out for a while: The Soft Moon – Criminal [Sacred Bones Records]

 

Artist:
The Soft Moon

 

Title:
Criminal

 

Label:
Sacred Bones Records

 

Cat#:
SBR-1922

 

Release Date:
02nd February 2018

 

Format:
CD, vinyl & digital

 

Tracklist:
01.
Burn

02.
Choke

03.
Give Something

04.
Like A Father

05.
The Pain

06.
It Kills

07.
ILL

08.
Young

09.
Born Into This

10.
Criminal

 

Press Info:
‘Criminal’, The Soft Moon’s fourth studio album, is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of 80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.

“Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty” Vasquez reflects. “The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.”

‘Criminal’ marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration. Taking krautrock’s motorik beats and Post-Punk deconstructions and honing them into a hushed percussive incantation, The Soft Moon’s self-titled debut album took shape. The album was released in late 2010 by Captured Tracks and was praised by critics and emulated by contemporaries.

In 2012 the apocalyptic conceptual work of Zeros emerged, shortly followed by Vasquez moving to Venice, Italy in 2013, acting as a catalyst for 2014’s release, Deeper. While previous albums were primarily instrumental records, where Vasquez’s voice was diffused amidst the music as another instrument, Deeper marked the beginning of a new musical direction where vocals and lyrics became something more than a mere presence. Deeper was a descent into the womb of childhood trauma, anxiety and fear, and although Vasquez survived this dark exploration of himself, he did not return alone.

Working once more with Maurizio Baggio, who produced Deeper, at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, ‘Criminal’ sees Vasquez further explore putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow. The album begins with a confrontation with his true self through the torrid bass lines and searing vocals of “Burn”; a song evoking a loss of control akin to demonic possession, stating: “Eyes, reflecting the person that I am, and it burns”. In this track Vasquez’s guilt bores deeper and deeper into a condemnation that ultimately is: “Fire, hell is where I’ll go to live, so I burn”.

“Burn” is followed by the caustic bass, mechanized rhythms, and numbing emulsions of “Choke,” a song about the amplifying and anesthetizing effect of cocaine, a drug whose darker side Vasquez is not unfamiliar with. The next track “Give Something” is a subterranean love song from the deepest depths, with harrowingly despondent lyrics, seeking hope in a sea of shame.

The album continues its thematic inner conflict in the Industrial/EBM percussion and distorted high attack bass of “Like a Father”, a song reflecting Vasquez’s anger towards the father that abandoned him. “This head is a problem/You’re the ghost of my problem/Something’s got to give” pleads Vasquez as revving guitars invoke chainsaws before the song’s final lines search for closure: to kill the father within himself.

The album closes with title track “Criminal”; a despondent resignation to guilt; bereft, broken, and bruised, with lyrics that confess: “It’s the way I cross the line, it’s the way I open, it’s the way to my decline, it’s the way I’m broken”. The song, like the album itself, is Vasquez’s way of holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself, and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him.

 

Listen:
soon

 

Videos:
“It Kills”

“Burn”

“Like A Father”

“Give Something”

 

Recommendations:
album “Deeper” on Captured Tracks
“Deeper Remixed Vol. 2” on Aufnahme+Wiedergabe / Captured Tracks
“Deeper Remixed Vol. 2” on Captured Tracks
compilation “Death#Disco IV” with The Soft Moon track

 

Special:
“Some Velvet Guests 27”

 

Buy CD:
The Soft Moon @ Bandcamp
Amazon
more soon

 

Buy Vinyl:
The Soft Moon @ Bandcamp
Amazon
more soon

 

Buy Digital:
The Soft Moon @ Bandcamp
more soon

 

Websites:
The Soft Moon
Sacred Bones Records

 

out now: State Of The Union – Mindless [Infacted Recordings]

 

Artist:
State Of The Union

 

Title:
Mindless

 

Label:
Infacted Recordings

 

Cat#:
Digital Fact 124

 

Release Date:
10th August 2018

 

Format:
digital

 

Tracklist:
01.
Mindless
(Remix by ES23)

02.
Industrial
(Remix by Ruined Conflict)

03.
Mindless
(Remix by Accessory)

04.
Encore
(Mix by Ruined Conflict)

05.
Mindless
(Logic-B Remix by DJ Dominatrix)

06.
Mindless (Original Mix) 05:12
07.
Encore
(Remix by ES23)

08.
Mindless
(Logic-A Remix by DJ Dominatrix)

 

Press Info:

 

Full Track Streaming:

 

Videos:
“Mindless (Remix by ES23)”

“Encore”

 

Recommendations:
State Of The Union’s album “Evol Love Industry” on Infacted Recordings
State Of The Union’s EP “Dancing In The Dark” on Infacted Recordings

 

Buy Digital:
Infacted Recordings @ Bandcamp
Google Play
iTunes
Beatport Classic
more soon

 

Websites:
State Of Union
Infacted Recordings

 

out soon: Eloim – Live In Rennes [self-released]

 

Artist:
Eloim

 

Title:
Live In Rennes

 

Label:
self-released

 

Cat#:
none

 

Release Date:
21st September 2018

 

Format:
vinyl & digital

 

Tracklist Vinyl:
A1.
Shamash
(Live In Rennes)

B1.
Enki
(Live In Rennes)

 

Tracklist Digital:
01.
Bucolica I
(Live In Rennes)

02.
Bamaki
(Live In Rennes)

03.
Merodak
(Live In Rennes)

04.
Nabu
(Live In Rennes)

05.
Ishtar
(Live In Rennes)

 

Press Info:

 

Listen:

 

Full Track Streaming:
“Shamash (Live In Rennes)”

 

Special:
“IS 331”

 

Recommendation:
Eloim’s EP “Planet Earth is Calling” on Nocturnal Frequencies

 

Buy Vinyl:
soon

 

Buy Digital:
soon

 

Websites:
Eloim

 

out now: Inhalt Der Nacht & Echoes Of October – Die Dritte Defension EP [Lebendig]

 

Artist:
Inhalt Der Nacht & Echoes Of October

 

Title:
Die Dritte Defension EP

 

Label:
Lebendig

 

Cat#:
LBNG00.04

 

Release Date:
04th September 2018

 

Format:
digital

 

Tracklist:
01.
Die Angst

02.
Das Gift

03.
Der Pakt

04.
Die Liebe

 

Press Info:

 

Listen:

 

Full Track Streaming:
“Die Liebe”

 

Video:
“Das Gift”

 

Specials:
Inhalt Der Nacht – “Nachtaufnahmen Episode 1”

Echoes Of October – “at Tresor Berlin”

 

Recommendations:
all stuff on Lebendig

 

Buy Digital:
Lebendig @ Bandcamp

 

Booking:
Raw Agency for Inhalt Der Nacht
Urbanum for Echoes Of October

 

Websites:
Inhalt Der Nacht
Echoes Of October
Lebendig

 

out now: Ancient Methods – The Jericho Records [Ancient Methods]

 

Artist:
Ancient Methods

 

Title:
The Jericho Records

 

Label:
Ancient Methods

 

Cat#:
AM-00

 

Release Date:
01st October 2018

 

Format:
vinyl & digital

 

Tracklist:
A1.
Walls

A2.
Twelve Stones To Divide Jordan’s Sand

A3.
The City Awakes

B1.
Treason Creeps In

B2.
The House Of Rahab

C1.
Array The Troops
[feat. Regis]

C2.
The Seven Shofars
[feat. Orphx]

D1.
Crack And Collapse In The Storm Of Lights

D2.
Swordplay

E1.
Omen’s Duty

E2.
I Am Your New King
[feat. King Dude]

F1.
Moonset
[feat. Cindytalk]

F2.
Walking On Cursed Soil
[feat. Prurient]

F3.
In Silence

 

Press Info:
Five years ago Ancient Methods sealed the emissions of the eponymous label with the „Seventh Seal“. But one chapter remained to be written – the very first one. Labeled as a prequel to those seven releases „The Jericho Records“ materializes an idea, that has been in its creators head since the beginning of this project: to transform the biblical story and the accompanying picture, that can be found on almost all previous Ancient Methods releases, into sonic images.

However „The Jericho Records“ is not aiming to be a soundtrack in a traditional sense, but rather an attempt to create the pictures by the music itself. Throughout the three chapters of the album (The City Of Jericho, The Battle and The Aftermath, each represented on one vinyl) these pictures appear sometimes as a rather abstract scoring of a mood, for example the tiptoeing sequences of „Treason Creeps In“ or the orchestral, melancholic prospects of the final track „In Silence“. In contrast you find very figurative pieces like the rhythmic battle in „Swordplay“ or the impenetrable wall of sub-bass throughout the album’s opener „Walls“.

The album implements the „Music Will Tear Down Walls“ – approach, another conceptual layer that does not only radiate as one possible subtext from the ambiguous „Battle Of Jericho“ picture but has been also an integral and fertile part of Ancient Methods’ work to connect different music subcultures. It is just as conclusive to find all former collaborators with distinctive but yet coherent contributions being involved. Regis’ rough, „Gymnastics”-reminiscent synth lines fit seamlessly into the tribalistic assault of „Array The Troops“, whereas Orphx’ psychedelic noises in „The Seven Shofars“ manage to both pair up with the wall-shaking brass and deliver a stark contrast to the almost latenight-melancholic trumpet. Extraordinary vocal improviser Cindytalk delivers a moving, almost fragile sounding piece over dramatic strings („Moonset“) while industrial legend Prurient presents his impressive sonic and dynamic vocal range over epic 10 minutes („Walking On Cursed Soil“). For some the appearance of dark-folk majesty King Dude might be the surprise here, since only the keener listeners might have noticed the collaborative work. He ennobles the hypnotic percussions of „I Am Your New King“ with his unmistakable husky chants dignifying the track with true genre-bending qualities.

Albeit the typical machine stomp is not entirely neglected („Twelve Stones To Divide Jordan’s Sand“, „The House Of Rahab“) Ancient Methods’ broad influences emerge all over the record and burst through the „pitch black techno war funk“ (qtd Boomkat). Medieval liturgical chants fuse with techno-metal („Omen’s Duty“), global folk music is meeting post-punk („The City Awakes“), industrial parts explode and collapse into a „Knights & Bishops“-styled techno rave („Collapse and Crack In The Storm Of Lights“), early 90’s techno is melting into a wall of noise with („neo“)-classical shimmers („Walking On Cursed Soil“). The comprehensive use of the trombone is not only another reference to the Jericho picture but a confession to the creators favorite instrument, lending the album not only an orchestral but also a personal guiding thread.

Beyond the mere music one might discern contemporary statements here and there, e.g. when the composition of the opening track is juxtaposing a traditional western scale to a Phrygian scale divided by a central wall of bass, while the lyrics transform Kafka’s world-worn „Bridge“ into „Walls”. In any case inevitable to conclude: „The Jericho Records“ is a very personal artistic statement, mirroring the past of the project and leaving a foretaste of the things to come. And last – but certainly – not at least: It is an album you can dance to.

 

Listen:

 

Trailer:

 

Full Track Streaming:
“Array The Troops” (feat. Regis) edited version

“The City Awakes”

“Sword”

 

Special:
“XLR8R Podcast 539”

 

Recommendations:
Ancient Methods’ “The Asking Breath Comes To Each” on Candela Rising
Ancient Methods’ “The First Siren” on Persephonic Sirens
“Exstinctio Conscientia” by Ancient Methods vs. Kareem on Fondation Sonore
Wolfsheim remixed by Ancient Methods on Dark Entries

 

Buy Vinyl:
Juno
Hardwax
more soon

 

Buy Digital:
Hardwax
more soon

 

Booking:
Triangle Agency

 

Websites:
Ancient Methods

 

© Photo by Marie Staggat