Moduretik’s minimal electronics structures
5 days ago, 15 April 2014  ·   0 notes

Prague has had a fairly thriving minimal/synth wave scene in the last couple of years, mirroring the upsurge of interest in forgotten obscurities created on primitive equipment in Western European countries such as Germany, Belgium or France in the 1980s, packed and polished for 21st century listeners by labels like Minimal Wave.

Jan Jiskra aka Moduretik has made music since 2001. Over those thirteen years, his musical modus operandi has developed from IDM-influenced experiments through screamo/hc to 8-bit. His last sonic guise to date is the one that favours dusted analogue equipment over laptops, and incorporates not only music, but also “style”, and Jan with his tall lean black-clad persona fitted this perfectly.

Following his five releases to date comes his “compilation” of unreleased songs recorded between 2009 and 2013 in his Bohemian hometown. It sounds as a collection of B-sides, the weirder, non-traditional tracks which often surpass the obvious A-side stuff. Shunning his customary wavesque detached singing style, the new album relies on instrumentation. Though still sticking to the minimal electronics formula, this time, not slavishly, indicating a departure from his previous, more bluntly minimal/cold wave-inspired records. There is room for experimentation and playfulness, the VII's track for instance features samples from late night house parties, an added layer of irony, that distinguishes it from its eighties predecessors.

Interestingly, the tape is mastered by Moimir Papalescu of Czech legendary EBM band Vanessa, and appears in a limited run of 100 copies.

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Alley Catss & S Olbricht (Opal Tapes, 2014)
1 week ago, 10 April 2014  ·   3 notes

Following in the footsteps of the SicSic Tapes Alpár/Carla Under Water/S Olbricht split, is another proof of the healthy state of Budapest’s electronic scene, the numerous impromptu collaborations and happenings, improvised sessions or heavy analogue synth abuse hosted by the splendid Ballacid studio housed in the concrete housing estate of Új Pest.

After Martin Mikolai released his well-received solo album on Opal Tapes last year, he has shunned ego-masturbation in favour of introducing further talent from the Hungarian capital, the Magyar Zodiak Club, as they say. Apart from the aforementioned, it is also his recently released Norwell Cleaning Tapes split.

Alley Catss is one of the newer additions to the city’s sprawling underground scene. The fresh-faced producer (you can read our interview with him here) has made his name on Sewage Tapes release. Largely renowned for his beat-based stuff, he also makes offbeat, noise-oriented music. On the Opal split, he merged both of his sonic guises into a 17-minute epic journey that somehow sounds much older than his 15 years. Elements of jungle, rave, techno or break/beat feature on his A side resulting in an imaginary paranoid forlorn soundtrack to a lonely walk home from a non-existing squat party. Martin’s B side is more abstract, hovering in the liminal zones of consciousness, reflecting his more sombre, contemplative side of personality.

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BDY - when metal heads make electronics
1 week ago, 7 April 2014  ·   4 notes

This Slovak release seem to have popped up through my feed a couple of days ago out of nowhere and immediately caught my attention. It can be almost considered as an intentionally secret release, as this project has no label support nor have I noticed any promotion anywhere. Another remarkable fact is that BDY doesn’t live in Bratislava, where most of the Slovak electronic scene resides. A quick investigation and a couple of mutual friends have revealed that BDY currently lives in Žilina, and his main project is a sludge doom band called Möbius.

However, his 9 days EP sounds way different than output of Möbius, it is dark, minimal electronic music with a recognisable influence of Sandwell District, Blackest Ever Black, or Vatican Shadow. It has become quite common on the international music scene that metal musicians also moonlight in purely electronic projects, unfortunately this is not the case of the Slovak scene where the majority of metal heads remain loyal to the sound of guitars with only slight exceptions and their reaction towards different genres tends to be rather hostile. Therefore, it comes as a very pleasant surprise that BDY does music like this. Though practically nothing is written about the intentions or concept of this release.

The setting is melancholic and dark, despite the soft almost eerie auralisms being used here. No distortions or sounds over the top, percussions and repetitive pads singing mournful melodies are arranged in a minimal manner and composed to the backdrop of gloomy soundscapes. The dark ambiance and overall mood of 9 days EP is really immersing.

It is not the cutting edge type of release which would overwhelm you with unexpected or avantgarde sounds, walls of noise or complicated patterns. But it doesn’t really matter. Humbleness and the way how this release was shared with the outer world indicates that BDY doesn’t strive for fame and glory. Still, it is a good lesson and proof that darkness and misanthropy are not dependent on distorted sounds of black metal, doom or sludge. Hopefully this was not the last BDY’s trip into these realms of darkness as all the tracks have promising potential. And let’s hope that this article will cheer him up to carry on with this project so it will not remain shelved in the murky waters of the internet.

by b.arctor

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Kucharczyk’s Best Fail Remixes
2 weeks ago, 4 April 2014  ·   0 notes

Wojciech Kucharczyk is one doyens of Polish electronic music scene, as well as visual artist and a graphic designer. Operating his Mik Musik sonic empire since 1994 (!), Kucharczyk is a tireless evangelist, championing new artists (recently, notably including modular wizard Wilhelm Bras or the idiosyncratic Czarny Latawiec), and his zeal has been reinforced two years ago, when he resurrected the Polish imprint to present an exciting new sound of the Polish underground.

He is also an accomplished musician, most renowned for his Complainer percussive combo ensemble, which has been moribund since a few years, leaving Kucharczyk space to focus on his solo output. Interestingly, it has been appearing mostly on other Polish labels, recently on the respected Monotype Rec. His Best Fail Compilation, published on the aforementioned imprint, now receives a remix treatment, courtesy of friends and affiliates. Thus, we get an insider’s view into who’s who in contemporary Polish electronics. “Lot of old and new artists were invited, some more are coming. I wanted this to be a really crazy bunch, but more or less we have rather standard remixes, but: there is a plan to make a mixtape out of theses remixes, i will do another rework of those etc. so craziness will come and it should be released on a tape. I hope it will,” says Kucharczyk.

The usual suspects are all there, Czarny Latawiec, Zamilska, RSS Boys, 8rolek, KROL, GAAP KVLT, but there are also a couple of names which have eclipsed our attention so far, including Souvenir de Tanger or Micromelancolié. There’s lot of bass, lot of techno, post-dance experiments, plenty of noodling, demented samples and whatnot. A hypnotic, shamanistic journey through the murkier side of the nocturnal clubland.

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The Pink Cowboys of Forum Absurdum
2 weeks ago, 2 April 2014  ·   0 notes

One can always find something charming in a primitive and almost vulgar expression of music. This split tape serves as a shining example. The newly founded platform Forum Absurdum with strong connections to the Bratislava underground venue Fuga, one of the hubs for most of the alternative acts hailing from Slovak capital. This release represents a more abrasive and brutal side of the club’s sound.

Ružoví Kovboji (Pink Cowboys) is a project with a long history going back the Urbsounds Collective, one of the cornerstones of the Slovak noise/experimental scene. Their live performances are well known in the local community partly because of the visual aesthetic of RBNX and Urbanfailure: suits, ties and coloured wigs are their uniforms when they collaborate in this noisy, distorted and messy ride filled with harsh noise sounds, distorted kicks and frantic screams.

Silly lyrics about forest animals; relationships between the human and the machine, universe and all those important things  are presented as hilarious duets. These angry tracks are swapped with minimalistic noisy compositions put through the almighty distortion pedals only to return to the frantic blast of the synths and drum machine (again, aided with a solid dose of distortion). If Alec Empire didn’t take himself so seriously, he would probably produce music similar to Ružoví Kovboji and still, he would sound quite lame. This is hilariously delightful and still not defying the punk roots and ethics, from which Urbsounds collective came from.

Bartek is the proud member of the Lazy Bastards soundsystem, a breakcore colective, and also one of the main men behind Fuga. His side of the tape oscillates between classic breakcore sounds, all bits and pieces uncompromisingly swept through filters and total randomness which, in the final run, comes close to a rhythmic harsh noise with a good old gabber kick supervising all of this. Surprisingly, it sounds fresh, despite breakcore itself being a dead platform, which has not really progressed for a couple of years. Ružoví Kovboji shine, nevertheless, Bartek’s round is also worth of listening.

Tapes were made for music like this. Listening to the release from this medium makes it even more fucked up and saturated, like a pool of pure sonic piss blasting through the speakers of your boombox bouncing on the trashcan in a really dirty backyard. Forum Absurdum are not following any trends, they are the direct descendants of Bratislava’s old school underground and are proud as hell to do that. Something tells me that their next output will be in a similar vein. This tape is laced with a good old punk spirit, a lovely artefact. 

by b.arctor Reblog   Like