Sal Klita Blogger | Muzik impressions

Sal Klita Blogger

Saturday, February 5

:: Nick Cave in His Veins ::

"...Intoxication begins with the sound of water falling into a puddle, and other assortments of sounds, which actually do make me think of a man sitting in a bar, chugging down drinks when it rains outside. The piece is driven by light electronic sounds, but primarily a calmed and almost psychedelic guitar riff. It is already reminiscent of Bohren Und Der Club of Gore, and this isn’t a bad thing. It does have a slight jazzy feeling, despite the absence of brass, however not as much as other such dark-jazz bands. The layers are interestingly done, although not incredibly deep. It just comes together well, and not meaning to be explosive or bombastic, it is just a nice chilled song, perfect for night times. The deep brassy sounds are nice towards the end of the track. The Trigger carries the main sounds over from Intoxication, and is slightly more abrasive, with harsher snare sounds and a twangier guitar sound. It is almost like travelling music in the sense of the album as a whole. Despite everything sounding harsher, it still has an ethereal quality, as if not being played for the listener, but in general, behind a veil of fog. The Lady is as loud as the previous track but has a darker and seedy underbelly exposed, relying more on longer bassy guitar lines. The Electric organ is a nice touch, cutting in and out sporadically. After sounding finished it comes back with a nice finale, rawer and yet clearer than previously. 

Murder Theme begins with a nice touch of crows cackling yet is difficult to discern. Light static noise welcomes an organ, initially undiscernible before it comes to the forefront of the track. Carrying a sombre tone, the opening of the track is reminiscent of funeral march songs. It is an interesting track in that the organ isn’t used sparingly, which is something most can’t say about music nowadays. The ‘evolution’ of how the guitar notes is also pretty nice early on. After about 5 minutes Jenna pulls out a saxophone, with dark and grinding notes reverberating outwards. This really makes the jazzy aspects of the albums tone stick out. It also has a film noir quality to it as a whole. Fumes’ sounds aren’t initially surrounded by a haze of ambient noise, as the bass twangs lead to the introduction of the organ and drums. It is slow and foreboding, perhaps due to their solitude, before a spacey mix comes out from no where to add some depth, representing a drug induced and tripped out state of mind. Everything is down tempo, as if awaiting the high to come. Two Black Dogs is a down trodden, grimy piece with harsh and dirty notes. It is almost comical in its nature, light hearted despite being polluted. Almost like men getting up to no good, but from their perspective it is all a bit of fun (A Clockwork Orange style). The Trainyard follows suit, dark and gritty, painting the picture of an old abandoned train yard, full of decrepit vehicles and shadows at every turn, not quite being able to find your way through under the effects of alcohol and drugs.

A Hullucination is the amalgamation of similar themes and sounds presented elsewhere, in one of the better forms on the album. There is nothing new but that doesn’t mean its boring to revisit them. This is partially due to the fact that rather than sound like an album with distinct song, it is one long journey. It is quite easy to leave on, and not look at the play list and then be surprised when you realise you are through to song 5 already. It’s simply constructed, but it still delivers a punch in the right mood. The Chase is quite a late turning point, beginning with vigour, and carrying an air of violence. The new section ‘Red Pavement’ may be pointing to such violence and blood being spilled (just an interpretation) but it is a nice change nonetheless. At times it almost becomes dreamlike, with the intensity lifted and becomes light hearted, before returning to a state of panic and anger, perhaps representing the coming down from the previous high. It is probably my favourite track on the album. The album ends with The Gutter, is a calm track which represents hitting rock bottom. It brings into the album an atmosphere of finality, fitting for the final track of the album. No new ground is broken but its still a pretty good wa to end the album. It is hard to call this album special, purely because it isn’t. The ideas and sounds have all been explored, and probably better in their individuality elsewhere. However, in the right frame of mind, when you don’t feel like being attacked by noise, it is a pretty good ‘drug’. It carries itself well with a feeling of professionalism but also experimentalism. As I said, it reminds me of Bohren & Der Club of Gore, however, it represents an more rocky version of the band. Although there is minimal jazz ‘sounds’ overall, it still has that vibe overall." 
Text by Zarko


Friday, February 4

:: Finland :: file under :: 70's Laser beam ::

"They're from Finland. They're called Nightsatan. Their record is called Midnight Laser Warrior and features on its cover some helmeted ghoul with a knife, and a sawblade, and a bullet belt, and tons of spikes and studs on the leather jacket that barely obscures his rotting zombie flesh. They have song titles like "Four Eyed Cyclops", "Death Chess 2000", "Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)". The record was mastered by two members of aQ faves Finnish hypnorockers Circle. We saw a YouTube clip of Nightsatan performing, where a certain member of the crowd got so worked up he decided to sing along, that person was none other than Albert Witchfinder of the mighty Reverend Bizarre (and The Puritan, among others). Their drummer is credited with player "Laserdrums". And most importantly, they play "LAZERMETAL". Which is in fact, not metal at all, nor even "NWOFHM", instead it's some sort of crazy, futuristic, electro prog, like Goblin or John Carpenter, or any of the current crop of Carpenter worshipping retro futurists (Majeure, Umberto, Zombi, Blizaro) but filtered through some ELP, or Yes, or even more obscure prog faves like Il Balleto Di Bronzo or the New Trolls. Sure the sound is synthy, and retro and electro and will no doubt appeal to those folks, but it's also twisted and proggy and FINNISH, which makes this something else entirely.

:: MPEG Stream: "Four Eyed Cyclops"
:: MPEG Stream: "Death Chess 2000"
:: MPEG Stream: "Karelian Starmaster (Evil Lucifer)"
:: MPEG Stream: 
"Stars, Our Destination"

The cool thing about these guys, ONE of the cool things, is that they're a proper band, this isn't just a studio project, assembled at a desk with a computer, no these guys are a BAND, and there's tons of footage of them playing live, and most notably, they have a DRUMMER, who plays drums, electronic drums sure, but they give the sound a sweaty, urgent, human element missing from lots of similar stuff, not to mention, these songs are epic and complex and again PROGGY. Opener "Four Eyed Cyclops" begins with a bit of Tangerine Dreamy synthiness, accompanied by some growled cookie monster vox, but it doesn't take long for the track to get going, with some awesome syncopated rumming, locked tight with the synths, then another buzzing bit of low end synth swoops in, and while it's not metal, we can definitely feel the same sort of power and energy and intensity. All the synths drop out, leaving just the buzzing low end one to unfurl a serious slithery riff, the drums come back in, and it's like some weird electronic electro-doom, the metal vibe, more in the vibe than the sound, but it's definitely weird and heavy and electronic, with lots of bent notes wound into electro leads. Awesome. ::: ::: 
"Death Chess 2000" starts off with more buzzing low end synth riffage, some "Iron Man" style kick drum, before slipping into another bit of electro-doom, only to have everything suddenly speed up, and transform into a car chase Autobahn soundtrack that returns briefly to that opening electro doom, before stripping down to just minimal synth and a skeletal rhythm, and more of those weird raspy vox, finishing off in a blaze of swirl and buzz. "Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)" might be the proggiest of the bunch, another swirly Logan's Run sounding intro, all arpeggiated melodies underpinned by thick wheezing synth buzz, while the snare drum drives the rhythm, before blossoming into a hazy, futuristic soundscape (which more than one customer mistook for the Tron soundtrack! If only!), that warbles woozily, and eventually switches tempo and becomes the perfect score for some lost eighties VHS tape horror movie futuristic dystopian city montage. Throughout, the song offers up some strange detours, intense super dynamic stop/starts, with pounding drums, and some gorgeous woozy video game soundtrack balladry (which again has us thinking how much better these guys would have been for scoring Tron).
"Ninja Apocalypse" is creepy, and haunting, with the sound of fake rainfall, deep bass swells, and a main keyboard melody that would most definitely not be out of place in a Halloween or Friday The 13th movie, but like all the songs, the track continually shifts and transforms, minimal and hauntingly creepy one second, supper progged out and propulsive the next, soaring and majestic the next, and druggy and psychedelic the next. "Steel Diamond Part 4" (parts 1 and 2 are on the 7" reviewed elsewhere on this list, not sure where part 3 is though), is another electro prog workout, that features a super soundtracky main melody wreathed in layer after layer of synth buzz, the drums dense and intricate, the sound swirling and shimmering, evoking images of alien planets, of crashed starships, of subterranean lairs, of strange creatures chained up and walking into the depths, of the blackness of space, which leads right into the final track "Stars, Our Destination", which takes that space synth sci-fi sound even further out, pulsing and throbbing, the melodies tangled and intricate, hypnotic and totally mesmerizing, the sound dramatic and emotional and epic, and so totally cinematic, every track in fact here plays out like the music to some climactic scene from some lost eighties sci-fi adventure epic, with "Stars, Our Destination" being the perfect culmination, the drums less rhythmic, and more dynamic, pounding alongside the synths, the vocals more breathy exhalations, soon joined by thick rubbery low end pulses, everything growing more and more intense before fading into a swirling drift of warbly synths, swirling FX and whispered urgent voices. There's a short hidden track, another sort of Halloween gone electro synthwave, with a pulsing house-y beat, creepy raspy vocals, and a main melody that sounds like it had to be created for some horror movie, tense and intense, this final coda brooding and moody, but also propulsive and weirdly motorik, the perfect sci-fi, electro house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock finish to a pretty much perfect sci-fi, electro house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock record! And all this talk of soundtrack and cinema is not just us, the artwork on the back cover, which features a modular synth, with the various patch bays altered to read as song titles, also includes various inputs for things like "Doom & Gloom", "Heavy Pounding" and maybe most tellingly "Extra Giallo". So good. Easily our favorite of this new batch of synthy soundtracky sci-fi sounds."

:: Text & stream links by Aquarius Records ::