Wednesday, 03 October 2012 04:21


Holy Other Facebook

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As evidenced through his musical approach and his on-stage non-persona, Mancunian based electronic producer Holy Other has always been focused on creating mood and atmosphere for others rather than identifying or representing specifics of himself. Oscillating quite deliberately between laconic and tension filled elements in his music and employing non-lyrical approaches to vocals, his at once spatial yet sometimes claustrophobic sound realised through the meticulous cutting and splicing of house, minimal techno and R&B genres renders his end product very much an art that is definitively open to interpretation as well as being modern, vital and present. The standout debut EP With U from last year kicked off the shadowy producer's musical career nicely and debut long player, Held, builds greatly on this base.

The insular approach that produced With U in the 'bedroom' was replicated with Held. Indeed, such an approach can be seen as absolutely essential to producing the uniquely emotive atmosphere created in each track. In fact, it's his shyness and self-deprecating nature that has produced the anonymity and the difficult subject of this record - relationships. The distance the producer put between himself and the outside world is represented by the record's intensely personal nature. Speaking to Stereogum back in August;

"I just tried to... close myself off to any critical world as well. I just tried to make what I wanted to make, ignoring other factors, which was pretty difficult. And I wasn’t going out, so it was kind of in a closed, solitary experience — quite a miserable one — which I’m not sure if you picked up from the record. It’s less optimistic than the last one".

One of the key differences between Held and With U is that Held represents a whole whereas With U was really simply a loose collection of ideas represented in diverse tracks. There is a definitive theme that pervades the record of the difficulty of establishing and maintaining close and meaningful relationships in a contradictory world of overt individualism and crushing conformity. And Holy Other does not seek to inform but to celebrate that individualism by creating the space for the listener to interpret each track in any way they like. One could pick out moments of hope and optimism in places; but at the same time interpret them in the most morose and downcast of ways.

Musically, Held employs uncertainty and confliction to great effect. The slow quickening of the off beat and the opposite tones in the vocal that dominates opening track, '(W)here', seems to reflect that title - wanting to keep someone close, but not quite sure how to intellectualise that and reconcile it with the thirst for eternal space and individual identity and the fear of having that subsumed. On 'Tense Past', the tortured female vocal sample turns itself inside out and forms into an almost tortured plea for understanding. It could be interpreted as a somewhat immature cry for help in a metaphorical sense or a knowing demand for closeness or space. 'Inpouring' is probably the best example of Holy Other's musical growth since With U. His use of female and male vocal samples almost mirror each other but seem poles apart in terms of what's behind their anguished cry. The restless beat sets Held apart from the more seamless approach of the past. 'Love Some1' holds its pattern before a slow contemplative beat combines with percussive elements that seem to represent confusion. The low tones can be seen to further represent the anguish associated with the emotionally tense and gut wrenching wrestle with trying to rationalise something as irrational as love. 'U Now' comes closest to actually representing words but thankfully, they are never fully expressed almost reflecting hopes and dreams falsely prescribed and bought but never realised.

The title 'In Difference' is deliberately two words instead of one. Holy Other isn't indifferent to the idea of love, he just isn't sure how or if it can play itself out in a modern sense, if it ever could in the stifling days of male dominated cultural norms. The jarring vocal duet also represents this. 'Past Tension' seems to be a call and response of sorts at its beginning and unfolds to almost offer glimpses of clarity, almost like rays of sunshine peeking out of the gloom. The standout title track is another reflection of the aforementioned musical growth since With U. It again highlight's the producer's intelligent use of male and female vocal samples, while seeming to feed off each other in complementary ways, they rather admonish the other with their alternate whispers sitting underneath serving as some sort of cautionary tale. It employs an omnibus like turn half way through in what seems to take an age for the track to change from the emotive almost foreboding nature of its first half into the either a relaxed or contented or thankful and relieved finish. Final track 'Nothing Here' suggests no happy ending. It seems to exude the cautionary tale that unless both are fully cognisant and confident (but not overly so in the latter sense) in the meaning of self and space, after a time, all relationships inevitably sour. Whether that serves as the end of them or they morph into a difficult cacophony of compromised compromises, subjugating and subordinating individual growth to some kind of impossible societal norm is anyone's guess. It is our constant search for independence in love that seems ever elusive.

Holy Other's take on love smacks of intellectual maturity, accurately reflecting the modern dilemma of the demands for aspiration and expectation still there from more conservative elements of society and the push towards more individual takes on what that actually means and looks like in a relational sense. It's also an intensely personal document of how an essentially shy young man makes individual sense of the expectations and demands the dominant material culture of the modern western world puts on how people in relationships should behave. This review has, as can probably be ascertained, taken on the form of a personal catharsis of sorts. That Held enables such a personal interpretation of love and relationships without it once uttering a word of certainty speaks volumes for Holy Other's manifest ability to allow his music as art to be interpreted so broadly. Subordinating the self while wearing your heart on your sleeve is no mean feat. One things for sure though, while this is an album about love and relationships, it's pretty clear that not all is smooth sailing in the intensely private and insular world of its protagonist.

James Stocker - October 3, 2012.


Love Some1

Holy Other (ENG)
From the album, 'Held', Tri-Angle.

Audio Stream

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November 24, 2015


Art Angels


Grimes Official

Pre-order here (vinyl delayed until Dec 11)

1. laughing and not being normal
2. California
3. SCREAM (feat. Aristophanes) [LISTEN]
4. Flesh Without Blood [VIDEO]
5. Belly Of The Beat
6. Kill V. Maim
7. Artangels
8. Easily
9. Pin
10. REALiTi (digital only)
11. World Princess Pt. II
12. Venus Fly (feat. Janelle Monae)
13. Life In The Vivid Dream
14. Butterfly


November 17, 2015



Dark Skies Association / Night School Records

Molly Nilsson Facebook

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1. The Only Planet
2. 1995 [VIDEO]
3. H.O.P.E.
4. Mountain Time [VIDEO]
5. Bunny Club
6. Intermezzo: Palimpest Galore
7. Happyness [VIDEO]
8. Lovers Are Losers [VIDEO]
9. Clearblue
10. My Body [VIDEO]
11. Titanic
12. Bus 194 (All There Is)
13. Tomorrow


November 10, 2015



Drag City

Joanna Newsom Label Page

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1. Anecdotes
2. Sapokanikan [VIDEO]
3. Leaving The City [LISTEN]
4. Goose Eggs
5. Waltz Of The 101ST Lightborne
6. The Things I Say
7. Divers [VIDEO]
8. Same Old Man
9. You Will Not Take My Heart Alive
10. A Pin-Light Bent
11. Time, As A Symptom


November 3, 2015


Best Blues


Small Black Official

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1. Personal Best
2. No One Wants It To Happen To You [VIDEO]
3. Boys Life [VIDEO]
4. The Closer I Look
5. Big Ideas Pt. 2
6. Back At Belle's [LISTEN]
7. Between Leos
8. Checkpoints
9. Smoke Around The Bend
10. XX Century

October 27, 2015


Fading Frontiers


Deerhunter Official

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1. All The Same
2. Living My Life
3. Breaker [VIDEO]
4. Duplex Planet
5. Take Care
6. Leather And Wood
7. Snakeskin [VIDEO]
8. Ad Astra
9. Carrion

October 20, 2015


Terrible Truths

Bedroom Suck

Terrible Truths Facebook

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1. False Hope [LISTEN]
2. See Straight [VIDEO]
3. Pressure
4. Sink Or Swim
5. Uptight [LISTEN]
6. Don Juan
7. The Coast Is Clear [LISTEN]
8. Mixed Feelings
9. Lift Weights
10. (untitled)

October 13, 2015


The Agent Intellect

Hardly Art

Protomartyr Facebook

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1. The Devil In His Youth
2. Cowards Starve
3. I Forgive You [LISTEN]
4. Boyce Or Boice
5. Pontiac 87
6. Uncle Mother's
7. Dope Cloud [LISTEN]
8. The Hermit
9. Clandestine Time
10. Why Does It Shake? [LISTEN]
11. Ellen
12. Feast Of Stephen

October 6, 2015


Half Free


U.S Girls Facebook

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1. Sororal Feelings
2. Damn That Valley [VIDEO]
3. Telephone Play No. 1
4. Window Shades [VIDEO]
5. New Age Thriller
6. Sed Knife
7. Red Comes In Many Shades
8. Navy & Cream
9. Woman's Work [VIDEO]

September 29, 2015


Have You In My Wilderness


Julia Holter Facebook

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1. Feel You [VIDEO]
2. Silhouette
3. How Long?
4. Lucette Stranded On The Island
5. Sea Calls Me Home [VIDEO]
6. Night Song
7. Everytime Boots
8. Betsy On The Roof
9. Vasquez
10. Have You In My Wilderness

September 22, 2015


Sun Coming Down


Ought Facebook

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1. Men For Miles [LISTEN]
2. Passionate Turn
3. The Combo
4. Sun's Coming Down [VIDEO]
5. Beautiful Blue Sky [LISTEN]
6. Celebration
7. On The Line
8. Never Better

September 15, 2015


It's You

Spunk / Felte

Gold Class Facebook

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1. Furlong [LISTEN]
2. Life As A Gun [VIDEO]
3. Bite Down
4. Perverts
5. Half Moon Over
6. The Soft Delay
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10. Shingles (Stay A While)

September 8, 2015



Terrible Records

Empress Of Facebook

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1. Everything Is You
2. Water Water [LISTEN]
3. Standard
4. How Do You Do It [VIDEO]
5. To Get By
6. Kitty Kat [LISTEN]
7. Need Myself
8. Make Up
9. Threat
10. Icon [VIDEO]

September 1, 2015


Illegals In Heaven

Bedroom Suck / Fire Records

Blank Realm Facebook

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1. No Views On It
2. River Of Longing [LISTEN]
3. Cruel Night
4. Costume Drama
5. Dream Date
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7. Gold
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9. Too Late Now [LISTEN]

August 25, 2015


Poison Season


Destroyer Facebook

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1. Times Square, Poison Season I
2. Dream Lover [LISTEN]
3. Forces From Above
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5. The River
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9. Midnight Meet The Rain

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11. Bangkok
12. Sun In The Sky
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August 18, 2015


Depression Cherry

Sub Pop / Bella Union

Beach House Official

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1. Levitation
2. Sparks [LISTEN]
3. Space Song
4. Beyond Love
5. 10:37
6. PPP
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8. Bluebird
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August 11, 2015


Down Time

Bedroom Suck / Fire Records

Totally Mild Facebook

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1. Christa
2. When I'm Tired
3. Go Home
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5. Nights
6. The Next Day
7. Work It Out
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9. Always Around
10. Money Or Fame

August 4, 2015




Evvol Official

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1. I See You (I Am You)
2. Sola
3. Siruius A
4. Starcrossed
5. Your Love
6. No Love
7. Vega
8. Denouement
9. Four Steps From Home


July 28, 2015




Telepathe Facebook

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1. Destroyer
2. Drown Around Me
3. Slow Learner
4. Damaged Raid
5. Nights Spell
6. Hyper Ho
7. Throw Away This
8. Someone Is Home
9. Onyx
10. Fuck You Up

July 21, 2015


Liminal Zones

Sonic Masala / Strange Pursuits 

Day Ravies Facebook

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1. Fake Beach [VIDEO]
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3. This Side Of The Fence
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10. Steamed
11. Pulse Check
12. March Comes Around
13. Binkies

July 14, 2015


The Wild Animals In My Life

Iron Lung

Flesh World Facebook

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1. To Lose Me
2. Just To Tear Me Down
3. The Wild Animals In My Life
4. Shaved Head
5. Poolside Boys
6. Strawberry Bomber
7. Your Love Is Like A House
8. Here In The Dark


July 7, 2015


Stay Wild

Self Released

Tearjerker Official

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1. Stay Wild
2. Phone
3. Mind
4. The Gardiner
5. Parling Lot
6. It Takes Time
7. Baseball
8. Obviously Wrong
9. Perfect (FREE)
10. Heavy


June 30, 2015


I Will See No Moon No Sky

Raw Onion Records

Crystal Shipsss Official

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1. Metal
2. Deer
3. Drum
4. Crown [LISTEN]
5. II
6. Head


June 23, 2015




Noah Official

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1. sivutie
2. flexion
3. motion
4. unspoken
5. weak
6. (interlude - drøm)
7. fehér
8. times
9. pool garden
10. gorgeous death
11. blur
12. flaw
13. (interlude - doll)
14. tadzio
15. sivutie a reprise

June 16, 2015


Apocalypse, girl

Sacred Bones

Jenny Hval Official

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1. Kingsize
2. Take Care Of Yourself
3. That Battle Is Over
4. White Underground
5. Heaven
6. Why 
7. Some Days
8. Sabbath
9. Angel And Anaemia
10. Holy Land


June 9, 2015


Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Weird World Record Co.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi Facebook

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1. J.E.K.
2. Double Talk
3. Deeper Shadows
4. Say
5. Mind Like Muscle
6. Night At The Field
7. Don't Ask Me Why
8. Room
9. Hush Down
10. Ikuinen Purkautumaton Jännite


June 2, 2015




BOAN Facebook

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Stream whole album here

1. Babylon
2. Freaksnake
3. Secretos
4. Boan Acid
5. Mentiras


May 26, 2015


Le Voyage Éternal

Self Released

Corridor Facebook

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1. Sentinelles
2. L'écho des derniers orgasmes
3. L' entrée du portail
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5. Castor et Pollux
6. Abus d'habits
7. Mort en chemin
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May 19, 2015



Self Released

Liza Anne Official

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1. Lost
2. Northern Wind
3. Take It Back
4. Low Tide
5. Room
6. Overnight
7. Ocean


May 12, 2015


Crash, Burn & Cry

Crunchy Frog

ONBC Facebook

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1. The Railing
2. White Trash
3. Call It What You Want
4. The Warehouse
5. Classic
6. One Of These Days Pt. 1
7. Brothers
8. Knocked Out
9. Copenhagen
10. One Of These Days Pt. 2


May 5, 2015



ExcelsiorPolyvinyl / Full Time Hobby

Jacco Gardner Official

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1. Another You
2. Grey Lanes
3. Brightly
4. Find Yourself
5. Face To Face
6. Outside Forever
7. Before The Dawn
8. Hypnophobia
9. Make Me See
10. All Over


April 28, 2015


American Wrestlers 

American Wrestlers Facebook

Fat Possum

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1.There's No One Crying Over Me Either
2. Holy
3. Wild Yonder
4. I Can Do No Wrong
5. The Rest Of You
6. Kelly
7. Cheapshot
8. Left


April 21, 2015


Un Autre Voyage

Holodeck Records

Marie Davidson Facebook

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1. Boulevard Taschereau
2. Exces de Vitesse
3. Kidnap You In The Desert
4. Insomnie
5. Balade aux USA
6. Persephone


April 14, 2015


Escape From Evil

Ribbon Music

Lower Dens Official

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1. Sucker's Shangri-La
2. Ondine
3. To Die In L.A.
4. Quo Vadis
5. Your Heart Still Beating
6. Electric Current
7. I Am The Earth
8. Non Grata
9. Company
10. Societe Anonyme


April 7, 2015


Ivy Tripp

Waxahatchee Official

Merge / Wichita

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1. Breathless
2. Under A Rock
3. Poison
4. La Loose
5. Stale By Noon
6. The Dirt
7. Blue
8. Air
9. >
10. Grey Hair
11. Summer Of Love
12. Half Moon
13. Bonfire

March 31, 2015


Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress


Godspeed You! Black Emperor Facebook

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1. Peasantry Or 'Light! Inside Of Light'
2. Lambs' Breath
3. Asunder, Sweet
4. Piss Crowns Are Trebled


March 24, 2015


Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett Official

Milk! / Marathon Artists / Mom + Pop

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1. Elevator Operator
2. Pedestrian At Best
3. An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In NY)
4. Small Poppies
5. Depreston
6. Aqua Profunda!
7. Dead Fox
8. Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party
9. Debbie Downer
10. Kim's Caravan
11. Boxing Day Blues


March 17,  2015



Hand Drawn Dracula

Etiquette Facebook

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1. Pleasantries
2. Brown And Blue
3. Attention Seeker
4. Sleep To Wake
5. Twinkling Stars
6. Promises
7. On And On
8. Outside in
9. Island

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March 10, 2015


Ripe 4 Luv

Slumberland Records

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1. Crushing Sensation - (Official Video)
2. Ripe 4 Luv (Official Video)
3. Crawling Back To You
4. Aquarian
5. Kelly, I'm Not A Creep
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7. Living The Dream
8. Wrong Crowd (feat. Jef Barbera)


March 3, 2015



P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd.

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1. Sauna
2. Turmoil
3. Dragon
4. Emptiness
5. (something)
6. Boat
7. Planets
8. Pumpkin
9. Spring
10. Books
11. Youth


February 24, 2015


No Cities To Love

Sub Pop

Sleater-Kinney Official

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1. Price Tag
2. Fangless
3. Surface Envy
4. No Cities To Love
5. A New Wave
6. No Anthems
7. Gimme Love
8. Bury Our Friends
9. Hey Darling
10. Fade


February 17, 2015



Ghost Records

Casa Del Mirto Facebook

Buy here (no vinyl available)

Stream album here

1. Paralyzed
2. Invisible (feat. Avalon Omega)
3. Reflex
4. Where You Stand
5. Pressure
6. Last Blue Wind
7. A Picture Of
8. Butterfly
9. 8 (feat. Aaron Larcher)
10. What I See Inside Of Me
11. Still


February 10, 2015


Natalie Prass


Natalie Prass Official

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1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
2. Bird Of Prey
3. Your Fool
4. Christy
5. Why Don't You Believe In Me
6. Violently
7. Never Over You
8. Reprise
9. It Is You


February 3, 2015


On Your Own Love Again

Drag City

Jessica Pratt Label Page

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1. Wrong Hand
2. Game That I Play
3. Strange Melody
4. Greycedes
5. Moon Dude
6. Jacquelyn In The Background
7. I've Got A Feeling
8. Back, Baby
9. On Your Own Love Again


January 27th, 2015


Viet Cong

Flemish Eye / Jagjaguwar

Viet Cong Bandcamp

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1. Newspaper Spoons
2. Pointless Experience
3. March Of Progress
4. Bunker Buster
5. Continental Shelf
6. Silhouettes
7. Death




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