Episode 82 - Boy Harsher

This week we chat with Boy Harsher about Chumbawamba's Tubthumper, movie production, and having a studio inside of a church! 

Poltergeists for this week: 

Michael

Wes

Episode 81 - Andy McMillan

This week we chatted with Andy McMillan, who is a designer and overall doer, about starting a conference, how people should rip off The Manual, shutting down your Nintendo fan site because your girlfriend made you, and of course MBMBAM.

This week's poltergeists didn't really happen. But! We have some recommendations: 

Wes: A podcast called "Friends at the Table" (live-play podcast) 

Michael:

You can directly download the episode here!

Episode 80 - Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, DSTR, etc)

This week on the podcast we talk to Daniel Myer, the mastermind behind many, many different projects including Haujobb, Architect, DSTR, and the new project called Rendered. Daniel was in town on an Architect tour and we had the chance to pick his brain about performing Architect material live, the new world of techno that he is getting to play in, and starting Haujobb. 

This Week's Poltergeist picks:

You can download the podcast directly: Here!

Episode 79 - Oathbreaker

This week we sat down with post-hardcore black metal project Oathbreaker! We talked about the challenges of long tours, the current political climate, high school punk bands, playing emotional songs, and more!

This week's Poltergeists Picks:

You can find Talking to Ghosts on Facebook and Twitter!

Poltergeists: Week of March 20, 2017

Michael

VVITCH - “Homecoming”

This is a super chilled out song from VVITCH. It took me a little bit by surprise at first, but the more that I listened to the track, the more consumed I became. The drum sounds are just complicated enough to keep me interested in what is going on, but not distractingly so. The mix on this song is really well balanced and I think that really helps with the flow once the bass and drums kick in to the main pattern. The artwork too - what initially drew me in - is incredibly on point with the atmosphere of the track. I’m having a hard time deciding whether the song needs to be longer, with a few more pattern changes, or if the current length is why it feels like it flows so nicely, but at any rate it is a great song that could easily fit into a blackgaze album’s interlude.

VVITCH is a Swedish project that has many influences and a really wonderful output. You should check them out on Bandcamp and buy some of their tracks!

Heretoir - “The Circle (Omega)”

It is a little bit sad to me that bands have to declare that they are anti-fascist in advance in this genre, but it is still nice to know! Heretoir make a point to delve deep into the emotional journey of “a life dedicated to the sun and to freedom” with their new album, The Circle. “The Circle (Omega),” is a powerful journey in itself. It is the only preview track up right now on their Bandcamp, so it is hard to say, but this track has such a powerful sound that I hope reflects the rest of the album - from a soft violin, to an intensely melodic verse, to an emotional, screamy chorus section, and back again. The singing reminds me of Alcest a lot, which is not only a good thing but important to note because Neige of Alcest does guest vocals on a different track. The path through this song is very deliberate to its name. The track circles back to the intro violins and adds some more emotion to it before kicking back into the heavier stuff again. I am definitely looking forward to this album’s release on the 24th of this month.

Wes

Mansion - “California Priest”

Mansion was recommended by Aaron Rieseberg in our latest episode, and it is some wonderfully weird and heavy stuff. “California Priest” is an interesting example of how Mansion touches on some poppier sensibilities in the midst of their noise rock deliveries. Low and quiet in the verses, discordance is created with the strange guitar tone against the vocal delivery. When the chorus does hit, it hits hard, bring the noise part of noise rock fully to bear, heavy chords building a wall of sound. At the end of the track, Mansion breaks away into almost a chant, punctuated by a guitar tone that sounds almost like something I would expect from a power electronics group messing with a loop pedal. After the structure of the rest of the song, it is an interesting and effective break to take us into the end.

Mansion was a noise rock band from Oakland, California. Their latest release, Early Life, is a free download on Bandcamp.

Heinali - “Sway, sway”

I was sent Sway, sway as part of the Telekon music exchange, and wow, what a beautiful piece of music. The title track is a wonderful movement of piano - the arpeggios on the lower keys present a backdrop of softness, almost somber. When the higher keys come into play, they initially dance in that beautiful sort of sadness before move even higher and creating a feeling of sort of tense hopefulness. There is a simplicity to the overall sound and delivery of the piece, but the minimalism works incredibly well. I’ve not had this long and have already listened to it  more times than I could count.

Heinali is a composer from Kiev, Ukraine. His latest release, Anthem, is available on Bandcamp via Injazero Records.

Poltergeists: Week of March 6, 2017

Michael

Frostreich - “Empty Again”

I have listened to this song about a dozen times this morning. It hits all of the notes that draw me into a metal song. There is a special quality to a song that makes you just lose your mind by yourself at the kitchen table, and it deserves to be written about. There is a hardcore element to the way this song breaks down a few different times that lives within this kind of blackgaze / atmospheric black metal shell and is masked by the first part of the song. But when the chorus kicks in… holy shit, I lost it. Just the small break with only vocals and a few drums - “Empty again!” - and then back into this breakdown where the choir samples kick in and everything comes back. It is emotionally perfect for the theme. Lost and empty. This breakdown is repeated and altered throughout the song, but it has the same effect. The rest of the album is also very good. There are a lot of different influences that are exorcised throughout Join The Wind, but “Empty Again” is the track that I will definitely come back to again and again. It is a tightly constructed song that moves me. This album will appeal to fans of Harakiri for the Sky in the best way.  

Frostreich is an atmospheric black metal band from Germany and you can grab their latest album, Join The Wind, directly from their Bandcamp.

Deadlife - “Aurora”

I am no stranger to outrun. Lazerdiscs Records is a great place to find the newest outrun releases and I usually comb through their catalog every few months to see what is going on in the futurepast-world of 80s synthesizers, hard dance beats, and fast, colorful cars. Sometimes the best part of the music is the story that the artist tells through the concept of the art and content - and when you look to outrun there are plenty of over-the-top fun plots running through neon worlds. Deadlife is a robot that has lost a lover. The lover, and maker, haunts him in a wonderful concept album. Tracks like “Aurora” are classically pulsing with rhythm and plucky synthesizers, a driving bassline, and a great sense of a dance beat. The voice, presumably the maker mentioned before, drifts through the song with a few mournful praises that give the track a sad energy. It is very good. The final track, “For You”, is a wonderful techno track. It reminds me of some Apoptygma Berzerk tracks in the more dance-happy period of albums like Welcome to Earth or 7.

You can pick up the new Deadlife album, Bionic Chrysalis, on the Lazerdiscs Records Bandcamp page.

Wes

Schwefelgelb - “Aus Dem Hals Der Flasche”

I mean you knew this was coming. Of course I was going to write about the new Schwefelgelb release. The whole release is great, but I really love this track. The percussion in “Aus Dem Hals Der Flasche” is heavily compressed and distorted, creating a really full and interesting sound - it’s the sort of thing you might hear a beginner do on accident to poor effect, but when applied on purpose, as it is here, it creates a texture to the beat that fits the motion of the track. The open hats smashing in create a forward momentum that makes you want to bang your head as much as it makes you want to dance. I’ve probably listened to Dahinter Das Gesicht ten or fifteen times since it was released, and this track stands out every single time.

Schwefelgelb is a techno/EBM duo from Berlin Germany. Their latest release, Dahinter Das Gesicht, is available on Bandcamp via aufnahme + wiedergabe..

Drekka - “Like Yesterday”

This is a beautiful, slow, and thoughtful piece. Soft pads blend seamlessly with quiet strings, punctuated by piano. Soft vocalizations create a almost ocean like wash of sound as they come in and out. The instrumentation is very sparse; every note played or sung feels necessary to the life and emotion of the track. It feels like Drekka cut and cut and cut until the only thing that remained was the core idea, the core feeling, that they wanted to create. It’s the type of piece that you just want to close your eyes, put on headphones, and lay back, letting the emotion of the thing carry you away.

Drekka is musician from Bloomington, Indiana. Their latest release, Golden Braid, is available via Bandcamp.

Poltergeists: Week of February 20th, 2017

Michael

ESA - “The Hold (Tight Grip Remix by ESA)”

Negative Gain Productions have a pretty consistently awesome set of releases and I tend to check in on what they are doing often. This release, though, needs no introduction! ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse) is a project that I can count on to be both dance beat heavy and emotional. Jamie has a way of making even the danciest tracks very dark and this EP is no exception! “The Hold (Tight Grip Remix by ESA)” is an epic, and yet somehow more thumpy, version of the original track - which features vocals from Valeriia Moon. The cello intro to the track is great - it has a wonderful dark folk feel and sets the stage for the pulsing, semi-tribal beats that are to come. There is an iVardensphere remix on this EP, but I didn’t review it because Scott is too cool for school and the Tight Grip mix had clear and wonderful cellos.

ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse) is the (mostly) solo project of Jamie Blacker and is one of those bands you should see live if you have the chance!  

Threads - “Words That Rhyme With Loneliness”

I have been getting into really minimal lo-fi atmospheric black metal recently. The emotions and the atmospheres are so sincere and mesmerizing. “Words That Rhyme With Loneliness” is one of many great tracks on Thread’s 2016 release As The Pale Chorus. A lot of the tracks contain a lo-fi spoken word section in place of vocals that I highly encourage you to translate if you have a minute. The writing is beautiful and tragic; it passes from hopeful life to a dark and lonely death. Here is a short passage translated from Spanish to English via Google Translate (sorry): “Let us share the same dream and in eternity we will float to the end. We will change our skin into more grayish pigments and we will feed on joy.” It is not just the spoken word that brings me to this song though. There are many different guitar parts playing off each other deep in the background, swelling and evolving to set the tone.

Threads are a lo-fi blackgaze band from Guanajuato, Mexico and you can find their album As The Pale Chorus on their Bandcamp page.

Wes

HØUNDS - “Transfiguration”

HØUNDS sounds, to me, like what you would get if Author & Punisher suddenly got into future bass. “Transfiguration” is the clearest example of this I think. You start with a simple vocal sample, and that sample is turned into a rolling, distorted sort of instrument. Then, you have the almost sludgy doom metal pace of the drums - the weight of every hit of the “snare”, the way the kick ducks the heavy bass. The bass itself, and the way it rolls and is glitched, reminds me of something you might hear from a Saturate artist. I missed this album when it first came out in 2015, and I would really love to hear what HØUNDS is doing now.

HØUNDS is an electronic project from Los Angeles. Their latest album, OUR LOVE, is available on Bandcamp.

Grebenstein - “Black Hatch Dive”

Making an eight minute techno track that doesn’t get boring is quite the feat. There is something about the rolling of the deep bassline that has a gravity to it; it pulls you in with wave after wave. The track is almost hypnotic in the way that it moves - at times, all the percussion fades away, leaving you with that pulsing, rolling bass, and right as you almost forget that the percussion had been there in the first place it drops back in, amping up the energy of motion in the song. The changes as you move forward are small and subtle, but have a significant impact on the feeling of the track. Little clicks pop in a little past halfway through the track, and suddenly the feeling shifts from the hypnosis to almost a frenetic, panicked feeling to the sound. These clicks give way to a sort of high pitched whine that creates a feeling of unease in the listener. All these little changes in the emotional timbre of the track feel completely intentional, and the results are excellent and endlessly listenable.

Grebenstien is a dark techno project from Kassel, Germany. Their latest release, Gloss, will be available on Bandcamp 24 February 2017.