Tag: Artoffact Records

Since their formation back in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio PLOHO have firmly established themselves at the forefront of a contemporary, new wave of Russian music. Inspired by Joy Division and late Soviet-era acts like Kino, the Siberian act’s cold and bleak sound evokes both the bitter cold of their homeland and that uncertain and uneasy period of the Soviet Union just before its inevitable collapse.

Back in 2020. Artoffact Records released the Siberian trio’s fifth album, the critically applauded, Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings), which featured: 

  • Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”), a nostalgia-inducing, dance floor friendly bop featuring reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with lyrics delivered in a seemingly ironically detached Russian. 
  • Нулевые” (in Cyrillic) or “Nulevyye” (in Latin),” a bracingly chilly bit of 4AD Records-like post punk centered around frontman Victor Ujakov’s sonorous baritone, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, skittering four-on-the-floor, a relentless motoik groove and an enormous hook. And much like its predecessor, is a dance floor friendly bop. 

The Russian post-punk outfit began the year with “Plattenbauten,” their first ever German-language song. “Plattenbauten,” is a translation of the band’s 2015 debut single “Новостройки (New Buildings)” featuring lyrics translated by German poet Boris Shneider and re-recorded as a standalone single. Centered around a relentless motorik groove, forceful four-on-the-floor, Uzhakov’s deadpan delivery and shimmering guitar attack, “Plattenbauten” is a decidedly new take that evokes an oppressive, seemingly infinite grey; an overwhelmingly oppressive sameness, crushing poverty and bitter frustration over lack of options and opportunities. 

Ploho’s sixth album,  Когда душа спит (When The Soul Sleeps) is slated for a November 4, 2022 release through Artoffact Records. Centered around somber yet beautiful lead guitar, Uzhavok’s lush baritone, gorgeous melodies and emotionally devastating synth and drum work, the new album will reportedly be among the most engaging of their growing catalog. 

Earlier this month I wrote about “Магнитофон,” a bracingly cold bit of post-punk centered around glistening synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched bursts of guitar, paired with a motorik groove and Uzhakov’s lush and expressive baritone. And while sonically bringing The CureCocteau Twins and 4AD Records to mind, the song evokes something much darker and foreboding — an impending sense of doom.

“Никогда не говори никогда (Never Say Never),” Когда душа спит (When The Soul Sleeps)‘s latest single is a seemingly upbeat and swooning bop centered around an angular and propulsive bass line, relentless four-on-the-floor and glistening synths arpeggios paired with Uzhakov’s lush baritone, a fluttering synth solo, a sizzling guitar solo and the trio’s unerring knack for big hooks and enormous chorus. Much like its immediate predecessor, “Магнитофон” will continue to bring 4AD Records and 80s post-punk to mind but with a slick, modern production.

New Video: PLOHO Shares a Brooding Post Punk Ode To The World’s Housing Projects

Since their formation back in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio PLOHO have firmly established themselves as one of most prominent purveyors of a contemporary, new wave of Russian music. Inspired by late Soviet era acts like Kino and Joy Division, the Siberian act’s sound and approach evokes the bitter cold of their homeland. 

Last year, Artoffact Records released the Siberian trio’s fifth album, Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings). I managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

  • Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”), a nostalgia-inducing, dance floor friendly bop featuring reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with lyrics delivered in a seemingly ironically detached Russian. 
  • Нулевые” (in Cyrillic) or “Nulevyye” (in Latin),” a bracingly chilly bit of 4AD Records-like post punk centered around frontman Victor Ujakov’s sonorous baritone, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, skittering four-on-the-floor, a relentless motoik groove and an enormous hook. And much like its predecessor, is a dance floor friendly bop.

The Russian post punk outfit starts off the year with “Plattenbauten,” their first ever German-language song. “Plattenbauten,” is a translation of the band’s 2015 debut single “Новостройки (New Buildings)” featuring lyrics translated by German poet Boris Shneider and re-recorded as a standalone single.

Centered around a relentless motorik groove punctuated by forceful four-on-the-floor, Ujakov’s deadpan delivery and shimmering angular guitar attack, “Plattenbauten” is a decidedly new take on the original’s vibe, that evokes an oppressive, seemingly infinite grey, an oppressive sameness, an overwhelming poverty and frustration. As Jim Kelly’s character says in Enter the Dragon “Ghettos are the same all over the world.” It seems that he wasn’t wrong.

The song’s title refers to a new style of communist-era high-rise apartment blocks, which were at one point highly popular throughout a great deal of Europe — and for the Russian post-punk outfit, recalls the Soviet era aesthetic. “This song was playing in German in my head when I found myself in eastern Berlin,” the band’s Victor Ujakov says in press notes. “I lived in exactly the same area thousands of kilometres away in Novosibirsk (West Siberia). The atmosphere was amazing.”

Directed, edited and shot by Igor Tsvetkov, the accompanying video for “Plattenbauen” follows Ujakov on a late night walk through the back alleys of a Plattenbauen while singing the song.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays ACTORS Release a Horror Movie-Inspired Visual for Slow-burning “Obsession”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut It Will Come To You, the acclaimed Vancouver-based JOVM mainstay act ACTORS — currently Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Kendall Wooding (bass) and Adam Fink (drums) — quickly established a brooding yet anthemic post-punk sound centered around icy synths, angular bass lines, squiggling guitars and Corbett’s reverb-drenched croon. 

Since the release of their full-length debut, the Canadian post-punk outfit had been busy: Until pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions put touring on pause, ACTORS had been on a relentless touring schedule to support the album, including a stop at the long-shuttered Brooklyn Bazaar for a headlining set at 2018’s A Murder of Crows Festival. Interestingly, during that same period of time, ACTORS’ frontman Jason Corbett has become an in-demand producer, who has worked with the likes of BootblacksUltrviolence, SPECTRES, and a growing list of post punk acts.

The Canadian post-punk outfit’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Acts of Worship was released earlier this year through Artoffact Records. Recorded and produced at Corbett’s Jacknife Studio, the album finds the members of the JOVM mainstay act pushing their synth-driven sound in a more dance floor friendly direction, while retaining the brooding melancholy and massive hooks that have won them attention across the international post-punk scene. 

I’ve managed to write about three of the album’s singles so far:

  • Love U More,” a single that can trace its origins to the band being on the road: While traveling the Autobahn at 190km per hour (about 120 mph), the song’s opening synth melody looped through Jason Corbett’s head. The song itself is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular and reverb-drenched bursts of guitar and a relentless motorik groove in one of the act’s more sensual songs to date. 
  • “Only Lonely,” Acts of Worship‘s second single, a song that Corbett explains is indebted to Roxy Music — in particular “The Space Between” “Dance Away” and “Love Is The Drug.” And much like the sources that inspired it, “Only Lonely” manages to express a similar yearning and vulnerability. 
  • Cold Eyes,” a leather, lace and light night come on, centered around buzzing bass synths, twinkling synth arpeggios and a relentless motorik groove.

Acts of Worship‘s fourth and latest single “Obsession” is a slow-burning yet sultry song centered around a propulsive bass line, glistening synth arpeggios, Corbett’s achingly tender crooning and the band’s unerring knack for an enormous hook. Sonically, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me of The CarsDrive” and Avalon era Roxy Music with a subtle nod to classic soul but while tackling loneliness and obsession gone dangerously wrong.

The recently released video for “Obsession’ is split between sequences of the band playing the song in a dark, strobe lit room and a masked killer, who stalks a punk rock couple, hanging out in a parked van.

New VIdeo: JOVM Mainstays Kælan Mikla Teams up with Alcest on Brooding and Atmospheric “Hvítir Sandar”

2018 was a breakthrough year for Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla— Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synths, vocals),  Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass), and Laufey Soffía Þórsdóttir (vocals): The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. The Icelandic post punk outfit played that year’s Roadburn Festival, and they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s soon-to-be released, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for release next week through their longtime label home Artoffact RecordsUndir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release I’ve managed to write about three of the album’s released singles:

  • Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”
  • Ósýnileg,” a dance floor friendly track centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves, rapid fire, four-on-the-floor beats and blood curdling screams in the background. Interestingly, the track manages to evoke strobe lit discos and howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena simultaneously. 
  • Stormurinn,” a decidedly widescreen take on the sound that has won them attention internationally: While you’ll still hear shimming synth arpeggios, rapid fire four-on-the-floor, motorik grooves and razor sharp hooks paired with the trio’s ethereal vocals, you’ll also hear some a gorgeous flute arrangement and howling winds, which evoke Icelandic’s stormy and unpredictable weather.

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s fourth and latest single is the slow-burning and brooding “Hvítir Sandar,” a collaboration with French act Alcest. Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir’s hauntingly ethereal vocals float over a stormy mix of glistening and icy synths and industrial clang and clatter.

“‘Hvítir Sandar’ is about feeling like you’re being defeated by your inner faults and demons. It’s about self-acceptance,” the Icelandic JOVM mainstays explain in press notes. ” Even if you carry a darkness within, it’s what makes you who you are, and you shouldn’t have to change for other people.”

“We felt really honored when Kælan Mikla offered us to be guests on their song ‘Hvítir Sandar,'” the members of Alcest say in press notes. “Alcest and Kælan Mikla toured together in 2020 and from the start we definitely saw connection between the two bands, despite the stylistic difference. ‘Hvítir Sandar’ is one of our favorites on the album and before even starting to work on it we had a vision of what the aesthetics of Alcest could bring to the song. We are so proud of how it turned out and we hope that the fans of Kælan Mikla will enjoy this collaboration just as much as we did!”

Directed by Máni Sigfússon, the recently released video for “Hvítir Sandar” continues a run of gorgeous and cinematically shot and incredibly eerie visuals paired with computer generated graphics.

Album pre-order is available here: https://kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com

New Video: JOVM Mainstays ACTORS Releases a Sultry Dance Floor Friendly Bop

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut It Will Come To You, the acclaimed Vancouver-based JOVM mainstay act ACTORS — currently Jason Corbett (vocals, guitar), Shannon Hemmett (synth, vocals), Kendall Wooding (bass) and Adam Fink (drums) — quickly established a brooding yet anthemic post-punk sound centered around icy synths, angular bass lines, squiggling guitars and Corbett’s reverb-drenched croon.

Since the release of their full-length debut, the Canadian post-punk outfit had been busy: Until pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions put touring on pause, ACTORS had been on a relentless touring schedule to support the album, including a stop at the long-shuttered Brooklyn Bazaar for a headlining set at 2018’s A Murder of Crows Festival. Interestingly, during that same period of time, ACTORS’ frontman Jason Corbett has become an in-demand producer, who has worked with the likes of BootblacksUltrviolence, SPECTRES, and others.

The Vancouver-based JOVM mainstays’ highly-anticipated sophomore album Acts of Worship is slated for an October 1, 2021 release through Artoffact Records. Recorded and produced at Corbett’s Jacknife Studio, the album reportedly finds the Vancouver-based pushing their synth-driven post-punk sound in a much more dance floor friendly direction while retaining the brooding melancholy and massive hooks that have won them attention across the international post-punk scene.

In the lead-up to the album’s release, I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles:

  • Love U More,” a single that can trace its origins to the band being on the road: While traveling the Autobahn at 190km per hour (about 120 mph), the song’s opening synth melody looped through Jason Corbett’s head. The song itself is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, angular and reverb-drenched bursts of guitar and a relentless motorik groove in one of the act’s more sensual songs to date.
  • “Only Lonely,” Acts of Worship‘s second single, a song that Corbett explains is indebted to Roxy Music — in particular “The Space Between” “Dance Away” and “Love Is The Drug.” And much like the sources that inspired it, “Only Lonely” manages to express a similar yearning and vulnerability.

Acts of Worship‘s third and latest single “Cold Eyes” continues a relatively new run of dance floor friendly bangers. Centered around buzzing bass synths, twinkling synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, Corbett’s breathy vocal delivery dueling boy-girl harmonizing for the song’s rousingly anthemic hook, “Cold Eyes” is all leather, lace and late night come on.

“‘Cold Eyes’ was written and recorded in one day. Sometimes that just happens and it ends up being the band’s favorite song on the new album,” ACTORS’ Jason Corbett says in press notes. “We can’t wait to play it live!”

Shot in a cinematic black and white, the recently released video for “Cold Eyes” employs a relatively simple concept: we see the individual members of the band dancing to the song while occasionally playing their respective instruments. As ACTORS’ Jason Corbett notes, the band’s current lineup perfectly reflects the balance of masculine and feminine energy contained within the songs.

The members of ACTORS had planned a Fall North American tour to build up buzz for the album and them to support it; but those plans have been put on hold because of pandemic. Hopefully, they’ll be able to reschedule those dates.

New Video: Siberian Post-Punk Outfit PLOHO Explores The Endless Battle Between Adults and Youngsters in New Visual for “Aughts”

Since their formation back in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio PLOHO have firmly established themselves as one of most prominent purveyors of a contemporary, new wave of Russian music. Inspired by late Soviet era acts like Kino and Joy Division, the Siberian act’s sound and approach evokes the bitter cold of their homeland.

Throughout their run together, PLOHO has managed to be very busy: they’ve released five albums, several EPs and over 10 singles, which they’ve supported with multiple tours across Europe with stops at over 40 cities. Building upon a growing profile, the band has made appearances at several prominent festivals including Боль in Russia, Kalabalik in Sweden, and Platforma in Lithuania. Naturally, all of that touring has helped the Russian post-punk trio develop a fanbase across Europe. They’ve also collaborated with Belarusian act Molchat Doma on 2019’s “Along the Edge of the Island.”

Artoffact Records released the Siberian trio’s fifth album, Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings) earlier this year. In the lead-up to the album’s release, I wrote about “Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”), a nostalgia-inducing, dance floor friendly bop featuring reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, a motorik groove and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with lyrics delivered in a seemingly ironically detached Russian.

The Russian post-punk trio just announced an extensive European and UK tour to support the new album. For my European and British friends, those tour dates will be below — as always. But in the meantime, the Siberian post punk outfit’s latest single “Нулевые” (in Cyrillic) or “Nulevyye” (in Latin)” off the new album continues a run of bracingly chilly 4AD Records-like post punk. Centered around frontman Victor Ujakov’s sonorous baritone, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, skittering four-on-the-floor, a relentless motoik groove and an enormous hook, “Nulevyye” is yet another dance floor friendly bop.

Directerd by Sergey Pavlov, the recently released video for “Nulevvye” explores a day and night on the town gone horribly wrong between two generations — an irresponsible, loud, n’er-do-well uncle and an awkward, teenaged nephew trying to find himself. You don’t have to understand Russian to see the disgust and loathing that the nephew has for his uncle. In fact, it’s obvious that the nephew sees his uncle as a horrible intrusion into his own life. There’s the expected battle of wills and the assertion of each other’s masculinity, but at points, there’s even begrudging understanding and acceptance with the nephew and his crew of friends hanging out with the uncle, drinking and goofing off. The chronology of the video is mind-bending but it ends with an a bizarre and unsettling act of violence.

“The problem of generations, the problems of fathers and children — this topic is familiar to everyone,” PLOHO’s frontman Victor Ujakov explains. “The endless pursuit of the passing of youth and the panicked fear of growing up. This is what our new music video is about.”

Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla— Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir (synths, vocals),  Margrét Rósa Dóru-Harrysdóttir (bass), and Laufey Soffía Þórsdóttir (vocals) — had a breakthrough year back in 2018: The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. Adding to a big year, Kælan Mikla played at that year’s Roadburn Festival. And they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s upcoming, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for an October 15, 2021 release through their longtime label home Artoffact RecordsUndir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s released singles:

  • Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”
  • Ósýnileg,” a dance floor friendly track centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves, rapid fire, four-on-the-floor beats and blood curdling screams in the background. Interestingly, the track manages to evoke strobe lit discos and howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena simultaneously.

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s third and latest single “Stormurinn” finds the trio crafting a decidedly cinematic take on their goth-inspired sound. While you’ll still hear the shimmering synth arpeggios, rapid fire four-on-the-floor, propulsive bass lines, motorik grooves and razor sharp hooks of its predecessors paired with the trio’s ethereal vocals. But unlike its predecessors, you’ll hear some gorgeous and fluttering flute floating over the brooding arrangement and howling winds — to help emphasize the song’s brooding atmospherics.

“Stormurinn’ means ‘The Storm’ in Icelandic. This song is about dancing around a bonfire on the beach on a stormy weather night charged with the power of wind and thunder,” the members of Kælan Mikla explain in press notes.

Album pre-order is available here: https://kaelanmikla.bandcamp.com

Reykjavik-based post-punk/industrial act and JOVM mainstays Kælan Mikla — Sólveig Matthildur,  Margrét Rósa, and Laufey Soffía — had a breakthrough year back in 2018: The Cure’s Robert Smith championed the Icelandic trio, and handpicked them to open for the legendary British act’s festival stops through the UK and US. Adding to a big year, Kælan Mikla played at that year’s Roadburn Festival. And they toured with King Dude. Interestingly enough, all of that happened before the release of their critically applauded  third album Nótt eftir nott. 

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum, the Reykjavik-based trio’s upcoming, Barði Jóhannsson-produced fourth album is slated for an October 15, 2021 release through their longtime label home Artoffact Records. Undir Köldum Norðumljósum reportedly sees the trio crafting lush and cinematic material centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals sung in their native Icelandic, spine-chilling background screams, relentless motorik grooves and programmed drums while pulling the listener into their unique world full of folklore, fairytales, magic, spells and mysticism. The album will also feature a guest spot from Alcest, who toured with the trio across the European Union before the pandemic.

So far I’ve written about “Sólstöður,” a brooding and cinematic track centered around droning and shimmering synths, nightmarish screams and an ethereal and gorgeous vocal melody. Sonically, “Sólstöður,” evokes horror soundtracks — especially those featuring witches and demons slinking out into the night to perform ancient rituals involving human or animal sacrifices. “’Sólstöður’ is an ode to the darkest night of the year, when witches summon winter spirits in the frozen vastness of Icelandic landscapes,” the members of the Icelandic trio explain in press notes. “The song represents the strength of unity, Kælan Mikla in its truest form, fueled by the power of harsh and raw nature.”

Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s second and latest single “Ósýnileg” originally premiered as part of Adult Swim’s Singles series. Continuing a run of remarkably cinematic singles, Ósýnileg” centered around shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, relentless motorik grooves and rapid-fire four-on-the-floor beats, blood-curdling screams and the trio’s equally ethereal vocals Undir Köldum Norðumljósum‘s latest single may be the most dance floor friendly of the singles released off the album so far — while evoking howling wintry winds and unexplained phenomena.

Formed in 2013, the Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia-based post-punk trio Ploho have firmly established themselves as one of the most prominent purveyors of a new wave of Russian music. Inspired by the aesthetic and sounds of late Soviet era of the 80s like Kino, as well as Joy Division, the band’s sound and approach also manages to reflect the icy chill of their homeland.

Since their formation, the Siberian band has been busy: they’ve released four albums, several EPs and over 10 singles, which they’ve supported with multiple tours across Europe with stops at over 40 cities. Building upon a growing profile, the band has made appearances at several prominent festivals including Боль in Russia, Kalabalik in Sweden, and Platforma in Lithuania. And as a result, the members of Ploho have slowly built up a fanbase in Europe and elsewhere. Building upon a growing profile, the band teamed up with Belarusian band Molchat Doma to collaborate on “Along the Edge of the Island” in 2019.

The rising Siberian act’s fifth album Фантомные Чувства (Phantom Feelings) is slated for February 5, 2021 release through Artoffact Records, the label home of acts like Bootblacks, ACTORS, and Kælan Mikla. The album’s latest single “Танцы в темноте (“Dancing in the Dark”)  is a perfect example of the band’s sound: shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, shimmering synth arpeggios, an angular and propulsive bass line, stuttering four-on-the-floor and rousingly anthemic hooks paired with ironically detached vocals sung in Russian. And while being a dance floor friendly bop, the song is imbued with the sort of nostalgia and melancholy that makes it sound as though it could have been released during 4AD Records‘ heyday.