Similar artists

Albums

$13.49
$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 2, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
Colder than a butcher’s floor, Criminal exudes dark and fleshy sensuality. Between liquid post-punk and metallic loops, Luis Vasquez violently launches into ten aggressive tracks. It’s beautiful and scary, dark and penetrating. Cathartic, this fourth album can be considered as an open heart surgery. After the noisy dark wave of The Soft Moon and Zeros, whose industrial minimalism was going further and further in the search of visual abstraction, Deeper gave a first glimpse of the Californian’s tortured mind. Returning to an obvious prison intensity in the style of Nine Inch Nails (Burn and Born Into This), Criminal dilutes the nuances, shakes gothic guitars, effects units and ambient units to better free a voice suffocated by the layers of mixing, exorcise the anguish and meet Depeche Mode and Soft Kill with distant pop residue reminding of Prince’s Cream (Choke). After the vaporous dissections of It Kills and The Päin, which expand this claustrophobic universe to a more supple esthetic, close to KVB, Criminal finishes in a blaze of glory. As evidenced by the cover, by verbalizing, Vasquez lightens his esthetic and transition to figuration. It was high time. © CS/Qobuz
$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2010 | Captured Tracks

The dead-of-night eeriness of the Soft Moon’s singles suggested Luis Vasquez was the dark horse in the Captured Tracks stable, and this self-titled full-length confirms it. Vasquez’s whispery vocals, lumbering basslines, shimmering guitars, and claustrophobic synths plunge into the ominous territory that the label’s founder, Mike Sniper, only suggests with his work as Blank Dogs; it’s also of a piece with the post-punk/coldwave revival spearheaded by France’s Weird Records. The Soft Moon opens with the most striking example of Vasquez's modus operandi, the previous single “Breathe the Fire”: all serpentine vocals and rhythmic undertow, it’s very nearly as dark and nasty as the punk and post-punk death wishes that inspired him. From there, the album gets surprisingly abstract -- Vasquez's sonic palette is so firmly defined that at first it’s hard to recognize how misty some of these songs actually are. Above all, he prizes sinister atmospheres, and a significant chunk of The Soft Moon is comprised of instrumentals made all the more relentless by Krautrock-inspired lock grooves, as on the evocatively named “Sewer Sickness.” “Primal Eyes” and “Parallels,” meanwhile, boast electronics that would fit right in on a John Carpenter soundtrack. Vasquez knows his style and sticks to it, but whenever it feels like things might be getting too samey, tracks like “When It’s Over” add more melody to the album’s black hole density. And indeed, The Soft Moon takes listeners to some pretty scary places along its journey, from “Dead Love”'s wailing anguish to the doomy “Into the Depths.” Though Vasquez has mastered murky instrumentals, his protean pop songs feel the most promising. Along with “Breathe the Fire,” “Tiny Spiders”' blend of driving rhythms with haunting distortion and “We Are We”'s almost industrial grind bring more form to his musical apparitions. While there’s no doubt Vasquez knows exactly what he’s doing, some more shape and balance would take the Soft Moon to another level. ~ Heather Phares
$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 31, 2015 | Captured Tracks

With music and real estate, sometimes it's all about location. Luis Vasquez wrote the Soft Moon's second album, Zeros, in the midst of a hectic tour, but when it came time to make Deeper, he sequestered himself in Venice, using his isolation as a source of inspiration -- and confrontation. An unflinching examination of despair, this is easily Vasquez's most emotional album. Where the eye-of-the-storm calm of his previous work suggested he was holding it all in, here he lets it all out in ways that feel necessary and inevitable; "Inward"'s synth scree and whispery vocals bring a newfound catharsis to his music. He gets up close and personal with different kinds of solitude, delineating the shadings between loneliness, abandonment, and escape on songs like the pitch-black breakup ballad "Without" and "Try," a swampy post-punk soundtrack to hitting bottom. The fact that Vasquez avoided confessional songwriting previously makes the album all the more powerful and purposeful; when he laments "I feel so empty inside" over spring-loaded bass and guitar on "Feel," it sounds convincing instead of clichéd. Deeper also presents a wider-ranging Soft Moon. As Vasquez explores the more reflective side of his music, the results are as strong as they are vulnerable, particularly on the gorgeously melancholic and melodic "Wasting." Yet there's also a momentum to the harder-hitting tracks that feels unique to the album. Instead of a steady grind, Vasquez strips Deeper's industrial leanings to their barest wires and circuits on the factory of self-loathing that is "Wrong" and builds them to near-symphonic grandeur on the relentless title track. In its own way, the transformation his music undergoes here recalls the one Lust for Youth underwent on their 2014 album International: this is Vasquez's most accessible music, not because he made any compromises, but because its artful pruning and attention to songcraft enhances the purity of his expression. Ultimately, Deeper's most important location is his heart; by looking within it, he's made his most relatable, and compelling, music to date. ~ Heather Phares
$13.49
$8.99

Electronic/Dance - Released November 2, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2012 | Captured Tracks

Fittingly released near Halloween, the Soft Moon's second album, Zeros, maintains the darkness of Luis Vasquez's first album and the Total Decay EP, but also reveals a newfound sleekness and directness to his music. Even on songs such as the album opener, "It Ends," which closes with panicked gasps and telltale heartbeats, there's a spareness that feels fresh and distinct to this album (and especially compared to Total Decay's noise-fest). Zeros' more minimal feel may or may not be due to the fact that Vasquez wrote most of these songs while on the road, later recruiting producer Monte Vallier to help flesh them out and give them more shape. Whatever the reason, this approach allows all the elements in Vasquez's music to stand out more clearly than ever before, whether it's the industrial edge to the drums on "Machines," "Remember the Future"'s snarling synth workout, or the way "Want" races to a climax but cuts off before it can be reached. Compared to the Soft Moon's previous releases, Zeros may also have the best balance of abstract pieces to pop songs -- as pop as Vasquez gets, that is. The driving basslines and whispered chants on "Zeros" and "Insides" may not be the stuff of hit singles, but they have a glowering catchiness that does their post-punk heritage proud. Somehow, Vasquez manages to make these sounds more shadowy and subtle than his forebears did; while the fury he displayed on Total Decay is sometimes missed, by the time "sdnE tI" brings the album full circle (or is that full zero?), it reveals Zeros as some of the Soft Moon's most fully realized and satisfying music. ~ Heather Phares
$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 19, 2016 | Captured Tracks

$1.79
$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released November 29, 2017 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$33.73
$22.48

Electronic/Dance - Released October 17, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$20.24
$13.49

Electronic/Dance - Released September 26, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$33.73
$22.48

Electronic/Dance - Released October 24, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res

Electronic/Dance - Released October 29, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Download not available
$26.98
$17.98

Electronic/Dance - Released October 3, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$1.79
$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released January 18, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$1.79
$1.19

Electronic/Dance - Released September 17, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res
$26.98
$17.98

Electronic/Dance - Released October 9, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

Hi-Res

Alternative & Indie - Released January 19, 2014 | The Soft Moon

Download not available
$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released July 20, 2010 | Captured Tracks

$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2010 | Captured Tracks

$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released January 26, 2016 | Captured Tracks

$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released January 12, 2016 | Captured Tracks

News feed Prev. Next