Wreck and Reference - “Powders”
If there is one thing that I have taken away from writing this article twice a month for the last two years, it is that I really value an atmospheric narrative. After the newest Muscle & Marrow came out (and was amazing), I decided to check out some of the other releases on The Flenser label via bandcamp; the artwork for Indifferent Rivers Romance End by Wreck and Reference, which is a collage image with a lot of interesting elements, had me immediately curious. “Powders” is an ideal first track for me because it shows me that this project is going to be strange, genre-bending, and that the lyricist(s) took a lot of time to construct a space for these words to live in. The track takes form in an emotional recollection of a back-and-forth between partners, who have had a rather dramatic separation - but the emotion and the energy put into the retelling of this event escalate throughout the track (to the point of screaming), evoking very honest passages about the author.
One of my favorite passages from this song is “And you said what about the time outside? And I said what about the hours inside crumbling to dust?” because it reminds of the stagnation that can happen in relationships sometimes - when you plan and try to go outside and to be part of the world but just want to stay inside and be with each other (perhaps out of love and intimacy at first, but just out of habit and laziness later). This line is echoed in the last stanza of the song but - like in an argument - escalates to “And I said what about the times we spent rotting indoors, fusing and imploding, casting shade upon our lives.”
The music behind the lyrics, which is also very emotional and fitting to the scene, is a collection of piano, what sounds like a violin, and noise samples. Overall, it is a very cinematically constructed song. There is a tension and beauty to the way the song progresses, adding small things at first - maybe a swelling noise under the softer passage - to a full collection of emotionally driven melodies.
Rïcïnn - “Orchid”
Rïcïnn is the newest project from Laure Le Prunenec, who you may recognize from her work with Öxxö Xööx or Igorrr, and is an incredibly vivid showcase of her many talents. I really love the balance of wonderfully operatic sections and growlingly evil moments in “Orchid,” which are set against the doom folk background of guitars and orchestral instruments. The vocals, at times, remind me of the operatic work that Myrkur often invokes in her songs because it is equally dark and beautiful - often adding a deep melancholia to each song. For a debut album, Lïan is a solidly constructed and executed album that belongs in everyone’s library.
You can pick up Rïcïnn’s debut album Lïan from Blood Music’s bandcamp digitally and in a 6-panel Digipack CD format.
BLVCK CEILING - “Glass”
It’s been a while since I last visiting BLVCK CEILING, or really any of the bands that came out of the witch house explosion a few years ago (aside from M‡яc▲ll▲and V▲LH▲LL). BLVCK CEILING’s new release is a good reminder of why I had been so attracted to the genre when it first was blowing up, but also shows growth. Trap inspired beats - long kicks and snappy snares - are backed up by a heavy bassline that, while it isn’t overtly aggressive, forcing its presence to be acknowledged through its weight. Unlike a lot of what became the trope of witch house - bass saws so loud you knew the bars were in the red - BLVCK CEILING’s “Glass” feels well balanced. Each of the elements has room to breathe and create its effect without any other pieces forcing it out of the way.
BLVCK CEILING was witch house project; I’m not fully sure how to classify them anymore. Their latest release, Flowers, is available on Bandcamp.
Alter Der Ruine - “There Is No Water”
Oh hey, have you heard the new Alter Der Ruine yet? No? Well, listen, I’ll wait. Okay, you’ve listened to it right? Good. As you just heard “There Is No Water” is an excellent continuation of Alter Der Ruine’s slow and thoughtful evolution of their sound. The poppy, almost electroclash elements that worked so well for them in I Will Remember It All Differently continue, feeling maybe even a little poppier. This is wonderfully complimented by the guitar work of Brandon Neumaier, who picks up the funky elements of bassline and brings it through with sort of a nu-disco set of riffs.Michael Treveloni’s mildly haunting vocals are on point as always.
Alter Der Ruine is the electro phoenix that rose from the ashes of power noise. Their latest release, Gravity Hunts Us All, is available on Bandcamp, as well as this, their new single.