Group Rhoda – Passing Shades [DE279]

GROUP RHODA - Passing Shades

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.

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Group Rhoda – Passing Shades [DE279]

Group Rhoda – Wilderless [DE186]

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.

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Group Rhoda – Wilderless [DE186]

Max & Mara – Less Ness [DE054]

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Dark Entires is excited to introduce the debut album “Less Ness” from contemporary Bay Area duo, Max and Mara. Their collaboration began in 2012. Max is based in Oakland and has been a part of various projects most notably Brotman and Short and his current solo work as Business Etiquette. Mara is based in San Francisco and is known for her solo work as Group Rhoda. On “Less Ness” they worked with a hardware set up: 808 and Elektron drum machine, Moog, MAM, and Sequential Circuits synth with splashes of Mono/Poly and collage elements, vocoder lines and dubbed out vocals. They step away from the the computer as much as possible and prefer that their ideas can be traced back to the tools so that a sense of physicality remains. They find inspiration from all kinds of far out sounds, most notably dub, industrial, and various drug culture tangents. Lyrically the songs revolve around topics such as escapism, looking though cultural windows, and character role development. Some songs are a bit more surrealist in content with elements of hard realism and critical commentary.

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Max & Mara – Less Ness [DE054]