[13th] December: Acapulco City Hunters – Chaser

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Acapulco. A Mexican municipality but mainly a city, with as many as 234 communities—the most populous being Acapulco itself—with 673 479 inhabitants as of 2010, 85,25% of the people reside in the city. When counting the most populous cities except the main one, which are: Xaltianguis, Kilómetro 30, Tres Palos, San Pedro las Playas, Amatillo—the population combined account for 3,25% of the whole municipality, making it 25857 inhabitants in total, one starts to wonder where the rest of the 11,5% have gone. Where are the other cities? Are there smaller towns, considering there are so many communities? Questions remained unanswered. Here are when Acapulco City Hunters come in – it seems like they’re looking for an answer to that question. Maybe they’re straying away, in metaphors and synonyms, but they’re probably concerned.

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Or maybe, just maybe – we’ve been tricked by these con-artists. Making us think of Mexico as the main inspiration for their name, specifically related to the aforementioned questions, but it can also mean “Goin’ to Acapulco“—a track from “Dylan Basement Tapes” (1976), and I paraphrase from an outtake from Sid Griffin’s book “Million Dollar Bash” – from the source Shelton, Robert (1986)—music-journalist Clinton Heylin commented on its sexual innuendo: …featuring the usual debauched narrator, rambunctious harmonies, and euphemistic ribaldry according to Wikipedia. We can see how both sexual innuendos are fitted in a musical environment, influenced or not by either Sid Griffin’s book, Basement Tapes, or Mexico’s ‘lost’ cities and/or communities. A lot of the topics seem to suggest a strong influence of either everything – or simply one of the things listed above.

It’s interesting to note how Acapulco City Hunters is in plural, though other things like ‘his’ patchwork blog “Cosmic Beam“—suggests otherwise. Maybe since the Facebook-page is categorized as a “Community“, rather than an Artist-page, could reveal certain other possible theories. Pluralis it is because it suits the influences for ‘his’ project. If you get the reference we’re trying to make here, you’ve got a good sense of detail. The music-making dates back two years, from when he released “Haunted Bombai“—later to have a remix of the song by “DYSWIL“—filmed by Thomas Skrobek. Apparently a collective (now defunct?) named: “Negative Beat“. One of the actors’ names (Juliette Mellard) suggest that it really is a project born and based in France—collecting individual influences elsewhere.

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He’s also done a good rendition of; Marianne Faithfull‘s “Broken English“, originally released on LP in the UK 1979, via Island Records—now a sub-division to Universal Music Group. Though we’re not enthusiasts of Marianne’s intonation – we respect and understand such an immense contribution to England’s—and the world’s—music-life that she, and her discography have revealed throughout the years. With added minimalist synthesizers and a stripped-down not as extravagant atmosphere, Acapulco City Hunters make me like “Broken English“, and take the song for what it is – albeit in a completely new way. We must say that nothing beats an original, not even an original you’re not so delighted to hear in the first place, but they do a perfectly okay effort. We’re sorry to say that the bleep-synthesizer sound is too loud, which takes away part of the experience of listening.

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Now I won’t go any further into his discography, more than note that I have written about the split he did with Luminance, titled “The Cold Rush“. Sure, most of it sounds alike when listening through once in a while, but there are certain characteristics that Acapulco City Hunters had developed—that I heard when I had listened to it for a while. We prefer when he doesn’t overcharge on his ethnic vibes. When he keeps it nice and tidy, melodically ambitious and switches between different modes of electronica – is when he’s at his peak. This was exactly what he did with that release. Ironically enough he sings about evolution in “Magdalena” and evolved he has—at least musically. Recently, he also was featured in a track he did together with Luminance—on the “The Broken Window Theory“—a newly released compilation on Wool-E Records.

For Ljudkalendern he gives us, on the 13th December, unfortunately with a delayed article, a song titled “Chaser” – which might actually be the musical hunt for Acapulco. It seems to be something defining him, at the same time cranking up the tempo to maximum—making way for a spastic and erratic synthesizer-driven track. It’s a newly produced song for the purpose of this non-commercial collection – not compilation. We hope that you’ll take a bit of his musical concept with you in your thoughts after you’ve heard it—as delicate as it is forceful.

Spotlight: ZX Electric and Asesina!

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Time for your daily Spotlight. It’s been lacking from my side, since there’s been a lot to cover when it comes to exclusive premieres – but not much when it comes to regular bands that you stumble upon – or artists. Since it’s been a long time, I want to introduce two of the more peculiar acts that I have found when scouring the internet: specifically Bandcamp. One of the bands are from the UK and the other is from Spain. ZX ELECTRIC is a band that plays weird krautrock with the occasional stab of minimal synth and post-punk, whilst Asesina are the Spaniards whom has a singer that really can’t sing – but all the better that he can suffer, because that’s what it’s all about – it seems.

a3200966171_10Negative Outline” is the latest release that ZX ELECTRIC can offer to the world, having released two other albums earlier, titled “Obsolete” and “Fixed Unknown” – a rather odd blend of genres that shouldn’t be mixed, really. But there’s something about the latest album that signals to me that they’re serious. How can you even manage to fit in krautrock with minimal synth? I get that it can be applicable when it comes to post-punk, but not the other way around. However, they manage to create a rather melancholic image which they spit upon, managing to fit a semi-acoustic environment somewhere in between each track. I like the singer’s voice, it’s sincere but rather goofy at times. All the better then – that his rhythm is intact and his groove is where it should be – when the synthesizers slowly grace him and fill up the sound-scape. Not to mention how cold-wave helps to keep the semi-acoustic trance to a pleasurable level, where you just nod your head to everything you see around you.

a4144603658_10What striked me when I browsed Asesina, were their marvelous aesthetics. The slick lines that are pleasing for the eye to watch, alongside a rather odd – almost dragon-like – goose that feeds her youngin’. Maybe this has something to do with where they’re from in Spain, or maybe not. I, however, really like the way this becomes their insignia. Enter bleakness with “EP“, their first release. Together with the bleakness that appears through using black and white. When it comes to their music, I must say that I don’t know if I should hate or adore the singer. He can’t sing. But thanks to the psychobilly, surf punk or whatever they’ve mixed together into a mish-mash of difference and alikeness – his voice gives a touch of severe angst that doesn’t go away. The best thing about it is when he screams in his own language and I don’t really get anything. I don’t really want to know, either. Noise rock goes well together with every other genre they’ve plucked asunder. The good thing about it is how their low-keyed sound-scape makes you wonder when they’re going to step into black metal territory, but that really never happens – full-scale. A good listen to anyone whose interest lays in any of these more obscure genres – especially when mixed together.

Premiere: T E M P O R A R Y – Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground

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The mastodon release of a compilation overview of the evolution in the Dunedin underground, is courtesy of the fantastic New Zealand micro-label Fishrider Records – whom I’ve had featured both in interview and with bands from the roster – now with a newcomer called Ba Da Bing Records, for outreach of the compilation in North America. This compilation features a narrowly selected crowd of people which you’d know about if you had payed attention to New Zealand. There’s a town there, a town called Dunedin, where a lot of pop-artists and groups have emerged during the last few years. Specifically from 2011-2014. Mavis Gary, Death & The Maiden, The Prophet Hens, Males, Mr Biscuits, Opposite Sex, Strange Harvest, The Shifting Sands, Astro Children, Kane Strang, Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union and Trick Mammoth – are the selected few (many) from this underground current, standing strong with their oddities that are by now their trademark. The reason why you need to have your eyes peeled is just because their sound is different, their sound is as a whole unique for that particular city. Nowhere else can you find this unimaginable creative outlet which have rendered in a sound they can proudly call their own.

Not only does this release incorporate a nice and thick black vinyl, it also is the starting point of a zine called T E M P O R A R Y – yes, just like the release. Even though I feel like the name is ironic, because I feel like this will be a timeless release, even though I haven’t laid my ears to listen to everything on the release yet. The zine features an introductory into the bands, artists and groups that are featured on the release. Repartiseraren can give you an exclusive premiere of two new tracks which were put up by Fishrider Records, it’s “Flowers For The Blind” with Death & The Maiden and “Supermarket” – a long-awaited new track for me here, courtesy of Opposite Sex.

I must congratulate Ian Henderson for this seemingly masterful release, because it was something in dire need of documenting for the rest of the world. The slick design was created by Robbie Morton and the graphic layout by Angus McBryde. Mastered by Tex Houston and tracks selected by Ian Henderson – as it should be – because that man has more insight into this than anyone else. You can either order the vinyl with the zine, the zine and a CD, or the CD, vinyl and the zine. For those of you that live in Europe, you can order T E M P O R A R Y from Occultation Recordings, if you’re in America you can find it at Ba Da Bing Recordings and if you’re nearer Australia or New Zealand; you can get it from Fishrider Records. Stream four tracks from this compilation down below.

Listen: Halvtrak – Dust Under Bridges (Appendix I/​II)

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You shouldn’t be afraid of house and techno. That is the message that Don’t Be Afraid sends, a label that is based out of the UK whose specialization lies within leftfield house and techno. Having released their first 12¨ vinyl with Semtek‘s (Benjamin Roth) mini-album “Bells / Tower / Key” in 2010 – continuing with the single “Idiotland“, the mini-album “Lotos Eaters” – finishing the streak with him when “West Acyd Shelter” came out. After that, Mr. Beatnik (Nick Wilson) got his mini-album “Synthetes” released, following up with yet another Semtek-release – which ended 2011. In 2010, they only released Semtek. Since then, they’ve put out releases with everyone from MGUN, Alis, Claws For? to Kelpe, four different compilations as Spargel Trax Vol. 1-4, Disco Nihilist and Neville Watson. Now we’re suddenly in 2013. Since then, there haven’t really been anything released by Don’t Be Afraid. We’re about to change that perception and so are they, as Halvtrak returned since his first and only EP titled “Dust Under Bridges EP“. Basically a nostalgic follow-up whose post-mortem got re-released.

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His newly released “Dust Under Bridges (Appendix I/II)” on Don’t Be Afraid, are nine tracks that serve as an appendage for his EP that was released last year. These tracks are basically the remnants of what that was recorded back then, nine tracks which Henri Puolitaival (Halvtrak) deemed to not be worthy of release. They had previously been recorded onto tape by himself, but had never been officially released. Since they originally were released on cassette, Don’t Be Afraid set their mission straight, and released it as a limited edition cassette two days ago. I believe that when I hear these tracks, I can not help but bob my head to the wondrous melodies, the clingy atmosphere and the continually aggressive tempo. Some tracks are more timid, whilst others bring an almost acidic mixture to his technotic house. You’ll be hypnotized by the string of beats that are dragged along by a spaced out landscape of sound. It’s calling for you, calling you to your homeland – in the sky. Sometimes the sheer primitiveness haunt these tracks, as they begin to evolve into something bigger than thou, finalizing the fine atmospheres that is his creation. You can stream and listen to the whole release down below, and you can buy the cassette from Don’t Be Afraid.

Listen: Genus Inkasso – Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor

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The British are back. At least one Brit, whose name is Joris. J. I don’t know if he is a Brit, but he lives in Britain at least. He’s been manufacturing the most odd noise, the most uncategorizable noise, under this own name since he first released “Untitled”, his first self-released album. A year later he got his first official non-self-released track “Die Antizipation Des Generalized Other“, on the German label Der Schöne Hjuler-Memorial-Fond – a label that seems to be related (or dedicated) to a German art group called Mama Baer und Kommissarie Hjuler. But I’m not really certain of that. Since his two splits done with Ratbag as the first, Filthy Turd as the second, it seems like he stopped making anything under his real name, in 2011. Already back in 2009, he made his first album under the guise of Genus Inkasso, titled “Default Swaps” which was released by Abulia Concepts. However, at the same time that it seemed like he stopped with Joris. J, another album with Genus Inkasso submerged under the title of “Occasionally Slumping, Smiling Weakly“, put out by naboa music. This was in 2011.

Since then, he’s released an album titled “The Despised Pastora” which was put out by Grindcore Karaoke. But that’s not because I’m writing about his music, it’s because his latest mini-album “Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor” was released just roughly two weeks ago on the New York City-imprint Immigrant Breast Nest. The three tracks that are featured on this release range from illbient to a general breakbeat mess, combined with an electro-acoustic layer that keeps everything somewhat in order. It is, however, noticeable that this sounds like something that was just improvised during a session. Take it from that and spin it into some remnant from the 1990’s hardcore-scene in Holland, just to bounce back into some undecipherable combination of noise and spastic movement. Just to have it change into a trip-hop atmosphere after you’ve heard some sampled piano mashed into a drier. Everything can happen between planned happenstance, what’s currently happening and how long it takes for the next thing to occur. It’s just how it goes with Genus Inkasso and his latest release “Under Seals Broken By The Lean Solicitor“. Stream the whole release down below.

Exclusive Premiere: Les Jumeaux Discordants – Betrayed Bride / The White Room

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This is the continuation of the last post, where Les Jumeaux Discordants were kind enough to grant me access to their world – through their music. Providing me with a careful selection of tracks that might already be out there in some way or another, but mostly whom are restricted to this blog-zine as such – and their limited CDr-releases. The whole purpose of this was to grant people who may be interested in their music, something to listen to if they weren’t that quick to have bought their releases in the first place. These two tracks that I’m about to present to you, were featured on their first and only self-titled release “Les Jumeaux Discordants” – which was released by Misty Circles, in the format of a CDr limited to 100 copies. Alongside four other tracks. Displaying their underestimated experimentalism, as their first release. Engaging into more unknown territory, in comparison with the later releases. Honing what was to become a modern classical masterpiece, lending their thoughts deeper into their own imaginative state with this particular release. You can certainly hear the difference, albeit it’s sublimity. Venturing in between martial-industrialism, dark ambient and a more grandiose landscape of sound changing into the morbidity of the under-dwelling feelings, the suppressed and dark thoughts caught in the moment of them slowly being released into the world, with absolutely no embellishing filters.

We give to you, here on Invisible Guy, the two tracks “Betrayed Bride” and “The White Room” – for your pleasurable streaming experience. One of the tracks are already out there more or less, but “The White Room” features a ‘ghost track’, also. You can stream these two tracks exclusively on Invisible Guy, with the approval of themselves. I would like to thank Roberto Del Vecchio and Aimaproject for giving me this opportunity, to share with you the sound of a greatly under-appreciated duo. So do check it out.

Interview with Michael B. Wood of The Anxiety Of Love!

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The Anxiety Of Love, oh how they are undiscovered. They might wish to remain that way, but in this shrouded cloud of mystery – you find a great dose of melancholy, but on a whole other level. They are compromised of Michael, who’s got a history of being in different interesting bands, like Joan Of Arc Family – for example. He’s also the singer of this band, alongside Paul who play the guitar have been in Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Sailor on the bass guitar is in Clockwork Alters, and Solomon is their household drum-machine. Together with the occasional visit of Tobias, who seem to be floating around in a void. Every single one of these members have been involved in one band or another. They’ve earlier released a bunch of songs by themselves, but more recently, they’ve gotten a 7¨ released by Tujunga Flats, and will have another 7¨ out on Peripheral Minimal later on in Autumn. With that said, they’ve recently mailed out their self-released CDr bootleg titled “Soap In The Blood“. So one can say that they’ve got a lot going for them right now. I would consider them to be unique in many ways, which is why I’m even remotely interested in them in the first place. Michael B. Wood of the band contacted me and all we ended up with was this beautifully melancholic interview. He talks about life-changing incidents, the band itself, how they cope with their melancholy, what their melancholy means, the importance of silence, how alike Lebanon Hanover and they are – and much more. Read and weep.

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Preview: Xiu & Spatial Relation – Split! w/ questions for Peripheral Minimal!

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Peripheral Minimal is a sub-label to Peripheral Records, which is a label based out of Britain. In a short period of time, Jason B Bernard have garnered a lot of attention. Maybe not on the basis of blogs writing about it, but he’s gotten a lot of followers for his rather newly created sub-label. The first release was Replicanti, a synth-wave group based out of San Fransisco, whom released their first EP á la four tracks on Peripheral Minimal. Main focus is on minimal synth and cold wave, which makes it even more interesting. So, as the 7¨ split between Xiu and Spatial Relation was announced to be released sometime now in Fall, it wasn’t enough for me. Therefore, in an attempt to collaborate, Invisible Guy and Peripheral Minimal will give you an exclusive preview of both the tracks that will be featured on this release. It will mark the second release on this label. But, I also  had some time left on my hands to ask the label-boss Jason Bernard a couple of questions regarding his first release, the purpose of the label and the second release. Plus some other question that magically happened to be thrown in. You can stream and listen to previews of Xiu’s “Highgate” track and Spatial Relation’s “Mystery Of Chance” track, down below.

I know that Peripheral Minimal is a sub-label for Peripheral Records. But why did you want to branch out and focus on minimal synth and coldwave, too?

– Well ultimately it was like returning or going home, if you like, to my original love of Synthpop or Future Pop as it was known when I was younger, anything from Depeche Mode to Fad Gadget via Cabaret Voltaire and The Human League! Plus it’s re-emergence in recent years made me decide to ‘test the waters’, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the latest crop of Synth acts, basically reinterpreting the classic late 70s / early 80s sound.

Since it’s a sub-label, do you go by things the same way when releasing or are there more differences than a particular focus on these two genres?

– I don’t think there’s much difference in the way I operate either label, perhaps just the way in which I advertise releases to different markets. Marketing is ultimately the hardest part to get right!

Your first release was “Electric Mistress” by the San Fransisco synthwave act Replicanti. Why did you choose to make that one your first one and how did you go by before you released it?

– I was initially approached by Replicanti as he had an E.P. ready and was looking for a new label via a ‘tip-off’ from a friend! I really liked what I heard and decided to give it a chance, it seemed like the perfect marriage between early EBM and Synthwave. I haven’t been disappointed.

Do you have any acts that you’re going to sign in the near future, since Xiu and Spatial Relation will be releasing their forthcoming split on your label?

– There are a few releases in the pipeline, a 7″ by Irish duo ‘KuBo’ and another 7″ by ‘Ferdinand Carclash’. There are also some tentative deals on the way, but I’m keeping that a secret for now!

How did you go by when you decided you wanted to release those two on a 7¨?

– I’d heard both acts separately and thought that the two together might make a fantastic pairing! They’ve both gained a lot of publicity and attention of late, down to the sheer fact that they create great modern synth music, with that classic retro touch!

Thanks for answering! What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

– Trying to organize a two day festival next Spring. More news soon.

Listen to previews from the upcoming 7¨ split with Xiu and Spatial Relation, down below. The release itself will come out sooner or later, but definitely this Fall.

Spotlight [SP. ED 1]: Nouvelle Phénomène / Soft Riot!

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As always, we head back to the realms of Other Voices Records. Who is on a certain music-spree, killing off all the competition. Or, well, that’s not really the case – but some seriously great releases have been relieving one another. Some that should’ve been Spotlight:ed a while ago, like their Nouvelle Phénomène-release. Since there haven’t been any creativity in the loop for a while, other business had to be dealt with first. But now, we return to the great Russian-based label which sorely needs our attention. Together with a whip of Soft Riot, as they’re also featured over there, with their already released album (since a month ago) “Fiction Prediction“. Hey, who doesn’t like when it rhymes. Well, let’s get to it, since you don’t want some blabbermouth introductory, as you’d already know them by know. This post will be updated with a review of Soft Riot’s latest endeavor, when it’s done.

a1778775496_10Nouvelle Phénomène is a group of Hungarians, that haven’t been brought to my attention, til’ now. Santa Angela, Santa Fanni, Dziba Zsolt and Peter Buza have one thing in common – which is synth-pop with a jaded edge of new-wave and minimalism. The catchy tones of this double-single, titled “Caresse / Glory of Romance“, is a tease indeed. The concentrated drums, hitting the soft-spoken nerve that they’ve incorporated with their rhythmic endeavor, is carefully packaged together with a francophilic adoration, sampled amidst the up-beat happiness of “lé soleil“. It’s important enough, because the sun is shining in their direction. Grandiose on one hand, minimalistic in the carefully laden undertones of the swooping synthesizer. Frankly enough to touch the tip of your noise, be so brazen to ask you out and invite you to the party of your life. “Retro-fantastic“, could be a world to describe it, as they see to their roots before they carefully model the landscape they wish to present. Clinking to their pieces, mapping out exactly the feeling, without having to pinpoint it for the listener. Sometimes interpreting the atmospheric senselessness that isn’t always present in synth-pop, and as such – they’re leading the charge towards a brightener future. At times, the darker tones of their loveable sound-scape move you onto dampening and tearjerking journeys through imagined landscapes of ultimate destructiveness. Reminding you, oh so much, that your perception of invulnerability is a joke. Well, it would not be so far away to remind them of Swedish purveyors (now disbanded) Zeigeist, as you indulge in the second song “Glory of Romance“, which certainly has its likeness. Cleanliness is not a sin, remember that, as the angelic sounds clean you out totally – turning your mind upside down, and your heart inside out. Nouvelle Phénomène might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they strike a resemblance, and they strike when you need them to.

Premiere: Peter The Roman – I’m No Loser

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Earlier this month, or the month before it, we were appalled by the sheer brilliance of Peter The Roman. Now he’s set sail with a brand new song, which leaves nothing to wish for. This time around, he’s done a quirky cover of the song “Loser” by the well-known artist Beck. Titled as: “I’m No Loser“, he sweeps us off with his somewhat unpolished dark electro meets experimental vibes. It might not be the best thing he’s delivered, but it’s something you should take a quick listen to and see if it could be something for you.