West Germany has created a musical artist who deserves an important space in contemporary music. Patrick Braun (who goes with the moniker AKWUAR) has released a 7-track EP early this year. A music video for the single Millions of Same Faces is also out and you can check it out via YouTube.
The EP is a self-produced consisting of seven songs. According to Braun, the music video has been produced by friends in Lisbon. The full EP is available in vinyl and digital formats. Now what I like about this music is its quality of being simple and neat yet still manages to be rugged in a classic rock sense. It’s like listening to a Jazz album but only louder.
Braun has a good voice and I am curious what he will do with this instrument in years to come. I am also hooked to the guitar style especially in songs like Millions of Same Faces, Familie De Voyageurs and Superstar. Synths and drums shine in tracks like Do You Deserve my Mind and Garden.
Every song conjures colorful images. His music is predominantly visual even if you are not paying attention to the lyrics. I like this music and I am sure you will too!
Broken as we are
That cool indie label Patetico Recordings has released another album that will turn dream pop heads. Broken As WE Are is the new album by Panophonic. It still has that same ‘analog flavour’ as the other Panophonic albums. This means that when you listen to the songs, each one sounds like it’s from a cassette table released in the 80s. And I think that’s the kind of sound the band have tried to emulate since their first album. I think this work. There are those of us who have this nostalgic cravings for all things 80s.
The album starts with a slow track called Your’s to Keep. This one ends with a great electric guitar solo. Served Cold follows with this great drum pattern. It’s raining outside and this is a good soundtrack. If you like early 80s Goth stuff then you will appreciate this one. Especially if you are a big fan of The Joy Division.
The title track Broken as We Are sounds trippy. In fact it reminds me of any Siouxsie and the Banshees song from the late 80s – early 90s. They exploit dissonance in a good way adding something to the bare atmosphere which feels like you are walking in an abandoned warehouse late at night. Nothing Left is quite a surprise as it uses the keyboard as the accompaniment. You would not suspect the singer is American than Brit. The somber melody can really haunt your dreams like any scene from a Sandman comic book.
Understanding Emptiness has that hypnotic drum beats. Perhaps they are channeling The Cure. This is another ‘thriller/suspense’ candidate for any TV series. You know where the main character looks like Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. Haunt My Dreams is too dissonant for my taste but I am sure when you are in the mood for something dark and depressing then this will suit you. Sweetness and Light is another slow scorcher that borrows heavily from Ian Curtis/Joy Division style, while Until the End takes you out from your stupor into a slow dance under the rain. The keyboards are like flapping butterflies tugging at your pained heart.
The Great Manipulator is another nod to the great Gothic/New Wave bands of years gone by. The upbeat As I Rise closes the album. Broken As We Are is a satisfying musical journey into moods, feelings and decades. This is potent and beautiful , all from the awesome Panophonic.
Band: Under the Wire
Album: Everything Haunts Me.
Songs: I am nothing/Oceans are none/Drifter now/Down/Black out/Melancholy/Self Medicated.
What you can expect from every Under the Wired releases is the electricity that flows through each song. There is the freshness yet the nostalgic not to the great bands of the 80s. I like to imagine them as a band that continue to carry the torch of great music without sacrificing their credibility to the evil of mainstream pop.
Everything Haunts Me is the new EP, which is their second, and contains 7 tracks. I am nothing has a mellow style with chilled beats. The fullness of the music is done by layering. Under the Wire is comprised of two people: Tom Lugo and Jason Ellis. I am nothing reminds me of old This Mortal Coil. Remember the 4AD project headed by Ivo Watts-Russell in the 80s? I am not sure if UTW have embraced the 4AD credo but I can sense a bit of that in this EP.
Oceans are None is explosively beautiful. I haven’t heard something like this in ages. The only artists that come to mind are Peter Gabriel and early Sarah McLachlan. The beats are seductive. The vocals are really awesome. Like the first EP, the tunes from Everything Haunts Me showcase a distinct guitar style that shows its loyalty to the dream pop genre.
Either it’s The Cure or Fiction Factory, Drifter now nods on these bands. Two thumbs up to the keyboards. And since I am not a lyrics guy I paid more attention to the sound effects than the stories behind the songs. But if you want to know what they are all about then I will tell you. They deal with either unrequited love, despair, loneliness, inner conflict-the stuff of Gothic rock. For some reason, Under the Wire makes depressing themes sound like Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
There’s Down-a kind of suspense and moody tune in the vein of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Blackout behind jangles with Bauhaus inspired chords and distorted drums. Melancholy has an ethereal style that reminds me of early Dead Can Dance and at times it’s Joy Division. Self medicated closes the EP and I think it is the most cinematic track in this EP.
Under the Wire continues to challenge the status quo of music, as these
two musicians write and record tunes that you can never -and will never-hear again in alternative rock.
It’s been quiet in the Nouvelle Electro camp lately. But they made a buzz after uploading two tracks via soundcloud. Icon is part of the songs they are recording for their soon-t0-be-released album. Not sure about the album title yet as Paula and Ian Henderson haven’t confirmed made a confirmation yet. The other one is a remixed version of Red Sky (Red Sky (Dulcet Tonez Remix) available for free download. Check it out because it is a different take on the original version we heard last year.
Icon is beautiful. If you love the solo works of Debbie Harry and the 80s recordings of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark then you will be pleased with this latest offering by Nouvelle Electro. They are sharing what they do to fans in real-time and I know the new album is a goldmine of beautiful sounds.
Ian Henderson : synths, vox, songwriting, programming, production (Ireland)
Paula : synths, vox, songwriting, programming (UK)
It’s a slow Sunday. I think Red Sonnet is your cup of tea today as this music evokes that feeling of relaxation. I also appreciate the style as the music is all about texture and the sense of space. There are times when the noise and pop junk gets too much and really, you all know this by now that less is more. So please have a listen to Red Sonnet and tell me if this group evoke a sense of ease and richness brought about by the abundance of blessings we get from family and friends.
They are promoting Sacred King. The Celt in me loves the title. But you better hear the vocals. If you love groups like Secret Garden and artists like Enya, Sleepthief and Seay then you will really appreciate this. I love the visuals too. Alter your reality with Red Sonnet. Have a great Sunday everyone!