Fresh Kill: Agura Matra
Agura Matra is the lo-fi darkwave project of Ben Ramsier. The sound of their latest album, “Die With You,” as with most darkwave, is nocturnal and brimming with diy ethic. Imagine going to your favorite record store and finding, at random, the demo tapes from some obscure and unsung keyboard driven funereally imbued music, and you will sort of understand my own feelings as the album unfolded before me.
Tracks like “Daggers and Thorns,” sparkle like moon illuminated delicate trinkets, catching the lunar rays and shimmering reflectively through the darkness. Like an antique music boxes song, the track is both eerie and beautiful. Add to it the soothing and softly sung voice of Ramsier and you are left feeling haunted, and wanting more.
While the music is evocative of some esoteric 1980s darkwave, it is also really rather timeless in its execution and sound. This is partially due to its unpolished and raw sound. For example, it is this very aesthetic which propels “Paralyzed” from being just another dance track among a litany of others spun by night ghouls in garish makeup. The home quality lends it ambiance, and makes it truly unique.
“I’ve Been a Bad Kid,” is sparse, melancholic and desolate. Again, this is music best played under moonlight, not for crowds, but alone. Anything less ruins the intimacy Ramsier lays out in his music. “Hail” sounds like a lost outtake from Black Tape for a Blue Girls “The Rope,” and that is not a bad thing at all, it is chilling but still beautiful in its devoid despair.
“Stoned,” closes the album out and is more stark than all other tracks in its dreary countenance. Whereas the other songs caught the light of the moon, this song acts as a retreat into the shadows. Austere, cold and completely without hope. Yet even in that, I find beauty.
The album is available super cheap on bandcamp. If early Projekt is your thing, I imagine this is too.