Some doom and glom can be allright. In the right doses. And the right style.

And Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio have that style. In swathes.

Today, I want to push you to listen to their release “Songs 4 Hate & Devotion (For All Of You, Who Mean Nothing To Me)”. I know, it’s hard to get. But it’s worth the hunt.

They play Apocalyptic Folk, a very moody blend of NeoFolk, slightly experimental Electronica and sexually as well as politically/socio-culturally filled lyrical themes. (“In Heaven, Only Abstinence Remains”, “Long Knives and Little Men”, “If Christ Is The Answer Then What Is The Question?”)

They weave wonderfully dark and deep tapestries of sound and thought. And in this album it’s… As if Death In June took “Of Runes and Men” and “Rose Clouds of Holocaust” and made an antire album following the footsteps of those two songs.

This is modern, modern-sounding!, music for candlelight, wine, whiskey, intimate erotic moments and gazing at the stars.

This is music you can think to. Think with. Think about. It can make you open your mind and examine those thoughts you don’t want to think about for too long most of the time. But sometimes, sometimes it can be cathartic to let thoughts of apocalypse and dystopia wash over you. Like the Bene Gesserit litany against fear says. Sometimes you need to let fear wash over you, to defeat it and crown yourself as the emperor of you own being again.

“A World Not So Beautiful [a Song 4 the Emperor]” (A hauntingly beautiful song, and so frighteningly… Frightening right now.)

London is burning, ignited with love
Misunderstandings, descend from above
Paris has fallen; the flag has been raised
A nation in ruins, once pompous and great
Brothers are fighting, in pleasure and pain
There is no refuge, in the ladies of Spain
Brussels is drowning; the flood has commenced
The secrets of Europe, are waking again
Berlin is falling; it has been besieged
Europe is burning, for you and for me
Rome is collapsing, just like before
This is the future, it’s Europe at war

Let me take your little hand, let me make you understand
That the world is not as beautiful and free, like you believe

Belgrade is bleeding; the past was retrieved
Prague under siege, in tears we concede
The uproars in Munich, in crystals they march
Amsterdam trembles; there’s no light in the dark
Brothers are fighting, in pleasure and pain
There is no refuge, in the ladies of Spain
Vienna has perished, consumed by its past
Zurich is ruined; the gold did not last
Berlin is falling; it has been besieged
Europe is burning, for you and for me
Rome is collapsing, just like before
This is the future, it’s Europe at war

This is also music to which you can shut off your conscious thoughts and simply let the mood and texture and beat lead you towards those slightly obfuscated areas in your mind. Those thoughts that push you towards your darker urges and desires. And with the right person, this album can take you both there. Enjoying yourself all the way towards the end. Sharply smiling, heading towards mutual satisfaction outside of common norms.

“Lucifer in Love” (Dark, twisted, yet honest love and romance.)

My body is cleansed with flowers and wine
Bodies of passion in linen entwined
Your body undressed and stockings reveal
You’re naked and longing and yearning to feel
Venus is rising to salvage the earth
A flower ascending in blossom through dirt
In blood and perfection this world shall be cleansed
So lust and cumpassion may flourish again
The angels are feasting on blood of the meek
In blossom with treason I play with the weak
Fading roses cover me
And semen makes my spirit free

“The sacrifice was made in the name of me
The sacrifice was made in the name of you
You call me by my middle name
I’m Lucifer in love, in love with you”

The words you have heard and the things you have seen
Shall vanquish the morals you’ve tried to defeat
When time has demised and mankind has burned
Then madness shall rise and love shall return
The nectars I drink from the cleft to your soul
Shall nourish the yearnings and murder control
I see how you ache from the crown that you wear
I cut out your heart just to see if you care
Your lips shall devour the flesh underneath
My sperm in your mouth is the proof that I need
Fading roses cover me
And semen makes my spirit free

If you can, get this album.
It’s really worth the hunt.

This was money exquisitely well spent for me.

And, yes. You can’t just listen to those songs without a critical eye. They’re not meant for that. At least not the first time.

Let’s start a new season.

It took longer than I though it would take.
But now this damn thing is back on-air again!
Or, err, rather… It’s back in-action.
Daily updates, mostly music, some personal, some utterly, revoltingly weird.

Today will be music and something else.
A mini-review of a novel I recently read.
And by “review” I mean that I will be quoting some marked passages and explain why I think that they were a good idea.
And by “recently” I mean that I got it Saturday evening and finished it Sunday night.

But first, the music!

A change for the next posts: I will include the cover picture of the track/album/EP/compilation that I want to showcase. Simply to imprint this in all your brains and make you buy it the next time you’re in a record store, looking for some new music and should around seeing it sitting in a shelf. Which isn’t too likely with most of you with regards to most of the music I will present. But it might push SOME of you in the right direction. And that’s a risk I’m frankly willing to take! (Yes, I’m selfish this way.) [EMPEROR BE DAMNED! I always want to do that fucking “shellfish” pun. Stupid punny literature…]

So, behold today’s offering, my old, new and virtual audience!

—-

ODST OST Cover

Today I will let you listen to a piece from the phenomenal soundtrack to the videogame HALO 3: ODST [2009].
Cards open: I’m a big fan of all the HALO soundtracks. They offer wonderful ambient landscapes of hope, loss, desperation, action and deliverance. They could score AAA movies and would blow some of the current crop out of the water, if they were used correctly. And ODST… Is the best of the lot.

Here you get martial drums, whiskey-fueled saxophone passages, strings, subtle and hard percussion and wonderful electronica.

I’ll showcase this with the help of two tracks. The first being “Overture” and in itself a sampler of the things to come. It’s a bit disjointed at times, yes. That’s why I will later let you listen to a fuller track. But it DOES give you a good picture if you’d like the soundtrack or not. If you feel that you don’t like most of the parts of this track, simply skip to the part where I talk about the book. Or, just wait ’till tomorrow. But if you DO like those parts? Or even just many of them? Stick for a bit more. :)

So, without any further ado… Overture!

So, what do you say? Did you like it? Do you want more?
If so… Follow me and take a look at the Skyline.

Skyline is one of the more martial tracks. It’s interwoven with parts of the over-all Halo theme for great effect to kindle a sympathetic reaction in players of the former games. But even people without those connections, who haven’t played a game of Halo in their life will get the sense of urgency, of frantic desperation to get moving, to get shit done! And then it turns out that things aren’t just like they looked. That the rabbit hole goes deeper and it’s much darker at the bottom than you previously thought. But you still jump in and move on. People depend on you. And you hope that you will survive long enough to keep their hope alive.

Shit.

I can’t stop now. Not now.
I should give you just one further example.
Something on the darker and more mellow side. And it’s a toss-up between “Neon Night” and “The Office of Naval Intelligence”.

But, seeing as it’s night now… And I don’t want to give you the most paranoia-inducing track on the soundtrack… I opt for Neon Night.

For this one… Get out your Whiskey. Go watch the city outside your window.
Or get into your car and drive the Autobahn at night.

Because this track will let you see the city in a different light. [And trust me, that one was NOT intended. But my internal thesaurus is offline now, as it’s late and I’m tired.]

And this is just a small part of the full soundtrack.
It’s on two CDs, each giving you about an hour of listening pleasure.
And it really is a pleasure.

It’s good driving music, it’s good reading music, it’s good thinking music and it’s good relaxing music. Even the frantic parts, yes, because the will give your mind the chance to change gears and think about other things than you normally would.

But where this soundtrack REALLY shines (apart from in the game, that is) is in your car, at night, driving through cities and stretches of Autobahn. It’s Rhine-Ruhr Night-Music. (And when you’re reading an exciting book. For me, who reads swathes of military SciFi and Trans-/Posthuman novels… It’s dead on very often.)

And it’s really damn well composed.

Full marks from me.
I love it.
Bought it in 2009 and haven’t regretted it once.

[I decided to split of the book “review” for the next blog post. I think I should keep topics at least broadly seperate.]

Today: Something really new.

I was driving along the A2 tonight, when I heard a short snippet in a local radio show which showcased new music for a new year.

There they told me of 2:54. That’s the band’s name.
They were created by two sisters from Britain, they play late-80s influences post-punk/shoegaze, wear smeared mascara and black leather jackets and the band’s name is taken from a moment in a Melvin song that the two sisters found particularly striking and which happened at, three guesses and the first two don’t count, two minutes and fifty four seconds. The radio reporter than voiced something that I thought at that moment: “If that’s not nerdy, I don’t know what is.”

And, yes. It is.
It is exactly the kind of nerdy that I love and adore.
It’s also coupled with the kind of music I love and adore.

So when I got home I started googling “2 54”. Which… Took a while, to be honest.
That’s not exactly a term you can easily search. It almost reminded me when I first googled for the Vin Diesel movie “XXX”. THAT was a fun search. ;)

Anyway, I found them a little while later and simply purchased the EP. Sound unlistened.
And it was 3€ well spent.

So I will give you their first song.
And a link to their page.
And if you use iTunes, go and purchase their EP.
It’s just 3€ and it’s very much worth it. It’s good music. It’s new music. It’s fresh music. It’s charismatic music. And it’s music made with love and soul.

So, here you go.
Watch. Listen. Enjoy.

2:54 – Scarlet [Scarlet EP] | 2012 | Post-Punk/Shoegaze

And if you want to see what kind of music and style influences them, go their tumblr and listen to their posted music. If it makes you think of me… Well, that should tell you why I REALLY Like them. ;)
Tumblr: http://www.twofiftyfour.net/

The song they are linking to as I’m writing this post?
“Depeche Mode – “Blue Dress” (violator LP Montage)”
And I can’t tell you how AWESOME that is.

You can also listen to their EP, for free, here:

Me, out!
You, have fun!
Good night!

Non Traditional Christmas.

Hi kids, it’s me!

Mr. Technocratic Atheist Grinch McScrooge.

But even I succumb to some christmas mood-swings. Remnants of my hands-off catholic upbringing. I’m not utterly happy with it, but… Well… It’s there. A
So let’s work with it.

And I did.
And one can combine christmas with being an utter nerd.
And I want to share this.

So, well, enjoy! :)

http://www.datpiff.com/Random-aka-Mega-Ran-A-Very-Random-Christmas-mixtape.289601.html

It’s not a style most of you like, yes.
But give it a chance.
Listen to the lyrics.
Have fun!
Have a great, friendly, peaceful day!

Yours,
Matt McGrinch. :)

Let’s combine three very nice things.

I miss two things right now:
Going out dancing.
Doctor Who.

In addition to those two things, I also enjoy songs with political commentary.

It’s very good then, that a local act managed to combine those three on a six years old album, isn’t it?

Rotersand – Exterminate Annihilate Destroy [Welcome to Goodbye] | 2005 | Futurepop

This is simply a good song!
It’s lyrics are minimal but poignant.
The samples are very well chosen and played to great effect.
The breaks, beats and hooks just make you dance your heart out.

It might be slightly dark, but it’s really great to raise my mood.
I really needed this today. And I got it. Thanks to this great song our from Rhine-Ruhr.

Let’s praise something new! (… ish.)

2010 still counts as “new” though, doesn’t it?
I hope so. It definitely does so for me. Ultra-new, to be exact. Almost cutting edge!
*coughs* Right sorry. Please come back onto my lawn.

There’s this small, fun, British act out there, called “Lesbian Bed Death”.
I got their first album “I Use My Powers For Evil” back in ’06 and… Wasn’t impressed. It was a fun, little number with some high-points (“Goth Girls Are Easy” is a really fun little piece, for example, especially when you know how hard it is to actually get one… ;) ). But, well, nothing special.

A few weeks ago I saw that they had a second album out. And I hesitated. Then I scoured the internet and came upon their myspace page. And streamed a bit. And, well, what do you know. They’ve gotten better!

Tighter play, better vocals, better songwriting, more subtlety, more easter-eggs hidden in the songs.
While they strayed away from the pure Goth Rock formula into a more Goth-Punk/Gothabilly-Goth Rock fusion, it’s still hilariously old-school at times and an all around fun ride!

I’m starting to sound like Jeremy Clarkson. All that’s missing is a “… In THE WORLD!” put in here somewhere.

Anyway.
They’re fun. They’re small. They’re indie.
They’re shooting their own videos and those don’t suck! (Or, rather, many do as they deal with vampires, but… Yeah.)

For a small, non-signed band they are pretty damn great.
They also like to nod their heads to the things that helped shape Goth. One of the vids I’m posting today shows this in a huge way. But “No Tears Please” is a song about the wonderfully scary and horrifying demons summoned by a particular puzzle-box (Also, a pretty heavily cool one-liner in that song: “No tears please, it’s a waste of good suffering.” Exquisite!). They ALSO also still like their crude, punky humour. Which is why they have the songs “Sin When You’re Winning” and “Catholic Sex Kitten” on them. The “Sin” song could be Mötley Crüe material! If the crew wore black and liked patchouli, that is. Retrosexual is just a rude middle-finger in heavy-rock fashion.

I’m going to share two songs from their current album “Designed By The Devil, Powered By The Dead” [2010 | Goth… Fusion]

Both are quirky, funny, dark and have just the right kind of sex in them. And with that I mean style, looks, amount and mix of pure sex-appeal, humour, kinkiness and darkness. Also, one of the best stripteases ever. :) Let’s start with the one that drew my eye towards this album in the first place… [Oh! If your bandwidth permits it, go to youtube and watch them in 1080p. Sound and picture really are worth it.]

Bela Lugosi’s Back
One of the more old-school laden tracks. A pretty heavy nod to the roots of all this Goth business as well as to Bauhaus (and of course Bela Lugosi himself!). The movie frames used for this have been chosen really well. If Bela Lugosi was still alive today, I’d love him to play the Klingon antagonist in the next Star Trek reboot movie. [Yeeees… Heavy Nerd Tangent!] {The track LENGTH even could be a nod to Bauhaus… But that would surprise even me. Although… If it were so, it’d be pretty awesome.}

Moonlight
This one’s just fun. It’s a punky piece with a classic-goth-rock-erotic style video. As well as heavy allusion to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And Twilight. And 90s/00s Slasher movies. What’s not to love? The lyrics make this a perfect good-mood driving song.

They look great in “Punk Mode”, too. :)

Lesbian Bed Death - Goth Punk Mode

As a slight P.S.
Here’s my rating of their album in iTunes. And I’m one of the few people left on this planet who actually takes his ratings seriously and rates accordingly. Not many albums score that high with me.

So, yeah. Get it. It’ll make you laugh, it will pump you up, it will make you want to dress up all gothed up with boots, tight corsets (if applicable) and black make-up.

iTune Ratings

Let’s add some non-standard punk.

I think I just might be coming down with something, which makes me want to get to bed early and not writ long and rambling monologues today. So I won’t. I’ll simply throw you some wonderful Swedish post-hardcore.

A song combining a catchy melody, a killer hook riff and a magnificent “in your fucking face” attitude.

Refused – New Noise [The Shape of Punk to Come] | 1998 | Post-Hardcore

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Can I scream? Yeah!
We lack the motion to move to the new beat
We lack the motion to move to the new beat

It’s here for us to admire if we can afford the beauty of it
Can afford the luxury of turning our heads
Adjust that thousand dollars smile and behold the creation of man
Great words won’t cover ugly actions – good frames won’t save bad paintings

We lack the motion to move to the new beat. Yeah!
We lack… motion
When the day is over – Hey! – the doors are locked on us
Money buys the access – and we can’t pay the cost
And how can we expect anyone to listen if we are using the same old voice?
We need new noise – new art for the real people

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not leading
We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not…
Leading

We dance – all the wrong songs
We enjoy – all the wrong moves
We dance – all the wrong songs

We dance – all the wrong songs
We enjoy – all the wrong moves
We dance – all the wrong songs

Here we go!

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not leading. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
Thank you.[/expand]

I actually find it hard to believe that this is a 90s song, as its refinement and advanced structures scream 2003/2004. This makes it one of those songs that were ahead of their time, skill- and production-wise. And this is a huge compliment. … NO. A good production and line-perfect skills don’t make a good song alone. It needs energy and feeling too, to be considered truly good. And guess what? I really think that “New Noise” delivers that. I mean, when they let themselves be influenced to put some nifty Drumm’n’Base portions into this song (against the backdrop of an ironically pretty damn conservative audience) and make them sound GOOD and ORGANIC, they simply WON. They won with New Noise.

I’m mostly a Goth Rock, EBM and Darkwave kind of guy when it comes to dancing. But even I fully adore and love to hear this song when out hitting the dancefloor.
There’s a trifecta of songs that came out prior to 2005 that make me want to go utterly crazy when a DJ puts them on. It speaks volumes for the that they were able to be picked up by “Goth” DJs. They rock. They rock hard. And they all have awesome hooks, beats and melodies which make them perfect to go crazy, let loose and mosh like a mad motherfucker.

You just heard one of them.
Here are the other two:

Slipknot – Before I Forget [2004]
(The hooks and riffs here… *goosebumps*

Disturbed – Down With the Sickness [2000]
(Still a helluva epic intro.)

Let’s mix it up a bit, Holland style.

No, sorry. No Rotterdam Terror Corps for you. Not today. Not ever. So, if you were afraid if I would ever to that far? Rest assured, I won’t. Even my musical taste has its limits.

But we’re still going to enjoy some tunes from the Netherlands tonight, by way of Junkie XL.
This is again one of those posts about a kind of Electronica that might have been.

I mean… It WAS. But it never went on to dominate the airwaves. We got… Well… Our current crop of party-centred, low-brow, cheap crap.

I really don’t know what it’s about good, multi-layered music that seems to push it into the background. It’s fucking everywhere, even in sub-cultures, when they reach a certain critical point. And the stupid thing is, it didn’t start to be that way until… … Well, fuck me. Yeah. I know now. … Let me now debate if I want to put up a long, winded, angry rant about ARO, marketing, manipulation of charts (and the horrible shit that’s “radio controlled charts”. But even after this rant there will be only one target to shoulder most of the blame: The public.

For three chief reasons.

1) Letting themselves being so easily led, goaded and manipulated.
2) Being lazy and only very seldomly taking a glimpse around their preconceived notions and likes.
3) Having a generally horrible taste. I mean, FUCKING AUTOTUNE! Nobody using autotune through more than a few seconds inside a whole song should be making any money, unless they’re a phenomenal rapper and dying from throat-cancer!

But, enough hate and rage.
On towards love and calm!

Junkie XL ft. Saffron Beauty Never Fades | 2002 | Electronica / Trance

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Each step I take the shadows grow longer
Padded footfalls in the dark I wonder
Come to steel your lifeblood away
Looking for a beauty that never fades

See a glimpse inside the foolish hollow
Come to know a time when he will haunt you
Snapping at my heels made me live
Someone take me back to the angel realm today

Each step I take the shadows grow longer
Padded footfalls in the dark I wonder
Come to steel your lifeblood away
Looking for a beauty that never fades

See a glimpse inside the foolish hollow
Come to know a time when he will haunt you
Snapping at my heels made me live
Someone take me back to the angel realm today[/expand]

This is a very fine piece of trance-y electronica with lyrics worthy of being included in a World of Darkness story or serving as a companion to Svbway to Sally’s “Wenn Engel Hassen”. It’s darkly atmospheric and fully driving. I’m not a particular fan of the initial build-up, but the other eight minutes more than make up for it, in my opinion.

I know that this song will not be to everyone’s liking. But I also know that probably each and every one of you knows another song by Junkie XL. He was using his JXL moniker for that. It was that utterly catchy electro-remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” that was a great hit in the early 00s. And I think that this shows how malleable and dynamic a good producer can be. Also, go and look at the artists Junkie XL made remixes for. Fear Factory. Dave Gahan. Madonna. Tiësto, the Beastie Boys… Even Sarah McLachlan. He has his style and his vision, but he is still able to change, adapt, form and mold. Something which I don’t see most “Ibiza!” DJs doing so very well.

This piece though. This is electronica I would like being more popular all around. And not confined to Klaus Fiehe’s wonderfull Plan B on certain Monday nights on a certain German radio station.

And I only got wind of it through a remix that was made for the Animatrix and then licensed by CCP to promote EVE Online.
And, well. This is a fine example of how an artist can take a song of his and make two WIDELY divergent pieces out of it. And (Yes. A third “And”. I’m sorry. I’m slightly tired and can’t be bothered with accessing my internal thesaurus and style-guide tonight.)… AND I have to admit that I’m much more partial to this remix. So I will offer it up to you, too. In it’s full, EVE-trailer infused glory.

It’s shorter. It’s darker. It’s more atmospheric. And the intro kicks much more ass, as well as being tighter and more pushing than the original.
Use it inside your car when driving towards a party or a night out dancing and feel the energy.