Sweden’s most notable electro act Covenant are back with a new album – Leaving Babylon. After the release of their previous album we saw the multi artist Daniel Myer leave the band to explore new adventures, something that has definitely changed the sound of the new album. With new fresh blood behind the machines and still with Eskil and Joakim as the main engineers in the control room, we are sure to recognize the pulsating beats that has become their trademark, but also pulling the space ship into new realms of their electronic universe.
Do we like it – sure, not doubt about that, although one might lack those obvious dance floor hits that we have become accustomed to from this highly energetic band on stage and in the studio. The tracks are, as always, impeccable when it comes to the production and the deep voice of Eskil blends nicely with the pulsating synths and ambient soundscapes that filter through most of the tracks. In the absence of dance floor fillers, although I am certain we will not have to wait long before the Covenant tribe releases up beat versions of many of these tracks, we receive the full spectrum of nicely tweaked synth pearls, vocoder voices and, not overly surprising, a fresh scent of noise inspired tunes. The noise ingredient is likely triggered by Eskil’s on-the-side project Cement, where he goes basurk with his machines – creating a mash up of sounds that would easily flavour any futuristic adventure on the big screen.
It strikes us again and again when listening to Leaving Babylon that this is a record with other ambitions than the previous albums – more experimental and more leaning towards something that can trigger uncharted demographics in the ever growing electronica scene. One can even find traces of the old synth maestro Jean Michel Jarre in there (Ignorance and Bliss), for good or bad – not sure, but it fits nicely with my visions of a band who has done it all and wants to explore new turfs, while at the same time stay true to its past. Speaking of the past Covenant also makes a flirt with JS Bach adding cembalo sounding tunes that infiltrates the cool sounding Thy Kingdom Come.
Striking the right balance between electro pop, ambient music, and hard core dance floor beats has always been at the heart of this band and it will be very interesting to see if the band who has now clearly opened the doors to new domains will continue to push the envelope going forward. It may not suit everyone, but it will definitely be a treat for those who are open to alternative electronic music.
From the label:
The forerunning single “Last Dance” has not budged from the top position of the German Alternative Charts when Covenant announces the new album Leaving Babylon released on September 6th 2013.
Built around a structure of majestic synths, quirky noises, unexpected harmonies, scary singing machines and fog horns, massive beats and Eskil’s signature vocals, the singles dark and atmospheric vibe sets the tone for the overall feel of the album. Balancing a return to their early EBM roots with their modern electronic soundscapes, Covenant digs deep into their history and incorporates threads from each of their early releases and weaves it into Leaving Babylon.
“The stars shines so bright when it’s dark” says Eskil Simonsson, the bands singer and front man, about the feel of the new album and the troubled world in which we find ourselves.
The album is available as a limited version of 5000 copies. Included with the eight-panel glossy digipak are an extra booklet and an exclusive bonus CD featuring Swedish poetess Helena Österlund.
Fan video for Last Dance
welle: erdball – DIE LIEBE DER 3. ART (NDS)
Aus der Sendung “Tanzmusik für Roboter” (LP-CD)
Eine Funkhausproduktion (c)2012
Out on September 6 will be the new Covenant album “Leaving Babylon”. The release will come as a normal CD and as a limited edition digipak 2CD. Written and recorded by Eskil Simonsson, Joakim Montelius and Daniel Jonasson (of Dupont) the album will have 9 tracks while the limited 2CD version will feature a bonus-CD consisting of a 76 minute piece called “Jag är fullständigt tung” with text and vocals by Swedish poet Helena Österlund.
The track list for the normal CD is as follows:
- Leaving Babylon
- Prime Movers
- For our Time
- Thy Kingdom come
- I walk slow
- Ignorance & Bliss
- Last Dance
- Auto (Circulation)
- Not to be here
Covenant “Last Dance” will be held June 11, 2013 via Metropolis Records.
Official video for Kite “Dance Again” (Taken from “V”/Progress Productions 2013). Director & Photographer: Jenny Farida // Editing & Additional photo: Videomaskinen // Lighting: Gustaf Lerne.
Kite is Christian Berg and Nicklas Stenemo. The Swedish electronic duo have released EP´s since 2008.
The musical expressions of Kite is based in a soundscape of emotional layers. With great nerve, a sense of drama, cold beats and serious songwriting-skills Kite moves on into the sad dancefloors like a heartaching update of the genre´s biggest stars; Kraftwerk, Ultravox and early Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark.
Background message from Joakim (Covenant):
An overwhelmingly intense week in the studio has passed. In glorious pain and love not given lightly, metaphorically speaking, the masters for the first release of the “Leaving Babylon” epic just arrived. I’m right now enjoying the honour of being the first person on the planet to hear the “Last Dance EP” in its entirety. Sometimes it’s pretty kool to be a member of Covenant.
It’s a 6-track EP with 4 songs and 2 remixes on it. One track written by each of us, including our new live member Andreas Catjar, so it’s a rather complex beast, this one. Majestic synths, quirky noises, unexpected harmonies, scary singing machines, fog horns, massive beats and of course Eskil’s incomparable vocals. I for one really look forward to see where this road is going to take us.
The exact release date is still in the shadows but we aim for June. Do keep tuned to keep track of that. We hope you’ll like it. Or find it interesting enough to react to it.
I’ll leave you with a little snippet from the title track “Last Dance” together with the evocative picture Eskil captured, from the ferry, of the castle Kronborg across the sound in Helsingör where Hamlet and his homies made such mayhem in Shakespeare’s classic. It’s like a mirage. Mist is common here, but I’ve never seen the castle like that. One can almost hear Horatio exclaim:
“And then it started like a guilty thing, upon a fearful summons”
With that paraphrase I bid you adieu. Peace, love and robot laws unto you all.
Swedish electro pop duo Jode are in the production process with Christoffer Berg (Depeche Mode, The Knife, Moby etc) finishing their debut single “Untold”. Berg will be mixing and producing. Christoffer Berg just came home from New York and Santa Barbara after spending 6 months with Depeche producing their forthcoming album.
Directed, shot and edited by Chris Corner and Danny Drysdale
An Orphic production
Assistance and production – Janine Gezang
Light – Valquire Veljcovic
Helping hands – Linda Duffield, James Cook, Brett Leitch
Coat worn by Chris – “Stone Jacket” by Anne-Mari Pahkala
Green hooded top by Dana Mikelson
Thanks to Dana Mikelson and Veruschka Bohn aka Spite & Malice
“Quiet The Mind” written by Chris Corner, produced by Jim Abbiss and Chris Corner
In a FB post Covenant have announced that Daniel Myer has left the band, which was also confirmed directly to Steelberry Clones when we met up with Eskil Simonsson back stage at ElectriXmas
Says Covenant: “On the other end of things Daniel Myer has announced that he’s leaving the Covenant setup to focus on his own projects. He will be sorely missed but we wish him the best and we hope he’ll achieve every ambitious goal he aims for. His last performance with Covenant will take place on Christmas Day (Dec 25) next week at the Dark Storm Festival in Chemnitz. We hope you’ll show up and join us as we show him all our love.”
Visitors of Covenant’s 2007 tour saw Myer first at work when he was replacing Clas Nachmanson who had decided to focus on other things than Covenant for a while.
Right before Christmas a new and extremely rare electronic music album has hit the shelves.
It is a secret group on Facebook called Electronically Yours that has released an album featuring classic 70′s songs and remixed to fit an electronic audience of the 21st century. And it is not an anonymous bunch of musicians on this album – among the secret members you will find Joakim Montelius (Covenant) under his alter ego Tectonic Knights, Eddie Bengtsson with PAGE, Diskodiktator, compute and Steelberry Clones, to name but a few.
Now you can watch them live – this is Electronically Yours as they made their first performance at ElectriXmas in Malmoe, Sweden on December 15th 2012.
On stage in the video: PAGE, independent state, compute and yours truly Steelberry Clones
More info here:
Electronically Yours, featuring Joakim Montelius (Covenant), PAGE, Diskodiktator and more, in the media
As reported on earlier, the electronica project ‘Electronically Yours’, is now being covered across several leading electronic music magazines, below are a couple of links, and if you are in Sweden on Dec 15th make sure to watch their live performance at ElectriXmas
It is a secret group on Facebook called Electronically Yours that has released an album featuring classic 70′s songs and remixed to fit an electronic audience of the 21st century. And it is not an anonymous bunch of musicians on this album – among the secret members you will find Joakim Montelius (Covenant) under his alter ego Tectonic Knights, Eddie Bengtsson with PAGE, Diskodiktator, computer and Steelberry Clones, to name but a few.
You might know, or might not know that Joakim Montelius (Covenant) is a member of a secret society called Electronically Yours, a bunch of (mostly) Swedish geeks and electronic music aficionados. Some are famous, some are merely notorious. A few of them are both.
Joakim Montelius (Covenant) and others featured on charity compilation ‘Friends of Electronically Yours – The Seventies Revisited’
And for those of you who know Swedish there are two more in depth articles at HD and Zero Music Magazine:
Page, Diskodiktator, Compute, Covenant-Joakim och ett flertal andra kreativa artister på en och samma skiva? Elektroniska nytolkningar av sjuttiotalshits från bland andra Deep Purple, Sweet, Neil Young och Curtis Mayfield? Ett välgörenhetsprojekt som stöder världens barn? Samlingen Friends of Electronically Yours – The Seventies Revisited sprudlar av nytänkande och värmer frusna hjärtan i vinterkylan. Zero har pratat med Facebookgruppen bakom verket.
Listen to snippets of the full length album by clicking the album cover in the right hand column >>>>>>>
Right before Christmas a new and extremely rare electronic music album has hit the shelves.
It is a secret group on Facebook called Electronically Yours that has released an album featuring classic 70′s songs and remixed to fit an electronic audience of the 21st century. And it is not an anonymous bunch of musicians on this album – among the secret members you will find Joakim Montelius (Covenant) under his alter ego Tectonic Knights, Eddie Bengtsson with PAGE, Diskodiktator, computer and Steelberry Clones, to name but a few. To provide you with the right feeling of the album we give you Joakim’s post on the official Covenant Facebook page below, and if you are in Sweden on December 15th you can see Electronically Yours live on stage at ElectriXmas
Message from Joakim from Covenant:
So. X-mas is saved. See, I’m a member of a secret society called Electronically Yours. We are a bunch of (mostly) Swedish geeks and electronic music aficionados. Some are famous, some are merely notorious. A few of us are both. A while back the Chairman of this obscure virtual tribe had an idea. A whim, actually, but through the means of great secrecy, clever masterminding, as well as gullible people willing to accept an unknown, non-negotiable missio
n from which there was no way to back out, the whim has now turned into the fulfilment of a rather daring project.
The idea was to turn a bunch of great ’70s hits by artists as diverse as Sweet, Slade, Hot Chocolate, Tom Jones, Curtis Mayfield and Deep Purple into modern, electronic interpretations. The results baffled us all. So we decided to make an album out of it and release it as a non-profit project and all proceeds will be given away to the Swedish charity “Musikhjälpen”.
And that’s why X-mas is saved: you get a great album (and I do not say that just because I’m on it as my alter ego Tectonic Knights, it really is an amazing collection of songs) PLUS a very large part of the money you pay for it goes to help people in dire need of it. That’s what I call a win-win arrangement.
You can hear snippets of the tracks and also a link to the webshop where you can pick up one of the remaining copies of the strictly limited CDs here:
MrDoonut – “If You Want Me To Stay”
Diskodiktator – “You Could’ve Been A Lady”
alphaKenny-1 – “Silver Machine”
Independent State – “Strange Kind Of Woman”
Counterfeit – “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”
Arachnophobias – “16 Tons”
compute – “Goodbye”
DJ Man-Machine – “Do You Wanna Dance”
Den där killen – “Heart Of Gold”
Clark Gable – “Action”
Dvala – “Metal Guru”
Steelberry Clones – “Superfly”
Page – “Coz I Luv You”
Tectonic Knights – “She’s A Lady”
Angaudlinn – “If You Want Me To Stay”
As also has been somewhat leaked on Facebook we can expect a new album from Covenant soon, more details below:
1.5 years have passed since their last album “Modern Ruin” was released and now the band is working on the next one. The title is “Leaving Babylon” and scheduled for early 2013.
The band also welcomes a new live member in form of Daniel Jonasson on keyboards, replacing Joakim Montelius. Joakim has decided to stop touring but will remain as a member in the studio. Daniel Jonasson is also a member of the Swedish EBM band Dupont.
The band are currently touring the States and later in September they will perform a special set of shows on their “Dreams Of A Cryotank 2012 Debut Album Tour”, a full-length show with early material, rarities and a handful of hits.Photo credit: P.Duvander, 2010