Feb 272015
 
A Beläten Announcement

Forthcoming on Beläten: Distel, Veil of Light and Daybed

Announcing three new Beläten vinyl titles, available in April

Beläten is happy to announce three new vinyl titles:

Distel — nord 7″ EP

Beläten Three-pack: ARM, D.Å.R.F.D.H.S.

350 copies on black heavyweight vinyl in spined sleeve with printed inner-sleeve.

High-resolution images and audio available here

The donut has its toroidal shape for a reason. It’s a slippery fucker, and the hole is there so you can hold on to it during preparation and indulgence. The Dutch version of the donut is called oliebol – literally, ball of oil – and for some probably cunningly commercial reason it lacks the hole. It’s just a slippery sphere. Irresistible, but unmanageable. Another Dutch treat is Distel. Although irresistible, the music they make is nothing like an oliebol. The sounds they sculpt are, invariably, perfectly distinct and tangible to such an extent that the first time you hear them, they sound oddly familiar. Highly unlikely, since they are all prepared according to a secret recipie and did not exist in the material world before Distel coerced their modular and digital devices to produce them. Distel’s got the definition and clarity of Kraftwerk, coupled with a vividly imaginative repertoire that surpasses the German stiffening lumbar foursome by leaps.

You might have heard people liken Distel to bands such as Coil or the Knife. With the release of the new 7″ EP nord, however, it becomes strikingly apparent that Distel has a unique voice, sonic vernacular and style of their own. When this gets out, read my oily lips, people will start likening stuff to Distel instead of the other way round.

The sleek black 7″ has got two snappy songs on side A and a more temperately paced song for a B-side.

The first song, nord, is a skilful juggling of analog & digital, harmony & detune, atomic, tonal waveforms & noise of various flavors. Not to mention one of the most catchy, bouncy, spacious yet intimate set of jittery frequencies that has soared through the ether for a long, long time. Fills the heart with joy, and the most delicate seasoning of arrhythmia.

The second song, zelv, is a haunting, unraveling tale of exceptional lyrical and musical consonance. It’s also full of non-gimmicky, diegetic musical surprises. Snappy, pneumatic and impossible to listen to – passively.

The third song, bogarting the entire flipside of the single, is called raaf. It would be a crime to try to describe this song without going through some of the basics first. Back in the 16th century, Galileo Galilei penned something he called the Principle of Similitude. Contrary to what it literally means today, this theory set out to highlight the physical limits and dissimilarities of the natural world. A tree can grow very tall. But it can never grow taller than about 100 meters, due to mechanical constraints. These constraints can be bluntly explained as: any increase in size of a physical body results in the surface area increasing as a square, while the volume and corresponding weight increases as a cube. A flea can fall from any height without sustaining any damage upon landing. A cat can fall from several meters up a tree without damage when it hits the ground, since its body surface is like a parachute in relation to its tiny weight. An elephant, on the other hand, can not even fall one meter without breaking its legs, essentially making it a feature, not a flaw that it can’t jump. Galileo’s theory was a sucker punch to the widely popular Hermeticism at the time. The ‘as above, so below’ reasoning suffered a severe blow, when Galileo showed that there was a striking dissimilarity between different tiers of nature, with mathematical proof to boot.

What a welcome turn of events, then, that the final song of the new Distel single manages to finaly break the asphyxiating Galilean envelope that has constrained the world for so long. Who’s to tell how tall a tree must grow? The heavily stomping stride of raaf succeeds in breaking Galileo’s Principle of Similitude simply by being like an elephant nimbly neurodancing. The clean, clear-cut sounds that make up this song all seem to emanate from real appliances and gadgets. Things that have another primary function, like, perhaps, a vacuum cleaner. Closer scrutiny reveals these are not real-world sounds at all. They’re just that tangible and eerily pseudo-familiar that their sonic qualities are equated, in our premature minds, with functional mechanical qualities. Another up yours to Galileo.

This single is a sure-fire musical milestone. Hear it for the first time and realize, the reason it sounds so familiar and obvious is not because you have ever heard anything like it before. Rather it is because, in the future (readily present to the sentient), you will have listened to it thousands of times already.

Veil of Light — Head/Blood/Chest 12″ Mini LP

All Your Sisters — Modern Failures

350 copies on black vinyl, in printed disco sleeve.

High-resolution images and audio available here

Veil of Light is back with his first release since the majestically morose Ξ album of last year (now sold out). The new 12″ EP contains a quartet of songs that capture the artist’s signature air of serene and complex industrial melancholy, yet widens the spectrum to include glimpses of, dare I say, joy and hope. All the more powerful, then, the main theme of dead serious exploration of the emotional torso, its appendages and circulatory system. The title, Head/Blood/Chest, inevitably brings to mind the seminal Throbbing Gristle album Journey Through a Body. But the kinship ends there. This is no experimental 1/2-inch tape cacophony. This is beautiful and evocative music, redolent with wonder. The bleak, yet confident, tone echoes like the early literary works of James Graham Ballard, particularly The Drowned World (1963). The ever-heating climate is going to sizzle the poles and submerge all major cities on Earth. We will return to the humid, reptilian lagoon from out of which we once evolved. As with Ballard, the lasting impression from Head/Blood/Chest is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, this is a good thing. A long overdue return to our archaeopsychic past.

Programme A opens with All You Have which, with its serene power, comes across as a sacred testament to all who believe in man and nature, while turning their back on the idolatry, falsehood and abuse courtesy of the so-called modern world. Musically, it seethes with gothic tradition in a way we have previously not heard from Veil of Light. Adonis, the following song, is a foreboding and unhurried, almost meditative, piece complete with bitcrunched pads and Terminator toms and hats. Foreboding, yet with a streak of benevolence that, as already stated, just makes it all even more mesmerizingly foreboding.

Programme B commences with the more pacey Purple. An animated, marching anthem for sadness. MMZ, the last song, is a somnambulistic but grippingly acute theme that opens with the sound of a staticky synthetic flugelhorn. A call to arms of the long-dormant autonomous systems of the body, that now want to rebel and exert self-expression after eons of stoical duty and obstinate regularity.

Head/Blood/Chest is a journey through an emotional as well as visceral landscape, that arrives at the conclusion that the two seemingly dualistic properties are, perhaps, made of the same basic stuff. A hauntingly atmospheric and heart-swelling dreamscape, magnetically etched into twelve inches of black vinyl.

Daybed — Weird Sailing LP

Daybed — Weird Sailing LP

350 copies on black vinyl.

High-resolution images and audio available here

Following on from their 12” EP “Preludes” (no emb blanc), Daybed (New Zealand/USA) releases their full-length album “Weird Sailing” in April, 2015 on Gothenburg-based Beläten Records. A diverse collection of songs set against analogue synthesizer landscapes, the album playfully jumps between the upbeat and pop-inspired to the reflective and lyrical. “Weird Sailing” consists of ten original tracks as well as a special cover of KKD’s minimal synth gem “And Your Mind”.

Hailing from New Zealand and the USA, Daybed crafts music that both references and innovates on the wave genre. Band members Tim Farland and Carla M use these elements to produce songs with a hint of discord that alternately reject and accept traditional pop structures. The effect, pleasurable yet jarring, is heightened through heavy use of analogue synthesizers. Having performed with classic minimal synth acts such as Oppenheimer Analysis, Sudeten Creche and Somnambulist, Daybed balances nostalgia for the sounds of the past with a strong musical focus on the present. “Weird Sailing” combines these aspects, representing a pop odyssey with palpable links to the history of underground music.