25-05-2024 Music 225

Octavian Winters - Nebula / Velveteen (Mark Pistel Remix)

Octavian Winters - Nebula / Velveteen (Mark Pistel Remix)

San Francisco post-punk outfit Octavian Winters has teamed up with Mark Pistel (Consolidate, Meat Beat Manifesto) on their new two-track single. Out April 30 via Stratis Capta Records, the A-side 'Nebula', which underscores the inevitable impermanence of all that is seen and unseen, known and unknown, is complemented by Pistel's infectious pulsating remix of 'Velveteen'.

Formed in 2022, Octavian Winters is guitarist Stephan Salit (Thrill of The Pull), drummer Randy Gzebb (Thrill of The Pull, Love Club), bassist Jay Denton and Ria (Amenti) Aursjoen on vocals and keyboards. Together, they weave their visceral and ethereal sound into a texture all its own – of stories once told but half-remembered, under a dusk of shadows and stars, in an abandoned city under the winter moon.

A producer, engineer, programmer, remixer and songwriter active in the electronic music scene since the 80s, Mark Pistel is perhaps best known as a founding member of the band Consolidated and contributing member of Meat Beat Manifesto since 1997. From his own Room 5 studio, he has worked with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Grace Jones, Therapy?, MC 900 Foot Jesus, Machines of Loving Grace, Hector Zazou, Mark Stewart, Lee Scratch Perry, Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder and Fishbone's Angelo Moore.

Pistel explains, "Randy Gzebb called me about remixing one of the tracks off 'The Line or the Curve' EP. I was excited to do so, as we'd recorded some of these vocals at my Room 5 Studio in San Francisco. I chose to do 'Velveteen' as I already loved the track with its fantastic vocal melody and Stephan's unstoppable guitar hook! I  took on the track with pulsing analog synths and a slamming dance floor beat for the clubs."

Octavian Winters also present their new video for 'Nebula', created by filmmaker David Kruschke, who also produced the band's most recent video for the original version of 'Velveteen'. Both songs were lifted from the band's debut EP 'The Line or Curve', released in October 2023, following videos for 'Undertow', 'Ondine' and 'Surreal'.

"Nebula began as an experiment. I was trying to pin down the concept of the song in my head lyrically for a while and just knew it felt very “big”, even apocalyptic in a way. I kept envisioning a sort of “last day at the end of the world” — what would the sky look like? Would we know and understand what was happening? There is this broadly Gnostic idea of the universe as unfolding and unfolding through what are called Aeons, essentially levels of manifestation, until we get this world we live in here," says Ria Aursjoen. 

"I imagined this world reaching the fullness of its life, that whole cycle ending — and then everything reversing, refolding back to the start to make way for the next universe. There is a lot of esoteric symbology referenced in this song for those out there who like that sort of thing. The incredible thing about symbolic language is that it can have so many levels of meaning depending on the viewer/listener. I am sure I will understand my own words to this in new ways, in the future."

Drawing from darkwave and post-punk traditions, Octavian Winters dives into the ethereal, their layered music counterpointing edged grooves alongside lush synth textures and soaring vocal harmonies.

Randy Gzebb explains, "We were discussing what song idea we should work on next during the writing process and Ria brought in the demo of Nebula. We listened once and started playing it at rehearsal and after a couple of takes, everyone had their parts locked down. I started to play with the Tom groove and tried to make it powerful, but still leave some space for the track to breathe. The rhythm and tempo set the overall tone and emotional mood of the song, with guitar and pulsating bass creating a haunting atmosphere with powerful vocal lines".

'The Line or Curve' EP was recorded in San Francisco by Mark Pistel (Meat Beat Manifesto, Consolidated) at OW Studio and Room 5 Recording, the band produced this EP with William Faith (The Bellwether Syndicate, Faith and the Muse, Christian Death, The March Violets), who also mixed and mastered it at 13 Studio in Chicago.

Over the years, members of Octavian Winters have shared the stage with many iconic acts, including Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Lords of the New Church, Savage Republic, Christian Death, The Frozen Autumn, Everything Goes Cold and Black Tape for a Blue Girl.

The 'Nebula / Velveteen (Mark Pistel Remix)' single is out now, available digitally from fine music platforms, including via Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp, where 'The Line or Curve' EP is also available. The band's next headlining concert is on Friday, July 26 at San Francisco's DNA Lounge with support from Halou and Sword Tongue as support.

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