RELEASE: Dreaming In Sound
RELEASE DATE: 15th September 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Shoegazer Sanctuary Records
Our good friends over at 'Shoegazer Sanctuary Records' have compiled yet another no-nonscense, anti-inner sanctum, genre-defining collection of worldwide artists in the guise of their latest compilation release aptly titled 'Dreaming In Sound'. As you are probably all aware we're usually not ones for reviewing compilation releases here at Primal Music as most of the time they do absolutely nothing for the artists involved and we've always found that they're either full of the same old, same old bands & featured artists or it's just another blog, webzine or net label trying their luck by forcing us into another click bait exercise. It's all a very disappointing & mundane exercise to be honest. 'Shoegazer Sanctuary Records' are the exception! They've released three immense compilations so far without fuss or bother. They didn't add the usual heavy hitters from the underground psych/gaze/ethereal/ambient scene just to get Facebook likes or numbers across a blog. They didn't annoyingly force the release into our inbox either by harassing or tagging us in their social media posts. They purposefully & honestly decided on each artist by their sonic individuality (and not by their social standing). We really dig that! Their latest compilation release entitled 'V/A Dreaming In Sound' was released back on September 15th 2017 and it features twenty three artists from the world wide dream pop, dream wave, dream noise & ambient scene and as usual the label have put this out as a 'Name Your Price' tariff via shoegazersanctuaryrecords.bandcamp.com
V/A Dreaming in Sound by Shoegazer Sanctuary Records
The album opens up with the fantastic Mississippi based dreamscape duo 'The Starlight Run' and their track 'Lower', lifted off June 2017's 'Let's Float EP'. It glides on shimmering streamlined reverberations deftly underscored with repetitive percussion, soaring synths and hazy vocalisations. A blistering opening salvo indeed. Up next, Alaska's 'A Thousand Hours' bring 'Bleach' to the party. Lifted off their recently released full length album 'Sleep' this track is a simmering cloud of droning instrumentation and jangling reverb hued guitar progressions. Sporadic percussion adds a heavy atmosphere allowing that stunning wall of vocal tracks to penetrate the gloom and drench this listeners ears in glorious sonic joy and that's followed brilliantly by Swedish based dream-gazers 'Weather Island' with their stunning January 2017 released single 'The Eternal'. A massive wall of hazy guitars pound the senses as misty vocalisations swirl in the maelstrom buffered by meandering lead lines and huge chord changes. French based 'Fools Ferguson' appear here supported by 'The Alohama Lakes', a track lifted off their sublime January 2017 released album 'Dead Lines'. This track is a slow and yearning piece of heavy dream-pop whilst California based 'The Fawns Of Love' are up next with their decent track 'Silly Boy' lifted off 2017's 'Who Cares About Tomorrow'. This band are a constant enigma to me as they have seriously great potential but seem to care more about blog, webzine & American based online radio coverage than anything else. Either way 'Silly Boy' swoons into the ether held fast within a whirlwind of tremulous guitars and repetitive sequenced percussion. Add into the mix the dreamy vocalisations of Jenny Andreotti and what we have is a shimmering wall of translucent dream pop underscored by a flurry of shoegaze impressions, impressive instrumentation and some fantastic production.
Nathan Guzman aka 'Southpavv' is a Californian based dream-gaze artist and he is supported on this compilation by his mesmerising track 'Saturday Night 1997' lifted off an EP of the same name released back in June 2017. Luscious walls of swooning guitar & effervescent synth float effortlessly on the serine hum of bass frequencies as sequenced percussion lulls sweetly beneath the intoxicating swirl of reverberation. 'Saturday Night 1997' is a stunning track and a great addition here. Michigan based 'Cesium Swimsuit' appear next and they bring some rather mundane electro-gaze to the mix with their track 'Particles' whilst up next 'Wintermilk' hail from Russia and they fuse blissed out dream-pop and luscious synths together with almost ethereal vocalisations on their track 'Lots Of Light' lifted off their May 2017 released debut album 'Pretty Ugly'. Florida based 'Zooey' create stunning blissed out dream-gaze and they are well represented here by a track called 'Never Was' lifted off their debut album entitled 'Bottlerocket', released back in April 2o17. Hazy walls of melodically infused instrumentation languish in pools of intense reverb as shimmering vocalisations float effortlessly throughout the mix firmly tethered to the earth by those impressive drum patterns. This is a beautiful track worthy of your ears. Virginia based 'Distant Creatures' have been wowing the underground shoegaze fraternity ever since the release of their immense two track single entitled 'Escape' back in September 2016. 'Haunted By You' appears here and it's is lifted from their recently released thirteen track opus entitled 'Snares In Safe Harbours'. It's a dreamy slice of reverberating joy permeated by luscious vocalisations, throbbing bass frequencies, surging synth swells and driving guitars. Andy Jossi aka 'The Churchill Garden' has worked with countless vocalists and used them to bring his sonic visualisations to life. Here he has supplied is latest track entitled 'Breath' fronted by Ben Aylward from Australian based outfit 'Swirl'. His vocal moves and undulates in a mesmerising manner capturing moments of melancholic abandonment as it pulses through wave after wave of magical instrumentation whilst up next UK based 'beatastic' appears here with his track 'Always Us', an atmospherically charged synth driven electro-gaze outing lifted off his 2016 released twelve track entitled 'Staticity'.
Texas based dream-gazers 'Blushing' have supplied their track 'Tether' lifted off an EP of the same name released back in January 2107. 'Tether' has gentle guitars that leads the way into a well written melodic structure built around the slow tap of drums, well mixed and comfortable bass and the noisy but ethereal influenced guitars. Special credit to the fantastic and memorable chorus, in which two soaring female vocals meld mesmerizingly with the instrumentation to create a beautiful and original type of sound. Liverpool based dreamy trio 'Cascadia Fault Line' appear here with an alt/indie acoustic track entitled 'Firefly', a run of the mill add reverb for effect sort of thing, lifted off their recently released two track single 'Firefly/Counting Kings On Rainy Days' whilst up next Texas based 'Creature In The Spiral' balance the playing field once again with their sublime dream laden track 'Anodyne', a simmering slice of melodic dream-pop that floats effortlessly on streamlined waves of tingling reverb, subtle synths and stunning vocalisations. Brazilian based post-gaze outfit 'Alles Club' unleash their explosive track 'Eclipse' lifted off their recently released three track remix package of the same name. Melodic guitar lines merge with huge walls of hazy atmospheric reverb, humming bass frequencies, ghostly vocalisations and busy percussion to collectively inject a massive lysergic ball of sonic energy out into the ether. 'Eclipse' is a triumphant addition to this collection of tracks by a band who I will be checking out further. Experimental duo 'Mayu' join forces with the ever reliant 'Tom Lugo' (Panophonic, Stellarscope, Patetico Recordings) to create an atmospherically dreamy ambient hued track entitled 'Mayu-Quiero Despertar', originally released back in November 2016. Danish based 'Keith Canisius' appears next, bringing his brand of spaced out electronica to the fore in the guise of 'We Gotta Get Going', a busy synth laden affair with repetitive sequenced percussion and huge spaced out chorus breaks. The compilation takes some what of a confusing twist here with the addition of two cover versions. The first is a cover of New Order's 'Temptation' by Maryland based 'Soñder' and it's followed by a cover version of The Byrds track 'It Happens Each Day' by 'Daydream Cathedral'. If you are into this sort of thing by all means check them both out but as I'm completely against cover versions appearing on underground releases I'm going to take a step out and move quickly on.
Tennessee based 'HR_Lexy' released her five track EP 'Nature Vs Neon' back on February 21st 2015. Her sound echoes through electronically charged gothic mysticism with dreamy ambient hued overtones and lashings of atmospheric synth, reverb and sequenced percussion. Her track 'You're Not Mine' is lusciously addictive and stands out here as a major positive. The albums penultimate track comes from Melbourne based droning alt-psych aficionados 'Seasloth'. Their latest album 'Somnuiva' was released on the 5th September 2017 and it is represented here with a track entitled 'Scarlet'. Throbbing bass lines bounce into the sonic ether tethered to subtle atmospherically charged drones and intense vocalisations. Brilliantly executed guitar progressions and the occasional instrumental drone wraps itself around cascading bass frequencies as dark malicious sound wave envelopes the entire track. 'Scarlet' is absolutely absorbing making 'Seasloth' a band to check out going forward. 'Dreaming In Sound' closes out with a track called 'Low Valley Low' by Washington based electronic dream-pop du0 'Static Shore'. This track is lifted off their July 2016 released five track EP 'Life & Love In The Hologram' and it's a shimmering synth laden slice of summery electronica with beautifully entrancing and utterly dreamy vocalisations underscored by sublime production. A fitting ending to another fantastic collection of tracks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
Artist: Lunar Twin
Release Name: Lunar Twin EP
Record Company: Unsigned
Music today is filled with many contradiction's. Everyone want's to start a band or a project just to create music that'll sound a lot like this genre or that genre, but with their own twist & their own unique edge, armed with the heartwarming intention of putting themselves out there to get noticed & to stand out from their peer's. More often than not they fail miserably and end up becoming a carbon copy of their influence's only to crash and burn, not only on the modern day musical highway's that swirl around the globe, but also in the eye's of their ever watching & ever knowing peer's. In my opinion this is down to a few major failing's. Firstly, a failing to understand their musical surrounding's, coupled with not knowing their limit's as a working band, and secondly, failing whilst trying desperately to stay relevant & true to a musical belief that they hold dear! They board themselves up in home studio's overthinking a concept and then walk around with a monkey on their back trying their damnedest to sound different! Now, fast forward, let's move on 6 month's to the impending implosion! This is where a slow musical death ensues or to put it bluntly, death by overthinking! Music should not be difficult. It should come from the heart and mean something at the same time. It shouldn't be about genre's, style's or trend's! And it shouldn't be forced. These things are not rocket science? Are they?
Lunar Twin are a Los Angeles based electronic dreamwave duo specialising in twisting numerous different musical genre's into something rather special. Their knowledge and understanding of their influence's keep's them ahead of their peer's, therefore avoiding the pitfall's of this modern day musical landscape, whilst sounding completely different to anything else out there today. What they have achieved is a very difficult thing to do & I know this myself, because it's something that we have tried to do with my own band, Analogue Wave. In some way's 'Lunar Twin' remind me a lot of Analogue Wave. You can't pigeon hole them into one particular genre. Their influence's vary, from New Wave (Joy Division & Gary Numan) to Hip Hop (Nas,Wu Tang Clan), through classic psychedelica (13th Floor Elevators) to modern downtempo stuff (Massive Attack, Portishead, Thievery Corporation, Soulsavers); and from classic and modern songwriter's like Billie Holliday, Leonard Cohen, Rodriguez and Santogold. They blend their musical and lyrical influence's together to make a modern psychedelic and cinematic sound.
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The 'Lunar Twin EP' open's up with beautiful 'Sirens'. The sound of wave's crashing on a beach, intertwined with hazy reverb drenched guitar's announce Bryce Boudreau's addictive vocal's & that 80's influenced synth line that seem's to hold the track steady to it's downtempo origin's. It's a great introduction track for anyone new to the sound of 'Lunar Twin'. It's filled with pulse's of New Wave, Dream Pop & Psychedelica with an almost Bluesy vocal line. Check it out below:
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'Champagne', the EP's second track, is hauntingly beautiful, reminiscent of late Pink Floyd in part's, intertwining with that ever present 80's synth sound. You can hear the Hip Hop & Gothic influences here too with subtle Dream-Pop flourishes swirling around another stunning vocal. I really like the use of addictive sample's running just under the vocal track. They keep your attention focused on the track and they also accompany the ocean references in the lyric's, which really hit home with the way the track ebb's & flow's. Check it out:
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'Metroplex' bring's the bands's 80's influences to the fore with sequenced drum's, synth line's & pulsing vocal's! The Gary Numan'esque synth style mixed with Kraftwerk's drive compliment Byrce Boudreau's vocal's with ease. They flow gracefully over the entire track. You can hear the production techniques clearly. You can also really understand the inner working's of 'Lunar Twin' when listening to it. The band seem's to be at home with this particular genre of music. It's not forced or contrived in any way. It's great track & one that I'd say any remixer worth his/her salt would love to get their hands on. Check it out below:
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The closing track on the 'Lunar Twin EP' is probably my favourite. 'Cruel water' creeps along like a stalking animal. It's a modern day masterpiece with it's effected guitar's, Hip Hop styled drumbeat (keeping the pace just nice), addictive sample's & synth's swirling underneath, all cradling Bryce's 'in your face' vocal like a newborn baby! It's a little piece of creeping dirtiness on an otherwise nice EP. Don't take my word for it, check it out below:
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'Lunar Twin' are Christopher Murphy (production/music) and Bryce Boudreau (vocals/co-production). They met in July 2011, at the Denver Underground Music Festival when Bryce joined as a guest of Chris’ previous gothic synth band Nightsweats. They formed Lunar Twin in October 2013, and derived the band’s name from a theory about earth having possibly had a twin moon. They released the stunning 4 track 'Lunar Twin EP' to the masses on the 10th November 2014. As you can tell from the band’s name, the members have an interest in space- and time theories. They draw inspiration from Einstein’s Twin Paradox and Theory of Relativity. What it means for man(kind)’s place in the universe is reflected in their lyrics. Other sources for their lyrical themes are nature (the ocean, wilderness, landscapes) and culture (both ancient and modern, e.g. mega cities).
What is remarkable is that the two band members record the music and vocal separately, on locations far apart (Hawaii and Salt Lake City). 'Lunar Twin' are currently working on new material for an upcoming LP.
For more information and updates, check their social media:
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - February 2015 - Dublin, Ireland
'The Primal Radio Show' is an internet based radio show broadcasting on RAUG every Friday night from 10PM BST on mixlr.com/raug playing Unsigned & Small Independent Label Based Shoegaze, Dreampop, Noise Rock, Post-Rock & Post-Punk.
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