Are you ready for some minimal-synth…from space? Because that’s the description that comes to mind for the coldwave project Ortrotasce. The Portland based band uses a mixture of analog and digital sounds to create a bloopy soundscape that has a slightly different atmosphere on every release, but keeps a constant lo-fi and classic minimal-synth feel. The entire Phase Four album reminds me of the soundtrack of a sparsely populated space station!
My favourite release by Ortrotasce so far has been their Forgotten EP. It is a higher paced release than Phase Four, and fans of Martial Canterel, Automelodi and the like will probably really dig this sound. Darkly reverberating vocals and soaring synth lines are plentiful here – this is my recent go-to album for having people over or (in a more boring situation) fun cleaning music. I listened to one release and it didn’t really stick with me; many thanks to my friend Louis for poking me and getting me to listen to more of this great band!
You can find a TON of songs from Ortrotasce at their bandcamp here. Though it seems Nic Hamersly (who is, from what I can tell, the sole artist behind this band) started this project only early last year, it’s been quite an active project.
As is probably pretty obvious by now, I’m a big fan of post-punk, gothic rock and minimal-synth. Bands that sing in a language other than English (bonus points for gravelly deep vocals) also tend to capture my attention fairly quickly. Love love love dark songs with heavenly guitars and driving rhythms. So when a band is able to combine all of the above elements in a really fucking masterful way I get weak in the knees.
The debut album from the Turkish band She Past Away is post-punk bliss. Disjointed and broken guttural vocals help create a disoriented feeling that is kept in check with steady drum machine beats. The guitar work is dizzying and uplifting amidst the otherwise dark atmosphere of the songs. I’m going to stop here, but I can’t really single out any of the tracks on this album to recommend to you first – it’s an excellent release from beginning to end. Check out the beautiful/haunting video for Sanrı below!
Support this awesome band so we can hear more from them – She Past Away can be found on Soundcloud here, the hard copy of Belirdi Gece can be purchased here, and a digital copy of their album can be bought here.
Xeno & Oaklander’s live setup
It’s been a while! As I mentioned in my previous post, I had planned a trip to Portland last month which happened to coincide with Xeno & Oaklander playing a show there with Soft Metals. Soft Metals were super fun – just as bouncy and dancey as I was hoping for. It sounds like they’ve just relocated to Portland, so the west coast is in for a treat. As for X&O, they blew any expectations I had out of the water – their energy and live sound are unbelievable! They take their analog setup with them on the road, and it’s like being invited to a non-stop jam session. They definitely cast a spell, and watching Liz sing her heart out while dancing with the audience was a treat. Their show was so awesome that they’re the only band I can think of who I’d love to see a live album from – I hope I’ll be able to catch them again sometime on the west coast!