La Fete Triste / The Harrow – Giant / Axis Split 7″ Review
La Fete Triste / The Harrow – Giant / Axis

A neat little snack for cold and dark wave lovers out there here! The 4th 7″ vinyl of the Berlin-based label aufnahme+wiedergabe, a split single featuring a+w staples La Fete Triste and The Harrow, might please your desire for new tunes featuring lovely stylistics such as round, clear bass, jangly guitars, drum machines, and soft and warm voices. Both bands, whose release history is rather short at this point – New Yorkers The Harrow released one album via Function Operate, La Fete Triste, who released a tape with covers of german punk classics and contributed some tracks to compilations so far -, present themselves as hopeful artists that are definitely worth being followed.

La Fete Triste, whose name gives a pretty good hint what it could sound like, present their song “Giant”, a warm-sounding track driven by laid-back, delayed guitars and a nod towards The Chameleons and Trisomie 21. The monotonous beat of the drum machine and a simple bass line is contrasted by the guitar attack in the chorus, giving a nod towards dream pop, most prominently, the criminally underestimated Lowlife. The vocals evoke a bleak and gloomy feeling, which underlined by the sometimes very german intonation of the lyrics. Some time has passed since Gabriel Brero, the musician behind the monicker La Fete Triste, has released material written by himself (2011, on a split single with Lebanon Hanover). “Giant” can easily be considered as the best La Fete Triste song so far, not only because the sound quality is better than ever. Whoever’s got a soft spot on Cold/Darkwave should be baffled by this shimmering gem. Hopefully it won’t take another three years until something new is released.

The Harrow put out a little more so far – as well as their members have quite big names in their portfolio. Frank Deserto was a part of e.g. Dream Affair and Frank (Just Frank), Greg Fasolino participated in Bell Hollow. Audibly, “Axis” has been made by experienced musicians who exactly know how to handle their machines. The track is more synthesizer-driven than “Giant” and more monotonous, but creates, especially because of Vanessa Irena’s amazing vocals, a hypnotic atmosphere which is hard to resist. Strongly influenced by electronic minimalists and bleak post-punk heroes, “Axis” is strangely motionless and unemotional, but touching. Everything seems to be in its place and not a single note seems to be too much and being set without a second thought. Being unknown until this release, The Harrow really amaze me. More of this, very soon, please!

So this split single offers two outstanding tracks which should be worth the price. As usual, you can listen to the tracks on bandcamp and check them out; they should be well worth the investigation for cold wave lovers. Anyway, who wants to buy this should hurry a little; as usual, the single is limited to 300 physical hand-numbered pieces, so be quick and get them!