Review: Strange Souvenirs’ The Cleaner – familiar with the presence of the void

Who or what exactly is The Cleaner? This hauntingly subversive kick heavy third single seems to reveal that there may be a mysterious presence brooding within the orbit of the […]

Written By Brandon Miller

On August 21, 2020
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Who or what exactly is The Cleaner?

This hauntingly subversive kick heavy third single seems to reveal that there may be a mysterious presence brooding within the orbit of the ever morphing dark wave Berlin duo Strange Souvenirs.

The Juhnke brothers along with producer Cameron James Laing have been meticulously finalising their first album at The Famous Gold Watch Studios in Weissensee Berlin and The Cleaner is an exemplary specimen of  Strange Souvenirs’ ability to conjure up a nebulous energetic portal-like space through their pedantic musical craftsmanship and masterful weaving of beats, instrumentation and vocal layering.

“mazy waves of elegant electric guitar riffs, broken electronic echoes, celestial piano streams, distorted break beat scratches”

The tracks gates open up with the eerie trickle of keys sonically akin to a wind-up music box when suddenly The Cleaner’s weighted heartbeat kicks you in the gut and marshals in the songs foreboding shadowy voodoo at full spectrum. Riding along the inertia of this groovy rhythmical backbone come mazy waves of elegant electric guitar riffs, broken electronic echoes, celestial piano streams, distorted break beat scratches and a committed psychedelic voice thick with introspection.

Strange-Souvenirs-the-cleaner-indierepublik-review
“a feathery mist of cymbals and the return of the earworm in that wind-up music box”

The song drops off the edge into a padded room as the Strange Souvenirs warn us with a hook of obscure lyrical imagery, ‘Put your fingers in the wound, you don’t want it to close too soon.’ It has the feeling of metaphysical medical advice and as the doctor leaves the room there is a feathery mist of cymbals and the return of the earworm in that wind-up music box from the beginning.

an aural lagoon beneath cascades of tactile musical details that finger at your olfactory pleasure buttons

Listening to The Cleaner is a 4 minute escape into an aural lagoon beneath cascades of tactile musical details that finger at your olfactory pleasure buttons. The production quality and overall vibe are reminiscent of the work of Liars and remind subtly of the eclectic sci fi trip hop compilations of U.N.K.L.E. Where ever in the universe Strange Souvenirs plan to take us with their debut album, The Cleaner shows that they have become familiar with the presence of the void.

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