NO! Spotlight: Dry Socket / Ray Creature! [Part II]

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I found a rather anonymous label which is situated in Terre Haute, Indiana. The American label that I found is called NO! Record Label and is hosting itself on Tumblr, giving off a rather secluded interior for me to find mysterious. All the better, because it leaves much to my own imagination. This mysterious label have released two releases before those that I am going to cover in this spotlight. One of the releases are of Drekka and Assimilation – a kind of live re-work of each others live performances – but also a late introductory for me to Michael Andersons brainchild Drekka. This was actually the first release to be put out on this label. The second release was a compilation featuring the artists Drekka, NOON, John Flannelly, Canid, Assimilation and Agakus. Featured musicians working in the Bloomington, Indiana area, described by the label: “a collection of tracks that represents the loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars“. But the two releases that I’m going to cover here are Dry Socket and in the second part; Ray Creature. This is the last part and it features Erich Booth and Natascha Buehnerkemper, known as Ray Creature. Let’s see if you enjoy it.

a3748909156_10Ray Creature. The fourth release on NO! Record Label is “Don’t Stop Talking EP“, featuring four tracks. Lo and behold, what I find is one of the finest examples of what can be done with post-punk. Combining it with the wide-array of genres like dark wave, no-wave, synth-pop and a rather odd experimentalism is the way to go. The fact that Ray Creature is a duo is mind-boggling, because they sound like they’ve had a whole band and that they just quit after this EP due to the difficulty of conveying such a sound. Such a huge sound is being created by two people. A shady sound, with funky undertones of the baseline and the general feel of it is somewhere in between the bizarre and the ingenious. Unfortunately all the steam goes to the track “Don’t Stop Talking” which is probably the best track on the release. After the haziness of the minimal synth landscape, which suddenly just shifts into some kind of disco-vibe mess, featuring no-wave vocals and a general sense of disobedience. The modular synthesizers are working hard on delivering the undertones of electronica to such a harsh example of the successes this band has, with experimentalism. After the first track which could be regarded as setting the theme for the rest of the release, it just delves into some kind of weird example of how the electronica doesn’t really cope with the weirdness of the atmosphere. There’s such a messy landscape of sound that you don’t really know what to look for. Too much happening at the same time.

Even though I know their ambitions have been great, they once again pick up where they left off the stream after “Success“, when we enter “Ripped Apart” – a totally energized maelstrom of the best synthesizers and up-tempo beat you could find. Cocky vocals at that, too. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of “Success” is good to begin with, but I just end up finding myself reminded about the melody – but in the way of that is the general anarchy that actually turns me away from that track to begin with. The last track seems to be a whole long intermezzo between catchy instrumentation, steady rhythms and a snare-sound that i find myself enjoying more than the general mood of the track at all. The vocals in this track is so good, but I don’t really enjoy the lyricism. Even though I have a lot of criticism to give, the general feel of the EP is great. It seems to be long in between when you hear about a sound that has taken off, then you listen to it and find out that it’s like something you’ve heard before – but not really in this format. They do a good job of pulling off the crossover between genres and fill it up with nice experimentalism. I must say that without the soothing but urgent vocals that Natascha deliver, this wouldn’t be as great of an experience as it really was. Enjoy it yourselves by streaming and listening to it here, down below.

Listen: Ashburn County – Cracks In The Wall (Alternate Mix)

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Ytterligare ett alster kommer från den stora Beläten-maskinen. Tre låtar som blivit släppta från tre kassetter som nyligen gick upp för beställning. Detta är ett av släppen, Ashburn County – ett slags samtidsdokument över både en svunnen tid – men även ett skapat ur sig självt. Plattan i sig heter “Our Dead Selves Rise“. Influerade av den lantliga miljöerna som omgärdar Louisiana, så har de dragit inspiration från gamla bondläppsfilmer. Filmer som sällan gjort något större avtryck, åtminstone inte när det kommer till filmen självt, men som via sin filmmusik inspirerat Ashburn Country avsevärt – och som gjort deras grupp till vad den är. En av medlemmarna ur denna grupp, Leroy Delbert Quebedeaux, bestämde sig år 2012 att ta saken i sina egna händer, att producera filmmusik till en film de annars gjort – om de haft pengar till att göra det. Detta resulterade i en blandning av fältinspelningar och diverse instrument så som dragspel, tromboner, röster, synthar och cellos – för att nämna ett fåtal av de instrument som använts i skapandet av denna platta. Det viktigaste med musiken är dess influens av traditionell folk och ‘Cajun’-kultur, enligt dem själva. Detta i samklang med drönande synthar, gamla rytmiklådor, neoklassisk pompa och ståt, samplingar och mekaniserade oljud. Ett slags industriellt kollage.

Eftersom att deras beskrivning av vad de gjort var i det längsta laget, så lämnade det rätt mycket att önska. Men deras inspirationskällor är intressanta och faktumet att de använt sig utav alla dessa instrument i samklang med varandra, skapar en helt annan ljudbild. I just denna bild så blir det en väldigt skrämmande tillbakablick i något som annars skulle ha varit hyfsat humoristiskt, med tanke på dessa filmers innehåll, varav inspirationen är hämtat ifrån. De mörka samplingarna i jämförelse med de dansanta röstslingorna gör så att man känner att man är ute i det vilda. Det finns någon slags primitiv energi i denna minimalistiska ansamling, som skulle kunna vara det som gör att det finns en gnista i ljudlandskapet som återupprepas. Med tanke på att själva konceptet är så intressant så blir det ännu läskigare när man hör de utsuddade rösterna tala med varandra, i jämförelse med den konstanta och fixerade rytmiken som går i ett och samma hjulspår genom låten. Rent jämförelsevis så kan detta mycket väl vara ett ljudexempel på skillnaden mellan den härskna, hatade och fruktade betongstad som snart vräker sig in och ner i de dalar och snår som stått orörda ute i den lantliga miljön – i århundraden. En väldigt bra låt och precis vad man kan förvänta sig att Thomas Ekelund ens skulle kunna ta med i tång. Det finns en väldigt hög lägstanivå på det han väljer att släppa ifrån sig på sin etikett. Ni kan lyssna till låten “Cracks In The Wall (Alternate Mix)” här nedanför.

Exclusive Premiere: Yves Malone – Cheap Thunder / Abyssoteque!

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The busiest of them all seem to be the label Field Hymns from America, whom have been keen on releasing a booklet with a very special artist. This artist is Yves Malone – the creator of music for himself and to soundtracks for 1980’s independent movies – like Abysscoteque, The ECHO People and Zenith City. A common theme is the 1980’s but also the fact that every movie that he’s created his own music for, perpetuating a soundtrack of his own, are horror movies from this time period. Those kind of horror flicks that you wouldn’t know anything about unless you stumbled upon his creations, or if you were in any way involved in doing them in the 1980’s in America. Well, that might be stepping over the line a little bit, connoisseurs might have their thing and know it – but I sure as hell didn’t until I listened through his albums. These three releases are all a part of the booklet that Field Hymns are organizing to be put out for release, in honor of the already released albums which he put out himself in December of 2012. I’m here exclusively premiering two tracks from each album, but first you’ll get a description of what I think about them. Here you get FH044, FH045 and FH046. Right now, however, you get FH044 – which is “Abysscoteque“.

FH044Abysscoteque. The first release in this series of three releases, all themed after horror flicks. Albeit the fact that Yves Malone has put his sight on the softer but more concentrated side of 1980’s synthwave in this release, it is clear to me when listening to it that his intentions are of creating a soundtrack. Panning into the first few melodies, to hear the static rhythm that pumps up the blood within me, to listen carefully to the basedrum which is stomping its way through the sound-scape in a rather subliminal fashion. The first setting is already here and is placed upon me to decide, as the melodies gradually change from the darker intonations to a more grandiose and melodious; shall I say clearer sound, to which I nod my head to as I get tossed around. I’m waiting with suspense just to hear any form of subtle change in the sound-scape as it moves forward in a lingering fashion, making every synthesizer stab more aggressive, freaked out and non-passive. To then be introduced after the departure of the first, to a rather gloomy entrance of different synthesizers matching the neon colors that glow somewhere in the distance. This does not remind me of a horror flick at all, even though I notice the suspense to be there all the time. A rather doom and gloom sound for synthwave – which always seem to carry an upbeat torch not falling from grace – unlike the sorrowful display of palettes that remind me of awful days. Painting a broader picturesque notion of decay, a city that earlier bloomed has gone astray and you’re alone in the darkness, catching yourself in the monotonous living, the scariness of dark alleyways and people whom you do not recognize. People whose faces are covered. Maybe in masks. The album slowly sinks into the same methodical pattern that make it what it is. Feel what you’d like about it, but it is a masterpiece none the less and the more you get into it, the further you dig – the more melodious, morbid and angelic it gets – yin & yang are present to deliver their verdict. I’m noticing that everything really lies with the overtly grandiose sound-scape, created by layers of differentiating melodies, synthesizers, drums – but mostly synthesizers – far-fetched from any reality that I know of. Abysscoteque is a true soundtrack, no matter if you say its synthwave over and over again, the execution is in the aforementioned style – which is great if you’re interested in cinematography of different sorts. I can drift away into this every day, but it seizes to be music and simply needs a visual element to be paired with. Though I’m not so sure if any of those movies would do for me, since they’re not really my reel of film. Anyhow, it’s a basic introductory to the baby-steps you’re taking when taking in Yves Malone and his music – the sincerity is never lacking. You can buy this release soon, from Field Hymns records. But you will have to wait for a bit before it is fully realized.

Spotlight: Jogging House – Into

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Changing his tunes completely, to suit his synthesized scheme, Jogging House got rid (well, almost) of the barely tolerable R&B-influences and put on a whole other suit. In this latest release “Into“, there’s a dreamier sound with less annoyance. Even though his music had been tolerable before and even somewhat good, it’s a great trip to be taking, considering how his new outfit that places itself somewhere between chillout and ambient. You’re taken on a more intimate trip, which goes into his brain rather than his heart – because he left it where the R&B began. It is a more well-thought out and complex sound that doesn’t rely as heavily on sampling to get the point across. It is also an adventure in sound. Slow beats, heavy beats, calm synthesizers. It honestly feels even more analogue then it did with his last release before this one; “Longings“. The warmth of the sound is slowly diving into your consciousness, as the samples that actually are there act as a more subliminal drill into your subconscious. Eerie melodies float with the tempo, short breaks constitute that tiny little bit of sound that pulls the whole she-bang over the cliff. An anticlimactic song on this album can turn into a climactic beast in no time, but you know when it’s about to go down. Stream the whole album down below, buy it physically from Noorden.

Article: Imaginary trips into outer space with Adderall Canyonly – the Field Hymns years! [Part I]

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Introduction

Tumblr-esque aesthetics have never ever been so nauseating. We’ve seen it everywhere, and continue to see it here. But somehow Adderall Canyonly fed this appearance to the monster of the 1980’s, an American ghastly and gargantuan 1980’s beast, whose aesthetics are similar to Tumblr fast-food. One must admit that the aforementioned decade is more impressive when it comes to the aesthetics, then what Tumblr ever could deliver. It seems like this man is tired of putting out material for almost an eternity, well yeah – four years now – and not getting as much as a glance from the trendy music-press (both mainstream and the so-called ‘underground’). However, what makes the aesthetic nerve of his project even more interesting is the covers for his releases, which seem to be bright pastille-colors blended together with the adolescence of cartoons. Add that together with their rather psychedelic influences and you have a formula that they’ve settled for. If you’re not being fooled, Addreall Canyonly is the alter-ego of Wayne Longer, based out of somewhere-in-America. Probably a rather boring place, with regards to his musical fantasies. This is Part I.

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Could it be Max and Mara?

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Swing your minimal hands to this shit. No, we’re not shitting you. Max and Mara is a duo made up by Max from such acts as Brotman and Short, or the solo-project of his own – Business Etiquette. Mara, on the other hand, is known for her solo work under the alterego of Group Rhoda. No wonder, these people seem to spring out of the ground like mushroom. I’m not talking about people this time, because I’m talking about those that seem to have bought into this whole minimal wave thing. Needless to say, I’ve known absolutely nothing about Max and Mara and I’ve been such a delusional fool. This is your ultimate mix of acidic techno vibes, minimal synth shenanigans and intravenous synthesizer symphonies. I see myself bobbing my head back and forth as I listen to their latest track “Unseen“, which is one of those tracks that simply grow on you. If you peek in from the outside, the track doesn’t seem to be much at first, but after a while – you realize how complex it actually is, from the ground and up. Their first track that was put up, namely; “Hands” – is more of a psychedelic, or rather enigmatic experience, which is to say the least – superior when it comes to the atmosphere as such. Even more minimalistic, but it pertains the mood that seems to dwell within each track. Even though I’m sorry to say this, I haven’t been able to get more out of this than what was possible. But you can gladly stream both tracks from here, as if you couldn’t do it from their Soundcloud alone. You can now pre-order their forthcoming debut-album “Less Ness“, from Dark Entries Records.

Premiere: TAOLWGO – At the Vertex of Nothing! [FREE DOWNLOAD]

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I got an interesting mail a few weeks ago, submitted by The Amount Of Light We Give Off, yet another new band within the post-punk sphere. This mysterious duo from Germany create what they themselves call “electronic post-punk“. Imagine yourself gazing into the belly of the new wave of post-punk, excitingly hearing an offshoot between post-rock and wonderfully elegant, noisy – post-punk directness. Well, here they are for everyone of you to listen to, and heed their call. A part of this elegance of theirs lies in their utilization of a noise-driven landscape of sound, equated by dreamy synthesizers that screech in between their interesting outlays of vocally out-sprouting wickedness. They released a three-tracked demo not too long ago and wanted to share their sound with a wider audience. Well, this is an oxymoron, as this blog actually is one of the more obscure ones out there and have remained that way until this year. So, we’ll give you the track “At the Vertex of Nothing” as a free download for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully it will reach a lot more people and make them take heed of this band, because from what I hear from their demo – they’ve got a lot of things that could definitely interest people within alternative genres – and labels as well.

Premiere: The Foreign Resort – Dead End Roads [Musicvideo]

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We’re late on a premiere, but it’s beginning to slowly unfold. The Foreign Resort have released a single, as a run-up for their coming tours in Denmark, The Netherlands and USA – this fall. This particular single goes by the name of “Dead End Roads“, and is taken from their forthcoming album, which they have been working on together with the legendary John Fryer. A noticeable difference this time is that they rely on dark and heavy synthesizers to be pushing the sound itself, with a more electronic approach to their music then they usually have. The beginning of the song is absolutely fantastic, but so is the rest of it. But the gritty and adrenaline-filling synthesizer that hits it off, gives a particular sense of suspense. The sound itself is more cold and calculated, as they do not rely that much on their trade mark that is post-rock mixed with post-punk and new-wave. So it’s obvious that a lot of what you’re hearing have been affected by John Fryer’s mixing, producing and engineering. This might just be a temporary thing, just for this album, but I’m currently liking what I’m hearing. It harkens back to some of the legendary bands of yore. But there’s something new and fresh about it. It is deeply emotional, but at the same time on the edge and in the dirt. The music video was directed by Morten Engels Ryming, the actress was styled by Sascha Elvar, and the actress herself is Emilie Flyvholm. With special thanks to Photographica & Henning Ørsted. The single was recorded in the time-span from March to April 2013 – at Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen. Last but not least, the masterful sound itself was mastered by Chris Cline at Studio Wonder of Sound, in San Antonio, Texas. You can also listen to the track down below, along with two remixes of the same track.

 

Promo: Vi streamar fyra Zeon Light-släpp!

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a4272720738_10Zeon Light Kassett ligger aldrig på latsidan. Det vet vi med erfarenhet. Så när Juli-kassetterna är här, så är det lämpligt att streama dom på Invisible Guy. Först ur är eluna med albumet “drömmar och andra fobier“, där Sebastian Karika som han annars heter, demonstrerar en väldigt atmosfärisk sida av akustisk genialitet. Glöm bort den förutsägbara popen, lägg till en experimentell ådra – sikta och skjut! Folkligheten, i skvadron med synthljud, gör att eluna fullkomligt sprudlar av liv. De glimmande ljuden som långsamt flyger förbi, uppassade av onormal funkighet i rytmen, får en att vilja dansa med knogarna. Andra håller upp ljus, men i samband med ljudens färd från utsvävande och atmosfäriska, till koncentrerade samt svurna – så transporteras ljudbilden från hårdhet till mjukhet på sekunder. Här finns egentligen inget mer utrymme att täcka, för det lyckas eluna med ändå. Det känns som att det här är fulländat, men ändock avlägset. Kontrollerande, passivt, engagerande och massivt. För den oinvigde så är det lättlyssnat och man vill gärna sluka allting på en och samma gång. Dock så kan det meddelas att måttfullhet är en dygd när detta avlyssnas, och avnjutes. För om vi inte har varken drömmar eller fobier, vad ska annars fylla upp det tomrum som står ekande tomt? Ingenting. Lyssna gärna till albumet här nedanför. Den kan även köpas från Zeon Light Kasset för nio amerikanska dollar, och den är i begränsad upplaga om tjugotvå kassetter.

a2541356205_10Sum Comfort har länge varit (åtminstone) underground-pressens raring nu ett tag. Inte för inte så valde vi att vänta, och det gjorde vi helt rätt i. När allt väl har släppts ut, så kom albumet “Waiting To Exhale“, som ger taktslaget och det instrumentala huvudutrymmet. Tillsammans med väluttänkt sampling i låtarna, kommer bra överens med den lugna rytmen som bara vill glida fram i all oändlighet. Här handlar det mycket om symbiosen mellan det sistnämnda, samt klangen i musiken som helhet. Remixerna kan man inte ge mycket för, utan Sum Comfort bör lyssnas på i all sin originalitet. Man kan inte styra och ställa här, för det förstör själva konceptet. Ju längre in du kommer, desto mer klassisk R&B blir det. Eller ja, åtminstone tillsammans med samplingen. Mycket av det man hör påminner av en smärre version utav Jogging House, som släppt sina rykande heta tolkningar med beats som understöd. Måhända är det inte något som tilltalar någon utanför den sfären, men de första låtarna bör ändå lyssnas på. Tillsammans med den älskvärda indignationen från journalisternas rykande tangentavtryck. Eller nej, vi skippar det, lyssna på albumet – helt enkelt. Enklare än så blir det egentligen inte. Streama den här nedanför, köp den för nio Amerikanska dollar, för den är begränsad till trettio numrerade exemplar.

a3709533705_10Natten, ja nu börjar vi prata om något som är på riktigt. Hyfsat annorlunda för att komma ifrån Sverige, om man undantar de sällsynta exemplaren av dödsindustriell plåga och kringliggande mörkhet. Det stämningsfyllda albumet “Dhalion“, är sällsynt på så sätt att man hör en del saker man egentligen inte borde höra. Man måste liksom stänga av, starta om och spela igen. En hel del av materialet på detta släpp påminner om äldre post-punk, nyare cold wave, men är egentligen inte det – utan samlar kanske på sig lite allt möjligt, i mån av influenser. Fokuset ligger en hel del på atmosfären, men det finns något särskilt med tempot. Den sorgfyllda orkesteruppsättningen som spelar på sina trumpeter i bakgrunden bidrar till en fördjupning av ljudbilden som inte hörs på nära håll. Mycket är minimalistiskt, men mycket är även massivt. En hel del av låtarna ger större discovibbar, med tillhörande experimentell lusta. Den mest fröjdefulla beskrivningen kommer från bolaget själva, som påstår att det är “psykonautdisko“. Vilket det sannerligen är, på många sätt och vis. Men för den som gett sig fan på något, kommer även att finna mycket mer. Jag vill ha mer, vi vill ha mer, för detta är förmodligen det mest intressanta släppet. Streama hela albumet här nedanför, köp det som sig bör, eftersom att det är begränsat till tjugofem exemplar för nio Amerikanska dollar.

a0878373048_10HGHCLR använder sig även de av synthar. Men här är det mer än måttligt, då ljudlandskapen långsamt avlöser varandra, när syntharna vandrar uppåt längs med berget. Monumentalt intressant, som lämnar den mest ointresserade utan sina galoscher. För det här påverkar, och det gör det väldigt fort. Ingenting kan undvikas, då de lättsamma syntharna dämpas av allvarlighetens skimmer – och avlöser hela paletten av känslospektrumet på en och samma gång. Albumet som jag pratar om är “WAVES“, vilket förutom det korta CAPS-LOCK-influerade namnet, även kan härledas till de vågor som byggs upp och släpps lös i denna värld av musikaliska sjöäventyr á la Moby Dick. Mest av allt så blir man fylld av tankar, där ljuden är lika magnifika som den tankevärld som byggs upp. Sångarens ljuvliga röst ekar mot tomma rum, när följetången för de som inte är blinda öppnas upp framför ögonen på en. Likt en rekonstruktion av någonting som har fallit, står HGHCLR upp återigen. Ingenjörskonsten på detta albumet gör att man står utan något att skriva. Egentligen vill man mest av allt öka takten på fingrarna som knappar på tangentbordet, så att man kan få ut kritiken av albumet lite snabbare. Men här står man handfallen, för allting känns så jävla bra. Streama hela albumet här nedanför, köp gärna det för nio Amerikanska dollar. Upplagan har tydligen inte lika många begränsningar, mig veterligen.

Spotlight: Various Artists – _ever Alive – a tribute to Snowy Red

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I just thought I had to push for this compilation, because it’s awesome. A truly great one, which is a tribute to Snowy Red, which was the moniker for Marciel Thiel. One of the more influential artists within the minimal synth genre. This release feature a lot of the up and coming people, mainly from America, whom have contributed a whole lot to their own scene. But there are also a lot of artists from other parts of the world. The following are represented: Bestial Mouths, //TENSE//, Strange Powers, Mushy, Violet Tremors, Mirror Mirror, Meddicine, Nové Můra, Jessy Champagne, Revelator, Freddy Ruppert, Animal Bodies, Newclear Waves, Safyée, Led Er Est, Bright Future, Marburg and Deathday. So, it’s jam-packed with the best of the best, covering songs from albums like “Snowy Red“, “The Right To Die“, “Vision” and “The Beat Is Over“. Meaning; virtually every album he ever released. It’s inspiring to hear such a flawless re-interpretation of those legendary songs. All from different areas of the minimal synth sound. This is surely an investment, as you get a gatefolded double-LP, 180 gram, with hand-numbered packages limited to 500. You’ll can get this for twenty-two euros, and you really should, because it’s a great release. It’s also the first release on Weyrd Son Records (WyS-001), but surely not the last. Artwork was made by Betsy VanLangen.