Melbourne band, Roles, are about to unleash their debut album of post-punk/art pop goodness….I know this because I have been privileged to an early listen.
But before the drop of the album, Roles are doing something a little special. In line with their artistic pursuit of music, they will be giving registered participants, an opportunity to be part of a five day, rolling event for the album, There’s A Space.
En-Roles-ees will be immersed in the music, videos, art, reflections, bonus material and behind the scene scoops of how the album was created. It all kicks off on the 2nd of August, 2022 and you will be lucky enough to get all ten songs for free, before anyone else. So to register go to https://rolesband.com/retreat/.
The duo have created an album with the synths of Luis Gutiérrez, that remind you of early Gary Numan, while the soft feminine vocals of Louise Love, often clash with her far more fuzzed out guitar playing, with their beat perfect drum machine keeping tempo. It is about the art of words that can transport you and are only limited by your imagination. Often these words have been found in audio recordings and interviews, given new life and gifted back for others to hear.
If you are looking for some experimental ambient music, then possibly we know of the EP you need to hear. Spectrograph released at the end November, their EP, A Giant Leap Of Faith, on Depth Records.
This project began in 2012, combining the talents of multi instrumentalist and vocalist Virginia Bones with Phiorio who is a producer of electronic/dance music, as well as a DJ. They describe their style as post industrial/electro.
The tones are low and seemingly, almost basic but the more one delves into “Dmbt“, the more complex and convoluted it becomes with its revolving beats and tonal injections for this instrumental piece.
The single, “Dead Kittens“, is a dark affair. Slow and foreboding with fuzzy electronic pulses and synth keys that at times feel like they are wandering randomly within a space that has been forgotten.
Minimal clicks and whirs in a loop present “A Giant Leap Of Faith“, and there begins a layering effect of sounds. An occasional cymbal, electronically altered vocals of Bones and two notes of a piano creep across this piece, only to be joined by other noises. Strangely enough it never feels overwhelming or crowded and yet there is a claustrophobic ambience.
Last track, “If You Think You Can Fly” seems to convey the most urgency, like it needs to be on the move on a midnight jaunt to who knows where. It is bleak, metallic and wonderful with those odd noises.
Well constructed and rather interesting to say the least. If you don’t get electronic music then this won’t be for you but if you love electronica that push music limits with intelligence, then you should most definitely have a listen to Spectrograph’sA Giant Leap Of Faith.
For those uninitiated, Neon Insect is the personal industrial project of German based musician, Nils Sinatsch. He has been at this from a fairly young age and is a rather accomplished fellow. This year sees the release of his album,New Moscow Underground.
Thanks Nils for the Cyrillic text of the opening piece, “.До свидания!“, aka “Goodbye!”. Unless you can read Russian, this will be lost on you but the intro greets you with national drunken fervour and the sounds of maybe someone being tortured and gunfire……..
“Fist, Hit, Cracking Bones” however really packs a nice punch, if you can forgive the pun with this first single. Featuring KVMILLA on vocal backup, complimenting Nils‘ deeper tones, highlighting the darkness. There is very little information on this lady other than she lives in Sweden, has a YouTube channel and likes to cook.
‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever…..’ is a hard to forget quote from George Orwell and the start to “This Is Our City”. A build up of sound apon a constant beat, only to broken by the unearthly vocals. Defiance in the face of the ever tightening grip of authority.
Like an ode to Blade Runner, “Dear Cyborg” featuring NURS, starts in the rain with low menace as the tempo builds in an ever growing electronic screeching/squealing of song. This slightly experimental mash of sounds has New Yorker, NURS who is known for her industrial/post industrial/experimental noise.
The beginning of “Mazerunner” featuring Earl Squanchy (the next door neighbour who just happens to be a rapper), just really hits me as a reminder of Fields Of The Nephilim. A slower track with it’s desolate, wind swept feel, plodding along to meet whatever is left of humanity. Slightly discordant with that old saloon piano at the end.
Long Live The Queen or “L.L.T.Q.” is dark heavy stuff and previously features on the album Glitches. Featuring Claus Larsen of Leæther Strip and this time around wonderfully remixed by Slighter, this has hints of that beat made famous by The Prodigy in “Firestarter”, punctuating this number once it takes off from a sludgy beginning. Static and noise crest to a nearly unbearable level, until it drops, only to clean you up in the follow through. Having Claus Larsen singing on your track is the industrial equivalent to having the Queen of England as your personal Facebook friend.
“h4CX” has my imagination thinking it sounds like the synapses going off in the brain, this is the joy of brilliant beats with light electronic tones. It feels like a journey at light speed. There is something almost delicate about this, which I can’t quite put my finger in and its over it seems so quickly, even though it goes for almost four and a half minutes.
Second single off the album is “It’s Gotta Be Me”. This is actually a really funky number with a super infectious chorus. Very electronic and yet it just seems so smooth. Vocally this is suitably low and growly, just what the doctor ordered. Definitely nothing wrong with this song what-so-ever.
“Downtown Network” featuring New Moscow Exile Ensemble is great piece of music and it is a mixture of noise and feedback with classical instrumentation woven into the fabric. There is a most ambient air to this.
Slow and oppressive is how “Blossom” feels. Heavy like the steel in Sinatsch‘s voice for such a light title of a flower. The female voice is what gives this piece shards of light filtering in the dark folds. And so end this journey.
There is an audio drama at the end which has talented voice actors helping to tell this tale.
An Orwellian vision of the future or a dystopic view of current life? You are going to have to decide this. But while you ponder this question, you can revel in the music Neon Insect has offered up which is so very varied and rich in it’s textures. It is like looking though a fractured lens with dark hues and lengthening shadows.
This is the third album under the name of Neon Insect, however Sinatsch is a seasoned artist with many more projects under his belt as well as being a sound engineer.
We hope this is a successful venture leading to more albums. So if ruination, Orwell, cybernetics and visions in noise are your thing, then you better get this album now!!
Please note that you can order the CD on September the 15th and the Cassette on August the 30th through Bandcamp.