New Music Review – Waveless – Hopelessness

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Artist: Waveless
EP: Hopelessness
Genre: Electronic, ambient, IDM
Social-media: Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud/Bandcamp

Listen:

And:

Hopelessness is the debut EP from Australian producer, Waveless, published through the electronic record label SVNSET WΛVES, on May 2nd. The label itself is one I’ve been working through recently, thanks to all the chilled releases that put their material up for a cool, ‘name your price’, price, so if you like what you hear at all, then don’t be afraid to contribute a to these hardworking artists.

Waveless has, like the title of the EP, a hopeless and melancholic sound. The chords are minor as fuck, the tempo crawls along and the instrumentation is so thick, it’s an emotionally heavy sounding EP that has a surprisingly large amount of colour in it. The second track here, Numb, is probably the most dreary piece of work, with its tragic keys and synths backing up the gorgeous guest vocals of self-confessed gloom-popper, Mothica (who is also rather talented). I think these vocals bring a lot to the table of Waveless’ compositions, if only to fill up the music a spell more.

That’s not to say that these songs are empty, but the vocals do Numb a lot of favours. There are subtle touches in these songs that fill them up adequately, but not to the extent of the vocals. For example, Hurricane, has some quaint arpeggios rolling up and down near the end; Forever Forgotten has lots of synth extras whirring off near the end; Oceanic had some vocal samplings during the outro. The format of these songs is predictable, but it gets the job done and each of these tunes has a thick sense of Hopelessness to them, except ESID, which didn’t strike me as particularly moody, but it was a cute little track.

I also liked the beats going on here, nothing complex, but for what this EP is, I don’t think they needed to be flashy at all, but what does matter is the use of synths and texture in this release.= and Waveless has some brilliant textures here. There’s a great sense of overwhelming textures that come hand-in-hand with the saddening chords and melodies here and it’s all channelled in a small period of time that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Final thoughts:

Waveless says that ‘the EP aims to evoke a sense of emotional fatigue’ and it accomplishes that with some stunning synth work and killer manipulations of atmosphere. And although I don’t agree that these songs are, ‘The perfect soundtrack to drown to’, they do feel like the soundtrack to something less than favourable. But until that less than favourable thing happens, I’ll just enjoy the laid back ambiance of them though – a must for anyone that favours the chilled side of electronic music.

New Music Review – Sound Awakener – hidden

a3943003108_10Artist: Sound Awakener
EP: hidden
Genre: Noise, experimental 
Social-media: Facebook/Bandcamp/Soundcloud

Listen:

And:

Sound Awakener is the instrumental solo project of Nhung Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam. She began learning the piano back in 2002 and since 2007 has been developing her own personal composition and improvisation techniques. At the end of November, she put out a short EP titled, hidden, which from the beginning, feels much darker and experimental than her previous album, Five Chapters. Most of her work is incredibly experimental, noisy and jagged and hidden follows this trend in true experimental fashion, but to get a true understanding of this music, you have to give it a deep and patient listen.

hidden is a lot more difficult than Five Chapters to get into but that’s mostly owing to the concept behind it: ‘The EP focus largely and extensively on using intended, “unwanted” and “disturbing” elements, which is easily misunderstood as production flaws, especially clicks, buzzing/hiss and distortion.’ Whilst I do think that this is an admirable concept, I personally find it incredibly difficult to listen to for long periods of time.

The ferocious first track, around, is this harsh rampage of industrial sounds becoming more and more distorted, until it eventually fades away into this soft(er) soundscape. Even when the calmer moments come, they’re still relentless in their flat and still, surprisingly hard-hitting sounds – it fails to give you a break.

Sound Awakener’s title track on this album, hidden, feels like the soundtrack to a very strange day, where you feel permanently disconnected from the reality that you’re expected to live. I mean, there’s no semblance of melody or anything musical here, but if you close your eyes, it sounds like the people you hear going about their day’s every single day. You could even say that it feels like a track for hypnosis, or immersion – everything is so heavy here.

The final track, diary, also takes this strange route of insane noises and builds around this, with increasing industrial samples that dabble around for a long time. That long time becomes incredibly grating after about seven minutes, but I can’t help but feel like this might be the intention – it feels like those moments where every little bad thing that happens to you, just makes things increasingly worse until you eventually snap. Except there’s no snap here.

Final Notes:

I’m not sure I understand hidden and that makes me feel awful, but it’s an incredibly difficult album to listen to without wanting to take a break every so often. It could be because I’m not really into noise, but this album is much more difficult to listen to that Sound Awakener’s previous release and since the previous album was already, pretty inaccessible, it just seems to be getting too obscure for me. If you enjoy noise and some industrial elements, I’d recommend this listen for you, but for me, not so much.

New Music Review – BJM Mario Bajardi – Inverse

InverseEPArtist: BJM Mario Bajardi
EP: Inverse
Genre: Electronic, ambient
Social-media: Facebook/Soundcloud/Twitter/iTunes

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BJM Mario Bajardi is an electro-acoustic composer of many talents and projects going on all at once. Most notable, right now, is his work on the film score to the upcoming indie movie, Sweetheart. Recently, Bajardi also released a song called, Crusty, that was set to feature on his new EP, Inverse, which was dropped on the 28th of November. You can take a look at that song, over on the Soundcloud, OR, you can continue reading and find out what I thought about Inverse and the rest of its tracks. Either way, you should probably keep reading, because my opinion matters, somewhat.

From the beginning, Inverse is full of depth with its sound, each song is dense with thick ambient textures, lush instrumentation and some rather wonderful violin playing. The tracks on here that I’d consider more ‘beautiful’ than the others stand out with some ideal melodies and textures. Obviously, Crusty is one of these tracks in my opinion, with its distorted piano chords, twisted and swishing synths going on – It’s a mess, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Missing is also very comparable to this with these as it starts off with some simple violin plucking’s and then works around that. This piece feels very neo-classical with some gorgeous violin playing and other barres of strings going off to emphasise the movements. There’s also the track, Standing, another killer example of some fancy string work.

That being said, the real bad boys of this album are the strange and slightly warped electro sounds that you get on tracks like Interlude and the title track, Inverse. They do house, again some violin, but these songs focus much more on the electro side. With Inverse, dancing with some guttural bass sounds and a keyboard fiddling, the track folds and twists around some very basic elements until you get something not so basic.

This seems to be what Bajardi relishes to working, at least in my opinion – the order in his mental chaos. I think that this is when his work truly comes to life and becomes it’s most interesting state of affairs. Inverse is an incredibly detailed track, but it’s also, as I said before, a mess when it loses its marbles all over the shop. The prettier sounding tracks like Standing and Crusty show why this guy is so comfortable working with soundtracks, whereas the tracks like Inverse and Interlude show a darkly versatility that I think is essential for someone that has their fingers in as many projects as Bajardi.

My only real complaint with this EP is the first track, Rest. It didn’t grab me at all and the featuring singer Eleza didn’t take my fancy either, but I can certainly see why other people might like her voice. But yeah, this track just seems to be so basic and rather humdrum when compared to the other tracks on this EP, which are all rather great. Even the remix of Crusty by Carlo Ascrizzi is interesting and adds some great depth to the track and changes enough for it to be worth multiple listens. That being said, I do still prefer the original.

Final Notes:

BJM Mario Bajardi has created an killer EP that shows off all the flare this guy can pull off with synths, strings and a few simple percussions. The darkly, the elegant and the disorganised all flourish in Inverse and it’s just overall a charming and pleasant listen. Despite a false start Bajardi has created a wonderful first release. Top banana!

BJM Mario Bajardi Releases New Track ‘Crusty’

Busy Composer continues being busy!

I’ve had a great new track come through from the Italian composer, that’s just released his new EP, titled Inverse. I will be doing a review for this release, but i’m dropping this in now so you can get some more background here. Mario Bajardi is the behind this music and it turns out, he is a busy boy! He’s been busy working on a track titled Insemina for Sweetheart a short movie directed by Quentin Tarantino’s assistant Miguel Angelo Pate. So this guy is moving up in the world!

The movie has only been teased at so far, but looks like it could be rather top!

But yeah, the review is coming this week (the first week of December) and until then, I hope you enjoy listening to Crusty.

Witchingseason Release New Single ‘Codeine’

Debut EP to be released at the end of November

Witchingseason are a post-grunge act that I’ve featured before and are planning to release their first EP soon. Before that though, they’ve released another single titled Codeine. This track is much longer than the previously featured Spiders, but more or less features a similar grunge vibe that slides between Nirvana and Queens of The Stone Age, at least on this song it does. The guitar sounds suitably bleak and thick with the bass, while the drums all sound fiery and as usual, singer, Tom Reynolds hits all the right grunge spots.

The interlude that occurs about five minutes in is a nice change in pace, but I feel is somewhat unfulfilled and could be drawn out in a different direction, just to make the stab of snarly guitar at the end that little bit more striking. When said snarly guitar does come in, the drums really go for it here as well which sounds top, which also reminds me of a problem I had with these guys last time – the instruments all just mold together at some points in Spiders, but here there seems to be more distinction. The bass can be heard grooving away in the background and the drums have some fantastic parts.

I can only hope that this transfers over, more so in fact, into Witchingseason’s EP. There will be a review next week, hopefully. Probably.

So stay tuned, this is not over.

New Music Review – HAU – HAU

Hau-ep-coverBand: HAU
EP: HAU
Genre: Noise-rock, electronic, abrasive-core
Social-media: Bandcamp/Soundcloud/Blogspot

Listen:

And:

HAU are a noise-rock, abrasive-core, band from Greece. The sound behind these guys is one of angered percussion, destructive guitar, ugly vocals and brief dabbles in electronic elements, such as synth work and sampling (?). Put all of this together and you get a very cut-throat act that refuses to pander to any strict structure or reason. Back in May of this year, HAU put out their first EP, which was also a self-titled EP and these are my thoughts on said EP:

The animalistic nature behind HAU is very comparable to that of bands like Lightning Bolt, with their incomprehensible, heavily effected, lyrics, jagged stringed instruments and pounding percussion – everything is just GO, from the start with both these bands. When HAU are playing to their strengths, they are incredibly effective and satisfying to listen to, especially when you enjoy the moaning guitar as much as I do. However, there is still a rather diverse selection of sounds on this EP – both Pattern 5 and Pattern 7, are messy noise-rock charges on your ears, but the other two tracks are much more experimental.

Cunts & Needles (with A†D) is a slow boiling track that slithers around with some sporadic drumming and some almost alien-like vocals. Oh, and the way, these alien-like vocals don’t just occur on this track, they’re a persistent presence throughout, which is fine, they suit the style of music perfectly. But yeah, the track itself fiddles with various electronic improvisations that feel very unsettled at times, as they just flicker around with the occasional percussion – It’s a difficult track to pin down. By the end though, it’s just as loud and proud as the Pattern tracks.

These Pattern tunes are my favourite tracks on this release, without a shadow of a doubt. The guitars a bass sounds on Pattern 5 and Pattern 7 are incredible and the way that they take no prisoners with their approach to their music, is just phenomenal. If you enjoy vicious sounding… everything, you need to listen to these songs, they are ruthless and unforgiving – the way this sort of music should be.

Norma, is also a hard track to strip down to something more than, ‘experimental’ and ‘woah’. It’s probably the most eccentric track on the album, mainly because it starts out so deceptively quiet, with brief flickers of drums and synth screeches, with some very sudden and haunting stabs of synth latter in the track. But then, halfway through the track unrolls completely into a real horror of intimidating vocals, primal beats and more stabs. Norma is probably the most fidgety track on this release, it just can’t sit still for more than three minutes!

What HAU have done with this release is set a very chilling bar for themselves that will lead to, hopefully, more music that’s as angry and powerful as this.

Final Notes:

HAU’s self-titled EP is everything that you’re afraid of listening to and proud of it. It’s malicious sounding songs are immediate and have a forceful staying power and if you like any kind of hard music, then you should check these guys out.