Replicant: Neon dark dreams

Ever since Wave Gotik Treffen 2015 and some of the shows I used to see there, I’m a bit lost to music living somewhere in between post punk, minimal synth and cold wave. Starting out with some particular, incredible bands and browsing similar artists on bandcamp.com, these days my favorite and by far most important way of discovering new music, at some point I stumbled across a band massively remaining on my playlist ever since: Replicant, a threepiece from Chicago, IL. Both band name and bandcamp tag line (“more human than human”) are quite obvious references to Blade Runner, which generally is a good thing. From a (maybe very personal) point of view, the music they do indeed feels close to the story lines and moods in movies such as Blade Runner or New Rose Hotel as well as in early William Gibson novels: Dark, dense, bass driven, electrically charged, cold, “futuristic” in an old-fashioned science fiction novel. Songs that feel and sound very minimal and like a strange yet well-crafted crossover between early gothic rock, 1980s new romantics / synth pop and cyberpunk all turned music. Same goes for the visual appearance of the band and, as far as I can tell from some of the live footage found online, for the on-stage performance as well.

But in the end, maybe the best and most prominent reason for Replicant is rather simple: They surely do know how to write strong songs that just stay in your ears and head once you’ve heard them…. The whole of their discography is available for streaming and even free download at their bandcamp page. Feel encouraged to check these out, I greatly recommend Replicant to anyone even remotely into any of the genres mentioned earlier. Get your black leather jackets, your boots, maybe your sunglasses and get going…

Kalouv: Raindrops and transformations

I then and now have been writing about artists and releases on the Brazilian Sinewave netlabel, and even though I didn’t do so in quite a while, my interest in their doings hasn’t at all vanished as, however they manage to do so, Sinewave folks keep on featuring incredibly dense, interesting releases, appearing to me to be one of the best post-rock / experimental netlabels out to date. Pluvero, the latest album by Kalouv, is no exception here…

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music to code to, #2: Blame and sounds of water

Depending upon the very mood, I am into different kinds of music throughout my (working) days, and for quite a while, all kinds of electronic stuff has been close to top my my list, including both a couple of more familiar names and stuff which might be considered pretty much “unknown” these days, for whichever reasons. Blame definitely belongs to the latter kind of artists on my list, a band/project I just discovered a couple of weeks ago and have been excessively listening to ever since. Based in Belgrad, Serbia, Blame so far has released two albums (“Water” and “Convergent Fields), both digitally available via the projects bandcamp.com page and (at least “Water”) as CD release as well.

water

I don’t think there’s really much needed to write about either of the two albums: Somehow, Blame mastermind Boris Posavec manages to find his musical way somewhere amidst Covenant (especially the “Sequencer” album), Angels And Agony, at times later Dust Of Basement releases and maybe a couple of other musicians in between dark electro, “future pop”, with an emphasis on “future” not “pop”, and the kind of music they have been selling us as “ebm” in the early 2000s. Down that road, Blame is pretty good at finding the right balance – creating dark, futuristic “soundscapes” which are accessible yet inspired, intense and strong without being overly aggressive or harsh (which goes for both the music and – male and female – vocals), musically somewhere near the artists mentioned above yet not just mere copies or clones of anything in existence, original throughout both albums yet filled with smaller pieces of reoccurring sounds, melodies, rhythms to create a certain musical identity amidst a genre which, these days, doesn’t really suffer from a lack of new album releases at least in quantity. All this is topped by a very strong production, an overall audio quality at least on par with some of todays major releases in this field of music.

Overally, both of the Blame albums are strongly recommended and, as far as I am concerned, one of the most interesting discoveries in this field of music in the last years. And, given the albums are freely available, checking out this music is almost mandatory if your musical collection and/or musical interests span any of the bands or genres mentioned earlier. Of course, though, you are encouraged to eventually buy them through bandcamp.com or any of the other sites offering CDs or MP3s – supporting great artists is more than ever of importance in days in which it seems the market still is being flooded with large amounts of low quality releases each and every month.

Recommended songs and links

music to code to, #1: noisy psilosophy

In course of finding music to listen to while working through my evenings recently, a while ago I discovered freemetalalbums.com, an astounding site providing wagon loads of legally downloadable EPs, singles and full length albums mainly featuring more or less unknown bands playing all kinds of music from dark / gothic rock to more extreme metal. And, as I managed to come up with quite some discoveries this way, I felt like outlining a few of them here…

Psilocybe

Starting with Psilocybe, a rather impressive band from Poland. “Psilosophy”, their self-released debut album, features progressive, technical, complex death metal on an astoundingly high level both talking about songwriting and about overall musical skills of the people involved. While mostly being rather harsh, powerful, balancing between energy, complexity and, at times, dissonance, all the eight tracks on this album (which sum up to about 37 minutes playing time) are yet highly original, live off a bunch of rather effective musical ideas (arrangements, vocals, overall song structure) and make it hard to compare Psilocybe to most of the other bands active in this field of music. Somewhere I read having them put a bit closer to Gorguts which, even though not completely right in my opinion, is quite a big comparison. And still… I am tempted to say the Psilocybe guys definitely are up to this. So if bands like Gorguts, maybe at times also later Sadus albums, are something you can pretty well live with, you definitely should get this album. It’s definitely worth it, both being played as loud as possible and being listened to via headphones while writing code. And yes, it also works without even being close to any kind of mushrooms, despite the name. ;)