Poltergeists: Week of December 12, 2016

Michael

Markus Midnight - “Blutgeld”

Synth-Punk is one of my favorite emerging genres. It may be something that has been around forever, but it is new to me and I am excited about it. Markus Midnight may not fit exactly into the synth-punk movement, but his music has that catch and raw feeling to it that so many bands in that genre provoke. “Blutgeld” is a solid dance song with weird and catchy synths crossing in and out of the track, keeping it interesting and moving forward. This track reminds me a lot, vocally, of the first TR/ST album, which I think will play to its advantage.

Markus Midnight is a solo project from Edmonton, Alberta and you can find his stuff on the Markus Midnight Bandcamp.

Noire Antidote - “Slow Macabre”

Out next week on Audiotrauma Records is the new album from Noire Antidote. The mixture of dark, witchhouse-inspired atmosphere and a raw future bass element has me hooked already. The sounds are deep and intense in this track, reminding me of the kind of oddity that projects like Sonic Area and Twinkle would bring into their darker tracks. I sometimes have trouble with projects that have no vocal element, but the two preview tracks from this album are both consistently interesting and ever-changing enough to keep me fully on board.

The new album from Noire Antidote, I Know Where The Wolf Sleeps, is out on December 19th via Audiotrauma Records.

Wes

Sometimes Never - “The Dead”

“The Dead” is a fantastic track from Sometimes Never’s Enter Terrible. I’ve listened to the full release many times since I discovered it, and every single time, its closer, this track, stands out to me. It often feels simple and minimalistic in the first half of the 13 minute playtime; two or three instruments at a time pluck along with digital choirs providing a calming backdrop.

The song has four sort of movements to it - it starts with the slowly plucking synth who’s delay creates kind of a chord effect, backed up by the aforementioned choir-like pads. From there, it moves into a section that is a little darker in tone - a repeating bassline with little tonal movement is supplemented by pads creating the melody; then later, little plucking synths gently move in adding a feeling of hopefulness. This pulls us into the third movement, where for the first time we have percussion - a kick sets the beat while a arpeggiated bassline pulls us along with it. At the end, in the final movement, all the pieces start to become tied together. The starting synth comes back, plucking away behind the beat, the pads. It is a fantastically constructed song that I can listen to over and over, finding new little things each time.

Sometimes Never is a synth project that appears to be from Bristol,UK. Their latest release, Enter Terrible, is available on Bandcamp.

Lebanon Hanover - “Babes Of The 80s”

I don’t know how I missed this when it first came out. I have been a fan of Lebanon Hanover’s more post-punk oriented works, and while this track feels like it is from the same band, it leans much more heavily on synth components than their last album, Besides The Abyss. In place of the chorus soaked guitars and chunky bass guitar, we have moving pads and plucking synth. It is a fun little song that makes me want to slowly dance around; the short, sharp plucks create a nice, almost jaunty beat you can’t help but move your head to.

Lebanon Hanover is a cold wave duo from Germany. Their latest album, Besides The Abyss, is available on Bandcamp.

Poltergeists: Week of October 5, 2015

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

We Are The Alchemists - “The Great Voyager”

Architect, Sonic Area, and Hologram_ all on one release! When I saw that this release was being put together, I was expecting a few tracks on an awesome EP. Nope! This is a full 12-track album of amazing tunes from some of my favorite artists. I love this album because you can tell that they had fun with the sounds and composition of each track. When you hear that Architect (Daniel Myer AKA DSTR, AKA HAUJOBB, AKA EVERYTHING), Sonic Area (Arco Trauma also in Chrysalide, and EVERYTHING), and Hologram_ (Martin from Republik of Screens, Cheerleader 69, and Dexy Corp_) are setting out to make an album under the new moniker We Are The Alchemists, you think “These guys could really break music,” and (I am not saying they didn’t) I am just glad that this is a fun mix of a lot of electronic elements. I chose “The Great Voyager” because it is such a peculiar track that reminds me a lot of a Skinny Puppy filler track, which were always my favorite. It is a great track to end the album with.

Fraunhofer Diffraction - “Todesopfer I”

The latest series of releases from Moscow-based Fraunhofer Diffraction have delved deeply into dark ambient territory. “Todesopfer I” (German: Casualty / Fatal Victim) is an extremely morose track that embodies the texture and romance of death in my mind. There are sections of the song that go through a funeralian marching rhythm while the sound of a rainy night bleeds into the background only to be met by beautiful passages of violin and dark pads. Fraunhofer Diffraction have taken all of the elements that I enjoyed about their previous releases and channeled them into a darker undertaking.

Also released this week were Clod#2.5 and Clod#3, which are not quite as dark, but equally compelling. If you haven’t been following Fraunhofer Diffraction, you definitely should!

Wes

Haujobb - “Dark Heart 5 (feat. Zinovia)”

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for Haujobb. This being the case, I am obviously very excited for the upcoming Haujobb release, Blendwerk, from which this new track is taken.

I love the start to this song; I usually am listening with headphones and there is something about the opening little whirls of sound that always make me double check that my headphones are plugged in. The sound is far away, and when the piano comes in, so present and forward, it marks a beautiful contrast. Speaking of the piano, Zinovia Arvanitidi’s work on this track is great. It provides such a beautiful, natural contrast to the digitized voice and sharp minimalist drums. As always, the beat construction is on point, and the sound design flows wonderfully. I can’t say that I have a single complaint about this track, and I’ve listened to it as many times as Bandcamp would let me on my phone.

Lebanon Hanover - “Saddest Smile”

Taking a totally different tack, I cannot stop listening to this song from Lebanon Hanover’s 2012 Why Not Just Be Solo. I’m not super huge on the more swirly of goth musics, but there’s something about Lebanon Hanover that I really enjoy. Maybe it’s the lyrics: “People say they like me / but how can I believe // when they also like you / and you’re exactly the one I hate.” How can you not love that opening line? I’m sure that to people more versed in this vein of music, Lebanon Hanover may sound a little too much like a prior age, but as someone unversed, I just really love the minimal approach to the music, light vocals, and plucky bass lines.