VAMPIRE SLAYER | Makeout Weird

BLWBCK042 | Release Date : 1st October, 2013
Tape {66 c.} C35 / Digital

Valentin Torres’ recent re-location in Los Angeles has certainly influenced his album. “Makeout Weird” is his most urban release yet, the perfect soundtrack for a worrying night-shift, driving through half-asleep suburbs, alone with your sentimental misery and pointless desires. Vampire Slayer music is dark and has been built for lonely all-nighters. Like on his recent EP Silence Wave, beats are everywhere and give the tone to the whole record, oscillating between adrenaline peaks (“Feet Fetish”, “Road Kill”, “Heartbreaker”) and creeping grooves (“Breathe”, “Brick”). In this record Valentin let express his dark IDM & electronic influences, all the tracks of “Makeout Weird” are enveloped in a nocturnal steam, full of sexual tension and freak situations. By mixing his vicious experiments with evocative & modern beats, Vampire Slayer succeeds to create an insidious album full of contrasts.

01. Feet Fetish (2:55)
02. Breathe (3:24)
03. Yoma (3:07)
04. Road Kill (3:28)
05. Downtown 3am (3:00)
06. Unlovable (3:37)
07. Nosebleed (4:28)
08. Heartbreaker (3:15)
09. Brick (1:50)
10. Darknet (4:08)

Music by V Toress – 2013
Artwork by Romain Barbot


Vampire Slayer c’est Valentin Torres, musicien autodidacte originaire de Mexicali (capitale de l’état mexicain de Basse Californie) membre du groupe électro-punk Maniqui Lazer. Cet égorgeur de vampire se lance en solo et affute ses armes numériques et analogiques pour s’aventurer sur des terrains plus personnels, plus urbains – sa récente installation à L.A. expliquant peut-être cela. Des endroits pas fréquentables où règnent la nuit, le sexe et le clair-obscur. Makeout Weird est son dernier Lp en date signé chez les surprenants Toulousains de BLWBCK : de l’IDM viciée et rampante pour nuits blanches solitaires à l’image de ce Nosebleed terrifiant. – DMute (Nosebleed / Track Of The Week)

Croisé dans nos pages il y a tout juste un an pour le fascinant Psychic Hex, Valentin Torres en remet une couche dans cette veine électro-ambient aux recoins anxiogènes, fantasmagorie post-gothique où les distos sont reines. Mais cette fois les rythmiques mutagènes reprennent leur place au premier plan, et le producteur mexicain officiant au sein du trio Maniqui Lazer tout récemment réactivé embrasse à nouveau sans complexe son goût pour le bizarre. Certes, pas de dance punk infernal et incantatoire comme sur le récent Dead Celebration mais à l’image de l’artwork clair-obscur du patron Romain Barbot dont les allures de tumeur géologique donnent parfaitement le ton, la musique de Vampire Slayer joue les funambules entre minéralité hypnotique des beats et circonvolutions organiques des drones et des synthés. De la drum’n’bass souterraine de Feet Fetish à la techno lynchienne de Darknet ou Unlovable, en passant par le downtempo stellaire et saturé de Breathe ou Brick, les hallucinations décadentes de Downtown 3am ou Heartbreaker, la house déliquescente de Nosebleed ou l’IDM en suspension Yoma, le bien-nommé Makeout Weird oscille ainsi sans discontinuer entre tension déstructurée et contemplation éthérée, questionnement métaphysique d’un dancefloor dégénéré où l’abstraction du rêve se frotte aux délires enfiévrés du bad trip. Attention, les têtes vont tourner ! – Indie Rock Mag (Stream Of The Day)

An album with a shadowy, monochrome(-ish) cover and tracks titled “Feet Fetish” and “Nosebleed” may suggest something really dark and industrial, but Vampire Slayer avoids going too far in that direction and ends up with a record that balances the edgy and the accessible with aplomb. There’s the hiss of a drone at the start of “Yoma” but that ends up built around a choral vocal sample; the beats that open “Road Kill” are a brutal level of techno – but the Slayer pulls out of that a minute or so in and mixes in a much more textured percussive rhythm instead. It’s almost like an industrial album with ADHD, trying something really harsh before abandoning for something else, often lighter and more melodic. As such it’s a curious listening experience and not one that sits easily in any electronic pigeonhole. Despite its shifts in mood, often mid-track, Makeout Weird is a pretty likeable album, the ideas tumbling out over themselves with producer Valentin Torres almost struggling to keep up. It’s not an album if you want to settle in for a consistent 30-40 minutes of music, but if you want to be surprised by a change in direction a couple of times every track, then the Vampire Slayer’s your guy. – Jeremy Bye for A Closer Listen

Vampire Slayer’s ‘Makeout Weird’ is a giddy hyperactive work. Tempos on here are pushed to the absolute brink. Ideas abound in each song creating overstuffed highly intricate pieces. Loops are cycled through with alarming frequency. Nothing manages to stand still for a while. Everything increases in intensity adding more elements. By keeping things incredibly busy means there are a number of features that reveal themselves with additional listens. Mood over the album indicates a positive exuberant work that shows little ability or inclination to slow down. ‘Feet Fetish’ starts off with an increasing sample woven in between the many beat workouts (and there are plenty for a song that at three minutes in length. Percussion shifts around a few times looking for new avenues to explore. Bass makes itself felt in songs like ‘Yoma’ which introduces an expansive ambient sound about halfway into the track, verging on the gentleness of early Future Sound of London. ‘Road Kill’ goes for the mindless beat fun coupled with surprisingly tender melodies sprinkled throughout the piece. On ‘Nosebleed’ Vampire Slayer manages to calm things down considerably showing off a keen ear for the slow burner as well as the more hyperactive cartoonish other pieces. Towards the end the album appears to veer into loopier more ambient territory. Yet the beats never really leave, whether it is for the intense moments of ‘Heartbreaker’ or the dark elegant finale of ‘Darknet’. ‘Makeout Weird’ goes for the overblown the absurd and the busy. – Beach Sloth (8.2/10)