When you spend more than $40 at the Projekt store, as I did on the ‘Excelsis’ box set (which I will be inflicting upon you during the Yuletide season, traditionalist that I am), you get a free promo in a slipcase included, and this is obviously their second such of the year. It’s a cutie.
Tearwave do indeed do succulent modern shoegazing in ‘Lotus Flower’, the indie rolling drumbeat being what invigorates it, keeping it striding firmly away from a collapsing ethereal gait, but as well as the chunky rhythmic intentions they have strong swooning guitar and fractious singing. Autumn’s Grey Solace are from the softer, silkier side of Indie pop and their ‘Treasure Box’ is a sugary delight. Voltaire then spins into the boudoir and ruins the atmosphere with the rollicking spew of ‘Zombie Prostitute.’
That’s the thing, Projekt is one of the great labels, and it doesn’t just have one face, it has many. Most could be taken straight out of a Vermeer, demurely thoughtful, but there are others vengeful and decisive. ‘Homewrecker’ by Trance To The Sun is a sombre, glowering piece from their Bets Of collection which reeks of atmosphere. Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s ‘Remnants Of A Deeper Purity’ is quite a simple song for them, the burr of vocals swimming in the pleasant haze of the flute, light guitar and dutiful percussion.
Unto Ashes show the dry, artier side of the Projekt world, with a world within a world, and while their last album didn’t knock me sideways they’re one of the greatest bands in the world. You can’t not listen to ‘The Life Of This World’ without recognising inherent qualities that merge various sounds to create dusty hybrids which can haunt you. Kharvena is new to me, ‘Nabab’ being lowing New Agey stuff, the sensitive reedy wobbling pipe and whispered vocals all ready for Indiana Jones to spring from the mix for another archaeological adventure, the bastard! It’s a beautiful song, and strangely moving and I have no idea what it’s about.
And then there’s the other other-side, the modern art side, with Steve Roach’s ‘Still’ being some kind of installation-style noodling, which I don’t really have any time for, and Sam Rosenthal’s new electronic project As Lonely As Dave Bowman, which unfortunately keeps reminding me of the comedian Dave Gorman. Anyway, ‘Pod Five’ sounds like he’s trying to go for a wider Roach thing. Painless, yet seemingly pointless without any ambient grace, but that’s electronics for you, it either grabs you, or makes you want to run for the hills, and so I am off, like Linford Christie at mach 10.
Great label, fine promos. The world ain’t such a bad place young ‘uns!