Pre-listen: The/Das – Freezer

Although Freezer, debut album from The/Das, will be internationally released in two weeks time, thanks to the kindness of Sinnbus Records I was given a chance to listen to it few months earlier. But should we really call this a ‘debut’? After all this is not the first album that Fabian Fenk and Anton K. Feist record together but do we have to consider this project only as the continuation of what was left by the band Bodi Bill? I have to admit – I automatically assumed the music the duo had been making with Alex Stolze as a starting point for every previous note about The/Das. Probably mainly because as I great fan I hoped that the break-up of Bodi Bill does not mean that we will never get fresh portion of this extremely addctive ambitious pop. Maybe I was not entirely wrong; if two artists from the same band still want to work together when their parent project no longer exists, this can only mean that they see the sense in what they have been doing so far.

And this is how Freezer starts. My Made Up Spook, excellent second single promoting the album, possesses this interesting melody that was so characteristic for former Bodi Bill’s songs. However, the longer this track lasts, the less raw both vocals and music become. It turns out that this is only the prelude to what is happening next. Miami Waters, whose running time on the LP exceeds seven minutes, starts in a bit Moderat-ish manner just to make room after few moments for Fabian who sings almost with… falsetto. The song in its second part includes instrumental segments that build the tension which is exposed at the very end.

The next track is the already well-known awesome first single Parallel Worlds. With it, the duo is coming back to the tested and working recipe, but there is no reason to complain when the execution is of such high quality. In Receiver, sad yet beautiful ballad, we are faced with something which was a characteristic feature of Bodi Bill’s albums – namely a guest appearance from a female vocalist. Musical layer has been limited here to the delicate beat and the major role is played by the feelings and emotions that are so well perceptible in both heard in this song voices.

Minimalistic – that is also the way in which the next position from the tracklist starts but probably only not to wake us up too drastically from the melancholic mood that was left by Receiver because Operation Of Chance turns out to be an expressive track – there is firm vocal, growing pace and distinct melody. Interesting things can be noticed in the subsequent song. In This Place an actually disco beat is at first disrupted by snippets of destructive sound that could easily belong to some industrial techno composition. For the very last minute it bursts out to evolve into the enjoyable dancefloor-filler. It is a pity though, that this moment does not last longer.

The ending of the album brings relaxation. Last but one track – Somebody Is - once again reminds how good these two are when it comes to songwriting. The whole thing is completed with the title song which is the longest of them all (lasts for over nine minutes) and which is full of perfectly integrated experimental sounds (some of them resemble elements of The Knife’s Shaking The Habitual actually).

Having listened to all of the tracks, one obvious conclusion comes to my mind – Anton and Fabian (with the help of some friends because The/Das is now a proper band) have managed to create an excellent album without the need of repeating the ideas they developed when performing as Bodi Bill. So obviously I do not have to worry about anything as Freezer is the release that addicts as much as No More WarsNext Time or What?. Apparently, making good music is what these two musicians has in their blood. Regardless of the band’s name they are currently in.

Details:

- ‘Freezer’ by The/Das (Fabian Fenk & Anton Feist)

- release dates: 15.08.2014 (de/at/ch); 25.08.2014 (eu); 26.08.2014 (usa)

- buy: sinnbus shop, bandcamp, itunes

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Worm Is Green – To Them We Are Only Shadows

And speaking of Icelandic artists – there is also another magnificent new album recorded by the musicians from that island but the band behind it has spent incomparably more years on the scene than our latest hero M-Band. The release is called To Them We Are Only Shadows and it is the fourth album in the discography of Worm Is Green, a group of musicians from Akranes, a small port town on the west coast of Iceland, who have been making music together since the beginning of the century. The LP is full of lovely and peaceful sound that is enriched with the delicate voice of Guðriður Ringsted and the outcome of this mix could be easily compared to the best releases of the British trip hop.

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M-Band – Haust

I first heard about M-Band, a project of Icelandic artist Hörður Bjarnason, from my Reykjavík-based fellow during a night ride with S-Bahn in Berlin, somewhere between Charlottenburg and Ostbahnhof. The circumstances proved to be really accurate as the musician currently lives in capital of Germany. Anyway, I promised myself that I will check out his music as soon as I can and when I finally did, I found out that the debut album was supposed to appear in a near future. Fortunately, I did not have to wait too long – Haust has been published yesterday!

The album begins with the weird sound-snippets of Launch but just when I start to wonder whether M-Band presents the same side of Berlin as Holly Herndon, the majestic piano note strikes in the style of Halls and then you simply know that there will be something more in his sound – melody, beauty, melancholy and emotions. There is also one both important and magnificent element that is added to this mix and it is introduced when you are well into the hypnotizing Ever Ending Never. Yes, that is the vocal. And Hörður’s voice varies throughout the album; he may sound a bit like Thom Yorke only to turn into Antony Hegarty in the next track.

One of the things that M-Band does wonderfully on Haust is connecting atmospheric vocals with the surprisingly intensive beats. Because you would not expect the song like Jon Hopkins’ Open Eye Signal to be accompanied by high voice but this is exactly what happens in Ever Ending Never and the effect is amazing. Let’s consider another example – in Fractions elongated vocal parts of high voice are backed by very fast melody and it works extremely well. But there are also other highlights of the album – over ten-minutes-long experiment called Psalms Of The Mushroom War or the ecstatic organ part in the title track.

Two morals can be derived from this text. One – Haust by M-Band is a great release. And two – one should always pay attention to what the Icelandic guys are saying. They have amazing taste in music, I can tell you that.

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Dario Zenker – Mörsin EP

You may not notice this at the first glance but there are actually many similarities between Rawaat’s EP that we featured in our last entry and the release that we want to present to you right now. First of all, Dario Zenker also runs a label (Ilian Tape) and he is doing it with a little help from his brother Marco. What is more, Dario’s brand new EP called Mörsin is released via the London-based imprint too (in this case The Trilogy Tapes) and it his debut EP for this label as well.

However, the thing that counts the most – namely the sound – slightly differs these two artists. Although for both titles the genre can be classified as techno, Zenker’s tracks bring more raw and industrial beats. But fortunately there is one more thing that links the German producer to his Canadian fellow – his EP is also full of top quality music!

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Rawaat – Day Laborer EP

We do things in our lives that do not make us happy and they consume so much time that there is nothing left for what we would like to do. That is what has been happening to me throughout the last year but fortunately I still manage to listen to a lot of music, although not necessarily being able to find time to write about it. Anyway, OSOM is back.

And there is a very good reason to write again as young and mysterious Detroit producer and head of Crisis Urbana imprint Rawaat has released his first EP for Lobster Theremin just few weeks ago. It is called Day Laborer and will take on a journey from the dreamy ambient opener track to the excellent housey remix of the title track made by Huerco S. Hypnotizing stuff!

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