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lineaaspera IMG 4217Akademia Club, Wroclaw, Poland
14th June 2022
Linea Aspera, Bracco

It seems that after two years of concert hiatus currently, we are experiencing a real outburst of all sorts of events - some new, some rescheduled from previous years - all the abundance results in the live events landscape that may make one choose between two or three events a day. The concerts organized in Akademia Club were like a perfect opening for the summer season - a combination of harsh punk lines and delicacy of ephemeral yet dynamic melodic lines. A great, energetic kick-off by French punk duo BRACCO, then a fiery set by BlackSunDreamer, and the grand finale by LINEA ASPERA. A fine sonic feast indeed.


Bracco

A Parian duo BRACCO released their first album, ‘Grave’ in 2018 (on Le Turc Mécanique records), and it was unanimously acclaimed by the specialized press and customers of private record stores. The release of this first opus allowed them to play on major French stages such as Les Bars en Trans, La Villette Sonique, Le HOPHOPHOP festival, Le Garage MU festival, La Machine du Moulin Rouge, among others. The group has also performed all over Europe (Poland, Switzerland, Lithuania, Germany, Belgium, and Italy). For 2022, the resident duo of Station Gare des Mines Paris is preparing the release of a new album.

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Music & Performance
The duo’s appearance and the concert night’s strong opening were a bit like a shock - a harsh and extremely aggressive combination of electronic and guitar lines gave a smashing and ravishing effect. The vocalic line being a bit like scanning, screaming, melorecitation, a manifesto, a speech, and the background given by punching melody gave my ear the shock I needed. A powerful and charismatic performance was both: a display of instrumental and performative mastery.

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total 8.3 / 10

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Linea Aspera

LINEA ASPERA is a dark wave / minimal wave band formed in London, England in 2011. A musical duo, they are fronted by vocalist Alison Lewis (Zoè Zanias) with Ryan Ambridge on synthesizers. Zanias writes the lyrics while Ambridge writes the electronics; he is also responsible for mixing and producing the recordings. They are sometimes compared to AUSTRA, PORTISHEAD, YAZOO, DEPECHE MODE or VISAGE. In 2020, the duo’s second album was released, titled ‘Linea Aspera LP II’.

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Music & Performance
One could speak a lot about Zoe Zanias’s artistic personas - she performs solo but also forms bands with other artists. LINEA ASPERA (created with Ryan Ambridge) offers electronic, more synthpop vibe, whereas KELUAR (where she paired with Sid Lamar of SCHWEFELGELB) is definitely darker and harher. Extremely creative, she offers not only a variety of musical sonic shades but also strong lyrics that truly inspire one’s imagination. Her scenic performance combines both - deep introspection - as if the artist was diving into her own musical world while on stage - and sincere and profound energy exchange with her audience. All of that makes her concerts both a mystic and physical experience cause much as spiritual, mesmerizing, and hypnotizing as the overall atmosphere of the music is, Linea Aspera offer a grand dose of highly energetic,  vibrating, and trancy dark synth-pop.

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The artists played the concert in dim, changing lights that built the club atmosphere and enhanced hypnotic vocal. Cold, fast-paced synth lines and warm, alluring vocals were like an explosive combination of cold and hot, striking and soothing. Zoe Zanias is the kind of an artist who may make your heart race like crazy (like with ‘Event Horizon’ or ‘Malarone’), your body dance, and your mind immerse into the sound and get carried away. Her voice goes straight to one’s heart and makes it beat fast, weep and yet paradoxically enjoy the combination of bodily and spiritual. Hard not to mention fantastic sonic magic created by Ryan Ambridge - perfect background of craftily mastered melodic perfection enhancing exceptional vocalic line. It was a truly great concert - both a vent for energy and emotions, a fantastic spectacle of Zoe’s talent and scenic magic.

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Setlist
01. Preservation Bias
02. Equilibrium
03. Redshift
04. Hinterland
05. Entropy
06. Decoherence
07. (New and unreleased! No title yet)
08. Lamanai
09. Attica
10. Event Horizon
11. Malarone
12. Detachment
13. Solar Flare
14. Synapse
15. Reunion

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total 8.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Karo Kratochwil
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