[16th] December: Yves Malone – Yellow Sweater & Junos

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One of our favorite synthwave acts as of late, Yves Malone, have chosen to grace us with an appearance for Ljudkalendern. For those who don’t know, he’s been featured in three reviews and premieres on Repartiseraren, back when Field Hymns compiled three of his earlier released albums into a box-set of cassettes. Since then he’s also released a separate album called “Ebony Sunrise“, on Orange Milk Records. What’s unique about him is how he manages to transfer soundtrack-music out of the box and into proper synthesized music, instead of it sounding exactly like a soundtrack is to sound – if you’ve ever had that feeling of how you can distinguish between the two. Which we’ve had plenty of times. That kind of transcendental move is hard to make when you’re not able to think outside of the box, which Yves is certainly very capable of at least musically. There’s always a thin line between. He crosses them all and it resonates throughout the atmospheres of his songs. Even though a box like the one on Field Hymns have a certain purpose, that had been cemented way before it was re-released, we like his craftsmanship and ambition when it comes to layering synthesizers over one another, creating a heavenly output for both dismay and happiness. Both rhythm, overlapping textures of synthesizers and melodies are important building blocks for his music. We don’t know how he so carelessly pulls all of this off.

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For Ljudkalendern it was originally intended to be an already produced song he had stashed away, from somewhere. As we haven’t had the time to write freely as we’ve wished, we therefore asked Mr. Yves for a concoction that would be linear in theme, but irregular when it comes to the music. Well, maybe not that structured. We proposed that he should produce a completely new track and out came two. Two different tracks both in general atmosphere, but also because one of them, “Yellow Sweater” is more beat and rhythm-oriented, whilst “Junos” take an upper-hand when it comes to perfectly laid melodies that make the whole thing a lot funkier. In a way we’re reminded of a synthwave Group Rhoda, if there ever would be one. A tropical rhythm with playing synthesizers that act as triggers for the rhythm in some cases, but when the melodies come together and shape a grandiose melody everything starts to roll down the hill and become even more exciting. First it fades out, feels like it is rebooting and slowly builds up a baseline that holds up the melodic construction. We give you these two newly procued tracks to stream exclusively for Ljudkalendern and the 16th December – on Repartiseraren!

[14th|15th] December: STURQEN & Zex Model!

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raiaFrom the beginning there was “Raia” – third album STURQEN ever put out, self-released and all. A calmer more abstract release as opposed to “Peste” and “Colera“—two digital Eps discharged into oblivion, a Yin & Yang of total resignation. Also featured as physical editions in Cdr. With their third album they formed a pattern of recognition. They seemed to have wanted to step into paradise for one last time, before heading back from a retro-perspective “Praga” and “Pirahna“—their first and second album. The meaning of “Raia” is ‘Batoidea’ – which is the taxonomical (biological) super-order of rays, more specifically a cartilaginous marine fish which means that they, like sharks, have no bones in their body. These mammals are not the kings of the sea but they’re close to being. We think of manta rays – these huge rays that carelessly patrol the depths of open seas.

When you read the titles, they’re inspired by everything from the native ecosystem of Portugal – to Johannes Kepler, candelabras, mountains, CD’s, and Canary birds – a reference to Canary Islands? Also might be because “Canário sound like a chirping bird. Every song on the album seem to be an interpretation musically, also of linguistical importance title-wise – through genres STURQEN like to be associated with—or by accident. They break from this gateway completely with “NEOPHOBIA“, as they seal their original intentions in a box not to be opened again until it’s time.

neophobiaNeophobia seems to be a complete anti-thesis, full-on rhythmic noise techno experience, higher frequencies and a dystopic vision of the future for Mother Earth. The term ‘neophobia‘ can be summarized as: “a phobia for anything new“, in this case a disintegration musically – disseminating the “post-industrial“—specifically a technologically maddening, freakishly abundant, information society in which nothing has any meaning no more.

The world is entering a state of emergency, alarms sound nearby and everything is organized for resistance. Or might it be Earth rejecting its own organic structure? We hear a militarized sound, a call to war, in “Justo“, a machinated process rebooting and aircrafts lifting in “Ateus” – consisting of minimal analog instrumentation; distorted rhythmic sounds and a harsh beat. Just to mention two contrasting examples from NEOPHOBIA. Same theme – different characteristics and takes on a subject we yet have to uncover—perfect time for a thorough investigation.

What resonated with me the most visually was the edgy and spot on music-video for “Toxinas” – a song clenched from their third album “NEOPHOBIA“, released on the Ukrainian label Kvitnu, in 2013. The sport of fencing was suited perfectly with the experimental rhythmic noise David Arantes and César Rodrigues of STURQEN produce. Though we’re not impressed by how the elegant sport of fencing is portrayed as if it were post-mortem. Though it can be interpreted in different ways as was our first understanding of the music-video accompanying the song as some kind of tribute, but the more we think about it – the less plausible that theory becomes.

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Now when they’ve been accustomed—to such a wide degree of change, they settle in with an unreleased track for Repartiseraren own non-commercial collection Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Pidde” and will remind you more about their debut-album “Piranha” than anything else. At least that’s how we hear it when listening to the song. A diffuse, experimental noise atmosphere that quickly fades in with a thrusting buzz, but stinging poisonous touch which decays – as the machine wheezes out its last steam, the same day the industrial workplace is shut down to pleasure the coming post-industrialists. Listen to the 14th December exclusive premiere of the earlier unreleased song “Pidde“.

 

dark-myth-ankoku-shinwa-takeshi-servant-of-brahman-and-god-of-darkness-susanoah-oh-eight-armed-horse-lotusZex Model is back once again, with a new track for Ljudkalendern. It’s titled “Ankoku Shinwa” and is influenced by the Anime-serie with the same name – which is synonymous to: “The Dark Myth,” original title in Japanese: 暗黒神話. In short the series revolve around prehistoric Gods from Japanese mythology, whose presence in the early days of Japan had a task to protect their sworn secrets—hidden in modern society. Since darkness is beckoning, the Kikuchi Clan have seen the warning and are ready to fight the spirits of the mythological creatures. The main character—a boy who tames the powers of the gods, could be the embodiment of the boys’ spirit in this song. A protagonist who does his utmost to defeat those who wish to do harm.

The religious Croatian christian orthodox chanting, might be a direct translation of the Kikuchi Clan warning about impending darkness—as his own voice, heavily distorted, out of the blue descends; to affright the listener. You hear a better, more improved version of the Zex (Model), as he rips up a wind of nostalgia, reminding us about some kind of crossover between Brigade Werther and other such experimental, borderline electronic body music, industrial acts. His inspiration from Anime is not to be taken lightly, as it gives a depth to the influence of this particular track. Not to mention his other discography. It feels like he’s found his spot and continually develop, so it can hopefully bloom out and become something unique.

He delivered a newly produced and unreleased track which everyone should listen to. It’s a step away from his electronic body music with a multitude of samples, focusing on fewer samples and entrenching his own distorted vocals. His contribution to Ljudkalendern may have more inspiration from elsewhere, but it mainly comes from that Japanese anime-serie. For the 15th December you can enjoy everything about a new model, not by any means finished, but a prototype.

[10th|11th] December: Kord & German Army

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Odd coincidences arise when you’ve got so little time to assemble a non-commercial collection like Ljudkalendern. Picking two opposites that in no way resemble the other, then you know that it’s something fate intended. It was by no means planned in complete detail ahead of time. Because I had no time I missed the opportunity to showcase to you a track for the 11th December, I’ve had to combine yesterday’s—with today’s exclusive premiere. You got to stream the first song ahead of time, before an article was to be published. So you already know that Kord (Johan Sturesson) got his time in the limelight prior to this article being written, contributing with a humorous yet ambitious piece of synth-pop venture—leaving no time at all, to impress the author, as well as the listeners.

Since we’re running out of time, before the 12th December is about to be set, we introduce to you: Germany Army—post-Tassili Plateau—stronger and odder than before. Welcomed out of the swamps where they’ve resided for revitalization, before launching a miniature drone, transmitting sound bytes to enthrall, or disperse your mind once again. Still nobody knows if they are for real or just a product of your own self-delusion. Their donation to Ljudkalendern is titled; “Life, Debt” which is a gloomy marshland of sound; where humans go to escape civilization. It’s back to how it once were—in tune with mother nature, in a rather decayed, manner. When interpreted by us, the title of the song becomes a metaphor for how you’re owing German Army your life, and your indebtedness to them. We on the other hand feel like we owe them a proper showcase since their masterful album “Last Language“—one of their best efforts.

Poem(s):

Who’s at your side,
to for you provide
It’s Johnny!
Who’s Johnny?

/

For the army,
do everything
For the army,
don’t be smarmy

This is a special and fated release, due to lack of time. 10th and 11th December in one article. Feel how you move from a spaced out adventurous story, to a draining hazy experience in the midst of a huge prairie pothole—bordering Canada, America’s own North and South Dakota, as well as Minnesota and Iowa—you’re screwed. Take the aforementioned text as a hint, German Army, I might’ve given you a concept for a follow-up to Tassili Plateau.

Lyssna: Sanne De Neige – Dans La Forêt / / Insomnie // Venin

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Det blir alltid lite förvirrande när så mycket musik släpps på en och samma gång, men nu har Sanne De Neige lagt upp tre stycken nya låtar, som inte borde stå okommenterade. Med en trummaskin, bas, synthar och gitarrer till sitt förfogande, så lyckas duon mästerfullt med att framförallt blanda de gotiska undertonerna med experimentell coldwave musik. Det framträder väldigt klart i och med sångerskan Sanne de Neiges vokalmattor som lurar i bakgrunden, men som tränger igenom den trummaskinfyllda atmosfären, täckt av ett lager med förvrängning vilket gör att rösten förutom att vara lite disträ även omvandlar en annars stickande ljudbild till ett glödgande hett inferno. Kaoset har bara inte brutit ut och tur är väl det. Särskilt i första låten “Dans La Forêt” så utvecklas omgivningen organiskt och går från att vara tämligen lugnt, till att lägga på lager efter lager och med en omvälvande kraft förvandlas till någonting alldeles eget. Utan att egentligen ta med nackdelarna som hade kunnat finnas, lyckas en tämligen statisk ljudbild bli större än förväntat.

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För den som aldrig upplevt sömnlöshet, känns det som att “Insomnie” är en representation av det i ljudform. Med en förvrängd röst sköljs stämman bort till förmån för ett industriljud med diskant, för att sedan falla in i en mer kontemplerande fas där allting känns mycket klarare. Här känns det som om man vaknar upp från sin sömnlöshet – istället för att behöva vandra i en trötthetsdimma utan dess like. Rytmerna är medryckande men fokuserade på att ställa till så mycket trubbel som möjligt, för att sedan återgå till en mer kontrollerad sväng vars melodier bygger upp en kaskad av känslor – som släpps lös till slut. Det finns också någon slags lättsamhet som inte direkt kommer av den kalla vågen, utan snarare den popiga ljudmatta som influerar små delar av hela deras ljudlandskap. Den finns inte där alltid, men är en del av det mer detaljstyrda som gör att det finns utrymme för mer än bara ond bråd kyla och allt som följer med det. En hoppfullhet som smittar av sig på allt annat.

Sedan när den sista låten “Venin” kommer, så är det i form av ett slags avskedsbrev. Det är ett tack och adjö med ett stilla lugn som omgiver allt – nästan lite balladaktigt – om man gör undantaget och inte väljer att definiera en ballad som en smörsångares sista urusla suck. Det här är mil ifrån det och tack och lov för det. Det finns en reflekterande ådra som gömmer sig i vaggorna, men så brister Sanne ut i en så kraftfull sång vilket ger låten momentum, för att sedan med trummaskinen långsamt suddas ut av den tidsram som låten är satt på. Det passar helt utmärkt. Tystnaden varar ett tjugotal sekunder, innan man egentligen förstår att låten är slut. När allting är över så finns där en förhoppning om att det ska dyka upp fler låtar, eller kanske att låtarna sammanställs i ett självsläppt album – eller att någon av våra tyngre och bättre bolag som Beläten kan ta tag i den talang de besitter. Det känns som att de passar bra ihop och att det är en pusselbit som kanske fattas hos dessa bolag, även om de sedan innan – och fortsätter att släppa – hejdundrans alternativa album som andra skivbolag ignorerar, trots dess potential. Lyssna till alla tre låtar här nedanför.

Exclusive Premieres: Kaval and Niedowierzanie!

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R-5883490-1405360667-8956Vrystaete is yet another endeavor by the already busy Martijn from Enfant Terrible. It is a new sub-label meant to capture folklore, psychedelic and lo-fi sounds, with emphasis on small editions that come handcrafted with packaging, artwork and everything attached to a release. The first release on this label was an album with Kaval, a Holland-based duo compromised of Ian Martin (DJ from Rotterdam) and Derk Reneman, who’s also a DJ (and producer) from the Netherlands, known by the name of Roberto Auser. The album is called “Zee Van Gedachten” and is an ominous release featuring the likes of field recordings mixed into ambient, not too far of a leap from their first album “Sky Of Mirrors“, but rather more well-thought out. A soundtrack to the new generation of folk-fearing peoples that only get their doses of that through electronic music, although much of it could be considered to be non-music – rather a palette of different thoughtful sound-scapes – all centered around the vibes that instruments and ambiance create together. When listening through it, I came to the conclusion that “Mechaniek Der Dingen” would be my tune of choice, because it brings a lot of nostalgia to me and could’ve been a track featured in Diablo 2 or any of those earlier games, those games with a darker atmosphere around them which made them more enjoyable – yet with undertones of scariness. You can listen to that track exclusively down below. If you like what you’re hearing, consider buying the vinyl from Vrystaete, over here.

 

R-5877459-1405412461-9551The second release on this label, whose great start with Kaval could not be mentioned enough, was with Niedowierzanie (meaning: disbelief, in polish).  He’s been around for much longer, having released his first album “Niedowierzanie” in 2008 on the label Reue Um Reue. I kid you not, the man behind this project is French and his name is Léo Maury – an experimental artist delving into the Mediterranean folk-sound. Otherwise known for his projects; Hjärna (Brain), Helaas – a four-man experimental group, and the three-man neofolk duo that is Wermut. When it comes to Léo Maury’s track record, nobody can deny that he hasn’t got the experience to pull off something this delicate. Even though a project like this sears with the passion of our Southern European brothers, there is a certain delicacy which comes into play when listening to the album, which is by the way called “Felicita” (to congratulate?). It feels like a combination of World War II french recordings, together with the romanticism that have shrouded the french for years and years to come – with the rather raw passion that is delivered amidst a barrage of traditional instruments – a call for some kind of Italian and Spanish (Catalan) folklore music. I know that I am not an expert when it comes to this, but it is what my impressions were when first listening and what they still are. Have all that and the experimentalism which lays the foundation of Léo Maury’s craft and you have the complete product. I chose the track “Bappa“, an exclusive track for you to listen to, because I feel like it embodies what my impressions were and it is like a summary of the album. If you like what you’re hearing, buy the album here.

Spotlight: Passion Slaves – Demo 2014

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

Spotlight: Luke Lund – Lost And Found

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In between the clutches of bass music, experimentalism soars as the finnish Luke Lund gears up to deliver an interesting blend of what you’ve just heard – and some kind of dub with industrial influences. Even though the hip-hop samples doesn’t enhance the atmosphere of the tracks, these different genres in a crossover do precisely that. If that influence had been held out of this release, then it would’ve been so much better. Anyhow, he’s just released the album “Lost And Found” on his label Terranean Recordings which he runs together with the polish Bartosz Szturgiewicz. This particular release contain older tracks that have been re-worked during the month of March, to be compiled into a compilation-styled album. He calls the tracks the following: “…long forgotten untitled sketches“. Here the tracks range from roughly four minutes up to thirteen as the longest. When it comes to the longer tracks, they’re more drone and shoegaze in regards to the general atmosphere, whilst some of them deliver a hard-knock bass music-oriented sound with rough industrial textures. The shortest tracks seem to be noisier, but there are even tracks that come into dark ambient territory. So with that said, there are a wide-range of influences that are distinguished by their application in each track. Some are harsher, others are lighter, some are more gloomy, and some deliver a weird combination of genres that affect both rhythm and melody. The tracks themselves are being mixed live with FX and other instruments, and each day there’s another track that gets put up. So every characteristic of the track depend on what kind of mood he’s in that day.

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The album itself is compromised of fifteen tracks. If this album sounds interesting, you should check out the other albums that he’s released since 2012. Everything from his first album “Colony“, to the one before this, titled “Forlorn“. He’s also been releasing singles and EPs, starting with his first double-single titled “Breed“, to his latest which is titled “Question / Images“. It is surely noticeable that Luke Lund, whose whole name is Lukas Alexander Lundén, is a multi-instrumentalist. But what’s even more interesting is that he’s self-taught. He remixes, produces and does everything himself. He’s based out of Turku, Finland. Since the label itself is a non-profit digital label, all releases are freely downloadable. But if you like what you are hearing, you should donate a little bit of cash. Stream the whole release “Lost And Found” down below.