Poltergeists: Week of September 19, 2016

Michael

DJ Shadow - “Organ Donor (Christine Remix)

Christine posted this remix as part of a November 2015 release called Brand New Furies, which was a collection of remixes and collaborations. I had not heard the original DJ Shadow song before writing this article because the track is listed simply as “Organ Donor” on the Bandcamp page, but if you look at the album artwork it clearly states that it is a DJ Shadow remix. Christine’s style - which I would say is like Justice covering John Carpenter songs in the best way - really lends itself to this style of music. I love how they took the scratch and vocal elements of the original and brought it into the fold with the distorted, heavy beats that are typically in their songs. The song works incredibly well.

Christine is a French duo that has a Bandcamp full of great jams! Their latest single, Howling Wave, is a song that I play whenever I get the chance to DJ.

Seagrave - “Bonjour Tristesse”

Seagrave is a band that I found while rummaging through the Art of Propaganda Records Bandcamp, which is one of those labels that has a very closely curated style with a specific sound. This album has a very similar style to Harakiri For The Sky and I immediately added it to my wishlist for further listening. The guitars and the blend of hardcore, atmospheric black metal, and shoegaze hooked right into my recent obsession with the post-black metal genre. There is something in “Bonjour Tristesse” that makes me want to leave town forever and live in the forest. It lives in the atmosphere behind the melodic black metal guitar work and the longing of the vocals throughout the album.

Seagrave is the solo project of J.J. from Harakiri For The Sky. His debut album, Stabwound, is out now on Art of Propaganda’s Bandcamp.

Wes

Starkey - “Aphelion”

I’ve had Oddyssey Five, the album “Aphelion” is pulled from, on repeat since I saw that it came out. “Aphelion” is a beautiful and brilliant example of the release overall. Where most bass music I hear lately is heavy on trap influence, “Aphelion” takes a more gentle, thought out approach. Slow builds, deep bass, and stuttering pads are led forward by arpeggiating leads that evolve seamlessly over the course of the three minutes of the track. There’s no big drops; instead, we get soft moments of quiet where the bulk of the instrumentation falls away, leaving the pads to carry the atmosphere forward through the end of the song. If more artists operating in the future and bass music sphere can take Starkey’s approach, I’ll look forward to dipping back into the genre more often.

Starkey is a producer from Philadelphia, PA. His latest release, Oddyssey Five, is available on Bandcamp now from Saturate! Records.

Minimal Violence - “Houses”

This new track from Minimal Violence - released ahead of their new Night Gym EP - shows how much the duo has grown since 2015’s Heavy Slave. Where tracks from Heavy Slave evolved in what felt a fairly straight-forward direction, “Houses” feels carefully planned. The changes in percussion are less predictable and more impactful for it.The little hits of pads, the little plucks of bass, are blended expertly into a song that feels almost narrative. There’s a tension between the at times frantic feel of the percussion and the gentle swells of the synth elements. It’s a great teaser for the album, and I can’t wait to see what the full release brings.

Minimal Violence is a techno duo from Vancouver, BC. Their latest release, Night Gym, is coming out on 1080p Collection later this month.

Poltergeists: Week of August 10, 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

LOSS - “The (Broken) Promise Ring”

This is the perfect Ant-Zen style experimental industrial track for me. It goes from chaotic and noisy with an oddly syncopated beat to structured and epic in the most emotional way possible. You really don’t get the feel of this track unless it is loud, which I think is pretty magnificent. I am But the Sum of my Conditions, LOSS’ 2013 release on Ant-Zen, sold me on the deeply emotional noise with a track that had a break-up-esque voicemail playing in the background and cut in with Dan Fox, of LOSS, saying in very distorted vocals “It wasn’t that much to get over.” “Sick” follows the same deeply emotional vain and I find it easy to sink my noise-teeth into it and get sad, which is what I think Dan wants.

Avoid The Light - “Godspeed!”

Bandcamp-trolling has led me to my new favorite micro-genre, blackgaze, which, if we are being honest, is just the left hand to Cascadian black metal and bands like Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room. Avoid The Light are a mix of neofolk, shoegaze, and black metal, which creates a really interesting atmosphere. I am not a big shoegaze person, but all of my favorite nu-goth bands are heavily influenced by it, so I respect where the genre is coming from. “Godspeed!” is an instrumental but powerful track that starts off nice and melodic. Some clean guitars and crashes. Could be a gothy-shoegaze song. When you hit about the one minute mark it starts to get really good, just a solid rhythm section and a nice riff. Skip ahead to two minutes and twenty seconds and bam! Fast, distorted guitars and the double bass kicks. I am sold.   

Wes

minimal violence - “Husbands”

I cannot stop listening to this. I have probably listened to it twice a day since it came out. minimal violence is a great take on minimal techno; they maintain the sparseness, repetition, and slow evolutions of the genre, while also managing to inject a certain sort of darkness into it. Clicks and percussive strikes create an unsettling feeling; at times I almost start to get a giallo feel from the percussion elements. I can’t get enough of this release, and I recommend checking the whole album out.

Baby In Vain - “Muscles”

This band is really impressing me. Michael and I just went to see them, and they blew us away. Their music is pretty fun; it mixes a kind of bluesy sensibility with an almost doomy sort of heaviness. Slow, hammering riffs marry with a back and forth between the two vocalists/guitarists; absent is any bassist, which is interesting. Normally I would be suspicious of a lack of bass in any music but Baby In Vain manages to achieve a fullness of sound that I wouldn’t have expected without bass.

As good as their recordings are, their live performances are even more on point. They have an amazing stage presence; they didn’t talk to the crowd much, but the interactions between band members mixed with the sheer technical skill gave you everything you could want from a live performance. If they’re coming through your town anytime soon, be sure to check them out.