The Vorstand Circus sound is difficult to pin down. It’s bombastic, but owes just as much to minimalisim, dark symphonic electronics , and a washed out psychedlia with experimental gothic inclinations. Not only is it a mouthful, and unmistakably adventurous – it should also be entirely contradictory yet somehow it isn’t. It’s a curious beast, electronics with a heartbeat, albeit a dark heartbeat, where digitally altered melodic vocals are followed by gorgeous simmering drones and it doesn’t feel out of place for a moment.
The Vorstand Circus is the work of Melbourne based Jason Allen (Goldaline), a classically trained experimental composer and sound engineer who uses drum pads, keys, vocals, and live looping, and has played live in and around Melbourne since 2010.
Of course it sounds beautiful, given his sound engineer credentials, yet the real interest is his vocals, never sounding remotely similar, often treated to excessive delays or strange modulated filtering. He’s singing about a cultural isolation that the internet is unable to rectify, and as a result song titles and themes are drawn to the local, even referencing the 1959 Melbourne based end of the world film On The Beach.
He speaks of using the reflective spaces such as his bathroom or stairwell in his house to send his computer based sounds out through a guitar amp and re micing them and sending them back into the computer – wrenching the sound out of the box.
I hear everything from Nine Inch Nails to the Beatles. It’s experimental but its melodic, a strange highly distinctive work that is brimming with ideas, that takes its time to reveal its rewards.