Posts Tagged ‘Barium Network new EP 2019’

Monthly playlist-Favourite albums September 2019

Posted: 14th October 2019 by blaue-rosen in Music News,press releases
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Like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life…” (Virginia Wolfe)

We think that a month filled with great debut releases is as exciting as a year filled with great gigs. If we had to think of just one word that characterizes the whole of this playlist, then the word ‘esoteric’ would be it. We challenged ourselves after we made it, to forget about what we had listened to and just focus on the ‘story’ of the albums’ covers. We challenge you to do the same. Just flip through this playlist as if it was only a book of photos and look for their common elements. We realized that the one single thing that runs through all of our favourite albums/EPs/singles of this month, is a fascination for darkness and fantasy in one’s existential quest.

In September, Pixies released their new album entitled ‘Beneath The Eyrie‘. Following a series of releases from live performances, a reunion and the release of the albums ‘Indie Cindy’ in 2014 and ‘Head Carrier’ in 2016, ‘Beneath The Eyrie‘ is an album about witches (i.e. ‘Graveyard Hill‘), vampires (i.e. ‘Silver Bullet‘), dark folklore (i.e. ‘In the Arms of Mrs Mark Of Cain‘) and places of natural beauty (i.e. ‘Los Surfers Muertos‘, ‘St Nazaire‘). It is also an album that is preoccupied with Daniel Boone, a hero of American folklore who, with the help of an Army, expelled Native American tribes in order to found one of the first American settlements west of Appalachian mountains. The song ‘Los Surfers Muertos’ remind us of the story of Killer Dana Wave. For those who might not know what this is, it’s worth mentioning that Dana Point is considered to be the birthplace of the surfing industry and was famous for featuring one of the best big-wavespots. In the 60s, a group of surfers attempted to block development plans to build a marina in this area. Their efforts were unsuccessful and this marked the beginning of surf activism. Back to the album though, we found that its overall atmosphere is very in keeping with the mood of the first albums of Pixies and is further enriched. Keep your ears open, in order to identify country and rock n’ roll elements within the vocals and rhythms and their seductive relationship with the dramatic melodies that traverse this album.

In September, The Monochrome Set have released their new album entitled 'Fabula Mendax', just a year after the release of 'Maisieworld'. The title of this album is based on a manuscript written in the 15th century. 'Fabula Mendax' means 'twisted fable' as Bid has explained in a recent interview. It's a phrase used in a poem written by a female poet about Joan of Arc. The name of this poet remains unknown but it has been established that she was a follower of Joan of Arc. Despite the passionate and tragic story of Joan of Arc that inspired this album's title, its sound is largely un-dramatic in its emotional output and folk rock in its overall style. Where in 'Maisieworld' the atmosphere had a prominent jazz atmosphere with post-punk and country sonic injections, 'Fabula Mendax' favours a calmer, Moricone-sque and more melodic approach that also makes strong 60s folk references.

Speaking about 60s folk, it was a delight to listen to Chelsea Wolfe's new album 'Birth Of Violence', which has a sound that was stripped down of the heavy sonic doom that characterized her previous releases. Space was created in this album, for disquieting violin melodies to come through, as well as Chelsea's melancholic and haunting timbre. The atmosphere is dreamy, almost hypnotic and the rhythms slow, so that our emotional immersion would be absolute. Chelsea Wolfe will perform live in London on March 22nd at Alexandra Palace.

'The Practice of Love', the new album by Jenny Hval, has ethereal vocals combined with spoken word and interjected with warm synth melodies. The sound brought to mind EMIKA's soundscapes at times and it makes a trip between danceable and non danceable moments. The limited edition of the album was accompanied by 8 tarot cars, one for each song in the album.

Before carrying on, we absolutely MUST mention the album that had the strongest impact on us from all the releases of the previous month. This is no other than NOWAVES' new album entitled 'Good For Health Bad For Education'.This album's sound has been enriched by folk, rock and punk elements alongside discreet no-wave ones. The 'coloured' and passionate delivery of the lyrics and the texture given to their sound, places this album in the underground part of the independent music scene and makes its energy 10 times darker and more appealing than expected. We consider this to be one of the best releases of the month and definitely one of the best moments of this year's sonic output.

The gothic/rock side of this month's playlist, is represented by Phantom Vision's new album entitled 'Guilty'. Fans of Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus and Beauty of Gemina, will probably find the melodies, the deep heavy sonic atmosphere and the eerie soundscapes of this album, truly appealing. Another album that fascinated us was the debut of L'épée, entitled 'Le Diabolique'. This is the new project by multifarious Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Macabre). We loved the way garage sounds have been entwined with 60s folk psychedelia and rock n' roll elements as well. The choice of French for the majority of this album's lyrics, completely alters the impression that its music creates. 'Looking' towards America in terms of the overall feel of the sound,  and towards the French new wave cinema as far as the sonic and visual aesthetics are concerned, was an inspiring choice, the result of which, is a fascinating sound! The band will perform live in London on December 9th at Hackney's EartH.

Warish's debut album entitled 'Down In Flames' is following a heavier sonic path with vocals that have metal and punk aesthetics while the sound blends garage, rock n' roll, and metal rhythmic and aesthetic elements. I loved the distorted noisy 'wall' that is being created from beginning to end, the vibrating guitar riffs and the way they consistently manage to break through the heaviness of the drums. If you are looking for a sound that will numb your brain, then 'Down In Flames' is it.

Following a similar feverish, sonic trip Weeping Icon, have offered to us music to hallucinate and irritate our minds with. The debut full-length album of this band from Brooklyn, has come to lift everything up from its place of balance and put it into a chaotic disarray. This is hallucinatory, psychedelic, punk whose sonics expand and contract time and space. Especially through the rhythmic and stylistic alterations that the guitar riffs are creating throughout the album and within each song, the feeling one has is similar to entering into an industrial environment with consciousness expanding properties. We have not come across such beautifully crafted sonic experimentation of heavy, psychedelic and punk sound. This album feels like an organism that moves, makes sounds and is 'circling' around us, 'cursing' and 'warning' us of things whose essence has not been grasped yet. This 'creature' a sort of weeping, living icon, a theatrical character that challenges the borders of its own making, stops after 14 songs (half of which feel like brief theatrical statements with titles inside parentheses) but its 'presence' resonates for much longer...We cannot wait to enjoy this band live in London.

Before moving on to the 'calmer' part of this playlist, it is worth mentioning one more release that has a harsh sonic texture. It is the debut 12" EP by Eye Flys, entitled 'Context'. Using an angry, demanding, dynamic tone and throbbing rhythms, the songs of this EP will gradually increase both your adrenaline and your brain activity levels. This EP is also the perfect sonic 'warm-up' before you start listening to the new album that Subhumans have prepared for us. Entitled 'Crisis Point', this album uses dub rhythms, hardcore punk rhythms and timely political lyrics throughout. Whoever is familiar with the music and worldview of this band, having a whole album that contains lyrics like these: "...learn by example of people with guns shooting their mouth off for the freedoms they've won
armed to the playground or bombing for peace
what kind of human is this inhumanity?...
" in a period like this one where political resistance is at its lowest and disenfranchised feelings are at their highest, is probably the 'kick' the brain wants to be unstuck. We tip our hats to Subhumans for maintaining this level of political maturity and for daring to put it out there, as they have always done, through powerful punk music. Do you fancy a punk waltz? Then 'Follow The Leader' will take you to the edge of the world...and back. Enjoy it!

Beautiful and disquiet electro-industrial music has been offered by Bedless Bones through their atmospheric album entitled 'Sublime Malaise'. In their own words this album is: "...a nocturnal journey of darkness and light, where relapse, intimidating encounters and self-irony are ever-lurking...". Starting by placing cello sounds and choral vocals in the foreground surrounding strongly textured rhythms, this album gradually reveals its more industrial side. The videos that have been created so far, have strong symbolic and existential elements and use the sound's rhythms as a visual element as well. We think that 'Sublime Malaise' should be mostly enjoyed on the dancefloor. Fans of Black Nail Cabaret will also love this album's overall vibe.

2019 must be one of the most creative years for Mark Spybey as he has so far released two collaborative albums and one solo. The latest release is entitled 'Collective' and is the result of Spybey's collaboration with Gnome. For approximately one hour, you will embark on a journey that will start with beautiful, resonating, lyrical, IDM melodies and then alternate between tribal, ambient and experimental, almost psychedelic, sonic spaces.  The new EP by Barium Network from Manchester is entitled 'Stillness Through Fire'. This is a great IDM/electronic release that achieves a great sonic flow, made up of industrial elements and tribal aesthetics. You will not stay still while listening to this EP.

The 'lighter', more pop, side of electronic music, was represented by the albums of Automatic and One True Pairing. Automatic is a new project consisting of  Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals). All of them have been part of LA's DIY punk scene and Lola is the daughter of Bauhaus' Kevin Haskey. The debut album of the band is entitled 'Signal' and is blending electroclash with no-wave and synthpop elements. We found its sound to have addictive as well as electrifying qualities within its overall bleakness and for this reason we loved it. The debut album by One True Pairing, also entitled 'One True Pairing', has hit us like a lightning. Having a voice that brought to mind both Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) and Antony Hegarty, One True Pairing's take on synthpop has truly awakened something positive. The music of this album, the vocals, the rhythms, all emit a somewhat 'lost' sonic positivity. Obviously this sound is in direct contrast with the sound of Korn but if these two albums were people, one would be an angry,dramatic one and the other would retain the melancholy without being naive, by stressing the exhilarating positivity that comes when one 'weighs' things better and 'sees' them under a new light. If all the other releases were referring to the dark sides of darkness, this refers to the enlightened pop one. We will enjoy One True Pairing's live performance at The Victoria in Dalston on November 11th.

We will conclude this article with the 5 albums that cover the whole colwave, post-punk, sonic spectrum. Within them, is one that we consider of the best of this genre for the whole year and this is no other than De Ambassade's debut entitled 'Duistre Kamers'. Looking for influences in the 80s Belgian coldwave scene, as well as towards 80s industrial and minimal electronic music, De Ambassade have offered to us one of the most inspiring coldwave albums we have come across the last few years. Percussion and pulsating synths are the absolute protagonists of this album while the vocals are sometimes ethereal and at other times are just a powerful yet gentle driving force. The choice of Dutch as the language of the lyrics gives to the sound of this album exotic qualities while the sounds of unusual stringed instruments (one sounds like a sitar) make the energy of the songs quite mystical as well as mystifying. Ri3een's debut EP entitled 'Cheekbones Psychology' starts us off immediately with energized guitar riffs that bring with them a heightened energy that was obviously picked up at a space outside this album's sonic radius... The aesthetics of the music is post-punk, deathrock and coldwave and the energy is not lessened at any point. Take a notice of the EPs psychedelic cover and ponder its relationship with the sound of this album. We think that the result is quite fascinating, as if an alien organism is entering a quickly moving vehicle whose aim is to traverse as many places as possible... Filippovnyka's EP entitled 'Le Mythe de Sisyphe' seems to be on the music trail of Lebanon Hanover while also carrying through the spirit of 1922's Nosferatu movie as far as its cover is concerned. Apart from 'Ocean', the rest of the songs of this EP are quite brief and seem to be stopping quite abruptly. We will be waiting for the full length album of this band from Salem (Massachusetts) in order to enjoy the alto female vocals and their deep melancholy even further. The Noiir's new EP entitled 'Mirrored' has strong influences from the sound of Joy Division and Virgin Prunes and brings forward a fascination for the atmosphere of 80s' horror films as the first and the last song reveal. The covers of the two EPs released so far by this new band from Lisbon seem to be referring to cinematic symbolism as it has been encountered in the movies of Bergman and Tarkovsky. We loved the mechanized guitar-induced sounds, the industrial texture that was gradually created and the eerie sonic tunnel that this whole EP has formed. We can now hope to enjoy this band live in London sometime in the near future. Joel Aukusti Peksujeff also released his new EP in September and its title was 'kesän lapsien hauta '. Following the sonic path that QUAL has 'carved', Joel has been releasing hypnotizing and melancholic coldwave music with an intensity that is proof of a creative fervour. This EP made us decide to follow his work more closely from now on and we are certain that you will feel the same way.

This playlist will end with an album whose music we loved and whose themes cannot be more controversial and at the same time more timely. The new offering by Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio is entitled 'Let's Play [Two Girls And A Goat]' and in terms of its lyricism and atmosphere, it takes us back to their older and much loved album 'Cocktails Carnage Crucifixion And Pornography'. Fans of the band are already familiar with the increasingly strong carnal themes and imagery that accompany each album and many of them have also contributed visuals for the band's previous booklets and album visuals. This album finds Tomas and Rose-Marie in a family set up and it is also released three years after 'Vision: Libertine The Hangman's Triad', an album whose themes had not as a strong existential element as the band's latest album. The new album is the most 'heretic' of the band so far, an almost nihilistic sonic procession and one whose visuals are probably the most controversial of all the visuals they have created throughout their career. We are of course referring to the extremely violent video that accompanies one of the most beautiful and symbolic songs of the album 'Ménage À Trois - There Is Nothing To Regret'. This video that had been viewed by an impressive number of people already two weeks after the official release of the album, is violent beyond comprehension, but its plot is very at odds with what the lyrics of the song describe. We will not make a comment about the level of violence depicted in it but we will say that in the age of #MeToo, where the world is struggling to establish some boundaries on boundless human behaviour, videos like this one have no real place. We have watched this video and it disappointed us, because the lyrics of this song had taken our minds to a completely different setting. Moving away from this though, the music of the rest of the album was immensely pleasing. It was as if ORE have somehow realized that one of their best songs and also one of our favourite ones, is 'In High Heels Through Nights of Broken Glass' and have created a whole album that is based on the atmosphere of that song which they further enrich and heighten! The sound is much richer in this album, it has more depth and more elements than ORE's recent releases. The ceremonial aspect is always present but this time, new dimensions have been opened in it, as a result of the use of violin which also comes to the foreground while it is also combined with high pitched percussion and brief chiming sounds. Of course the band, being the eternal 'teasers' that they are would not leave anyone feel forgotten, so the limited edition box comes with a pair of stockings and an electric 'toy'.

We hope you will enjoy this playlist as much as we did while preparing it! Until the next one, we will be jumping up and down while shouting with Subhumans... "...we're the 99% our lives are not for you to spend we're the 99% and we resent this exploitation..."!

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