Tag Archives: music

Auditory Flashbacks: Informatik, Assemblage 23, De/Vision

I’m about to head off for the evening, but before I do, here’s a music post … because, reasons.

 

 

Auditory Flashbacks: Icon of Coil, VNV Nation

I’ve been busy as of late, albeit occupied with a lot of things IRL and not online as much. I realize it’s been a while since my last article here, so in the spirit of keeping the beat going, here’s a music post.

Tonight we have select songs from Icon of Coil and VNV Nation. Crank that volume knob way up high, and enjoy …

Regret // lyrics here.

Everything // lyrics here.

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Auditory Flashbacks: Sea Songs and More

When I began going through my posts as part of back-end maintenance the other day, I realized I haven’t done an article on sea songs yet. Considering how deeply that genre runs in my heart and my connections with the sea, I feel a bit silly at not doing it sooner.

So here’s a smattering of old favourites. I’ve searched a while for special versions of some of these songs, which you’ll notice below:

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Auditory Flashbacks: Die Laughing

Tonight’s post isn’t a review so much as a handful of snippets from the talented UK goth group Die Laughing. Having been active from 1986 to 1999, they dissolved the summer before Y2K and eventually re-formed in 2012 with a new single, “Tangled,” and news that they’re working on material for a new album.

Seeing as their international following never really stopped (due in equal parts to the Internet and the periodic releases of their work on other compilation albums) it’s refreshing to hear they’re intent on adding more works to their repertoire.

Enjoy …

Auditory Flashbacks: Blutengel

Tonight’s post isn’t a music review (for now, anyway). I just wanted to share this very beautiful song off of Blutengel’s 2011 album Tränenherz:

Tools for Audio Geeks: Spek, a Free Spectrum Analyzer

Tonight, I’d like to give a major shout-out to the creators of Spek, a free spectrum analyzer I discovered recently, which has been extremely useful in the course of processing my music collection.

Why use a spectrum analyzer at all? Glad you asked.

The main benefit is you can physically see how the encode turned out — peaks, frequency cutoffs, bit rates, and other details can be checked with this tool. It can be somewhat nebulous on the details if you used VBR, but I generally find that’s not much of an issue considering being able to see a track’s audio spectrum provides a better look at the file anyway.

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Auditory Flashbacks: Helalyn Flowers, Asperger Synthdrome

While browsing the BC goth feeds on Facebook this morning, I found a link to “Hybrid Moments” by Helalyn Flowers. This lovely Italian band is a bit of an unknown for me, so I took a moment to listen, then, very content with the melodies of their colourful soundscapes, I promptly went looking for more.

It turns out they have a nice body of work in circulation, sitting in the shadows waiting for listeners like us to dig a bit more deeply. So let’s break out the shovels, nein?

Next up is a video I’ve been wanting to post for ages, somehow it got lost in the shuffle a while back. That’s especially unfortunate since I’m a fan of Adora BatBrat, and I LOVE hearing her sing.

Actually, it’s Adora and her sister that both head up their band, Asperger Synthdrome. At a graceful 44 (surprised?) Adora’s vein of talent and ability to constantly shake things up and reinvent herself makes me see parallels with Madonna. I mean this as a compliment — it takes a lot of energy (and an exacting eye) to balance ongoing fashion design, aggressive self-promotion, and the kind of marketing genius that Adora’s put into her work.

Hope today’s post brings a smile to your face! Sure is nice, being able to share this with my readers.

Starry tides and fair winds,
~ crimson

Auditory Flashbacks: Cauda Pavonis, Adversus, Flesh Field, Aesthetic Perfection, Aïboforcen, Aeon Sable, The Birthday Massacre, Battery, and Qntal

After more than ten hours of hard work, the Links page is finally up to date, along with a slew of new additions to the music section. Artists beginning with letters A through F are complete, with each entry researched prior to listing in order to make the most useful resources available to readers who are interested in exploring further. In cases where an artist has retired or gone on hiatus, I’ve tried to link to resources that offer the most complete overview of their musical works.

Now that that’s finished, ON TO THE MUSIC!

Starting off tonight’s round of offerings is the awesome, driving sound of the one and only Cauda Pavonis:

Next up, we have the ultimate graveyard serenade: Adversus’ Seelenwinter. The song is an old favourite of mine, and seeing the video hits even harder than anything before.

Those voices, those melodies … they’re eight blissful, soaring minutes of pure lovelorn flight. I adore every part of it. Studio version here. Frankly, though, I think this one works much better live.

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Auditory Flashbacks: the Music of Ost+Front, Megaherz, and Lord of the Lost

Somewhere along the way, my listening list got so large it hit that magical tipping point where it became its own novel. By the end of this post, it will officially be 442 artists. Even the fairly robust WordPress Editor was having issues last time I tried to add more band links. I’ve posted *maybe* a quarter of them here on my site by now, but made full-fledged discussion posts for far too few.

That’s going to change this year, as I’ll eventually get around to revamping my content a bit, along with a few changes to update frequency and post format.

But for now … LET’S DISCOVER SOME MUSIC!

Today’s theme is Neue Deutsche Härte, and to that end, I have three submissions for your listening pleasure.

First, there’s Ost+Front. What can I really say here? Their stage presence is the result of someone sneaking into a genetic engineering lab to combine Rammstein’s DNA with the entire cast of Dead Snow. Nazi zombies with awesome voices? You’d better believe it.

BUT WHERE’S THE FIRE? In the lyrics, of course …

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On the Death of David Bowie

There’s “passing away with style,” and then there’s “I’m going for one more encore, and I’m not just going to love this, I’m gonna strike the boldest dot imaginable on the exclamation point that is my life.”

When I heard about David Bowie’s death, I partly expected to hear about him doing something notable or dramatic on the way out — ain’t that just like him.

The end is near, the odds are tangibly impossible, and even as the world comes crashing down around his ears, here he is on set casting a music video, singing with that same sweet, silvery passion that’s defined so many of his life’s other accomplishments.

Not florid prose nor mournful discourse nor simple wonder can properly describe the inspiration and beauty in such a gesture. Lyrics here. Links to the Canadian and American Cancer Societies as well, because why not contribute?

Now, if you haven’t clicked PLAY on the above video, you’d better turn off everything else around you right now, and load it up.

And don’t forget the encore …

May you be well remembered, and remembered well in all the ages to come.

Auditory Flashbacks: Hungry Lucy

This is the title track from their 2010 album (lyrics here). If this isn’t pure, wild, refined beauty, I don’t know what is.

Looking back in time, Hungry Lucy has fit my tastes in a decidedly odd way over the years. I’ve been a fan of their work since at least 2000 with the advent of Apparitions, but somehow their original work didn’t end up in my collection until more recently.

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Reclaiming Old Tech for Music

I was browsing Slashdot earlier today when I came across a really cool article showing how Toolbox Bodensee e.V. took a bunch of old floppy drives, added a controller with a piano interface, mounted the lot on a board with 3D printed hardware, and turned their strange marriage of parts into an entirely new kind of instrument.

Here we go …

… and it only gets weirder from here.

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Auditory Flashbacks: Helium Vola

For those who haven’t heard of them before, today’s post is going to give some examples of the amazing work that’s been created over the years by Helium Vola. Based in Germany, active since 2001, and headed up by composer Ernst Horn who also holds considerable renown for his other work under Deine Lakaien and Qntal, Helium Vola mixes the haunting intonations of numerous dead languages with the effervescent melodies of its ongoing electronic, neo-medieval, and neo-classical explorations.

While the overall atmosphere of most of their work is markedly ethereal in nature and has long found its greatest strengths in that style, it hasn’t stopped the band from branching out in other ways, as can easily be noticed over time. This has resulted in certain tracks giving an utterly chaotic feeling at times, periodically lapsing into wide variations of melody and tempo, producing rather unexpected results that can tend to be a strong hit or miss to the listener. This is more prevalent in their recent albums than the older ones, seeming to come and go at whim on certain tracks, suggesting both an ongoing, ephemeral sort of experimentation, and perhaps unexpectedly tapping into a listener’s more visceral reaction. There are times one wonders what’s suddenly transpired, when all of a sudden the song weaves back into its original tone and tempo, that much stronger for the juxtaposition.

This is something that’s highly subjective, to say the least. You’ll have to listen for yourself and decide.

Also, while Helium Vola’s work tends not to be first thing that springs to mind whenever one thinks of the word ‘dance,’ the raw, organic, fluid emotions expressed in these songs and their quietly restless rhythms bring a special contribution to the table, and when one is immersed in the soaring vocals and fluttering tones of certain songs, it’s not long before one feels the sensual wisps of temptation pulling at the mind to sway and drift in unison, to speak melody through motion, to aspire to dreams that fly as high.

On a personal level, I’ve found this a very rare experience to discover in any musical artist, and I find myself wishing we had something — anything — like it in Canada. Alongside bands like Qntal, Ataraxia, and others (who will be discussed in future posts), I’ve noticed HV falls into a very specific niche even within the gothic subculture where their particular style seems much more widely recognized. I find it odd they’re not more well known given the obviously dark direction in which their music leans, but either way, it doesn’t really matter so much as the fact I feel better off for having experienced their work, and I’d like to offer the same to my readers. It took years of exploring before I found them, and that was largely by accident.

Without further ado, let us take a brief journey through time.

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Amidst the misty tides, and the Sentinel song.

My earworm du jour …

While it was at first the melody that caught my attention and made me shimmer a little on the inside, when I finally got around to reading the lyrics I realized all of a sudden that this has pretty much been an anthem for the past few weeks.

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Auditory Flashbacks: This Ascension

It is presently five o’clock in the morning, and I just arrived home from work.

Along the way, I was hit with a realization, the same one I’ve had many a time but never really shared here before: finishing these late shifts always ends with a really quiet ride home, and it’s something I’ve grown to appreciate. It feels like cycling through a dead city after the zombie apocalypse has come and gone, with not a soul in sight unless you count wildlife, and even that tends to be pretty isolated and sparse in the three-to-five window of time.

Actually, I love it. The world just seems like it’s teetering on the brink of something amazing at moments like those, so full of quiet possibilities, so very ready to burst forth into a flurry of life and motion.

In the spirit of that solitude, here’s a blast from the past from a band who (sadly) isn’t together any longer but whose memories and glorious sound will always cast a comfortable shadow in these halls … This Ascension!

And you’ve got to admit, there’s hardly a better sound to accompany a sinking crescent moon and indigo skies.

Forever Shaken ( +lyrics ):

Angel Light:

On the Mass Effect Series and Some Awesome Fan Tributes

For those who don’t know, I’m into PC gaming and happen to be a long time fan of the Mass Effect series. Today, I’ve got a few amazing things to share with you on the ending of ME3, as well as an utterly jaw-dropping tribute song by one of its fans which has been circulating on the Internet.

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Ear Candy!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so it’s time to get the wheels turning again.

First up is a song by Within Temptation called Never Ending Story. This is one of my favourites from their discography:

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