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Edition #39 • Portmonee, Perel, VHS Collection, beGun, Matthias Gusset

After last week’s post about Spotify’s questionable handling of their policies and misinformation, I thought a lot about my behaviour around music consumption. Unfortunately, I doubt that the company’s latest announcement regarding the issue will bring substantial change.

Also,  I learned about the $100 million investment by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek into a military company. This news slipped through my radar last November.

At the end of my post, I urged:

However, if you really want to support an artist in good conscience, buy tickets to their shows, buy merchandise, physical records, or at least a digital copy.

However, I never promoted links in Weekly5 to buy the featured songs. Therefore, I decided to change that in the most platform-agnostic way possible since there are very walled options both on Android and iOS devices.

So from now on, I will also add links to Bandcamp whenever a track is available there. Furthermore, I pledge to buy each song available myself since integrity is one of Weekly5’s core values. I will also buy the music when I actually have a free promotional download.

You can verify my commitment yourself on the Weekly5 Bandcamp profile.

And if you feel that with everything going on around Spotify, you don’t want to use their product anymore, here’s a helpful tool to easily export your songs and playlists onto another service.

So, about today’s selection. It transitions from a rough, violent sound to more pleasing, danceable tracks and finally arrives at wonderous ambient sonic experiences.

Best wishes,

Portmonee – Küss mich

A song about love that sounds like a threat? It’s no coincidence that Küss mich, the latest single release by Berlin-based Portmonee sounds so dangerous. The band explains:

In Germany, it still happens that people are beaten (half) to death because of their sexual orientation. In this song, we don't tell our own story, but that of a gay friend. We thought long and hard about whether we should do this, but it's too important not to.

Küss mich is a violent burst, chopping itself up over and over again. The bassline dominates the track’s foundation, supported by shattering drums, torn apart by aggressive, pushy delivery.

The sextett creates an unbearable tension; the pressure is constantly rising. Küss mich isn’t your everyday rock song; it painfully burns itself into your mind.

Perel – Real

It’s been about four years since I first encountered Perel. Back then, I discovered Alles, an astounding electronic track that feels more like post-punk than what you might expect by an artist of Berlin’s underground techno jungle.

Annegret Fiedler, aka Perel, escapes any attempt of definition. However, there’s still a unique sonic trademark to each of her tracks. Her latest single, Real, isn’t an exception and manages to split between a swirling synth melody and mysterious, sombre singing. And yes, like in Alles, the new track sounds reminiscent of the glimmery-gloomy 80s.

Never has questioning reality felt so breathless and addictive. Real’s deep bass vibrates through skin, flesh, and bones. It’s pure ecstasy.

VHS Collection – Survive

Before a concert in Werkk, Baden, I first heard VHS Collection’s The Black. And with its expansive soundscape and catchy chorus, the New York-based trio immediately grabbed my attention.

And sometimes, I simply cannot resist a good pop melody like VHS Collection’s new track, Survive. First, I was disappointed that the dreamy atmosphere demonstrated in The Black or So I Met Someone disappeared. Nevertheless, Survive’s slow and hymnic vibe has its charm.

With Survive, another taste of their upcoming record Night Drive, VHS Collection enter the territory of electronically enhanced pop-rock sound. So if Awolnation’s tracks like Sail or The Best and Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive or Thunder strike your chord, Survive might too.

beGun • Sound Earth Legacy – Nova

“We are a multidisciplinary team coming from the music industry, international cooperation, film and communications. Our mission is to mitigate climate change by giving voice to scientific projects through sound and music,” explains the team behind Sound Earth Legacy, a non-profit organisation.

One of their projects is Planetary Music, where artists worldwide mould natural soundscapes into songs. The Spanish producer beGun is one of them, diving into the depth of the oceans in his track Nova.

And Nova is a fantastic journey, with sonar-like stikes echoing in the deep, folky percussion and dancing strings adding colour to the ambient tune.

Matthias Gusset – Changes

Swiss artist Matthias Gusset is a musician with many facets. For example, he collaborates with Audio Dope in Kappa Mountain. But his major stride is minimalistic neo-classical compositions that invite the soul to calm down.

Changes is a short piece, beautiful and straightforward. Gusset leaves a lot of space for the tones to fade. At first, he only hits one note at a time, creating the melody by mere sequence, not by harmony.

Later, he adds the connection between notes, tapping more than one key simultaneously. The effect of this decision on Changes’ minimalistic is profound. It feels gigantic.

P.S. Remember Louis Dunford’s My Generation? Now, the British artist has released a beautiful piano version. I can definitely recommend it.