Fet Nat – Le mal [no wave, punk jazz, musique concrète]
Fet Nat—stylized FET.NAT—presents a unique and exciting excursion into sound collage, spoken word, and dope drum and bass. With Le mal the group gives us a work that defies any notion of convention and breaks fresh ground with every infant second. Ambient tapestries are woven through hypnotic grooves with the occasional wrench thrown in prompting the listener to “lose the one”. A skewed rhythmic perception yields a supremely satisfying effect. Peculiarity abound, this is one to double and triple back on as it promises to reveal new secrets with each listen. Sonic comparison is not an option here, but I would recommend this to friends and listeners of no wave contemporaries like Other Families, and second wave Rock in Opposition forebears, This Heat. Patronage strongly encouraged!
Kitzl – GSF [dream pop, synthwave]
Kitzl – Armadilla [dream pop, synthwave]
Since late 2018, Kitzl has been recording unique and eccentric synth pop gems in the form of singles. As a solo performer, it may come as a surprise these pieces are not just limited to the studio, but find their way up on stage, utilizing layers of voice and electronics, sometimes including a guest musician or two.
What’s immediately striking about these two debut tracks (Armadilla with accompanying video) is the ability of the artist to develop songs which utilize pop tonality and aesthetic while exhibiting a quirky intelligence that rings with sincerity and originality. Creating hooky songs that are destined to float in your ears for days, a degree of depth which belies the superficiality of pop music is also evident in a mildly obscured tongue-in-cheek demeanour. It is intriguing that these tracks have been constructed in such a thoughtful manner. The expectation of a typical mainstream audience to gravitate toward the simplicity and faux “plastic” sheen may be offset by the discerning nature of those who opt to dig beyond the surface, primed to discover a genuine creative statement teeming with playful idiosyncrasy.
Something we can all agree on: maybe? An artist to look out for: absolutely!
Battlebear – Grimm Horton’s [death metal, thrash, grindcore]
Not much new under the metal umbrella, nevertheless a solid offering of sludgy modern thrash metal with a little grind around the edges. As someone who seeks innovative approaches to any sort of music (especially within the idiom of metal), this one does leave something to be desired. Maybe a little too safe, for me? Anyway, from beginning to end this one’s packing blast beats, punk verses, rich guttural screams, and heavy riffage that will not disappoint those who prefer their metal to be unmistakably metal. While little deviation from the well-trodden path takes place here, this is a band I hope will stretch out a bit more in the future as the potential certainly exists for not only personal advancement, but possible strides for the genre as well. We’ll have to wait and see, but just a satisfactory effort, for now.