I did not want to say goodbye to this year without writing a few lines on the first album by Vlimmer. Alexander Leonard Donat, the German musician behind this constantly changing project, released more than twenty EPs before doing the big long play step, so nobody can say that he wasn’t ready. Today, finally we are reviewing Nebenkörper, released in vinyl, cassette and CD on Alexander’s own label Blackjack Illuminist Records. If our days were longer, we would like to keep more up to date with their releases, but sadly we do as much as we can. And sometimes even less.
Nebenkörper is not an album easy to classify. Alexander Leonard, is an avid listener of music and he is also part of projects such as Distance Dealer, Fir Cone and a few more, where he plays a lot of different styles. With Vlimmer, he mixes post-punk, shoegaze, post-rock, metal and darkwave.
“Farbenmüde” is the intro to this hallucinating journey. Here you can already taste the disturbing atmospheres that are present in all the records, comparable in a way to those that Vukovar so masterfully create, although I am not sure that Alexander Leonard has ever listened to them. Vlimmer show their cards in “Fensteraus”: frenetic tribal rhythms, voices full of effects and scary synth lines. The vocal part makes me think of Mr. Bungle, don’t ask me why, while the music has some influences of post-rock. A sonic attack that will take you by surprised every moment. “Restfall” can be described as some stranger The Cure with the same romanticism but with not so clear intentions. “Meter” has a more conventional sound and could be a potential hit in another world. The sound reminds me of late works by HEALTH. “Minusgesicht” is a dark ballad from another dimension. “I.P.A” starts in a more darkwave fashion to continue through less explored paths. “Ad Astra” is a powerful and scary song, with quite fast percussions, saturated sound and great moments of sonic chaos. “Wangendruck” is another track difficult to describe, I would just say that it’s truly hallucinating. “Kartenwarten” is again, a slow track, perfect for a walk through a dark cemetery in a cold winter night. “Kron” is, instead, the hardest composition with industrial sounds and a guitar that fight for a place inside the sonic maelstrom of the track. “Nebenbei” puts an end to the album, with a short but really intense composition.
For those who say that there is nothing new under the sun, well, here’s Vlimmer. Deliciously weird.