HyperGear – Buzz

Music is a thing of beauty. Making expressions available through music is awesome. And preserving that certain raw feeling to your sound is what makes the new track of Milan based HyperGear outstanding.

The synth rock trio states that “Hypergear stands for the overwhelming and unstoppable development of techonology, way too fast for the human being to handle it” which is one of the points of chosing their band name a couple of years ago. Taking a closer look at tracks like today’s pick “Buzz”, but also on faster paced tracks like “I Am The Dead“, I’m feeling their intention. The distorted guitars alongside sometimes desperate sung vocals, and with added piano tracks and kind of outer-space synth effects, they are using electro elements with handmade analogue instruments, making the human/electro struggle feelable.
The mix of “Buzz” isn’t that great, but that is not intended anyway, I think. The raw cut and somewhat harsh recording underlines the seriousness and authenticity of the band’s sound. I guess having a clean mix without the multi-mic recording of the drums for instance would have taken away a ton of credibility of the track. I know, nowadays everybody is expecting a super clean compressed mix with the lastest plugins and brick wall limiting, but listen closely to this arrangement, guys. This mixing work alongside an very unconventional approach to the audience (for example, it stated “don’t listen to this band. you’ve been warned!” in the email sent to us) helps building a specific signature sound and unique look-and-feel. I wonder what those guys do live on stage to keep being unique.

To add things up, although the alternative rock sound of HyperGear might not fit in everybody’s music taste, it’s handmade, it’s unique, and done with passion and the courage to step outta line once in a while, be it with raw mixes, not very harmonic harmonies or sometimes even crazy chiptune ideas or something. Make sure to check out those other tracks available on Soundcloud, you’ll get my point very quickly.

Stonefeather – Castle (feat. Carmen and Camille)

What a sound. Handmade music. You just gotta love it.

This track took me back a couple of decades. The guys of Stonefeather are about classic rock, if not psychedelic rock or beyond. Sometimes alternative rock. Damn, it’s hard to put into one single genre. I heard another track of them before called “Electrify” which is all about this classic rock feeling you won’t hear from today’s chart musicians out there. (by the way, why is that?) That got me curious about what they are capable of, and so I listened to one of their newer tracks called “Castle” where they recreated exactly the essence of what they are about as a band.
Playing drums in a krautrock band I know a thing or two about this specific sound they are creating. The setting with bands like Stonefeather is quite basic, you have all the instruments you would expect in a band, but then there’s that… special ingredient. In the case of those guys it’s not one but many ingredients that make the sound recognizable as a “Stonefeather original”. Taking a closer look on “Castle”, I like that room reverb put into the vocal tracks, as well as the vintage feeling of the overall mix. But if you have a closer listen to the break half way through the song (which I’d like to call “Stonefeatherlude”) where you got this scenario of guitar layers alongside the haunting vocals of Carmen and Camille with minimal percussion effects, you can feel what I meant when saying that creating a signature sound is crucial to the effect a band has on the listener. I just love the mixture feel between “session” and “ready song” delivered with this track. This song could easily have gone on for like twenty minutes (like several bands in the past did), but even with 5:30 minutes those guys are making their point of what they are about.

For this track, they teamed up with the L.A. based twins Carmen and Camille who brought in their outstanding voices to give the track this haunting, desperate, nothing to loose attitude. They fit in there as if they were playing with the band all the time although they are doing other projects on their own. When two projects/bands melt like this when you just feel this certain connection between the musicians – from that point on they could as well do a track where they read a telephone book to you, all of what they do would just work out great. That’s mutual understanding. Girls and guys, it doesn’t get any better if you’re into that kind of sound.

Infinite feat. NJ – More of you

Back when I had curly hair, a girlish attitude and lots and lots of these glowing sticks (which were mandatory at any party I went to), songs like these we’re playing on a loop on my car stereo. So, listening to “More of you” hit me like Rednex was brought back to life today. (Yes, I DO know they are still active until today, but not like they used to be.)

The main music influence of the track created by Infinite is described as “Eurodance”. I always found that name of the genre not to be very accurate. First, because it’s not an european-only thing throughout the world, and second, it kind of gives a wrong “local” impression.
Anyway, let’s have a look on this track. With the beat and synth typical for that genre, “More of you” is a no-brainer for anyone up to a little happy dance tune. The female vocals sung by NJ suit the song very well and totally generate the feeling of being in 1995 all over again. The beat, of course, cannot compete with today’s dance music, but it doesn’t even try to. It’s just what we used to hear back then. Any attempt to reinvent the concept would have destroyed the song. All other elements of the song from synth line to backups to structure of the song is blending on spot, making it a solid track. There’s nothing I had to raise my eyebrow on.
Main negative aspect though is that the song is very short with only 2:07 running time, but that’s because it’s just the soundcloud version of it. You can buy the original version from Rewired (here). Also, flipping through my CD collection, I noticed there are lots of this songs from the good old times that aren’t much longer either.

So come on, boys and girls, grab yourself some of these glowing sticks (do they even produce them anymore? Damn, I’m getting old. 😉 ), turn up the volume and – thanks to Infinite – let’s love us some 90s for a while!

Que ft. Sarah – Paradise (Cover Version)

Attention, this goes to all of you classic ravers from the late 90’s. I’ve just stumbled upon one of these human beings that haven’t forgotten about the golden times back then…

Remember the late ’90s rave parties happening in germany? Those were the days. Really, I spent literally every weekend on one of those, dancing for hours although the music was pretty minimalistic for todays’ standards. But every time I hear something like those old Charly Lownoise-like tracks, I start dancing – or at least grooving – to the beat. And I assume there are lots of people like me, feeling the same about that kind of music, wishing it could be 1996 all over again.
Well, my prayers have been answered, there’s a DJ/producer out there going by the name of “Que” who managed to bring back the old times for 5 minutes and 12 seconds in his latest track.

Hailing from Durham, England, this producer understood the concept of not overdoing the track with too much effects or massive layered tracks. With the minimalistic but effective beat, mixed with hectic synth lines and, of course, the needed vocal chops plus a female vocal, he manages to revive the old times instantly. There’s not really any reinvention in the track, but it really hasn’t to be in my opinion. I like it exactly this way. Maybe the final mix could have been compressed a bit more to enhance the bass in it, but – as stated above – that also would have taken away the “vintage” element we all love. I guess my ears got used to fat main outs over the years.

Hopefully Wayne Quinn aka Que has more of tracks like these in his repertoire in the future. I highly recommend “Paradise” to all of you who once used to be ravers (and probably still are though married with children, going nuts late at night with the headphones on)! If you would excuse me now – I have some serious grooving to do! 🙂