C.P.I. – Alianza [HVNLP02]

C.P.I. - Alianza

Introducing C.P.I. an almost forgotten project from Capablanca & Marc Piñol granted a full album release via John Talabot’s Hivern Discs. Emerging in 2014 with a rare 7″ release, Alianza follows a brace of EPs spread across a four year peroid, with this album diving deep into the submersive ambient realms of analogue, machine made music. Full of tension, lo-fi industrialisms and atmospheres that play with themes of giallo italo (“Osera”), and winds of the new age in “Islaalsl”, find spiritual spoken word in both “Rasa” and “Epileg”, with the latter drifting unnoticed into a haunted cathedral of choirs. For lovers of ambient 4th world music, dub techno noise-floor, crackle and pop (“I/O”) and epic space western drone (“Sol”), C.P.I. have arrived.

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C.P.I. – Alianza [HVNLP02]

Beesmunt Soundsystem / Cooper Saver – HVN E/F [HVNEF]

BEESMUNT SOUNDSYSTEM/COOPER SAVER - HVN E/F

The Hivern split series was born as a platform for club-ready tracks that don’t require a broader sonic context to express themselves. It’s also as a way of generating an unplanned dialogue between artists in the label’s orbit, connecting the dots amid them in spontaneous and almost unconscious ways. The third installment of the series brings together Beesmunt Soundsystem and Cooper Saver. Their two tracks share a similar approach, deconstructing ethereal sounds over dark rhythmic foundations to reach the same kind of narcotic transcendence.

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Beesmunt Soundsystem / Cooper Saver – HVN E/F [HVNEF]

VA – Fragments 1 [HVNCOMP1/6]

Part one of Hivern Discs’ Fragments compilation. While compilations tend to look backwards, ‘Fragments’ is far from being a retrospective. Since its launch in 2008, Hivern Discs has favoured a documentary approach, capturing the most vital and exciting sounds within its orbit at each particular moment. In keeping with the ethos of the label, this extensive compilation, comprising 29 new tracks across six 12″s, offers a panoramic glimpse of Hivern’s present and gives indications as to its near future. This is the first part and includes five tracks by Arthur Evans, Benedikt Frey, Epsilove, John Talabot and Walden.

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VA – Fragments 1 [HVNCOMP1/6]

John Talabot / Khidja – HVN C/D [HVNcd]

The new installment of the Hivern split series features John Talabot and Khidja. Both tracks have slowish tempos, are built around obsessive motifs and make an outlandish use of delays. An unsettling and menacing atmosphere, fruit of masterful exercises on tension building, that seems tailored for those early moments in a set when you feel the need to rise the pressure without causing too much of a blast. These tracks are prime examples that’s there’s space for functional tracks away from the most obvious paths. And that’s the ultimate purpose of the series.

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John Talabot / Khidja – HVN C/D [HVNcd]

Hieroglyphic Being & The Truth Theory Trio – Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light [HVNX-700]

When asked about the story behind the tracks of ‘Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light’, Jamal Moss answered with a laconic “No story. No dogma. No Hype”. After all, his despise of extra-musical paraphernalia is proportional to his productiveness in the studio. But there’s always a story. On April 9, 2016, Hieroglyphic Being played a live show in La Casa Encendida of Madrid within the festival Electronica en Abril. Some days later, the recording of the full set was uploaded to YouTube. When we watched it, we were totally captivated. Those eighty minutes of music had the raw power of all of Jamal’s body of work, but with a heightened sense of transcendence. Cosmic, spiritual and intensely beautiful, it sounded like a lysergic reinterpretation of Detroit techno transmitted from a galaxy yet to be discovered. As most of the material was unreleased, we reached Jamal in order to try to press it into vinyl. The result is ‘Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light’, a 12″ that reunites eight of the individual tracks that conformed that Madrid performance. When inquired about AUM, the sacred sound all the tracks are labeled after, Jamal referred us to a book by author and naturalist Joseph Bharat Cornell. A book that the author himself presents with these words: ‘The sound of the Cosmic Vibration is AUM, and listening to it brings the greatest bliss imaginable. AUM is the Omnipotent Force that propels each soul toward Spirit. It’s the sacred, inner fire. As you approach the cosmic blaze, you feel at first its radiant, soothing comfort; then, as you come closer – AUM’s liberating flames consume you – and bring you to God”. There might be “no story and no dogma”, but, suddenly, it all makes sense.

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Hieroglyphic Being & The Truth Theory Trio – Journey Through The Outer Darkness from the Inner Light [HVNX-700]

INIT – Wildcard [HVN049]

INIT’s music has the rare quality of transforming bleakness into a soothing experience. In the duo’s new EP, ‘Wildcard’, this mechanism is more intense than ever. And that might be because of the particular circumstances that surrounded its inception. Two years ago, Nadia D’Alo and Benedikt Frey decided to move from Darmstadt to Berlin. Adjusting to a rough area of a big city when coming from a quiet town necessarily brings a change of perspective. For Nadia and Benedikt, that meant experiencing the city life as outsiders while trying to figure out what they wanted from it. ‘Wildcard’ is the sonic result of this process, and proof that changes always bring growth.

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INIT – Wildcard [HVN049]

2017 Top 3 – Readers List

#VăVedemDinSibiu

It has been 4 years since I made the last ‘review of the year …’ or ‘best of … ‘ list and it was not planned for 2017, but looking back at last year somehow the music scene shifted in a good way. From the music point of view, I think we are living better times now, we can see a revival of the old school electro and acid house, afrobeat is still hot, EBM is going strong.

Continue reading “2017 Top 3 – Readers List”

2017 Top 3 – Readers List

Marc Pinol / Charlotte Bendiks – HVN A/B [HVNAB]

There are tracks that only deploy their full meaning when pumping through the speakers of a dark club. To give shelter to the latter, Hivern kick starts a new series of vinyl-only splits dedicated to club-ready cuts by artists in our orbit. To launch the series, we count with both a well-known Hivern stalwart and a new addition to the label. Side A is dedicated to ‘Cel Avall’, a track that has been hidden in Marc Pinol’s vaults for way too many years. With it’s slow pace and direct but hypnotic feel, it sounds as if one of the pioneers of the first wave of Chicago house had spent a night dancing to Danielle Baldelli at the Cosmic club. In the B-side, ‘Aurora 2’, by Norwegian producer Charlotte Bendiks, also has something of the rawness and minimalism of the first Chicago sound. A perpetually fresh energy that, combined with her nonchalant vocal phrasings, provides the track with her distinctive blend of darkness, sensuality and cheekiness.

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Marc Pinol / Charlotte Bendiks – HVN A/B [HVNAB]

Orbe – Uniformity [HVN042]

The idea of purity is always recurring when talking about techno. Although purism has long been relegated to a mere excuse for fear, when understood not as vindication of a certain dogma, but as a way of approaching creative expression, purity is, as a matter of a fact, inseparable from the genre. After all, techno is something like the pursuit of transcendence – either visceral, cerebral or spiritual – through the strictly necessary means only. The search of the truest forms by just outlining them. All of this brings us to the story of ‘Uniformity’, Orbe’s first release for Hivern.

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Orbe – Uniformity [HVN042]

Khidja – Impossible Holiday [HVN039]

Flore and Rusu met in high school. Growing together through various musical phases, they ended up channeling their love for outlandish dance music into one of the most exciting projects to emerge from the bubbling Eastern Europe underground scene. In their Hivern debut, they keep pushing the boundaries of their sound to forge some of their boldest productions to date. In all four tracks of Impossible Holiday, we find distinctive elements of the Khidja palette recomposed under a new (and darker) light.

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Khidja – Impossible Holiday [HVN039]

Benedikt Frey – Out Of Here Remixes [HVN036]

Benedikt Frey’s Out Of Here gets a fresh new treatment in the hands of two mainstays of European techno: Roman Flugel and Simon Haydo. Flugel’s Cosmic Disco Drama Rework lives up to its name, maintaining the noir disco spirit of the original track but infusing it with tension-building sequences and strings that give it an extra mischievous twist. He also straightens the rhythmic skeleton and adds shuffling shakers to make it a relentless dancefloor weapon. Haydo’s remix delves into a more dismal terrain, transforming the vocals into haunted echoes, adding esoteric synths and topping it all with razor-sharp percussion in what sounds like a storm of ice asteroids falling into a lake of steel.

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Benedikt Frey – Out Of Here Remixes [HVN036]

Lost Scripts – S.O.P. / A.F.K. [HVNED004]

The Hivern edit series is back with its 4th instalment, this time with two joints by Lost Scripts, the duo of John Talabot and Marc Pional. On the A side, S.O.P. revamps the theme of a popular TV series with krautish rhythms and woozy percussive details to transform it into kosmische monster ready for the club. On the flip, A.F.K. is an uplifting afro-house number that pairs ritualistic percussion and African chants with curly synths to create a journey that starts in the savannah and ends in outer space. A proven dancefloor wrecker.

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Lost Scripts – S.O.P. / A.F.K. [HVNED004]

Dorisburg – Irrbloss [HVN034]

One half of Genius Of Time, Alexander Berg makes his debut on Hivern as Dorisburg. Irrbloss features nearly an hour of Dorisburg new music. Eight cuts in which Berg unleashes several incarnations of his sound and delves into his most melodic and mystical facet. Tracks such as Irrbloss and Votiv exude a highly spiritual feeling, connecting the majesty of archaic folk music with state of the art electronic production. Gloson and Gripen, in contrast, are much more dancefloor oriented eorts, showing Berg’s most cerebral and somber side. Kassiopeia and Cirkla are two slices of sinuous cosmic techno that demonstrate once again Berg’s ability to blend evocative landscapes with club eciency. Finally, Insvept and Sagofabrik conde a more meditative and adventurous approach. In other words: a gripping journey with a kind of inspirational energy not easily found in today’s dance music.

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Dorisburg – Irrbloss [HVN034]

Eduardo De La Calle – Nanoscopic Scales [HVN031]

The bold Eduardo de La Calle of Analog Solutions infamy drops his second 12″ for Hivern, following up from his take on U’R’s “Transition” for the 2014 HVN release. Here Eduardo gives us some us his finest examples of the lush Techno soundscapes he’s become known for.

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Eduardo De La Calle – Nanoscopic Scales [HVN031]

INIT – Two Pole Resonance [HVNLP001]

Having first joined forces last year to lend a hand of Massimo Pagliara’s collaborative With One Another full-length, Benedikt Frey and Nadia D’Alo present their debut full-length under the Init alias. It’s a thoroughly atmospheric, clandestine affair, with the duo delivering a dark-wave opus that tips a hat to early Depeche Mode, minimal wave, Detroit techno and the ambient soundscapes of Brian Eno. D’Alo provides the vocals, though for much of the time they’re utilized as textures, rather than the central focus of the duo’s shuffling, slowly evolving synth-scapes. As an album, Two Pole Resonance is initially attractive – albeit in a stylized, late night kind of way – but really comes into its’ own after repeat listens. It is, though, definitely worth the effort.

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INIT – Two Pole Resonance [HVNLP001]

Marvin & Guy – Egoista [HVN028]

Marvin & Guy with 3 tracks that push boundaries between disco culture & techno spirit. Ranges from hypnotic warm analog bass to pumping Italo-disco to obscure trip built around psychedelic synths & rolling bass topped w/spooky vocal samples.

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Marvin & Guy – Egoista [HVN028]

Kresy – Lords of Percussion [HVN011]

“Lords Of Percussion” is the debut release by Alejandro Rodriguez for Hivern Discs. The imposing title track invokes the spirit of the darker side of Detroit with a a kind of psychedelic perspective. Blending utterly tense pads with savage vocal samples and fueling them with heavy drums, Kresy bring us a battering Techno cut that exudes sterling rawness and will unveil primitive forces even in the most rough dancefloors. Along the original mix, the release includes brilliant remixes by Jacob Korn and Aster.

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Kresy – Lords of Percussion [HVN011]