Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Hardly Art
There are two basic styles of minimal wave: the kind to do herky-jerky dancing to, and the kind we have in hand, the kind to mope out in your bedroom to. But wait: there are no styles of minimal wave. According to Simon Reynolds, the genre’s an invention. As a critic, originality is an eternal question.
Dip a finger into the latest ebbing from the coldwave pool and you'll find it's surprisingly warm. While Black Marble might fit most comfortably into the gothic '80s-inspired enclave, they remain severed entirely from the raw freezer burns of the Soft Moon or the uptempo eruptions of Light Asylum. Unlike most participants in the contemporary reimagining of darkwave, this Brooklyn duo keeps their output small, soft, and glowing.
Black Marble's debut album A Different Arrangement should make any fan of early synth pop pioneers like OMD or Soft Cell very happy. Or as happy as an exceedingly gloomy album can make one happy, that is. The duo of Chris Stewart and Ty Kube does an amazing job of recapturing both the sound and feel of early-'80s darkwave and synth pop artists, with some added Joy Division input just to make things less cheery.
At this very moment, Black Marble stand as the latest addition to the emergent dark wave revival. Adding a webby synth-drone to the sulky blueprint laid out by '80s goth heroes Alien Sex Fiend, Foetus and His Name is Alive, these next-gen mope-rockers lean towards contemporary electronic sounds and beat-based structures. That's why A Different Arrangement, the debut LP from Black Marble, sounds as if it emanated from just a bit outside the Matthew Dear/Laurel Halo clique.