Caroline K – Now Wait for Last Year (Blackest Ever Black, May 2016)

Blackest Ever Black have been cradling us in the sombre contemporary drones of Secret Boyfriend, Dalhous and more throughout the winter, and if there is anything better than this, it’s when the label turns its attentions to reissues. Now Wait for Last Year is a reissue that feels intrinsic of the label’s DNA, executing a strange temporal vortex that flattens the present into the past; 30 years of uninterrupted malaise and forlorn electronica. Nestled within those three decades are also the undying efforts of Austrian label Klanggallerie, who put this album out on CD in 2010, shortly after Caroline K’s untimely death – and it’s nice to see BEB and the Klang come together.

Lunar in its capacity to stay romantic yet while keeping stark, Now Wait for Last Year was the first, last and only solo work from Nocturnal Emissions and Sterile Records founding member Caroline Kaye Walter. Released in 1987, the album is a temporal vortex in itself, above and beyond that Philip K. Dick title and will feel important for anyone whose sensibility floats between industrial, ambient, dark ambient, dark techno and goth. The BEB edition keeps the original form of the record intact; a droney side A is completely taken up by a murky, ultra-reverberating 20-minute journey entitled “The Happening World”. On the B-side, Walter proceeds by accumulation, as if layering elements from the softest to the sharpest, from hazy echoed rings on “Animal Lattice” to merciless, blade-like drum machines on “Tracking with Close Ups”, up until the ominously wise, filmic “Leaving”. And then she leaves. Caroline K, we salute you, wherever you are.