New and Recommended: Sci-Fi Sky by Lebanon Hanover

The Last Thing is one of Lebanon Hanover’s best songs yet—an arresting and sorrowful dirge, it is a song that evokes the ray of hope that lingers after Pandora’s Box has opened. And this is undoubtedly the feeling permeating the still air of silent cities and towns worldwide where human beings have never before been further apart. 

The song features the most haunting vocals from Larissa Iceglass to date, like a warm exhalation of light under the veil of seemingly perpetual darkness, standing toe to toe with the passionate work of luminaries such as Marianne Faithfull, and Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico herself. 

“In these morbid times once it’s over it is over. 
Looking back at your life there is basically nothing that counted more than love.” 

Living On The Edge, is a strong opener, with vocals helmed by Larissa, is a sighing electronic music track, with buzzing guitars droning in the distance, and the clever blue allusion instilled in the witty lyric: “Monday Morning, listening to The Cure”. 

Golden Child is playful yet haunting nursery rhyme recounted by William Maybelline, that is both complex in its production and driven by that classic kind of Lebanon Hanover bassline. 

Garden Gnome opens with caustic guitars that vacillate between echo-laden strumming. The song is both beautiful, jarring, idyllic, and bitter. 

Digital Ocean features a melody that would be at home on early Cocteau Twins records, counterbalanced by Maybelline’s baleful growl. 

Angel Face is an acoustic guitar piece that is almost neofolk in compositions, highlighting the genre-spanning dynamic range across the album, and some of Maybelline’s best crooning vocals. 

Hard Drug once again tapes into that early sound championed by Ivo Watts Russell, with folky acoustic elements led by Larissa’s resonate voice guiding the way through the rueful melody. 

Third Eye In Shanghai is an unsettling track whose Gothic Rock guitar riff whose detuning evokes Eastern Ritualism, with dual vocals shared between Larrisa and William that overlaying distorted buzzing, and humming sounds reminiscent of Mongolian throat singing. 

Your Pure Soul is a slow cinematic journey along the pews and corridors of the religious subconscious. Led by Larrisa’s mesmerizing vocals, this creates a sonic palette of such a caliber, as only been previously explored through the early work of Dead Can Dance. 

Come Kali Come, invoking the Cheif Shakti, divine mother, and destroyer of evil in Vedic mythology, is a perfect closer for Lebanon Hanover’s most experimental album to date. The song’s bubbly theremin sounds quivering like radio interference over sitar-esque strumming, with the sinister whisper of the song’s title and refrain giving way to William Maybelline’s bellowing croon. 

Spanning an epic journey across ten tracks that wander through industrial landscapes, and ascend beyond the atmospheric aether, Sci-Fi Sky is Lebanon Hanover’s most cohesive artistic statement to date. With their icy hearts on their sleeves, this is the culmination of a decade’s worth of musical creativity radiating from the minds of both Iceglass and Maybelline, and altogether an otherworldly beacon of hope in a time of sheer darkness.  

released October 20, 2020

New and Recommended: Change by Anika

When asked to describe the circumstances that influenced her beautifully fraught new work, Berlin-based musician Annika Henderson—better known simply as Anika—quickly articulates a set of feelings and unpredictable circumstances that are familiar to anyone who tried to make art—or simply tried to live through—the recent global pandemic. “It’s a moment caught in time,” she says of Change, her much-anticipated new record. Given that it has been 11 years since the release of her last solo album, 2010 cult-favorite Anika, the artist suddenly found herself with a lot to say. “This album had been planned for a little while and the circumstances of its inception were quite different to what had been expected. This colored the album quite significantly. The lyrics were all written there on the spot. It’s a vomit of emotions, anxieties, empowerment, and of thoughts like—How can this go on? How can we go on?” 

Having worked collaboratively in the past with the likes of BEAK> and Mexico City’s Exploded View, Change was ultimately the product of necessity. “After recording the initial ideas alone at Klangbild studios in Berlin, a few months later and by some stroke of luck, Mr. Martin Thulin of Exploded View, managed to make his way over from Mexico, to co-produce the album with me and play some…  more

released July 23, 2021

Cornelius

PHOTO BY MASAYOSHI SUKITA

Born 27 January 1969, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan

Currently Meguro, Tokyo, Japan

Member of Flipper’s GuitarLollipop SonicStanding Earth & Touching Air

Also Known As Cornelius

Point (Remaster)
by Cornelius

Cornelius is not a man. Nor, for that matter, is he an ape (though the name comes from Planet of the Apes). Cornelius is a musical group founded by Oyamada Keigo (小山田圭吾) in the early 90s after his Shibuya-kei duo with Ozawa Kenji, Flipper’s Guitar, split up. Suddenly a solo act, Oyamada spent the next five or so years crafting his persona and honing his production skills, a sabbatical ultimately culminating in what made it all worth the wait—the music.

1997 saw Cornelius break into various European and American indie scenes with the infectious Fantasma (Matador Records, 1997), a melodic blending of traditional and esoteric poprock elements alongside sounds of nature wrapped candylike around backdrops of digital wash. I remember driving down Venice Boulevard toward the beach when my friend first put it in the CD player, mentioning something about “addictive…” In the strange part of my mind which catalogues beauty, I’m still on Venice Blvd, heading toward the beach, listening to “Chapter 8: Seashore and Horizon.” I’ve never turned back.

This Is Cornelius – Interview with Oyamada Keigo

Fantasma (Remastered)
by Cornelius