Clustersun - Surfacing To Breathe (Seahorse Recordings)

ALBUM REVIEW | Clustersun - Surfacing To Breathe

ARTIST: Clustersun

RELEASE: Surfacing To Breathe

RELEASE DATE: 19th May 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Seahorse Recordings

Italian based sonic aficionados 'Clustersun' are what I would define as one of the four main cornerstones of todays underground 'Italogaze' scene. Their collective sound effortlessly swims within a heady mix of shoegaze, electronica & post-punk with a subtle undercurrent of alt-rock that bubbles and fizzes through layers of sublime production to create a wall of blissful noise with layers of soaring reverberation. Now, three full years after the debut long player 'Out Of Your Ego' graced the ears of the underground faithful, the 4-piece band from Catania have announced a brand new eight track album in the guise of 'Surfacing To Breathe' via the brilliant Italian based independent record label 'Seahorse Recordings'. 'Clustersun' have matured dramatically since those tentative debut years, so much so that this time around they have added a new element to the their sonic arsenal by dipping their collective toes into the modern psych gaze scene; and the overall results of this experimentation are magnificent. The band are made up of Marco Chisari - vocals /bass, Mario Lo Faro - guitars, Piergiorgio Campione - synthesizers/keyboards/backing vocals) & Andrea Conti - drums and 'Surfacing To Breathe' gets it's full release on the 19th May 2017 via 'Seahorse Recordings'. The album is available to pre-order right now on various formats including lovely limited edition black vinyl via clustersun.bandcamp.com

The album opens up with it's lead single 'Raw Nerve' and it sits on a very precarious experimental curve with the band stepping out of their comfort zone to inject elements of modern day psych into their usual watered down electro-gaze firmament. It has a kraut like percussive swagger that lends itself brilliantly to that post-punk styled throbbing bass progression and it's angry guitar lines bob and weave menacingly through layers of senses pummelling reverberation. The heavily effected vocal lines dangerously lean (sort of like an over weight scales) atop of the instrumentation with an air of expectation that they might just fall off the sonic precipice at any moment; but that only adds to the overall atmosphere of the track. Up next, 'Antagonise Me' explodes into the ether on sharp instrumental stabs before unloading a dark & delicious slab of driving post-punk intertwined with psych rock tendencies and reams of resonating frequencies. Throbbing bass lines & soaring synth swells bounce and weave along a steadying percussive pattern as noisy guitars slash and chop at those mesmerising vocalisations before collectively soaring into a sublime chorus pattern filled with wailing lead lines and brim;antsy constructed production. Absolutely marvellous!

'Lonely Moon' swerves into modern dream-gaze territory as wave after wave of shimmering synth and soaring reverb drenched guitars loop & arc around a brilliantly executed drum pattern that carefully surrounds and protects that stunning vocal performance by Marco Chisari. Up next, 'Clustersun' dive into massive swathes of undulating atmosphere as 'The Whirling Dervish' unfurls it's resonating tendrils. Piercing lead lines follow cascading bass patterns as the vocals float on a hovering wave of reverb, accompanied at times by refreshing plinking piano lines. This track builds brilliantly as it progresses, adding layer after layer of instrumentation before exploding into a massive wave of post-punk hued psych-gaze. 'Don't Let The Weight Of Your Soul Drag You Down' instrumentally swirls into the ether on an ambient themed synth pattern before glorious guitars enter the mix followed by sparse percussion and the hum of sullen bass frequencies. Another atmospheric monster, this track builds and formulates into a huge wall of blissful unwavering noise before unleashing it's inner behemoth thus dragging this listener with it through every single twist and turn on the road to it's blistering finale.

The albums self-titled track is a full on modern day psych-gaze bruiser. 'Surfacing To Breathe' begins life held fast in a swirling synth drone before a magnificent guitar progression takes hold and instantly peak this listeners attention. Metronomic percussion holds court here as it drags plodding bass patterns and soaring synth lines with it into the mix thus turning this track into a well organised, uniformed, steady and rhythmic sonic drill through layers of reverberation and dark atmosphere. Again, both Marco Chisari & Mario Lo Faro need to celebrated here (on vocal and guitar duties respectfully) as they carry this engrossing track through to the end. The albums penultimate piece teeters precariously on a more experimental edge as 'Emotional Painkiller' enters audible range. This is the only track on the entire album that harkens back to their more electronically charged debut release 'Out Of Your Ego'. For me they try to fit the sonic aesthetic of that debut album into this newer sound with varying results. That not to say that it isn't aesthetically pleasing, it just seems to me that it works only in parts and to some extent suffers greatly at times. It's very difficult to fit square pegs into round holes and the band should be careful of this going forward. For me their new psych-gaze leanings work brilliantly when left alone to be exactly that .... psych-gaze!

The album closes out with a magnificent final track. 'Event Horizon' bounces along on an absolutely immense bass signature that acts as sonic glue thus holding this entire track together. Soaring synth swells carry beautifully intense guitar progressions up into the ether as it's ground dwelling drum patterns pound and echo into the sonic firmament with relative ease. Instrumentally sublime, this track carefully envelopes it's vocal lines like a mother caring for a new born baby, buffering it from punishing sound waves and relentless resonating frequencies with aplomb. A very impressive finale to a masterful sophomore release thus showing that the dreaded second album needn't be so scary.

Bravo Clustersun .... now lets go for album number three!

5/5

LINKS:

clustersun.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/CLUSTERSUN

twitter.com/CLUSTERSUN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & 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.


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | Clustersun - Raw Nerve

Catania based four piece 'Clustersun' are no strangers to this underground shoegaze scene having previously wowed the underground faithful with their debut album 'Out Of your Ego' back in April 2014. Since then Italogaze has seen it's stock rise considerably with numerous musical outfits & collectives emerging from its darker corners to try and emulate the previous successes that 'Clustersun' had notched up both here in Europe and over in the good old U.S of A with some very good results and some shockingly unmentionable attempts. The band have announced (that much maligned & very very scary) sophomore album and it is penned in for release on May 19th 2017 via the ever reliable Italian based Seahorse Recordings with a lead single entitled 'Raw Nerve' dropping on April 14th 2017. They've named the aforementioned album 'Surfacing To Breathe' and it is now available to pre-order on various formats via clustersun.bandcamp.com

'Raw Nerve' sits on a very precarious experimental curve with the band stepping out of their comfort zone to inject elements of modern day psych into their usual watered down electro-gaze firmament. It has a kraut like percussive swagger that lends itself brilliantly to that post-punk styled throbbing bass progression and it's angry guitar lines bob and weave menacingly through layers of senses pummelling reverberation. The heavily effected vocal lines dangerously lean (sort of like an over weight scales) atop of the instrumentation with an air of expectation that they might just fall off the sonic precipice at any moment; but that only adds to the overall atmosphere of this track. 'Raw Nerve' is a welcome & surprisingly experimental return from a band who have been out of the scene for far too long and this in turn only bodes well for the full album release.

Recommended!

LINKS:

clustersun.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/CLUSTERSUN

twitter.com/CLUSTERSUN


EP REVIEW | Electric Floor - Fader (Vipchoyo Sound Factory Records)

ARTIST: Electric Floor

RELEASE: Fader

RELEASE DATE: 6th March 2017

RECORD COMPANY: Vipchoyo Sound Factory Records 

Cosenza based new wave/synth-gaze trio 'Electric Floor' have announced their highly anticipated new EP 'Fader' released via the ever prolific Italian based independent record label 'Vipchoyo Sound Factory'. With a sound that echoes the experimental side of post-punk melded together with the darker side of new wave and underpinned by a modern electronic edge 'Electric Floor' have the ability to push the sonic envelope with their music. The band were formed in 2009 and are made up of Emanuele Chiarelli - vocals/guitar, Simone Costantino De Luca - programming/keys & Fabio Cosentino - bass. 'Fader' gets its full release on the 6th March 2017 and is available to pre-order on various formats right now from vipchoyo-sound-factory.bandcamp.com

The EP opens up with it's lead single 'Bluedive'. It charges into the sonic ether on a bedrock of driving bass frequencies and sequenced percussion as the bleep and whirr of synth squall echoes deep within a bubble of reverberation. It's vocals are placed meticulously to the fore as all around them swirl in a kind of sonic gravitational pull, looping and arcing through waves of shimmering synth swells and subliminal guitar lines. 'Bluedive' is a feast of melodious frequencies that are guaranteed to thrill. Up next, 'Sullen Dress' shimmers and swirls in a haze of jittering synth draped with a modern dream pop twist. Beautiful guitar lines dance and shimmy along sequenced percussion deftly cushioning that impressive vocal line, underscored at times by duel backing vocals and soaring instrumentation. 'Borderline' pulses and fizzes along turbulent synth swells, the throbbing hum of bass frequencies and undulating sequenced percussion. It builds in momentum, swinging  into massive swathes of reverberation and dragging distinctly passionate piano stabs and another brilliantly executed vocal with it as it jumps off into the ether. Stunning production underscores some impressive instrumentation here as it weaves and bobs along its predestined melancholic course, skimmed at times by soaring guitar lines.

Up next, the EP unleashes it's penultimate piece and probably my favourite track on the entire release. 'M31' surges into audible range on cascading baselines, sequenced bleeps and whirrs and steadying percussion. It's vocal lines sweep in, catching this listeners attention before scooping him off his feet only to then soar into the ether accompanied by soaring waves of instrumental laced reverb and raging guitars. 'Electric Floor' have a unique ability to squeeze so many different genres into one complete sound and it is really evident on 'M31'.There are hints new wave, dream pop, subtle layers shoegaze and driving post-punk coursing through this tracks inner core that make it the stand out track for me. The EP then closes out with 'Nosedive'. It's probably the most modern sounding electronic track on the EP if I'm honest but it does have some incredible bass lines running through its central spine and it finishes in spectacular fashion, as all of it's separate components amalgamate into one driving sonic maelstrom. A decent ending to a rather interesting EP.

4/5

LINKS:

facebook.com/electricfloor

electricfloor.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/Electric_Floor

vipchoyo.it

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & 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.


NEW VIDEO PREMIERE | Someday - Last lesson

 

Torino based alt-rock trio 'Someday' have released a brand new video to accompany the latest track entitled 'Last Lesson' to be lifted from their debut ten track full length 'This Doesn't Exist'. The album is penned in for release digitally today (February 10th 2017) via 'Seahorse Recordings' followed by CD distribution in late February via Audioglobe. The band are made up of Daniele Bianco, Michele Fierro & Fabio Digitali, with a sound that skips nonchalantly through impressive passages of alternative rock peppered at times with melodiously dark guitar progressions, atmospheric post-rock reverberations and interesting vocalisations. The full album is available to buy/download right now from: someday.bandcamp.com

Recommended!

LINKS: 

someday.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/somedaytorino


NEW VIDEO PREMIERE | Human Colonies - Big Domino Vortex

 

Formed in 2013 between Bologna & Florence, noisy Dosso Del Liri based alt-gazers 'Human Colonies' have just unleashed the stunning lead single entitled 'Big Domino Vortex' (and it's brilliant accompanying video), lifted from their forthcoming seven track debut EP of the same name penned in for release on 23rd January 2016 via MiaCameretta Records & Lady Sometimes Records respectively. Their sound languishes around the fuzzier end of the shoegaze spectrum with driving 90's alternative rock tendencies deftly underscored by melodious swathes of layered reverberation and punchy vocalisations. The band are made up of Giuseppe Mazzoni - vocals/guitar, Sara Telesca - bass & Claudio Palo - drums and 'Big Domino Vortex' follows on from 2015's seven track release 'Calvary'.

'Big Domino Vortex' lurches into earshot on a wave of swirling feedback before exploding into the ether on a bedrock of driving percussion and melodious, throbbing bass frequencies. It's verse progressions swoon as those up front vocal lines ride a fuzzy sonic tidal wave before we're treated to those explosive chorus parts and it's luscious lead lines. Punchy, smooth and to the point 'Big Domino Vortex' only whets the appetite for what's to come on the full EP!

Recommended!

LINKS:

humancolonies.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/humancolonies/


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | Electric Floor - Bluedive

Cosenza based new wave/synth-gaze trio 'Electric Floor' have unleashed the first single entitled 'Bluedive' from their highly anticipated new album 'Fader', penned in for release in March 2016 via the ever prolific Italian based independent record label 'Vipchoyo Sound Factory'. With a sound that echoes the experimental side of post-punk melded together with the darker side of new wave and underpinned by a modern electronic edge 'Electric Floor' have the ability to push the sonic envelope with their music. The band were formed in 2009 and are made up of Emanuele Chiarelli - vocals/ guitar, Simone Costantino De Luca - programming/ keys & Fabio Cosentino - bass.

'Bluedive' charges into the sonic ether on a bedrock of driving bass frequencies and sequenced percussion as the bleep and whirr of synth squall echoes deep within a bubble of reverberation. It's vocals are placed meticulously to the fore as all around them swirl in a kind of sonic gravitational pull, looping and arcing through waves of shimmering synth swells and subliminal guitar lines. 'Bluedive' is a feast of melodious frequencies that are guaranteed to thrill.

Recommended!

LINKS:

facebook.com/electricfloor

electricfloor.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/Electric_Floor

vipchoyo.it


ALBUM REVIEW | RevRevRev - Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient

a0643996255_16ARTIST: RevRevRev

RELEASE: Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient

RELEASE DATE: 19th February 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Northern Light Records/Custom Made Records/Kinotone Records

Modena’s premier shoegazers unveiled their second album earlier this year. ‘Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient’ combines the floaty shoegaze sounds, for which Rev Rev Rev are well-known, with expansive psych sections that veer off very slowly to the edge of doom, and back again. The sonic palette uses fuzz in all its colours, from bright trebles to muddy, abrasive darkness. Layers pile on, song upon song. The record pulsates with a dark, trembling tension, like a huge sleeping beast – a mastodon, a mammoth, or maybe something with bigger teeth. And then, somewhere in the middle, the beast wakes up.

‘Buzzing Flowers Ecstasy’ bounces around in a swirl of shoegaze sound, its familiar aura lulling the listener into a daze. There’s a strong 60s feel to the spiralling psych of ‘Nightwine’. ‘Travelling Westbound’ dives and drives along, like a night-time trip along a mountain road, the stars above, bright and bewildering. The trip continues with the hopeful ‘We Can But Dream’, the dawn breaking on the horizon, suggesting that the future might well be bright. It’s on ‘Caffe’ though that the feel of this record changes. The scratchy fuzz rubs us up the wrong way. The lightness of the earlier tracks seems to be fading.

‘Je est Un Autre’ is a psychgaze whirlwind, cymbals and guitars crashing relentlessly. The menacing mood is maintained with ‘A Ring Without An End’, with its delays building on top of each other until it’s a total blackout. The searing lead guitar on ‘Ripples’ is the first sound that pierces through the swathes of smog. The strums are slow and the drums deliberate. We’re on the edge of doom here. Fuzz is the foundation for the next few tracks – ‘Plymouth Morning’ is full of fury. ‘Blame’ is an aural onslaught with its tidal wave of ear-shredding distortions. In ‘Just A Spot’, there’s a reprieve from the relentless rawness. With distortion and dread still flooding the senses, ‘Aloft’ arrives to close the album, woozy and warm – a safe haven to end a heavy journey through drone-filled darkness.

The album is out now on vinyl/ CD/ tape and download on Custom Made Music, Kinotone Records and Northern Lights.

LINKS:

facebook.com/revrevrev.band

twitter.com/revrevrev_band

revrevrev.org

revrevrev.bandcamp.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.


NEW VIDEO PREMIERE | RevRevRev - A Ring Without An End

 

Italian based psych gaze aficionados 'RevRevRev' have unleashed a visual monolith in the form of their latest video to accompany the sonic monster that is 'A Ring Without An End'. Hailing from Modena, 'RevRevRev' have been wowing audiences around Europe and beyond with their no-nonscense, hard hitting brand of psychedelic shoegaze. The band are made up of Laura Iacuzio, Sebastian Lugli, Andrea Dall'Omo & Greta Benatti and this latest single is lifted from their magnificent album 'Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient' which had it's full release back in February 2016.

The immense video for 'A Ring Without An End' is a little tribute by the band to 'Alejandro Jodorowsky' and in particular to his psych masterpiece 'El Topo' (Mexico/USA, 1970).

You can still get your hands on a copy of 'Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient' on various formats from: revrevrev.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

revrevrev.bandcamp.com

revrevrev.org

facebook.com/revrevrev.band/

twitter.com/revrevrev_band


EP REVIEW | My Invisible Friend - S/T.

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ARTIST: My Invisible Friend

RELEASE: S/T

RELEASE DATE: 19/09/16

RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records

I don’t throw the grand rating of 5/5 around so easy. The album/EP has to be of top quality; has to be of a level of thought provocation and originality that goes that one step further than other bands and artists in that particular genre. It has to be a piece of music that one can revisit with as much reinvested interest as before… A piece of music smart enough to set itself apart from mediocrity or blandness. And this band, the Italian fuzz/noise/shoegaze masters 'My Invisible Friend' have done all of this on their three track self-titled EP; which somehow excels further, with more interesting and brilliant aspects as many full length albums have. What is this EP? It’s a noise-riddled adventure, a passionate and tasteful throwback drowned in originality that defies genre and musical blandness to echo in your ears with an EP sound worthy of a 5/5 rating… What else is there to say?

'My Invisible Friend' are an Italian noise-gaze band who practice in the art of shoegaze/noise rock and pop/darkened Krautrock and even a tad of drone music thrown in there for good measure. Throughout the EP the band blast away with noise-orientated feedback over catchy and diverse shoegaze riffs and a powerful and echoed sound that is contrasted with barely audible vocals, evoking some sort of dream pop element into the mix. The self-titled EP begins with the hazy, over six minute fuzz/crunch of ‘Eyes’ which starts like a garage-rock song, rattling the listeners ears heavily, before introducing the airy and tiny vocals. Eventually, at around the one minute mark, the listener is introduced to a fantastic, Kraut-ish riff that suits the drum machine-sounding drums. The song builds and builds, occasionally sinking into mesmerisingly beautiful patches of dream-inspired shoegaze murmurings before perhaps the greatest riff on the whole EP fills the listeners ears. After this, the true mixture of shoegaze and noise rock begins to show, creating an absolutely brilliant track.

The following track ‘Endless’ creates a thicker and much heavier atmosphere than its predecessor with a much more layered and eerie track, this time exceeding nine minutes, making it a mini-epic of a track. ‘Endless’ is filled with Whirr influenced instrumental ear piercing by the guitar and is helped subtly by the rat-tat-tat of a slow, drone style drum machine in the background. The vocals that inhabit the track seem softer than on ‘Eyes’ and the opening half of the song has it pitched as almost a dream pop tune, until it transforms into a much more thorough version of itself. This seems like the sort of song that would project a wall of sound-style presentation at live shows… A spectacle of true and utter genius. Around the four minute mark the track becomes an atmospheric monster, with all matter of layering, reverb, echo and noise drowning out the breathy and alluring vocals. After each listen ‘Endless’ becomes more accomplished and dreamy than the riff-centred ‘Eyes’, which seems minuscule after each listen when compared to the wild beast that is ‘Endless’. In essence, ‘Eyes’ is the beautiful, mesmerizing and shimmering shallow end of the pool, while the much deeper and heavier ‘Endless’ presides in the deep end, where beauty is evident, but there is so much more water.

The EP’s final track is one that will no doubt circulate most predominantly in discussion about this EP. It will probably receive the most airplay and critical and commercial narration out of any track, and will easily be the most listened to song on the entire EP… Maybe even more so than the entire EP itself. As any listener may think, I believed that ‘Endless’ would be the most large-scale track on this whole EP… Taking into consideration its size and layering… But then the band threw in ‘Sleepless’ at the very end.  ‘Sleepless’ is an almost 18 minute epic, layered in the bands token sound they have expressed on the former two tracks. Its towering and heavy characteristics make it difficult to feature in words, and thus, in this very review. The few things I will say about ‘Sleepless’ is that its editing/mixing and layering are of an exceptional quality, as it maintains its vast and echoed momentum for the entire song. The very writing skill required to write such a song is also immensely evident, as the band express feelings and evoke images through nothing but pure sound. The dream-pad sound that is eventually drowned out by droning noise sees the band at their most shoegaze passage of music… It is an absolute must listen.

This EP is a 5/5 for a number of reasons ! One of them though is that I was not bored at any point during the EP, meaning that 'My Invisible Friend' jumped the preverbal shark that so many other shoegazers tend to wade in the same pool as. Another is that it surmounts genre in the sense that it blends noise with reverb, dream with drone and low strung vocals with feedback laden guitars. There are many more reasons… But I urge you to make your own by listening to one of the most interesting, original and brilliant Shoegaze releases in the past while… Ultimately, it exceeds many albums by so called professionals, collaborations or supergroups, by sticking to its own, injecting some influence and beautifully crafting its sound.

5/5

'My Invisible Friend' will release this latest self titled three track EP on the 19th September 2016 via the indomitable purveyors of all things fuzz, the London based 'Fuzz Club Records'. Head over to www.fuzzclub.com for pre-order details.

LINKS:

fuzzclub.com

facebook.com/MYINVFRIEND/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bio Pic

Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.


NEW SINGLE PREMIERE | My Invisible Friend - Sleepless (Fuzz Club Records).

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Brilliant Parma based noise manipulators 'My Invisible Friend' have unleashed a musical behemoth in the form of their new single entitled 'Sleepless', lifted off their forthcoming three track self titled EP. The band have just signed to the magnificent London based 'Fuzz Club Records' and have penned in this release for September 19th 2016. For pre-order info head over to www.fuzzclub.com

 

'Sleepless' is eighteen minutes of driving psychedelic exploration that loops and arcs through layers of fuzzy experimental guitars, throbbing bass frequencies, those glorious synth licks and an intensely dark, rhythmic percussive repetition that collectively circumnavigates a hauntingly delicious hazy vocal line. Truly a work of art and bound to enthral your inner psych demon! 

Recommended! 

LINKS:

fuzzclub.com

facebook.com/MYINVFRIEND/