Exposé Online banner

Makaras Pen — Makaras Pen
(Projekt 245, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Makaras Pen Cover artIf you’re in the mood for dreamy female vocals drenched in reverb, there’s a bunch of bands you can turn to, many of whom populate the Projekt roster, but if you feel like a little more energy in the presentation, the list is a bit shorter. Which is why Makaras Pen is such a welcome addition to its genre — dreampop, darkwave, shoegaze, whatever you want to call it. Former Tearwave writer/guitarist Doug White puts a lot more aggressive sounds into this new band, though for the most part Emma Willis’ vocals fit into the dreamy, reverby arena. She’s just backed by bass and drums that don’t sound half-asleep, and the guitars really grab you at times. Not that anyone is likely to compare it to punk rock or heavy metal, but it’s pretty far from the gentle strums and jangles of most darkwave. Willis handles the gentle, breathy side of the vocals quite well, and for the other side, while she’s no flashy belter, she can notch up the intensity and volume to be heard above the louder parts of the songs as well. OK, so it’s not progressive, and there’s nothing in 15/8, not even a Mellotron (though it could be hidden back in the expanse of reverb), but it’s quite a good listen, with appeal beyond the shoegaze niche.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Makaras Pen

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kurgan's Bane - The Future Lies Broken – If you ever wondered what Rush might have sounded like with a female vocalist, wonder no more. Baltimore-based four-piece Kurgan's Bane is a band that obviously idolizes Rush, especially the Moving...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues