Figure StudyMusic • Vinyl
Cold Wave • Dark Electro • Minimal • Synth Wave
Dark Entries Records
28/01/2014, Pascal VERLOOVE
“Figure Study creates a lush sound where haunting vocals echo over dark melodies that reflect an isolated and disintegrating world. Songs flux between dissonant dance numbers and more sparse, somber compositions, each carrying a sense of urgency and modernism.”
These words can be found on the website of Dark Entries Records to introduce Figure Study, the eponymous debut album of this new minimal synth male/female duo from New-York (they formed in 2009).
I wouldn’t obviously start this review quoting the band label, if it was not describing so well, in just a couple of words, what you should expect from this album. The album sleeve itself, which sometimes can be misleading, is here perfectly in line with the music : all white with stylized grey lines – are those stars ? snowflakes ? cracks on the ice ? Whatever, it’s just cold. So, play the record and feel the piercing cold even better.
Besides Bad Side, all other tracks are just composed of one word (Paralyzed, Maze, Divide, Rain) and they immediately call big impersonal cities to mind. It’s like wandering in a financial district at 3AM, on a Sunday night of January when it freezes. Spooky black buildings and no living soul around. No colors allowed, just loneliness and the wind.
What about the music then ? Just like those images. Dark, cold, synthetic, urban. But clear and crisp sequences and some dancing parts too. Oppressive and repetitive rhythms, disturbing vocals. All of this does not necessarily paint a pretty picture ? Unless you really like that style !
If you do, you’ll find this album extremely enjoyable, it may even recall some good moments of Front 242 [Geography], early OMD or, much more close to them in time, space and style, their NY neighbors Xeno & Oaklander.
So, nothing precisely brand new under the dark cold skies ? Maybe not, it’s even more like a trip back to 1980, but nonetheless a very promising and appealing debut album and it would be a shame to miss it if you’re into that kind of music.
Selected tracks : Wait / Maze / Interaction / Station / Rain.
• HANNIBAL SEASON 1
PAS DE DEUX • Brussels, AB (26/01/2014)
ATTRITION • Demonstro - 1982 - 85
RON HOWARD • Rush
MOLLY NILSSON • The Travels
EMOTIKON • Remixes
FIREMEN OF DEATH, XMH, IMPLANT, K-BEREIT & SYNTHETICA • Terra Gotha XXI, Vlissingen, The Netherlands, 25/01/2014
METSATÖLL • Tõrrede Kõhtudes (In the Bellies of Barrels) - Single
RONNY YU • Saving General Yang
STEREO SIN • Monochrom
Same genre: COLD WAVE
FAUST PROJECT • The Future Comes On Sleeping Pills
THE MIDNIGHT COMPUTERS • Anxious
HYSTÉRIE • Deuil
MANNEQUIN • From a distance
RINGFINGER • Pressure
DAGEIST • Sexy
MOONLIGHT MEADOW • Moonlight Meadow
NAIROD YARG • Nairod Yarg
THE DEVIL & THE UNIVERSE • Endgame 69:
MEAGER BENEFITS • Crawling
Same genre: DARK ELECTRO
PORTION CONTROL • SEED EP3
300 000VK • Peter Paradox
PYRROLINE • Struggling
WULF7 • Dark Hate
FIX8:SED8 • The Inevitable Relapse (Limited Edition)
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY • Mechanical Soul
IMPLANT • Phantom Pain
PLACEBO EFFECT • Shattered Souls
CAUSENATION • Promises of hope and fear
VARIOUS ARTISTS • Electrostorm vol. 9
Same genre: MINIMAL
ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL • A New Dawn
NICHOLAS LENS & NICK CAVE • L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S
MARTIN L. GORE • The Third Chimpanzee E.P.
STURM CAFE • Fernes Land
SYNTET • Hjärtats slag
RUE OBERKAMPF • Negativraum
CAWATANA • In The Silver Light (7')
COLIN EDWIN • POINTS OF ORIGIN
STAATSEINDE • Darüber Reden Wir Nicht
SHE HATES EMOTIONS • See The Light (Single)
Same genre: SYNTH WAVE
BLACK SNOW IN SUMMER • Lost Feelings
VIOLENT VICKIE • Blame
SHE HATES EMOTIONS • Melancholic Maniac
MORE EPHEMEROL • Obituary Templates
L'AVENIR • Requiem And Live
STAATSEINDE • Dreiheit
ENZO KREFT • Control
RADERKRAFT • Smart Control
VEIL OF LIGHT • Inflict
LUCKY AND LOVE • Transitions