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Avant Garde

Nausea, The Earth And Me
Review + Stream

Over the past few years, one-man synth mastermind Wes Eisold has traversed virtually the entire spectrum of dark electronic music – beginning with bedroom recording experiments under the formative Ye Old Maids moniker, which then evolved into Cold Cave, through which he was experimented with harsh power electronics and industrial noise (on the Cremations collection), minimal dance pop (on debut album proper Love Comes Close), and even full blown arena-ready new wave (on the project’s first professional studio/full band realisation Cherish The Light Years). In the process, he worked with a range of different record labels including sometime collaborator and Prurient godfather Dominick Fernow’s Hospital Productions, indie rock giants Matador Records, and his own recording/publishing venture Heartworm Press. Since the somewhat climactic Cherish The Light Years, which looked set to push Cold Cave into considerably larger venues and audiences, Eisold has returned to his bedroom roots and weirder tendencies, releasing a string of stripped-down singles through his own label and old band American Nightmare’s hardcore home Deathwish Inc. Over the course of these singles – A Little Death To Laugh, Oceans With No End, God Made The World and Black Boots – Eisold has returned to the minimal synth/drum machine/laptop set-up and dark dance pop of Love Comes Close, whilst maintaining the harder rocking tendencies and confidence of his bigger material.






















On this latest self-released single, Nausea, The Earth And Me, Eisold maintains the backwards-as-forwards movement with a set of recordings that touch on the harsh experimentation of his earliest Cremations material by pushing into some of his weirdest, heaviest territory yet. He’s still working with the same minimal set up as the last few releases, but this is far from the New Order-style electronics and Jesus and Mary Chain-esque pop those songs flirted with.

Nausea, The Earth And Me begins with a discordant melody and some truly otherworldly synth tones that sound straight out of an eighties sci-fi score. The drums and vocals too sound alien and sinister, absolutely drenched in murky reverb and echo. There is actually a dance song hidden somewhere in this track, it’s just buried under so much other stuff you’d be forgiven for missing it on first or fourth listens. Imagine a night club raging in the post-apocalyptic wasteland glimpsed in the future war scenes of the first Terminator movie, dance music barely discernible amidst all the industrial noise and robot warfare. These tracks definitely don’t have the same immediacy as past recordings, which, while somber, were also undeniably poppy and melodic, but on repeat listens these prove just as catchy and inescapable, and even more rewarding as new elements crawl out of the robotic murk on each successive visit. This music is definitely dark, but not in the overtly harsh manner of some of Cold Cave’s earliest recordings or like synth bashing contemporaries Prurient, Cut Hands and Youth Code. Think more the subdued, low-key but just as poisonous style of electronic pioneers Throbbing Gristle’s classic 20 Jazz Funk Greats and Suicide’s earliest recordings. These songs will worm their way into your head and eat you from the inside.

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