The eponymous debut album by HAMMERSHØI was certainly one of the most interesting and intriguing from 2020, a typical case of retrospective concern for having missed, ‘who knows why?’, the final summary of my yearly favourites, but alas, I was just thinking the same thing yesterday about Iamnoone, the main reason that makes any kind of ‘best of’ list compiled by myself a sort of tortured path with plenty of regrets.
Rouen-based electro synth-punk duo Anne & Ben from Normandy, create music born from confinement made purely with a minimal hardware-based setup without any computer.
A cold and minimal, highly danceable synth-laden sound, equally algid and disturbing, swaying between angularity and murky charm, which seems to stem straight from Berlin, such is the relentless wintry and stark expressionist alienation that emerges from the tense and hypnotic soundscapes that dances between steely, martial industrial rhythmic clangs and disruptive bassline drive, dim moody post-punk recesses and foreboding swirly synthwave glows, combined with the shadowy tantalizing somber elegance and sinuous timeless aloof melancholy, typically Francophone, of groups such as Peine Perdue, Essaie Pas, without forgetting the always too underrated Mode In Gliany, conveying in powerful, equal part haunting and sensual vocalizations, shrouded in enigmatic yet uncompromising suggestions of escapism and introspection.
The band is going to release their sophomore album “Cathédrales” on March 26, 2021, ltd. CD /Vinyl 12″ LP & Digital, via Swiss Dark Nights.
“Hammershøi assassiné”, one of the 3 previews from the LP, triggers menacing rumbling EBM-infused bassline oscillations that warble ceaselessly through skipping, lashing beats, scattered by crispy clanging and banging, whilst gleaming synth frenzy, flashes and swirls with alarming penetrating urgency over atmospheric dual vocals in a powerful juxtaposition of sensual and breathy female teases with urgent, anxious male defiance, layering secret desires and edgy echoes into an esoteric interplay of allure and danger.
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