From the awe-inspiring vistas of Canada’s winding southern coastline, where otters playfully grace the beaches, and ancient pines murmur stories, the distinct sound of Pacific Northwest Synth-punk takes form. Total Chroma is the fervent brainchild of Canada’s renowned hardware synth virtuoso, Isku Katerwol. Channeling the elation of Italo disco, the rhythmic vigour of classic EBM, the unrefined touch of minimal wave, and the ghostly resonance of post-punk, Katerwol crafts a vibrant concoction. This luminous blend irresistibly lures one to the dance floor, prompting an expressive liberation amidst the embrace of lights and mist.
Total Chroma’s new Lapland LP emerges from Katerwol’s creative sanctum, an exploration of his Sami lineage. The Sami, for those unacquainted, are the indigenous denizens of the Arctic, a people whose song has echoed across the icy plains, fjords, and tundras of Scandinavia and Russia for millennia, and whose history, like the labyrinthine forests of the North, is both rich and shadowed.
A diverse musical spectrum emerges within this album, and this blend of genres and styles adeptly honed by Katerwol yields compositions that reverberate with both the cool expanses of the Northern terrains and the fervor of human sentiment. Every piece stands as an odyssey into history and introspection, reflecting Katerwol’s artistic acumen and the enduring allure of the styles he seamlessly integrates.
In each measure, Katerwol plunges further, and with his descent, a more profound melancholy unfolds. We witness not only the obliteration of a culture but also Katerwol’s personal transformation. Total Chroma is for those who find solace in the avant-garde coldwave synth daydreams of Martin Dupont, the revolutionary echoes of Cabaret Voltaire, or the intense rhythms of Kontravoid.
Listen to LAPLAND below. You can also order the song on vinyl at the Total Chroma Bandcamp here.
Since the winter of 2012, Katerwol has graced North America and the EU with his auditory artistry. He’s navigated projects like Wire Spine, ignited stages with Weird Candle, pushed boundaries in Body Break, and plumbed the depths of punk with outfits such as Industrial Priest Overcoats and Snit.
Katerwol has shared the limelight with industry luminaries, including the likes of Lebanon Hanover, Perturbator, Drab Majesty, She Past Away, Selofan, and others. His collaborative portfolio speaks volumes, a nod to a relentless drive towards artistic growth. Away from the stage, amidst the quiet of dormant synths, Katerwol dedicates himself to mental health outreach, serving communities in hospitals and streets. Beyond his musical endeavors, he flourishes as an artist, acclaimed author, and curator of music events, most notably, the Verboden Music Festival in Vancouver, B.C.’s vibrant center.
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