RMFTM (Radar Men from The Moon) is a Dutch art collective who approach music as avant-garde exploration. The second LP in the Subversive trilogy is almost upon us. Throughout the series the group is looking to explore, deconstruct and subvert their creative process and themselves as a band. In doing so the immense head-on collision between psych and acid house stretches the definitions of noise, space and time. “Masked Disobedience” is the first single from the album and gives you an insight into the limitless and abrasive experimental properties of Subversive II: Splendor of the Wicked.
“Masked Disobedience” begins and ends with harsh celestial static, underpinned by pounding drums and screeching synths. A hypnotising bass-line roils as the song races to its otherworldly climax forged by the industrial landscape of Eindhoven - it may send you deep into an introspective trance now but live it will get you moving.
Following on from their recent split single with White Hills, RMFTM have been ceaselessly affirming themselves as figures of psychedelic re-invention amongst their contemporaries. The band co-curate Eindhoven Psych Lab and this year they’ll be performing in collaboration with Gnod to coincide with the release of the new album. They’re known for their prolific live show, one they’ve taken on several European tours, appearing on numerous psych festivals including Liverpool Psych Fest, Eindhoven Psych Lab, Desertfest Berlin and Cosmosis Festival.
Teutonic beats provide the foundation for Subversive II, RMFTM then build on their sound by looking inwards at themselves to rip it up and start again by breaking down and rebuilding their artistic process. Snatches of guitar, swathes of synths and stabs of bass are all sampled and reconstructed. Imagine La Dusseldorf headlining an eighties acid house all-nighter.
But this is no soulless experiment, Subversive II has a beating, bleeding heart behind the incessant beat. It’s a relentless aural assault, each note a sand grain, mercilessly shifting, an idea mutating.
- Sean MacRae and Jack Palfrey
Tales of Murder and Dust reveals the methodology of recording The Flow In Between, and how the group harnessed their creativity during times of turmoil.
Above: Aarhus Psych Fest Pre-Party 2015
"For some crazy reason, and much to our delight, an Italian guy set up a recording studio on the middle of the island where Christian and Kristoffer grew up in a rural and very desolate part of Denmark (Death Island Studios in Nykøbing, Mors). The name of the island actually translates from Latin into ‘Death’. It just seemed like the perfect place for us to go and isolate ourselves."
"We used the same approach as we did with our previous release, Skeleton Flowers. We recorded drums and bass in the studio, and did Guitars, Vocals, Synths, Sitar, Harp, Percussion and whatever else may be on there, in our rehearsal room and in our homes. This way we were able to give the recording a rest for a few days when we were in a rut, and come back and listen to it with fresh ears. Compared to an intensive studio recording session, we had more time to attend to the details and try out different instruments and sounds with this approach."
The Endless Sea of Uncertainty and Change
"When one compares this record to our earlier work we sound and feel like a different band, the common factor is that we still like to create a strong sense of atmosphere. We have adopted Gothic elements into our sound and we would like to think of it as the listener stepping in to a spiritual realm that is chaotic, boundless and which lacks a point of gaze. On a philosophical level, the lack of direction and the sense of endlessness also are saying something about our lives in general. There is this melancholia that always latches onto our music; we have been around for nearly 10 years and there is always that fear, that sense that 'it could all of a sudden end', which makes us appreciate what we do even more but also creates some sense of angst and unrest tied to the music."
"Growing so much older since we formed, life is no longer careless and music is not something that we “mess around with”. It is a privilege that can be taken away from us at any moment. It is pretty nerve wrecking and we cannot pretend that being in the music industry is all fun and games. It makes you paranoid, it makes you uncompromising and that naïve, young person who just wants to create music and have fun with it, is constantly struggling to come up to the surface for air. It is easy to drown in your own ambitions. When you listen to The Flow In Between the fear of drowning is omnipresent. When you hesitate at an artistic crossroad it’s either swim or sink. We did a bit of both; we let ourselves float around under the surface for a bit longer than what was comfortable. Once you are down below, floating around, you start looking at the world differently. We embraced the chaos, we embraced the uncertainty and it resulted in an album that feels unnerving, dystopic, illusive, and most of all like floating around under the surface, looking for a place and time to come up for air."
The group has announced June/July live shows for EU and will later announce more dates for the US.
6/8 Hafenklang, Hamburg /with The Third Sound
6/10 CheeChaak Fest, Ostrava
6/17 Les Caves Du Manoir, Martigny
6/20 L’espace B. Paris
6/22 Cine Palace, Kortrijk
6/24 Fuzz Club, London
6/25 Astral Elevator Presents: Rising @Gullivers Nq, Manchester
6/26 The Hope and Ruin, Brighton
7/16 Copenhagen Psych Fest
8/26 Psycho Las Vegas
We're excited to share the full album stream of The Third Sound's enigmatic new LP, Gospels of Degeneration, due out this Friday 22nd April.
Preceded by the singles “You Are Not Here” featuring Tess Parks, and "Never Catch Her Again", which UK’s Clash magazine called “a languid smoky piece of psychedelic rock” from a group who are “lynchpins of the underground.”
What began as the project of Icelandic frontman Hakon Aðalsteinsson (ex Singapore Sling), The Third Sound is now stretching its definition with deeper levels of collaboration between band members and the influence of a new character in its story, the city of Berlin where the group are now based.
Aðalsteinsson says, “The album explores different sides of life in a big city, and seeking the beauty found in strange places and within unusual characters. Although it wasn't meant as a theme initially, somehow the album turned out to be very much inspired by Berlin and my experience in the city.”
The sound also shows a shift having toned down the shimmery psychedelia in favour of something a little cleaner, but still retaining the group’s hypnotic layering and itching guitar riffs that keep whispering through your mind for hours after listening.
Aðalsteinsson’s plangent vocals feel more at home than ever and are matched by a confident disregard of contingency as the band flick between waltzing post-punk cuts and country lilts with seeming indifference. It feels as if their assuredness has provoked them to go on the hunt for new sonic niches that they can confidently take reign of.
The evolved sound is perhaps a sign of a shift in the song writing process. Still lead by Aðalsteinsson, who creates the concept for each song and writes the lyrics, the process now sees a deeper level of collaboration between members with guitarist Robin Hughes developing the guitar parts, and Hughes, Leo Kaage on drums and Aðalsteinsson together co-producing the album.
The Third Sound are back with their third album, and second on Fuzz Club, Gospels of Degeneration. Ten songs that will rip through you. It’s an album that was recorded in a small studio and you can hear more of the stripped down sound of the band and their use of instruments to get across the many feelings and emotions.
I love the use of guitar throughout the album and think it plays a huge part of making it feel different from other The Third Sound records, without taking away the quintessential sound of the band. With songs like “Charlatan” and the opening track, “We Got All You Need”, the drumming has that really great and fantastic garage like feel to it. Lay down the guitar over the top, and you have some of their best songs.
The nostalgic feel of “You Are Not Here” mixed with the amazing vocals of frontman Hakon Aðalsteinsson and Tess Parks, and you want to find a dark, smoky bar somewhere and sit back with a whiskey. “Before There Was You” rips my insides into shreds with that guitar. The emotion really pours out of that and it’s just an amazing song, both musically and lyrically.
The album as a whole hits with so much power, power that you don’t feel at first. It gains more through each listen. You hear the band's soul pouring and washing all over you...and you can’t put it down.
I had a chance to catch up with Hakon and ask him a few questions about the album to give some some insight into this record...
A couple years back when I interviewed you after the release of your second album, The Third Sound of Destruction and Creation, I asked you to sum up the album in a sentence. It wasn’t an easy task by any means but you did it: “Musically expanded album exploring a wide range of (sometimes) contrasting themes, where the borders between, light and darkness, dream and reality, pop and experimental elements start disappearing.” How would you say things have changed for Gospels of Degeneration?
Things are always different from album to album, both because it reflects the situation you were in when the album was made and because you want to push things forward. There were a lot of changes within the band when we were planning to start recording this album. Our bass player had left (but has now returned again) and we did not have a drummer until we met Leo who has a small studio where the album was recorded. The main song ideas had been written some time before we started and I did not wanna sit around and wait so me, Robin (guitar) and Leo just went ahead and recorded the songs.
Robin and I had discussed making an album that was not as layered and produced sounding as the last one, we wanted something a bit more straight forward this time and to rely on the songwriting itself rather than decorating with heavy use of effects, so it made perfect sense to make a record in a small and simple studio.
The album is another amazing piece. The guitar work throughout this really stands out, especially after a few listens and you are able to absorb it all. It’s an extension of your soul at many times, where you can FEEL that emotion just right there, slamming into your being. So beautiful and heart wrenching. Can you elaborate a bit on the song writing, and how the guitar played a part in bringing these songs to so much level and depth?
There was more time to work the songs out this time since we did not have a deadline like last time, It was a slower process and I would send Robin unfinished recordings so he could spend time working on his part before coming in to record. In some cases there was also a different approach because I would start a song with the bass line which allowed me and Robin to do more guitar harmonies together.
The first single from the album, “You Are Not Here”, features Tess Parks. Can you tell us about this collaboration? Was this song written with her, or you just had her in mind?
It is a song I wrote a while ago but I was not sure if it would fit on the album and when I presented it to Robin and Leo the idea of making it a duet was still just in my head. I had met Tess when she was recording her album with Anton and just thought she had an amazing voice, so when she got in touch few months later while we were recording saying she was coming back to Berlin I took it as a sign and asked her if she would be up for singing it with me.
Following “You Are Not Here” come the songs “Hole In My Heart” and “Before There Was You”. Both songs are favourites from the album. What can you tell us about those songs?
I think they are both good examples of the straightforward simple approach I mentioned, because it could have been easy to do a lot more layers there but we just did not feel it was necessary. Lyrically speaking they both deal with losing someone close to you but two completely different ways of dealing with it.
What more would you like to add about the new album?
I guess I realised afterwards that a lot of the lyrics are in one way or another somehow reflecting my experience and ideas of Berlin. Not only personal experience, also what I have seen around me and the reputation of the city as sort of a hedonistic place. This is not in any way a concept album but this is at least one of the themes.
- Nathan J Barrett of Floats Inside A Bubble
The third album from experimental UK noise masters One Unique Signal, Hoopsnake, is a collaboration between the three core band members and 20 of their contemporaries, including The Oscillation’s Damian Castellanos and Steven Lawrie of The Telescopes, who all produced music inspired by a single riff.
The riff was born from a repetitious loop originating from the sessions for their previous LP, the Sonic Boom mastered Aether. The band then recorded two versions of it (one a loud, guitar-driven take, the second a softer synth passage) and shared it with friends and collaborators, inviting each artist to create a corresponding sonic interpretation, which have all been mixed into four separate 10 minute long tracks.
The result is a seamless meshing of ideas from some of the best minds in the underground music scene, whose recordings span the weird and wonderful, ranging from ‘home made noise box’ to ‘Godin Artisan ST II recorded on solar power in a caravan’, to simply ‘lime green guitar.’ The roster of musicians and their various tools and instruments has been documented on the vinyl edition’s printed inner sleeve, and reads like a cross between a tech catalogue and a fantasy novel.
Despite the new process undertaken for Hoopsnake, the methodically explorative approach is typical of One Unique Signal as is the feeling of continuity. The group’s Nick Keech explains “From the very beginning, the Signal mythos has been repetition.” Fellow band member Byron Jackson continues “The LP destroys itself, reflects upon the destruction, and is finally recreated, ready to repeat the process again." Along with fellow member Daniel Davis, the trio also perform as a part of space rock legends The Telescopes.
Side one is an intense angular affair, from the menacing sonic assault of “HSO1” which engulfs you in a whirlwind of fuzz, effects and inaudible vocals through to the glitched-out ethereal noise of “HSO2”. Side two has a much more atmospheric feel with its psychedelic guitars, washes of reverb and blissfully looming synths sending you into a dream-like state.
One Unique Signal have shared 'HSO4' the closing track from their new album Hoopsnake. The third album from the experimental noise masters, Hoopsnake is a collaboration between the three core band members and 20 of their contemporaries, including The Oscillation’s Demian Castellanos and Steven Lawrie of The Telescopes, who all produced music inspired by a single riff.
The riff was born from a repetitious loop originating from the sessions for their previous LP, the Sonic Boom mastered Aether. The band then recorded two versions of it (one a loud, guitar-driven take, the second a softer synth passage) and shared it with friends and collaborators, inviting each artist to create a corresponding sonic interpretation, which have all been mixed into four separate tracks of about 10 minutes in length.
'HS04' is an ethereal whirlwind of looming, eerie synths. A soft, comatose wall of noise that sends you deep into a dream-like state, building and building as you lose yourself in Hoopsnake's majestic finale.
Hoopsnake is available on vinyl, deluxe edition vinyl, CD and cassette. The deluxe edition vinyl is sold out. They will be playing Under The Arches on May 7th in London alongside The Entrance Band, The Oscillation and Purple Heart Parade, join the event page here.
Danish five-piece Tales of Murder and Dust has produced a bleak but beautiful pysch classic-in-the-making with The Flow In Between, and it's now available to stream in full below. Their most expansive release to date, it embraces opiate blues, drone rock, orchestral swathes and New York no-wave experimentalism whilst seamlessly drifting from pummelling noise to orchestral fragility.
We were first given a taste of The Flow In Between with a free download of "Sisters", the first single taken off the LP. The single foreshadowed the motorik bass lines, gloomy vocals, ethereal reverb and mass of feedback that would make this entire record a deeply immersive listen. This was followed by second single and its suitably atmospheric video.
With this album there is a longing melancholia lurking beneath the surface which is deeply raw and affecting, making this album to modern psych what Joy Division’s Closer was to the eighties. However, as melancholic as it gets there is also a hint of light amidst the shade: an underlying optimism.
Opening with a chiming Eastern coda "Distorted Ways" is the band rising from the depths, breaking the surface for some air and sun. Slowly it grows, building in intensity, quickening the pace until a wild euphoric climax where it all comes crashing down, embracing the chaos. It is Spacemen 3’s "Suicide" meeting head on with Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s "World Police". Closing track "Endless Repetition" sees them sink beneath the surface once again, a forlorn lament on isolation, before drifting into the distance.
Tales of Murder and Dust will be touring the US and Europe later this year including an appearance at Psycho Las Vegas. More details to be announced very soon.
- Sean MacRae
White Hills and RMFTM (Radar Men From The Moon) are the latest additions to the Fuzz Club Split Single series, which already boasts leviathans like The Black Angels, A Place to Bury Stranger, The Telescopes and Alan Vega. Their offerings for Split Single No. 8 are now available to stream in full below.
Stoner/psych/space duo White Hills has a catalogue spanning 40 releases over the past decade, gaining them a cult following and an appearance in the Jim Jarmusch psych-inspired vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive.
They contribute their space-rock epic “As You Pass By”, which is a climactic otherworldly mix of swirling electronics building up as deep bass roils beneath singer Dave W’s gravelly vocals until the song erupts into a whirlwind of bluesy distorted guitars and hammering bass by his partner Ego Sensation, underpinned by a chilling spoken word sample.
White Hills are paired with Fuzz Club's Dutch instrumentalists RMFTM, who have released three sold-out albums since their debut in 2013, and the single ‘Decadence’ which is typical of their explorative style.
Coming in at just under ten minutes long, the track opens on harsh industrial noise pounding through a constant wash of eerie reverb. Guitar riffs chime in as tooth-rattling percussion submerges you further into this huge, ethereal wall of noise. ‘Decadence’ is truly testament to the bands limitless avant-garde capabilities.
The track continues in the hypnotic, abstract sound RMFTM have built with their previous record ‘Subversive I’, and invites fans to follow them deeper down the musical rabbit-hole.
Split Single 8 is available as a Fuzz Club exclusive 10" in yellow vinyl (300 copies) and the standard edition in solid white vinyl (700 copies).
After two years of patiently waiting Dead Skeletons have finally blessed us with new music, in the shape of their latest LP Live In Berlin. The full album can be streamed below.
Their newest offering captures the Reykjavic band captivating the sweaty crowd at Berlin’s prestigious venue SO36 with their mesmerizing psych-indebted rock and roll. The audio was taken straight from the mixing desk and mastered by the band's own Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt of The Asteroid #4.
The Berlin show began with calm, floating drones that could have been forged in the tranquility of Iceland’s glaciers. Then the skeletal guitar line of "Om Varja Sattva Hung" slices in, propelled by a relentless motorik rhythm. The driving, precise beats throb like German experimentalists Neu! or La Dusseldorf.
As the band played the opener, Nonni Dead started painting a canvas with a distorted skull contorted in a primal scream. Its finished form was like creation rising from a Kosmiche maelstrom, reminiscent of the boundless freeform of Ash Ra Tempel.
The opener lasts around eight minutes but it could be eight hours, eight days, eight years. It doesn't matter as time becomes irrelevant and one is lost in the euphoric moment. The opener bleeds into "Om Mani Padme Hum", a Buddhist chant for compassion. Above the throbbing pagan rhythm the mantra is repeated.
They get down and dirty on "Psycho Dead" with a sleazy bass line reminiscent of New York duo Suicide's classic “Johnny”, seeping with edge, danger and attitude. The phrase "Come to my death" repeats like a call to abandon fear and embrace life.
In a world of chaos and uncertainty, that night in Berlin was an oasis of life and positivity. In these troubled times Dead Skeletons are light shining through the dark. Never have they been so needed, or their message so relevant. Such is the intensity of the tracks that you can feel the energy, sensing the sweat dripping from the S036 walls.
Live in Berlin is to be released in two double 12” gatefold editions, one standard edition and one as a Fuzz Club Exclusive (sold out). Both editions feature cover art taken from paintings by Nonni Dead, printed inner sleeves featuring photography from the show, a silk screened D side and embossed Fuzz Club logo. The standard vinyl is 180g heavy white vinyl (1200 copies).
The Fuzz Club Exclusive cover is also hand numbered, embossed, and is 180g black vinyl and limited to 300 copies.
The record will also be available on CD, cassette and with a new range of limited edition merchandise including tees and tote bags featuring the Dead Mantra logo, and 40cm x 40cm screen prints of the cover art on heavy card.
- Sean MacRae