Posts Tagged ‘synth’

The latest single by Swedish post-punk/darkwave act A Projection sees the Stockholm-based quartet maintain their recent move towards a more electronic sound with a new single entitled ‘Anywhere’ that has a distinct mid-80s electro-pop vibe. Out on 30th September, a video for the song has been made available a day ahead of its release.

The group’s upcoming fourth album, In A Different Light, has already had the songs ‘Darwin’s Eden’, ‘No Control’, ‘Careless’ and now ‘Anywhere’ lifted from it as singles. Encompassing both ‘80s post-punk and electronic elements, it will be their second full-length record released on Metropolis Records and follows 2019’s ‘Section’. Further details will follow shortly.

Initially inspired by the dark post-punk/proto-goth of The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy and Joy Division along with the electronica of Depeche Mode, the band are also known for their compelling and dynamic live shows.

The video for ‘Anywhere’ has been made by Ukrainian filmmaker and artist Shorkina Valeri, who also shot the recent promo clip for ‘Careless’.

Watch the video for ‘Anywhere’ here:

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Negative Gain Productions – 9th September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Curse Mackey has enjoyed an enviable career as a frequent performer with legendary industrial collectives Pigface and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, and has built a substantial catalogue of work as a solo artist too – and it’s perhaps to be expected that much of this, including his latest, Immoral Emporium, is defined by the vintage late 80s / early 90s Wax Trax! electroindustrial sound.

While Immoral Emporium is undeniably dark, it’s also fairly poppy and accessible, with a title track that calls to mind more recent Gary Numan. And this is in the region of the album’s tone and style overall.

Starting off, ‘Smoking Tongues’ is strong on melody and surprisingly sparse retro synths and while Depeche Mode circa Black Celebration comparisons are likely the obvious choice, it’s as much A Flock of Seagulls. That may appear to some as a rather casual dismissal as being flimsy pop, but the electropop that rode the charts in the early to mid-80s was way darker than it’s usually given credit for or remembered as being. Consequently, suggesting that the spoken-word verses of ‘A Sharp Reminder’ are reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls’ is absolutely no sleight.

‘The Reveal’ takes a turn for the more overtly industrial, with menacing synth bass pulsations and a death disco thudding beat. ‘Dead Fingers talk’ borders on bouncy, and while ‘Lost Body Hypothesis’ is harder, darker, and driven by a nagging bass, it’s in the same sphere as Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Sin’, and it’s that late-80s grind that dominates Immoral Emporium. Many will bang on about how Pretty Hate Machine broke new ground, but the fact is, without denigrating what is undeniably an outstanding and era-defining album, that it only broke the territory in commercial terms. It maty have added some layers of noise in the production, but it didn’t really add all that much to what Ministry and Depeche Mode had already been doing, and that’s before we get to the conveyor-belt catalogue run of acts churned out by Wax Trax! between 1986 and 1988 with releases by the likes of Revolting Cocks, Front 242, and Fini Tribe. There was a certain sameness among the label’s acts and releases, but they worked, because there’s something instinctive and primal about drums that thump and clatter distortedly against insistent bass workouts and various elements of extraneous noise.

On Immoral Emporium, Curse very much revisits his roots, and it’s well-realised with solid songs packed back-to-back.

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On September 9, darkwave artist Curse Mackey will release his highly-anticipated new full-length album, Immoral Emporium, the follow-up to his 2019 industrial masterpiece, Instant Exorcism. Curse will also embark on a North American tour as a special guest for darkwave legends, Clan of Xymox.
Immoral Emporium is an intense, dark electronic music experience. Curse emphasizes, “This is a NEW album for modern times, in the here and now.”

True to his word, Immoral Emporium pushes the boundaries of genre with a vast dynamic range, from a tortured whisper to a triumphant howl. The first single, “Lacerations” is a dancefloor stomper with hypnotic vocals, a hard-hitting chorus with wailing synths and bin-shaking beats.

The album moves into poppy, upbeat club territory with the earworm ‘Dead Fingers Talk’.  The buildups are big, such as in ‘Omens and Monuments’, with monstrous synths that bring Immoral Emporium to a goosebump-inducing, cathartic end leaving the listener looking forward to the future.

Curse says, “Immoral Emporium was created under very remote, unusual, stressful conditions. This record is a dangerous listen. By the time it reaches the last song, I, as the protagonist, am essentially already dead. However, my last words are meant to give hope to the listener, my friends around the world…that you can live to fight another day, knowing you don’t have to give in to the fear, pain, and worry. These things will pass and you are not alone."

Clocking the William Burroughs reference in ‘Dead Fingers Talk’, interest in the album is piqued here at Aural Aggravation, and never more so than by the promo clip for ‘Lacerations’, released as a taster for the album, which you can watch here:

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A Projection are a post-punk/darkwave act from Stockholm, who signed to Metropolis Records in 2019 for the release of their well received third album, Section. Initially inspired by the dark post-punk/proto-goth of The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy and Joy Division along with the electronica of Depeche Mode, the band are known for their compelling and dynamic live shows.

Following Section, the group released the singles ‘Darwin’s Eden’ and ‘No Control’ that saw them enter a more danceable electronic realm while still embracing their darkwave roots. Their brand new single, ‘Careless’, offers a further example of this sound and provides a taster for a forthcoming album that will be released via Metropolis in late 2022.

Recorded both during and after Covid lockdowns, ‘Careless’ reflects the restlessness and hope of the last two years. Additional recording assistance was provided by fellow musicians that included Henrik Linder of the group Dirty Loops.
The video for ‘Careless’ was made by Ukrainian filmmaker and artist Shorkina Valeri and shot in the band’s home city of Stockholm.

Watch the video here:

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20th July 2022 – Produkt 42

Christopher Nosnibor

Sever The Servants – a nice play on words – have dished up an eponymous debut that’s as dark as darkwave gets, with subsonic bass, thudding beats and hushed, deadened vocals. As much as anything, I’m reminded of Test Department’s The Unacceptable Face of Freedom, only much more muted, and less abrasive, antagonistic, and slowed to a crawl.

Sever The Servants are no less political, skewering slabs off both ‘political and social commentary. From the ‘right wing hivemind’ theme of the title track to the things that slowly kill us day to day’, STS are seething… but with a taut musical restraint. It’s stripped back, minimal. No samples, no loops, just an undulating larval creep.

Instead of going all-out raging, industrial-style either by means of guitars (e.g. Ministry) or snarling synths (e.g. Nine Inch Nails), Sever The Servants create a dense, suffocating soundtrack that recreates the pressure of oppression with a sonic density and uncomfortable weight. Listening to this album is like having a heavy cloak pulled over your head. Everything is muffled, and you can’t think straight. You panic. The drum beats are like kicks to the chest. It’s hard to breathe. And they never let up. You feel the atmosphere thicken.

I was sold on the pitch that ‘The album’s themes are generally apocalyptical with some each of the album’s six tracks represent the freedom to explore with a complete lack of care towards staying in a “box”.’ Having spent the last couple of years effectively living in a box, I’ve grown accustomed to a certain sense of claustrophobia, but Sever the Servants manage to intensify this with the six tracks on the menu here. As for the apocalyptic… the world is quite literally burning now. And yet right-wing boomers are decrying those who dare to mention climate crisis as ‘woke’. We are fucked beyond fucked. The end of the world is truly nigh, and I’m out of words to describe just how fucked we are. But Sever The Servants at least manage to create a soundtrack that goes some way to articulating it – for as long as we have power, before the blackouts commence.

The vocals wheeze uncomfortably amidst tense soundscapes that roll and lurch, and the weight doesn’t come from volume or abrasive, but a menacing dark force.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Having just spent a depressing afternoon hearing the new Interpol album for the first time, I decided I needed cheering up. Scanning my immense backlog of releases for review – and, with new submissions landing faster than I can open emails, let alone download and listen to albums, I realise that Hanging Freud’s album has been lurking unplayed for far too long for an album I’d been excited to hear since ‘Antidote/Immune’, released as a taster of album number six, Persona Normal back in June last year, landed in my inbox.

The release / review cycle is in itself a pressure we would all do without, since albums by their nature have a slow diffusion. In an accelerated world, PR campaigns are over a month or so after release, and I suspect that under the current model of pre-release hype followed by a rapid burndown, most releases shift 90% of their units within the first months of release, before things taper off and pretty swiftly drop off a cliff. But I digress, as I’m prone to doing.

Persona Normal is not the kind of album you’d expect to provide joy, but, in context, it’s a welcome reminder that there are still bands who are at a more advanced stage in their career delivering albums that channel difficult emotions and explore them in real depth.

‘Cureseque’ is a term that’s passed into parlance to make a shorthand reference to anything that draws inspiration from The Cure, but it’s trouble some and rather inadequate given the band’s range. More often than not, it seems to translate as ‘lots of layered synths like Disintegration’. Not so Persona Normal, an album that condenses the style and atmosphere of the unparalleled trilogy of Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography into a single set. The atmosphere is bleak, and the production sparse, but there’s some monumental percussion that’s more akin to Pornography.

It opens with the droning, wheezing synth of ‘Too Human’. It’s pitched against a trudging, monotonous drum beat with a dominant snare, and this provides the backdrop to a gloomy yet elegant vocal that aches with resignation, before ‘We Don’t Want to Sleep’ pounds in on a rhythm reminiscent of ‘A Strange Day’, and this is around the level of the bleak, brooding atmosphere. It’s thick and heavy with angst.

But then, amidst the doomy, droning synths and metronomic, motorik drum machines, Paula comes on with the sass of Siouxsie, with her enunciation and her glacial cool post-punk intonations. And as such, while Persona Normal really is pretty fucking bleak, dense, and dark, it’s uplifting to hear an album that so perfectly captures the spirit of the bands from which it draws unashamed influence. Elsewhere, I’m reminded of Chelsea Wolfe and Pain Teens; ‘Is This Why?’ may be sparse in its arrangement, but the sound is full, expansive, epic, and there’s something graceful and plaintive in its inward searching. An in an album of wall-to-wall quality, ‘Immune’ stands out as a snarling post-punk beast with the sharpest of hooks – and it’s all in the delivery.

More often than not, the sounds and overall sound and delivery convey so much more than words alone – and the production only enhances the experience. It’s dense, dark, drum-heavy, and even in the middle of a heatwave, it’s an album that will chill you to the core.

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Celestial North’s luminary new single ‘The Nature Of Light’ was inspired by her studies as a Herbalist and by the concept of The Light Of Nature, which she describes as, ‘innate knowledge imbued within us all and accessed through intimate, synergistic and intuitive relationships within our natural kingdoms’.  Surging with a pulsing life force of wonderful cosmic pop: woven with bubbling beats, sci-fi keys, fragments of arpeggio and imbued with a euphoric rush of dreamy melodies that invoke the spirit of pagan folklore and our connections with nature and  inner hope. The song features her young daughter Iris Bluebell and was written to inspire her children to walk into an unknown future with courage and love in their hearts.

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Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland Celestial North is a talented, multi-faceted musician and songwriter with her songs regularly played on the BBC Introducing show.  Her reworking of R.E.M.’s ‘Nightswimming’ – recorded for a God Is In the TV Zine charity album last year, received national radio play with BBC Scotland’s Roddy Hart proclaiming it “Majestic”. The release was included in Bandcamp’s Essential Releases with ‘Nightswimming’ chosen as the Editorial Director’s personal highpoint. Following a run of early singles Celestial North was touted by Under The Radar and God Is In The TV as ‘One to watch in 2021’ and one of the ‘finest new acts for 2021’, Celestial North is currently recording her debut album which will be released in September 2022.

Enigmatic Italian singer Elena Alice Fossi, best known for being a member of Kirlian Camera, has released the first single, ‘Devious’, which is taken from the forthcoming new full-length of her dark electro project SPECTRA*Paris. Her fifth album under that moniker is entitled Modernism and has been slated for release on August 26.

“What’s the moral conduct to follow?”, singer, composer, and lyricist Fossi asks. “This song certainly won’t teach us any morals! With a decidedly noir matrix and via its gloomy lyrics, it lets itself be crossed by a glamorous imprint where the blood goes to be combined with the enchanting reflection of a bewitching shadow. God’s body has indeed been invaded by his servants.”

Watch the video here:

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SPECTRA*Paris was conceived as an electronic rock oriented project in the wake Elena’s previous project SIDERARTICA. In 2007 she self-released the ultra-rare promo 3" CD-R limited to 25 copies "Spectra Murder Show" and immediately got picked-up by a label, which led to the acclaimed first album Dead Models Society (Young Ladies Homicide Club) hitting the streets in the same year. The debut reached the charts in many countries and went up to gold. Elena followed-up with two successful albums in 2010, License to Kill and Christmas Ghouls. Tracks from these recordings as well as the latest album Retromachine Betty (2017) have been used in tv and catwalk soundtracks.

With Modernism, SPECTRA*Paris chronicle Elena Alice Fossi’s musical prison-break into the freedom that only true art can grant. Aided by her accomplice and long-time friend Angelo Bergamini, who co-produced and supervised every sound in this chapter, the composer and singer has delivered a fascinating personal statement via a wide range of electronic music.

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Temple Invisible have unveiled their arresting new single ‘Over My Feet’, taken from new ‘Chiasm’ EP coming next month.

Fusing chiffon vocals with impending electronic beats, ‘Over My Feet’ comes as the third single plucked from Temple Invisible’s forthcoming ‘Chiasm’ EP, and boasts the breadth of the genre-defying duo.

Showcasing the two-piece’s knack for creating evocative electronic-tinged tracks that are as dark as they are diaphanous, “Over My Feet” feels eerie and overcast yet optimistic and inviting all at once.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, vocalist Irina Bucescu explains:

“’Over My Feet’ is like a walk in the forest. It draws its roots from the deep and rich life of the underground — the mycelium. As you progress deeper into the forest, you connect with the life force, inside out, and blend the deeper and more disturbing truths into a multi-layered view of reality. The metamorphosis of death can be a beautiful thing when you walk in the forest.”

With its opening moments unfolding like a silken ballad — gauzy vocals and gentle key taps wind themselves around one another with cushiony ease — the docile ambience is soon underpinned by swirling electro rhythms that steadily threaten to erupt, before overflowing into a meticulous amalgam of rippling instrumentals.

Watch the video here:

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Pagan synth duo, Esoterik have unveiled their new full-length LP, Alchemy.

The concept of Alchemy has many different forms and interpretations but the analogy holds true for any artist in that we take elements or ingredients, which on their own have a certain character and then take on a transformation into something that didn’t exist before.

Is it magick or is something more tangible? Who’s to say? But there’s no denying that words have power and music in itself has the ability to illicit a variety of emotions that time stamp our journey throughout life.

About the album, Alchemy, the band says the following, "We took a different approach with this album than we have in the past with a clear vision from the start thematically of what we wanted to achieve and then crafted each track around that."

As a taster, they’ve delivered a video for ‘Tria Prima’ which you can watch here:

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