Genre/Influences: Dark-pop, shoegaze, minimal-electro, EBM.
Background/Info: Alexander Leonard Donat is a Berlin based artist who’s involved with numerous and very different projects while he’s also running the label Blackjack Illuminist Records. This release is featuring two EP’s simply entitled “8” and “9”. Both releases together can be seen as an album featuring 10 tracks.
Content: “IIIIIIII” (“8”) is moving from shoegaze to vintage electronics, but the most fascinating aspect of the work is that it sounds like electronic-shoegaze music. The tracks are pretty extended, but never monotonous. The vocals have been sung in German and produced with a foggy, spooky effect on top.
“IIIIIIIII” (“9”) is pretty different revealing a more minimal electronic approach and even experimenting with EBM. The shoegaze element is still there, but it feels more hidden or in the background.
+ + + : Both releases are pretty original and I especially like this fusion between shoegaze and electronics. It sometimes resulted into dream-pop, but I rather prefer to speak about dark-pop and minimal electronics when it concerns Vlimmer. The foggy atmosphere hanging over the tracks has something fascinating, a bit anguishing and revealing the personal sound approach of this artist. Last, but not least there also is a kind of tormented and even suicidal mood emerging from the songs. Vlimmer sounds darker than the night and will definitely appeal for dark souls.
– – – : I like both EP’s, but I just regret none features a hit or at least a truly apotheosis. I however think Vlimmer is not concerned when it comes to compose hits…
Conclusion: I like the tormented sphere hanging over the songs, which reminds me a bit to the old black & white horror movies. I perfectly imagine this kind of music as soundtrack for a silent movie such as “Nosferatu”.
Best songs: “Schwerelosigkeit”, “Beutenacht”, “Jugendentzug”.