Mareux - Predestiny EP


Darkwave

2020

Arian Ashtani is an LA-based musician who's been recording lo-fi singles and EPs in relative obscurity under the name Mareux. Seven years after his debut EP Decade (2013), Mareux had a hit with the single 'The Perfect Girl', which shone a light on an adjacent release, the brilliant and brooding Predestiny EP.

You wouldn't know it from the sleek new wave pop of 'Spectral Tease', but Predestiny is an ice-cold slab of nocturnal darkwave that wears the 'goth' label proudly on its sleeve. The cover art for the single however is something of a giveaway. It's a stark photo passed through a filter I'm going to call 'distressed monochrome', of a figure submerged in pitch-dark water, its arms raised holding a rose and a lit candle. Completely overwrought, yet utterly fitting for the dramatic melancholy of the record.

Spectral Tease Single cover

'Gopnik' kicks off with the same drum clap loops from Nine Inch Nails' 'Closer'. As Ashtani's cold, processed vocals intone ''the subway is a porno / the streets are all white noise", you're thinking to yourself that this is a man that not only knows his Interpol, but is one of the exceedingly few 2010s acts to have followed in the footsteps of TR/ST in creating throbbing, thoroughly sinister synthpop. 'Choke' follows this blueprint as well, letting you luxuriate in the murk a little bit longer.

'Summertime' lifts the curtain of gloom just a tad, while 'Roses' darkly melancholic melody will be familiar to listeners of Mareux's early works. In fact, part of the joy of discovering Predestiny is in knowing that there's more where this came from. A curation of their early works from 2012-2017 would make for a stunningly solid mini-album. 'Leech', 'Inamorata', 'Dance Floor Dolor', 'Cold Summer'.....it's all in that similar vein of dejection-wave churned out by Boy Harsher, Lebanon Hanover and others, but the solo nature of Mareux, feels more intimate, yet somehow isolating.

Highly Recommended!


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