The dark fuzz of guitar, the rumble of bass and a menacing drum rattles around the walls as Nymphetamine, which is the middle of the three tracks on the single My Sleeping Butterfly, starts its four minute journey. The vocal which due to its contrast in pitch creates a drama around which THE HILLINOISE build the number.
Nymphetamine, is paced, to allow the quartet to envelop the listener with darkness, which they pierce with flashes of illumination as the guitar suddenly picks out higher notes, a technique that affords the track an engaging quality that keeps the mind focused.
The Macedonian alt-rock quartet Kolt are scheduling the release of the LP Solipse for late November / early December.
Kolt – Solipse – artwork
Chess, the second of the ten tracks, finds Kolt in progressive rock mood with the piece easing its way around the room in muted tone. Guitar gently picks its way through the opening bars to be accompanied by a steeped vocal, before the full line-up raises the temperature with building stacks, only to drift away to gentleness as quickly as arrived.
Listening to the just over four minute track reminds of watching smoke caught in a draft, circling rapidly before settling back to a graceful wave. Kolt are able to provide the audience with sufficient movement to retain interest, without ever forcing the issue, enabling the mind to become becalmed by the eddies and flows of Chess.
Chess is one of the more calming tracks in Solipse, an album that enables Kolt to deliver their breadth of influences and a welcome follow-up to Equilibrium, their début LP, released just under a year ago.
Whilst Vulgarians produce music that has you wondering in which cellar you have been tied, there is also a bustling energy that is begging to burst through the eardrums. Many bands sound paltry on low volume, or sublime and vice-versa, the quartet have the ability to work both with quiet headphones and ear-bleeding speakers bouncing across the room.
As you well know I am always a fan of bass strings hanging loosely on the fretboard and Vulgarians smartly utilise these vaguely tied four strings to provide the backdrop, not the centre piece of the out-put, which is how they are able to function across the decibel range, though I would advise bass on maximum, else the transition becomes a subsumed sound. It is the haunting guitars in centre stage that sear across the brain with a burning tempestuousness that flays across the room like welts from a whip on the back. Percussion hangs on bass drum and forays across the kit with nary a soirée to the snare grab handle, preferencing cymbal and open hi-hat for reference point to which the ghostly apparition of the vocal completes the mood.
With only three songs to hear, I am looking forward to discovering more of the ideas of Vulgarians in short order.
Their latest track The Morning Paper, which was made available yesterday and due for official release on the 23rd of November, is a piece that finds Jimmy & The Revolvers in full reflective glory.
The Morning Paper additionally draws reference from even further back in time, Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen comes to mind. Rather than sounding like a retrograde throw-back they furnish the approaching three and a quarter minutes with flourishes of ornamentation which they place to deliver sounds of currency as trumpet soars and guitar blazes a trail, to accompaniment of clear as a bell percussion and the listener can’t help but find themselves nodding their head in approval as their feet tap away happily.
The Jimmy & The Revolvers reference points hold a timeless quality, which they are able to translate with an enthusiastic and lemon zing freshness that captivates the audience and it is of little surprise they can be found travelling up and down the UK to enthusiastic venue attenders.
With a sound that is ubiquitous of geo-political borders, if justice is served the quartet will find frequent need for passports.
Das Flüff is the electro-dream-rock quintet of Dawn Lintern, Steve May, Christian Ruland, Chris Limb and The Elusive Stranger from London in England.
When originally introduced in 2013, Das Flüff, were a trio and the additional of members has enabled the band to add considerable depth and range to the sound. The band deliver a gothic feel that captures the audience in the swooping electronics as the guitar strikes a buzzy edginess as the bass and percussion create the bouncing nature of the tracks. The distinctive vocal blends superbly with the music rounding out the sound with a beguiling expressiveness.
This is a band that works particularly well in company and perhaps explains why they are rarely to be found in the recording studio. Spending their time on live performance, with their last full release dating back to 2013. Das Flüff have resultingly established a strong audience in Germany and England and deserving of a far wider audience.
Occasionally tracks are set to video for wider consumption and it was their most recent – I Love You (When You’re On The Dancefloor) that prompted this review.
It is always a pleasure to come back to Das Flüff and I am looking forward to their next full release, whenever that may surface.