Archive for January, 2014

You Make Me Like Charity

There’s been quite a few charitable music-related things recently and I thought I’d share two of the more important (to me) ones.
 
 

when one has nothing left album cover
First up, this 3 hour noise comp called When One Has Nothing Left Make Ceremonies Out Of The Air And Breathe Upon Them. It’s $15 and all proceeds go directly to Stephen Petrus, aka Murderous Vision, the Ohio artist whose home & possessions went up in flames earlier this month. The noise community pulled this shit together real quick, like in a matter of days, to help Stephen get back on his feet. The comp is fuckin killer, ranging from doomed industrial and harsh noise to monodrone and rhythmic dark ambient featuring artists like Hoor-Paar-Kraat, Zurvan, Robert Turman, and a collab between Xiphoid Dementia & Theologian. 28 songs, over 3 hours, and the chance to help a dude who’s down & out.
 
 

Heligator logo final
Then there’s Heligator Records, started up by Ryan Hall of Tome To The Weather Machine (a fantastic site if you’re unaware) who recently spent 2 years in Swaziland as a Peace Corps Volunteer who helped create a library and two pre-schools at the Malindza Refugee Camp. The library has over 1,000 books (including resources specifically for the teachers) and a computer, and it serves the refugees who come from all over Africa. Heligator Records is basically a digital singles only thing on Bandcamp. Each song only costs a dollar but they/I would encourage you to donate more because the money goes directly to the library for maintenance & upkeep, as well as some compensation for the two library volunteers. This is a fantastic thing Ryan has set up. Really fucking psyched about it. Oh, and all the music is rad as hell too so there’s that.

Album Review

Glottalstop – Woodsmoke (Tartaruga, 2013)

glottalstop - woodsmoke album cover
Glottalstop – Side A (Tartaruga)

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Insanely awesome debut release from Glottalstop aka the Petrels dude, basking in an unsettling tape manipulated tension. Woodsmoke is fucking fantastic, two side long pieces that are dark as hell, the A side is super minimal and the B side cranks the horror volume to 11, the whole thing sounds like a haunted mansion coming to life to chill yer bones, it has deep low end tape wobble drone tying itself in knots with ghostly cello skree, scratchy looped hypnosis, scrambled white static, voices that you’re damn certain must be coming from inside your head, and who knows what kind of electronic wizardry that taps you on the shoulder and quickly disappears, this is nightmarish in the most perfect way, ethereal and nauseating, sounds rising from the silent mist and being whisked away before you can fully hear them, roaring demons passing in & out through a wall of noise, Woodsmoke is about as eerie as you can fuckin get. And like most things Tartaruga, this is dressed to the nines with a screenprinted inner sleeve that runs across the label, a sewn & screenprinted jacket, and all housed in a PVC sleeve, extremely limited to 200. No reason to skip this one.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (January 27, 2014)

New Horseback! So amazing!
 

AGB Radio 2014/01/27
/Background music/ Bardo Pond – Sangh Seriatim (from Refulgo)
Horseback – Piedmont Apocrypha (from Piedmont Aocrypha)
Steve Roach – Refractions Of Remembering (from At The Edge Of Everything)
Ishqamatics – Universe Cubensis Continium (from Spacebound)
Jeremiah Cymerman – Rogyapa (from Sky Burial)
Teiji Ito – Moonplay (from Music For Maya)
B. Jasienski – Przejechali (read by Piotr Rypson) (from To Mor Row: Futurist Poetry)
Charles Cohen – Club Revival (from The Middle Distance)
Hakobune – If It Were To Fade (from If It Were To Fade)
Katie Gately – Pipes (from Pipes)
T.R.A.S.E. – Harmonium (from Tape Recorder And Synthesiser Ensemble)
Dhow – Act Of Grace (from Dhow)
Zwei Kreise – The Sorcerer (from Escape Velocity)
Jussi Lehtisalo – Viimeinen Kalja (from The Complete Solo Works)
Gushing Cloud – Turnflew (from Beat Wings In Vain)
Richard Dawson – A Parents Address To His Firstborn Son On The Day Of His Birth (from The Glass Trunk)
Craig Leon – She Wears A Hemispherical Skull Cap (from Nommos)

Album Review

Insect Ark – Long Arms (Geweih Ritual Documents, 2013)

insect ark - long arms album cover
Insect ArkLift Off (Geweih Ritual Documents)

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So I’m a little late on the pickup with this one, but only a little, and if this is the first you’re hearing of Insect Ark, fear not! you’re not alone, it was flying below the radar for a bit. This is the solo efforts of Dana Schechter (of Bee And Flower, The Angels Of Light) and from what I can tell, Long Arms is her first release that’s not a 7″, although it’s only a 10″ EP so there’s still no proper full length yet. But goddamn this 10″ already has me craving more. Long Arms is made from just a lapsteel, bass, synth, and a sampler, it’s a dark doom drone that’s heavy on the psych, sprawling moon howling jams that that’ll raise the dead, a shuffling jangle perfectly at home in the Wild West running under eerie stretched guitar & humming feedback, this is snarling, desolate, and fuckin evil, with menacing badassery written all over it. Listening to this while walking anywhere gives you instant swagger. And the packaging on this is super sexy, hand numbered, screen printed, fold up envelope style cardboard, and limited to 500, you really can’t go wrong with this.

Album Review

Twilight Of The Century – Hibernation (Tape Drift, 2013)

twilight of the century - hibernation album cover
Twilight Of The CenturyHibernation II (Tape Drift)

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A sort of northeastern supergroup if you will, comprised of Eric Hardiman (runs Tape Drift, records as Rambutan, in Century Plants, Burnt Hills, etc), Ray Hare (records as Fossils From The Sun, also in Century Plants, Burnt Hills, etc), Linda Aubry Bullock (solo strange sound creator, and A/V/multi/media experimenter extraordinaire as Orangecookie), and Mike Bullock (solo electroacoustic excellence, works with Linda together in music/video/performance as Rise Set Twilight, in video as Twin Stars, and the record label Shadowselves). I try not to do too much bio stuff in reviews but all these rad folks fuckin deserve it. Music wise, Hibernation is as weird as you’d expect from a lot like this, a sprawling post psych hallucination that gets the smeared heat haze treatment, stumbling in the scorched desert under the stars and being comforted by your inner demons, an echo mumbling something vague & disorienting as spacey droning electronics & muffled guitars twist together into a ghostly tranquility, swaying between beautiful dreams and fevered nightmares. Putting these 4 together is almost begging for disappointment, but they deliver the best fuckin debut you could ask for. A mere $7 is all it’ll take to get these fucked jams in your hands.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (January 20, 2014) Label Spotlight: Holodeck Records

holodeck records logo
 

Second edition of the Label Spotlight on AGB Radio, this time showing off all of Holodeck’s totally bitchin catalog, heavy on the spacey synthy jams with plenty of weird shit tossed in for good measure. That Troller record is without a doubt one of my favorite things form the past few years. Still on pretty much constant rotation over here. Anyway, here’s to Holodeck’s spectacular 2 years with 20 releases. Way to fuckin go. Can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves.

AGB Radio 2014/01/20
/Background music/ Interludes from Troller’s Troller
Smokey Emery – Tender Mercies (from Soundtracks For Invisibility Vol. 1: Youth Burnt While Travelling)
Thousand Foot Whale Claw – Fleshwave (from Lose In Those Dunes)
Troller – Best (from Troller)
Lumens – Sweet Voice (from Lumens)
Thousand Foot Whale Claw – Time Brothers (from Time Brothers)
Amasa Gana – Side A (excerpt) (from untitled record, HD006)
M. Geddes Gengras – Air Solo (from Beyond The Curtain)
Silent Land time Machine – An Own To One’s Room (from I Am No Longer Alone With Myself And Can Only Artificially Recall The Scary And Beautiful Feeling Of Solitude EP)
S U R V I V E – cschz 02 (excerpt) (from HD009)
JU4N – Last Night In Cyberia (from Vaporware)
Sungod – Opiate Fields And The Blazing Glory (from Contackt)
Dylan C – Necropolis (from Samsara: Causes)
Dylan C – Left Behind (from Samsara: Conditions)
Thousand Foot Whale Claw – Veritas (from Dope Moons, Vol. 1)
Smokey Emery – The Lights Are Big And I’m Driving Home (from Soundtracks For Invisibility Vol. 2: You Take The High Road)
S U R V I V E – To Light Alone I Bow (from HDXV)
Good Stuff House – Untitled 6 (from Good Stuff House)
Marie Davidson – La Vallée d’Or (from Marie Davidson)
Sneaky Snake – Eventide 2 (from Eventide)
Sensum And Clunch – Strawberry Days (from Sensum And Clunch)
SSLEEPERHOLD – Dreamwaves II (from Ruleth)

Album Review

Have A Nice Life – The Unnatural World (The Flenser, 2014)

have a nice life - the unnatural world album cover
Have A Nice Life – Guggenheim Wax Museum (The Flenser)

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I’m going to refrain from bragging about how much I love Have A Nice Life, but for the sake of this review you should know that a) I hate the term “fanboy” and b) I would without hesitation call myself a hardcore Have A Nice Life fanboy. Their debut Deathconsciousness is fucking untouchable, easily in my all time Top 10, if not my Top 5.

If this is the first you’ve heard of HANL (Dan Barrett & Tim Macuga), I’m so fucking psyched to share them with you. Think Nadja plus Joy Division then forget that and just listen to that sample up there. Fucking life changing. Honestly, some of the best sounds to ever grace this sweet doomed planet of ours. The gloom is infinite and I accept it wholly. This is the massive dejected pop you’ve always needed but could never find, with bombastic pulverizing percussion echoing in an empty warehouse, deafening catchy riffs, smooth black synths, and boundless reverbed ghost vocals singing about the closeness of death and the woe of Nothingness.

Compared to Deathconsciousness, The Unnatural World is cleaner, better produced, more consistent, and more mature (whatever the fuck that means). But it still sounds like a blown out lo-fi home recording, it’s just that the atmospheric tracks don’t sound like sound they’re being played by your neighbors next door. The beautifully suffocating “Music Will Untune The Sky” is a perfect example, instead penetrating your core and making you feel like you’re drowning in slow motion, watching the life dust float in sunlit water, waiting for your last breath to expire in your lungs. And while Dan & Tim might be in a healthier emotional state while making TUW than they were for DC (pure conjecture on my part), this is every bit as depressing & devastating as their first record.

I hold DC up on the highest fucking pedestal. I mean on its own DC closer “Earthmover” is the single most soul obliterating song I’ve ever heard, and TUW never reaches that level of apocalyptic dread. But compared to TUW, DC feels a lot like an experiment. This new record is HANL leveled up, everything that you love about DC has been refined, turning the genre-less madness into a motherfucking masterpiece. I had insanely high expectations for TUW and it’s hands down one of the best goddamn records I’ve ever heard. It might not overthrow DC in my all time Top 10 but that’s probably more for sentimental reasons than anything else. I know I’m an enthusiastic hyperbolic kinda guy but I say this without the slightest bit of exaggeration: TUW couldn’t possibly be any fucking better. It’s literally flawless.

Album Review

Howard Stelzer & Frans De Waard – Pink Pearl (Bocian, 2013)

howard stelzer & frans de waard - pink pearl album cover
Howard Stezler & Frans De WaardPink Pearl (Exhaust) (Bocian)

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I’ve always loved anything that Stelzer has worked on, and by way of his collaborations he frequently leads me to new and exciting artists that I’ve either never heard of or have never gotten around to sitting down with, Pink Pearl with Frans De Waard being an excellent example. The two had been casually trading and elaborating on each other’s sounds for a decade or two before their work culminated in this spectacular piece of creeped out droney weirdness. It has a strong field recording vibe, and while that might be an element to this, there’s nothing to specifically call out as a recognizable sound. Instead, it’s all looped murmurs, crusty electronics, bubbling tape fuckery, stuttering mechanics, hissing clicking breaths of the netherworld, beautifully spare broken dreams alongside bleak industrial bang clank lye vats, the echos of a derelict boiler room still alive with phantoms of the past, eliciting strong memories buzzing & wheezing from the back of your mind that are a hair too ethereal to grasp ahold of. This is absolutely fantastic work, and while I’m unable to distinguish between Stelzer’s & De Waar’ds individual sounds (one of the signs of a truly successful collab), I’ll be damn sure to keep an ear out for more of De Waard’s records.

Album Review

Sunken Cathedral – Sunken Cathedral (Black Horizons, 2013)

sunken cathedral album cover
Sunken Cathedral – Movements 1 & 2 (Black Horizons)

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Ryan P. Jobes is quickly becoming a name that’s synonymous with killer records for me. So far I’ve heard this guy head up Night Worship and Cvbe Ov Falsehood, both of which are fucking excellent. Seems like everything this dude touches turns to brooding occult magick. This new project involves him playing everything you can imagine (guitar, harmonium, tape machine, violin, percussion, piano, harpsichord, etc) along with Kimberley Sutton on amplified cello/electronics and Evelyn Davis on a motherfucking pipe organ. Honestly, I was sold right there, but it’s way better than I even hoped. Two side long pieces of perfect drone broken into four movements, this thing is overwhelming, dark, and fucking huge. The drone of the Gods, this is straight up incredible, the pipe organ fuckin dominating your headspace, sucking out the breath of your soul, while the rest of the instruments join forces to create an atmosphere of runic tension, the feeling of being caught & sacrificed while spying on robed shamans worshipping unknown deities, their very presence sending you into a fit of terror while Sunken Cathedral rises up in your ears, droning black & beautiful, a monolith of otherworldly transcendence that you can’t help but hail as your one true master.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (January 13, 2014)

oof that Monno

AGB Radio 2014/01/13
/Background music/ Jon Mueller – Original Drum Recording (from Physical Changes (Bonus CD))
Monno – II (from Cheval Ouvert)
Body Of Light – Hole In The Wall (from Volontà Di Amore)
William Huston & Jonathan Snipes – This Deeper Story (from Room 237 Soundtrack)
Gareth Dickson – Ping Pong (from Collected Recordings)
Pausal – Distance (from Sky Margin)
Bölzer – C.M.E. (from Aura)
TM404 – 202/303/303/303/808 (from TM404)
Clams Casino – Haunt (from Instrumental Mixtape 3)
Malthusian – Wraith//Spore//Plague (from Demo MMXIII)
Wolvserpent – Threshold Gateway (from Perigea Antahkarana)
Stormloop – An Evening Snowstorm (from Arctic Conditions)
Et Nihil – Grave Desecration (from Onus)
Marsen Jules – VIII (from Beautyfear)
Herukrat – Bound (from Alleviation Prayer)
Simon James Phillips – Set Ikon Set Remit (from Chair)
Letna – Koritnik (from Horizont)
This Is Past – Kokkino (from ΓΛΩΣΣΟΛΑΛΙΑ)
Astral Social Club – Snow Clouds (from Electric Yep)

Out of Print

Pronouncing The Scientific Names Of Seashells Of North America (Delaware Museum Of Natural History, 1969)

seashells of north america album cover
 

Download Pronouncing The Scientific Names Of Seashells Of North America

Ok so this is cheating a bit because I posted this once before about 4 years ago back in the .blogspot days. But so much has changed since then! And it’s still one of my favorite weird records. Plus I haven’t posted an out of print record in a while.

This is so super niche that it makes my head spin. It’s the companion record to the book Seashells Of North America by R. Tucker Abbott. This record has Abbott reading through, alphabetically, what I assume is a comprehensive list of the scientific names of seashells found in North America (and some “glossaries”). That’s it. No additional context, no background music, just one dedicated dude doing showing off his pro enunciating skills.

There’s a scan of the back of the jacket included in the zip which has the entire A-Z list of seashells so you can read along with Mr. Abbott.

Album Review

K’an – Anima (self released, 2013)

k'an - anima album cover
K’anThe Tree In The Garden Of Limbs (self released)

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One truly fucking astounding record from out of nowhere. This Roman dude takes digital drone to another level, already playing in the same court as Tim Hecker, this thing is bursting at the seams with organic life & deep emotion and it’s only his first goddamn record. Entire solar systems of detail blossom out of each song and as a whole, Anima is a universe teaming with a rare dark beauty. K’an gifts us with a gritty textured drone that sounds fresh & familiar all at once, taking an already glorious sound and infusing it with an original brilliance. Thick sheets of stuttering static cover everything, competing for your attention with bleak hypnotic drones, weaving a bittersweet tapestry peppered with glitchy smoke, ethereal distorted vocals, and buzzing heart ache, it heaves with hidden rhythms and builds to staggering & overwhelming epiphanies, leaving you drenched in a pool of your own blood, sweat, & tears. This is not a record to be fucking trifled with. Maximum awesomeness that’ll leave your jaw on the floor. I honestly can’t get enough of this. It’s easy to say now that my Top Drone list of 2013 is done and over with, but I 100% guarantee Anima would’ve been on the list had I heard it in time. And I forgot to mention, this is currently digital only and you can pay what you want for it right here.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (January 6, 2014)

This episode really tested my pronunciation of foreign names.
 

AGB Radio 2014/01/06

/Background music/ Agencement – Viosphere Part 1 (from Viosphere + Selected Works 1984-1991)
Joachim Nordwall – Acid Ritual (from Soul Music)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Peter Broderick – By This River (from a digital single)
Bhob Rainey – Levitate (from Levitate)
Nissar Hussain Khan – Tarana Malkauns: Dir Dir Dim (from 100 Moons: Hindustani Vocal Art 1930-55)
NHK’Koyxeи – 811 (from Dance Classics Vol. III)
Will Over Matter – Black Candles And Ritual Metal (from Phenomenal Highways)
Sparkling Wide Pressure – Painting With One Common Hue (from Press The Reverse And Give Me The Tape)
Whore Paint – Oh, Sailors (from Swallow My Bones)
Bleaching Agent – Yellow Corduroy Wall (from Feral Grind)
The Cosmic Dead – Mausoleum (from The Reverb Conspiracy Volume II)
Joakim Skogsberg – Jola Fran Leksand (from Jola Rota)
Steve Gunn & Mike Gangloff – Out Canning Factory Road (from Melodies For A Savage Fix)
Mauro Paganini – Oxidus (from Biolata)
Tomutonttu – Nahinahin Ranta (from Kultaista Kaupunkia Etsimässä)
KMFH – Flemmenup (from The Boat Party)
Hisham Mayat – Audio Apothecary (from Hassānīya Music From The Western Sahara And Mauritania)
Angel Olsen – Unfucktheworld (from Burn Your Fire For No Witness)
Woo – White And Whiter Still (from Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong)
Lucrecia Dalt – Vitti (from Syzygy)
Trepaneringsritualen – Lord Of This World (from The Totality Of Death)
Drummers Of The Societe Absolument Guinin – Mas Karon (from Voodoo Drums)
Celer – Finale (After Midnight) (from Voyeur)