Dark to the point of being genuinely disturbing, the crushingly bleak witch beats of DMR aka Daria Ramone seep silkily into your soul, extracting all colour until all that remains is a strobing montage of monochrome ghostly detritus. Debut long-player The Falling Body follows on from a string of excellent EP’s which themselves are well worth exploring; this time out however something feels more taut, more focused.
There’s a sumptuous weighty density to Eleven, cold slow beats striking unholy accord with an articulate mesh of sustained gothic synth sounds. The key choral vocal lines sweeping the track to it’s all-too-soon denouement are devastatingly spooky – like the more melodic sections of James Cargill’s Berberian Sound Studio soundtrack turned up a few notches.
You’re not going to find any stock can-tricks here, it’s just pure unadultered sonic malevolence.
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You may not be aware of the C2 programme tucked away in the night-time hours of the BBC Radio Cymru schedules, but each show is a charming and warm celebration of Welsh indie and alternative bands. The number of unknown gems uncovered for me by C2 runs into double figures, and for that, I truly say diolch am fawr.
It was thanks to C2 one iPlayerd morning that I was introduced to the enigmatic and elusive W H Dyfodol. He has been part of the Welsh underground for years, and may have hit peoples collective radar under the guise of Land of Bingo, from whom Lufthansa is a beautiful highlight. Now working under the name Y Pencadlys (Welsh for The Headquarters), he is perfectly cast as the lo-fi electronica champ hidden behind shadows in publicity photographs.
The new single, released through the highly enthusiastic Peski Records, combines masked lyrics over discordant echoes and bubbling beats, as the melancholia of the title makes way for a lingering sense of release and relief. That often repeated title, Mae Pawb Yn Haeddu Glaw Yn Waeth Na Fi, is perhaps the least expected earworm of the winter, the distinctive Welsh language working well against the occasionally harsh cuts of the music below. A new album, as yet untitled, is expected in the Spring.
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Photograph by Natalie Curtis
Kyoko Swan, lead singer with Manchester’s The Louche has the potential to be one of the greats: her live performances are both beautiful and brave, her songwriting as good as any of her contemporaries.
Previous releases Salt and Romantic are the kind of songs that have the capacity to steal hearts and minds. Behind the scenes however, the band have faced difficulties and upheaval. A fiery relationship nearly destroyed The Louche from within. I almost lost hope that they would return to us.
…But after darkness must come light. A renewed line-up and a headline show at Soup Kitchen with friends Father Sculptor and Emperor Zero left me speechless. I can honestly say that my excitement for the new material has reached orgasmic levels: they were simply incredible.
Which brings me to this stunning remix of Hands, recently revealed by From The Kites of San Quentin. Built around Kyoko’s voice, Kites deliver beautifully composed soundscapes of dark atmosphere and industrial texture: this is exactly the kind of forward thinking electronica that Manchester deserves.
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The original version is available to download free here:
From the Kites of San Quentin are due to return in July with a new EP titled 7.83Hz Earth Chorus on Victoria Warehouse Records