Brand new video from French Coldtrance artist Grabyourface on Negative Gain Productions. A tip toe grinding electronic sermon of post capitalism dystopia and rebellion. The video features this wonderful Mad Max tractor pull aesthetic. Join in the heist
Coming from an experimental music background myself, I was quick to appreciate this latest mindbender from Attention fête. “Le critère de Griffith” creates images of walking down a long dark hallway with a sinister unknown waiting at the end. All four tracks on this EP were created solely using improvised treated clarinet sounds. It’s amazing and almost hard to believe that everything heard on these recordings was made without the use of synths or samples of any kind. With “3,6 × 10⁹ Pa”, the longest track at 6:24, the whole thing is delivered with a digestible brevity; a sampling of sounds and textures that stimulate yet mystify.
This Montreuil, France band wears its admiration for, and influence from, British sound art pioneers Coil on its sleeve. The title of “The last five minutes before death” is an obvious nod to Coil’s 1986 sonic tour-de-force Horse Rotorvator.
While not what I would strictly classify as an Ambient recording, the songs seem to hover in mid-air with a presence; like trying to ignore the ghost in the room while it makes the listener’s hairs stand on end.
Here’s my latest update on life. Like many people, this has been a rough patch. A lot of personal inventory has been had along with tough life evaluations, revelations, and epiphanies. It sucks. Luckily, I have had one thing in my life since I was a little kid that always helped me through the hard times. That thing is music. During this time, a lot of things have shut down. However, music keeps going and keeps getting better by the day.
When I was scrolling through Bandcamp today, I needed some new tunes to carry me through this week and the many moods it would surface. Some of this is brand new, some of it came out this month, some of it is just a preview of what’s to come. All of it’s great.
This indie-rock, electro-pop, synth album is the definition of glee. The songs are fun with lots of quirky samples that seem to be centralized around generally peppy things. Griffith’s voice has a soothing sound to it. Not to say it’s angelic, but something about it feels familiar and refreshing. The music is incredible. It’s fast and in-your-face synth-pop with synthesized drums that incorporates romantic feels at points with unexpected instrumentation. Every track on this album had its own thing that made it stand out.
‘Le livre des Merveilles’ is absolutely insane. It’s every ounce of what you’d imagine a post-jazz, post-rock, avant-garde, power-pop album would be. You never know what to expect. Each track creates an entirely new landscape and mental image. Some tracks, like “Le livre des Merveilles” are shorter and have a poppier feel, almost like Stereolab.While other tracks like “Le fleuve Brison” start a little more cosmic feeling and take their time building into hugeness. The album maintains is unpredictability throughout splashing in longer experimental interludes featuring instrumentation from synths to strings within the tracks. Also, there are a ton incredible vocal harmonies.
If you’re in dire need of walls of sound with pop-rock vibes underneath, this is the album for you. Blankenberge has fused together shoegaze, dream-pop, and post-rock together in a way that is astonishing. The instrumentation is saturated in a way that hits you in big emotional waves. One of the guitars sounds super wet and surfy, while the other creates ambiance and space. The songs are still driving and sometimes really upbeat, borderline optimistic-sounding, without being overtly happy. The vocals are super saturated and act as more of an instrument than lyrics to sing along with. There are huge post-rock builds and unexpected rhythmic changes throughout that make each song increasingly interesting. Altogether, it’s really beautiful music that makes ya feel good.
“ODDLY is a 3 piece rock band with no bassist. Why we don’t need bass? Cuz we’re louder than that.” I took that from their Bandcamp about section because I thought it was perfect. It perfectly describes who they are and kind of how they sound,. Don’t let their promise of loudness dissuade you. I mean, it’s pretty loud, but it’s intricate and fun with little happy vibes overall. There’s a classic, early 90’s alternative punk vibe to it with apathetic vocals riddled with angst. I love the call-and-response in songs like their featured track, “Loaded”. From beginning to end, this EP is everything it promised to be with its title.
SPC ECO consists of former Curve member Dean Garcia and his daughter Rose Berlin. They’ve been doing this project actively since 2007 and have been putting out shorter EP’s the last few months. This EP is very fun and poppy with some really chill electronic songs and some really energetic songs. The dreaminess of this album is almost immeasurable. When you close your eyes and listen to tracks like, “Don’t Mind Me,” the mental scenery is so bright and positive. Other tracks, like my personal favorite, “Who We Are” have a more melancholy vibe to them with experimental textures and synth. This is an alum that you can get hypnotized by and utilize when you’re doing extended outside tasks like walking around, gardening, or driving.
Okay, so this isn’t an album or an EP, it’s just a single. However, I’ve been obsessed, now listening to this track a dozen times. I can’t tell you what exactly I love about it so much. Is it the excessive use of spring reverb or that classic tone on the organ. I love the fact that it sounds like you’re listening to the track on a warped piece of vinyl. Something about it is so positive at the same time as being so haunting. It has every ounce of a happy day song when you’re driving down the street, wind in your hair, styling some huge fashionable sunglasses while still being ever so slightly unnerving. There’s nothing minor or negative about this jangle-pop track, which is something really great to be able to listen to and really enjoy right now. I can’t wait to hear more from this band.
Only Track: It’s A Felling She Don’t Believe In
Release Date: March 30, 2020
Once again, I hope you all enjoyed this installment of “Katy’s ‘End of Days’ Playlist”. I enjoyed making it. There’s a ton of amazing music coming out regardless of the world situation that can give us all a little comfort right now. Whether you’re into dark, heavy stuff or prefer things to be a little lighter right now, there’s something out there for you to enjoy. You just have to dig a little. Hopefully, these lists help steer you in the right direction.
Things are tough, but you better believe we’re tougher than this. Stay safe and healthy if you’re able to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Reach out to your friends and family and find something to occupy your mind so things don’t feel as dark. I’ve chosen to deep dive into Bandcamp and have found it to be a sanity-saving time consumer.
You are cared about even if it’s by someone or a group of people you’ve never met. We care about you. All of you. We want to help make this time bearable for people who aren’t used to being home all the time and severely want everyone to get through this with as little damage as possible, but we’re also here if you just need to talk to someone. Reach out. We love you all.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect 80’s action/sci-fi/horror movie feels to warm you up this winter, look no more! La forêt, the latest album by Feu Follet has everything! It’s perfectly synthwave, perfectly pop, and perfectly dark.
This album is entrancing. There are very few lyrics, but somehow from the first track through the last track, the album is hypnotized. Unexpected changes dictate the experience in the coolest way. Throughout, I got mega robot opera vibes, so I’m deeply in love with this artist now.
The twists and turns of this album are unpredictable and much appreciated. This album is ridiculously awesome. Synthwave has a way of always feeling super positive, but this album reaches depths of darkness I’ve not heard much in this genre. Some tracks will send chills down your spine as you listen.
The music is structured throughout this album in a way that tells a complete story. Like each song is a chapter or level that tells you right where you are in the story arc. It’s incredible how many times I’ve already listened to this album and feel like it tells me a different story every time.
Some favorite tracks
Les chasseurs– Right away, this song is dark. It stays in a minor key throughout. This song is incredibly visual. It’s like you’re being chased by a robot or something and at points, you feel like you’re going to get away, but then you’re running as fast as you can and even faster at the end. Never at any point in this song do I feel anything other than pumped and creeped out.
L’enfant- This song isn’t as dark as the last, but is just as fun if not more so. This song is very danceable and has mega synthwave, 80’s movie score vibes. I don’t know if it’s the epic guitar leads, the synths that make you feel like you’ve hacked the mainframe, or the epic Phil Collins drums in the bridge that seal the deal for me.
Le photographe- This song is just as mystical as it is epic. If you’re looking for montage music, this may be one of the greatest contenders you’ll ever hear. This song feels like it was plucked right out of The Goonies. When anything starts with a goblin synth line then drops into some gated drums, you know you’re in for a good time.
To be able to tell a story with a song is easy, but to create an entire album that makes the listener feel like they’re part of an episode of Black Mirror is a major accomplishment. This outstanding album is easily one of my new favorites.
If you’re a fan of Kraftwerk, M80, John Carpenter, anything synthwave/darkwave, or if you like to collect awesome comics with your awesome albums…. check this album out.