2023 has not been a great year for me doing written reviews. No time like the present to get back on track. I continue to be surprised how people keep finding new directions to explore sounds and human experience. Hopefully this article leads you to a new favorite band to love and support. If you find something you enjoy in this article, Please share it, maybe someone else will find something to brighten their day.
Jean-Marc Lederman – Soul Music For Zombies – The brilliant Belgian composer is always finding a new way to astound me. It is as if twelve brilliant writers live inside his skull and fight for control of what the next album will be. This album travels back to the beginning, when music decided to tap into something primal and internal. A circulatory system of connection and automation. Jean-Marc has a level of talent and skill that often leaves me flabbergasted. The greatest of which is an ability to create an emotional connection without reaching. Listening to this album never feels like a production or manipulation. It’s a ticket I bought, a seat on a magical vessel of experience and sensation. As a reviewer it is a difficult task to quantify something so exceptionally crafted, that on your best day, you could never produce. To step outside your own comprehension and appreciate the journey. This might be the most powerful statement in a career I can barely scratch the surface of.
The Music Walks Again (The Robert Johnson Story) Featuring Emileigh Rohn – The collaboration of these brilliant producers has produced some of my favorite music of the last 5 years. Every song feels like a meaningful conversation. A compromise of ideas. A tapestry made stronger by interwoven threads. Slow rhythmic strings and a hint of distortion paving individual footfalls for the beautiful clarity of her voice. This is an old story in blues. Robert Johnson goes to the crossroads at midnight. Offers his soul in exchange for playing something truly meaningful, something to last. The short, extraordinary life of an artist. To choose an eternity of suffering for a moment of perfection.
Didn’t Your Mama Tell You How To Behave ? – Electronic blues assault with an intensity to splashes on the back of the room. A single simple idea brought into rhythmic chant to hold together a spirit induced cacophony. I dare you not to feel this.
Jean-Marc Lederman does not disappoint as a rule. This album has tapped into a devotion to music and spirit that is transcendent in it’s youthful quest that follows the heart. An outstanding addition to your collection.
▶︎ Soul Music For Zombies | Jean-Marc Lederman (bandcamp.com)
MORIS BLAK – BURIAL + VOID – The Boston, Massachusetts Electronic Body Music artist has continued to evolve and gather attention from the electronic community like moths to the flame. What jumps out most from previous works is the way the tempo is held back to add weight and inertia. Each song adds a guest talent to give it a unique frequency. GenCab, Kofin, SYZYGYX, Rabbit Junk, all add a distinct seasoning to this chaos electro antimatter stew.
Favorite Track: Procession – Banger alert! Heavy waves of cadence explosion with a beautiful duet vocal that tested the boundaries of both artists. The perfect song to let go and spin out of your own reality.
This Spring catch Moris Blak out on tour with Danny Blu a live show you will not want to miss.
▶︎ BURIAL + VOID | MORIS BLAK | MOЯIS BLAK (bandcamp.com)
unitcode:machine – Undone – Dallas, Texas industrial artist newly signed to COP International with a new single/remix release. Eric is another artist I feel I have watched evolve into one of the most prolific electronica vocalists of the new wave. THREE STELLAR REMIXES BY TOP NAMES IN THE SCENE (aesthetic perfection, stabbing WESTWARD, assemblage 23) . IN THE VEIN OF SILVERWALKS LAST YEAR, THIS PROMISES TO BE ONE OF THE MOST MEMORIBLE THINGS WRITTEN THIS YEAR.
Undone | unitcode:machine (bandcamp.com)
Hem Netjer – The Song Of Trees – what an amazing growth for the world beat shadowcraft band from Vancouver, British Columbia. A truly unique blend of trance tendril synths, authentic throat singing, priestess croon, and rapture. A harken back to the spiritual soul and cultural exploration of Dead Can Dance, Projekt Records. The patience and subtlety crafting stories with words are an enchantment that burns into the listener’s mind. This is a band that has tapped into something beautiful and primal and have exploded past their own ceiling.
Favorite Track: Eldur – At 5:33 this is not a catchy hook single, but nothing about Hem Netjer strives towards simplicity. They are at their best when crafting a heady and meaning brew. This track fully highlights and range and soul of Raven’s voice in perfect harmony with evergreen energy pulse.
Hem Netjer is: Raven Rissy, David Deckard and Jesse Ellytt
Lyrics: Raven Rissy
Composition: Raven Rissy and David Deckard
Throat Singing: Jesse Ellytt
Recording at: Jacknife Sound with Jason Corbett (Actors)
Music Production: Scott Fox (iVardensphere)
The Song Of Trees | Hem Netjer (bandcamp.com)
Beborn Beton – Darkness Falls Again – German Synthlords return from a brief respite with one of the sizzling early contenders for album of the year. A 9th album full of vibrant passion. Stefan Netschio has a distinctive voice that is drawing you towards him with every inhalation. The hooks are constructed brilliant energon cubes free of fractures. Hand to evil leather bound tomb, this is what Depeche Mode wishes they were releasing in 2023.
Favorite Track: Dancer In The Dark – Sometimes I want to pretend I am aloof and cool, not falling in love with the first single off the album. This is such an undeniable banger it would be a disservice to deny the truth in front of everyone. The beat, the lead, the vocals, everything about this song is chefs kiss perfection.