Broken Deer – White Woman (self released)
Fantastic stuff from Canadian Lindsay Dobbin, this is the quietest weirdest lo-fi folk you’ll ever hear. Dobbin has cobbled together a record that sounds like it was recorded on a wax cylinder, buried for a century or two at the bottom of a well, and excavated when the current land owners found out the well was haunted. Straightforward sounds, a piano, a guitar, her ethereal childlike voice, and all the life of the Yukon wilderness, howling wolves, the cold wind, bird calls, occasionally warped & twisted into a drugged dream but always caked in a murky tape hiss, soft & simple, a record deeply in touch with the self, connected to every fiber of the world, but still seeking an obscured transcendent understanding. Truly incredible work. The sadly sold out tape was wrapped in birch bark and moose sinew, so maybe if all of you ask nicely she’ll re-release it. If not, trust me that the digital version will certainly suffice.
Stephan Mathieu – Keid (Dekorder / Schwebung)
Stephan Mathieu is at the top of his game with The Falling Rocket, this is some seriously pensive & brooding minimalism that runs the gamut of the emotion rainbow without tossing you around rollercoaster style, with mostly just a Farfisa organ, Hohner Electronium, and radio at his disposal, Mathieu concentrates on a dense & lightweight essence, the sound of civilized silence carved out in the blankness of your mind, surrounded by inaudible hiss & hum, a delicate static washing out all impurities leaving nothing but a harrowing & blissful drone, overwhelming in its magnificence, a massive wall of black hole euphoria that you can just barely make out, Mathieu displaying his mastery of the bipolar balance of dark & light, this is drone in its finest form, truly incredible work from a dude whose discography is already overflowing with brilliance. The digital version is out now via Mathieu’s own Schwebung and the 2xLP is forthcoming on Dekorder.
Multi-media artist Michael Vallera, the dude behind Cleared, COIN, and Maar, was supremely excellent and answered some questions for me.
What is the best way to die?
Consult lyrics to Neil Young’s “Thrasher”.
How do you think you’ll die?
Too engaged in living for speculation.
What makes you happy?
Travelling, recording, making photographs, my friends.
How can you die happy?
Continuing to create at all costs.
How close have you come to death?
What does kindness mean to you?
Where do you find love?
When were you most afraid?
While experiencing sleep paralysis.
How do you listen to music?
Postdrome – Steam (BLWBCK)
Killer droner Postdrome (aka Charlie Floyd) hits hard with this new full length, taking you to dark & gorgeous places, this is some impeccable shit with smoothed out angel choir bliss, hushed sonar reverb, scratchy digital glitch, deep resonant thrum, and blastin rowdy as fuck feedback sounding like the earth is crumbling under your feet as you stand on top of a cliffside, tidal waves crashing below, minimally layered tones that ebb & flow with human emotion, delicately textured with the utmost precision, a heavenly euphoric weave of sonic perfection that is the essence of bittersweet. Huge sounds, mini sounds, a veritable buffet of all the finest drones money can buy, this is beauty incarnate. Floyd has given us his best, and his best is the fucking BEST.
For a variety of terrible reasons, I have a hard time writing about records that didn’t get submitted to me for review. That means I come across tons of incredible shit that I don’t make time for on AGB. A lot of the records in this mid-year roundup fall into that category. Regardless of how I found out about them, all of these are 100% awesome and I’ve been playing the fuck out of each and every one of them.
Also, I have a totally bullshit & ever-shifting line that I try not to cross when writing about records that wobbles between how popular the album/band/label is and how much I love the record. This list is made up of stuff I probably would’ve reviewed if I had the time, but there’s a lot I’ve been jamming hard that was “too big” in my eyes for AGB, lots of high profile metal like Deafheaven, Altar Of Plagues, Inter Arma, The Body, etc, and then there’s stuff like William Tyler’s super bitchin Impossible Truth, which, if it didn’t come out on Merge, I most likely would’ve written it up, but then there’s some that regardless of how much press they get, I can’t help but praise the shit out of them. So those are my half-assed rules and what went through my head when making this list.
There’s a few records on here that might make it onto my year end drone list, so if you’re the gamblin type, start up a pool with your pals and maybe you can strike it rich.
Since this is a pretty big list (28 and unranked) I’ve put everything after the jump so it doesn’t clog up the front page. Here’s hoping you find some in here that you haven’t heard of yet.
Read the rest of this entry »
Rambutan – Topology (Fabrica)
The very first vinyl from the always excellent Rambutan (aka Eric Hardiman) who’s put out a string of killer releases (my favorite being The Temple Of Echo), and this one’s a fucking doozy, armed with mostly his guitar & synths/electronics, Hardiman bakes up some tripped out cough syrup fever dreams on Inverted Summer, a whole slew of humid suffocating drones that send you straight for the nearest black hole, sexy tantric shit going down in a sweaty Catskills lodge, angry industrial Tesla coil walls of darkness, your third eye blinded with squiggle vision, boiling dubbed out psych coating your brain in a dripping thick layer of goop, a welcome dose of breezy bliss for the introverts that drowns all desire to feel the sun, Hardiman made a true fucking winner here, and only 300 of these badboys were pressed, so hop to it.
Fórn – Coiled, Alone (self released)
A short but devastating debut EP from these new Boston dudes, checking in at a little under 14 minutes, with two songs of mega-doom, monolithic & heavy as fuck, a chunky, lumbering beast dredging up graves, the real action coming in on the 9+ minute “Dasein” where the noise gets pumped up and shit gets slowed down to a funereal dirge of growling fury, huge walls of horror sounding like these dudes summoned open the mouth of hell and recorded the unholy descent as they got swallowed up, then it breaks into a sludgy stomper once they hit fire bottom, the rock of pure fucking death, gruesome & grim metal that’ll bring out the brutal bastard in everyone, this is the best kind of debut, a tease of the excellence to come with killer artwork by Bryan Proteau of Natvres Mortes Illvstration, don’t miss out on this, these guys are definitely goin places.
For allayall who missed out last year, I’m bringing these back so you can be badass, sexy, and cute all at the same time. Everyone will love you. Pre-orders will be up for about a month, I expect to ship them out early August. Have at it.