Interviews

Questions For Foie Gras

foie gras interview press shot

Photography by Mutedfawn / Wardrobe by Aoi Kotsuhiroi

 

The subtle tour de force Foie Gras, one of my favorite ladies in the drone game who recently released that stellar Held record, offers the perfect balance between light & heavy in this Q&A, talking about death by wolves alongside quoting Rihanna.
 

What is the best way to die?
While avenging someone’s death, spontaneously combusting or wolves.

Probably wolves.

How do you think you’ll die?
I’ll live until the world explodes.

I’m not dying unless everyone is coming with me.

Though my family is convinced that I’ll die by picking a fight with the wrong person.

What makes you happy?
Golden Retrievers, the Flenser, jogging, terrible puns, nice clothes, nice people.

How can you die happy?
I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

I guess by wearing something nice and knowing one’s passing won’t ruin someone else’s life.

How close have you come to death?
I am death.

What does kindness mean to you?
Patience.

Understanding.

Charity.

Justice.

Genuineness.

An open heart and an open mind.

Keeping one’s cool… without expecting a reward.

Where do you find love?
In a hopeless place… at least that’s what Rihanna tells me.

When were you most afraid?
When I was a child. I quickly grew out of that though.

How do you listen to music?
In motion. Only when I’m in motion. I can’t sit still long enough to enjoy an album (except for Earth II by Earth or literally anything by Chubby Wolf/Celer). I have to be doing something with my hands or walking or exercising etc.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (October 20, 2014)

So much amazing new stuff this week. Rivulets, Gazelle Twin, Dreamcrusher, Francis Bebey, Andy Stott, Skullflower…
 

AGB Radio 2014/10/20

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Background music: Aphex Twin – XMAS_EVET10 (Thanaton3 Mix) (from Syro)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:01:07 Rivulets – Reinforced / Delicate (from I Remember Everything)
00:05:21 Xylouris White – Psarandonis Syrto (from Goats)
00:09:53 Francis Bebey – Bissau (from Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984)
00:13:28 Vashti Bunyan – Holy Smoke (from Heartleap)
00:18:11 Giulio Aldinucci – Fieno (from Aer)
00:26:55 Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd – Curious (from White Bird In A Blizzard)
00:30:10 Talk break
00:32:25 Cut Hands – Damballah 58 (from Festival Of The Dead)
00:39:03 Fudgers – RIP KITTEN (from Baby Aunt Scandal)
00:40:45 Gazelle Twin – Good Death (from Unflesh)
00:44:04 Pharmakon – Intent Or Instinct (from Bestial Burden)
00:52:33 Dreamcrusher – Hypernova Bloodbatch (from Suicide Deluxe)
01:01:08 Talk break
01:02:35 Andy Stott – Violence (from Faith In Strangers)
01:09:09 Black Rain – Xibalba Road Metamorph (from Dark Pool)
01:14:35 Fripp & Eno – Softy Gun Poison (from Live In Paris 28.05.1975)
01:27:03 Mike & Cara Gangloff – Cherry River Line (from Black Ribbon Of Death, Silver Thread Of Life)
01:32:03 Talk break
01:33:41 Sophia Loizou – Archaea (from Chrysalis)
01:38:33 Mondo Lava – Jubilee (from Parrot Head Cartridge)
01:44:19 Skullflower – Dakshinikalika (from Draconis)
01:59:12 Talk break

Out of Print

October OOPs: The Language And Music Of The Wolves narrated by Robert Redford (Tonsil, 1971)

Language-and-Music-Of-The-Wolves1
 

Download The Language And Music Of The Wolves

A whole record of wolves howling, barking, talking, and growling, this is perfect October OOPs material. The A side has wolf sounds mixed with some educational narration courtesy of Robert Redford talking about wolves and shit, then the B side is completely uninterrupted wolf field recordings.

Out of Print

October OOPs: Light – A Million Dead Beneath The Ice (self released, 2008)

light - a million dead beneath the ice album cover
 

Download A Million Dead Beneath The Ice

Before the folks in Book Of Sand were doing that avant black metal thing, they were doing this avant doom thing as Light. They put out three releases, and A Million Dead Beneath The Ice was the first, it came packaged in white folded paper with a bit of menstrual blood smeared on it, and the music was just fucking ridiculous, menacing faux organ, wall of static distortion, glacial hollow percussion, and tortured howling from the depths of hell, this is a slow droning slab of noisy old school doom with a tinge of Americana thrown in on the last song, absolutely horrific stuff, it’s perfect.

Out of Print

October OOPs: The Mausoleums – Blackened Fawns Cleanse The Earth With Fire (Chinese Workers Labor Union, 2008)

mausoleums - blackened fawns cleanse the earth with fire album cover
 

Download Blackened Fawns Cleanse The Earth With Fire

This is some serious Twilight Zone shit, a bizarre amalgamation of jangly 60s garage pop and the rawest most blown out lo-fi black metal. The Mausoleums is Andrew Allen of Avian Bones and head of the Chaos Of The Stars label (who put out an Ak’chamel tape last year!) and he’s been slowly releasing these amazingly fucked up records for the past 7 years, but this one is my favorite, and long gone on the CWLU label, so do some wacky time traveling and try to imagine a world where this is what topped Billboard some 50 years ago.

Out of Print

October OOPs: Xexyz – Primeval Mountain (Dipsomaniac / Suffering Jesus, 2006)

Xexyz - Primeval Mountain album cover
 

Download Primeval Mountain

Xexyz (J.R. Preston of Tjolgtjar) has one release to his name, and it’s an NESBM record chiefly inspired by the classic game Rygar. “What’s NESBM,” you ask? Well that would stand for Nintendo Entertainment System Black Metal, aka 8-bit black metal, and it’s not nearly as ridiculous as you’d think it would be. This is some premium shit. Raw, lo-fi black metal with yowling Gilbert Gottfried vocals that could stand well enough on its own without the added chiptune awesomeness. Most of the songs are completely original that sample NES games, but a couple pieces are more like covers, like “Metroid,” which is just the best fucking song, you never would’ve guessed that the Metroid music would make a great foundation for black metal. Highly original and super fucking weird. You’ll love it.

Out of Print

October OOPs: Tortura – The Sounds Of Pain And Pleasure (Bondage, 1965?)

tortura album cover medium
 
Download Tortura – The Sounds Of Pain And Pleasure

So this one isn’t scary but I think the BDSM thing is wholly appropriate for the October OOPs series. Despite the “factual living record” claim on the cover, this is clearly a recreation of some “sexy” sounds, including moaning, crying, whipping, and slapping, and it’s fake enough that it’s way more hilarious than it is sexy. There’s almost no music, but the rhythm of the whips and stuff are somewhat musical, which makes for a truly bizarre listen. This is a fantastic mood setter. Great (and fuckin weird) stuff.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (October 13, 2014) – One Year Anniversary Special

This is the 52nd episode of AGB Radio on BFF.fm so I celebrated by playing some of my favorite songs from previous episodes. I only took one song from each episode (I think…) but I couldn’t do a song from every episode because that’s 52 songs and I only have a 2 hour time slot so this is the cream of the crop.
 

AGB Radio 2014/10/13

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Background music: Ninos Du Brasil – Novos Mistérios (from Novos Mistérios)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:01:08 Factory Floor – Turn It Up (from Factory Floor)
00:07:21 Emptyset – Order (from Recur)
00:13:45 bvdub & Loscil – Thanatos (from Erebus)
00:22:19 Raum – Blood Moon (from Event Of Your Leaving)
00:28:09 Talk break
00:29:04 Julianna Barwick – Look Into Your Own Mind (from Nepenthe)
00:33:33 Magik Markers – American Sphinx Face (from Surrender To The Fantasy)
00:40:17 Wizard Of – Skeleton II (from Face/Skeleton)
00:48:04 Blackhoods – Doomhound (from Sunk)
00:54:49 FKA Twigs – Two Weeks (from LP1)
00:58:53 Talk break
00:59:51 Tara Jane O’Neil – Bellow Below As Above (from Where Shine New Lights)
01:03:03 Ignatz & Harris Newman – I Will Bring You Buzzard Meat (from Bring You Buzzard Meat)
01:09:42 Ak’chamel, The Giver Of Illness – Head Of Acantun, Talking Stone (from Fucking With Spirits)
01:17:52 Planning For Burial – Where You Rest Your Head At Night (from Desideratum)
01:26:03 Drowse – Needing (from Songs To Sleep On)
01:29:06 Talk break
01:30:22 Peder Mannerfelt – Affricate Consonants (from Lines Describing Circles)
01:34:30 Ben Frost – Venter (from A U R O R A)
01:41:03 Emma Ruth Rundle – Savage Saint (from Some Heavy Ocean)
01:45:21 Ben Chasny – Black Sand (from Black Sand/Wedding Song single)
01:50:18 Marisa Anderson – Mojave (from Mercury)
01:52:12 Dama/Libra – The Chant (from Claw)
01:58:46 Talk break

Out of Print

October OOPs: Nat Freedland – The Occult Explosion (United Artists, 1973)

nat freedland - the occult explosion album cover (medium)
 

Download The Occult Explosion

A truly crazy record containing interviews of people from all walks of life talking about their bizarre passions. There’s Anton LeVey talking about Satanism, why it’s got a bad rap and how it’s more about life than death, Wiccan Louise Huebner sharing the secrets of witchcraft, Dr. Thelma Ross going off about ESP, Rosemary Brown channeling dead composers, Stanton Friedman going deep into UFO theories, and lots more. Then there’s a couple songs by Black Widow, a British occult heavy metal band that never made it as far as Black Sabbath because they were a bit too out there.

There’s a big bound booklet inside the gatefold of this that’s too cumbersome to scan, so definitely pick up a copy of this if you ever found one, it’s well worth your money. Also, that artwork by Wilfried Satty is just fucking outstanding. Why wouldn’t you want to own this?

Out of Print

October OOPs: Voices Of The Loon (National Audubon Society, 1980)

voices of the loon album cover
 

I’ve decided to use the month of October to share a bunch of spooky scary creepy crawly records. I’ve got tons. Some of them are maybe a bit subjective (like this one) and some of them I’ve posted before (also like this one) but I think it’ll be nice nice to collect them all under the October OOPs tag while also offering some new-to-AGB records.
 

Download Voices Of The Loon

Loons are fucking awesome because they sound like terrifyingly beautiful ghosts. If you’ve ever sat out by a lake in the middle of nowhere late at night, you know just how creepy loons can sound. This record does a great job capturing that. The first side includes some narration describing what’s going on, but the B side is untainted by humans, just loons doing their creepy fuckin thing alongside thunderstorms and coyote howls, so this is perfect Halloween material. Dig in.

Also, the back of the jacket has an “Important Note” that warns you not to play this record “near waters occupied by breeding pairs” because horny loons apparently can’t handle any competition.

Album Review

Isolator – Culture And Principal Of Anti-Human Exaltation (Black Plagve, 2014)

isolator - Culture and Principal of Anti-Human Exaltation album cover
IsolatorCast In Blood (Black Plagve)

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The most recent release on Black Plagve (a sub-label of Malignant) looks like it might be Isolator’s true debut, but both of the two dudes involved (Justin Stubbs and The Nothing) have years of experience making extreme sounds, and holy fuck does it show, this is a magnificent terror of hellish drone fueled by pure hatred & misanthropy (in case you couldn’t tell by the title), walls of dense static undulating with decay, unpenetrable slabs of death industrial chaos with the bombastic percussion traded for endless scraping feedback and haunted harmonics, vocals that range from unholy priests, to tortured howls, to grotesque chants, these are the sounds you’d hear months after a Hellmouth broke open and the horror died down to a constant dull roar, a 22nd century warzone close enough to perpetually fear for your life but far enough away so the shrieks of the dying are merely muffled background noise, but spend enough time with this and you’ll unearth some bittersweet angelic tones, a soft sad beauty lurking beneath the caustic devastation, this is absolutely fucking massive and nightmarish but undeniably a drone record, bleak as fuck and way more harsh than most of the other drone I review, but drone nonetheless, and it’s fucking fantastic.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (October 6, 2014)

Got a major migraine before this episode started so I kept it pretty low key. Side note: The Field is my go-to migraine music for commuting (which sadly happens all too often) because it’s soft enough to not harsh my head but is hard enough to cut through the subway & train noise. It’s pretty perfect.
 

AGB Radio 2014/10/06

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Background music: Peter Broderick – Side A (from Ten Duets)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:37 Andrew Weathers – We’ll Meet Beyond The Grave (from One Day We’ll Find The Valley)
00:12:23 Tashi Wada – March 2007 (from Duets)
00:17:57 Etta Baker – Bully Of The Town (from Instrumental Music Of The southern Appalachians)
00:20:50 Tape – Repose (from Casino)
00:27:04 Talk break
00:28:13 Steve Gunn & Mike Gangoff – Out Canning Factory Road (from Melodies For A Savage Fix)
00:33:25 bvdub – Everything Between You And Me (from A History Of Distance)
00:53:16 Popol Vuh – They Danced, They Laughed, As Of Old (from Agape-Agape Love-Love)
00:58:00 Talk break
00:58:50 Machinefabriek – Stillness #4 (Yalour Islands, Antarctica) (from Stillness Soundtracks)
01:10:31 John Fahey – Poor Boy (from The Dance Of Death & Other Plantation Favorites)
01:13:46 Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler – Welsh Corgis In The Snow (from Slant Of Light)
01:21:04 Bitchin’ Bajas – Orgone (from Bitchin’ Bajas)
01:29:31 Talk break
01:30:33 Hakobune – Hidden Away (from Seamless And Here)
01:43:53 John Davis – Carrie Belle (from Southern Journey 1: Georgia Sea Islands, Volume 1)
01:46:06 Robert Wilkins – I’ll Go With Her (from I Woke Up One Morning In May)
01:48:55 The Field – Looping State Of Mind (from Looping State Of Mind)
01:59:19 Talk break

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (September 29, 2014)

Did some highlights of a few labels’ recent batches including Kranky, Full Spectrum, PAN, Malignant, and a couple others.
 

AGB Radio 2014/09/29

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Background music: Inryo-fuen – That Which Falls From The Sky (from Early Works 1980-82)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:43 James Hoff – Sterbia (from Blaster)
00:03:46 Lee Gamble – Nueme (from Koch)
00:11:05 Daniel Bachman – And Now I Am Born To Die (from Orange Co. Serenade)
00:17:51 United Waters – Our Beat (from Sunburner)
00:23:59 The Vomit Arsonist – Black Bile (from An Occasion For Death)
00:28:33 Gnawed – The Scales (from Feign And Cloak)
00:32:33 Talk break
00:33:59 G.S. Sultan – agtestgreathit_mv9 (from Ag_Greatesthit)
00:39:49 Derek Rogers – You Don’t Think In Terms Of Trains (from Visual Echoes)
00:50:04 Maar – Low Surface Brightness (from Ceto)
00:59:58 Talk break
01:00:53 Glou Glou – Side A (from Hymn Her Hum)
01:25:40 Wes Tirey – Memories, Byegone (from O, Annihilator)
01:30:26 Talk break
01:31:18 A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos VI (from Atomos)
01:38:44 Anjou – Backsight (from Anjou)
01:47:17 Grouper – Made Of Air (from Ruins)
01:58:18 Talk break

13 Reasons Why We Can (And Should) Pick Our Favorite Records: A Defense For The Quantification Of Aesthetics

13 reasons for lists winners podium
Drew Daniel is widely known as that well respected Matmos dude and the guy behind The Soft Pink Truth who just put out that batshit crazy electronic black metal tribute Why Do The Heathen Rage? that “abjures black metal homophobes, racists, and Nazis categorically and absolutely.” The Quietus asked him to share his 13 favorite records but instead he published an article titled “13 Reasons Why I Can’t Pick My 13 Favourite Records: A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics.” As a guy who got a state college education in Aesthetics, my knee-jerk reaction to that title was “Fuck yeah! Finally someone speaking up about this music ‘journalism’ bullshit.” Then I read the article and found myself shaking my head, going “No, no, no, Drew, you’re not wrong, you’re just totally missing the point.” I literally never feel the urge to call someone out online for being wrong or misguided or whatever, let alone do any sort of long-form writing on AGB, but I felt like Drew was begging for a conversation about this, that he was intentionally pushing people’s buttons (while still being true to his opinions), and that I actually had a strong enough opinion of my own (again, very rare) that I should respond to Drew’s rant and make people not feel bad about saying something like The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid is their favorite ambient record.

We can and should make Top 10 lists because they’re good exercises in further analyzing records, they’re good conversation starters, and they’re just plain fun. We can and should talk in superlatives and hyperbole about what we think the best Sunn O))) record is because that’s what makes our language and culture so rich. Those are the origins of this article that I never thought needed to be defended, but Drew started it.

Drew had 13 points, in line with The Quietus’ Baker’s Dozen column, and I go through each of them, so this is a bit long and I don’t like to clutter the front page, so the meat is after the jump.
 
Read the rest of this entry »

Album Review

The End Of The World Championship – Balance Beam (Sacred Phrases, 2014)

the end of the world championship - balance beam album cover
The End Of The World Championship – Balance Beam I (Sacred Phrases)

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This dude put out one of my favorite drone records from last year, the In Slow Motion tape on Umor Rex, it was his debut and it was phenomenal, and Balance Beam is now his third release (I missed his second, oops) and it’s every bit as excellent as you’d hope for after hearing that debut, this is more of his mega monolith drone, hugely dense & blissfully minimal, this is the drone that others should aspire to, beyond what we have come to know as Drone, TEOTWC is working a transcendent magick that brings subtle tonal shifts and overwhelming walls of buzz & hum to new heights, slowly & discretely adding hidden layers of beauty, it feels like it builds up so much that it has to collapse in on itself creating a black hole of minimalism except it somehow stays afloat, offering moments of clarity & euphoria amid the crushing weight of maximum volume, but there is a darkness in these sounds, a deep bleakness that resonates in my core, struggling to see the other side and never quite making it, so yeah, this is blissful in it’s hypnosis but supremely melancholic, and absolutely fucking perfect, this is my favorite kind of drone and it’s done incredibly well. Now it’s time for TEOTWC to get some vinyl in the works.