Group Rhoda, the solo project of Mara Barenbaum, returns to Dark Entries with ‘Passing Shades’. An integral member of the Oakland electronic music scene, Barenbaum has been writing, performing, and plunging into oneiric depths as Group Rhoda since 2009. This is the project’s fourth LP, and the third time Barenbaum has collaborated with Dark Entries. Passing Shades is an investigation of the metaphysics of loss and the transitory nature of the material world. But it is not a grim collection; over 8 songs, Group Rhoda diverges through synthesizer-laden symphonics, four-to-the-floor inflections, and cosmic musings. Barenbaum’s striking voice and singular songcraft guide us through this labyrinth. Arpeggiated waltz “Flow” channels wisdom sought through martial arts; “Earthly Ark” sets a Margaret Atwood poem from the God Gardener’s Hymn Book to somber electronics. The vocoded canticle “Nevermore” is dedicated to the memory of a beloved cat. ‘Passing Shades’ is both mystifying and revelatory. Folk forms are echoed only to detour into the alien. Each song functions as both a fragment of a larger puzzle and a koan unto itself.
Dark Entries presents their first digital-only compilation, featuring reissued rarities and new songs from 10 key artists on the label (Bézier, Bill Converse, Billy Nightmare, Borusiade, Doc Sleep, Group Rhoda, Magnus II, Max Mann, Patrick Cowley and Sepehr).
Group Rhoda is the solo electronic music project of Mara Barenbaum, based out of Oakland, California, one half of Max and Mara. The project started around 2009 with a debut album ‘Out of Time, Out of Touch’ in 2012 on Night School Records. ‘Wilderless’ is Group Rhoda’s third full length and first for Dark Entries Records. Each of the these 7 songs draw forth tones of tropical darkwave and soft industrial, while negating the sound of conformity and control. The album explore themes of societal and spiritual displacement, contemporary serfdom, the depths of empathy, regeneration through destruction, and the tyranny of claiming recognition and power. Lyrics are poetically expressed through allegory and explore archetypes rooted more in abstract observation rather than hard line experience. Through transgression and imagination, Group Rhoda explores the arc of songwriting interwoven into stark electronic environments, and creates a bridge between the corporeal and the dream worlds.