The “Old Ways” (read: wicca) are reinterpreted into a occult ritual noise ‘ensemble’ manned by one individual—Samantha, known from T.O.M.B. and Dreadlords. Skulsyr is her solo-project; whose intent seem to mixture Coven ritualism through experimentation with blackened noise and dark ambient. Intriguingly enough, the word “Syr” is a nickname for the Norse goddess Freya’s magical swine—a ‘Hildisvin’ (battle-boar). ‘Syr’ can also mean “sow“. Either “Skul” is referring to World of Warcraft, or something out of the Prose Edda, though a deeper intention of the name might not be thought out. It must be related in one way or another to neo-paganism and Norse mythology to a certain degree—but Wiccan solemnization runs through like a drawn line in red. The year goes around in seasonal festivals—different holidays for different months.
She’s actualized for Ljudkalendern with an exclusive track newly produced for that purpose for 9th December. The track was recorded during Samhain—a sabbat where you generally celebrate those who’ve passed on. So the ritualistic tone was already set, considering what month it was recorded in: November. Although a solo-project, her track which is called “Blodrengr” (Blood Warrior) was created together with Duncan McLaren (Enneract) on vocals, Samantha can be heard banging a tribal drum and she’s conjured a hazy atmosphere which lets you delve into a maze of brooding, sinister but captivating music. From Duncan’s eerie distant chanting to an ever so present drumming, fading away into otherworldly hymns created on what sounds like thin air—as the gloomy cloud disperses. It might be so poetic that it actually does not need any poem because it’s self-descriptive.
Here a ritual begins and ends in the blink of an eye, though at great length. Tomorrow here will be another track but for the 9th December this place is reserved for Skulsyr and her track “Blodrengr“.
As a concept, they’ve existed for quite some time. In 2010 they released their first self-titled album “Sumerian Fleet“, this was when their concept only included Alden Tyrell and Mr. Pauli. These two men whose real names are Martijn Hoogendijk and Ingmar Pauli, have been active as electronica producers since the late 1990’s. When two years had gone they realized yet another album which they titled “Sturm Bricht Los” – released on the eminent label Crème Organization in 2012. The difference between this album and their first was that Zarkoff was included on vocals and the fact that it moved into electronic body music territory, having been very close to electro on the first release. Now some of you might wonder who that fellow is and I will tell you who he is, he’s an electronica producer from Croatia whose legacy stretches well beyond this. His most notable contributions come with collaborating with Popsimonova, the Croatian lady whose moniker became more well-known with her “Untitled” release on the Enfant Terrible sub-label Gooiland Elektro. Now they have released a new album titled “Just Pressure“, which celebrates (on purpose or not) the two year space between each release.
This release in itself brings forth the qualities of real electronic body music – when mixed with darkwave and electro – how those three manifestations make for excellency. Much to the joy of those whose interest in the new generation of EBM got sparked by the numerous acts around the world specifically in the US – that create such music. There are so many nostalgic tears that are taken care of with this album but it pays a tribute to those who inspired their sound, those whom did it before them. They’ve learned how to refine their music to become less raw and more sophisticated. It is really a matter of taste if you like their second album in relation to this one. I had asked Zarkoff to share a piece of this gem with me and he sure did. I got to exclusively premiere the track “Orbiting” which is taken from this album. I believe that it is a nice track which makes good use of the synth-stabs and the rhythm is nothing less than a focused attire which makes the melodies bleak in comparison. Heck, I don’t know if that’s right, but it feels that way. Listen to the track down below.
In Brooklyn you find a band that has its roots down under, but above the ground they reside with post-punk overtones. With their interesting combination of metal, experimental rock, post-hardcore and post-punk they make way for who they’ve become. Since they haven’t been around for that long, let alone put out anything besides their newly released “Make Room For Waves” EP, it’s great to hear something fresh once in a while. With this comes Husbandry, whose singer sounds like somewhere in between Katzenjammer Kabarett‘s original misanthropic tone and the rather mesmerizing moments with the band reliq. Together with the breakdowns of pro-longed post-hardcore junkies caught in a time-machine. The band itself consists of Carina Zachary, Jordan Usatch, Arnau Bosc and Andrew Gottlieb. The fascinating thing about this release is that it was recorded during a weekend back in April this year, which makes it about a month later that they’re releasing it for the world to listen to.
So I got the opportunity together with Husbandry to put out one of the tracks from this release, on Repartiseraren. The track wasn’t really chosen by me to begin with, but I think it’s their best track on this release by far. Because in it they showcase the greatness of structured post-hardcore with post-punk baselines that soar through the landscape, together with erratic drums that keep the tempo to a max. Just as they come into some kind of weird medley whereas Carina Zachary with her vocals make it an endurable process to listen to, as it moves back into the sound-scape which they created before. Moving back to the intermezzo once again in another part of the track, making it a very predictable but at the same time unpredictable track. I simply adore the melodies that are laden before me when you’ve taken yourself through it, together with cluttering hi-hats and complex rhythms howling in the background as the vocals feel even more dedicated and soulful. The track chosen for exclusive premiere was “Biralata“, a six-minute long song which you can listen to down below. If you’re interested in buying their album you can go to their Bandcamp.