"Portraits of fantastic darkness have always been impressively composed by Vlimmer. Yet, true greatness does not lie in the genius of a moment, but in the constancy of what matters.
In the case of Vlimmer it is walking on the narrow line right on the self-imposed boundaries. "XIIIII" does not push it further; it moves closer to the outside again - yet, it's always there, not leaving the path. And so "XIIIII" turns out to be another piece of evidence that Vlimmer consistently adheres to his own idea." - NEØLYD (GER)
"Their most expansive and accessible release to date. A reflective and bruised Chameleon in all the imperious majesty." - The Sunday Experience (USA)
"Irresistible slice of dark indie pop" - SWIT (IRE)
"One of the most accessible releases by Vlimmer. An artist that is among the most creative and outgoing in the dark-colored music scene." - Darkroom Magazine (ITA)
"De facto an unmissable episode of trenchant interjections, spectral visions and apoplectic thoughts, harmonically aesthetic. It might take some time to plow through the layers of sound, but its forte is resounding with inner perturbations, and to achieve this result it teams up with elliptical chords. [...] It’s all well balanced and pleasantly alive." - Quaquaversal (UK)
"The result is undoubtedly elegant, with tracks able to capture from the first listen. The artist's maturation, now more than ever, is incisively claimed. You should absolutely listen to this." - Ver Sacrum (ITA)
"German sound wizard Alexander continues to spew forth the most gloriously textured collections of sounds with pull heart strings like a horses reins. It baffles me how good every single release is." - Sounds and Shadows (USA)
"A thunder in the heart. The songs alone are an emotional manifest, a tremendous pressure like a call from within. One of the most peculiar and indeed poetic releases in 2019." - Noise Journal (USA)
"Somehow, putting on the music of Vlimmer makes me feel a sense of comfort. It's odd, but the music is from modern times yet it sounds like something from when I was in my younger years and so I think those two factors together really make me feel at peace. After you hear an artist enough times they just begin to take on a sound all their own and Vlimmer has done that." - Raised By Cassettes (USA)
"XIIII continues on [Vlimmer's] momentum. Oppressive restrained enthusiasm in Augenlicht, the clever accessibility of Rasenstarre, the dreamy Zielzyklus, the runaway Fluchtlauf and the awesome Umnachtung." - Dark Entries (BEL)
"A successful mixture of guitar post-punk, dark wave reflections, dark pulses of cold wave, and even synth pop. Too much? Not for Vlimmer's style, which joins this diversity into an ear-friendly whole. Beautiful and only possible in the "underground." - Wave Press (POL)
"'One of the most noticable releases in the EP series. I respect Vlimmer for not repeating himself, each time again exploring new paths. This EP is carried by good-old dream-pop elements,which are fully enjoyable" - Side-Line Magazine (BEL)
"Unconventional and powerful mixture of post-punk, darkwave and shoegaze" - Orkus (GER)
"Vlimmer invites us to enter his world of mourning - erasing feelings of sadness with his spectral energy. An attractive sound, easy to hear and full of dreamy atmospheres." - Threshold Magazine (POR)
"Vocals lost in isolation, painstakingly search for answers, amid the dark, charming allure of zither strings woven into delicate, shimmering chimes dripping daring melodies amid sad, breathlessly sweeping synth surrenders." - White Light / White Heat (ITA)
"Notable music in 2019" - Sumnus (MEX)
"The silence is broken by the deafening chanting of black-wing angels chanting an ultimate psalm" - Last Day Deaf (GRE)
"Vlimmer continues to push the boundaries of genres and defies expectations with every release." - Subculture Shock (USA)
"With plaintive vocals in the style of The-Cure singer Robert Smith and gothic sounds à la Clan Of Xymox, Alexander Donat aka Vlimmer sets out on an unusual musical quest for a identity. [...] Sounds like" Dark ", the series. " - Tonspion (GER)
"Not musically focusing on one genre is not a given. Certainly not with a combination of quality and quantity. German musician Alexander Leonard Donat can and does do this." - De Subjectivisten (NED)
"The band manages to forge a new path over a well trod genre" - Issues Magazine (USA)
"The five tracks here put an inventive experimental spin on gothic music." - Bliss/Aquamarine (UK)
In November 2015 Berlin-based one-man project Vlimmer headed off with the first two parts of an EP-series which he claimed to be as just the beginning of a huge journey based on the story of a young man trying to literally travel back in time to find out about the circumstance of his birth and what made him the way he is as an adult. On the 15th of 18 parts the story takes a hopeless turn, with the protagonist fleeing from the overwhelming, disturbing past he had barely entered, and - in an attempt to return to the present - gets stuck in a bleak place without any notion of time and space. All he gets is a hint of softly lit stars and black canvas.
“XIIIII” is about surrendering to the overwhelmingly abysmal puzzle that is life. The songs themselves are an emotional manifest made of a wave skeleton which is wrapped in post-punk flesh and a soul that is equally dreamy as it is sorrowful. Yet, don’t let this fool you, the opening two songs, “Augenlicht” and “Rasenstarre”, and the closer, “Umnachtung”, further explore the electro pop paths that “Bankrott” (from EP 14 earlier in 2019) had walked before. They are catchy and less bound to the gloom than previous parts of the EP-series, yet foggy modern psychedelic tunes celebrating the acceptance of failure. However, the center of “XIIIII” is a nervous, feverish breakdown. The doomy “Zielzyklus” almost comes to a halt with its slowed down drums and witchy synths, while the hyperactive “Fluchtlauf” adds portions of noise and shoegaze to its EBM outfit supporting the feeling of being hunted down.
There’s no turning back now, and even though the finish line ribbon is still untouched, there’s no way this leads to a happy end.
Im November 2015 startete das in Berlin ansässige Ein-Mann-Projekt Vlimmer mit den ersten beiden Teilen einer EP-Serie, die Alexander Donat als den Beginn einer großen Reise bezeichnete, die auf der Geschichte eines jungen Mannes basiert, der buchstäblich versucht, zurück in die Vergangenheit zu reisen, um die Umstände vor seiner Geburt zu beleuchten, die ihn mittlerweile als Erwachsenen quälen. Am 15. von 18 Teilen nimmt die Geschichte eine hoffnungslose Wendung: Der Protagonist flieht vor der überwältigenden, verstörenden Vergangenheit, die er kaum betreten hatte, und bleibt - beim Versuch, in die Gegenwart zurückzukehren - an einem trostlosen Ort ohne Zeit- und Raumbegriff stecken. Alles, was er bekommt, ist ein Hauch von sanft leuchtenden Sternen und schwarzer Leinwand.
In „XIIIII“ geht es darum, sich dem überwältigend abgründigen Rätsel des Lebens zu ergeben. Die Songs selbst sind ein emotionales Manifest aus einem in Post-Punk-Muskulatur gefüllten Wave-Skelett und einer Seele, die ebenso träumerisch wie traurig ist. Man lasse sich davon jedoch nicht täuschen, denn die ersten beiden Songs „Augenlicht“ und „Rasenstarre“ sowie der Closer „Umnachtung“ wandern auf Electro-Pop-Pfaden, die „Bankrott“ (von EP 14 [auch 2019]) schon andeutete. Sie sind eingängiger und weniger hoffnungslos als frühere EP-Teile und feiern neblig-psychedelisch die Akzeptanz des Scheiterns. Das Zentrum von „XIIIII“ wiederum ist ein nervöser, fieberhafter Zusammenbruch. Der doomige „Zielzyklus“ kommt mit seinen verlangsamten Drums und witchy Synthesizern fast zum Erliegen, während der hyperaktive „Fluchtlauf“ seinem EBM-Gerüst eine Portion Noise und Shoegaze verleiht und das Gefühl des Gejagdwerdens stützt.
Nun gibt es kein Zurück mehr; und obwohl das Ziellinienband noch unberührt ist, führt dies auf keinen Fall zu einem glücklichen Ende.
released November 29, 2019
Music by: Alexander Leonard Donat
Cover art + green photo: HerbariuM
Red photo: Azenoire
Slaves is my favorite song, although Crosses comes at such a close second... this LP and acts of worship I both need to own in some sort of physical copy one day, they're so good at expressing emotions I didn't even know I felt... yona