Secretly Distributon

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-09-18
Gold Class: It's You

There are few voices of meaningful dissent left in rock music. Even fewer play with the savagery, subtlety and melody of Melbourne-based newcomers Gold Class. Gold Class formed quickly. Guitarist Evan James Purdey recruited fellow creative-writing students Mark Hewitt (drums) and Adam Curley (vocals) to elaborate on guitar ideas he’d recorded to a Dictaphone over the course of a summer. Jon Shub, who worked late-night bar shifts with Purdey and Curley and who builds and fixes guitars out of a workshop, made an instrument for himself and joined on bass.

Armed with only a handful of songs, Gold Class quickly drew heads to their live shows when they appeared mid-2014, just a couple of months after getting together. Characterised by attacking rhythms, bristling garage guitar lines and the deep vibrato of singer Adam Curley, the band were soon mixing art-space and basement gigs for their debut seven-inch, “Michael”. In the autumn of 2015, Gold Class recorded ten songs to tape. The result is the band’s debut album, It’s You. Political protest meets Australian kosmische; proud perversion rubs against lo-fi jangle, and outsider longings become rallying choruses as Gold Class play out the push-and-pull of their first album’s title.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-08-21
Sextile: A Thousand Hands

Initially living in Brooklyn, guitarist/vocalist Brady Keehn and drummer/vocalist Melissa Scaduto made a jump to Los Angeles on a whim as the financial climate in New York became too much. Within months of being in LA, the two conveniently met bassist Kenny Elkin and guitarist/keyboardist Eddie Wuebben. Occultism, specifically a deeper understanding of astrology, was a connection amongst the band, hence the name Sextile, an astrological term that relates to harmony and the ease of expression of two seemingly different elements.

With urgency, the band quickly completed A Thousand Hands, a primitive form of rock n roll, melding surf punk, early industrial, ambient and post-punk. The album title is inspired by a form of spirit channeling that Wuebben was experimenting with one night. After doing open eye meditation for a long period of time, he observed thousands of hands reaching down towards him, violently in an extremely frightening, simultaneously exciting manor. The experience left such an impression on the band, it became the first track on the album as well the album title.

Still, whilst Sextile's journey on A Thousand Hands' has undoubted moments of bleakness & catharsis, the band express their will to live, to confront their demons and forge on in search of better days, making for a captivating & spellbinding listen upon the way.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-03-03
Au.Ra: Jane's Lament

Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, are set to release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like "Sun," and "Pyramid" emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation.

Au.Ra's "emotive soundscapes" perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight "Morning," where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a serene, meditative realm. Their repetitive lyrics belie this easy transcendence, sometimes even verging on incantation. These songs evoke a languid drive along a bending highway in autumn, the scenery and light shifting ever so slowly out the windows. As the sun sets earlier, this is an album to savor with the dying light.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-02-03
Nite Fields: Depersonalisation

Like the chorus on "Come Down" that makes the downward trajectory sound ornate and beautiful, the debut LP, Depersonalisation, from Nite Fields is sparse and cold yet inviting and intimate at the same time.

The results are rich with character-full sounds. Deftly crafted and sonically diverse, within the nine tracks you'll find noisy percussion, jangly guitars, potent bass and hypnotic synthesizers, all polished with producer Nigel Yang's (of HTRK fame) signature electronic sheen.

Poetic and personal, you need only to listen to the record's lyrics and atmosphere to understand where the title Depersonalisation comes from. Recurring themes include disassociation of reality and dissipation of love, with Venzin's understated and at times unsettling vocal delivery almost as hard to forget as the album's unique mood.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-10-28
Mysteries: New Age Music Is Here

Mysteries is just as it implies. A few months ago the felte label received an anonymous demo accompanied by a photo of 3 figures, faces covered like some sort of futuristic druids. To this day the label still doesn't know the group's origin, but the joy of discovering this music unimpeded renders this fact almost irrelevant.

There's a sense that the band would prefer to keep your focus on the music and not who they are, where they come from or what you might perceive them to be before hearing a single note. If you need glorious mug shots and preamble to capture your intrigue, then this is not for you. The album's title, New Age Music is Here, could even be a sarcastic shot at the new listening habits dictated by the constant noise all around us, but is more likely a simple invitation to engage with the music on its own terms, in its own universe.

One thing is certain, New Age Music Is Here glows with exotic, crunchy, muscular, expressive pop music built around vocals and drums, rather than the big synth or guitar riffs prevalent today. Almost like a psych-rock, cyborg, 50's doo-wop Alice Coltrane if you will. Is it truly new age? We definitely haven't heard much like it.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-09-30
Ritual Howls: Turkish Leather

Detroit three piece Ritual Howls new album tells stories fit for Poe or Lovecraft. On their debut full length for felte, titled Turkish Leather, they incorporate a variety of styles into an ominously self-assured statement of intent, Ben Saginaw and Chris Samuels' sounds providing an imposing form for Paul Bancell's darkly alive lyrics to inhabit. Their influences range from English post-punk to Nick Cave to the industrial sounds of Skinny Puppy, and the band melds them expertly. Combining field recordings with electronics, this music is sound design turned pop.

Many tracks here feel cinematic - whether it's the industrial clanging of "A Taste of You," which brings to mind a Lynchian bar scene, or the gothy synths of "Take Me Up," a slow burning track that escalates into full on melodrama. It's easy to imagine these twangy guitar lines gracing a scene in a Jarmusch film: their aesthetic owes as much to Tom Waits as it does Ennio Moriccone.

Ritual Howls manages to take all these influences and come out sounding uniquely morbid, raw and unyielding - never derivative. It's a record that holds nothing back: the band announcing themselves to the world with all of the confidence of long time professionals. Their future audience will greet them with enthusiasm.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-06-24
White Hex: Gold Nights

Female/male duo White Hex released their debut album Heat in 2012. 2014 sees their return with the follow up full-length, Gold Nights. The album is the second in a series of three thematically connected records which is based on a period of three years. Recorded after shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Melbourne, Gold Nights explores Italo disco, minimalist techno and the more primitive end of 1980's German underground. They embrace their love of high fashion, 1980's New York vogue techno and the mutant explorations of Whitehouse, Arthur Russell, Craig Leon and Gianni Rossi. Gold Nights retains certain elements of their beloved debut, but moves in a more sophisticated direction as a result of White Hex's vision and with the help of producer Alex Akers (Forces-Siberia Records). White Hex is Tara Green and Jimi Kritzler. Gold Nights will be released on Felte worldwide excluding Australia on June 10th, 2014.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-03-04
Lushes: What Am I Doing

Lushes are a band born of tensions - between art and math, order and chaos, planning and chance. You can hear it in their songs - taut, twitching art-punk that balance anxiety and elation, often within the space of a few bars. Album opener "Harsh" glides along slowly, feeling like a moody and measured art-rock meditation until you zero in on the words in the chorus: "Harsh on my ears, that's the way I like it." This is push-pull music, songs that temper the jagged fitfulness of groups like June of 44 and Slint with the soft-focus sweetness and open-ended song structures of The Sea & Cake and The Notwist.

That moods so diametrically opposed can peacefully coexist is part of Lushes mystery and allure. That duality extends to the group's background. and musical backgrounds were different: James grew up on bands like Nirvana, Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi. Joel was formally trained, loving classical music but almost completely oblivious to rock and pop. The fusion of their disparate influences is what animates Lushes - the anarchy of punk and hardcore colliding with the precision of classical to create music that is marvelously ordered while still feeling seconds away from detonation. That tension pulses throughout What Am I Doing, the group's warring influences making for music that feels brittle and vital.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2014-02-04
The Tower of Light: The Tower of Light

Beaming its sleep-walking sound from a bedroom in Brooklyn, The Tower of Light deals in the marriage of polarities on his self-titled debut album. At once delicate and severe, ecstatic then pensive, both sparse and lush, it follows a road that was paved by the early days of 4AD and its strange, beautiful diversity, while making unexpected stylistic detours as it winds its way through the ether.

Though the general mood is hypnotic and arresting in equal measure and the sonic details reveal no allegiance to any genre in particular, one consistent thread is the pairing of thoughtful melodic/harmonic counterpoints against tense, elaborate atmospherics. Imagine a catchy pop song being hijacked, slowed to a narcotic pitch, its words turned to surrealist poetry, then all of it wrapped in a warm blanket of drone. It's these juxtapositions that consistently reveal the project's center of gravity. "Carrier" begins as a bittersweet lament; harmonies compound until a small chorus is pining an unnamed loss, when suddenly things turn eerie; booming drums, lilting swells of unrecognizable instrumentation, panicked breaths and an atonal breakdown later, the mood is very different- more sensual, definitely more ominous- what was lost now seems buried on purpose. The monomaniacal "New God" obsesses simply and cyclically over a strange yearning in a cold, empty place but steadily accumulates mass and ferocity until it transmutes altogether into a hot, pummeling fury that fans of Swans may find familiar. Comparatively, "Honey Resist" shimmers behind an opaque haze of rising melodies which careen into one another, intertwining sweetly, refocusing the listener on the light as opposed to the end of the tunnel. "Lightnet" feels sinister, it drives manic and white-knuckled toward whats seems will be an unavoidably violent climax only to pause, take a deep breath, and soar into space instead.

Relentlessly unpredictable and effortlessly genre-defying, The Tower of Light can be difficult to pin down. And while some may read the aesthetics as more black-hole than shining sun, this is music that feels very aware that both are just different states in the same life cycle.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-11-12
ERAAS: Initiation

The music of Brooklyn duo ERAAS creates an entirely self-contained world – an illusory, mysterious, at times supernatural realm that conjures a sense of suspense while being seductive. From the brief dialogue that precedes the pummeling beats of opener "Looking Glass" to the closing hiss and crackle of the title track, Initiation represents a coming of age for the band. For anyone who’s heard their 2012 self-titled debut album, Initiation is the culmination of the different themes explored there, honed, refined, pushed further and fashioned into its own unique world; a weird and alluring junction of ghostly atmospheres, punishing percussion, spectral vocals, phonography and sound design, all interwoven into a captivating atmosphere that is distinctively ERAAS' own.

With Initiation, the band seem to be looking for a sign of hope within the emptiness that surrounds them, trying to make amends with those in their lives, but not quite sure how to. A struggle we can all identify with. Listening to this record feels like a journey of sorts — faceless intruders, dreams of non-existent lovers, ghosts in the doorway, immortality, betrayal, and revenge –– trying to make sense of it all.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-11-12
Soviet Soviet: Fate

Post-punk leaning trio Soviet Soviet were born in 2008 on the Adriatic coast of Pesaro, Italy by Alessandro Costantini (vocalist/guitarist), Andrea Giometti (lead vocalist/bassist) and Alessandro Ferri (drums). For the past year, the trio have converted that immediacy from the stage into a proper studio, honing and fine tuning the production on their debut album, Fate.

Fate continues the path of past releases, but with a tighter ferocity and sense of confidence in their unique sound within the post-punk genre. The guitar has more bite, the bass glows with a deeper tone and the drums are as steady and punchy as ever. While post-punk is the easy descriptor, Soviet Soviet's lens of the genre is much wider, grabbing from coldwave, art punk and more, figuring out a way to make something fresh

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-08-20
Flaamingos: Flaamingos

Flaamingos were formed in Los Angeles by Jerry Narrows (vocals, drum programming) and Daniel Koontz (guitar, bass, synth). The two played together in psych and shoegaze bands as youngsters then parted ways for a time. After bumping into one another at an Echo Park party spot in 2011, they decided to try collaborating again, this time crafting a new sound that would include traces of their past psych/shoegaze inclinations as well as a newer-found love for krautrock, post-punk, synth pop and new romantic shimmer. LA’s infamous Part Time Punks night took notice and the band have spent many a nights there performing and crafting what is their self-titled debut album which is due to be released worldwide in Summer 2013 via felte.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-06-11
PVT: Vertigo

Last we heard of Australian three-piece PVT, they were exploring the outer reaches of electronic rock with their 2010 album Church With No Magic. The Australian trio have made a distinguished career out of making genre-bending guitar music, carving themselves a reputation as sonic innovators, and in 2008 becoming the first band from their homeland to sign to iconic UK label Warp. All of which makes their new album Homosapien — their fourth studio album and Felte debut — a startling listening.

"Vertigo" is a standout track from said album. The initial synth line appears in slow-mo and is then smoothed out with a bassline which pulls you in from the beginning and never lets go. Techno producer Luke Abbott takes a hold of this synth sound and takes these ideas and stretches them out with great patience over several minutes without it ever losing its momentum or focus. Beat constructionist Lukid creates a tumbling beat and pitches up the vocals while Hype Williams re-imagine the track entirely, casting it as the backdrop to a new set of vocals and movie sample snippets. Van Vizintin creates a moody, electronic recreation of the original.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-05-14
Standish/Carlyon: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes is the debut album by futurist dub pop duo Standish/Carlyon, comprised of bassist/vocalist Conrad Standish and guitarist Tom Carlyon, both formerly of noir rock group Devastations. Deleted Scenes continues the process begun on the final Devastations album Yes, U, moving away from full-band arrangements towards submerged electronic rhythms and late-night altered states. The atmosphere throughout is one of surreal chic. In rich baritone or impressive falsetto, Standish intones dark, absurdist lyrics over the band’s shimmering take on dub, a sensual, ultramodern gloss disturbed by deep vibrations.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-02-19
PVT: Homosapien

Last we heard of Australian three-piece PVT, they were exploring the outer reaches of electronic rock with their 2010 album Church With No Magic. The Australian trio have made a distinguished career out of making genre-bending guitar music, carving themselves a reputation as sonic innovators. All of which made their new album Homosapien — their fourth studio album and Felte debut — a startling listening. The difference is apparent from the instant you hit play on Homosapien: Richard Pike is singing. PVT's records have featured vocals in the past of course, but this is the first release that's placed Pike front and centre as a bona fide frontman. The change provides his band's sound with a focal point that allows Homosapien to be more open, more intimate and yet also more direct than its predecessors. This is the document of a band as close as ever to defining ‘their sound’: a seamless collage of instruments, electronics, old keyboards and machines, and Pike's voice.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2013-02-19
PVT: Homosapien

Last we heard of Australian three-piece PVT, they were exploring the outer reaches of electronic rock with their 2010 album Church With No Magic. The Australian trio have made a distinguished career out of making genre-bending guitar music, carving themselves a reputation as sonic innovators. All of which made their new album Homosapien — their fourth studio album and Felte debut — a startling listening. The difference is apparent from the instant you hit play on Homosapien: Richard Pike is singing. PVT's records have featured vocals in the past of course, but this is the first release that's placed Pike front and centre as a bona fide frontman. The change provides his band's sound with a focal point that allows Homosapien to be more open, more intimate and yet also more direct than its predecessors. This is the document of a band as close as ever to defining ‘their sound’: a seamless collage of instruments, electronics, old keyboards and machines, and Pike's voice.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2012-10-02
ERAAS: ERAAS

This sense of creating art that can spirit you away somewhere else entirely is something that most definitely also informs the self-titled debut album from Brooklyn-based band ERAAS. In 2011, the band's founding members, Robert Toher and Austin Stawiarz, both ex-members of New England-based project Apse, were gravitating more towards ritualistic and darker themes not fully explored in their previous incarnation. In searching for a place to translate this mood to record, the duo settled on a rambling, atmospheric mansion in Western Massachusetts outside of Northampton. ERAAS decided to retreat to an area steeped in history and its own distinct atmosphere — all deserted hill towns and melancholy beauty — to make this record. The decision paid rich creative dividends — this is an album that's heavy with both an ominous mood and a certain orchestral grandeur.