Posts Tagged ‘the Soft Moon’

Fuzz Club Eindhoven 2019: Kikagaku Moyo + The Soft Moon + Iceage e.a.

Fuzz Club, organised by the label of the same name in partnership with Eindhoven Psych Lab, in that city’s imperious Effenaar venue, is ostensibly a ‘psych fest’. It’s a little steelier than most, perhaps – there is more psychedelia of the skull-crushing, motoric and guitar-based variety than there are whacked-out interdimensional synth voyages – but psychedelia it remains.

In the wider world, psych is somewhat on the wane in 2018, having hit a soaring high four or five years ago. In Liverpool, the annual International Festival of Psychedelia – one of Europe’s largest – was the undisputed daddy of the Scouse music calendar, a cosmic celebration imbued with a sense of starry-eyed optimism, a friendliness and community spirit.

After last year’s Fuzz Club Eindhoven, and before our ears had even stopped ringing, The Fuzz Club promoters began working on round two. Today we’re unbelievably excited to share the first seventeen bands who are set to play at FCE19 – taking place once again at the Effenaar over August 23rd-24th. You can find the line-up as it stands as well as a link to early-bird tickets below.

So, topping the bill will be everyone’s favourite Japanese mavericks Kikagaku Moyo, who will be bringing their transcendental blend of minimalist psychedelia, Eastern folk and krautrock. Also joining them will be Iceage and their twisted post-punk drawl and The Soft Moon, whose pounding cocktail of industrial, EBM and darkwave will be shaking floors in the early hours.

On top that there will be The KVB’s icy synth-pop, the shadowy drone-rock of Tess Parks and shoegazing legends The Warlocks and The Telescopes. Plus further Japanese hypnosis courtesy of Minami Deutsch, synth-punk workouts from Rendez-Vous and droning garage-psych from Alan Vega proteges The Vacant Lots. Oakland cosmonauts Lumerians, Chilean heavyweights Vuelveteloca and South African noise-pop duo Medicine Boy. We’ll also be bringing back Berlin post-punk outfit The Underground Youth and Porto krautrockers 10 000 Russos.

Bands for 2019 + more to be announced
Kikagaku Moyo, The Soft Moon, Iceage, The KVB, Tess Parks, The Underground Youth, The Warlocks, The Telescopes, The Vacant Lots, Lumerians , Whispering Sons, Rendez-Vous, Iguana Death Cult, Minami Deutsch, 10 000 Russos, Medicine Boy en Vuelveteloca.

The Soft Moon Criminal review Album of the Week

The Soft Moon‘s career has been something of a slow reveal. The gradual evolution from Luis Vasquez’s humbler, dreamier darkwave origins into a fully blown post-punk doom machine is akin to watching an eerie fog dissipate,It turns out the seething monster inside The Soft Moon has only grown hungrier. Criminal, Vasquez’s fourth full-length, is the heaviest he’s ever sounded, a twitchy, tormented network of pretty hate machines. Each of its 10 tracks is built on punchy full-band arrangements, the once-subtle synth-grooves of the past now usurped by furious, mechanized drum patterns and gut-churning fuzz basslines. It still sounds like The Soft Moon, but a version of the band that sounds more dangerous and tortured than before, bolstered by some of the most direct and anguished lyrics of Vasquez’s career. “I’m learning about myself and it’s kind of freaky,” he said , reflecting on the darkness he channels. “I’m kind of messed up, you know?”

The idea of darkness leading to great art is an old cliché, but in Vasquez’s case, it’s one that sticks. He plays that darkness like an instrument, his manipulation of atmosphere and menace essentially virtuosic. The pounding rhythm of lead single “Burn” reflect a more corporeal, full-band sound for The Soft Moon, though the intensely—if seductively—unsettling ambiance remains. Vasquez chants “I can’t control myself” against a snakelike bassline that climbs and snaps back, always on the verge of breaking. Yet its chorus is one of the catchiest moments in The Soft Moon’s entire discography—a moment of tortured triumph that stacks up to vintage Nine Inch Nails. There’s a similarly wretched groove to “Choke,” its carbon-monoxide-poisoned bassline juxtaposed in perfect balance with its freak-funk industrial beat.

Deeper cuts only lead to deeper wounds. In the woozy psychedelia of “Give Something,” Vasquez hints at a potentially destructive codependency as he sings, ”I don’t want to lose my mind, that’s why I keep you so close.” It could be drugs he’s reaching for, or it could be sex, but there’s every reason to believe that it’s only a temporary salve. Over a robotic synth march on “Like A Father,” his patriarchal-directed rage festers: ”This hate is a problem… something’s got to give.” And when Vasquez gives a screeching reading of the title phrase in the driving goth rock of “Born Like This,” it sounds like a fatalistic acceptance that nurture can’t overcome one’s fucked-up nature.

Good vibes are in short supply on Criminal, and frankly they’d probably just get in the way. There’s no celebrating on Criminal, just gnashing and brooding, manifested in the form of some of The Soft Moon’s most urgent, intense material.

From ‘Criminal,’ out February 2nd, 2018 on Sacred Bones Records.

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FINAL line-up for Grauzone Festival 2018! Several amazing acts added a.o. The Soft Moon, Official: Lydia Lunch & Weasel Walter – Brutal Measures, Cocaine Piss, The Myrrors, Ulrika Spacekhackedepicciotto, Sally Dige, unit moebius & Volition Immanent, A unique line-up feat. more than 20 of the best and most exciting, cutting edge and classic acts incl several exclusive performances, a symposium, an exhibition, a movie, DJs, a pre party and more!
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Legendary industrial & electronic pioneers Cabaret Voltaire Official will perform a rare exclusive show at Grauzone Festival 2018. One of the most influential acts of the last 40 years, they paved the way for Depeche Mode, New Order, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and dance, techno, dub, etc. Now consisting of founder Richard H. Kirk, the show will feature -analog- machines, cassettes, multi-screen projections and new material which promises to be a unique experience

Cocaine Piss from Luik/Liège have been ripping up stages with their fast, effective, aggressive live shows. In no time these noise punks have become a cult band, and are even called ”the future of Belgian music”. Think of Bikini Kill, The Slits and riot grlll. Their album The Dancer (2016) was recorded by legend Steve Albini (pixies, nirvana). They will play Best Kept Secret Festival and other big fests later this year but this is your chance to see them in an intimate setting where they will surely blow you away!

Drab Majesty fantastic album ”The Demonstration” was chosen as post-punk album of the year 2017. They blend classic 80s New Wave, goth and early 4AD with a futuristic originality. This is one of the best new darkwave, gothic dreampop, shoegaze bands around and their only Dutch show. This is a must see!

Hypnotic, psychedelic, desert drone krautrock: The Myrrors from Arizona! Their 4th album Hasta La Victoria (2017) is a ”masterpiece” (said influential online magazine CVLT Nation) and their spacey live shows are a huge experience! ”The raddest psych band you will hear today” (cvlt nation).

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This is the third album by the post-punk/coldwave band that’s fronted by Luis Vasquez. He started the project in Oakland back in 2010. After his 2012 sophomore album, he said he was done with The Soft Moon. He moved to Italy and started spending a lot of time in the bustling Berlin music scene. He came out of “retirement” with this new record in March. It’s darker and colder than the other stuff, and I love it. You may need a flashlight, some climbing gear, and a rain jacket when you listen to this album, but it’s a really rewarding experience. Mr. Vasquez’s music is brilliant! New Wave or Post-Cyber Punk or whatever they call it, I find it genuinely expressive, creative, and immersive. One of the most excellent “contemporary gothic” acts nowadays.


Luis Vasquez never intended for The Soft Moon to reach the public’s ears; for him, music has always been about self­-actualization rather than self-aggrandizement. Nevertheless, the bleak, hushed sounds he created years ago in his small Oakland apartment bubbled to the surface and 2010 saw his debut LP, The Soft Moon, released on Captured Tracks rise to critical acclaim. Vasquez made “oblivion seems like an enticing prospect” and, indeed, listeners were immediately drawn into his murky musical wasteland, swathed in the moody atmospheres of jagged dark wave and wayfaring post­punk. For them, and for Vasquez, there was no turning back. The Total Decay EP and Zeros emerged soon after, and now Vasquez returns with The Soft Moon’s most introspective and focused album to date: Deeper.
Following live line­-up changes and a lull in the The Soft Moon’s constant touring schedule, the year 2013 found Luis Vasquez lost in the void. Though he fatalistically stated that 2012’s Zeros would be the last album where he was the sole songwriter, Vasquez realized that The Soft Moon has always been one man’s vision. Over time, it’s been the one place where Vasquez can express himself, totally and singularly, on his own terms.
Thus, in July of 2013, Vasquez decamped from Oakland, CA to Venice, Italy, unsure of where The Soft Moon would land. While Zeros was written and recorded between long days on the road, Deeper was begat from an almost primal urge to recoil from the world and experience total solitude. During the writing process, Vasquez pushed himself to discover the reality and nightmare of living with yourself, in entirely foreign surroundings with nothing and no one to fall back on. Stepping back and letting inspiration fall where it may, Vasquez only had one goal in mind for his third album: to pen his most emotional record yet. Between frequent visits to Berlin, Vasquez retreated to Venice’s Hate Studios, located in the mountains near electronic guru and spiritual anchor Giorgio Moroder’s hometown.
At Hate, he worked for almost a year with producer Maurizio Baggio to piece together Deeper, only completing the album in August 2014. While maintaining the stark sonic formula so indicative of The Soft Moon’s music — that bass that reeks of chorus, those unrelenting, mechanized beats, that wailing synthesizer and those eerily, angular guitar lines that worm into your ears and never leave — Baggio also worked to refine the album’s gothic palette, leaving Vasquez to concentrate more intensely on songwriting and singing than ever before:
“I’ve never worked so closely with someone before. Working with Maurizio felt right and I completely opened up to him during the entire process. I finally felt the urge to express myself more verbally with this record and I was able to focus more on songwriting rather than just experimenting with soundscapes.”
The voice of The Soft Moon has never been more clear and honest than it is on this record. With eerie, immersive tracks like the dogged “Far” and slow, beautifully melancholic “Wasting” (the first track written for Deeper), the album is a penetrating portrait of Vasquez as he wrestles thoughts of suicide, vulnerability and what it means to heal. By facing the most hopeless parts of himself without illusion and putting his past demons to bed, the creation of Deeper was an intense personal exploration of existence for Vasquez — old wounds were forcibly opened, deep anger and paranoia were manipulated into song — and he did not emerge unchanged. Deeper may have delivered Vasquez back to the waking world, but it willingly drags us further into The Soft Moon’s dark, euphonic universe once more.


DEEPER REMIXED VOL 1 and VOL 2 12″ will be released early 2016.


Psychedelic noise-monger Luis Vasquez has an ability to write songs that are hard to listen to, yet somehow beguiling. For his third album as The Soft Moon, Vasquez once again challenges listeners to feel his art, rather than simply consuming easy and pleasant compositions. There’s plenty to cower from or admire within Deeper—including, first and foremost, the ferocity of the LP’s electronic stamping. “Far” puts the sad in sadistic, as a melancholy guitar riff bobbles above a tumultuous tide of noise. There’s a desire for horror ballads as well, but nothing here has the satisfying impact of other “darkwave” bands, even with the slight cerebral moments of “Wasting,” like some walking meditation through a junkyard. It feels as though Vasquez is still honing his craft, and his latest full-length reflects that labored progress. If he can accentuate his emotional light and dark sides whilst remaining focused on the songs, he might produce magic.

a band formed by Luis Vasquez and a starter for the Soft Moon project initially started as a San Francisco neo post punk band, Luis then bought in bass player Justin Anastasi and drum machine programmer Damon Way,