Every Night Is A Moon Rising (2023)Every Night Is A Moon Rising (2023), the fourth album by Delacave, reveals that Seb Normal (synths, drums programming, and arrangements) and Liliane Chansard (vocals, bass, lyrics, and illustrations – as she is also a visual artist) are interested in human connectedness with the natural environment, as their message now is: “every atom of our beings is nature”. Lyrics such as, “tropical bears in the white sand”, from the album’s opener Fatherless, and, “fish rise to the surface”, from the masterpiece Crossing Times, suggest that the duo which call themselves a ‘gloom-wave’ band  are trying to give us a clearer picture of the world, with its rich variety of species that include both humans and non-humans.

Chansard’s drawings also echo this message. The small, white, floating pieces of what looks like ice, on the front-cover artwork and on the inner sleeve, are ice glaciers, which have been cut off from the land, as the earth’s temperature rises, and travel in the sea where they melt away. The ghost-looking and snow-covered mountains in front of the large moon on the front-cover have started to melt, too.

So, are Delacave actually environmentalists? And if they are, do they address the impact of human activity on the environment employing clichéd claims about buying a reusable coffee cup and recycling waste, and using pictures of cute birds and animals in danger of extinction, or do they use pictures from The Ugly Animal Preservation Society and their own individual agency, like members of leaderless grassroots environmental movements, away from mainstream politics (or no politics at all), to influence spontaneous action locally and at community level?

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Posted on February 13th, 2024 under Reviews, ,

In Aeternam Vale - Phacoche​̀​re V3

In the realm of In Aeternam Vale, the year 2023 marks a triumphant return. Much like Jello Biafra, who emerges from an extended coma in the fourth episode of the fourth season of Portlandia, Pascal Aubert is back in action. After 35 years of a well-deserved respite (because let’s face it, collaborating with Laurent Prot is no walk in the park and demands substantial recovery time), Aubert reunites with In Aeternam Vale, injecting his trademark caustic wit and eccentric musings.

Reflecting on their history, Aubert shares, “Laurent and I crossed paths in high school. We used to record sessions after classes, and this collaboration persisted for several years. Then, I took a much-needed break; I was utterly drained! However, fate brought us together again this year at the local media library, both having charted our own courses. We were coincidentally invited to the opening of the Contre-Bande exhibition, where, to our delight, we gazed upon our old cassettes displayed behind glass.”

Excitement and nostalgia fueled their decision to resurrect the old tunes. Aubert adds, “It was fantastic! So, we thought, why not revive our classic songs and, in the process, create some new ones. The new In Aeternam Vale is back in action!”

Digital Album

Posted on January 6th, 2024 under Releases, ,

Plague Pits - Creatures

“While waiting in the bread line/to collect your crumbs/Give thanks to the master/Whose table they fall from” is the first lyrical couplet on Plague Pits’ Creatures, the words delivered wryly against a throwback synthpop instrumental. That track, “The Dignity of Serfdom”, is a pretty clear mission statement from the Swiss collective, encapsulating both the political and social perspectives that define the record lyrically, and the classic synth stylings of its instrumentation.

There’s a careful balance at play here, one that the record’s success hinges upon: trading on inherently nostalgic musical ideas and sounds, without having them overshadow the actual material. Plague Pits’ approach is to keep things fluid and not drink too deeply from any specific well of inspiration. While the aforementioned “The Dignity of Serfdom” and “Beasts of the Field” put me in mind of The Human League pre-Dare with their snappy drum programming and nice clean mix, there’s a distinctly more punky energy at play on the manic Normal-esque “Like Drowning”. They even nod to genre forebearers on instrumentals “Polyethylene” and “Lights Out for the Territory”, which are possessed of the dignified and wistful air of the earliest strains of electronic pop.

Interestingly, you can easily see the way in which the album’s thematics – urban and techological alienation, social and religious hypocrisy – feel both appropriate to the retro-flavour of the record and relevant to the current political climate. You could easily be forgiven for assuming “Ghost Acreage”‘s screed against the dehumanizing nature of labour in a capitalist society hailed from Thatcherite Britain, but the warehouses it invokes could just as easily belong to Amazon. In that same way, there’s a timelessness to the mock piety with which “Magadalene” makes its point about coded ideas of ‘purity’ and its use as a means of control that is depressingly easy to relate to current conservative political movements. Hell, “01001010010” uses a sample of a reading from “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” in lieu of any original lyrics, pinpointing that story’s prescient view of our relationship with technology in ways that feel pointed in a way the toothless satire of Black Mirror can only dream of.” [Alex Kennedy, I DIE : YOU DIE]

Digital Album

Posted on January 4th, 2024 under Releases, ,

Dead Normal - Strategic Diversity

Mario G. Ferrer (Asphalt!, Metronique, SMFORMA) and Oriol Rossell lead the new era of the originally formed trio Dead Normal, which delivers one of the best of the best European industrial and noise sounds with clear reminiscences and influences to classical genre saint grials like Haus Arafna or Genocide Organ, but with a modern twist that makes it sound not classic but fresh and new thanks to a mind-blowing use of breakbeat rhythms that evoke the listener in some passages to the very best days of dark trip hop as well, resulting all that in one of the most surprising and avant-garde proposals of the recent years coming out from the very active industrial spaniard scene.

12″ / Digital Album

Posted on January 2nd, 2024 under Releases, ,

Lust Pattern - Stand, Scatter

Lust Pattern slithers its way to Dark Entries with four tracks of deviant electro-wave on Stand, Scatter. Ryan Ambridge has graced Dark Entries several times via his project Linea Aspera, a revered coldwave revivalist duo with Zoe Zanias. As Lust Pattern, Ambridge draws hypnotic paths through the reverb-laden halls of post-punk and electro-funk, coursing in a gait uniquely his own. Built up from improvised jams, the four cuts on Stand, Scatter defy neat categorization while spanning a wide breadth of genres.

Opener “Forming Lines” features Drexciyan squelch, silky guitar, and bursts of live drumming; this sounds like a lot, but it coheres into a perfectly simmering stew of funk. “Choreography” preserves the aquatic vibes but bumps the tempo up into space disco territory, complete with laser bleeps and Moroder-esque pads. It’s a mark of Ambridge’s craft that closing track “No Floor” – a searing motorik synth punk jam that recalls Suicide at their finest – sounds not at all out of place, but rather serves as a logical conclusion to this illogical picture.

Stand, Scatter drifts across genres but never loses its focus on the unorthodox groove.

12″ / Digital Album

Posted on December 31st, 2023 under Releases, ,