Nina Belief and Sixth June :: Double review (No Emb Blanc)

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(September 2010) Genetic Music may be over ten years old, but its sublabel is only a whipper-snapper. No Emb Blanc came to life in 2009, a decade after the first Genetic release. No Emb Blanc, with its two releases, has a similar mandate to its parent imprint; release top quality electro pop and minimal synth flavoured music. Sounds simple, but the practice can be a lot more difficult than the theory.

August 28th, 2009 saw No Emb Blanc take its first steps with the debut release of Miami based Nina Belief, the release coincided with my birthday but not gonna divulge my age. The 10″ EP, Systems of Belief contains five tracks of varying synth pop. Nina Belief rolls out a cold new wave sound, such as the disconnected notes of “Identity Crisis.” Her music has a dancefloor friendliness to it, blending clinical sounds with warm analogue bars. The tracks are of the resurgence lilt, utilising the machines of the past but creating contemporary compositions such as in the dark “Safety in Strangers.”

Next up on No Emb Blanc is Belgrade based Sixth June with their full length album Everytime. The LP is packed to the brim with some of the best dark electro pop I’ve heard for some time. The tracks have an addictive quality to them, the kind of pieces you’ll find yourself humming on the bus. “Afraid Of Lies” sits on the border of despair and elation, managing to achieve the difficult task of meshing upbeat synthesizer sounds with despondent lyrics to find just the right equilibrium. “Fade” is of a similar persuasion, bleak vocals driven by an 808 into desolate streets of vacant faces. The group have a similar tone to Deux, but with a colder edge; it may be the influence of the Belgrade winters. The production of the record is top quality, reminiscent of Xeno & Oaklander’s clarity of sound. The title piece, “Everytime,” sees synthesizer bars move into pop mode whilst the vocals keep just the right balance with a sombre and melancholic mood. In some respects the group have an Anne Clark style, deep dead pan vocals coupled with driving synths and drum machines.

No Emb Blanc isn’t as much of a departure for Genetic as it is a side step. So far the label has been on a dark synth pop odyssey, picking up two artists from polar sides of the globe. The sound on this fledgling imprint is in a similar vein to Wierd, but is more synthesizer focused. It has echoes of Minimal Wave, but is more concentrated on the electro pop side of the wave sound. For those lucky enough to inhabit mainland Europe both Nina Belief and Sixth June are playing live, such as in the legendary Zweischenfall in Bochum. If you get a chance, definitely check out these exciting new acts. If you find yourself like me, unable to see these groups live, then these No Emb Blanc releases should be on the want-list of any synth pop, new wave and EBM enthusiast.

Both releases above are out now on Genetic Music.

  • No Emb Blanc | Genetic Music
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