Posts Tagged ‘Dedstrange Records’

Dedstrange Records – 4th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

A Place To Bury Strangers have been pigeonholed variously in the brackets of noise-rock, shoegaze, indie, space-rock, and psychedelic rock. All of these are fair and accurate, but fail to represent the band’s expansions of these genres, and the fact that for all the noise, there is nuance. Listening to their catalogue of ear-bleeding sonic squalls reveals far more depth and range than this reductive characterisation implies.

The last few albums have tracked quite a journey, and See Through You resumes the trajectory of Worship and Transfixiation, whereby the production became evermore wayward and unconventional ahead of the rather safer-sounding pop-orientated Pinned (these things are relative, and it was hardly R1 mainstream pop). With each release, they’ve stepped further and further away from the accepted conventions of production and mixing, not only going evermore lo-fi, but also shunning by stages the conventions of balance, of tone. The vocals are way down, the drums are way up, and the EQ is utterly fucked as everything wallows in a murky midrange. It’s not an easy listen, and the song structures are far from obvious or clear either

So while recent single release ‘I’m Hurt’ leans heavily on The Jesus And Mary Chain’s ‘The Living End’ (and it’s by no means the first time they’ve taken cues from JAMC), the reverb echoes into a cavern of murk, as if a mudslide has slipped into said cavern. The chaotic crescendo that explodes by way of a finale still splinters the eardrums, but it’s not in the kind of blistering wall of treble that defined their sound up to Worship.

This evolution was necessary: they’d taken the limits of blistering psychedelic shoegaze wall of noise to – and beyond – its limits, with Worship standing as something of an apogee. But this was the album that also saw them recognise their limits while pushing beyond them. They have returned to more overtly structured songs for this outing in comparison to Transfixiation, while testing boundaries once more after the comparative retreat of Pinned. In short, it’s A Place to Bury Strangers at their best. That’s to say, it’s a squalling, blistering racket and it hurts, and there’s a fait bit going on, and beneath the crazed noise, there are some tunes. In fact, there are a fair few tunes, and some good ones at that.

The first track, ‘Nice of You to be There for Me’ feels like sarcasm and the guitars sound like melting cheese, the sonic equivalent of Dali’s clocks, a warping, dripping mess. And fucking yes. It’s as exhilarating as it is fucked up. ‘So Low’ does return to the spiralling explosive bass-driven racket of Worship and Transfixiation, but then things start to get really fucked up on ‘Dragged into a Hole’ as the frenetic disco beats are all but buries beneath a driving wall of obliterative bass and screaming guitar feedback. The distorted vocals only add to the head-smashing experience.

‘I Disappear (When You’re Near)’ is another bass-driven doomer, the pairing of a metronomic mechanised drum beat and throbbing bass that’s booming, grainy, distorted, and swathed in reverb is powerful. The guitars merely add texture, screams of feedback occasionally breaking through, while the vocals float in the swamp of noise. If It’s not already apparent, this is a noisy album. ‘My Head is Bleeding’ is kinda subdued, kinda electro, kinda pop, but in a Suicide sort pf way, and when the guitars explode in a fizzy mess, it’s an absolute rush, and everything that’s good about APTBS.

Closer ‘Love Reaches Out’ is essentially ‘Everything’s Gone Green’ merged with ‘Ceremony’: it’s the closest they get to commercial pop on this crazy roller-coaster of post-punk noise – and there is certainly a lot of noise.

So what to make of See Through You overall? It’s a solid album and quite daring, on many levels. When a band of this statute releases an album half their fans probably won’t like, you have to give respect to their prioritisation of their artistic vision.

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A Place To Bury Strangers have shared ‘I’m Hurt’, the newest single from their anticipated sixth studio album, ‘See Through You’, out February 4th (digital) and March 11th (vinyl) on Dedstrange. Following previous singles ‘Let’s See Each Other’ and ‘Hold On Tight’, the post-punk legends dive headfirst into suffering on today’s dark and explosive ‘I’m Hurt’.

The accompanying video, directed by Chad Crawford Kinkle (Dementer, Jug Face), is the first in a series of ‘See Through You’ videos from horror movie directors hand-selected by A Place To Bury Strangers. Under Kinkle’s frantic and hallucinatory direction, Oliver Ackermann’s expression of relentless liminal terror is transubstantiated into a brutal backwater blood feast. While the flickering, kinetic visuals will be familiar to anyone who has seen the band live, the psychological horror at the heart of ‘I’m Hurt’ is raw. Together, Kinkle and APTBS scramble our collective unconsciousness with scenes of grotesque public freakouts from the outskirts of the subliminal that are tied to a scorned woman’s black magic ritual which conjures up teenage demons on the hunt for revenge.

Watch ‘I’m Hurt’ here:

“‘I’m Hurt’ is the sound of friendship dying. At the time of writing this song, I was going out of my mind dwelling on conflict in my head and beating myself down while trying to rebuild my faith in humanity which is reflected in the actual structure of the song. The drums build with this frustration and a desire to scream with no voice. Listen closely to the vocal phrasing of ‘I’m Hurt’ in the chorus and you can hear the self-doubt and failure I was experiencing at the time,” says Ackermann.

A Place To Bury Stranger’s Oliver Ackermann always brings surprises. The singer and guitarist has been delighting and astonishing audiences for close to two decades, combining post-punk, noise-rock, shoegaze, psychedelia, and avant-garde music in startling and unexpected ways. As the founder of Death By Audio, creator of signal-scrambling stompboxes and visionary instrument effects, he’s exported that excitement and invention to other artists who plug into his gear and blow minds. In concert, A Place To Bury Strangers is nothing short of astounding — a shamanistic experience that bathes listeners in glorious sound, crazed left turns, transcendent vibrations, real-time experiments, brilliant breakthroughs.

And just as many of his peers in the New York City underground seem to be slowing down, Ackermann’s creativity is accelerating. He’s launched his own label – Dedstrange – dedicated to advancing the work of sonic renegades worldwide. He’s also refreshed the group’s line-up, adding Ceremony East Coast’s John Fedowitz on bass and Sandra Fedowitz on drums. Ackermann and John Fedowitz are childhood friends who played together in the legendary Skywave, and the band has never sounded more current, more courageous, or more accessible. 2021’s Hologram EP was the first release from the new line-up – and the first on Dedstrange – and the reaction was ecstatic, with Pitchfork saying that Ackermann had “transcended his gearhead tendencies, gracefully navigating fuzz and feedback loops as well as melodies and hooks”. ‘See-Through You’ pushes things even further. Simply put, it’s an epic, instant classic.

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A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS 2022 UK/EUROPEAN TOUR DATES – TICKETS ON SALE HERE

Wed 09 March – Hafenklang – Hamburg, Germany  

Thu 10 March – Beatpol – Dresden, Germany

Fri 11 March – Klub Poglos – Warsaw, Poland

Sat 12 March – Futurum – Prague, Czech Republic
Sun 13 March – Randal Club – Bratislava, Slovakia

Mon 14 March – Durer Kert – Budapest, Hungary

Wed 16 March – Control Club – Bucharest, Romania

Thu 17 March – Mixtape5 – Sofia, Bulgaria
Fri 18 March – Eightball – Thessaloniki, Greece

Sat 19 March – Temple – Athens, Greece
Mon 21 March – 25th of May Hall – Skopje, Macedonia

Tue 22 March – Club Drugstore – Belgrade, Serbia

Thu 24 March – Mochvara – Zagreb, Croatia
Fri 25 March – Freakout Club – Bologna, Italy

Sat 26 March – Largo – Rome, Italy
Sun 27 March – Legend Club – Milan, Italy

Tue 29 March – Bogen F – Zurich, Switzeralnd
Wed 30 March – Backstage – Munich, Germany

Thu 31 March – Caves Du Memoir – Martigny, Switzeralnd

Fri 01 April – La Trabendo – Paris, France
Sat 02 April – Lafayette – London, UK
Mon 04 April – Kayka – Antwerp, Belgium
Tue 05 April – Gleis 22 – Munster, Germany
Wed 06 April – Melkweg – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thu 07 April – Vera- Groningen, Netherlands
Sat 09 April – Hus 7 – Stockholm, Sweden
Sun 10 April – John Dee – Oslo, Norway
Mon 11 April – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, Denmark

Tue 12 April Hole 44 – Berlin, Germany
Wed 13 April – MTC – Cologne, Germany

A Place To Bury Strangers announce the release of their sixth album See Through You on 4th February 2022. It’s not just a return to form for the band, but also a return to their fiercely independent, DIY roots on their own label, Dedstrange.

Outpacing even their own firmly blazed path of audio annihilation, this 13-track album repeatedly delivers the massive walls of chaos and noise that A Place To Bury Strangers are renowned for. It’s an explosive journey that explores the listener’s limits of mind-bending madness, while simultaneously offering the catchiest batch of songs in the band’s discography. It’s a nod to the art school ethos of the band’s origins, while forging a new and clear direction forward.

The first single ‘Let’s See Each Other’ is an intimate and disarming love song from a forgotten future. Syncopated memories and deconstructed fantasies of lovers lost in a city that doesn’t know their names. The accompanying video, directed by David Pelletier, features the band destroying the song while imploring people to reunite.

Watch the video here:

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Photo by Ebru Yildiz

A Place To Bury Strangers announce ‘Hologram: Destroyed & Disassembled,’ a Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive out 26th November 26th on Dedstrange. Their Hologram EP is deconstructed and expanded into a 13-track album featuring mind-altering remixes by Daniel Fox of Girl Band, Penelope Isles, Do Nothing, BODEGA, Weeping Icon, Ganser, Grimoose, The Bodies Obtained, bandmates Ceremony East Coast plus Dedstrange label mates Jealous, Data Animal, Plattenbau, and Randy Randall of No Age. Vinyl will be available at your local record store on Black Friday. Visit www.recordstoreday.com for more details.

They’re also sharing a new music video for ‘Playing the Part’ directed by Heather Bickford to celebrate the vinyl release of Hologram.

As noisy as they can be, there’s true prettiness in the APTBS sound. Sometimes it’s buried in the hypnotic mixes, and sometimes, it’s right there on the surface. ‘Playing The Part’ is one of the most winsome things the group has ever recorded — it’s got a glorious guitar tone, an active, melodic bass line, and a graceful vocal from Ackermann that could legitimately be called sweet. Director Heather Bickford has matched the song with a video that underscores its beauty, and its strangeness, too. Bickford, who also stars in the clip, shoots Ackermann in a historic house in Flagstaff, Arizona that looks like something out of a reverie: there’s antique wallpaper, stained glass windows, curio cabinets stuffed with bone china, landscape paintings in gilded frames, and velvet drapes over the bed. Microphone in hand, thoroughly bewitched, animated by the enchantment of his surroundings, Ackermann slips into a dream.

Bickford elaborates: “‘Playing the Part’ was shot in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Oliver’s birthday, while Ollie and I were on a little getaway last November. He had actually proposed to me the day before while we were at Zion National Park so we were in a dream-like state of mind. Shot in a historic home, the vintage decor and wallpaper provided the perfect backdrop for the video."

Watch ‘Playing The Part’ here:

A Place To Bury Strangers 2022 North American Tour Dates – Tickets on sale here

Wed. September 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom $
Mon. October 11 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre *
Tue. October 12 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre *
Wed. October 13 – Raleigh, NC @ Ritz *
Thur. October 14 – Washington, DC @ Anthem *
Fri. October 29 – Austin, TX @ Levitation Festival
Tue. February 1 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Wed. February 2 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz #
Fri. February 4 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace #
Sat. February 5 – Detroit, MI @ El Club #
Sun. February 6 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mon. February 7 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club #
Tue. February 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave. 7th Street Entry #
Fri. February 11 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos %
Sat. February 12 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios %
Sun. February 13 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre %
Tue. February 15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel %
Wed. February 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom %
Fri. February 18 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar %
Sat. February 19 – Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress %
Tue. February 22 – Denver, CO @  Larimer Lounge %
Wed. February 23 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck %
Fri. February 25 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt %

* with Future Islands
$ with Maxband & Wah Together
# with Glove
% with TV Priest

A Place To Bury Strangers 2022 European Tour Dates – Tickets on sale now

Wed 09 March – Hafenklang – Hamburg, Germany  

Thu 10 March – Beatpol – Dresden, Germany

Fri 11 March – Klub Poglos – Warsaw, Poland

Sat 12 March – Futurum – Prague, Czech Republic
Sun 13 March – Randal Club – Bratislava, Slovakia

Mon 14 March – Durer Kert – Budapest, Hungary

Wed 16 March – Control Club – Bucharest, Romania

Thu 17 March – Mixtape5 – Sofia, Bulgaria
Fri 18 March – Eightball – Thessaloniki, Greece

Sat 19 March – Temple – Athens, Greece
Mon 21 March – 25th of May Hall – Skopje, Macedonia

Tue 22 March – Club Drugstore – Belgrade, Serbia

Thu 24 March – Mochvara – Zagreb, Croatia
Fri 25 March – Freakout Club – Bologna, Italy

Sat 26 March – Largo – Rome, Italy
Sun 27 March – Legend Club – Milan, Italy

Tue 29 March – Bogen F – Zurich, Switzeralnd
Wed 30 March – Backstage – Munich, Germany

Thu 31 March – Caves Du Memoir – Martigny, Switzeralnd

Fri 01 April – La Trabendo – Paris, France
Sat 02 April – Lafayette – London, UK
Mon 04 April – Kayka – Antwerp, Belgium
Tue 05 April – Gleis 22 – Munster, Germany
Wed 06 April – Melkweg – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thu 07 April – Vera- Groningen, Netherlands
Sat 09 April – Hus 7 – Stockholm, Sweden
Sun 10 April – John Dee – Oslo, Norway
Mon 11 April – Pumpehuset – Copenhagen, Denmark

Tue 12 April Hole 44 – Berlin, Germany
Wed 13 April – MTC – Cologne, Germany

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Dedstrange Records – 16th July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s been a while since we last heard from New York’s purveyors of treble-blasting psychedelic post-punk noise – they slipped album number five, Pinned out back in the spring of 2018, since when they’ve been relatively quiet. Not that one of the contenders for the ‘loudest band in the world’ tag ever do quiet, in terms of volume of output, with an EP and self-released single in 2019.

The Hologram EP is the first release with a new lineup, whereby core member Oliver Ackermann is joined by John Fedowitz (bass) and Sandra Fedowitz (drums) of Ceremony East Coast, and comes from a difficult place at a difficult time, ‘with songs addressing the decay of connections, friendships lost, and the trials and tribulations of these troubled times, Hologram serves as an abstract mirror to the moment we live in’, details the press release. The tone is pretty apocalyptic: ‘Written and recorded during the on-going global pandemic and in the midst of the decline of civilization, Hologram is a sonic vaccine to the horrors of modern life.’

And if Pinned was perhaps their most overtly 80s-sounding release, Hologram pushes the experimentalism that began to become pronounced from Transfixiation while amalgamating all of the elements that have featured across their career to date.

Previous singles ‘End of the Night’ and ‘I Might Have’ provide the opening salvoes: the former’s murky percussion-driven blast of noise is a bassy, booming, raw slice of fucked up psychedelia. Everything is warped, melting, overloading, like MBV covering The Monkees, and the latter being pretty much classic APTBS, a blur of three-chord rock ‘n’ roll riffing – the Jesus and Mary Chain as filtered through Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – minus any desire for even the slightest hint of polish.

‘Playing the Part’ is short, a melodic indie jangle with a light, easy melody and a melancholy that belies the breeziness as it emanates from the frayed edges. ‘In My Hive’ revisits the form of ‘Now It’s Over’ from Transfixiation, only it goes somewhere else – and if Transfixiation pushed the boundaries of songs that felt incomplete, fragmentary, as if the structures are only partial and prone to cracking and splintering apart as they go, then the Hive is being used as a piñata by some crazed maniacs, and all the while the insistent beat hammers away like a palpating heart in the midst of a panic attack.  

Things gets slower and dreamier with the slow-unfurling shoegaze wisps of closer ‘I Need You’. With a Cure-like wistfulness, it’s again familiar territory, particularly in context of Pinned, but also songs like ‘Dissolved’ from Worship. Where this differs, again, is in the production: the brutal shards of feedback still swirl and soak the bass and vocals and at times almost bury the sparse drums, but whereas before the EQ was geared toward the top-end and walls of ear-splitting treble, there’s a lot of mid- and lower-range present here, which creates a more subdued and less attacking sound.

As with everything APTBS do, it sounds distinctively like ABPTBS, but once again, sounds and feels different, and the mood on Hologram is as much the departure as any aspect of the songwriting or sound itself. Whereas there has historically been a sense of obliterative catharsis about the shattering noise that defines their catalogue, Hologram feels darker and more introspective, and it feels fitting.

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