Album Review

Hellvete – Ode (Deep Distance, 2014)

hellvete - ode album cover
Hellvete – Ode (A-201) (Deep Distance)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Hellvete is Glen Steenkiste‘s solo project, he’s one of the founders of Sylvester Anfang (and SA II), and he’s been cranking out some supremely amazing minimal drone records, Ode being his third LP, and it’s a fucking doozy, two side long pieces of deeeeep zoning, lush organic reed-ish drones that hang in the air like a lead shroud, dense & mystical, the sound of every atom vibrating in harmony, subtly shimmering in blissful hypnosis that’s fucking over the top beautiful, effortlessly heavenly, overwhelming with warmth & euphoria, this is aural enlightenment, serious transcendental shit, absolute fucking perfection. Only 300 copies. As essential as it gets.

Haiku Review

Talons’ – MIDI Pillow (Functional Objects, 2014)

talons - midi pillow album cover
Talons’Part 2 (Functional Objects)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Download MIDI Pillow
/sleep, welcome respite/
/the dream of nothing at all/
/from silence to bliss/

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (April 21, 2014)

Fennesz and Eric Holm are already year end contenders. Also, be sure to stick around for the discofied SMZ.
 

AGB Radio 2014/04/21

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

/Background music/ Pete Swanson – Boiler Room, NYC (from Life Under The Art Flag)
Fennesz – Liminality (from Bécs)
Eric Holm – Kvastinden (from Andøya)
Léo Kupper – L’enclume Des Forces 1967-71 (from Electronic Works & Voices 1961-1979)
Federico Durand – Clavel (from El Estanque Esmerelda)
HolyKindOf – Ceremonial Magnet (Part I) (from Stay/Sea)
Coppice – So Lobes Drape As Such Gills Over A Hanger’s Pit (from Vantage/Cordoned)
Man Forever with So Percussion – The Clear Realization (from Ryonen)
Bass Clef – Euphoric Nihilism (from Raven Yr Own Worl)
Cinchel – Porch Swings (from A House Once Lived That Never Was)
Jason Lescalleet – The Tragedy Of Man (from Much To My Demise)
Peder Mannerfelt – Affricate Consonants (from Lines Describing Circles)
Christopher Bissonnette – Another Moving Site (from Essays In Idleness)
Saintseneca – So Longer (from Dark Arc)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Any Fucking Thing You Love (from Hang On To Each Other)

Album Review

Donato Epiro – Fiume Nero (Black Moss, 2014)

donato epiro - fiume nero album cover
Donato EpiroNaja Nigricollis (Black Moss)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Donato’s been around for a while, letting loose on numerous labels limited tapes and CD-Rs of bizarre worldly sounds, generally (unfortunately) not making too big of a splash. Then along comes Black Moss, the label responsible for that Umberto picture disc to accompany your suicide and the insaaaaane Slowmantra tape, and they’re like “Dude! The world’s gotta wake up! Lets press this shit to wax and spread the love.” So they did. This is Epiro’s vinyl debut and it compiles tracks from two of his previous releases, Sounding The Sun & Supercontinent, both on the late great Stunned. Now I don’t normally post about reissue/compilation stuff here but this gets a pass because 1: I already mentioned this dude is way under-appreciated, 2: it was really easy to lose track of the onslaught of Stunned releases at the time, let alone going through the back-catalog now that they’re kaput, and most obviously 3: Fiume Nero fuckin kills. This is some dark jungle shit, vibin hard on sweaty rhythms, heat wave fuzz lines droning in the distance, ethno-industrial jams that feel like fever dream hallucinations, washed out black noise and beastly flutter, this is what you hear after solo trekking through the rainforest for weeks on end and you’re at the edge of your life, stumbling upon a tribe performing manic dance rituals, this record appropriates everything and comes out sounding fresh as fuck, Donato nails it. Only 300 copies and don’t let the reissue thing dissuade you. Fiume Nero is essential.

Album Review

Fatalism – Mystery Of Death (Eternal Death, 2014)

fatalism - mystery of death album cover
FatalismIsabelle (Eternal Death)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Holy fuck this is some next level shit. Debut record from this duo featuring members of One Master and Morgirion playing some heavy dreamy gloom, mixing up elements of black metal, shoegaze, darkwave, and doom, giving it a (high) potential of sounding bland or generic but comes out sounding wholly unique and goddamn perfect. Just 4 songs, but each one fucking rocks, with echoing unintelligible vocals that blur into a hypnotic chant, this stuff is bleak, hard, and somehow still kinda catchy, ethereal buzzing guitars drifting through foggy cemeteries and then BAM a wall of blast beats to crush your soul, this burrows deep into your subconscious similar to that Charnel House’s Black Blood from last year, but this gets way more rowdy. Seriously, this is a killer fucking record. Hits all the right spots. Definitely keep an eye on this band.

Album Review

Cinchel – A House Once Lived That Never Was (self released, 2014)

cinchel - A House Once Lived That Never Was album cover
CinchelFalling Asleep In The Big Blanket, Waking Up With snow Falling Outside The Bedroom Window (self released)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Chicago’s Cinchel (aka Jason Shanley) has been slowly but steadily releasing super solid guitar drone records for the past few years, flying a bit under the radar for reasons unknown because this dude consistently knocks it out of the park and his newest release is no different. A House Once Lived That Never Was is like an hour and a half or something (according to my quick & sloppy math) and it’s all killer no filler tender ambient that’s as organic as Mountains used to be and as heartfelt as Andrew Weathers, taking a guitar and a tape delay and coaxing out the softest most delicate sounds, looped & dusty, droned & drifty, like chilling in a creaky house during a summer rain and listening to the air come alive, hypnotic strumming lulling you to a dreamland of pure perfection, this is absolutely wonderful stuff, and it comes with a 25 page color zine of photos taken by Shanley and his wife Kirstie (she’s really good). The digital version is out now (which includes a PDF of the zine) and the physical version will be out late May/early June.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (April 14, 2014)

Played lotsa stuff you can find for free on Bandcamp (Jute Gyte, Sádon, Le B’OO-Ray, Ak’chamel…)
 

AGB Radio 2014/04/14

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

/Background music/ J. Spaceman & Kid Millions – Han (from Live At Le Poisson Rouge)
Shrine – Disintegration Of An Ego (from Nihil)
Strom Noir – All Souls (Will Be Born Again) (from Urban Blues)
Goliad – Turn Up (from Inevitability)
Fleshpress – Each Eye Holes The Sky (from Tearing Skyholes)
The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact – I Don’t Believe Me (from Container Ship)
Lockbox – Maximum Kiss (from Prince Soul Grenade)
Sádon – Nameless Soul (from Fire)
Le B’OO-Ray – To Be Twice Put In Jeopardy (from V)
Randall McClellan – Mountain Frangrance (from The Healing Music Of Rana)
Jute Gyte – Endless Moths Swarming (from Vast Chains)
Ak’chamel, The Giver Of Illness – Head Of Acantun, Talking Stone (from Fucking With Spirits)
Damian Valles – Two (from Extrusions)

Album Review

Alex Cobb – Marigold And Cable (Shelter Press, 2014)

alex cobb - marigold and cable album cover
Alex CobbMarine Layer (Shelter Press)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

After shedding the Taiga Remains moniker and debuting the supreme Passage To Morning in 2012 under his own name on Students Of Decay (the label Cobb runs), Alex has returned with his second full length under his new name and it’s a motherfucking champion of tender drone. This dude conjures next level sounds out of his guitar à la Stars Of The Lid, super soft and precise tonal shifts that exude warmth & emotion, and it’s all done live sans synths, heavenly minimalism subtly penetrating the dark crusty core of your heart that’s reserved for only the most intimate of moments, majestic & goddamn glorious without being overbearing or overwhelming, this is a perfectly balanced reserved euphoria, organically turning the surrounding sterile atmosphere into a peaceful familiarity. Best of the fucking best. Only 500 copies from one of my new favorites, Shelter Press.

Mixes

Intro To Drone

Intro To Drone for DEBCON 1

“Dazzle Fox” by Andrew Sempere

 
My pal Deb, who you may remember from running the Zed Equals Zee music/tech blog, or the current Daily Idioms thing, decided to throw a conference for her birthday (and called it DEBCON 1), letting all of her multi-talented friends give short talks about an insanely wide variety of topics. So, I’ll be talking about drone, obviously. That’s where this mix came from.

Deb also asked me to put together some drone to play at DEBCON, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to do a chronology of sorts of the genre starting with its introduction to the Western contemporary music world in the ’60s up to the current crop of bad dudes. So here’s the background on this mix. I tried to go for more drone than ambient, and I generally opted for longer songs. I tried to go with “classics” but since you can’t really have a new classic, the later years are more of my favorite well known(ish) stuff. I tried to keep the spacing more or less equal between the decades and was pleased with a nice round number of 20 songs. I included the year of composition or recording when possible but otherwise the year is the release date of the record. I did some equalizing of the tracks but since it’s almost 7 hours (1GB) of drone, I didn’t have time to listen to the whole thing again afterwards, so please let me know if there’s any crazy shit going on volume-wise (side note: Radigue’s piece is on the low side, but it’s maxed out with no clipping so just dig deep and zone in).

Thanks and enjoy.
 

Download Intro To Drone for DEBCON 1

UPDATE: Someone mentioned having trouble unzipping the file, so here’s a link to a folder with the contents of the zip (just 1 mp3, a text tracklist, and the artwork)
 
1. Tony Conrad – Early Minimalism: June 1965 (Part 1) (from Early Minimalism Volume One, 1965)
2. Terry Riley – Untitled Organ (from Reed Streams, 1966)
3. Eliane Radigue – Onward 9,5 (from Vice Versa, Etc…, 1970)
4. La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela – 13 | 73 5:35 – 6:14:03 PM NYC (from Dream House 78′ 17″, 1973)
5. Brian Eno – Discreet Music (from Discreet Music, 1975)
6. Yoshi Wada – Bagpipe (from Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile, 1981)
7. Pauline Oliveros – Horse Sings From Cloud (from Accordion & Voice, 1982)
8. Phill Niblock – Ten Auras (from A Young Person’s Guide To Phill Niblock, 1994)
9. Windy & Carl – Antarctica (from Antarctica (Bliss Out Vol. 2), 1997)
10. Stars Of The Lid – Austin Texas Mental Hospital: Part 2 (from The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid, 2001)
11. Charlemagne Palestine – 2 (from Music For Big Ears, 2000)
12. William Basinski – Disintegration Loop 4 (from Disintegration Loops III, 2003)
13. Tim Hecker – Incurably Optimistic (from Mirages, 2004)
14. Mountains – Hundred Acre (from Sewn, 2006)
15. Fennesz – Happy Audio (from Endless Summer, 2001)
16. Sun Circle – Untitled 1 (from Sun Circle, 2007)
17. Deceh – Untitled 1 (from Deceh, 2009)
18. Kyle Bobby Dunn – Movement For The Completely Fucked (from Ways Of Meaning, 2011)
19. Nicholas Szczepanik – Untitled 2 (from The Truth Of Transience, 2012)
20. Eluvium – Memory Print Boutique (from Catalin, 2014)

Album Review

Symbol – Online Architecture (Holodeck / Light Lodge, 2014)

symbol - online architecture album cover
SymbolShadow Harvesting (Holodeck / Light Lodge)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Christopher Royal King of This Will Destroy You exorcising his inner psyche with this solo debut as Symbol. On the surface this could be just another synth record, a drop in the overflowing barrel of New Agey revival, but King takes this shit to the next level, if only due to the additional instruments he brings to the table, he’s got harmonium (which is an instant win obviously), singing bowls, hammered dulcimer, bowed cymbals, tape manipulation (another “fuck yes”), and guitar, all processed to heaven and back, giving this gorgeous beast a rare richness, full blown bliss that’s overworked and overdone to perfection, simple subtle drones that drift like dust in the sun, burnt static & soaring melodies opening new doors in your mind, falling apart as soon as you grab ahold of it, euphoric but not overwhelming, truly fantastic work that sounds all the better on wax.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (April 7, 2014)

Action packed drone set.

 
AGB Radio 2014/04/07

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

/Background music/ WWC – Wingspan (from Alienself)
M. Sage – Gulls Over Landfill Caldera (from A Singular Continent)
Otavan Veret – I (from Otavan Veret)
Cvbe Ov Falsehood – Upon The Stillness, Manifest (from II)
Godseye – The Drunken Boat (from A Season In Hell)
Morgan Evans-Weiler – Drone (from Refrained Beams)
Hellvete – Ode II (C-221) (from Ode)
Ambarchi, O’Malley, Dunn – Ebony Pagoda (from Shade Themes From Kairos)

Interviews

Questions For Andrew Weathers

andrew weathers interview

Photo credit: Andrew Marino

Americana droner/guitar whisperer Andrew Weathers, who’s made some truly killer fucking records (some of which have made it to my Top 10 Drone list) and co-runs Full Spectrum Records with Andrew Marino, took some time and answered these questions for me. Super kind of him. He’s got a couple upcoming records, One Day We’ll Find The Valley on Lifelike Family and a split tape with Wes Tirey coming on Scissor Tail Editions, so definitely keep an eye out for those. And if this dude is new to you, start here and try not to fall too far down the hole.

 

What is the best way to die?
Probably of Natural Causes, surrounded by loved ones.

How do you think you’ll die?
Recently I was driving around the mountains in Humboldt County with my partner & I said
“I have a feeling that this is how I’m going to die, driving over one of these ledges.” But
I’m just very afraid of heights.

What makes you happy?
Work, hanging out with my friends and family, being in transit, a good anecdote, eating,
coffee in the AM

How can you die happy?
At the end of my life, if I tried to be good to be people, did as much good work as
possible, & maintained a certain level of integrity while doing it, I’ll be happy.

How close have you come to death?
I’ve been pretty lucky so far, I’ve not come all that close to death. Not counting the very
real every day dangers of being a pedestrian or driving a car, the closest I’ve felt was one
night in Oakland. I was waiting in line at the grocery store with my friend Hannah to buy
some beer & a frozen pizza; three men with masks & guns came in & demanded the
money from the tellers. Hannah & I ducked & walked towards the back of the store.
Everyone in the shop hid in the loading dock until they left, I was on hold with the Oakland
PD for about ten minutes before I talked to anyone. Nobody was hurt, but we were a little
fried after that.

What does kindness mean to you?
Being welcoming & helpful without expectation. Always working on this one.

Where do you find love?
There’s infinite love in finite existence.

When were you most afraid?
I either don’t remember a lot of fear in my life, or there just hasn’t been much. I felt intense
fear most recently on the cusp of mounting a pretty large production for my day job. There
was a lot of people’s time & money put into it & it’s my job to make sure that it went well. That is fucking heavy.

One summer I was in Chicago eating lunch next to the water with my friends during one
of the Andrew Weathers Ensemble tours. All of a sudden there was a massive explosion
followed by gunfire. I thought for sure this was some sort of attack & we were through. I
reached for my phone to call my folks, we were all kind of losing it. Turns out they were
filming the third Transformers movie. The entire city of Chicago was in on it but we
weren’t.

How do you listen to music?
In my car, from my laptop in the mornings, sometimes while cooking or at work. After a
particularly difficult day, I’ll listen to pop punk in headphones on the train. I often feel like
I’m not a devoted enough music listener.

Haiku Review

Haunted Disco – Enter Through The Exit (self released, 2013)

haunted disco - enter through the exit album cover
Haunted DiscoParadigm (self released)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

Download Enter Through The Exit
/murky dream rhythms/
/chill party time on cloud nine/
/sexxxed up bedroom pop/

Album Review

Chester Hawkins – Semisolids (Intangible Arts,2014)

chester hawkins - semisolids album cover
Chester HawkinsIodine (Intangible Arts)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

DC noise vet Chester Hawkins has shed his long running previous project, Blue Sausage Infant, and starts fresh with his regular name. With the new/old name comes a newish sound, so if you’re a fan of the BSI stuff you’ll still most certainly dig this, the industrial creep & wonderfully bizarre factors are still plentiful, lots of oozing synth, nauseating wobble, and piercing squelches, but also deep grooves running throughout, a heavenly hypno-buzz that’s a bit transcendent, taking cues from psychedelic krautrock and cosmic jammers, a killer retro-futuristic vibe that’s just as perfect for a horror sci-fi score as it is for freaky party times, a dark & dangerous mind eraser record. Dude definitely leveled up with the name change. Excellent fucking work.

Album Review

Inventions – Inventions (Temporary Residence, 2014)

LP_Jacket_RE11183
InventionsEntity (Temporary Residence)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 

First of all, Matthew Cooper aka Eluvium is one half of this new project so it’s already the best thing ever. The other dude is Mark Smith, guitarist from Explosions In The Sky, so yup, definitely 100% the best thing ever. It sounds kinda like what you’d expect, there’s moments where it literally sounds like those clean EITS guitars on top of some premium Eluvium drone, and that’s fucking great and it would be perfectly satisfying if that’s all it was, but it’s sooo much more. These two come up with something familiar but unique, taking their respective talents and washing it in a blissed drone pop that feels way better that you’d ever imagine it could, like magic space dust swirling in slow motion, with subtle mini-crescendos, unexpected rhythmic grooves, and wordless soothing vocals, this is the golden shimmer on top of clouded water, the score to the dreams you hope for every night, giving you the feeling that yeah maybe everything is ok, at least for the duration of the record. Pure fucking excellence. This one has been pretty much glued to my turntable for the past few weeks. Couldn’t love it any more.