Browsing Tag

Darkwave Electronica

Nocturnal Omissions – Safety Demonstration: Dark Lo-Fi Chill-Wave.

Nocturnal Omissions

‘Safety Demonstration is just one of the standout dystopic darkwave singles that feature on the latest album to be released by the electronica artist and producer Nocturnal Omissions.

The solo artist first burst into NYC’s underground alternative scene in the early 00s before becoming Myspace famous; with five albums under his belt and plenty more EPs to boot, Nocturnal Omissions has continued to hone in on his craft. To stay true to authentic expression, each of his albums offers a different sonic twist.

Tempus Destinatum follows on from his electronic post-rock album, Transientalism which unravels as a melodic feat of lo-fi post-rock. With his latest album, he’s borrowed elements from chill-wave hip hop pioneers before infusing them with his domineeringly dark signature edge.

Check out Nocturnal Omissions via the official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Aiko Aiko became the definition of etherealism with their latest release, Al Lat.

Aiko Aiko

Prepare your dark ambient trip-hop playlists for the latest release, Al Lat, from the alt-electronica duo, Aiko Aiko; it proves just how readily we bound around the word ‘ethereal’. When you’re confronted with a soundscape as phantasmal as AI Lat there are few ways to aptly allude to just how ensnaring the delicately commanding textures are.

The artist has been infusing their alchemic mash of soft synths, organs, driving electronic beats and intricate piano melodies onto the airwaves since 2012. With a brand of emotionally intellectual catharsis similar to Warpaint, Portishead and Widowspeak, it comes as no surprise that they have captivated an international fanbase with their psychedelic reprising progressions.

Al Lat will officially release on October 7th. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to the artist’s website or SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LIVE REVIEW: A histrionic evening with Mercury Machine

The Deaf Institute became a welcome sanctum away from the culture-blind chaos that spilt from most venues on bank holiday Saturday in Manchester with the sublimely curated line-up featuring The Last Clouds, Woman You Stole and Mercury Machine.

The Last Clouds kicked off proceedings with their confessional lyrics, imploring vocals and dark indie electronica stylings that will be familiar with any fans of Covenant, VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk. If any artist can prove there is an intrinsic beauty in vulnerability, it is the Last Clouds. Their recently released single, How to Get Up From This, was all it took to allow my curiosity to transpire into fanatic adoration. The theatrical atmosphere of the single wouldn’t be out of place on the end credits of an apocalyptic blockbuster. Yet, it was the heart-wrenching lyrics, “I tried to speak but it is hard because nobody cares/ I’ll tear the books from my shelf just to lie in the words of somebody else”, that cemented a place on my radar for the criminally underrated act.

If anything can spice up a line-up, it is the je ne sais quoi of Woman You Stole. They set themselves apart by an avant-garde mile with their lively debonair set that easily commanded the crowd into feeling what was orchestrating between them – even if it was fascinatingly unpredictable from one progression to the next.

Their capriciously experimental style is arresting on record, seeing it first-hand is something else entirely. Describing Woman You Stole as entrancing may sound hyperbolic but their sophisticated originality that emanates from their authenticity and mind-blowing talent, rather than through diehard determination to find obscurity, is something everyone should make an effort to witness at least once.

It almost seems needless to rave about Mercury Machine; the band that falls outside of the Manchester post-punk assimilative trap and find themselves in far darker territory, one that made me pretty nostalgic about the soundtrack to Cradle of Fear. The Manchester-based dark indie electronica five piece’s set instantly made it obvious why most of the room were sporting their t-shirts and why why so much hype has amassed around them since the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album in 2019.

Their lyrics are too efficacious in allowing you to explore the fucked up avenues of the human psyche while the pace of frenetic rhythms allow you to find euphoria through defiantly dancing to depictions of our mental precariousness. I couldn’t have asked for a better hit of post-lockdown catharsis.

Bands should always be judged by how much they move you emotionally and how much they can make you move; as Mercury Machine got the first post-lockdown dance from me, I can’t give them much higher praise than that.
Their inhibition-stripping histrionic sound still finds space, occasionally, for Marr-style guitars that add even more energy to their caustic industrial sound could fill stadiums. If goths felt more inclined to leave their bedrooms, that is.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lajze – Glue: Meet the Lydia Lunch of this Generation

London-based British/Polish singer-songwriter and composer Lajze has released her latest indulgently obscure, avant-garde trip-hop EP, Red Sea. Any fans of Lydia Lunch, David Lynch’s phantasmal aural works and Marc Hurtado will want to experience the mesmerizingly dark soundscapes for themselves.

The best introduction to the electronically-crafted no-wave release is the lead single, Glue; that is exactly how it will stick to your synapses as you drink in the haunting atmosphere and feel the chill of the ominous droning bass around the glitchy beats. The sensual vocals add even more ethereal ambience to the single as they work around striking meta poetry which serves as lyricism.

Glue is now available to stream via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

OurNova reached the pinnacle of dark electro-rock with ‘Nicotine & Nosebleeds’.

OurNova’s latest EP, Bloodlines, Vol. 1, finds the middle-ground between lo-fi alt-rock and synth-pop; the perfect introduction to their dark electronic rock style is the ambiently plaintive standout single, Nicotine & Nosebleeds.

With the tempo of a Portishead track, chilling mechanical electronica tones reminiscent of NIN and the evocative sting of Blue October, Nicotine & Nosebleeds sits on the more melancholic side of the emotional spectrum. Yet, with the refreshingly honest lyrics and the sharp angular guitar progressions that cut through the dark atmosphere of the single, there’s no danger of falling into an existential hole while listening to the reflectively powerful single unfold.

Check out Nicotine & Nosebleeds for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

12 Below – Jetsam: Austere art-rock

South Florida’s most avant-garde art-rock artist 12 Below is back with his sophomore single, Jetsam, which pulls together as a dark and discordant mash of industrial, darkwave synth-pop and post-punk.

With an intro that shares reminiscence to Manchester post-punk outfit The Chameleons before the soundscape switches into a phantasmal feat of electro-rock that any fans of Dir En Grey or Celldweller will be familiar with, you’ll be hooked from the first haunted note to the last.

The ethereally ambient soundscape was constructed with effect-loaded guitars and glassy keys in downtempo progressions, for the visceral kick, 12 Below loaded caustic drums and a heavy serving of bass. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to hear an artist similar to NIN, who also makes the dark electro sound their own.

Jetsam is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Borealis – ‘Nichtclubbing’: Not a typo, but a dystopian trip through a hypothetical Germany

Siemensdream by Borealis

Ok, kids, grab some dayglo clothing, a glowstick, and a tub of Vicks, and dive into ‘Nichtclubbing’, the new single from Brazilian ambient afficionado Borealis.  A one-man ‘noisy electronica’ project from Rio de Janiero, orchestrated by Marco Barbosa, since 2015 Borealis have released four albums, two EPs, and a separate single; now, released as part of the ‘Siemensdream’ album – a conceptual electronic ride through a theoretical Germany – ‘Nichtclubbing’ is a proper, old-skool lapgaze slice of sparse, echoey Krautrock, all bleeps, swooshes, and reverb-heavy beats. If the Berlin Wall itself released an album, mixed at Oktoberfest, and played loud from the back of Trabants at Checkpoint Charlie, then ‘Nichtclubbing’ is what it would sound like.

Hear ‘Nichtclubbing’ on Bandcamp; check out Borealis on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

apatternimperfect – Entrance: Disqueitly Ambient Alt Eltronica

Give your Portishead records a rest and delve into the ethereal tones in Alt Electronic Rock artist, apatternimperfect’s, standout single ‘Entrance’.

With a Post-Punk style prelude, Entrance starts to unravel to the tune of cavernously haunted vocals and trepidation-laden beats. The deftly-placed static amplifies the disquiet energy of the release as it builds to a climax of jarring buzzsaw riffs to mesmerisingly hypnotic effect.

apatternimperfect is the latest creative project by English producer, composer and songwriter, Rob Wacey. After honing-in on his talent in a myriad of successful bands, he put his accumulated talent to work, orchestrating deeply emotional tracks which offer a cathartic formula of ambience, pulsating rhythms and haunting vocals.

You can check out apatternimperfect’s single Entrance for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dust has delivered an electronica mix as dark and dystopic as 2020 with ‘Bravado’

Dust is the latest moniker for Richmond, VA-based artist and professional drummer, Chris Farmer, after sharing stages with the likes of Fishbone and Hootie & the Blowfish, his talent turned to producing heavy, bass-riding electronica which showcases his rhythmic precision and ability to entrance though mind-melting layers of insurgently powerful electronica.

Their latest release is the highly-anticipated 4-track EP ‘Bravado’. The best introduction to Dust’s domineering instrumental Alt Electronica is undoubtedly the title single. With some hints of And One-era Industrial within the monolithic drum n bass mix, it’s as dark and dystopic as 2020 and far more entrancing through the producer’s rhythmic command which allows his sound to boast psytrance style danceability.

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Bravado for yourselves. In the meantime, head over to Spotify where you’ll be able to check out their previous releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

RawFall – A Thousand Thoughts: A Stark Aural Portrait of a Disquiet Mind

RawFall’s latest single, A Thousand Thoughts, doesn’t just lyrically play with the concept of disquietude, within the intricate layers of the Darkwave Electronica single, agitation and restlessness reside in the soundscape as a perfect aural depiction of a tumultuously anxiety-ailed mind. That should be anxiety-invoking in itself, but with the consoling yet sonorous vocals, any such emotion will be efficaciously quelled.

With the duo’s influences including everything from Psych to Blues to Alt Electro, there’s a dynamic non-assimilative feel which fleetingly carries reminiscences to Empathy Test and Blue October, but you’ve never heard anything quite like A Thousand Thoughts before. I was beginning to wonder if any Dark Electronica artist had the ability to produce without sounding like a Trent Reznor carbon copy, but RawFall, with their conceptual fraught masterpiece of a single well and truly proved me otherwise.

You can check out A Thousand Thoughts for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast