Velvet Cacoon – Anise Royale (guitar tracks) onsdag, Feb 25 2009 

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Velvet Cacoon deserve som sort of troll-of-the-decade award for putting the internets through more than two years of frustration and despair. It now appears that Atropine, a completely ambient record, is again delayed but will be released ”soon”. P aa opal poere p.33 (or whatever) was the code name for a black metal/shoegaze record that was going to be called Anise Royale but Josh, the person behind the band, decided to never finish the project. He did however post the guitar tracks (some with bass) on the Full Moon Productions forum a while ago and I have reuploaded the files for anyone interested. These are not fake and regardless a quite tragic hint of what could have been an exceptional record. In fact, some tracks like Marylux are quite enjoyable even in their present stripped-down state.

Oh and the images in my previous posts about VC have turned out to depict a person completely unaffiliated with the band (and for all I know the one probably does as well, I just like it a lot).

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Grouper – Dragging a dead deer up a hill (2008) fredag, Jan 16 2009 

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Där Groupers tidigare skivor har bestått av drömsk shoegaze med droneinslag är nya Dragging a dead deer up a hill till ytan betydligt mera naken och konventionell. Borta är syntmattor och basborduner och kvar är inte så mycket mer än Liz Harris staplade sångstämmor och gitarr. Bakom den rogivande fasaden finns dock en krypande känsla av oro, en dissonans i struktur snarare än klang, med den ensamma gitarrens lite nervösa anslag som ständig påminnelse. Det är helt vanliga poplåtar, men poplåtar som blivit dekonstruerade kring Liz utdragna sångteman på ett sätt som bitterljuvt återuppväcker och bevarar idealen från Groupers dronerötter.

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Velvet Cacoon – Nightvines lördag, Sep 6 2008 

The Velvet Cacoon hype machine treads on with this seemingly authentic VC video that was posted on youtube one day ago without a word of it’s existance on any official sites. It is indeed beautiful, but it makes me wonder whether Atropine will be entirely composed of ambient ‘seadrones’ such as this track and Funeral Noir?

Velvet Cacoon news tisdag, Aug 26 2008 

If we hadn’t already learn to expect the unexpected from Velvet Cacoon it seems that they are indeed coming out with a new release — only one titled neither P aa opal poere p.33 nor Anise royal and not featuring ”2”. The new album will instead be called Atropine (surprise: it’s a drug) and be a 2 cd release. In the vein of the infamous ‘dieselharp’ myth, the band will use drone tracks that were recorded two years ago and has since been buried beneath the earth… An ambient preview track called Funeral Noir was also made available. My tone might be cynical, but the truth is that my faith that the promised olive-flavoured red pill of sedation might actually appear from VC this year is increasing.

Nadja – Long Dark Twenties (2008) and more lördag, Aug 16 2008 

This is another Nadja EP from earlier this year that I think really shows how much Aidan’s vocals add to their music. Long Dark Twenties is one long track featuring muddled singing that brings a soft melancholic atmosphere to the entire piece — similar in many ways to their previous cover of Swans’ No cure for the lonely. Also there is a new track up on their myspace called Alien in my own skin that I highly recommend. Finally, for those not yet convinced of Nadja’s excellence here is an independent ‘tube version of Stays Demons:

Have A Nice Life – Deathconsciousness (2008) tisdag, Jul 22 2008 

From the deep trenches of the American underground comes an album that will shurely tingle the spine of all who like their music to go with a ‘post-‘ prefix. Surging in popularity, the debut album of Have A Nice Life is very worthy of its praise. Epics like I Don’t Love, The big gloom and There is no food fit perfectly side-by-side with a palpable post-punk attitude that shines through on tracks like Waiting for black metal records to come in the mail and indie-pop gem Holy fucking shit 40 000. Though the lyrics deal mainly with religious themes and (you guessed it) death, there is a strong vibe of arty teenage escapism and new wave aesthetics, with wonderful guitar/synthesizer carpets and talented songwriting. Despite it’s lofi production, Deathconsciousness manages to sound very avant garde and relevant at the same time, and judging from its reception so far it might very well be regarded as somewhat of a milestone in a few years.

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Velvet Cacoon – 2 måndag, Jul 21 2008 

A few weeks ago, a preview track of the ever-elusive upcoming P aa opal Poere Pr. 33 album from black metal shoegazers Velvet Cacoon was posted on the Funeral Moon Productions forum by an account allegedly held by bandmember Angela. Now, Velvet Cacoon is a band surrounded by controversy after countless myths, rumours, fake tracks, made-up instruments and well-founded accusations of plagiarism. Coming into 08′ many, including myself, started to seriously doubt whether the promised follow-up to the submerged romanticism that was Genevieve would ever materialize. But lo and behold, the vocals on this track are indeed identical to their previous releases, and the track is the murky excavation of oceanic depths that VC have always have been fond of but this time there’s some more maturity, and a great riff of course.

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Nadja & Black boned Angel – Christ Send Light (2008) måndag, Jul 21 2008 

In their ninth release of ’08 (a live DVD not included), Canadian ambient drone duo Nadja presents an absolutely stunning collaboration with New Zealand’s Black boned angel. Nadja’s occasional strides into the more blissful side the droney spectrum have been few but unparalled in the genre, surpassing the recent productions of more well-known shoegaze metallers Jesu with ease (best represented by the sensuality of Stays Demons from their debut). In this EP they add the crushing backdrop of BBA’s uncompromising guitar tectonics to their patented pink pillows of fuzzy drone, but cram it into a choral setting previously unheard of from either band. The song is basically a half-an-hour chorus, with the expected monotony of the genre accentuated by unreal guitar flavours, courtesy of that someone in BBA that is capable of alternately making their instrument sound like a church organ and a puppy with a gunshot wound, within a twinkling of time. Track of the year so far, without a doubt.

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