Zola Jesus – Valusia (EP) [2010]

Posted in darkwave,electropop,synth pop by deek on October 27, 2010

With her March EP, Stridulum, Nika Roza Danilova, better known to the blogosphere as Zola Jesus, made a confident move away from the lo-fi, doom-ridden, blown-out sounds of her previous studio output and toward a midway point between opera, goth rock and New Order synth dirges. Valusia, her second EP this year, has the same sound but a different purpose: This four-song stopgap is meant to ensure newcomers that she’s playing for keeps. There’s no retreating behind the fuzz again. Zola Jesus is out front for good, basically cornering the market on big, sweeping synth pop. On the excellent Valusia, Zola Jesus hooked up with a producer for the first time.Chris Coady, who has produced Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio, helms the boards on “Poor Animal,” giving it an even bigger-sounding sheen than the self-produced tracks on Stridulum. “Poor Animal” is as close to dance music as Zola Jesus can probably ever get. With its modest increase in tempo, it imagines an opera inside a three-day old rave. Coady’s bigger sound seemingly inspired the re-recorded version of “Sea Talk” — which originally appeared on Tsar Bomba — as well: There’s those distant, marching drums, the post-punk synths climbing toward the sun and Danilova’s voice floating above it all. Like Stridulum, the greatest strength of Valusia is that it gives us just enough to want to spend more time in Zola Jesus’ world, but not enough to subsist on. But if you were to put the two EPs together on one LP, it would form one of the year’s best albums. A full-length of material in this vein is due for a 2011 release, and if it’s as great as Valusia and Stridulum, Zola Jesus should break through in a big way. -prefixmag

Brendan Perry – Ark [2010]

Posted in darkwave by deek on October 23, 2010

As Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard sold more than 2 million records worldwide. To this day, they remain 4AD’s biggest selling act. On the heels of a sold out Dead Can Dance world tour that took the duo to venues such as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Le Palais des Congrès in Paris, Brendan Perry is set to release a new solo album entitled Ark. Ark is more reminiscent of the music Brendan has written for Dead Can Dance than his previous solo work, Eye Of The Hunter.

Piano Magic – Ovations [2009]

Posted in art rock,darkwave,dream pop,neofolk,post-punk by deek on March 9, 2010


From its conception as a bedroom-studio hobby in Summer 1996, Piano Magic’s trajectory has never been textbook – random at best. Originally, a self-confessed revolving door operation – musicians arriving, contributing and leaving as they pleased – they harvested a catalogue of varied singles, EPs and two albums by 1998. This convey-belt membership also resulted in a plethora of sonic stylings, from smallbeat Kraftwerkian Meccano Pop on debut album, ‘Popular Mechanics’ (1997) to the breathless, ethereal, multi-layered melancholy of ‘Low Birth Weight’ (1998). Only in 1999 did Piano Magic resemble anything like a conventional format group. Smooth-talked into playing a Dutch festival which actually turned out quite well, they decided to play anywhere they were wanted and began to build something of a cult following, particularly on the European Continent. They spectacularly showcased the post-modernist baroque sound of ‘Artists’ Rifles’ (1999) at the Benicassim and BAM music festivals. Ironically, the band have never infiltrated the hearts of the British music press – out of time, unfashionable and kinda weird looking, its best not to stay home much. Tours of Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain peppered the next few years. The band signed to 4AD Records in 2000 and delivered their most critically contentious work, ‘Writers Without Homes’ and the soundtrack to Spanish director, Bigas Lunas’ ‘Son De Mar’ movie.

Cold Cave – Cremations [2009]

Posted in darkwave,electro,pop by deek on July 26, 2009

Blank Dogs – Seconds (2009)

Posted in darkwave,psychedelic,punk rock by deek on March 25, 2009
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Dead Can Dance – Spleen and Ideal [1985]

Posted in darkwave,gothic,modern classical by deek on March 12, 2009

Dead Can Dance – Within the Realm of a Dying Sun [1987]

Posted in darkwave,gothic,modern classical,new age,world by deek on March 11, 2009