New Music Review Activities of Daily Living
It’s always a pleasure to see the fervent and fresh blossom of new DIY labels and artists from all over the world.
Hailing from Narrm (Melbourne), Australia, Activities of Daily Living is a minimal darkwave duo.
Following the debut self-titled and self-released cassette, the new 4-track EP “Space”, features two original tracks plus two remixes (one by Papaphillia and one by Rebel Yell), through their own brand new, Narrm based, queer-feminist label Tender Collection.
Dealing with themes of invasion of privacy, the need for personal time, and removing toxicity from life the lead track alternates pulsing tense and claustrophobic bassline with ethereal, space-out swells of synths, obsessed by repetitive beats. A thoughtful use of minimal words with maximum impact, the heady, annoyed, angry Chloe goes through a list of things to remove from the existence. Sparsely echoed by Jonnine’s dull, detached voice to evoke a disturbing and unsettling sense of anxiety and angst.
A synth-wave number with a profound dark edge, “Septicemia” is driven by crackling tight beats swathed in icy ominous dramatic synth washes. Jonnine’s sharp and assertive voice commands and rids itself of a cancerous person, reverbed in the chorus by distinctive Chloe one. Banishing all hatred and disgust, breathing a final relief when the burning secrets are taken to the grave.
The remixes widen the EP’s sonic nuances, first an atmospheric, hypnotic rework, made of fractured rhythms, haunting drones and vocal samples, by fellow Brisbanian electronic experimentalist Fjorn Butler aka Papaphillia and then a claustrophobic industrial/techno remix, fuels by buzzing bass and hard-hitting rhythms, by Brisbane’s Grace Stevenson, aka Rebel Yell.
Through a minimalistic use of synths and drum machines the duo are able to craft cold and dark soundscapes of distorted and unsettle melodies, simultaneously gloomy and uplifting, conveying brooding emotional depth and defiant intensity.
Tender Collection label, run by Activities of Daily Living members Chloe and Jonnine, is moved by a mission to support, promote and distribute experimental, electronic and punk sounds from feminist and queer identifying artists. Coming up soon new releases from Horse Pills, Hextape and more.
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