music reviews

Bal Pare – Hamburg Paris Cantania (1982)

Hailing from 1982, this album from Bal Pare is a prophetic message from the past. It’s not hard to spot very blatant moments that inspired the modern synth wave, electro and italo renaissance. Strap in for a kick start into a cold space voyage. This is a record that should be revered… or if nothing else, be the soundtrack to a ride at Disney’s Epcot.

Personal highlights include: “Die Idioten”, “Venuszepter” & “La Chute”. “Agitare Prima Dell’Uso” is also mind blowing considering what year this came out.

Bonus since we’re talking about 1982:

Most People – Telephone

Thanks to our buddy Scott for suggesting this at our HUSH night. I had never heard of this group but after checking this tune out I’ll be impatiently waiting for new tracks from them. Upon listening, ‘Telephone’ conjured a very nostalgic feeling of late summer evenings blasting The Editors albums while driving into the sunset. After only a few weeks this has solidified itself as a summer staple for not only pre-gaming but all throughout the night. Hit play and enjoy proper good feels.

Keluar (Self Titled)

Keluar (2014) successfully straddles a special place somewhere between Synth Wave, Cold Wave, 80s Goth, Witch House and retro EBM in way that I’ve heard very few other modern bands pull off. The Berlin based duo Zoè Zanias and Sid Lamar maintain a very focused and raw signature sound through the use of sticking to their choice synthesizers and drum programming, which seems to be a struggle with most modern electronic musicians at the moment. The resistance to incorporate every cool synth, virtual instrument plugin and effect on the market is an important one and this is an album that is exemplary of that point for me personally. They stick to their weapons of choice through the entire album and it really pays off. Check out the album from start to finish, but if nothing else pay close attention to the opening track “Cleo”, “Eremus” which would work well sliding it in to a stompy Industrial dancefloor set, (Hmm.. maybe we’ll do a special edit of it..), the downtempo approach of “Threads”, the Grimes-like instrumentation of “Coralline” and the bonus remixes at the end of the album. From start to finish, I really like the flow of energy. If you like them, be sure to also familiarize yourself with Figure Study and Linea Aspera included below in the bonus tracks.   

Bonus tracks:

In bonus because if you made it this far, you deserve for me to tell you a secret from my record crate. A year after their self titled album, Keluar released the 2015 Panguna EP (which is incredible), that featured a remix by one of my all time favorite producers: The Hacker. Check the remix he did of Keluar’s “Panguna” featured below.

cuushe – Sort of Light

A new day, a fresh start and a theme song to go with it. The first time I heard this track by Kyoto born Mayuko Hitotsuyanagi, I did an instant double take. Under the name ‘cuushe‘ this deam pop artist perfects the balance of a sunrise dance track that you want to keep on loop until you’re dozing off to sleep.

Mayuko reflects on her home recording experience: “The walls are really thin in Japan, and if you sing loudly you’re going to annoy your neighbors. Plus I do a lot of recording at night.” I suppose we can partially thank thin walls for her soft vocals and beautifully reserved tracks, and I admire when artists like this have elements to overcome that prove to shape their signature sound.

I highly recommend checking out her other music when you get a chance. Her artwork is appropriately stitched with anime and dreamy visual elements. Personally, there’s a nostalgic element to her music that reminds me of when I first fell in love with DJ Koze, Gui Boratto, Ada and many other artist related to the seminal German based label KOMPAKT records back around 2007.

Here’s a very very special bonus DJ mix that cuushe did for FADER starting off the list directly below.

While cuushe is actually on Flau and Cascine records, it feels relevant enough to share a few KOMPAKT related bonus tracks ranging over the past 10 years or so.

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