As many know the London-based synthpop/darkwave duo Linea Aspera was very shortlived, only lasting about two years. They released an 8-song self-titled album in 2012 (a masterpiece in my opinion), and after that we only got a few smaller releases, which showed that they still had good songs to offer.
Dark Entries Records is celebrating their 10 year anniversary, and we’ve gotten a great gift; A compilation of Linea Aspera’s EPs and singles! 8 tracks and 33 minutes long - a minute longer than their album! Never thought that would happen. It is only available digitally or on vinyl, so as a CD collector I’m not STOKED about that. I’m not holding my breath about a CD release, but I’m still allowed to hope! So for those who were wondering, this isn’t a new album, but I think it was nice that they collected all of these. Since I have never written a review on them, I thought I would do that now!
Preservation Bias (K7 Version) - Fans of Linea Aspera will already know this song, that starts off and gives the name to this compilation. The only difference I hear from the original version off their album is the intro; they took out the original electronic flickering(?) and brought up that low rumble, and added a heartbeat. I think it works a lot better! Builds anticipation, especially since it now opens up the album. I already think this is a great song, going from slow to upbeat, it’s emotional and catchy.
Attica - This song first appeared on the And You Will Find Them In The Basement compilation from Desire Records. I love this song! Every time it comes on, it immediately makes me want to dance. Total club hit. The lyrics also work for that setting, I’m sure many of us have felt / said those things!
Kinabalu - From their ‘‘II’’ cassette only available from them on tour. Now this song is pretty different. It’s VERY electronic and experimental, there is a lot going on, kind of going into industrial noise territory. The little vocals it has has a lot of effect on it. It’s a very long song, almost 7,5 minutes long, so it gets a little tiring to listen to. So there is actually a song I can say I like the least from them!
Detachment - From their self-titled EP (as are the next two songs). With the short noise effect at the very beginning, it fits very well to be the next song. But then it immediately goes back into synth/wave, just very upbeat. It’s a very short song, only 2:13 minutes, quite a contrast from the last song!
Photo by Nemesis To Go
Antipodean Tedium - A very 80’s synthpop track which dips into darkwave at times, with echo-y vocals. I haven’t talked about Alison’s vocals yet in this! I absolutely love her voice and style of singing. It’s pretty simple, almost like talking at times, but effective. And that accent! I also love her lyrics, which includes a lot of scientific and medical terms.
Syncretism - Another upbeat track, again perfectly blending synthpop with darkwave. This would be great to hear on the dancefloor at a goth night. The song ends with an electronic twist you wouldn’t really expect.
Royal Straight - From ‘‘II’’ (so is the next song). A very cool and more chill electronic track, a little experimental, but not as much as Kinabalu! The ending is pretty random.
Vultures - Now this one is a ‘‘banger’’, as they say! LOVE the beat and synth, I’d dance so hard to this. And the soft and beautiful vocals complement it really well. I think that was a pretty good song to end this compilation with!
And that was that! While these weren’t really anything new, I think it’s a release worth noting for us who have been wishing they’d come back together. Now we don’t need to listen to 3-4 releases to hear these tracks! And hopefully they’ll sell a lot of the vinyls. But I still want a CD!
Lastly, for those who aren’t aware, Alison Lewis is still active under the name Zoe Zanias, with Keluar and her solo project Zanias. But sadly I don’t think they’re as good as Linea Aspera!
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