I know it is difficult to avoid, so I’ll have to say it at the very beginning. I am incredibly happy that the fantastic voice of Linea Aspera, Zoé Zanias, has continued making music after Linea had finished; alongside Schwefelgelb’s Sid Lamar, Keluar was formed and a pretty ace 12″, called “Ennoea”, was released last year. Though as Keluar’s sound is more detail-oriented and more psychedelic than the sound of Linea Aspera, the message is still gloomy synth wave, the weapons are analogue synthesizers and Zoès solemn voice, and they’re very effective. “Ennoea” was pretty nice, somewhat psychedelic release with a nod towards Austra or Oppenheimer Analysis; the follow-up, “Vitreum”, marks a light shift in the band’s direction towards more straightforward sound. Coming on opaque white vinyl, “Vitreum” should be a good purchase for synth wave lovers.
What I noted in the first place, the more straightforward and danceable sound of “Vitreum”, comes from songs such as the title track. Driven by a vintage four-to-the-floor-beat, the synthies sound like a call from the grave of Linea Aspera. Something very similar applies to “Eremus”, with an neat, stomping EBM-like bass line and a straight beat. “Surface”, another track covering the dance side of Keluar, is the closest to a dance song they have generously offered so far. The psychedelic moments aren’t gone,
though. Tracks like “Threads”, featuring such nice elements like an older-than-oldschool synth melody, remind of their first release. Especially “Threads” creates great atmosphere, “Coralline”, a haunting track, is driven by amazing vocal performance.
Generally, Keluar move far beyond traditional song structures. The thick-as-a-brick analog sound makes a lot of use of nifty effects, modulations and detuning, making the songs sound close to monolithic. What I need to note as well is the pretty good production and the ace sound design. I am sitting here and hear this EP on studio headphones, and I have to state – One can hear that Keluar is a band of two well-experienced musicians that really know what they do, and the sound is vivid and audibly analog. This adds so much in my humble opinion; compared to what other bands at this stage of popularity release, this is way above average. So generally, if you are keen on way-over-average dark synth wave, you should definitely check out Keluar’s second release. The vinyl edition comes with a download code and a lyric sheet, so that’s value for money.