One thing undeniably true about Keluar: They’ve made their way to become quite big name within the synthwave genre within a short period of time. Since their beginnings early 2013 – two EPs and one compilation have been (physically) released so far – the Berlin based duo Zoè Zanias (Ex-Linea Aspera) and Sid Lamar (Schwefelgelb) gained a lot of popularity, well deserved – and since their great gig at Wave Gotik Treffen this year they’ve gained an immense amount of propulsion forward.
“Panguna“, their current release, which will be physically available tomorrow, features three new songs of the experimental synth wave greatness that amazed me since their 1st release. And not just me – Keluar raised the attention of Techno institution The Hacker, who remixed the title track “Panguna” (spoiler: Can’t talk, I’m dancing).
So what is so exactly new about “Panguna”? Well – Keluar did not exactly alter their direction. “Panguna” follows the path they’ve previously chosen with the release of their 2nd EP “Vitreum“, this time being more straightforward, more EBM directed without losing the experimental edge they’ve established from their very beginning on – sometimes heavily
reminiscent of Chris and Cosey/Carter Tutti Void, who became an institution themselves for lovers of synth wave with an experimental direction. Concluding: What you except is what you get – and you get it in high quality.
The opening track, “Instinct”, starts with Zoès drama-laden, solemn voice (I think I might get a hard punch in the stomach when I referred to her as a new female goth queen, thus I will kindly avoid saying that) and percussion before climaxing in a warm, haunting chorus. A great song, intelligently aranged and effectively produced. The title track, “Panguna”, aims for a harder, more danceable direction. A hard, arpeggiated bassline drives the song forward, contrasted by Zoès, again, eerie and solemn vocals, brilliantly expressing the dramatic – likely very personal – lyrics.
“Volition” doesn’t make an exception and follows up with high quality Synth Wave.
The highlight, though, is The Hacker’s re-work of “Panguna”. Giving the song a full-on techno direction, without losing the dark edge and more focused on the hypnotic drones that are subtly present in Keluar’s music, it surely aims more towards filling the dancefloor. Interestingly enough, it specifically refers to the highly interesting techno/wave blend that has been established recently in Berlin. This stands out as a remix -as it is still song-oriented and does not make it a completely new track, but keeps all the elements that made the exceptional original song as great as it was.
Ipso Facto, thus and therefore…You wanted it—you got it, in the usual high caliber quality we’ve come to expect for Sid and Zoè . What exactly differentiates Keluar from the ubiquitous legion of synth wave duos these days is their ability to actually write songs, arrange them with a clear and defined edge—building up a great amount of drama and atmosphere, alongside with the overall magnificent sound. The three songs stand for themselves and work perfectly fine isolated, and the excellent mix courtesy of The Hacker demonstrates one thing – even if you’re the god of remix, you can only do great things with already remarkable material. Chapeau, Keluar.
- Panguna (The Hacker Remix)