The Kurws – Alarm

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[ Gusstaff, 2017 ]

The newest album from the Wrocław based quartet The Kurws is more abrasive and abstract than the band’s previous albums, leading the band’s sound with explosions of meaty bass, skeletal melodies, sandpapery guitar textures and maniacal, seemingly talentless drumming. But there’s an intricate network of references underneath the chaotic sound. The opening, hypnotic drone piece “Oury Jalloh”, refers to a Sierra Leonean asylum seeker who died in a mysterious fire in a police cell in 2005. “Triumph of the Unwill” is a clever parody of the classical piece of Nazi propaganda by controversial filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, while “Dances on the Volcano” is the title of the personal memoirs of Princess Daisy, the heiress of the Książ Castle on the outskirts of Wałbrzych, Poland. The music on Alarm is nervous, full of sudden turns and twists, constantly adding to the cascade of uncontrollable sounds, yet always with a strangely intellectual, chaotic edge. Like a drunk philosopher trying to explain some genius new ideas while constantly changing the topic. It’s disorienting, and brilliant at the same time. Recommended!

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Crown Larks – Population

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[ Already Dead Tapes, 2017 ]

Chicago based psych jam masters Crown Larks returned in May with their third, and best to date, full length. Titled simply Population, it takes their brand of floral, richly arranged krautrocky flurry of sounds and gives them an even more sophisticated spin, like the wild, ass-kicking jazzy opener “Howls”. The organ driven songs on the album, often supported by the wild, abrasive saxophone create a rich, lush atmosphere that seems to just barely hold together before disintegrating into full-on insanity without ever doing so, instead keeping on going forward just on the edge of losing its mind. Just when you think things are going to go bonkers, the precise drumming keeps the chaos in check. Truly intriguing release from those fellas, like psychedelic music with a safety valve. Highly recommended!

Moon Diagrams – Lifetime of Love

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[ Geographic North, 2017 ]

After some 10 years in the making, Lifetime of Love finally sees the daylight since Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta decided to start a then-yet unnamed solo vehicle. Torn between autobahn-friendly minimal techno and grainy, hazy ambience the album relies on chance and the sense of constant searching. Lifting samples from found LP’s and smearing soft synthesizer textures all over the place gives Lifetime of Love a sense of timelessness and an ominous feeling of reviving dead souls who were stuck under a thick layer of analog dust. Skeletal rhythms arouse the inhabiting spirits into a hypnotic dance while the specters hover in the distance. Recommended!

Coca Leaf – Deep Marble Sunrise

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[ Wharf Cat Records, 2017 ]

Born in Florida, matured in New York City, Deep Marble Sunrise by the stoned sungazers Coca Leaf take the best of both worlds: the balmy, hot atmospherics of the swampy southern state and the eclectic mish-mash of the Big Apple, with all its dynamics and movements all rolled into one big ball of pure fun. Jumping between catchy disco, smoky psychedelia, piano-driven ambient, no wave nihilism and overall experimental willingness to go beyond genre boundaries, the album is a rollerocaster of emotions and moods, travelling from the dancefloor to the deepest neck of the woods in the wilderness while retaining echoing drums, meaty basslines and crazy guitar solos. It’s a league of their own. Highly recommended!

WWWINGS – A+G

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[ Self-released, 2017 ]

Let’s face it: the Russian/Ukrainian musical project WWWINGS emerged out out the blue, fueled by social media such as VK or Telegram and caught the musical world with their pants down. Move over, NYC; move over, London; move over, Berlin. You ain’t got shit on a bunch of Slavs from the outskirts of Russia whose minds are so deep into the Future they make top futurologists seem like fucking babies. They set the rules now and you just try to catch up. With A+G, the duo of WWWINGS present their super-eclectic blend of post-industrial, UK Bass, trap and IDM into a mass that is yet to be named: maybe it should be Future Bass? Maybe something else? Actually, who gives a shit? This is music from Beyond, pure and simple. You must listen to it to believe it. Highly recommended!

Dollkraut – Holy Ghost People

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[ Dischi Autunno, 2017 ]

Dutch Hauntology: from the more doped-up version of BBC Radiophonic Workshop rises psychedelic kraut-pop with a sinister side by Pascal Pinkert, also known as Dollkraut. Somewhere between motorik beats, haunted electronics and vintage erotica lies the hazy, smoky answer to UK’s BEAK> or the more melodic, less frantic edition of Damaged Bug. The lo-fi aesthetic soothes the ears while the ubiquitous echoes and reverb provide a trippy quality to the album while also keeping a melancholic mood. The drums tend to drown in the mix, but it only adds to the unique atmosphere of Holy Ghost PeopleRecommended!

NAARC – LOAM

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[ IF, 2017 ]

It was in early 2017 when I received a beautifully packaged double cassette by the Atlanta based industrial trio NAARC. When I listened to the tapes, they didn’t catch my attention at first. The harsh, electro-industrial seemed simply out of my league. But then I asked myself: “Since when exactly do you classify yourself into leagues!?”. So I listened again as a means of reverse engineering the post-industrial genre I’m hooked on lately and I got some sort of an epiphany. I’ve never been able to precisely describe the “industrial” genre, but now I am, because it’s so clear now. The rusted, acid-stained sound truly sounds like something born in a dirty factory, and the two lengthy tracks that finish the album go beyond, into the noisy fog somewhat reminiscent of Skullflower. It’s like getting lost in the part of the city you were never aware of, but enjoying the surroundings.