[17th] December: All Your Sisters – Shame

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Two cassettes in one year. Reverse three years – and you’ve got “Sounds From Friday Evening” – a demo launched directly to Soundcloud by Jordan Morrisson. His project All Your Sisters originated from the dusky Autumn year of 2011, hailing from San Fransisco, it was meant to be much more then a solo-project. From then and on into 2012 things started to brew for real and Mario Armando Ruiz joined in – turning it into a duo. During two years of hard work they had composed what fell into our arms, for our ears, a debut-album recorded between October and November of 2013. It got titled “Modern Failures” and seem to be a statement of how things are in modern society. Romantic words clad in melancholy, with titles such as “A Perfect Body” and “Good Clean Men” cling positively at a first glance—but not for them. Maybe it’s because of the portrayal of how things should be, when they’re not anything remotely close to it. Maybe it’s something else.

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The album have been popular, as seen by how much people seemed to like it, but also because of the number of different labels that had released versions of it, mainly on limited cassettes as Beläten and Young Cubs did. Now Weyrd Son Records are turning it into vinyl, with aesthetically pleasing artwork that in one way or another can be related to All Your Sisters. Their rose was turned into black, on white background. Though the picture of a man’s back seem to suggest what the title “A Perfect Body” did, reflecting on the drapery in front of him – reflecting back on him, for himself to see? Not an unlikely theory. We’re, however, more intrigued about a band that does not wallow in nostalgia—though some of it can actually be pretty darn good. They do make a nice cold-wave themed backdrop associated with post-punk, with a rattly sound-scape and nicely laid vocals that suggest desperation, anger and apathy.

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We’re providing you with a newly produced, unreleased track which they composed for Ljudkalendern. It’s the 17th December and you get to listen to “Shame” – a rather short endeavor; that makes good use of the time they’ve utilized when creating it. There are some fine qualities about it, the long outdrawn riffs that stop before it goes into an intermezzo, sharp and readily available percussion that resounds throughout, a myriad of different baselines, synthesizers and ambitiously entwined riffing which is changed around many times to create a diverse range to it. Listen and stream it exclusively on Repartiseraren.

Listen: Luminance / Acapulco City Hunters – The Cold Rush

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Belgium are steaming ahead of everyone else. Wool-E Tapes have been working hard at putting out new releases that catch one’s ear. The current ‘flagship’ could be considered to be Luminance – the electronic solo-project by David-Alexandre Parquier. In the month of July when his first 7¨-release “Obsession / Viper Smile” was released on Weyrd Son Records, he also did a split together with Acapulco City Hunters called “The Cold Rush” – which was their first release up to date. The Weyrd Son-release was more of a collaborative effort with him behind the machinery on both tracks, Felicie on backing vocals for “Viper Smile” and Nathalie Bruno on vocals for “Obsessions“. I am however not going to linger on that release but focus on the latest one. It is an interesting blend of house-music matched with a new-wave sound, whilst Luminance heads into a whole other direction than what can be found on his earlier releases. Sure, the minimalism is still there and his wittered electro comes into play with the general synth-pop minimalism that makes his sound so great. But I notice how he does not sway for the ambient reflections made in his first track on the release. I also believe that his tracks on this split are more in for a brutal sound coupled with more hopelessness, than his earlier releases. The notable darkwave influence does make itself reminded. The playful melodies mixed with a sound best described as when day turns into night. He’s nothing short of knowing how to make this concoction a danceable but seductive brew that is about as volatile as daggers into flesh – without the courage to strike when the day is lit.

When it comes to Acapulco City Hunters, their or his sound is not primarily darker because they’re on the other side of the fence – but notably well-thought out and considerate. A rhythm that is in constant motion together with an ominously sounding house-music sound. No you will not find anything remotely similar to Swedish House Mafia when it comes to this. Let the acidic sounds mix with the lead melodies and blend into a thoughtful motion that could only make you reflect. It is meditative in one sense and leads you into a nicely laden vocal palette that draws upon calmness – and then comes a tribal fusion together with a obtuse frame of melody which goes into a bridge which lets an almost The Smiths-influenced intonation by the vocalist when he goes up a notch, out for display. Even though both of these artists are closely knit-together, I believe that my favorite is Acapulco City Hunters. They deliver a strong first-timed collaborative effort by teaming up with Luminance. I like their lyrical content because they remind me of how bleak the world is and can be, with all the romanticism that shies away and comes forth when you least know it. Order this release from Wool E Tapes if you like what you’re hearing. You can stream it in whole down below.

Video Premiere: FOQL – Cyril

For the beginning of summer, Niebezpieczne Zwi¹zki (Hazardous Compounds?), will put out their first release – in conjunction with their older project Kolektyw Ebola (The Ebola Collective) which was an underground collective of artists, based out of Poland. Out of the collective idea grows NZLD as a label, but right now runned by two people – RNA2 and FOQL.

As a label and artistic strategy they are focusing on the notion of disinformation. Staying true for a codex based upon different collective projects, gathering under different names – but under all the same name – in a rather morbid celebration of everything in media. Not a celebratory gesture by honoring anything, but as a spreading plague through: “…music, gigs, actions, distractions, words, system breaking, instrument breaking” and “A survival in Lo-Fi. Digitals and analogues. Dangerous Liasons. We deal with machines and humans.“, according to themselves.

Before NZLD as a label they were probably most known for their two releases on the Polish label Oficyna Biedota, namely the split-release with Arkona titled “Computape Split“, or their first release “Nag³y Spacer“ and split tape with Berlin based graphic designer Aga Wilk.  You can view it yourself on their homepage (nzld.pl).

For us whom are intrigued by mystery, it is a pleasant surprise to see them working on their own.  But a surprise it was, when we found out that NZLD is the new shape of what Niebezpieczne Zwi¹zki once was. A birth of something new, a breath of fresh air, which is only the home of two people and not an entire collective anymore. The first release is titled “Hypatia” EP” and it features a member from their collective whose name is FOQL.  She’s been active for three years, putting out songs on labels like Oficyna Biedota, Gooiland Elektro and Weyrd Son Records – with her different egos.

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This first release is a collaboration with the graphic designer and tattoo artist Izabela Dawid Wolf of Skin Yard Zin. She’s created the artwork for this release. It also marks the baby-steps of NZLD as a label, staying true to their notion of a collective – rather making everything their own – than inviting anyone. They’re currently preparing a limited edition cassette for release, but they put out a music-video created by Izabela D. Wolf before release. I managed to get a hold of that music-video and I’m now broadcasting it on my newly created Vimeo-channel. The sound of the track “Cyril” is bizarre with its overlaying power electronics atmosphere and the underlying synth-pop blended with noise. A product of an industrialized nation gone berserk. Even though a lot of what I say is true, a certain sense of beauty can be found between the layers. Which is adequately expressed together with the music-video itself, enhancing that symbolism which was earlier just found in the music. So I give to you the premiere of the music-video to the song “Cyril“, taken directly from the “Hypatia” EP” – to be released very soon. Watch as you please, in HD or SD. You can listen to the song from that release down below, too.

Some questions for Michael Thiel from Weyrd Son Records!

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Michael Thiel is the son of the man that was Snowy Red, whose name was Marcel Thiel. With the first release coming out from his newly started label, Weyrd Son Records, which was a tribute to Snowy Red by a multitude of synth-artists – his label became a part of what might be a future legacy. This son of Belgium is the sole proprietor of the label, and he makes everything work. Since he shaped the idea for the label back in 2012, it started to become a real label when the compilation “_ever Alive – a tribute to Snowy Red” was released in May, 2013. Which had the catalog-number WyS-001. I’m all about this label, so I sent Michael some questions about it, hinting on future releases, the symbolic nature of the first compilation, the artists featured on his label – and much more. Tune in for another questionnaire, that is simply too great to be overlooked. At least if you ask me, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Your label is pretty new, since it’s only been around since the late December of 2012, from what I’ve noticed. The first release, the tribute to Snowy Red, seems to have been a huge success. What was it like in the process of starting your label?

– Indeed. I officially announced the creation of Weyrd Son Records around late December 2012. A full tribute album to Snowy Red already crossed into my mind a while ago, but it was in the morning of a day in April that I clearly stated; that from that day on, I would work seriously on that first release. I had a few band names in mind, but for some reason I thought it would be quite hard to find a record label that might be interested to release a records with so many “new bands”. I didn’t want anyone to impose any bands or artists I wouldn’t work with, so I immediately thought I would do everything by myself and create my own brand to have a full control of that project.

How hard was it to gather all these artists for this huge compilation?

– I would be lying to say it was a piece of cake doing this. The most difficult part was to be sure I would receive all the tracks on time, which didn’t happen. It takes a lot of energy to give everyone the same motivation that you have yourself. They were of course motivated, but as long as the project is not 100% theirs, you can’t really expect for them to be involved in it – as much as you are. I mean, from that morning of April 2012, I decided to dedicate the biggest part of my time to everything related to the compilation. All those great artists have their own life, their own music and duty, it’s a normal thing – that they would put me on hold for some days. Plus, I didn’t want to push them too much, because I wanted them to take the time they would need to do what they do, in the best of ways. I guess I was just too confident about the deadline. Now I know what it’s like, for the forthcoming releases.

I’m just guessing that you are the brother of Marcel Thiel, so it seems pretty obvious why a tribute to Snowy Red was the first release. Was this a symbolic act for you in honor of his memory?

– Micky Mike was my dad.

It’s true, I didn’t want anything else to come out first on the label. It was at first pretty symbolic, indeed. I had already experienced such a workload three years ago when I was in charge with the art direction of the 5 LP boxset of Snowy Red that got released on Onderstroom. I insisted to do the artwork, and write the text for the whole booklet, so what I did was to get in touch with everyone who was close to my dad and worked with him; photographers, musicians, make-up artists, film makers, sound engineers, friends, etc. I then started to interview them all and my whole work was based on what I’ve learned about him. It was my way to get closer to my dad and to his music, I guess. I was only 4 when the first Snowy Red record came out. Of course I knew all the records by heart already, but I needed to have another approach towards the music and the artist himself. I used to listen to the whole discography while working on the designs and texts. It was pretty inspiring and I did exactly the same thing this time, with the tribute album. Every time I discovered a new facet of Snowy Red, and even more now when other people are playing it.

You’ve got a lot of artists featured on your “roster”, which is pretty weird since the label is very new. Since you aim on giving them total artistic freedom, would that be why they’ve joined up with Weyrd Son Records?

– I can’t really speak for them, but it’s true that I to give the artists 100% control of what they work on for Weyrd Son Records. I really think giving everyone the space they need is the best way to get great things in return. I would never tell anyone “hey, you should sound more like this or that”, or: “that voice part should better be done this way instead”. Who am I to pretend that I know better than themselves, in what their true musical personality is?

Are you the only guy working with the label, and how much time does it consume from your everyday life?

– I’m officially the only person involved, as I’m the only one making the decisions in the end. But there are a few people around me like friends, my sister and my girlfriend, who are giving their opinion – or simply giving me advice. But there’s always one person that is constantly around that I speak a lot with. I would say that it helps me to understand what people are waiting for, what kind of things they would expect from a label. I don’t really buy everything he’s saying, but at least it’s really interesting to hear someone else’s point of view.

Since you’ve already revealed what you’re going to release on your label, both for me and Radio Campus, I was wondering if there’s something you’d like to cover about these releases that haven’t already been said?

– So far, I haven’t really been talking about the fifth release, which I know is some kind of event. It’s about a fresh new band out of the LA-scene. Their name is High-Functioning Flesh, consisting of the duo Susan Subtract (Branes), and Gregory Fronczak. They released a four-tracked tape four months ago and the whole synth-scene in LA went into a mini-blast. I immediately fell in love with them, and I’m counting them in amongst my future projects, which is truly my biggest pride.

Have there been any other labels that you’ve taken influence from, when you decided to start up your label?

– I guess that every single label that has a true and strong personality has or had an influence on me. They are most of the time pretty different, musically speaking, to what I tend to work on – but things like visual communication or artistic coherence are always good lessons to get influenced by. Sometimes I listen to every single artist or record that the label is showing to the world. My interest for a label is sometimes as strong as for music itself. To speak more about the ones that impacted me greatly, I would say that the following three, were those responsible of influencing me: Ideologic Organ (a sublabel of Mego), Sacred Bones Records and Sige. I truly love their artists, but I’d say that it’s pretty far from what I’m working with, musically. But I admire how coherent they are, and the quality of their products, design and inventiveness.

What kind of artists and bands have gotten in contact with you, besides those that are already confirmed?

– Actually, Marburg, the Polish band that is on the tribute to Snowy Red, have gotten in contact with me. There have been a few, mostly doing synth music, of course. But the one I got the biggest interest for was a band doing some true rock’n’roll music. It kinda reminded me of POP 1280, which I ‘m quite a big fan of. I hope I won’t sound like an asshole, but I don’t really like the exercise of being contacted by bands. The reason is that most of the time people aren’t really fitting my vision of what I want to work on. But if I like their stuff, I’m always ready to help.

As a celebratory gesture, you also released the mixtape “The Weyrd Dig Nasty” – celebrating the release of your label. Did it live up to your objective of the label?

– That mixtape was a way for me to put something out that was related to the label, with almost all the artists involved in the tribute, being featured on it. I wanted to give an overview of what Weyrd Son Records was all about, at least for the next few months of action.

When thinking about the label itself, how much response have you gotten from people since the start?

– I got lots of great response so far. Both from the artists I’m working with and people who have heard about Weyrd Son Records, that purchased the first release. Those great comments are making me thinking this was definitely the right move, and certainly the best thing I’ve ever started.

If you got to pick for yourself, what kind of artists or bands would you like to have on your label as a complement?

– Oh, wow. There are so many. There are awesome new bands that I really love, like BOAN, Ssleeperhold and Keluar..They’re all releasing their first record this year on great labels. But if I had to pick some names among confirmed artists, I would say Mushy, Lebanon Hanover and Scorpion Violente. Also, if we were to speak of other music that can’t be fitted into what kind of genres I deal with, I’d say that Chelsea Wolfe, who’s become my biggest musical crush since a decade ago. Or, if we move in the periphery, Eyvind Kang, if we’re going to speak of someone who blew my mind for the last two years.

Since your label is an independent one, are you going to expand in any direction or keep it smaller?

– I’m really not thinking about the possibility to expand. Plus, I think that it would be a mistake. I don’t want to loose a dimension that works, which makes me so happy right now. What I like here is that I have a privileged relationship with everyone, and with the bands. I also try to have a great contact with the customers by replying to every single request or remark. It takes time, but it gives me a really strong feeling to read that someone’s happy, from having a nice reply in the mail. I guess that only I will do for now. As long as I can do everything by myself, I will.

When you package things, they seem luxurious. Do you devote a lot of time to make it unique?

– I don’t think they’re so luxurious right now. But I guess what you could say is that I want them to be more and more luxurious. I’d like to make even more beautiful packages. But that takes so much time, because mostly I have to ship forty copies in a day.

The general aesthetics of Weyrd Son Records seem to be somewhat  industrially influenced, but also minimalistic. Where do you seek your inspiration for that?

– Graphic design is one of my biggest passions. I studied fine arts at school and I used to be really inspired by ancient Japanese art and paintings. Mostly because they use space and “visual silence” as a dialogue with forms and colors. The purity of a line, and of a shape is important to me, as they’re much like a signature. It’s also true that there’s something “industrial” about it, like the logo I created, and the colors I use. I want it to be something in between old fashioned and contemporary – but always classy.

Alright, it’s time to wrap up. What’s going to happen in the coming months?

– The next six months will be pretty busy, filled with lots of surprises. I just sent the artwork and mastering for the second release to the pressing plant, which is the Mushy/Meddicine split EP. It is a re-release on vinyl of the split tape that got released a year ago on Meddicine’s own label Sixsixsixties Records. Then there will be another reissue that will see the light of day around September. Which is the Linea Aspera 3-tracked EP. They released the amazing tape “II” right before they split up. It got sold out almost immediately and I was so pissed off that I missed it. The artwork of that one will be pretty special, but I won’t say too much about it now. The fourth release, that will actually have the catalog number WyS-003 is a three-EP boxset of White Horse. It’s the solo project of Ben Chisholm, who’s a full time member of Chelsea Wolfe’s band. He recently changed the name of White Horse into Revelator, but since he created all that music under the name of White Horse, we both agreed it was better to keep it under that name. This masterpiece in three volumes is titled “The Revenant Gospels”. Haunting and haunted.

I’ve know this music for two years now. I’ve been waiting for someone to release it, and for me to have the chance to hold a copy of it in my hands. But for some reasons that puzzles me, regarding the so outstanding quality of it, it never happened. But I’m ultimately happy that no-one did, because I’m so proud being part of this. And the fifth release will be a six-tracked EP from High-Functioning Flesh. The band that I was talking about earlier.

Listen to the tribute compilation for Snowy Red, that was released by Weyrd Son Records some time ago, down below.

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.