On his debut full-length album as Marker, New Orleans artist Mike Wilkinson eschews traditional pop catharsis for total submersion into a blue, luminous tunnel. Guitar, bass, and Wilkinson’s voice are all treated through a variety of outboard and software effects, gently blurring into one another. Written and recorded between 2012 and 2015, the songs distill themes of isolation and connection, unreliable memory, identity, and the problem of infinite introspection and its relationship with reality. Filled with surprise melodic turns and evocative, vaporous production, “Marker” is an immersive work of otherworldly pop, encouraging its listeners to retreat inside themselves.
“Consumer Manoeuvres” by Le Cliché is the latest release on Cold Beats Records. Le Cliché is the electronic music project of Gerard Ryan, professor of marketing at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. The music takes a critical view of the malaise of marketing and its effect on our postmodern consumer society. It deals with serious issues as diverse as consumer privacy, identity, fad diets, fast fashion and the hyper-reality of contemporary advertising. Yet it does so always with an optimistic sarcasm and playfulness. This new collection of songs on Cold Beats Records, entitled Consumer Manoeuvres, started out as a remix project but very quickly turned into an all-together different record, a series of collaboration, covers and reimagining’s of the original music. Cold Beats Records presents some of the most influential electronic artists from the underground, minimal synth and coldwave scene from the last 35 years in an all-together darker record Le Cliché’s other records. Collaborators include Mark Lane, Mick Milk, Kline Coma Xero and Spatial Relation (USA), ADN’ Ckrystall (France), Red Fetish, John Costello, This is the Bridge and Jonteknik (UK), KuBO (Ireland) Moss Garten (Sweden) JJ Ibañex of Kremlyn, and Wladyslaw Triejo (Spain) Delayscape (Denmark), Gay Cat Park and Effetto Joule (Italy).These artists have appeared on many of the most influential darkwave, coldwave, italo and minimal synth music on a host of leading labels including Minimal Wave, Mannequin, Medical Records, Peripheral Minimal, Anna Logue, Domestica, Obscure Identities 1980, Vinyl on Demand, La Forme Lente and Kernkrach.
Clay Rendering, the tortured pop project of former Wolf Eyes member Mike Connelly and his wife Tara, pledge three diverse but unmistakably gothic sacrifices to Hospital Productions. Soused in the spirits of black metal, coldwave pop and shoegaze, their new cuts reflect a black indigo spectrum of tastes with an inflamed desire for proper song structures and the kind of hooks that hearken back to teenaged thrills and what allured them to music in the first place -and it makes for perhaps their most realised set of tracks yet. With Dominick Fernow as producer and effectively acting in a 3rd band member role, they triangulate a sound that’s nostalgic for the gothic undertones of ‘80s and ‘90s darkness, getting into gear with the hearse-cruising coldwave pop rocket We Are Aware, and casting a long, northern-pointing shadow of BM toil and shoegaze anguish in Never Pass Away.
Having begun life as a bedroom project for then Southampton-based Nicholas Wood to experiment with ideas around minimal electronica and shoegaze, The KVB has grown with partner and collaborator Kat Day. The now Berlin-based productive pair have released four albums of woozy and immersive anthems since 2010. ‘Of Desire’ is The KVB’s most fully formed record to date, taking in influences such as Death In Vegas, Scott Walker and Roxy Music to create something that is at once familiar and yet inventive and original. Steeped in musical history, it’s an album that hums with devotion and captures a band ready to emerge from the underground and embrace an ever-growing audience. “Being able to produce from home meant we weren’t restricted.” Wood says remembering The KVB’s early days. Many of the songs on ‘Of Desire’ date back to these earliest bedroom recordings, including lead single ‘In Deep’. “It’s about longing,” he adds of a song powered by a motorik beat and distorted blasts of icy guitars.” There’s definitely a romantic undercurrent to the record.”
vinyl / CD
Nite Fields will release their debut album ‘Depersonalisation’ on vinyl, CD and digital through Los Angles label Felte, and in Australia on cassette and digital through Lost Race.
‘Depersonalisation’ was conceived and completed over a four-year period in all three distinct capitals. Recordings were completed almost entirely by the band members in over twenty locations including garages, bedrooms, borrowed studios, stairwells and a restaurant dining room after hours. Lead singer and songwriter Danny Venzin is opinionated, passionate, and uncompromising, whether releasing works on his own label Lost Race or maintaining his diligent focus on a unified (though not narrow-minded) Nite Fields aesthetic, regardless of what music is currently in fashion. His band mates Chris Campion, Liza Harvey and Michael Whitney consist of deeply immersed players in a tight-nit local D.I.Y. scene.
The first release by Worn Pop Records, independent label from Kiev, Ukraine, curated by Nikita Mekalin. Tracks by Ukrainian acts Cold Comfort, Aircraft, Geuxx, Londoners Sundaze and Neiv from Italy.
London-based “dark wave” duo The KVB are a productive lot. Somewhat remarkably, this is their sixth album since 2011. It further explores there trademark distant, discordant, murky sound, blending barely-audible vocals and shoegaze guitars with fuzzy tones, clandestine moods and atmospheric grooves. While they can do full-throttle noise – see the growling “Dominance/Submission” and “Something Inside”, which push reverb and multi-layered guitars to their limits – they’re actually at their best when exploring less intense pastures. There’s much of this on Minus One, with the wide-eyed “Passing By”, dreamy “Endless” and clandestine “Kill The Lights” standing out.