Tilo Voigthaus – Mezza Luna

Melting ambience, warming electronics and beautiful sounds sweep across the room as I assume the kick back position and lose myself in the clouds.

Mezza Luna

Tilo Voigthaus, (one half of German due ‘Coral Cave’), releases his latest  lovely ambient single in the form of ‘Mezza Luna’. A soothing and slowly evolving rhythmic journey into deep relaxing space. I get a overwhelming feeling of sensory deprivation as my whole self is consumed within this beautiful cocoon of noise.

There’s no rush to any of this, it is all well balanced in every way. Each sound slowly melts into the next with subtle ripples that rise and fall, floating through the surrounding ambience. The synth textures are so well crafted they ooze so much character.

A truly beautiful piece of soundscape and a lot of it at just short of 12 minutes, so no excuses,  tune in and lose yourself over on Bandcamp, Out Now.

Links –

Tilo Voigthaus Bandcamp

Coral Cave Bandcamp

CORAL CAVE – Erik Matheisen & Tilo Voigthaus
Tilo Voigthaus

Humm Bugg – Charging the Chopper Ray (single)

Back in July 2020, Canned Static reviewed the wonderful Blue Laser album from Humm Bugg. An excellent venture awash with retro bleeps. Sooooo… Megadrive at the ready, Humm Bugg returns to the fray with more 8-bit glitchness(is that a word?).

‘Charging the Chopper Ray’ is a two track single release consisting of said title track with accompanying ‘Marvellous Fanfare’. Although both combined tracks barley reach the 4 minute mark, short and sweet is what this genre s all about.  First few listens and I feel my head is being mashed (sideways) into an 8-bit arcade machine so I just had to try it…. Yeah, I broke out the games emulator and dived into various Sega, Nintendo and Atari classics accompanied by the Humm Bugg anthems. It works, it really does work.

Short and sweet (as singles are), this release is every bit that nostalgic leap into the 8 bit console. Moving between the tracks on to ‘Marvellous Fanfare’ feels like reaching level 2, you know; that level where you just sense there is something lurking in the bushes. Yet again, more fabulously happy chip music from Humm Bugg, very tuneful it is too.

Another highly recommended must have choice. Go listen and grab your copy over on Bandcamp

https://hummbugg.bandcamp.com/album/charging-the-chopper-ray

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Game Over

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Distance From Zero – Pilot Error

Familiar sounds bouncing around the room at the mo as I sit back with my feet stretched forward looking out of the window. This is my usual ‘kick back n’ listen’ posture and today I’ll be mostly listening to a brand new release from Distance from Zero.

Over the years Canned Static have covered numerous releases of Manchester’s  ‘Johnny Come Latelys; from their gritty, hard edged debut ‘The Judas Factor’ to a banging collection of tracks that is ‘Collateral Damage’. Yet again I have them on loop, now with a new name and location. DFZ have now gate crashed Cornwall sending a few pasty lovers running for the hills.

‘Pilot Error’ – Eleven tracks over 47 minutes have followed me around for several days and still going strong. ‘Don’t Wrong the Rights’ opens with signature jangly guitars exchanging batons between vocals and keeping my ears hooked in. I feel this is in some ways more of the same from ‘Johnny Come Latelys’ (which is a good thing) but there are subtleties that advance this from the old band. This is a more polished production with more attention to those lovely hooks. It’s all good and still retains the original grit that I so loved about their earlier offering.

Throughout the album the themes are along the same line with a truth and honesty that needs to burst out, an integrity that is right and needs to be addressed and installed within humanity. Occasionally dark, I still find this in many ways uplifting purely from the messages within. In this vein, ‘Found Again’ stands out with lush vocals churning into a haunting chorus, just lovely.

Overall, ‘Pilot Error’ is now in place as one of my favourite album. They have got everything right from the more refined production, vocals and overall craft. Many neat yet subtle musical interchanges happening all over the show, demonstrating an overall advancement in detail.

In all the right ways, I think ‘Distance from Zero’ are on their way, highly recommended. Buy/stream and visit/support…

All links – Apple Music, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Label

  1. Don’t wrong the rights
  2. Blasphemy
  3. Found Again
  4. The Truth Behind the Lies
  5. Candyman
  6. Sick
  7. Mercy
  8. Not in my Name
  9. What’s it Worth
  10. Shame on You
  11. Saved the Day

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Querox – How Life Goes On

The Querox full debut album was released back in 2012 and certainly hit a few nerves quickly becoming crowd favourites in the Berlin scene. Life has carried on, so how does it fair 6 years on…

I’m certainly no expert when it comes to EDM, I’m more so the sort who just likes what I hear when I hear it. Once I’m tuned in to something I become slightly obsessed and tend to run with it for a while. This is the case with this little gem of an album. I love it, play it to death, get bored and forget about it. Several months pass, I rediscover…  and so the cycle continues.

Released on Syndicate records, this was Berlin based Tobias Schiermeier’s first full album under his Querox banner. Officially it is described as prog trance but in my limited EDM understanding, I’d give it more of a lean towards prog house with minimal tendencies. It certainly has melodic encounters in Arpy heaven but on the whole it remains minimal scattered with very clever touches that keep you interested.

I first happened upon this release while surfing YouTube looking at trippy Berlin Festival footage. Suddenly this sound reached out and grabbed me. No description regarding said video so it took a little detective work to figure out the song identity. I just love the use of single word and part human expressive noise samples used with such minimal expanse. It has tons of atmosphere with so much room to move.

In a nutshell, I cannot see much wrong with this hybrid of minimal progression other than maybe at certain points it does sound a little samey, particularly around the middle part of the album but this I can forgive. It’s not a bust album after all.

Yes I love ‘How Life Goes On’ all over again and so it continues…

  1. Dirty Beat Drop
  2. Dancing Angel
  3. Go Now
  4. Berlin Soundtrack
  5. Backstage Girls (feat Monod)
  6. Kiss the ground (Voice:Rea)
  7. Say Goodbye
  8. How life goes on
  9. Fly Away (Querox rmx) – Phaxe
Querox – Berlin Soundtrack

Erasure – The Neon

I’ve been a bit of a closet Erasure fan for some years, I say closet not out of embarassment, more so out of my on off love of their journey.

All the way back in the 80’s Erasure scaled the heights of pop stardom with an impressive chart run lasting well into the 90’s. The millenium years saw the duo fade out of sight yet they keep churning out the albums year after year.

Slowly I felt their sound wandering away from the analogue roots that made then so big in their hayday. Some of these albums were quite good, others not so. Late August 2020 sees their latest offering in the form of Neon.

From the off I feel Erasure have gone back to basics and made an album emersed within their synth pop roots. It feels so much like vintage Erasure I can almost smell the early 90’s. This is really good and totally unexpected from my expectations.

As always Vince Clark is clever with the programming and Andy Bell sounds as fresh as his earliest recordings. I understand why, in previous releases, they have ventured into new terretoris. You’ve got to move on and develop new ideas but their best stuff was always the true synth pop era. The Neon is a real throwback the days of Chorus and the like.

Die hard fans will always support Erasure and I hope their new offering attracts a new audience who missed out on those early years.

Humm Bugg – Blue Laser

Is it a bird, is it a plane…. dunno? we’re in 8 bit so it could be a flying saucer. Yes, 8 bit quirky tunes floating on a backdrop of FM waves, if that floats your boat, be the Commodore and read on…

Very much in the realms of the home-grown; 8-bit music has always had a certain fan base within the experimental scene. It’s an area of music I sometimes drop into with open mind and a little excitement as generally you will never be sure of what you are gonna get. Generally you get the ‘Mental’ in ‘Experimental’.

I certainly let out a “Hmm” when I dropped on the ‘Humm Bugg’ Bandcamp page. Met with 8-bit imagery , the cover of ‘Blue Laser’ is straight to the point. This is exactly what you are going to get. Chip tunes a plenty, short and sweet buzzing, tweaks and mods all the way.

There are 10 tracks mostly a little over 2 minutes with just the one track exceeding 4 minutes (Undiscovered Bird Planet). Very tuneful, quirky as expected from this format. I like the feel, as always from chip tunes. It’s not meant to be serious or deep music, this is fun and should draw a smile.

There are some clever twists along the way showing the programming is much deeper than what appears on this chirpy surface. Call it Sine language (sorry, can’t help myself). Seriously though, some clever stuff going on here.

There is an element of B-Movie horror going on at times. I can visualise opener, ‘Clash Manor’ dropping into an Ed Wood jr tribute. ‘Everybody is Dead Dave’, playing over the Red Dwarf cruising through deep space. The slightly more serious sounding ‘Blood’ accompanying some mad alien doom game.

The shortness of the tracks add to the appeal along with a certain comedy aspect to some of the themes. ‘Blue Laser’ is a happy, feel good experience, although short, it feels a like a shot in the arm, a quick boost of happyness to get through the day.

Currently available via Bandcamp and soon to be released on all platforms –

Bandcamp

Facebook

Matthew Dear – Beams (Extended Edition)

Beams of light may shine over this synth pop extension release…

beams

At times you’d be fooled into the era your ears are in. It does have a flashback style of sorts projecting back into the 80’s but in essence has all the credibility of current time and space. There’s also a pace to this, no rush at all, more of a canter throughout with no urgency or direction. It meanders on in a bubble of electronic melodies from one song to the next.

Opening track ‘Her Fantasy’ is the real stand out of all. It clearly transcends the relative polite mediocre that follows. This really is a feast in synth pop heaven, a trip back to times gone by when the original electronic wave collided with pop and all was cool with a chic swagger. Think ‘Fade To Gray’, Soft Cell the heart of New Romantics… Its one cool track.

The rest follows dutifully but nothing ascends the heights of the opener. Its not bad in any shape or form. All quite good really but the hedonistic feel loses ground rapidly and the temptation is to replay track 1. The following offerings take more than on the fly to appreciate as I did on the second and third play.

There is a lot going for Beams and it does grow on you. Excellent production all the way but for me it needed at least another as good as the opener, at least one would have given it shift to another place. A very good album but not a classic, certainly worth the playlist though.

 

 

 

Joy Division – Closer (Remastered)

Oh hell, this has been covered a thousand times over but I’m diving into the abyss to revisit an old favourite of mine, Closer.

If you have not heard this legendary cornerstone of indie music then go sit in a corner and suck your thumb. If you’ve never heard of Joy Division then shoot yourself in the nuts with a Taser gun…. twat.

“This is the way step in side“ chimes out of my speakers with nasty glorification and a massive smile spreads across my face. There really is no words for this, it is pure originality that went before the history of clone heads. Paved the way for a new music revolution in sound. Post punk godliness and not a muso in sight. Errors n all to digest the magic.

Remastered

The stories I’ve heard over the years about this album are legendary and too numerous to account for here but I started to hear all sorts of things way back in the day before I ever played it. Most notably are the ones about having listened once and dare not replay due to suicidal thoughts. I heard this first hand from a close friend who thankfully is still around. I do understand the reasoning as it is very dark and thought provoking. Personally it makes me happy, I want to drive through cityscapes and urban jungles with Colony and Heart and Soul blasting out. I’m young and angry all over again.

Johnny Come Latelys – Collateral Damage

What a surprise! Bands come & go, some fragment and morph into other forms and carry on the crusade. Just when I thought Johnny Come Latelys had done all three, here they are with a return to the fold.

History in brief: Johnny Come Latelys release two EP’s Messiah Complex (2016) and Judas Factor (2017). They reappear in 2019 as Distance From Zero including the excellent What’s it Worth. Each release grew from the other, almost a follow on, raw, fresh and none conformist. We’re back with JCL and it feels right and so the mission continues.

10 track album ‘Collateral Damage’ is a rage at society and all that is wrong. Delivered with venom, it rocks out all the way, snarling bass lines and chopping distortions smash through your speakers and slap your ears with the likes of ‘Suicide Club’ and ‘Wake Up’.

I think this is the best JCL release to date, I’m loving the sub synth melodies that float in and out whereas before it was more of a chord. The political samples are a release too. I’ve been fortunate to have been spinning this pre release for a while now and expect it to be in my playlist for some time to come.

Grab your free copy over on Bandcamp – Collateral Damage out now

Tim Susa – Masquerades

Casting back to October 2016 I found myself listening to (and reviewing) ‘The Hermit – The Gate’. The significan link here is the label to which our current focus shares. As I said in that review, ‘Broque’ records of Germany have a history of releasing superb electronics which cover the leftfield.

Tim Susa – Masquerades

Tim Susa hails from Berlin in the heartland of Germany and his latest release does nothing to dissapoint the broque legacy. The 6 part album gives 54 minutes of minimal electronics that motors onwards and upwards like a fine tuned machine.

Opening with the title track ‘Masquerade’ has lovely ripples of synthiness panning around my head before moving on to the machine like ‘Owl’. Were two tracks in and I’m already sold. This is great stuff, could it raise the bar.

‘Swan’ turns the pace and the mood into a soothing wave of anologue warmth. Probably my favourite on the album but I do also love ‘Owl’. Already sold, I’m forgetting about writing and just enjoying the moment. Moving on to the final 3 tracks of pure minimal house, they twist and evolve bringing you closer to the core.

Highly reccommended release for electronic music lovers as is all of broque releases over the years. Forget the World, forget your human chemestry and dive into the machine.

Release date – 15-5-2020 www.broque.de (and all major download sites)