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France based darkwave/ghost-folk act -ii- (pronounced as "Two Eyes"), formed in 2017, casts a dark ritual composed of electronic rhythms, intense atmospheres and sensual psalms. Its debut EP Lighthouse got released in September 2018, and it is a succession of landscapes and metaphors: a beam of light facing the darkness on the horizon, dark waves echoing on a black sand shore. Influenced by the ghost folk of Chelsea Wolfe, the six tracks convey a sense of passion, an insular spleen haunted by a spectral voice. The band then refined its style on the road, giving concerts all around France (even on the Reunion Island) and in Switzerland, Italy, and Luxemburg (where they opened for the noise rock band Health). Heavily influenced by this first tour in March 2018, -ii- infused the spleen of the islands within six tracks. The aerial arrangements of "Changing Places", the ethereal vocals of "Lighthouse", the somehow lascivious rhythm of "Spine", the raw minimalism of "Dust Bowl" - altogether laid the band's aesthetic foundations.

This experience also resulted in the single "The Rings of Saturn" (out in March 2020), which marks the band's emancipation from its first influences and diving deeper into the industrial territory. Right after this release and the last concert at home (opening for Svart Crown And Gost), the pandemic struck. During this seclusion period, the band keeps on experimenting with noisy and electronic elements, releasing two singles ("Crowns" and "Summer In The Wait") as well as several remixes of Chelsea Wolfe, Health and Daughters. Being off the road also appeared as an ideal opportunity for the band to create and release its debut full-length Extinction. Within its nine tracks, -ii- offers a brand new aspect of music, leaving the insular spleen of Lighthouse for a tortured introspection. The album brings out the key elements to the band's style: an oppressive, choking synthetic bass sound wrapped up around an electronic beat made of deep kicks and harsh noises, pulsing the ghostly vocals and guitars into an apocalyptic prayer.

Sometimes minimalistic, but often intense and full of mystical power that alternates between the more emotional, atmospheric and tortured industrial pulses is captivating, and certain choruses are catchy as hell. -ii- music act tries to make experiments, so it dwells in another sonic world, an imaginary world of forbidden rituals, deviant eroticism and oppressive reality, while still keeping a kind of urban feel to it with appealing dark pop sensuality.

Follow the [Dark] UNKNOWN this Thursday, 6 May, on Terra Relicta radio, and  "delight yourself into the void" with -ii-.

-ii- discography:
- Lighthouse [EP] (2018)
- The Rings Of Saturn [Single] (2020)
- Crowns [Single] (2020)
- Summer In The Wait [Single] (2020)
- Extinction (2021)

-ii- links: Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube

-ii-'s music will be presented in the radio show [Dark] UNKNOWN this Thursday, 6 May at 22.00 (CET) on Terra Relicta Radio.

Written by Jerneja