When Thorsten of Veil of Sound asked CMDR RIKR to compile a playlist of music accompanied by some annotations he specified: “About 150 words would be great.” Alright, we thought, we should be able to restrict our commentary to about that number for each track – but that’s not what he meant: we were given “between 150 – 250 words” IN TOTAL. Up to here, this has already been more than a third of that.
CMDR RIKR, like many other bands, is composed of nerds in their fields. Some years ago we had established the custom of gathering at one band member’s place to play each other a bunch of favourite tracks. Unfortunately, with the squiggles and wiggles of four different lives, this tradition in the making came to an inglorious end; maybe Thorsten’s invitation is our opportunity to revive it. Such an evening usually went like this: get together, talk, have a drink, get outside for a smoke, get inside again, grab some candy, sneak a track onto the HiFi system, and from there on it was just pure living-room-bumper-car-listening: one choice would provoke the next; the evening would become one long playlist, and afterwards everybody left with a few new items on his to-check-list.
Hopefully you’ll find a good “space” to play this compilation, and maybe you will be inspired at least some. The only thing that you are definitely going to miss is the accompanying talk. We were only given a maximum of 250 words. Have fun.Open Spotify
NOTE: It’s hard to combine the taste of each member in one consistent playlist so for this one we tried to stay focused on ’post’ related influences which make more sense here on Veil Of Sound. [If you would like to hear more eclectic influences from us we also have a ‘Top 20’ and a ‘Current Listening’ playlist on our Spotify profile.]
This playlist feels more and more intense from the start with Tides From Nebula until the end with Protest The Hero. (THE band that influenced our guitarist Adrien the most).
Why start with TFN? We feel kind of related to their sound on From Voodoo to Zen because of the way they blend electronic textures and guitar riffs but also because of the songs’ format: not that long (compared to the post-genre standard) for more impact. We like to keep our songs – even though it is instrumental rock – quite short with an almost pop structure at the end. It could also have been pg.lost in the first place to be honest.
We share a lot of influences of course but if we would have to associate some of these choices with our band members, our guitarists Adrien and Romain might be the heavier side of our band with some influences like Protest The Hero, Nine Inch Nails, Periphery or Rolo Tomassi. Our drummer Andrea is crazy about electronic sounds. He is the one programming most of the electronic parts for WWC and also produces dark techno music for the night with his project Subdivided. [Check out his remix of our song Valhalla - https://lnkfi.re/ValhallaRMX]. 65daysofstatic would be an obvious choice for him alongside with the French band Jean Jean which are excellent at melting electronic textures with math-rock riffs. On my side – bassist Tim – I used to listen to a lot of Russian Circles. Today, bands like Portico Quartet, Wang Wen or Floating Points are my thing. We also added more favorite releases from less-known artists such as Crosswhen with their immersive EP or Jakub Tirco and his amazing Noises & Colours.
We hope you will make some great discoveries with this playlist or at least dive deeper into our sound.
Thanks for having us VoS & thanks for listening you all!Open Spotify
Midway through a year spent mostly locked away at home and away from each other, we wanted our playlist to represent the feelings of anxiety and unease that come with the static nature of life in the current climate. It’s a mixture of some of our current favourite slabs of oppression from Sprain, Midwife and Alexis Marshall and some classic, formative influences on our music from Duster, Unwound and Tram. The tone is pretty dark with lots of droning textures and angular guitars, elements that are important to our sound and that we try to encompass wherever possible.Open Spotify
Note: Not all band members were able to give a short comment on their choices but all contributed immensely to their next record Ad Meliora which will be released later this month and is a dark horse for the best Post-Rock record of the year.
Each of these songs have a specific property that I took and put my own spin to it in different ways. Adam Neely calls it elemental composition. For example, I took the loud booming ambient chords from “East-The-Water” to inspire the introduction for “I’ve Grown, I’m Growing, I’m Still Unknowing”.
Poison The Well were an inspiration in my early drumming career. The intensity of the beats and the dynamics of the vocal melodies are very powerful. The drumming is perhaps not is not always the most complex patterns, but they are played in such a way that they elevate the songs and lift them to an exquisite level. The consistency, drones, and crescendos of Lantlos, give me a great feeling of progression and moving forward towards something great. I’m hit with good feels when listening. Julie Christmas’ vocals on the Cult Of Luna-record remind me of my sister Julie with her relentless badassness and it always gives me goosebumps. There’s not much to say about Russian Circles, all drummers know, it’s a benchmark of peak inspired drumming.
These songs all share elements of a dark and brooding tone that at some point progresses into a more uplifting emotional rise. Each expresses, in its own way, a difficult path from which a spark of hope can be found. As so does our album, we’ve attempted to express a message of darkness to light, despair to hope, and a way we can all move towards better.
As for my heaviest influence on my writing process for Ad Meliora, BFNF is at the top. I really didn’t have any outside influence other than what was right in front of my face. These guys had a well established album before I jumped into the mix. So I utilized input from their previous works, and took thoughts and feelings from my band mates to curate something that I felt would best fit the storyline. As for the small glimpse into my most favored artists and influence: Paramore has been a staple in my aspirations towards music. Circa Survive (and everything that Anthony Green touches really) inspires me endlessly. If I could have one super power, it would be lyricism that stands a match to that genius. Microwave, for me, always pushes the envelope on style and sound. Each project brings something new to the table. Nate also has a magical way with words that just gets better with each album. The transition between the two songs “Pull” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is so chilling.Open Spotify
The playlist contains a lot of experimental music. Because of having, instrument-wise, apart from the guitar also a viola da gamba background and listening to a lot of drone, MMMD are on that list. There are also some classics, which we like to listen to a lot: Pink Floyd, Dio, Comus. One special record for me: The band Yoga incorporated Black Metal influences in a very extraordinary way on Megafauna, a very important album for me.
The rest of the songs hopefully speaks for itself. There co-exist a lot of very diverse songs. But maybe that is also the interesting about it: That Wolfbrigade and György Ligeti follow each other closely representing completely opposite moods.Open Spotify
A little bit of everything for the springtime. A classic in Malo, an expansive update on jazz in Floating Points and Pharaoh Sanders, the doom of Big Brave and the creativity and experimentalism of Mammifer.
The new Mogwai is stellar. I’ve always been a massive fan, but “Ritchie Sacramento” is my favorite song of theirs since “Heroes of BMX”. Panopticon, “The Pit”, is a happy accident. I heard them randomly on a stream. I love when metal bands write great country tunes. The Automaton song opens the album with such power I couldn’t not include it here. And that Amon Tobin song is so amazing when the drums finally hit. Every one of these songs simply makes me smile in very different ways.
I love this new L’Rain track – very much looking forward to the full new album in June. I first heard L’Rain while on Dust Moth tour in NYC and was captured by how big and blended her work sounds. And that Juana Molina live album has got me pumped for the return of live shows!
Being a proponent of odd time signatures, synths and Vistalites, the new Genghis Tron record has been my favorite release this spring. The M83 track lacks percussion but makes up for it with keyboards that swell and evolve to create a massive spectrum of sound. The Godspeed You! Black Emperor track fills me with the desire to drive, location and return, unknown. The If These Trees Could Talk song, though not recent, doesn’t grow old.Open Spotify
Curse These Metal Hands – “High Spirits” This song is a real motivator for me. If I’m feeling down, I can put this on and it will lift my mood straight away. In the days when commuting to work was still a thing, I used to play this while going in early on a Monday morning to get me a bit less bummed about having to spend a day at the office. Added bonus that this band is a collab between friends from Conjuror and Pijn.
Slint - “Washer”: One of the first songs I taught myself to play on guitar. Very thankful to have been handed down a mix tape from older friends of friends with this beautiful sad song on it.
Bikini Kill - “Rebel Girl”: Probably the band that has inspired many many girls to grab a guitar or pair of drumsticks and go form a band. Well, that was the case for my girlfriends at school and I, no matter how terrible we were.
A Perfect Circle - “The Hollow”: Paz Lenchantin was a big inspiration for me. It was eye opening to see a woman with similar non-caucasion feature as me playing bass on stage like an absolute boss. The Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins were already on my radar. I loved Kim Deal and D’arcy but I could relate to Paz much more.
Cloakroom - “Seedless Star”: That bass tone is so good. Especially at the end. I love the combined vulnerability and heaviness this song has.
LSD and the Search for God - “I Don’t Care<”: One of the bands that helped me find my vocal timbre. Love the guitar sound on this too.
The Lemonheads - “It’s About Time”: Very reminiscent of long road trips. The Lemonheads are a tour bus playlist staple.
Pity Sex- “Wind-Up”: Brittany is another singer I listened to a lot when developing my singing voice. This is one of the first songs we jammed together in the early Slow Crush days as a try out with me on vocals.
Grivo - “Burnout”: Love this song. Love this band. Love everyone in it. The last tour we played was with Grivo on the US East Coast, coming home just a few weeks before lock down. Three very driven, hard-working and talented musicians. I miss them all very much. If you haven’t already, please check them out. You’ll thank me later.
All Partial– “Motion City Soundtrack”: This song makes me cry every single time. Originally by Radiohead but this version is so much better. I had it on repeat constantly the day it came out. Couldn’t get enough. All Partial is the piano-led ambient creation of our friend Nick, drummer from Pijn. We had a great time touring with Pijn in the early days and have since managed to coincidentally be in the same area to crash each other’s birthday parties.
FM-84 - “Running In The Night”: We love a bit of 80s synthpop. Another track that would often get thrown onto the playlist in the van. Instant summer vibes.
Lost Century Kid - “Neverending”: If you like Drab Majesty, you’ll love Lost Century Kid. Neverending hits all the feels. Warm, emotional vocals and a beat that gets you dancing. We love his redux version of Aurora. More tracks available on his Bandcamp page.
Soft Kill - “Whirl”: We had so much fun touring Europe with Soft Kill in November 2019. This track was the closer of their set. A special song for me as they asked me to stop dancing in the crowd and join them on bass for this one. What an honour!Open Spotify
This is what you get when you’re in a van with us driving from one venue to another. Joy, anger, sadness, beauty wrapped in songs, moods, talks in between, discussion, shared love and fights. A good song is a good song is a good song.Open Spotify
Jeroen: Cave In - ”Screaming In Your Sleep”: Delving through my old cd’s I was throwing out and came across some old gems, found out the album isn’t on Spotify - why universe why? So I chose Metallica! Aereogramme - ”Zionist Timing”: The desolation on this track still resonates, perhaps it’s the vocals being sang quiet and are somewhat over-present in the mix or it simply takes me back a bit]
Bas: Rope - “Human Resources”: I had this song on repeat for pretty much all of 2020. I love how restrained it is in all its heaviness. So much happening underneath the surface. Lido Pimienta - “Nada”: Immediately fell in love with the multitude of melodies. So much heartbreak, still radiating so much hope through the melodies. No idea what the song is about, but I can listen to it and feel like my heart is about to burst.
Vincent: M83 - ”Wait”:This song is with me for a long time now. I really like the melancholy and the sadness in the song. The extreme build-up with fulfilling eruption gives me goosebumps everything single time. Bleachers and Bruce Springsteen - ”Chinatown”: Bleachers (Jack Antonoff) has a special place in my heart. I really enjoyed 2014’s album Strange Desire to the max. This new single with the boss has a catchy melody, but with the soul of an old mans journey.
Niels: Rolling Stones - ”Gimme Shelter”: From the first time I heard this song as a little kid, I fell in love with (the voice of) Merry Clayton (background vocals on the song). The darkness and suspense when the bass guitar kicks in got me hooked for life! The story behind the song makes it even more powerful. I can (and do) listen to this song on repeat and never get tired of it. Oceansize - ”You can’t keep a bad man down”: Oceansize, to me, is a band where I cannot understand why they’re not one of the biggest bands in the world. This song catches me off guard every time I hear it. So many songs in one. It never gets old. How the vocals dance over the music.
Wouter: The Shaking Sensations - ”End of Hope”: Just discovered this band about a month ago and can’t stop listening to them since. The high energy drums and guitar parts, which are clean a lot of the time, really lift me up when listening to it. It also makes me drive too fast. The whole album is great and really takes you on a journey. Caspian - ”Ishmael”: On Circles is one of my favorite albums from 2020. And this song is one of the best in my opinion. From the gentle opening with very interesting string parts, building all the way up to a majestic and grandiose feeling track.Open Spotify
These tracks represent a small portion of the music that has moved us and inspired us throughout our lifetimes. The new album is equal parts heavy, ambiance, and melancholy, and reflects our mood on the current state of the world and how fractured everything often seems. But we have to push on; it’s what we do as a species.Open Spotify
Beherit: we love Beherit because of their psychedelic nature. And their brutality of course.
Tiamat: we love Tiamat because of their brutality on the early albums. And their psychedelic nature later on of course.
Black Magic: actually I wanted to include the song “Demon Lord”, but that one wasn’t available. This is pure Iron Maiden Paul Di’Anno worship, sounding more eighties than any NWOBHM band.
Ashbury: perfect when you go free-hiking, putting out your tent, while having a whiskey. It’s as cheesy as your socks during that trip though. The Fleetwood Mac of hard rock.
Angel Witch: another singalong. Should be known.
Reverend Bizarre: our bass player QW has toured with them a couple of times, how lucky can you be? Although we don’t have that many influences directly from them, they’re one of my faves. Maybe we share their not-giving-a-fuck.
Burning Witch: next to Darkthrone my most favorite band. Not their slow pace is of influence to us, but rather their sound - raw, heavy and natural.
Unearthly Trance: I really enjoyed their early albums, they were one of the first mixing black metal and sludge/doom, and have been a huge influence in our very beginnings.
Tangorodrim: pure Darkthrone Panzerfaust worship from Israel. Always listen a lot to these guys before recording to get in the right mood.
Oksennus: if Ornette Coleman would play death metal after eating magic mushrooms it would sound like these fins.
Wulkanaz: like a mix between Arckanum, Vondur and Lugubrum. One of the most interesting BM artists of the last decade. Check also his other projects Wagner Ödegard and Karnilapakte.
Turia: our good friends from the Netherlands. Very original and inspiring. They would have fit in the league of Fleurety, Solefald and Forgotten Woods when they released their demos.
Golden Ashes: another good friend from the Netherlands, Maurice from Gnaw Their Tongues. One of his zillion projects. This one is really dream-like, while not forgetting he’s playing a black metal band. No Alcest puberty emotions here.
Sort Vokter: when Alkerdeel started, our aim was to mix Corrupted with Ildjarn. Sort Vokter was a project where Ildjarn was also involved in. If Bob from Twin Peaks would play a black metal band, it would sound like Sort Vokter. This is an instrumental outro though, which closes this compilation nicely.
Jeroen Pede (Alkerdeel)Open Spotify
I chose some of my favourite tracks that I consider important to me to write music in my own style. There are few not very well known bands like Follow the White Rabbit or Niverlare, but they are totally worth checking out! It’s hard to choose tracks sometimes if you really like the band. Like with Meshuggah - I guess I like everything by Meshuggah, so I just decided to choose the ones that I play a lot myself.Open Spotify
“There’s no theme to this playlist per say. We tried not to overthink it and just picked some songs that we love.” TimelostOpen Spotify
Compiling a playlist is always a difficult endeavor, but even more so when you need to divide a limited amount of minutes between people with diverse musical preferences. We could have easily mimiced Mike Scheidt during Yob’s 2010 Roadburn set and told you ‘we have selected four songs and that will be one hour’.
Choosing is always losing, but we ultimately decided to each contribute four songs. Although the playlist contains bands from different genres we feel that they all excel in creating a particular type of atmosphere, ranging from the dreamy vibes of Slow Crush and the rhythmic pounding of Russian Circles all the way to the complete and utter chaos of Altarage.Open Spotify