VAMPIRE SLAYER | Psychic Hex


BLWBCK025 – Release date : Nov 26th, 2012
Tape {66 c.} cassette C45
including the digital edition

Straight from the warm border city of Mexicali MX, Valentin Torres (member of Maniqui Lazer, Letters From Readers and the founder of Indiangold Records) has been actively working since 2010 on his solo project Vampire Slayer. Influenced by the night and by the sexual, Vampire Slayer’s new album adds a serious amount of tension to his mental electronica. Hypnotic and addictive like the gaze of a vampire, ‘Psychic Hex’ plays with your reptilian brain creating a permanent sensation of danger and excitement that turns you into an obedient prey waiting to be used.
You may fall victim to the lynchian drones and melodies; like listening to a soundtrack of someone going insane.

1. Bad Pad (5:29)
2. Broken Audio Card (5:39)
3. Desert Charms (5:26)
4. Internet Celebrity (3:10)
5. Global Manipulation (3:43)
6. Eternia (5:35)
7. Black Room (3:37)
8. Window Peeping (5:53)

Recorded and mixed: Valentin Torres at Black Room
Mastered: Ruben Tamayo www.faxmusik.com
Artwork by Romain Barbot www.iamsailor.com
vampireslayerslayer.tumblr.com
vampireslayer.bandcamp.com

PRESS QUOTES

Vampire Slayer is the solo project of one Valentin Torres, formerly of laureate dance punk band Maniqui Lazer, currently of post-rock/improv band Letters From Readers and also the founder of indie, punk, electronic and experimental netlabel Indiangold Records. Torres has been actively working on his solo project since 2010, and it sees release on BLWBCK records on digital and tape this month. The eight-track album is a brave meld of genres, best described as bordering beats-based electronica with some of the more common tropes of experimental drone. Vampire Slayer cannot be accused of hiding his light under a bushel – the mixes are brassy and upfront, and all the money is up on the screen. The mastering by Ruben Tamayo places everything within arm’s reach of the listener, and there is no need to go hunting around the edges for things you may have missed – it’s already there, in depth. Torres lists his influences as nocturnal danger, tension and sexuality; tracks like “Desert Charms” and “Global Manipulation” reflect this in spades, with synths and discordant tones swirling furiously. – Charles Sage for Fluid Radio

Vampire Slayer is a nightmarish work. The mood morphs. Sounds appear to be uneasy. Everything on the album shifts uncomfortably. Part of its charm relies on this uneasiness. No actual noise results from the approach. Original soothing drones are interrupted. By breaking up and playing against the initial expectation Psychic Hex is able to mess with the listener’s mind. Percussion adds to this level of confusion. While the drones hover, swaying gently, random percussion comes to ruin it. Underneath the initial melody the calm is ruined through wobbly shifts.‘Bad Pad’ introduces the album with a rather mellow approach. This and the closer manage to avoid the level of activity shown on the other tracks. For ‘Broken Audio Card’ gives the listener a better idea of what to expect. Sounds decay and die off frequently. Little of it manages to remain remotely stable or even coherent. ‘Desert charms’ takes a similar approach. However part of the joy of ‘Desert charms’ is the infinite amount of panning Vampire Slayer engages in. For it will make the listener disorientated as any attempt of a melody is completely thwarted. Even a basic rhythm or progression is thrown asunder in exchange for a completely bizarre approach. ‘Global Manipulation’ has fun with its transformations. Here Vampire Slayer takes a gritty approach.‘Window Pepping’ ends the album in the most unexpected way possible. Sounding halfway between Jan Jelinek and hypnagogic pop it is a sunny ending to an oftentimes aggressive album. In fact this may be the best track on the album. By ending it this way ‘Psychic Hex’ shows just how versatile a band they are. – (7.4/10) Beach Slot

Shimmering, metallic drones from the Vampire Slayer, also known under his birth name Valentin Torres. Eight spells (or maybe rather: hexes) on the album shift the mood between dark and dangerous to trippy and futuristic. Mysterious, heavy echoes roll like thick clouds in the back while the leading synthesizers try to find their way through the electronic maze. The high point here is the closing “Window Peeping”, a hazy, sample-ladden deconstruction of techno that occupies the space somewhere between Actress and The Field. – Weed Temple

Le chasseur de vampires qui s’apprête à hanter votre nuit étoilée de ses drones gothiques s’appelle Valentin Torres et officie du côté de BLWBCK, label de Romain Barbot qui s’est justement chargé de l’artwork cosmogonique de ce Psychic Hex aussi planant qu’inquiétant. Échappé des défunts Maniqui Lazer, le Mexicain troque en solo le dance-punk de son groupe contre une inspiration stellaire et faussement contemplative où la tension se fait plus insidieuse entre deux rêveries rétro-futuristes, maniant distorsions entêtantes et larsens anxiogènes sur fond de bourdons lancinants ou autres pulsations de synthés hypnotiques. Si vous appréciez les sorties des labels Debacle ou Field Hymns souvent à l’honneur dans nos pages ne passez surtout pas à côté de celle-ci ! – Indie Rock Mag

A tough to swallow musical treat, that’s what Psychic Hex by Vampire Slayer really is. And it’s like that from the beginning of the record, to its very end. I tought I could get used to it if I just listen to it more. Well, I couldn’t. The Mexican musician Valentin Torres achieved an insane level of complexity in his latest album by keeping his sound tools at the simplest possible level. Quite of a musical paradox, but such a delicious one! Psychic Hex is based on simple sound waves and weird, but clean sounds. It is high pitched, but surely not mellow. It is atmospheric, but certainly not dark and gloomy. It is repetitive, monotonous and very mediative, but it leaves your ears on the verge of exhaustion and senselessness. The record totally lacks any pretentiousness and in the same time it requires your full attention. You can’t play Psychic Hex as background music, because it will definitely destroy your nerves. However if carefully followed, it turns into an interesting, but very demanding companion for one of the last sunny afternoon in the fading autumn. ‘Bad Pad’ offers such a calm and comforting start to the record. However only 3 minutes later, you know you were deceived. Not only you are not welcome in this simplistic cold ambience, created by plain sounds and pads, almost completely lacking overtones, but you will have tough time getting out if it. The next piece, called Black Room, doesn’t even try to fool you. It uncompromisingly forcefeeds you everything you will have to cope with in the record. Repetition, piercing high frequencies and intense drones, sometimes disrupted by weird sounds. A comforting fact is the songs in the album are arranged in quite a balanced manner. While pieces like Black Room, Desert Chasmas, Global Manipulation are really exhausting and intense, the ones between them are a bit more chilled and almost let you breathe. My absolute highlight in the record is the closing track Window Peeping. It is totally different from the rest of the songs. It feels like it was put there to mock you for believing that you understood the music stuffed in Psychic Hex. And it feels like that no matter how many times you replay the album. This the kind of record that makes you curious about the artist’s background. So you search and find out Torres is coming from a weird and now defunct disco punk band Maniqui Lazer. Now he’s both a solo musician and a part of a post-rock/improv band called Letters From Readers. Nothing so special, so the questions around the music of Vampire Slayer will remain open for a while. An interesting fact is that with this project Torres is also quite active live. I’m so anxious to know how this music feels when experienced live, because comfortably sitting at home it is challenging to comprehend, but so damn addictive. I can’t even imagine it, if played through a massive sound system. However, there’s one thing I sincerely hope that Valentin will reconsider and this is his mindless current monicker. Such wondrous music should not exist under a name, which is far more suitable for a ridiculous Finnish Power Metal band. – Angel S. for Heathen Harvest