SENKETSU NO NIGHT CLUB

What is more fascinating than the movie world? So many universes collapse behind a screen, so close and so distant at the same time, and they let us to dream things that will never happen in our lives. Movies are an escaping moment for millions of people, but have you ever though how much important is the music that surrounds them? Without soundtracks some movies are without charm, without emotion. Sometimes the soundtracks themselves are the main character of a celluloid project.

We consider these melodies always entwined with a movie, however have you ever tried to listen some of them alone? Some of them are so magic that you don’t see any image to complete them, as Senketsu No Night Club shows in the 50 minutes of its first self title album:

 

 

I suggest to listen to this full-length with eyes closed, and picturing what the music tells you: because it is not possible to imagine a story behind the project of Adriano Vincenti (Macelleria Mobile di Mezzanotte, Cronaca Nera), one of the most influential and prolific musician of the folk/noir/ambient Italian scene.

Inspired by the extreme Japanese cinema, in Senketsu No Night Club soft jazz melodies lay next to tracks that remind relentless chasing; memories of Blade Runner atmospheres are closed to harsh noise intermezzos, when the whole album is soaked in a noir shadow of mystery, a signature of Adriano Vincenti‘s production.

A quite specific project, an original way to re-write the concept of soundtracks in the experimental panorama music.

ZERO23 | Songs from the Eternal Dump

Classical music was always a mystery for me. Maybe is because I never learnt the basic rules, maybe because is something we are not used to listen to anymore. However, when I approach contemporary classic music (or something that for me seems like it), I am always intrigued and fascinated. It is quite interesting to hear a project like zero23 releasing such mosaic of electronica and cello music as in Songs of the Eternal Dump.

The title of the album has a double meaning: from one side it refers to the society as a whole, where the eternal dump represents human dynamics and contemporary society; on the other side, it refers to the sound, since both the electronics and guitars are intentionally made into a scratchy, dirty sound.

What really catch my ear is the designed presence of silence – not just between the tracks but also with a meaning in itself. Every note, every noise seems to have a specific space in the time frame of a track, that is elaborated deeply in the artist’s mind. Sounds can be seen as  brush strokes on canvas, to create a piece of Informal art.

Broken Souls is the track I like the most, since it blend magnificently loops and melody. It is something that keeps me awake and vigilant, but at the same time it sends me in catatonic mode.

It is interesting to discover the different facets of this complex music: it seems like the seeking of the unrevealed.

ONTERVJABBIT | Torture Garden

From space to abyss, this full-length from the Slovenian artists Ontervjabbit gives a lot of inputs to think about. What is noise, what is music? The two things are so entwined in Torture Garden, that is not possible to define them accordingly to the classical standards. Is it music something that gives pleasure, or is more an organic way of presenting human emotions? Is it noise the manifestation of nature (made by living beings or machines) or is a manifesto of rebels?

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In Torture Garden a linear composition of the songs is not granted, however moments of beautiful harmony and disharmony are brought to the ear of the listener. This album is  a collection of sophisticated sounds that evolve into a cinematic story, a distorted narrative that culminates in white noise and riverbed loops.

There is no fear to experiment in this album; the strength of this composition is the use of multiple tools and effects, voices and synthesizers, in a series of tracks that have nothing is common to each other. A beautiful but fearful garden of vibrations.

BVDUB | Earthless

First thing I thought about Brock Van Wey was how dreadful is his look, and at the same time how nice and calm was the photo picturing him and his white cat. A strange combination of feelings, especially when I am about to listen Heartless in its full length after a while – after I saw the face of this artist. Broke – a.k.a BVDUB – is a first time raver, an American DJ devoted to ambient and deep house music.

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Heartless is a full length from 2017 released under an independent music label based in Oakland, California, called n5MD. The main characteristics that hit me when I discovered this masterpiece is how amazingly fresh and luminous are the 8 tracks listed here. An image of calm paradise full of snow and sun is picturing in front of my eyes during the listening.

Soft piano notes are mixed with ethereal female and male voices, natural sounds and echoed vibration, entwined to reach a dreamy climax that vanished smoothly in the silence at the end every piece. Each song is named with a -less word (Faceless, Limitless, and so on) which is kind of powerful idea (as the non-limitation of mind, body and soul), which it bounds quite good with the impression of extreme peace recurrent on the all project.

Heartless is an album to listen with the heart, more that with ears. Its composition makes minds to rest and bodies to heal. A great ambient masterpiece.

POPPY | Poppy.Computer

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She is catchy – her music, her clothes, her way to interact with the camera – and creepy. She is the daughter of technology, an intricate algorithm made with synthesizers and vocoders. She doesn’t exist except in Facebook and Youtube. Everyone is her friends if it will like her or follow her. Welcome to the new LA phenomenon:  Poppy.

Moriah Rose Pereira, aka Poppy, moved to L.A. to pursue her dream of being an actress/singer. There she met the producer Titanic Sinclair, with she started to publish abstract short videos on Youtube. In 2015 she released her first full length called Everybody Wants to Be Poppy, but after an increased interest on her channel (that started to be uploaded regularly from October of the last year) Poppy recorded her most listened album: Poppy.Computer.

It is definitely a new underground pop icon. The entire package is amazing and artistically ingenious. Outside Youtube, Poppy appears in TV shows playing the character she built between the waves of Internet. Her look is between the good girl and a Warhol  masterpiece. A new Lady Gaga still not ruined by the music business.

What about the music? Poppy doesn’t bring anything new to the table, she uses the same beats, sounds and rhythms that are popular, or were popular some years ago. Music is not really what we should take in consideration about her, but the movies.

In her Youtube channel Poppy basically talks non-sense, quoting topics as Facebook, Iphone, dogs, cults, … there is no general connection between the videos, except the fact that have no sense. The background of the ambient music should make, together with the pastel colors of the scene, a sense of peace, but it seems we are more in front of a David Lynch‘s work then a nice young vlogger channel.

At this time Poppy is touring with her new album and is gaining fame on TV, but she still keeps her weird aura. Except this, is the proof that also in pop music we can still have creativity and originality, even if without billions behind. It just needs a cool idea.

LEVIATHAN | t.F.S.o.S

I must admit that the first time I have heard about this peculiar guy was during the VICE documentary One Man Band,  in which he explains his music and how it was connected with his existence. I searched information about him, and I discovered his impressive career into Depressive Black Metal, but also how tormented is his life.

Jef Whitehead continues to make the scene talking about him, releasing The First Sublevel of Suicide, a compilation of the well-known The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide from 2002. In this compilation Leviathan is raw and thoughtful, spiritual and decadent, quiet and chaotic. You can hear despair in most of his album, infinity rage, a connection with the evil; however there are surprisingly moment of peace and acceptance.

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Leviathan style is mostly instrumental, as the best depressive black metal tradition, but with some screams and howls – this is quite particular for the genre. The vocals are made to point out the madness that surrounds the all concept, a dark world of fear or desolation, in which hope is not even possible to conceive.

After three years of inactivity, in which Leviathan project was considered closed, Jef come back in 2011 with a full length and he never stopped since then. The First Sublevel of Suicide is just a reminder that his prolific mind is continuously elaborating new way to express the most black and inhuman hate.

 

LEPROUS | Malina

Leprous are here, finally. It was a long time I was waiting something new from them, and to be honest I was quite frustrated, since I saw them 2-3 times after a long time that the promotional tour of The Congregation was done. But this year, while I was participating at the BeProg!MyFriend in Barcelona, I heard from the first time From the Flames and I realized from the advertisement that – yes – is finally the time.

 

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Malina is a almost full hour of Leprous style. Thumbs up for Bonneville, that has to do the hardest thing to involve the listener to the rest of the work. We can discuss about the risky idea of start with a peaceful atmosphere, instead to – let’s say – launch the bomb with a very rhythmic and powerful piece, but I like reckless idea. This song is so soft and dreamful, that it detaches from the rest of the album. Something to notice, the reprise of Echo at the end of the song.

I am quite surprised how mature and professional became this band, without losing passion and creativity.

Particular mention is From the Flames, first single of the album. I would like to take this song as a representation of Malina; I am quite surprise how mature and professional became this band, without losing passion and creativity. I consider Leprous one of the best band of our era, and pieces as From the Flames just highlight this assumption: a tension that always increase during the succession of the refrains, kept under control by the exquisite tempo of the verses.

To be honest, I think that an album as Malina could have released much more time early, since we do not see real original change in the composition; however, we can see that Leprous once again exceeded our expectations and gave us something to go to see live for another couple of years.

36 | Black Soma

The Underground panorama is full of good artists, I believe the people read these pages already know. That is why I try with Pandemia to bring the most inspiring and well-created music on a stage, and of course I am doing it just following my personal taste. This does not mean that Pandemia is covering all the good music forgotten by mainstream channels, but it still is giving some of them another chance to shine.

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Speaking about shining, Black Soma musically glows. It is quite funny in my opinion that Dennis Huddleston, the creator of the 36’s project, is using the word black in the name of each track of the album. When you listen to his music you can literally see an explosion of colors moving under the eyelids, mixing to each other in a never ending dance.

Black Soma is melancholic, but at the same time full of hope.

After 8 years of production under 36 project Dennis wanted to create something based on real slow sound-enriched loops as another definition of his ambient. There are no pre-defined rules in his projects, and he constantly shows it do it a meaningful music. Song after song, Black Soma gives a sense of peace, leading into a deep space meditation into slow opening dark note and echoing melody. Melancholic, but at the same time full of hope.

Personally I consider music as a vehicle of messages and perception. Music creates feelings, and when it does not, is just a good hands-on exercise. In this case, 36 shows that melody can create different perceptions in your mind, not even following the standard structure of a song but just composing by following its creativity.

PHURPA | Gyen Ro

Every time I make the contact with a new genre or a new form of music, I always challenge myself to re-define internally my idea of it. The 15-years-old Concise Oxford Dictionary definition says that music is The art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

Even if this definition can work for most of the population on Earth, many of the visitors will pass on these pages may disagree with it. If we take examples some Doom projects we can argue that no or little preparation is behind the composition, and in noise harmony is not contemplated, as like grind is not searching beauty.

But one thing we can agree on. No matter which is the final goal of a project or a performance, the idea behind is to feel something and sometimes, thanks to this feelings, communicate something. Music then becomes just a matter of perception, that can amplify and connect the inner with the outer world.

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This is basically what I read into a nice interview shot by Bard Metholodogy to the leader of the Russian project Purpha, Tegyn, when he just proclaimed the intention of the group to manifest power trough they ancient pre-tibetan rituals. Their music is mainly vocals, and this is the center point of everything: the voice is the manifestation of the ritual, when the ritual permits the man to leave his decadent dimension and become a superior being.

Tegyn made a deep research into ancient religion with the purpose of to understand some of their supernatural peculiarities. He ended up to show his findings producing albums that assume the form of channel towards another dimension, and let the public to reach its personal catharsis.

In Gyen Ro you can hear some of their mantras that labeled the songs, together with some traditional organic instruments (made sometimes – it seems – with human bones). It is a incessant litany made to unleashed the souls from his natural burden, and does not have any other goal except this. Question is: would we still consider a band like Phurpa is making music, just because the play instruments?

PTP | Oltreluna

There is something extremely fascinating in the second LP of the Italian ambient black metal band Progenie Terrestre Pura (in English: Pure Terrestrial Progeny): the unexpected contamination of opposites. In fact, even if PTP were already into a melodic and dreamy black metal heavily inspired by Sci-Fi worlds, in this oltreluna (Beyond the Moon) the band go even further into an almost ritualistic dimension.

The fundamentals of the Italian project is quite obvious: the guys play a pure angry black metal, with well shaped raw voices (that sing in original language) and growling distortion, but they don’t leave the experimentation behind. Supported by female opera-voices, dark techno electronic and new age moments oltreLuna becomes a journey into a dystopian universe, where images of hope, despair, death and life swirl one after the other without an end.

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This is a structured album, very well thought and produced. Nothing is left by chance, from the sound to the beautiful cover drawn by Alexander Preuss. oltreLuna worth the time we had to wait since the debut album, and it is demonstrated by the super positive feedback around the web.

IGORRR | Savage Sinusoid

Read about the obscure yet complex album by Igorrr: “Savage Sinusoid”

Project: Igorrr

Album name: Savage Sinusoid

Release date: 16th April 2016

Label: Metal Blade Records

 

It took five years to see a brand new full length by the musician Gautier Serre, but finally here we have Savage Sinusoid ready and currently on tour in Europe. Maybe the complexity of the work is the reason why the developing time was so long: the result of this is the Igorrr became a stronger and better shaped project, where all the musicians that join have the full freedom to express themselves without caring about genre borders. As Serre said, his main purpose is to play the music that feels he wants to express, without caring about which classification follows.

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It is a bit complicated, so, to describe Savage Sinusoid in a general way. Since there are so many influences, the only word I can use to give an overview is complexity. The mosaic of the composition doesn’t follow any pre-build patterns, not in the songs or in the order of the songs, but is just put together in the best aesthetic way the author decided to arrange.

The beauty of Igorrr works is the unpredictability, followed by the taste of the sounds. The synthetic sounds of the computers are originally mixed with more classical, as violins, guitars or even the accordion, to bind together peaceful harmonies that suddenly explodes in a quantic dark energy. Everything happens so quick, that the listener cannot even process what is having that is push in another dimension, and so on and so on. It is quite chaotic, but it permits to reach a sort of obscure meditation, a transcendent experience.

 

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