Australian duo Luke Zahnleiter and Michael Whitney make music as Glitter Veils. Their album, Figures in Sight, is due this Friday (2/10) from Flexible Records (an imprint of Terrible), who have been kind enough to provide teasers in the form of “Gossamer Folds” and “Soft Touch”.
A pleasantly disorienting, almost vertiginous, feel wafts from these tracks. Like a liquid motion toy’s suspended, colored drops fusing, detaching, and reforming in slightly different ways, familiar threads – the Guthrie-esque guitar wash in ‘Gossamer Folds’; the early industrial heft to the programmed beats underpinning the peyote-fueled western glitter ball of ‘Soft Touch’; a dream pop feel here, a bit of JAMC menace there; whispered, droning vocals reminiscent of Spacemen 3 or Massive Attack – blend, separate and reconvene in novel ways. “Gossamer” is my personal favorite, its bent guitar lines, slightly ooky fun house-style synths and lurching beat tracing lazy arcs in the sky. Definitely looking forward to hearing the rest.
Profligate is the alter ego of Noah Anthony, a producer/composer of sparse electronic music containing elements of experimental new wave, industrial and techno. He self-released a very good EP earlier this year entitled Abbreviated Regime, Vol. 1 (“Enlist” being a particular fave), which I discovered after being blown away by his latest offering, “Black Plate”.
“Black Plate”, a collaboration with poet/vocalist Elaine Kahn (who also records as Horsebladder). is a terrific slice of new wave noir. Opening with a strong beat that recalls the likes of Cabaret Voltaire, the track soon settles into a sinuous groove – Kahn’s hushed voice dead center amidst an elegiac synth melody and a come hither, new romantic bassline – that manages to come off simultaneously opulent and seedy; silk sheets under a black light. Though the track speaks of ‘desire’ (and there’s a lustfulness in the composition), lines like ‘touch what’s/sweet like/there’s no one home’ over an intensifying buzz feel more like a decoupling. The tension is compelling.
Hopefully, there’s more in the works. In the meantime, click away through Profligate’s discography yourself on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.
The Raveonettes, “This Is Where it Ends” (self-released, 9/30/2016)
“Sometimes things can take an unexpected nasty turn and then you gotta deal with it. You either learn from it or you don’t, such is life.”
According to a post on their fbook page, this quote describes the feelings behind “This Is Where It Ends”, the latest installment of The Raveonettes’ “Rave-Sound-of-the-Month” (described by the band as an “anti-album” project).
“This Is Where It Ends” is a short, moving psych ballad – and it had us from its opening, woozy carnival-like melody. Spiritualized meets Suicide ‘round a bonfire on a beach, at dawn. The break at around the 1:30 mark nails 50s ballad chord changes onto the orchestrated version of “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It is absolutely gorgeous, and further cements The Raveonettes as easily the most vibrant of bands remaining from the vaunted rock resurrection of the early 2000s. Rave on.
Check out the official lyric video, below, and subscribe to the Rave-Sound-of-the-Month (and listen to previous entries) on the band’s site. In addition to fbook, you can also follow along with The Raveonettes on the twitt.
Flesh World, S/T MLP (La Vida Es Un Mus, 12/18/2013); A Line In Wet Grass 7″ (Iron Lung, 6/24/2014)
A band I first stumbled upon last winter through great Late Riser’s Club program on WMBR, and then again more recently via the MaximumRocknRoll page on Facebook – apparently, the universe was trying to tell me something (or just reminding me that I was going to write this review, like, several fucking months ago – but who’s to say, really?).
Flesh World is a great new(ish) punk band out of San Francisco, whose members are long-time denizens of that city’s diy punk scene (SF Gate went so far as to describe singer Jess Scott as a “scene figurehead”). Their debut self-titled mini-album is a prickly blend of Dead Boys styled punk, the JAMC, C86 distortion-blurred indie pop, Belly-style 90s indie rock (“Reckon and Know” sounds a bit like the Primitives pogoing with the Breeders) and newer “noire rock” bands like Rakta and (early) Raveonettes. One of those great records that manages to pack in the (right) hooks while making your ears ring.
Subsequent single, “A Line In Wet Grass” dials up the goth side of the band’s sound – the ritual drumming and guitar melody reminiscent of early Banshees. Another winner.
Highlights include: Reckon and Know, Sturdy Swiss Hiker, Lost My Heart in Transit Thru the Post, A Line In Wet Grass. Go like them.