Hell’s epic trilogy has sadly come to an end, but holy motherfuck what an end it is. III is pretty much everything you’d want in a doom record, mournful guitars bookending both side long pieces of pure devastation, a bleak blackened fury, nightmarish and fucking massive.
The record got the usual luxe treatment from Pesanta Urfolk, nice thick black/blood red vinyl with a large fold-out poster and an insert. Only 472 copies made and already sold out from both the band and the label. The whole thing is streaming on Hell’s Bandcamp, so feel free to scope it out before entering the contest.
To enter, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Friday. If you win, you’ll be the gloomiest kid in town.
SSLEEPERHOLD – Beatsslave (Holodeck)
This bad boy was sold out for a bit, even though it only came out a few months ago. But Holodeck knows their shit and repressed this asap, so I figured now’s the time for yall to hear about if you missed out on the first go-round. SSLEEPERHOLD, aka José Cota of Medio Mutante, puts together a sexxy synthy dance fest that has the catchiest hooks outside of pop. This is all over the place style wise, like a New Age cloud rap darkwave that could just as easily come from a John Hughes movie as it could from John Carpenter, slow & grimy, tender & bangin, making for beastly times on the dance floor as well as solo transcendental mind explorations. Ruleth gets all the points for originality in this synth saturated scene. Can’t wait to see where he goes with this. Excellent fucking stuff. And the repress was only another 300 copies, so don’t wallow for too long on it.
Since it was my birthday last week while I was preparing for this show, I decided to cull together some of my all time favorite songs. It was damn tough keeping it trimmed to 2 hours so I feel like I left a lot out, but it was still a fuckin blast for me. Hopefully you can get into it too.
AGB Radio 2014/02/24
/Background music/ Dan Friel – Ulysses (from Total Folklore)
Parts & Labor – A Great Divide (from Stay Afraid)
Salem – Redlights (from King Night)
Beyoncé – Countdown (from 4)
Mates Of State – The Re-Arranger (from Re-Arrange Us)
Sway – Summer Donna (from Songs For Your Sweetheart)
Smashing Pumpkins – The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right) (from The Aeroplane Flies High (Deluxe Edition))
Dan Deacon – Paddling Ghost (from Bromst)
Neutral Milk Hotel – Ghost (from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea)
A Faulty Chromosome – Groaning Like A Grown-Up (from Craving To Be Coddled So We Feel Fake Safe)
The Field – The More That I Do (from Yesterday And Today)
Melt Banana – Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold (from Cell-Scape)
The Thermals – I Know The Pattern (from More Parts Per Million)
My Bloody Valentine – Sometimes (from Loveless)
Jacob Berendes – Japanese Penpal Girl Tattoo (from Foreign Policy)
Charlotte Daniels & Pat Webb – Nobody’s Business (from Charlotte Daniels & Pat Webb)
Windsor For The Derby – The Melody Of A Fallen Tree (from We Fight Till Death)
The Strokes – Someday (from Is This It?)
Ungdomskulen – Modern Drummer (from Cry Baby)
Lightning Bolt – Dracula Mountain (from Wonderful Rainbow)
Marnie Stern – Gimme (from Marnie Stern)
Ponytail – Late For School (from Ice Cream Spiritual)
Troller – Winter (from Troller)
Purity Ring – Fineshrine (from Shrines)
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend (from Body Talk)
The Knife – Heartbeats (from Deep Cuts)
A gift for you on this, my 29th birthday and the 6th anniversary of AGB. 4 records of totally bitchin Indian jams. All 4 are included in the download link below. There’s also a couple other supreme Indian records I’ve posted in the past, Chatur Lal’s The Drums Of India, his collaboration with Ali Akbar Khan, The Music Of India: Morning & Evening Ragas, and there’s an Indian record included in the massive Lomax collection The Columbia World Library Of Folk & Primitive Music.
Download these Indian LPs
Mahapurush Misra’s Indian Drums (Connoisseur Society, 1966)
Karnatic: A Panorama Of South Indian Music (Vanguard Everyman, 1968)
Hindustani: A Panorama OF North Indian Music (Vanguard Everyman, 1968)
Lakshmi Shankar’s The Voice Of Lakshmi Shankar (World Pacific, 1966)
Anne Guthrie – Strongly Leaning With Irregular Crown (Students Of Decay)
After a handful of excellent releases under her belt, Guthrie drops her first vinyl full length on Students Of Decay, and, surprise surprise, it’s fucking outstanding. Guthrie works in the realm of field recordings and processed instruments, most notably here with the French horn, violoncello, and contrabass. Brilliantly blurring the lines by twisting the natural world with the manmade one, I think I hear rushing air & squawking birds, but hardly confident enough to identify anything in particular. The mysterious origins are only the beginning though, while a spectral world floats between the bizarre sounds, fleeting moments of abstract turning concrete slip between your fingers, subtly blown out radio transmissions crackling & crumbling like an ancient stone wall, insects humming past your ears, decaying mournful horns looped to infinity, this is both sterile and full of life, a strange overlap of warmth & cold, Guthrie is adept at finding the perfect tone at the perfect moment and allows for both extended silence and lush minimal drone, absolutely wonderful stuff, definitely not to be missed, and SOD is only making 250 of these, so get while the gettin’s good.
New Eluvium!!! Also, that Kerridge record is so fuckin good.
AGB Radio 2014/02/17
/Background music/ Matthew Barlow – Breathing Space (from Sun Showers)
Eluvium – Memory Print Boutique (from Catalin)
Lubomyr Melnyk – Corrosions On The Surface Of Life (from Three Solo Pieces)
Kerridge – Scare Tactics (from A Fallen Empire)
Yong Yong – Cobraz (from Greatest It’s)
Black Swan – Eden (from Tone Poetry)
David Andree & Josh Mason – Winter To Spring, Further Than First Thought (from Call, Response)
Milieu – The Space Between (from Leaves Painted Purple)
Insect Ark – Long Arms (from Long Arms)
Rabbits Foot Williams – Boll Weevil (from The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume 1 (1917-1927))
The Body – The Night Knows No Dawn (from I Shall Die Here)
Talk West – Dark White (from Black Coral Sprig)
Sunn O))) – Last One / Valentine’s Day (from La Reh 012)
Horseback – Piedmont Apocrypha (Three Lobed)
No streaming track because Horseback is big enough now to get an exclusive full album stream before the record is released. Awesome for Horseback, less awesome for you at the moment, but way awesome for you when the full stream goes up in a few weeks.
Oh my fucking god this is where it’s at you guys. It’s like everything Jenks Miller has done as Horseback and otherwise (solo, Mount Moriah, etc) up until this point was specifically just to culminate in the glorious Piedmont Apocrypha. The minimal drone, the blackened psych, the ominous country folk, all of it stirred together in a cocktail of perfect occultish meditations and the harmony among the styles is unbelievable. While quite distinct from his last record (Half Blood), taking the black down a few notches and with way more clean vocals, the darkness and theme of endless change are still in full effect and bleeding through the entire record, starting with the opening line “I was born to lose, I won’t have this form forever” and winding through to the end of the burning 17 minute finale “Chanting Out The Low Shadow,” which itself is like Half Blood boiled down to a single flawless track. This record is both bold and nonchalant, it has no fuckin problem letting a couple tones hang in the air indefinitely, watching them waver & fade, or laying down a free form calming jangle fest, or tossing some field recordings in with wobbly psych guitars & droning organs, and then getting rowdy as fuck with reverb, feedback, and propulsive ritualistic fire summoning magick. Apocrypha comes from another realm, lead by shaman prophets and where a deep understanding of reality comes only through tantric psych & dancing-induced hypnoses. This is the motherfucking jam. Can’t tell you how fucking psyched I am about this record. It’s masterfully cohesive while capturing the range of styles Miller works in. If you remember how crazy I was/am about Half Blood, and then I say this is every bit as good as Half Blood, you’ll know I’m not shitting you and that this is everything you could want in another Horseback record.
David Andree & Josh Mason – Winter To Spring, Further Than First Thought (Own)
After Mason’s The Symbiont scored the number one spot in my Top Drone list last year, suffice it to say I was craving more of his delicate sound. This new record, a collaboration with David Andree, fills the void quite nicely. Andree & Mason worked long distance (from Minnesota & Florida, respectively), each recording a piece to tape in one take and sent to the other with the stipulation that they too must record their contributions in a single take, with the intent of closely simulating a live collaboration. The results are pure fucking magic. These two dudes work so perfectly together, it’s as if they’re the man with two heads, both individuals’ unique ideas being implemented by the same body. Call, Response is the calming restrained guitar drone that I loved so much on The Symbiont with the addition of Andree’s field recordings & tape manipulation which gives an already multi-faceted sound an even deeper quality, this is the most tender music you can think of, each tone & click acting as a breath of life, nothing existing but the natural silence found between floating specks of dust, the pluck of a guitar string as subtle & precise as the blink of an eye, textured rustling and elongated resonance doing everything it can to point the way towards enlightenment, spend an entire lifetime looking at every detail in this record and you’ll always discover more. I can’t imagine how much effort went in to making a record this understated and profound, but we reap the benefits, and the elegance of this masterful ambient is ours to enjoy. Only 300 pressed, so do not sleep on this.
Been really feeling that Wizard Of tape on Digitalis. Only 3 left!!!
AGB Radio 2014/02/10
/Background music/ Pinkcourtesyphone – Why Pretend – The Desire of Absence – Faulty Connections (from A Ravishment Of Mirror)
Have A Nice Life – Music Will Untune The Sky (from The Unnatural World)
Chester Hawkins – The Brood (from Semisolids)
Untitled – Untitled 10 (from Untitled 13)
Yoshi Wada – March 15 Part 2 (from Singing In Unison)
Ø – Takaisin (from Konstellaatio)
Cloud Becomes Your Hand – Bees Going Postal (from Rocks Or Cakes)
Half Makeshift – II (from Omen)
Hayden Pedigo – Mars Curiosity (from Seven Years Late)
Luciernaga – Maquinaria (from Collected Works: 2008-2013)
Blackhoods – Doomhound (from Sunk)
Helm – The Hollow Organ (from The Hollow Organ)
William Selman – Ignore The Loss Frame (from Chaîne Opératoire)
Mass Ornament – Honeyeater (from Saturn Eye)
Wizard Of – Skeleton II (from Face/Skeleton)
Cody Yantis – Brightness III (Planted Tapes)
Yantis has been slowly digging his own niche in the weird ambient folk scene for a few years (see Box Elder, Cold Scholar), but this new one on Planted Tapes takes things to another level with the addition of warbly tape manipulation on top of his dusty reverbed guitars. Maybe the tape manipulation has always been there, but now it’s undeniable, and undeniably awesome. There’s a bit of a kitchen sink approach to instruments here, but the plucked strings (guitar and banjo), piano, tape work, & field recordings are the foundation, and he’s built a magnificent world of barely there ghosts and distant dreams, a room that you stumble through in the dark, grasping at shadows instead of the real thing, trying to confirm the existence of something concrete, and instead coming up empty, with the silence in between echoes warped until it’s only partially recognizable and the music you expect to hear is decayed, sharp & clear in one moment, falling apart at the next, delicate to begin with and turned to thread bare lace by the end, this is truly incredible heartfelt and emotional music that fills every fold of your headspace with a mysterious familiarity, an album that you won’t be able to shake and will obsess over until the tape itself degrades on its spools. I can’t recommend this enough. Only 100 made, $7 including postage, you can’t go wrong.
Nicholas Szczepanik – Not Knowing (excerpt) (Desire Path)
A few years ago, Nicholas Szczepanik put out a subscription series of 12 mini-CDs called Ante Algo Azul where he “experimented” on different styles & sounds. The first release from that series was Not Knowing (For Eliane Radigue). This new release on Desire Path takes the original 18:00 piece and expands & elaborates on it creating a full 53 minute record of the most perfect drone you’ll ever hear. The first part of “Not Knowing” is the same as the original (as far as I can tell), which is to say it’s a super minimal pulsing that sounds like a comatose heartbeat. And then shit gets fucking glorious, softly, slowly shifting gears to an angelic harmony that could tear down the walls between warring nations with everyone embracing their newfound family, swirling cascading strings that fill your heart with the joys & pains of life, strongly reminding me of Szczepanik’s magnum opus Please Stop Loving Me. The contrast on Not Knowing, gracefully moving back & forth between long form minimalism and refined euphoria, is something I haven’t heard Szczepanik do yet, and he’s already proved himself a fucking master. The highs are incredibly high, tearful & magnificent, glowing & intricate, and the lows are delicately hypnotic, with a precision in tonality that’s breathtaking. This is absolute fucking perfection. This has everything I ask for in a drone record, and more. As much as I love Please Stop Loving Me (#1 drone record of 2011 yo), I can easily say Not Knowing is hands down a more mature, accomplished, and impressive fucking record. I have a hard time imagining Szczepanik ever topping this.
Also, you might be thinking that since Not Knowing is one long track, what the fuck is Desire Path, the label who’s literally 7 for 7 on their releases and exclusively works with vinyl, doing releasing this? They started the Tangents series, where they’ll release CDs of long form music that can’t (shouldn’t) be on vinyl. And this is the debut release in that series, strictly limited to 500, but given the deluxe treatment as Desire Path always does.
Now it’s streaming, too! Not sure why I didn’t do that before. Stupidly thought no one would be interested, until some brave soul spoke up for the rest of you.
Also, I recently discovered Scott Tuma’s Not For Nobody. Incredible record. Goes quite well with Cody Yantis’ new one Resonant Memory, also incredible.
AGB Radio 2014/02/03
/Background music/ Mark Banning – A Sea Of Glass (from Journey To The Light)
Kim Gordon – Walks With Men (from Design Office With Kim Gordon)
Ancient Sky – Invisible Hand (from All Get Out)
Julie Byrne – Prism Song (from Rooms With Walls And Windows)
Atrocious Neighbour – Small Fingers Fell Out Of The Wall (from Secondary Efflorescence On The Dam Of The Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station)
Scott Tuma – Rakes (from Not For Nobody)
Cody Yantis – Brightness IV (from Resonant Memory)
Deleuzer – SideB3 (from Greatest Hits Vol. 1)
René Margraff – Rot Gelb (from Phasen)
Klozapin – White Noise (from Demo)
Thief – Nothing Lacking (from Greed single)
RP Collier – Cymvox (from RP Collier’s Soundcloud)
Ernest Gibson – All Of Us Together (from Island Records)
Nagual – Honey River Lacquer (from Nagual)
Bird People – Into The Ring Nebula (from Terma)
Haunted Disco – Dead Air (from Enter Through The Exit)
Anne Guthrie – Rough Above With Uneven Base (from Codiaeum Variegatum)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – What We Loved Was Not Enough (from Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything)