Spotlight: DKA Records 001 – Dylan Ettinger / Golden Dust!

DKA

DKA Records is a collective of people adhering to the magnificent electronica (and non-electronic) music, that can be fitted within the virtual entanglement of sub-genres, with everything from synth-pop, to post-punk and industrial. Celebrating both classic, new and rare releases. Besides that, they’re also keen on throwing club nights and concerts. These musicians and DJ’s, consisting of the following group of people: Featureless Ghost, Tifaret, Anticipation, Technoir, High Marks, Hunger, Cc, Claire, Twins, Warning Light, Fit of Body and many more.

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They’ve currently released DKA001, which is their first release on the label. Featuring the son of Bloomington, namely Dylan Ettinger. Whom delivers a crescent current of the most malefic, but grandiose synth-pop that you’ve ever heard. But also a softer side, which is dedicated to the group Goldendust – a minimalistic but melodic synth-pop duo from Iowa. Loose yourself with these two, as they’re both on the same 7¨ which can be bought from DKA Records for five dollars + shipping, if you’d find it to be something for you. Which it will surely be, since it’s got both sides represented. Listen to the track “The Pale Mare” by Dylan Ettinger down below, which is a track featured on the A-Side.

My New Fascination (Special Ed. 2): Null And Void – Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)

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This is a special-edition of My New Fascination which is directed at the wonderful guy who owns Bunkerpop. It will contain one of two reviews, one of the re-issued version of Coïtus Int. first release “Dead Excitement E.P.” but also of Null And Void and their brand new release of material recorded in between 1981-1982 titled “Possibilities (Discoverable Thoughts)“, which will be featured in Special Ed. 2. In this edition, I’ll go through the Null And Void release. You should support Bunkerpop by venturing over to his website and ordering these two gems, which will aid the label-owner in his quest of seeking out and preserving old gems.

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Harvesting #7: Through deeper electronica armed with Featureless Ghost?

Welcome back to another edition of Harvesting. This time around I’ve been experimenting in between different forms of writing. I’ve decided that I wanted to continue with the five questions asked for different artists, bands and underground phenomenons. So in this harvest I’ll be deepening your interest in the following: Featureless Ghost. A duo consisting of Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins, which have been around since 2007. They have also been performing in Something Colds venues some time ago. Therefore I’ll also be revealing something new coming their way. Hope you enjoy this edition of Harvesting and I also hope that you’ll come back, hungering for more and more. I’ll be having a great feature tomorrow that you should not miss out on. But now, back to the interesting duo Featureless Ghost. I took some time to ask Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins five questions and I’ll also review one of their latest tracks in this edition.

So I get that you’ve been making music together since 2007, but where did it all begin and why the name Featureless Ghost?

– Our musical collaborations took on many forms and styles before we fell into the music we make as Featureless Ghost. The first official FG recordings were made in the beginning of 2011. Everything we had done prior to that lead us to where we are now. Our style was much looser and more experimental before FG, a lot noisier too, and it wasn’t until we both became more confident vocalists that we felt like we could attempt the sort of minimal-synth/dark-pop songs that we’re writing now. As far as the name goes, Featureless Ghost is a concept we picked up on from reading, thinking about, and talking about identity: the spirit-ghost, and the information net. Our songs definitely come from this space.

Could you tell me anything about the creative process behind your releases up til’ now?

– With the exceptions of “Projections” and “Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies,” the recording process is almost identical to the live performance. We write everything on our live rig (which doesn’t include a laptop) and try to limit ourselves to things we can pull off using what we have in front of us. We do have a few synths and drum machines in the studio that we don’t use live and will sometimes pepper the recordings with them or sample them on the MPC to trigger as we need. Synths are both sequenced and hand-played over the drum sequences written in the MPC and vocals are performed and processed live on top of it.

What kind of landmark memories have you had in your time together as Featureless Ghost?

– Our first tour of the midwest in April and May 2012 was a pretty special time. We were treated extremely well in each city and got to meet some amazing bands/artists and play to some great crowds both large and small. We didn’t go broke, although Elise got terrible bronchitis and felt miserable for a good chunk of the trip but she stayed strong and powered through regardless. It was a good first tour and definitely made us realize the benefits of hitting the road and linking up with new people.

You’re going to release your debut-LP now in October, are you stoked about it and could you reveal anything you haven’t revealed about it?

– We are extremely stoked to be releasing this LP, “Personality Matrix.” If you go to our bandcamp page you’ll see that we have 5 releases out, but unlike “Personality Matrix” none of the releases we have out are really representative of where we’re at now and where we’re going. The only way to know, without hearing the upcoming LP, is to catch us live.

Thank you for letting me ask these questions! What do you have in store now in the near future?

– Thank you! Coming up we have a tour of the East Coast and Canada and we are currently working on some new songs and recordings for upcoming FG releases. We’re always working on something new! We have also co-founded a label with our friends Chris Daresta and James Andrew called “DKA” and we will be releasing the first 3 DKA cassettes before the end of the year and have plans for future vinyl releases as well. We also have a bunch of FG videos produced by Fantastic Lands (Elise) in the works that will be released over the next few months.

The most interesting part about this song is that it sounds timeless and share the components of what makes Featureless Ghost stand the test of time. I think they have a different approach on this single if you compare to the other songs. But they’re essentially the same. If I’d think wishfully, it sounds like they’ve taken care of the more minimalistic touches that can be found within their music and made that their top effort. At least when I listen to this song, the wonderfully monotone, but at the same time varied song is drilling itself right into my eardrums. There’s some kind of retro feeling to it as well as futuristic, but I guess this could be because they’re good at that balance. It’s not obnoxiously nostalgic, yet it’s at the same time futuristic. A feeling that comes to mind when I listen to it, is that it’s got a calm and controlled tempo, yet it’s got that pushy kind of drive that turn things up a notch. Basically, it’s also built around the vocalists different expressions vocally. That sounded pretentious of me to say, but I think they get more room to experiment with their vocals in this song than they’ve had in songs prior to this one. So I’m hoping for a new turn on their behalf, and I’m also dying to hear another single-song that I can listen to.

Au revoir for this time around! In the next edition of Harvesting, namely the #8th, you’ll find yourself on familiar grounds.

Harvesting #1: Upcoming coldwave-gems that you must check out!

Harvesting is much like MNF (My New Fascination), but more of several recommendations rather than one. This one is also much more genre-based than the aforementioned. I’m hoping to keep up the pace that I’ve had for the last week or so, meaning that I’m trying to develop different forms of categories that don’t fit into your traditional reviewing, recommendation or otherwise sufficient form of doing things. As I’m more of a crazy-minded person, I prefer to break some barriers now and then. Not saying that this is revolutionary or anything, it’s just one thing packaged differently.

Since I’ve been indulging more and more with the cold wave folks, I’d like this first Harvest to focus more on this phenomenon in the first edition of it.

Xiu – Xiu (2012)

A long awaited release by the weirdly fashionable artist Xiu from Italy, and her real name is Oksana Rodionova. She describes her music with a few sentences on her Facebook: “Lonely Synth Wave“. I would agree on that, but I also sense that there’s something else within her music. There’s a rough but dreamy edge to it, almost analog, at least when listening to the few tracks available for this cassette. From the two songs available, the best song so far have been “Why Were We Gone“, if I have to choose between that song and the song “Someday“. Her music both instills the musical elitist within me and at the same time manages to hit a spot within me that’s hard to explain. I guess the point of it is to convey that sense of loneliness, the sense that you may not belong. She does it with such delicacy, as if she’s a surgeon laying the first cut in you. Instead of ravishing your whole body, the surgeon takes out your heart and pumps it full with a syringe of hopeless hopefulness. In essence, the ability to convey both the “negative” feeling itself and being able to also cover the counterpart, is what I believe Xiu does best. At least when I’ve listened through these two songs.

The almost droopy dreaminess of the angelic, but not too overtly sacrilegious approach makes her unique in each and every way. I believe that the cold-wave is ever present. But it’s entrenched within both the minimalism and the outer spheres of the sound-scape. I would say that it’s most noticeable because she never transgresses the line of “too catchy” and never peddles within the huge box that many artists manage to fall into. Neither is it your average reverb-drenched madness, it’s a fine-tuned wave of intrigue, ready to sweep over your body without you noticing its adjacent touch. As if it just changes your mood and push the different buttons, without you noticing it, but your subliminal conscience carries it on and it affects your whole body in one way and another.

Since it’s being released on the all too fabulous label aufnahme + wiedergabe, I suggest you buy it. You can pre-order it over at their bandcamp, which I’ll link to here. It’s being released on the 12th of October and you should get it. Be it for the great tracks, which is rarely ever executed properly by artists and bands alike, or be it the wonderful aesthetics that are combined in this release.

Velvet Condom – VC (2012)

I must’ve kept my eyes closed, because I could’ve swore that I’ve heard and seen these guys before. Maybe they performed in my earlier life, when I was a fast-moving feline. I don’t really know, but their sound is nevertheless some great stuff you should pay attention to. I’ll tell you why; the sincerity in the singer’s voice, the moving up-tempo beats and almost gothic environment in the sound-scape. Oh, I should add the wonderfully dark baseline that pesters the first song “Poison & Maquillage“. But there’s not just the non-electronic dimension to this, quickly it changes for a more minimal wave-oriented track. The second track that you get to hear on bandcamp is the track “Dirty Me (Incorporated Whore)“, which also both has an electronic baseline that wobbles its way right into the center of my heart, and a slick non-electronic baseline that strengthens the overall sound-scape and gives it a whole other flavor. I think the addition of it heightens the song and makes the emotional value of it rise to the skies.

However, the song that I was most impressed by, was a genial third song that you get to listen to which is titled “Kalter Lippenstift (In Death It Ends Remix)“. It’s about as bombastic as it gets, the overtly catchy melodies in the song hooks me by the arm and lets me dance along with it, and round and round I go. Actually a great remix, since I don’t really fancy remixes that much, but I’ll be wanting to hear the original too someday. It’s a really fascinating way to end the pleasurable listening so far, at least from the songs that are available. I must say that it seems to hold a huge chunk of great quality all-in-all. I’ve really got nothing to complain about, it’s like getting everything in one single mix. It seems like its their strength to combine these more obscure genres, at least if I’m going to judge them by analyzing this release.

Since it’s another aufnahme + wiedergabe release, I must ask them this: how come you got so many great artists and bands on your label? It’s totally wicked and insane. Almost as if I’ve gotten the ultimate gift for this wonderfully cozy autumn that is upon us. So you can go over to their bandcamp and pre-order this wonderful cassette there, just follow the marked line which is pointed out over here. They’re releasing this album on the 12th of October, which means that they’re competing with Xiu on the release date. Hopefully both of them will get the same attention, since they seem to be as awesome.