Unknown Pleasures #16 ft. Death and Vanilla, Uran, Goons

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Death and Vanilla Cover

Death and Vanilla – Vampyr

It’s a double dose of Swedish psych with a healthy pinch of uncompromising hip-hop in this week’s Unknown Pleasures, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke has this week’s roundup of the best in the internet’s undiscovered gems.

There’s been something special in the Swedish air for a while now when it comes to the finest in 21st century psych and electronica. Behind the spearhead of Goat‘s rapturous voodoo grooves have flooded the delectable likes of Les Big ByrdHills and former Unknown Pleasures Dimman, but with Malmö fivesome Death and Vanilla comes proof that there’s still much to mined when it comes to Scandinavian magnificence.

A band for almost eight years, the group’s most recent self-titled EP is nothing short of joyous, a tantalising blend of leering cowboy guitars, oscillating synths and dream-pop grooves with just the right amount of kick. More abstract is last year’s semi-soundtrack Vampyr, half-improvised live during a screening of Carl Theodor Dryer‘s cult 1932 horror of the same name, the Swedes perfecting a waiflike blend of swarming, tones across a toothsome trio of tracks.

If Death and Vanilla could be said to epitomise the best of psychedelia’s more calculated end of the spectrum, Uran – self-proclaimed “Legendary rockband from Gotheburg Sweden formed 2007. No further information availible” [sic.] – are the other. Uncompromising, claustrophobic and brutal, their latest effort Mr Piggy is a seizing four-minutes of juiced-up, twisted kraut at it’s most searingly sublime.

It’s also the latest in a long line of triumphs for Swedish label Höga Nord Rekords, home to yet more of the nation’s finest, and whose books the aformentioned Les Big Byrd once graced for last year’s 7″ They Worshipped Cats/Indus Waves. Also to be found on a kaleidoscopic roster is the distorted dance of Dungeon Acid, the propulsive cross-dimensional grooves of Lamagaia and the Jonestown drifts of the impeccably named The Psychedelic Schafferson Airplane amid a cornucopic treasure trove of some of Scandinavia’s truest boundary-pushers.

Something else entirely, however, is “ex-punk turned hip-hop head” Goons of Santa Ana, California, aka Edward Miguez. Taking on a stylish swaggering persona that takes a cue from the likes of El-P, his latest outing And Ya Don’t Stop (Remix) is a short, sharp attack of uncompromising beats and visciously twisted vocal samples that casts aside superfluity with riotous abandon.

Better still is the colossal brass of Latin Dhalism which saunters effortlessly over a gargantuan boom-bap backing while Miguez unravels a tight, breathless flow that while still ever-so-slightly unpolished betrays incredible lashings of potential and and undeniably deft hands for well-rounded attacks of aggravated rap that boast a presence that few of a deluge of upstarts can match.

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