Secret Thirteen Mix 161 - Veil Of Light

Veil Of Light - Secret Thirteen Mix 160

Photo by Veil Of Light

Beläten’s Veil Of Light takes us on a dark and cold journey of the human condition as expressed through the music of darkwave, industrial and EBM.

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Veil Of Light is the synth/post-punk solo project of a mystery man from Zurich, known to the wider World only as "M". The project was born in 2012, when all the tracks for the Veil Of Light eponymous 2013 EP released on BELÄTEN, were recorded by M in a bunker near Zurich. That last fact, incidentally, is a good way to describe the music released under this project's name - much like the mental image of a bunker, it is cold, dark, and forces one into a contemplative, resigned state. The influences that immediately come to mind listening to Veil Of Light are 1980s wave music, post punk, industrial, and dark ambient, all weaved together by an overarching depressive yet dreamy atmosphere. It has been called “gothgaze”, and the description seems apt. The follow-up to the opener, the 7" Cold Skin single released on Edition Gris, and the debut LP, simply titled “Ξ”, as well as this year’s Head/Blood/Chest EP continue in the same vein. M has stated in an interview, that his musical taste has mostly been informed by post-punk and coldwave, but his Secret Thirteen mix is moreso an ode to his heavier and more abstract leanings towards industrial, noise, and EBM.

Secret Thirteen Mix 161 provides the listener with an opening panorama of the modern identity – the dirt behind the gleaming façade. It takes us on a trip through the human condition and all its darkest corners. Some of the recurring themes are those of detachment, resignation, and helpless rage. The mix celebrates these feelings in the best tradition of gothic romanticism. The journey starts with an opening of the gates as Dead Can Dance’s epic modern classical piece “Ascension” sets the emotional tone fit for a glimpse at the death of greatness. It leads us into the lonesome witch-house of Videograve. SSSS’ cover of Veil Of Light’s “Pale Eyes” is a smooth transition. The ominous synths fade into the background, giving up the front row to cold and bloody techno beats, and creating an eerie and frightening sensation. We then stumble onto Burial Hex, whose doom-metal growls take us in a sharp downward trajectory towards a cauldron of angsty and epic rage. This part of the mix sounds like ritualistic murder in a blackened cathedral. The melancholic melodies and sad unimposing vocals of Född Död are desolate to the point of surrender. The synth layers keep building until they overpower everything and we are taken to the urban landscape of Olympia’s “Perfect” – a gothic neo-NDW-sounding track, which shifts the focus of the mix away from the surreal to the painfully actual. The next several tracks explore different parts of the psyche, the first is a minimal wave track by the legendary Minimal Man off their first “European” album – the decadent and self-destructive “Sex Instructor”. It ends rather abruptly but somehow quite logically, straight into a banging EBM anthem by Tommi Stumpff, which is almost epic enough to feel cheesy. The rage-filled beat gets cut and makes way for “Purple”, an elegant Veil Of Light track off this year’s EP. The synths here form a hungover bliss, finally disturbed by Princess Tinymeat’s “Devilscock”, which is an emphatic return to the dancefloor in the midst of an EBM psychobilly frenzy. The post-punk bass line and the intense beats on Regis’ KVB cover make a catchy ending to the chapter. Mellow Grave’s “Burn One” takes us into the cold winter sun and leaves us to await the catharsis delivered by Johan G. Winther’s lengthy and grand masterpiece of noise. This is certainly not a mix for every occasion, but a lonely evening might just do the trick. Due to its moody and dark intensity the mix resembles the sharp and beautiful abstract painting “1944-N No. 1” by Clyfford Still.


01. Dead Can Dance - Ascension [4AD, 1985]
02. Videograve - Videoslave [Living Tapes, 2011]
03. SSSS x Veil Of Light - Pale Eyes 4000 Remix [Beläten, 2014]
04. Burial Hex - Crowned & Conquering Child [Brave Mysteries, 2011]
05. Född Död - De Ensammas Hus [Northern Electronics, 2015]
06. Olympia - Perfect [Berenice Recordings, 2014]
07. Minimal Man - Sex Teacher [Dossier Records, 1985]
08. Tommi Stumpff - Requiem [No Dance, 1989]
09. Veil Of Light - Purple [Beläten, 2015]
10. Princess Tinymeat - Devilscock [Rough Trade, 1986]
11. The KVB - Dayzed Regis Remix [Cititrax, 2013]
12. Mellow Grave - Burn One [Living Tapes, 2011]
13. Johan G. Winther - Eating Or Vomiting Its Tail [Beläten, 2013]

About Author

Tadas Švenčionis is a Secret Thirteen editor and journalist. He organizes the occasional event in Lithuania and is obsessed with the harsh, the sad, the delirious, and the political.

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