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Duchess Says * Sciences Nouvelles (cd 2016)

It is odd how the music business works nowadays. On Deezer a Duchess Says single became available a while ago. “Negative Thoughts” announced an upcoming album. Then a little later the album is announced on Bandcamp and can be preordered. One track could be listened for free, another (“Negative Thoughts”…) after you preordered the album. Now the album is out and you can listen to it entirely on Bandcamp without buying it.

“Sciences Nouvelles” is (like previous albums) is short only 36 minutes. Two tracks I already knew (see above), two tracks can also be found on the split with Prince Harry.

Just like with the previous album “In A Fung Day T!” (2011) the pre-released tracks seemed to imply that the band is going more in their electropop direction rather than the weird punk style. The opening tracks of “Sciences Nouvelles” seem to confirm this idea. However “Negative Thoughts” is a bit ‘rocky’, only once the album gets the good old weird punk sound of Duchess Says with the “Pink Coffin” track that we already knew. “Poubelle” (track 5) is nicely weird, but (on the Duchess Says scale) ‘low energy’ and we immediately go back to electropop, followed by a strange sounscape type of track. There is some slightly psychedelic experimentation which is amusing. I do prefer the more energetic sound of the band and when compared to all that came before, the latest album is again a step back.

I am not really blown away by the latest Duchess Says. The previous album did grow on my as well, so maybe this will happen again. After a few rounds I can say that “Sciences Nouvelles” is nice to very nice, but not as nice as previous releases.

The label seems to be new to me too. Maybe I should have a listen to what they released before.

Links: Duchess Says, Bonsound

Geneviève Pasquier * Live One (mc 2016)

Discogs.comYou have to be patient for releases of Pasquier (under her own name at least). “Handle With Care” is already from 2010. This new cassette does not even contain (much) new music either.

Side A mostly contains reworkings of old tracks such as Blitzkrieg Baby and Warm Leatherette, but also new (or at least unreleased) tracks like Douleur and 8 P.M. Daily News. This side has more of the ‘soft side’ of Pasquier with also a bit of new elements here and there.

Then we flip over to side B which contains a live recording from a Wien/Vienna show in April 2011. The tracks here come both from earlier and more recent albums. Live Pasquier can be nicely industrial, raw and energetic (I remember a great show at the 2010 Summer Darkness Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands). The recordings do not sound as raw as I remember the Utrecht show, but I prefer this side over side A. The live recordings have an alright sound, but the oddly faded applauses are a bit strange.

“Live One” makes a nice album, an overview of Pasquier’s discography. I am curious if there will be new material some day though. There are only 100 tapes, so if you are a collector, be quick. You can also buy a Bandcamp release.

Links: Geneviève Pasquier, Raubbau

Zola Jesus * Versions (cd 2013)

For some reason I had the idea that Zola Jesus was an old (ex-)industrial/goth singer who had gone solo and pop. Fact is, that this singer is only from 1989 and only started to perform under this monicker in 2008. However people seem to categorise Zola Jesus in the industrial/goth genre, it looks like it is more electropop that she makes. When I heard that her latest cd was written for a performance in the Guggenheim museum of New York and Zola Jesus cooperated with James George Thirwell (Foetus) I thought it was time to spend some time listening to her music.
“Versions” appears to be a more modern-classical approach to (mostly) the previous album “Conatus” (2011). There is a small orchestra, sometimes electronics and of course Jesus’ recognisable voice. Zola Jesus is not going to be my new favorite popartist, but “Versions” is a nice (be it somewhat melancholic) album.
Links: Zola Jesus, Sacred Bones Records

Staccato Du Mal * Sin Destino (cd 2011)

I never heard of Staccato Du Mal until presented a great track of this project (just before the Thorofon track that I did not know). I looked around a bit and this project appeared to have just released the first full-length on a label unknown to me. With the help of Discogs I had my copy quickly. Staccato Du Mal is a project that defines the term “minimal wave”. The music is created with analogue synthesisers and drum-machines so you naturally get this “vintage” sound. The music reminds of Karl Runau, but is more ‘electropoppy’. Agent Side Grinder is another name that comes to my mind, but Staccato Du Mal is softer. It does have the ‘wavey’ sound and vocals though. The weird sounds that come from a label such as Enfant Terrible is definately a way to describe Staccato Du Mal. After the relatively danceable first tracks, the sound goes more towards what is almost “angstpop“, indeed, the sound of some Galakthorrö releaes, but more especially of the Dutch project Distel whose “radio” I was actually listening to when running into Thorofon and this project. Indeed, “Sin Destino” is a wonderfull release. Perhaps too light for people who like the sound of Galakthorrö and perhaps a bit too dark for people who like the “minimal wave” sound or “oldstyle EBM”, but a wonderfull release for my ears.
Links: Staccato Du Mal, Wierd Records

Tying Tiffany * Peoples Temple (2010)

I was surprised when I got a “confirmed artists” email of the Wave Gotik Treffen of this year that contained Tying Tiffany. I knew Tying Tiffany from when I listen to electropop or electropunk on Tying Tiffany is one of the many of such bands that does not really stand out (well, the photo’s are usually nice). It is just straightforward, nothing-special electropop sometimes with a slightly ‘punky’ edge. Because I wondered why an electropop band would be booked for the WGT, I listened to their Myspace and indeed, the songs there seem to be much more ‘wavey’, sometimes almost ‘batcave’ in sound. I guessed that perhaps the first two albums would be boring, while the last one spells a new direction. Indeed, “Peoples Temple” opens with a pretty gothic sounding tracks called “3 Circle” and the first seconds of the second track can also still be called “gothic” in a way. Several tracks bring memories of 80’ies wave with screaming guitars and drumcomputers, but “Peoples Temple” still is a not-too-good electropop album.
I just noticed that it is Trisol who released this album, so that may be the connection to the ‘black scene’.
Links: Tying Tiffany, Trisol

v/a * DruckEmpfindeN-festival (cd 2009)

Man I wanted to be at this festival, but the night was impossible for me. I should have seen Geneviéve Pasquier much earlier than yesterday and however I did see Propergol already, it would not have hurt (perhaps the ears, but who cares) to see him life again. Now I see some pictures…… Fortunately for all those who were or were not present, there is this compilation. It is supposedly limited to 250 copies, about 100 of which get an addition flyer and card. I got my copy from Pasquier and my copy says “Geneviéve Pasquier limited edition 02/17” which seems to imply that each artist got a few copies to sell as well. In a nice foldout cover and with the nice artwork of the flyer comes an 8 track cd with with three tracks of Pasquier, three of Propergol and two of Bad Sector. These are not recordings of the performances by the way. Pasquier opens moody with a trance-ambient song, but continues with her catchy industrial electropop including the title track of her new album. Propergol seems to have stepped off the ambient soundscapes path (for a moment) and comes with great harsch industrial noise. Bad sector contributed an ambient track and a ‘club remix’. In total spanning only 35 minutes, this compilation may be a bit short, but very nice, especially regarding the fact that most tracks are exclusive.
Link: Chamber Music

We Are Wolves * Invisible Violence (cd 2009)

On their 2005 debut album (“Non Stop Je Te Plie En Deux”) and the great second album (2007 “Total Magique”) We Are Wolves wonderfully balanced between punkrock and electropunk with here and there a bit of electropop and some other experiments. Catchy, uptempo songs with a lot of guitars. The only thing is that I am not greatly fond of are the vocals (relatively high-pitched male), but they are not really irritating. This new album goes more in a normal poprock direction and the songs are not what they are on the previous albums; they are not as crazy anymore and less catchy. There are still some nice songs, but I highly prefer the second album.
Links: We Are Wolves, Dare To Care

Les Georges Leningrad * Sangue Puro (cd 2006)

Les Georges was a Canadian experimental (electronic) punk band. Somehow many of these seem to come from Canada (the band does no longer exist since May 2007). What also seems to be typical for this kind of music are the slightly distorted and rather childish female vocals. There are also male vocals here and there. The band has great uptempo weird punky tracks which are alternated with a great variety of experiments. Jazz, funk, industrial, Native American tribal music, whatever the band felt like is put on their albums. The experiments are not always my taste and take relatively much space on the albums, but the nice weird things and especially the electropunk (or postpunk or whatever I should call it) are good enough to recommend to people who like happy-tuned crazy music.
Links: LGL memorial Myspace, Dare To Care…
Other albums are “Sur Les Traces De Black Eskimo” (2005 Alien8 Records) (I think this is the better) and “Deux Hot Dogs Moutarde Chou” (2002 Records Coco-Cognac)

Divine Muzak * Maison Skinny (cd 2009)

It has been five years since the interesting debut of this Romenian duo. “Dialogue” mixed different kinds of music into an interesting style. On “Divine Skinny” there is again a mix of styles, but the result differs from the previous album. After hearing the Myspace tracks I got myself a copy of the new album, but I must say that I am disappointed by it. The cd opens interestingly with a mix between folk and industrial, but most of the tracks are rather bluesy, minimalistic, slow tracks, mixed with electropop and other poppy sounds. Especially the female vocals are not my thing (I prefer the photos of the very skinny Julie in the booklet) and the music is quite boring at times. I do like the fact that the bands presents something very uncommon and perhaps some more (than four) listenings will make the album grow a bit, but I can currently not give too much praise to it.
Links: Divine Muzak, Punch Records