[1st] December: Xiu – Law Of Light

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Winding down, coming home and changing around to accommodate ourselves to the reality we left for another — is not an easy task. We’ve just headed for a vacation and here we are, strong-armed by the world we left a couple of days ago. Time flies by so quickly, so we’ve just calmed down before there was a storm heading for us — a metaphorical one. Now when everything is moving back to what it was before we left it, we have something exciting to announce for everyone reading this blog-zine. You will not believe your eyes, nor’ your ears.

We’ve been working on a project in secrecy. Today is the day when we reveal what’s to come and what you’ll never want to hear, anyway. This project started some months ago and they were only going baby-steps, if anywhere, forward. It all began when I asked Xiu if she wanted to participate and lend an exclusive track for this purpose. She did so and asked if we could not include more people who would be featured in the project to come – so we said: “sure, why not?“. This resulted in the project being even larger then we could have ever anticipated. It grew from one to a number I won’t reveal right now, that will be revealed once the project is over. One of the corner-stones is that it is a non-commercial collection – not really a compilation to be released — but rather a “project” collecting fragments of what Repartiseraren is, and what is preferred around here. I put an emphasis on “non-commercial” and “collection“, just so there will not be any confusion with what it really is and what it is meant to represent.

It was really easy for the artists and groups that are featured on this non-commercial collection — to realize what they should and should not contribute with. Either an exclusive unreleased and newly composed song — or an already composed (but unreleased) track — for the sole purpose of being collected. What can be said, other then “we’re really overwhelmed by the response“? Nothing other than that. We would like to thank everyone that were and still is involved, because without you — this would not even have been possible to begin with. You’ve put your sweat and craftsmanship into it and you can tell by the way it sounds, no matter what genre you’ve set yourself up for.

So let’s get to the point. Since Oksana Rodinova (Xiu) was kind enough to give us ideas which helped the project further, she’s the one who starts this project off with a bang. We’ve gotten our hands on the track “Law Of Light” which is exclusive for this project. We think it displays how she’s evolved and how she can stop in evolution just to give another side of what Xiu is about, another insight — if you will. A suggestive and dark, but transparent song which deals with a certain topic in so many ways possible, within the realms of minimal synth and cold-wave — combined. Before you go ahead and listen to it, we’re also able to present a music-video for your viewing and listening pleasure. You can watch it above. So do that first and then read the first poem when you’ve opened the first window in this calendar:

Take me into the light,
let me be your plight
Lead me to your law,
so that I can withdraw

This is 1st of December and now the story begins. Tomorrow a new track will be released and the story will be continued. But until then, enjoy the exclusive song “Law Of Light” and the music-video for it, on Repartiseraren.

Listen: Xiu – One Thrilling Night

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As last year went into the last month, the compilation “Minimal Milan” was released on the then newly created label Minimal Trend Records. A label run by Oksana Rodinova, otherwise known as Xiu, whose contribution to this compilation was under a new alias called MarryMe2Night. Individual songs and remixes have been released, but the Estonian-born queen of minimal synth hasn’t stopped short of that. aufnahme + wiedergabe decided to test the waters again, having released her first self-titled EP back in 2012. This time our Berlinian label have put out “One Thrilling Night” – the latest release by Xiu up to date – a double-single of some sort featuring the tracks “One Thrilling Night” and “Turn Me On“. Porl King (In Death It Ends/Miserylab, etc) have mastered this release.

When listening to these songs, it feels like a recognizable Xiu stream of consciousness. Taken into another direction with the calmness; smeared with metallic percussion. Dreamy landscapes of sound pull the dirt with it, because she’s not afraid to have some dirt under her nails. The whole sound-scape in the first track is drifting between semi-consciousness and a state of dreaming, with a suggestive dark undertone and rhythm to angelic melodies that flow through. A difference between the first and the second track is that in the second – she introduce her vocals. Reverberated strings of some kind of hopelessness, together with sunken beats that wouldn’t really make you move but rather contemplate. You can stream the whole release down below.

Spotlight: Various Artists – Transmission Barcelona – Second Anniversary

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Having put on a show with the first anniversary a year ago, of the monthly party in Barcelona called Transmission, which is a party dedicated to the international scene of post-punk, new-wave, cold wave and dark wave. Domestica Records return once again with the second anniversary of this party. The first compilation featured the following artists and groups: The KVB, Selofan, Paralelo, White Hex, Bonjour Tristesse, Ssleeping DesiresS, Crystal Soda Cream, Principe Valiente, Die Selektion, Lebanon Hanover, Chevalier Avant Garde, Police Des Moeurs, Petra Flurr + Modernista, Miserylab, Accident, Jewels Of The Nile, Fernand and Press Gang Metropol. Once again, the compilation is compiled by DJ Sandman – a long-going DJ since the 1980’s, that have played every notable club in Barcelona and Madrid by now – but also internationally at the Nachtwerk Club in Karlsruhe, and for having performed at the 17th edition of Wave Gotik Treffen Festival. As the last time, the artwork for this coming release have been created by Jordi Serrano, and the release itself has been mastered by Roger Cuixart. Interestingly enough, our favorites Női Kabát returns with a cover of an Associates-track called “Kitchen Person“. A fine new artist have also shown himself to be of much pleasure, namely Madmoizel, with his track “Come” – his first track since 2009.

This release will also feature contributions by Seacrypt, Phosphor, Des Âmes Libres, Schonwald, enigmatic group In Death It Ends, Más Allá, In A Lonely Place, and the lovely Xiu with her track “Dancing With You“. Last year the compilation which celebrated the first anniversary, featured more artists and groups, but even if that’s true – this second anniversary contain a lot of contributions that should be checked out. Virtually every track is priceless in one way or another, so it sounds really good having it comprised of only ten tracks. This also makes it less of a nuisance to listen through and every style imaginable is represented within the boundaries of electronica. It will be released on the 19th of May by Domestica Records. You can stream this release down below in full.

Premiere: The Tobler Orchestra – Scry [Musicvideo]

Well, what can be said? The Tobler Orchestra ain’t working alone in this universe. Because the producer behind this particular alter-ego have been placed on a compilation with five other artists and groups. The well-known minimal synth act Xiu, AKA Oksana Rodinova – have made Minimal Trend Records her homestead for now. There is also where the magic will happen, as this compilation will be the first release on this label and spark the continuation of minimalism within the electronic genres as such, obviously channeling it from the “trend” of it. Because, quite frankly, isn’t minimal synth and wave a trend by now? Everyone seems to be up over their heads trying to conjure something magical within the boundaries, and outwardly towards others – within this niche, that has become widespread. The “Minimal Milan EP“, which is the compilation’s name, will be available for purchase on the 12th of December. The artwork is courtesy of David Imbërnon, a Spaniard with a wicked sense of proportions, and art as such. When it comes to the artists involved on this compilation, they are the following: AU+, Plovdiv, Words and Actions, MM2, and MarryMe2Night. Of course, The Tobler Orchestra are also featured, but that might’ve made sense in a paragraph above. MarryMe2Night is the alterego for Oksana Rodinova, in which she explores a darker and more steadfast realm in the minimal universe.

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Anyway, that’s not why we’re here. We’ve gotten the honor to premiere the music-video for the track “Scry“, featured on this compilation, by The Tobler Orchestra. You can watch it up above and you can stream the two tracks currently available from this compilation – down below.

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.

Some questions for Xiu!

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Xiu is the Russian-born Estonian, but now Milan-based minimal synth artist, whose real name is Oksana Rodinova. Whilst harkening to her dark landscapes and magnificent voice, it gives you a palette of emotions to experience. Hearing her luminescent voice clash within a dark sound-scape of minimalism, is probably one of the most enjoyable things to hear. Since she started her solo-project back in 2010, with the self-released “Dancing Voodoo“, she’s been gaining momentum. Appearing on the German visionary label aufnahme + wiedergabe in 2012, with the self-titled cassette “Xiu“, which sold out very fast. To her collaboration with the interesting act Cold Colors, and their joint release “Loneliness“, where she lent her voice to four unimaginably solid tracks, in 2013. A little bit earlier, she also released the cassette “Possessions” on the increasingly larger (Swedish) Beläten etiquette. Since she’s been interviewed by different outlets, I decided to ask her a bunch of new questions. Mostly about the coming release, but also what her music means to herself, rather than the audience. Therefore, this will be a short Q&A-like “interview”, if you’d like. Hope you enjoy it.

Right now, you’re occupied in making your own debut-album become a reality. You’re also busy filming your first music-video for that particular release. What label have you teamed up with and where does the story begin?

– I would keep the label name in the secret for now.

Since you’ve released a lot of different songs here and there, how does it feel to work with your first “real” release?

– I don’t feel any difference. I mean, its always my own produced songs, it’s just a next step that comes naturally after two EP tapes, different compilations and collaborations.

You’ve also got two demo-tracks which you put up on your own bandcamp. Are these coming to good use in your forthcoming release?

– Well, yes. These tracks will be released but not on the LP. it will be as bonus tracks + some others on forthcoming CD release. Russian label Other Voices Records will release my two tapes (s/t by aufnahme and Possesion by Belaten) and bonus tracks this fall.

Is this album going to be any different from your earlier material in any way? What kind of theme will it have?

– It will be a kind of different but in the same time it will always be an analogue sound. I keep using the same gear that I used before, including some new synths and effects. I can say that debut LP will be more mature and confident.

Your latest release was together with Cold Colors, which was a  collaboration between the two of you. How did it came to be and what could you say about the making of “Loneliness”?

– This might sound weird, but I’ve never met Fred (Cold Colors) in real life. All our collaboration have been “online” through chat on Facebook and Skype. I’m very happy about this work, I’m really in love with that what Fred is doing. Nobody before this have produced music especially for my voice, specifically for me.

What do you think about aufnahme + wiedergabe and Beläten? Since you’ve released stuff on both those labels, how did that came to be in the first place, since your first release “Dancing Voodoo”?

– I tenderly love both labels! I’m proud to be their artist and thankful, especially because I was taking my first steps into the musical “scene” and they’re helped me a lot. Working with them was very enjoyable.

There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding you, and have been since you began to be noticed, it seems. What kind of response have  you gotten through the years?

– Really? I haven’t noticed any hype. I started to produce music two years ago, and less than year ago my debut tape came out, so I don’t think it’s time to speak about any “hype”. Everything have been flowing smoothly.

You’re also going to be featured on a split together with Spatial Relation, which is coming out pretty soon. What can you tell us about this?

– It will be a new song I produced specifically for this release. It will be coming out in September on Peripheral Minimal Records, I’m very excited about it and can’t wait, really! It will be the first Xiu 7” vinyl release.

How would you describe your own music?

– Looking for harmony inside of yourself.

When it comes to the general aesthetics of your own albums, they seem to revolve around yourself. Is there any thought behind – and if there is – then why is that so?

– Do you mean the visual part? Well, that might be because my music is autobiographical. I don’t speak about global problems, politic things, social troubles. I don’t want to change or save a planet, I try to save and understand myself, in my own world. I’m interested in creating something beautiful, fragile, delicate, something about feelings, sensations, sensuality.

Alright, seems like the time’s up. What kind of artists/groups/bands would you recommend here in the end and when will your full-length be out?

– I highly recommend you to pay attention to the small new label based in Italy named Minimal Trend Records. They’re soon releasing their first album on vinyl, a compilation with only Milan-based contemporary electronic artists. So, stay tuned!

Also, the one-woman-project Froe Char going to release her 3rd album, she’s awesome. Again, an Italian project which is unfairly underrated is Spettro Family. They’re soon going to release a new  album. As well, records from Beläten and aufnahme + wiedergabe are always brilliant. Don’t miss out on new releases!

You can find Xiu over at Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and YouTube. Do also check out her music-video for the track “Possessions” from the Beläten-release. You can also play two demo-tracks from her bandcamp down below. Her much anticipated full-length album will be released in the beginning of 2014. Do also listen to her latest remix of TSTI’s track “Pull The Animal’s Teeth Out“.

Spotlight: Cold Colors & Xiu – Loneliness

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A months ago, Frédérick Barbe and Oksana Rodionova, otherwise known under the monikers Cold Colors and Xiu – teamed up with each other. On a release that came to be known as “Loneliness“. Here, you can envision a Xiu that is a little more soft-spoken, but that still carries her original characteristics with her vocals. When molded together with Cold Color’s sincere and melodious soft-spoken synthesizers, you get the best of two worlds. Forget the harshness of minimal synth, embrace the cold wave to the full extent. Sure, it can be counted in as minimal wave, or synth for that matter. But expect an exquisite cuisine, served with the best ingredients, as you waltz into their world. Be certain that you’ll shed a tear or two, as the cloudy waves of delight dwell in the darker corners of our saddened mind. Whilst its true that black is the color of choice, there’s also hints of new wave parting within the sound-scape. So for those of you that are a little bit more cheerful, try to hear those nuances, and you’ll be on your brightest side. Everything is delicate, and if you touch it, it will most certainly break. When loneliness hits you, you’d wish for something more. The material for this release was recorded in between 2012-2013, in Bordeaux and Milano. You can listen to it in whole, down below.