It’s Bandcamp Day and times are dark. So I am looking for ass shaking darkness.

Today is the day when Bandcamp (The one music streaming and distribution company that seems to care an iota for musician’s) waives it’s fees and gives everything spent, to those making the music. It’s been a tough few months in particular and I am in the middle of Sotember (The month each year where I recharge and drink nothing stronger than Earl Grey tea)

Death Loves Veronica : In The Silence

Newest single from Texas darkwave sultry star Veronica Campbell. This song has a brighter more open tone than previous offerings. It really highlights the elegant purity of her voice. Also included is a beautiful synth rich remix of “In The Silence”. A cascading waterfall of cool crystal sound.

https://deathlovesveronica.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-silence

Danny BluThe Pale Horse

I have been waiting for someone to put raw emotion and sass back into the darkpop genre. This album crackles with mid tempo dance beats to fill the back walls of the club. The lyrics are an inward journey with an 80’s Madonna soul. Beautiful modern layered vocals to create movement and build. It’s one of those sounds that flows through your earbuds and into your nervous system and flexes attitude through your body. I feel like other people can hear these songs through my movements when I listen.

Fav Tracks: Paradise City/White Knight

https://dannyblu.bandcamp.com/album/the-pale-horse

Wingtips: Tears of Pearl

Chicago retro-synth dreamboats Wingtips have done this fitting tribute to criminally underrated 90’s Aussie pop band Savage Garden. I love the interlocking vocal duet here. The frosting sweet swirl of keyboards and chimes on this song make my heart dance with delight.

https://wingtips.bandcamp.com/track/tears-of-pearls-2

DJ Version 666Dance of the Profane

Firebrand driving doom dance with a nice sprinkle of Industrial guitar and finger firework keyboard work. I really like the effective chanting vocals which hit right on the needle of what I want from a club jam. Extra bonus remix layers on some teeth and glitch for a aggro feel. Stomp your feet and scream obscenity.

https://djversion666.bandcamp.com/album/dance-of-the-profane-single-and-remix

KlackProbably

Listen to Klack or I will attack, and you don’t want that. A fresh new feel here from Matt and Eric. I really have enjoyed every evolution of this project. This has a Construction Time Again DM flavor. It has clever carefully placed samples. The beats have a real shake that ass groove. The keyboard melody lines are beautiful retro hooks. I really fell hard for these breathy cleanly delivered vocals. It’s something I hadn’t heard from them before and immediately wanted more of. The lyrics really became a strong suit here. This is an album plucked out of the timestream and dropped hard in 2020.

https://klack.bandcamp.com/album/probably

Broken Nails: Control the Delusion

Kim Bell and company have released this lovely shadowpop with misty daybreak darkness. It has a dreamlike quality, with a Til Tuesday retro flow. I really like the front edge of Kim’s delivery on the vocals. This really gets me excited for the future direction of the project. Now on Swiss Dark Nights

https://swissdarknights.bandcamp.com/album/control-the-delusion

GoFight: Freestate

I will always buy every GoFight release. I will never regret my decision. Jim Marcus understands the blending of body gyrating dance music in the way an Indian executive chef understands the blending of spice. The layering of elements allows you to get lost in what kind of a song you are listening to. His voice is that perfect growling beauty snapping at your heart with desire and terror. Another single, another home run.

https://gofight.bandcamp.com/album/freestate

Mary: Die Before Death

I think this band from Toronto now on Cold Transmission takes the award of the day for something I had no idea I needed and now can’t live without. The scope of tempos here run from blistering car chase to lullaby shouting fuck. Gorgeous dreamy vocals that would make Robert Smith raise an eyebrow. I’m not sure where this was hiding but it just took my 2020 by storm.

https://maryofficial.bandcamp.com/album/die-before-death

I’ll Give You Something To Cry About

It’s been a really tough week for me. It’s been hard to find the motivation to write or do much of anything. Today was a little better. I haven’t found myself listening to less music, just finding it harder to hear the words to describe it in my mind. Today was the first time I had felt like I could talk again. So I have an enormous backlog of music to write about. Lets get some of that out now.

ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse) – “Eat Their Young” If ESA’s latest album Burial 10 was a barb wire wrapped bat beating the shit out of you with electronic destruction. The new EP Eat Their Young is the same effect with a razor sharp sword. It has a purpose and intent with it’s execution. Back again is Corlyx Caitlin Stokes adding a sensuality and velvet glove to the relentless destruction. Power and Beauty in equal measure in this must have EP from London England. Also the video for the single is a masterclass in modern music/image synthesis

https://esangp.bandcamp.com/album/eat-their-young-the-scorn-ep

Corlyx – “Together Apart” – Speaking of Caitlin, her and band mate Brandon Ashley are back for a follow up to their album “In2 The Skin” 1st single is out now for a Sept 15th release. It’s another burner. Porcelain Skin brings that same darkpop flavor of broken glass candy and ghostly light. Caitlin has a beauty and truth with crawls under your skin and infects you with a cracked mirror of perception. Can’t wait to hear how the rest shakes out.

https://corlyxngp.bandcamp.com/

MelodyWhore – “This Is How We Were Taught To Pray” New single release from electronic sin wizard MelodyWhore out of Texas. This single was written as a charity donation for BLM. Jimmy called in some of the top names in the scene to contribute with remixes and vocals. The song is a powerful hymn of equality in a call to take down an unfair establishment. This one gives me chills with it’s intensity and soul shaking faith. I was lucky enough to contribute myself on the Gothic Tabernacle Choir remix. A Great cause and outpouring of talent forged together into one of the most spine tingling singles of the year.

https://melodywhore.bandcamp.com/

Carrion – “The Tempest” Swirling ash and oblivion from Norway’s Carrion. A new single of slow fuse creeping doom that shows you the horror to come and leaves you chained waiting for the inevitable destruction.

https://officialcarrion.bandcamp.com/

Hallowed HeartsInto The Fire” I really like the way this album bends the line between goth and post punk with a slight lean towards goth. It’s emotional and flows like a rippling black ribbon. The melody lines are captivating and seamless. Some beautiful guitar rock elements with gentle curves to match the tight post punk base lines. Impressive.

https://hallowedhearts.bandcamp.com/

Stoneburner – “Dark Ambient Album” Steven Archer is always twisting the joint to find a new position. Never comfortable in one concept he is an ever moving force. This new 6 song EP steers away from the vocal driven industrial of the last few albums into texture sonic painting. Full of strong effects and video game soundtrack pastels. From one mountain many rivers may flow.

https://stoneburnerofficial.bandcamp.com/

EchoBeryl – “The Awakening Of The Mutant” From Cold Transmission this French synthtrance retro dance dream keeps the imagination flowing. The album is an homage to 50’s and 60’s sci-fi drama. It’s a modern concept through a retro lens. Set to release Aug 21st currently 2 tracks are available for pre order and both are a teleport beam to both the past and the future.

Review of Elz and the Cult “Bloodline”

So this has been an eagerly awaited release for me. Due out 5/22/20 on Cold Transmission records. I have in my hot little digital hands early so I can go through and give some impressions. Elz is a dear friend and all around amazing human. This Turkish based project is breaking new ground in the abstract dark pop genre for the last few years. We had Elz on our podcast to discuss this record when it was still coming together, please enjoy at this link:

https://elzandthecult.bandcamp.com/album/bloodline

Songwriters; ELZ, Sharon Engelhardt, Nigel Strong.
Produced and performed by Taner Yücel.
Mixing by Taner Yücel.
Mastering by Görkem Karabudak.
Vocals; ELZ, Eylül Deniz, Efe Akıncıoğlu, Taner Yücel, Sharon Engelhardt, Görkem Kasal, Deniz Aksoy & Ayça Sarıönder.
Photography: Berk Çakmakçı
Art Direction by StudioPul

Recorded at Taner Yücel’s homestudio & Mayday Studios, Istanb

I feel like Bloodline was an amazing creative step forward for Elz to really explore the creative brilliance that was always inside them. It is such a beautiful amalgamation of sexy over the top 80’s pop with a soul like Madonna fused with sinister Geiger like sonic imagery. Right from the first track it is dancing with ballet dexterity on giant metal spider legs in intricate patterns while screaming the injustice of it’s existence. This record never stops moving and it drips with dark sex appeal and the blistering drum beats are a jolt of energy that make your capillaries pop in your circulatory system.

The lyrics are true Oscar Wilde style slash open a vein and spew your essence at the listener. Elz has genuine front person star power and a captivating voice that guides your hand as you apply your make up at the mirror. It’s one of those sounds that has the ability to make the listener associate with the singer and infuse their attitude on you. I genuinely believe listening to this record will make you hotter.

Lets talk favorite tracks: This 12 song album is a complete work with no throwaways. Of course i have favorites

Ultraviolence: Ok these songs are glorious on their own. The videos though are masterworks and an enormous amount of effort goes into the aesthetic concept matching the music. So always watch those. This song is bracing, it hits hard and the chorus is a razor chain lashing around the room. It also has such detailed construction and perfect pop beat. Every floor of every goth club must one day shake with it’s power.

Horrified: The husky come hither whisper of these vocals make the hair on my arms stand up. The chorus is a sky opener and it really captures the idea of something being both beautiful and horrible at the same time. It’s hard to imagine how something so shocking and intense can get stuck in your head like a pop hook but here we are.

Safe Zone: This is what I call a car chase song. That perfect mid tempo that feels like night driving through a city in decay. I really like the vibrating voice effect used here. Tight corners and slippery shadows. Lets hope we all make it home alive.

Masturbate About You: Glorious pace changer, ramps up the tension. This is a edgy concept and expressed perfectly. The chorus unleashes a raging demon of emotion which hits a new height just to be pulled away again. A real roller coaster through a dark tunnel.

I feel like this whole album is pushing the boundary that the modern dark scene needs pushed. It crackles, it frightens, and it highlights all the things beautiful about the current dark revolution. I really want to realize the dream of seeing Elz and The Cult live. This record is out for pre release now on Cold Transmission and you are going to want to snatch it up and be on the cusp of the next wave.

Review: Death Loves Veronica – Concept

Review by : Katy Knal May

Band: Death Loves Veronica

Label: Cleopatra Records

Members: Live act includes Jamie Cadaver on synths, Chase Bats on drums, Detra on bass, Veronica Campbell on vocals and synths.

Home Base: San Antonio, TX

https://deathlovesveronica.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deathlovesveronica/

Concept is the latest release by Death Loves Veronica. The album is industrial, cosmic, electronic, symphonic, cinematic, and synth-heavy. You’ll feel an array of emotion as you listen, but it won’t fill you with hope.  This Sci-Fi film inspired album is dark and may make you feel like you’re aimlessly lost somewhere far from the home you know.

It’s not often that I find myself listening to such ambient music, but this was truly a pleasure. This album is visual, deep, and thought provoking. When I first heard it, I felt elevated and emotional. 

Concept is hypnotic.  From the moment the first track, “Overdose” begins I felt taken somewhere else. The tracks flow together and form a story arch that is so intense I couldn’t help but write my mental movie to play along with the screen.

Something about how this score is laid out makes it feel like the setting is in a distant future where Earth is just a memory.  I personally felt like I was on a spaceship where everyone is sleeping in pods, waiting for a signal to awaken.  Suddenly, something goes horribly wrong and the ship has to make an emergency landing on a foreign landscape.  In the end, when “The Process of Sedation” finishes, the feeling of resolve and relief is huge.

Some favorite tracks

Process – There is only one song that has lyrics, “Process,” and it is my personal favorite.  What I liked the most about it was how the track teases as it slowly builds.  The track has a tension and darkness that gave me an odd sense of comfort by the end that was so relieving.  Not to mention, Campbell’s lyrics are perfectly ominous and her voice is airy, like she’s standing right behind you.  

The Process Of Sedation– Close your eyes and find yourself encompassed by darkness. The void feels lonely, but there’s a pulse keeping you going. While this is the longest track on the album, it’s also the most cinematic. It has a story arc of it’s own. One second you feel like you’re in a room with a malfunctioning motherboard, then some tribal beats come in and it’s like you’re reflecting on your own existence. Then there’s a part that’s so human, it’s like you’re back home on earth. By the end, that chilling effect that’s filled this album comes in and leaves you with a haunting feeling.

Probably my favorite aspect of this album is only one song has lyrics out of the five, so it’s the music alone that gave me a reaction. No one is narrating the story, which makes the plot more subjective.  A room full of people can listen to this album and get similar feelings at similar times, but have a completely different mental image of what’s going on. That’s fucking art, y’all.

If you’re interested in learning more about this album or artist, check out their website at  https://deathlovesveronica.bandcamp.com/. “Concept” will be available on September 13, 2019.