Shad Shadows - Minor Blues
Luca Bandini and Alessandra Gismondi's names might be well known to you thanks to their main project Schonwald. Under that name, the darkwave inspired duo has been releasing music since 2009 and have been featured on record labels such as Anywave, Manic Depression, and Hozac. However, in 2014 the duo decided to take on a new project called Shad Shadows based on their love for 80s/90s industrial music, film scores, as well as experimental electronic music. Same duo. Different sounds. In late 2015, Disko Obscura released their debut album under this name titled Minor Blues, and the synth based album is as witchy as it is bleak and dancey.
The heated witchy darkwave is brought upon by the first song 'Lisbon Decadence'. A wonky synth line backs the entire song and it's here where we receive both Bandini and Gismondi's stellar vocal work. Whenever a duet presents themselves, I normally find myself preferring one set of chords over the other. However, these two work in such a formidable fashion that I find myself praising both equally. At one time they sing as if they're half awake as if stuck in a dream yet conscious, and in another sense they come off as if they're invoking a ritual as witches. Their smooth, soft, yet dragged out style is to die for.
'Black Suite' shows off their experimental darkwave nature; sounds that belong in sci-fi/horror will ring out, and the atmospheric backgrounds will pleasure yourself. 'Minor Blues' is arguably the hottest song on the album (it even received the music video treatment) and continues the synth based darkwave. While the music itself is still gloomy and bleak, there is also a dance element present on the album; you'll want to rock and sway to this groove as if you're in a trance.
'Gimme Pain' starts off with a very ominous lead that lends itself to cinematic horror scores, but then dives into similar sounds we've already heard. 'Dreaming Over' is one of the brighter songs on the album with an upbeat rhythm and layered synths that take over the song on occasion. Again, horror film soundtracks come to mind as 'Down' plays through; if this was purely instrumental, I could see it being used in a neo-slasher.
'Big Dipper' was one of Shad Shadows more simplistic pieces on Minor Blues, emphasizing a foundation on experimental minimalism. 'Moan Rivers' invoked euro influences and is the most dance oriented song on the album. The entirety of 'Cosmic' rang out an eighties vibe mixed with terrific synths. 'Feather' picked up where 'Moan Rivers' left off with a faster paced but tangible track that fit well within the world Shad Shadows created on this record.
Minor Blues sounds like a mixture of ceremonies for evil events and yet a charming dream that will leave you blessed and well slept. Soul sucking but blissful beats will placate your body and mind and pass you into a different realm of light. Let this album breathe a little life into you.
May 12 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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