Saturday, September 13, 2014

Xeno & Oaklander - Vigils

A minimal wave outlet stationed in New York and have been following closely since I listened to this release. I personally think their music has gone downhill since this release, but they're doing what they love and I cannot hate on that.

I remember first hearing this album on my computer while napping and this album sucked me into the void of this genre.

I was lucky to see the duo play in a dark club in Austin at Chaos in Tejas full of bass and fog. Although They didn't play my favorite songs, it nabbed this LP and the last shirt (that happens to me more often than not).

Having this record for two years now, I feel its time I review it.

The LP comes on a maroon sleeve with insert that has lyrics on one side and a gorgeous picture of the two walking down some steps. Everything about the package looks nice (and expensive).

Both sides have 4 tracks each.

Side A starts with "An Introduction" which is what sold me on the act from the start. Spooky synths with tight snare beats.  Seans McBride (Martial Canterel) does vocals on this track.

"Départ" is the next track and sang by Liz Wendelbo and is very fast paced and minimal.  Most of the lyrics sang by her are not in english which adds a nice touch to the overall album that brings the listener to the 80s french coldwave days whether you experienced it personally or not.

"Zurück" as you may have guess is not in english. A more steady-paced track full of synth and icy drums behind a woman's voice enshrouded in reverb.

"Blue Flower" is X & E's more popular song with great reason. The track starts with great reason. Electronic drums start the track, then synths that submerge the listener under water. The song is very beautiful and desperate. Sang in english and whispering "the stranger".

Side B picks up the pace with another popular track from the duo called "Non Senti". This track is techno lovers dream. Very danceable and creepy. I remember this track beating the life out of me. A definite minimal assault.

The title track "Vigils" is one of my favorite tracks on this record. Maybe its because I am a sucker for female vocals. He listener can hear the extent of her vocal capabilities on this one. The singing meshes perfectly with the compositions if synths and drums. Very simplistic and short the way I love it.

"Two Eyes" has Sean back on vocals but the lyrics are missing from the insert. Oh well. This track is very cold nonetheless. Very lo-fi and dark.

"Ransack" is a track I do not remember ever listening to in the past. A very unconventional track apparently recorded two years before most of these songs. High end synths with Liz on vocals. Sounds like something coming out of an NES game drenched in reverb.

The cd version has my favorite song of theirs (frostbite) but you guys can check that out yourselves.

I enjoy this release as this album is the closest thing to Asylum Party (all time favorite band) I can find that is actively around. I enjoy this record out of their discography because of the lo-fi production. Everything else is much too poppy and upbeat for me. This is a very depressing record.

Recommend to every sad lad/lass out there.

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