP innehållandes tre låtar. Även om det inte går att uttyda exakt vad som förmedlas rent textmässigt så täcks det utav skickligheten som levereras via musiken i sin helhet.

Även om namnet på släppet kan vara oinspirerande, så är det i all sin enkelhet ett njutbart släpp från början till slut. Det har allt man behöver när man lyssnar på black metal, och lite till så klart. När man tror att det ska bli ett bombastiskt outro av det hela med låten “Splendorous Maw of Darkness“, så lägger de extra krut och stormar in genom portarna istället för att ljudsätta sin egen avfärd. En virvelvind av trumslag och gitarriff lägger sig över en omedelbart, där själva melodierna får bära upp hela skelettet på sina egna axlar. Allting vilar på det. Det är rått och utan att kompromissa med något.

Vi tycker att ni ska lyssna här nedanför.

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Saturniids – Saturniids

Om det inte redan var hemlighetsfullt nog, så sluter Saturniids cyklen med sitt självbetitlade albumsläpp. Ett mini-album bestående utav fyra stycken låtar, förmodligen är det släppt av de själva också. Här blir det annorlunda och inte särskilt mycket black eller death metal. Det blir istället sludge och doom metal för hela slanten. Tillsammans med ljudbilden i deras musik har de också lyckats få till en imponerande estetik.

Vad som känns återkommande, åtminstone om man ser till de släpp vi tidigare skrivit om i denna artikel – är hur passionerad sångaren är. Han ger verkligen allt när han släpper lös sitt inre vrede. Även om sludge och doom metal ibland kan bli lite väl segt för våran smak, så är det intressant hur Saturniids utövar en annan form inom dessa genrebarriärer. Visst, det är inte särskilt snabbt när det kommer till tempo rent generellt, men passande nog så ger tyngden och längden i dessa låtar ytterligare ett lager av imponerande musikalitet. Man känner att allting ska stanna upp när som helst, och plötsligt när nådastöten kommer i form av avstannade trummor och gitarrer – så levererar de något extremt explosivt, vilket man verkligen kan höra i “I.C.B.M.” – passande låtnamn för övrigt.

Det är rasslande, kvävande och framförallt en nydanande form rent musikaliskt som ingjuter hopp i en. Om det äldre materialet som EyeHateGod gjorde förut möter slumpmässig svensk doom eller sludgemusik, och i en fusion blir något mer allsmäktigt – något eget. Det som är bra med dessa genrer är ju att det finns ett mycket större utrymme rent musikaliskt, så man behöver inte känna allt för mycket vemod när “Into Oblivion” kraschar ut i ingenstans. Förhoppningsvis finns det något skivbolag som öppnar ögonen och tar detta för vad det är – guld. Ja, det är faktiskt nästan så pass bra att man skulle kunna säga att det är något liknande.

Ni kan lyssna till albumet här nedanför.

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Svarti Loghin – Mörk Energi

Solstice Rex, som för övrigt enbart släppt Svarti Loghin-material, har detta år förverkligat albumet “Mörk Energi“. Egentligen visste vi inte om vi skulle ta med detta, men eftersom att det är ett så pass intressant släpp på så många olika sätt, så valde vi att ha med dem ändå. Vi har tidigare sett, men inte lyssnat på Svarti Loghin, utan det har bara varit något man sett i förbifarten. Estetiken känns inte särskilt lockande, men när man väl tryckt på “spela” så märker man fort att det finns något att hämta.

Introduktionen, låten “Stjärnätare Dväljs Under Torv Och Moss“, levererar både socialrealism i sin mörkare form – uppgivenheten – och den bländande akustiska mystiken rent musikaliskt, tillsammans med renodlad svartmetall. Det svänger inte fort, men det kan ändras rent atmosfäriskt på tio, tjugo sekunder. Från ett magnifikt akustiskt stycke till blastbeats och avgrundsvrål, det är verkligen någonting som gör Svarti Loghin egensinniga. Inte för att ingen gjort det förut, men hur de manipulerar atmosfären i låtarna samtidigt som de lägger in de klassiska komponenterna inom genrerna de vandrar emellan – är verkligen massivt.

Bland låtarna återfinns också ett par underbara stycken ambientlåtar, som till exempel “Katzengold“. Det är intressant hur det kan skifta så extremt mycket på bara ett par låtar, för att sedan gå tillbaka till det brutala snittet av svartmetall. Favoritlåten är “Vakuum III“, där det på sju minuter genomgående levereras musik av högsta kvalité, med genomtänkta riff och där utrymme även ges för de mer utsvävande delarna av detta projekt. Under masken av misär gömmer det sig en guldgruva av vackerhet som man bara kan höra om man lyssnar extra noga, i vissa delar så gömmer det sig bakom hårdheten och grymheten, men det finns där någonstans.

Dualiteten i musiken är medryckande. Det står mellan allt och inget, det finns inga mellanting. Vi tycker att ni borde se till att köpa en vinyl, eller åtminstone en kassett av detta album. Det är värt det i slutändan. Ni kan lyssna till albumet i sin helhet här nedanför.

 

Review: The Bug vs Earth – Concrete Desert

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This is one of the first times I’ve taken a good look at a bigger artist and wanted to review what they’ve released. I found the concept worthy of investigation track-by-track, since the whole theme surrounding it is alluring. The aesthetics are interesting and it feels worthy to delve into deeper and see what can be found or what can not be found. I am now about to dissect this release. It clocks in at around 90 minutes – making it around an hour and a half long.

City Of Fallen Angels” is a dreamy but dreary experience. Stating what the title is isn’t enough to describe how the song is. Conceptually it makes perfect sense why it is titled that way – as it infects the overall sound as well. Experimental electronica seep through the headphones and the barren landscape appears ahead of you. The atmosphere is such that it represents that and it takes you from tumbleweed and calmness into the stormy heart of a city. As you come further into the song it charges up for a second and then unleashes the noisyness which is normally reserved for industrial music, coupling it with laidback electronica – messing up your points of reference and as it progresses you’re stunned by the intensity of it. The soundscape is bombastic and doesn’t hold back, but comes in with assertive ease. Lulling you into submission.

Gasoline” is eerie. Keeping the listener at bay while he awaits what happens around the corner. Nothing. Then, suddenly, a slow rhythm brings out the melody and adds to that a solid baseline that is strung out by an electric guitar. Even though it remains in the solid rhythmics that it started with, it warps you into different ones that make you wonder if you’ve lost your mind or not. Layer upon layer of mighty instruments that figuratively catch on fire as he pours on more gasoline. Still, even though it broods primitive melodies and an unorthodox soundscape – it fades out the way it faded in. Nothing catches on in this track but it manages to hold a special kind of craftiness that make it broad and intense under the surface anyway. No need for it to give off a spark.

Agoraphobia” – if you weren’t to begin with, maybe this murky and spaced out song will make you experience the phobia. What feels like the development of a smashing song goes out of its own way to create weird melodies within the melodies and rhythms in the rhythm. The amplified sound of the rambunctious noise that is created by the baseline – or what at least seems to have been created from it – is suddenly paired with riffs that would make you feel a transgression from electronica to non-electronic music is happening. That, however, never happens. I’m not too sure about whether to feel positive or negative about this song, but I’m impressed about how the seemingly out-of-motion melodies later in bring out the experimentalism in its purest form. It is odd, it is weird, it is intimidating to a degree – just to fade out like the other ones have.

Here’s a grime-infused track, “Snakes Vs Rats“, that gathers the best out of that genre and ignore the vocals. They create a sort of underground opera-like electronic music together with the grime-beats. Dissecting the genre for what it is good for and creating a pleasantly huge sound. The most solid rhythm combined with the most forward-thinking of synthesizer sweeps – a glance into the futuristic world as imagined a decade ago – almost bordering to one of the great soundtracks accompanying sci-fis of the 1980’s. The sound portrayed is not an idealistic one, it is a rather bleak non-picturesque and alarming narrative that is being pushed with the song. Somewhere we might be, where we don’t want to be – stuck in the middle, nowhere out, control is absolute.

Broke” is minimalistic to the core. What drives it is a few sounds here and there, well-placed beautiful synthesizers and a claustrophobic atmosphere. A cry for help. Symptomatic of the sound so far is that it relies heavily on the baseline, which helps it progress throughout the soundscape in a great way. Where there is no rhythm, one have to create it in between the noisy and deconstructed melodies that are repetetively churned out – as the outdrawn riffs play a vital role in keeping the maniacal atmosphere livid. There is something about the song that draws on what solid ground The Bug (and Earth) create everything. It is immersive and too real.

From the beginning, “American Dream” is a piece of work just seconds in. Unfortunately everyhing looses its meaning after the monstrous opening. Maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be, as it is certainly not a portrayal of the american dream in any positive way at all. But it by now only feels like an empty statement, having heard the other songs that contain something more then just the formulaic approach he has in this one. It’s good how he draws from his earlier creations and put it into a whole, synchronized experience. What’s bad is that it feels like one has already been here, listened through it and discarded it on the way. Sure, the attention to detail is very ambitious, but it in the end becomes just an outdrawn piece of ambient music that do no justice at all.

Don’t Walk These Streets” hits you over the head and immerse you into a gruesome world. Blindfolded, struck repeatedly by the knife-sharp rhythms and the playful melody of the piano, the message of the song becomes apparent. It is violent in its nature but you don’t have to fear anything, listening to it. You’re far away from the emotions itself – it is like you’ve detached from them and become a part of this message. They marvelously craft something you want to listen to repeatedly, expanding the song every step of the way to make it even more enchanting. The depths of the synthesizers and the crassness of the beats are not temporary – they exist there to give meaning to the soundscape. A very well-rounded song all-in-all.

Other Side of the World” gives off a meditative feeling. After you’ve been entangled into the music – a basedrum hits and catches you off-guard. Every single part of the song has some kind of magnificent tone to it. The different facets stand and fall together, nothing can be separated or it will knock the rhythm and melodies away from one another. As simple as the song might seem, it is very addictive. Here’s a perfect transgression from different genres and what it lacks in rhythm it makes up for in melody and structure.

Hell A” is too hip-hop for me. A genre that is not of my liking at all. If that kind of rhythm and those beats have been reserved for something else – it would be fine. Had it been stripped from the atmosphere and replaced with a better rhythm, it would’ve been a glorious listening as the dark synthesizers come in, sweeping the floor with everything else. It becomes a very energetic song that doesn’t stray away from the better aspects of his music. Without that edge and vibe to it – it would’ve been a lost cause and nothing worthy to listen to at all. It is good that he at least keeps that in but he should’ve left more out this time – in terms of beats.

The title-trackConcrete Desert” is a phenomenal ride from curiosity and into the bleakness of the human soul itself. Right from the start you’re immersed into his world, you’re taking part of what he has created and he leaves no ends open, instead of thinking, one seems to be in need of visualising the music – it really gives off an audio-visual experience that is on the next level. After some of the previous songs it wouldn’t seem possible but he manages to create the narrative, spin it into the conciousness of the listener and give meaning to the instrumentation in more ways than just the musical. Which is good, since this song should be the summary and epitome of what this album is about.

Dog ft JK Flesh” is the resounding adaptation of one of the other songs from this release. He manages to add a whole other sound to it than The Bug and Earth could do. It becomes much angrier, more cheeky. When they had to choose a vocalist, nobody could fit the bill more perfectly – this simply cannot be unheard and fits too perfectly. Same can be said about “Pray ft JK Flesh” – here JK Flesh is allowed to be as expressive as possible through his powerful vocals. After listening this far in it is nice to have this addition in the release becomes it helps it become more vital instead of rehashing everything over again – instead creating something new of it, even more intimidating.

Nothing more can be said about this album other then that “Another Planet” is the perfect outro. Easy to listen to and it makes you yearn for more of this kind of music. When you think about it, the album is solid and pretty good despite its faults. I suggest you get it from Ninja Tune (or The Bug vs Earth themselves) in physical form, instead of digital. Though you might want to listen through it a couple of times before, it still is a good headphone experience. Stream the whole album down below.