RAU

RAU is Maggy (Guitar / Vocals), Kay-Uwe Dörflinger (Drums) and Jim Albrand (Bass) an alternative rock band from Cuxhaven in Germany.

RAU - alternative rock from Germany

RAU

The music fairly tears into the room with a percussion that wraps itself into the head and involuntary the body joins in with the frenetic beat being set by the double time tempo. Whilst the overall effect is one of a band in a hurry, RAU, keeps it all under control creating a smartly composed  out-put.


This part of Lower Saxony is a fine hotbed of creativity as established readers will recall another find covered last year on the old site. Introducing a range of influences, including reggae and US indie, RAU successfully take the lighter textures and give them a sanding to deliver a darker rock effect which holds together extremely well.

The vocal is finely delivered and creates a good contrast to the gruffer instrumental accompaniment lifting the music to a creativity which is a great addition to the world of music. I look forward to hearing more of RAU in the future. Their six track release Keine Sau Kennt RAU which sees them showcasing the breadth of their sounds, from the slower pace folk derivative to the higher tempo, which in my view is their core strength, should find them make a more decisive impact and build their audience.

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Lolita

Lolita is an indie pop band from Koprivnica in Croatia with the line-up of Antonio Hanžek (drums), Charles Cmrk (bass) and John Grobenski (guitar / vocals).

Lolita - indie pop from Croatia

Lolita

There is an easy relaxed style that Lolita delivers with vocals in English and clear influences from ’60s brit-rock it would be easy to dismiss this as nothing much of anything at all. To discard it so quickly would, in my view, to be make a mistake.


Whilst not seeking to turn the world of music upside-down, the trio throw up some interesting markers. The recorded material has that distinctive sound of recordings made pre MP3 multi channel recordings, which immediately captures the ear as genuine and heartfelt, with the music laid out to stand or fall on its own right. I am also reflective of the fact that much of the music I hear coming out of the former Yugoslavian conglomeration as they have devolved into their separate and distinctive states typically is of far gruffer and vitriolic texture and this of itself marks Lolita as worthy of note with their more exuberant, though not naive, take on region. Valuable music has to be taken in the context in which it is created and while the notes may not sit naturally on my ears, I raise my hat to these guys who are striking by their very difference from that which locally surrounds them.

Having had the opportunity to take a listen to their eight track LP Lipstick Pop, I can confidently say Lolita is worthy of far more than a cursory glance.

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Fonija – Mojot Pekol – LP review

Fonija –  Deni Krstev (Vocals / Guitar), Stefan Ristovski  (Bass / Vocals) and Kristijan Lafazanovski (Drums) from Skopje in The Republic of Macedonia have a new LP – Mojot Pekol – set of release on the 2nd September 2013.

Fonija - LP cover for Mojot pekol

Fonija – LP cover for Mojot pekol

The ten track release opens with Izlezi and the ears immediately know what they are dealing with – raw raucous new wave. Superbly tempered sounds tumble in to the ears as Fonija is able to get across the rage of it all, within a sound that bristles with sharpened edges.

Next is Sakam Da Zgrešam which has an intense percussion / bass combination that retains a tight control on the track as it spills across the room in a flurry of activity.

Ovoj Den is a fine piece of work as it rapidly builds to its tempo. I particularly enjoy the way that the vocals throughout the LP sit as something of a juxtaposition to the frenetic proceedings on the instruments as a calming influence serenely conducting activities.

Reminding me a little of  999 Ova Ne Sakam Da Bidam is a more melodic construct, whilst retaining the fire and passion of the rest of the release and shows Fonija in a slightly different light as the compositional skills are brought more to the fore.

Closing the first half of Mojot Pekol is my pick of the release Se Budam Pak which within its fleeting two and a half minutes does all that any piece of music needs to do. Creative, expressive, tight and a full storyline. Sublime.


The tracks, although originally named and written in cyrillic are transliterated, though not translated, as best as possible for the purposes of the readers of Emerging Indie Bands.

The second half of LP opens with the title track Mojot Pekol which has something of an american indie pop feel to it and as it surfs around the room the face can’t help but spread into a grin. The sharp change in tempo at just over two minutes into the track catches the listener unawares to test if they are still paying attention, before settling back into the rhythm for the final minute. I like this for its cheek.

Tuka Si continues the release in good stead with under two and a half minutes of thunderous rock and the absolute confidence of the trio is given a spotlight as it it hasn’t already in the LP thus far, as Fonija flips the switch and heads over to influences from the likes of Shonen Knife from Japan.

Sedam I Čekam is worth the value of the LP on its own as the powerhouse of the trio re-engages through the speakers with a delightfully earthy high energy number which just demands being replayed immediately.

Sadly we now come to the final two tracks on the release Ne Postojam which retains the frenetic energy of the rest of the release with more than a hint of shoegaze as Fonija continue to raise surprises throughout the release.

Concluding with Najdolgiot Pat which brings to a close 26 minutes of superb output and wrapping up a ten track LP inside half an hour, as you know,  just by its very nature gets my vote.

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Ajenda

Ajenda from Belfast in Northern Ireland is the rock band of Jen (Vocals), Gavin (Guitars), Peter (Drums) and Jan (Bass).

Ajenda is a rock band from Northern Ireland

Ajenda image © Neil Mach

Ajenda gives a mellowed twist to Rock ‘n’ Roll with deftly played melodies that are allowed to swirl around the room like smoke before settling on the ears and underlying it is a well formulated framework which gives the music plenty of oomph.


A well defined vocal neatly balances the tracks giving the band a defined and distinctive sound as influences from Eastern European folk are interspersed in the music. There is a certain fascination to be had by listening to Ajenda. It is perhaps the fact that I am writing this on a Monday morning that it seems a little restful to my head. Come the end of the day I have little doubt this would slide down well with a relaxing drink.

With a debut LP – Unrecognizable – set for release on the 28th September and supporting tours away from Northern Ireland, I would expect the band to gain greater traction than has been so far achieved as the ten track release, which I have had the opportunity to hear, contains a well crafted set of songs that do justice to the band.

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Cabwash

I think I am set to retire – a consecutive review by Robbie, thank you Sir.

Cabwash is the collective name for five English artists local to London and Manchester: Insurance; Electrjc Guitar; Ruth Bate; Modern Blonde and Shelf. Thus far the collective has released two albums, an EP and three singles, and this article will explore all six entries.

Cabwash - a music collective from England

Cabwash


Off the Chain is an album from Modern Blonde, featuring striking tongue-in-cheek horror-themed artwork depicting a gun-toting werewolf and his monstrous pals. Opening track Warm Talking features soft synths and a simple electronic beat as the framework, whilst largely indecipherable and highly processed vocals lend the track an experimental air. As the album progresses it becomes clear that these elements are retained throughout, though in Halloween the effects processing used on the guitar tracks and reverb-saturated vocals lend the proceedings an air of shoegaze.

Unlike the majority of the release the vocals can be comprehended on the album’s 11th track, Plague, which resembles something akin to gloomy electronic pop. This is certainly no bad thing, and it provides a welcome rest for ears battered by the more eclectic tracks. Overall this is a fairly downtempo, experimental album that should appeal to those with a taste for something a bit more unusual.

The second release is another from Modern Blonde, this one titled Home Truths. From the off you are gently assaulted with vocals processed beyond all understanding and soft electronic percussion. From octave-shifting and vocoder effects, at times the release seems like one big experiment into the possibilities of sound processing, and while at times it can be a little hard on the ears it’s all fairly pleasant background listening.

Next up is the work of Ruth Bate, which from the get-go features more of those heavily processed elements; massive washes of synths, utterly mangled vocal elements and electronic drums. Every track gels completely with the next, and the collection certainly seems at home with the Cabwash incentive to produce creative and inspiring content. Ruth Bate also released a single titled This’ll Kill Ya, which despite its name is a petite slice of pretty electroacoustic music.

Gazebo, the only release so far from Shelf, begins life with the scratchy and somewhat 8-bit Shelf & Imagine, which sounds somewhat akin to several Nintendo Gameboys riding a wave of white noise and having a grand old time. As the electronic experimentation continues its course, the listener is treated to simple ambient soundscapes which would work well as the soundtrack to a lazy afternoon. The final track, Dolphin Surgery, weighs in at just under the 11 minute mark, and is essentially a huge wall of electronic noise which could very well consume your soul if you’re not careful.

The final ingredient within the collective is Electrjk Guitar, which so far represents a single song, perversely titled Millions of Songs. Sounding at this point much like the Modern Blonde output and fairly unremarkable, it stands as another piece of electronic music in the Cabwash collective.

This material is worthy of exploration beyond the sum of its parts; in time this collaboration could bear unique and exciting fruit which delves deep into the possibilities of electronic music. In order to do this each artist must continue to produce and define themselves, and in so doing learn their craft.

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