Archive for August, 2014

Album Review

Blood Bright Star – The Silver Head (King Of The Monsters / Ascetic House, 2014)

Blood Bright Star - the silver head album cover
Blood Bright StarPale Sphere Apparition (King Of The Monsters / Ascetic House)

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.


 

My first introduction to Reuben Sawyer’s music as Blood Bright Star was on the excellent split 7″ with High Aura’d on Anti-Matter, after that I couldn’t wait for a new full length and this thing fucking delivers, a mystifying blend of motorik psych and mellow doom, this is refreshingly original shit that’s absolutely fucking brilliant, with deep grooves conjuring dusty demons, wobbly buzzing guitars and even wobblier vocals, this is the sound of a desolate seance, a shaman who’s out of his mind in the middle of nowhere, jamming hard on the occult vibes and going to shadowy places I’ve never heard of, never escalating into anything transcendent or overwhelming but rather a slow burning fog that feels like it’s warping your brain with every passing moment, this is magick of the highest order, and The Silver Head being his second full length, Blood Bright Star is only getting started, I can’t fucking wait to see this project develop.

Album Review

Taiga Remains – Works For Cassette (Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2014)

taiga remains - works for cassette album cover
Taiga RemainsThere’s Nothing (Helen Scarsdale Agency)

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.


 

I’ve been holding on to this one for a while, spinning it on the regular at AGB HQ, digging deep into the subtle drone, this is to be Alex Cobb’s final release under the Taiga Remains moniker, although this isn’t new work, it’s a collection of two out-of-print tapes, the A side is Beneath The Weeping Beeches on Ekhein and the B side is Thereafter on Arbor, both originally released in 2008, but the great thing about this is that Taiga Remains has never had a vinyl release all to himself, it’s always been splits, so now you’ve got his wondrous smooth tones on what is essentially a full length, and the world is a better place, these are some dark & beautiful sounds, hunting through empty industrial plains in search of the glimmer of an epiphany, desperately hoping there’s something beyond the substance in front of you, absorbed in the delicate grit and shifting muffled majesty that soothes in a way harrowing music rarely does, this is mindful, meditative, and gloriously expansive, a vast open landscape speckled with the remnants of a once great civilization, the dust still settling and lit up by the sun shining through the breaking sky, this is a truly fantastic record, and what a great gift to have this remastered and repackaged on sweet sweet wax, all thanks to the impeccable HSA.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (August 25 ,2014) – Clarence Tribute

clarence under the desk
My bunny Clarence died this weekend. This is a tribute to him, the blackest bunny ever.
 

AGB Radio 2014/08/25 – Clarence Tribute

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: Nihill – Oerbron: Returning To The Primal Matter (from Verdonkermaan)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:53 El-Ahrairah – Following The Ancient Voice (from The Gates Of Dawn)
00:02:53 Charnel House – Once Upon A Dream (from Black Blood)
00:06:48 Dead Reptile Shrine – Through The Gleaming Darkness Into Eternity (from The Sun Of Circles And Wood)
00:11:27 Giles Corey – A Sleeping Heart (from Giles Corey)
00:14:38 Trepaneringsritualen – Deathward, To The Womb (from Deathward, To The Womb)
00:21:25 Loss – Silent And Completely Overcome (from Despond)
00:31:49 Talk break
00:32:53 Owlfood – Clutch Of Dusk’s Hand (from Destroyers Of The Moon)
00:35:31 Falls Of Rauros – To Witness Existence (from Hail Wind and Hewn Oak)
00:45:37 Jasper TX – Part III (from Black Sleep)
00:51:03 Leucosis – Euthanasia (from Leucosis)
01:01:42 Talk break
01:02:28 Loss Of Self – There Must Be Great Wisdom With Great Death (from Twelve Minutes)
01:05:30 Jakob Battick – A Silent Prayer (from Heavy The Mountains, Heavy Are The Seas)
01:13:58 Mamaleek – Lay This Body Down (from Fever Dream)
01:18:28 Ash Borer – Rest, You Are The Lightning (from Ash Borer)
01:26:10 Xasthur – Released From This Earth (from Portal Of Sorrow)
01:30:32 Talk break
01:31:20 Sadhaka – Impermanence (from Terma)
01:45:46 Seirom – I’m So Glad To Have Been A Part Of You (from And The Light Swallowed Everything)
01:51:26 Súl Ad Astral – All The Times… Forever (from Súl Ad Astral)
01:53:10 James Blackshaw – A Momentary Taste Of Being (from Love Is The Plan, The Plan Is Death)
01:58:25 Talk break

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (August 18, 2014)

Started experimenting with playing more than one song at once. Fun stuff, will definitely be doing more of that in the future. Also I started playing some older tunes again. That Fricara Pacchu record is one of my favorite things to ever come out of Finland.

 

AGB Radio 2014/08/18

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.

00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:31 Death Blues – Are (from Non-Fiction)
00:17:48 Chatur Lal – 13 Bits (Jaiy Tal) (from The Drums Of India)
00:28:58 Talk break
00:29:40 Charlatan – Nightmaring (from Local Agent)
00:36:47 Ninos Du Brasil – Novos Mistérios (from Novos Mistérios)
00:47:35 Fort Rile Dog – Paul’s Friend (from Etoile)
00:51:12 Dag Rosenqvist – The Procession – Become The End (from Fall Into Fire)
01:01:41 Talk break
01:02:51 Mississippi Fred McDowell – Jim, Steam Killed Lulu (from Levee Camp Blues)
01:05:41 Matt Davignon – Strange Shapes On The Ceiling (from The 3am Music) / Church Universal And Triumphant, Inc. featuring Elizabeth Clare Prophet – Dedication To The Tackling Of The Beast And Dragon – The Momentum Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (from The Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults)
01:10:46 Fricara Pacchu – Return Of The Rats (from Midnight Pyre)
01:15:37 FKA Twigs – Hours (from LP1)
01:20:07 Laurence Vanay – Soleil Rouge (from Galaxies)
01:22:13 Nerve Net Noise – Blood Have Everything You Need (from Dark Garden)
01:30:14 Talk break
01:31:43 Jean-Pierre Mirouze – Tivoli By Night (from Le Mariage Collectif)
01:36:06 Badgerlore – We Are All Hopeful Farmers (from We Are All Hopeful Farmers, We Are All Scared Rabbits)
01:44:22 Omar Khorshid – Rahbaniyat (from El Chark (Guitar Of The Orient))
01:47:14 Aidan Baker – HTBDF I (from Hypnotannenbaumdronefuzz)
01:58:51 Talk break

Interviews

Questions For Lawrence English

lawrence english interview
 
Lawrence English is one of my all time favorite droners, with Kiri No Oto ranking among my favorite records. This year he put out what might be his darkest work yet, Wilderness Of Mirrors on his own Room40 label, and it’s easily a highlight of the genre this year. I’m quite honored to have Lawrence participate in my Q&A series. While most of the questions don’t focus on music or music-making, I think his responses offer a deep look into the ideas and themes behind his work.
 

What is the best way to die?
With dignity.

How do you think you’ll die?
Wondering if perception, in a sensory way, stops before your brain does. What I want to know is, can silence be realised? I mean real silence, where your ears and body stop their incessant collection of sound. Is there a moment or moments, where your senses are gone or diminished, but your brain remains active? In those moments can we appreciate the experience of no sensory input from sound for example? Is there a final second where we retreat into our mind, into a kind of mute consciousness as a kind of last refuge as the body gives way. That is how I at least hope to die, curious…

What makes you happy?
I talk about this a lot with people. In some respects I think this is a choice, in that we must choose to position ourselves in a way where certain things can make it onto the spectrum of ‘happy’. And this isn’t as easy as it might first appear, not if you want to really experience resounding happiness, and not just a fleeting glimpse.

Some people might find some activities mundane and therefore displeasurable and perhaps this results in them being unhappy. I prefer to drill into these often presumptuous acts. I am amazed by what can make me happy, or for that matter, unhappy. I think happiness becomes much more complex when you start thinking about what happens around us. What does happiness mean for us when we can look around and bare witness to all this suffering, but remain physically, socially and geographically removed from it? Is happiness meaningful beyond the self? I guess that’s the trick, coming to understand that happiness is perhaps best realised by how it radiates out, rather than in…

How can you die happy?
By living in a way that adds value, rather than depletes it. It’s easy to be a resources thief! A vacuum of time, oxygen, energy, everything. Christ knows we all witness enough of that and it’s tedious to say the very least! There’s a whole lot of ‘me, me, me’ that’s possible in life and it’s easy to succumb to it. The age of distraction loves to offer us the chalice of self aggrandizing hollowness. Death to this! The challenge is to refocus your gaze and recognize that the easiness of self and self gratification is perhaps best described as a trap. Ultimately self is singular and frankly, dull. That’s not to deny the importance of self reflection, just to say you must be more than self serving if you want to die happy, at least I feel that way.

How close have you come to death?
Death is a funny old thing. It’s the great certainty, and at the same moment, the great uncertainty. It’s coming, but when? My wife died once when she was a teenager, but she was revived by her teacher. As for me, I was hit by a car in school….I was lucky really. It just slammed into me in a way where I collected myself on the bonnet [hood of a car], but was ok. I got up and just kept running across the road.

I think probably closer to death was being hit by lightning. That was a proper, everything being zapped out of your body experience. Like somehow every possible last breath was erased out of me instantly. I had a burn mark where it entered my body and where it exited. What I didn’t know at the time was that the strike could stop my heart up to three days later. I should have gone to hospital, but didn’t. All for a recording of rain on a metal roof.

What does kindness mean to you?
Realising you need to check your privilege and recognize how lucky you are. By for the grace of god and all that…if you do happen upon this realisation then hopefully it means you can be bothered to give others less fortunate than you some consideration. Meritocracy is cancer. We got lucky, some other people didn’t…be thankful and act accordingly.

Where do you find love?
In the whispered breathing of my family during the stillness of the late night. I am a blessed human.

When were you most afraid?
There are two memories I can think of pretty readily when it comes to fear. One of them is from my childhood, a kind of fear that doesn’t really persist, at least I find, into adulthood. It’s a kind of pure fear, illogical and internal, something coming from inside the mind.

When I was sick, with a fever or something like that, my mother would let me sleep in her room. It was in the middle of the house with very little light coming into it. In that room, on top of a chest of draws was a collection of porcelain dolls from the Victorian era. There were probably about 20 of them, on stands in a couple of glass boxes that were about the size of a large fish tank. I vividly remember how if I started to stare at them, gradually their mouths would start moving and I could hear a murmuring sound, as though they were chattering from within the glass tanks. The sound was tiny, like miniature voice boxes muttering in a language you couldn’t understand, but sounded very human. Still to this day I illogically believe this experience holds some sense of reality to it. It was pure projection of course, but through that projection came a sense of perception and therein lies the human condition.

The other event was about five years ago in a park in Glasgow. It was after midnight and I was walking with my wife. The path curved around a hill about 20 metres from us and it was very dark. Around the corner came two huge dogs, there was no one in sight and they were charging toward us. It was as if they were going to literally leap on top of me. A very primitive thing kicked in. A primal fear and I took a position I have not done before or since, a kind of defensive stance that was just utter instinct. They ran right by us, brushing our legs and as they did that I let out this primal yell – at the same moment the owner strolled around the corner…he walked past looking at us like we were fools. The dark, big dogs and an unfamiliar city are a bad combination.

How do you listen to music?
I am constantly chasing music. I am constantly chasing all sound. It’s beautiful to realise that as soon as I have it, as soon as I perceive that sound, that music, it’s gone. What I am connecting with is memory. A personal filtering, a kind of interior psychological rendering of sensory perception. Music is in a state of constant extinction. But it also contains the promise of resurrection, in memory…albeit a resurrection that barely resembles the complexity of what you actually perceived in the first place. Apparently reductive memory is enough to satiate most of us.

Album Review

Peter J. Woods – Impure Gold, Pt. I (FTAM / Hewhocorrupts Inc, 2014)

peter j woods - impure gold pt i album cover
Peter J. WoodsImpure Gold (FTAM / Hewhocorrupts Inc)

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.


 

Milwaukee DIY champ Peter J. Woods, self described maker of “Theatrical Harsh Noise,” part of Phoned Nil Trio, xALLxFORxTHISx, and FTAM head, drops his vinyl debut (7″s be damned) and the world is now a better place, this is high caliber shit, throwing down the dynamics gauntlet on here, going for long stretches of absolute silence (or so far out of my fucked up hearing range that it might as well be) to harsh walls of caustic blown out static and high end insect skree, this has so much range that if you’re not careful you’ll fry your speakers & eardrums from cranking it up during the quite parts because it’s fuckin tricky like that, rusty industrial clank & rattle alongside nonsensical vocal samples processed to sound like a glitching melted Speak & Spell, obliterated screaming and ghostly dungeon whispers over an acid bath wash, tinnitus buzzing drone vaguely reminiscent of Charlemagne Palestine or Birchville Cat Motel, but always, relentlessly, an unpredictable treachery, this isn’t noise for noise sake, nor for shock value, nor for machismo, it’s elaborate, beguiling, & filthy as fuck, and it’s fucking excellent.

Album Review

Sublamp – Lianas (Eilean, 2014)

sublamp - lianas album cover
SublampOur Bodies Draped In Moss And Cloud (Eilean)

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.


 

Sublamp, aka Ryan Connor, is primarily interested in “pre-language experience” and Lianas takes us on a trip to the cloud forests of Monteverde, evoking a strong jungle vibe without the jungle rhythm, this is a gorgeously lush drone that’s just pure fucking bliss, 4 tracks, 3 of them nice & long, slow burning thick minimalism, like huffing ether to the point just before passing out and seeing stars dancing everywhere, parts of it reminding me of the precise intimate guitar work of Josh Mason, other parts going full blown texture overload, tender, warm, & timeless, I feel like I’ve been listening to this forever, the hum & crackle acting as the foundation of my life, a majestic fog rolling through your memory, giving everything a euphoric glow, this is truly spectacular drone, easily one of my favorites from this year, and the CD looks beautiful with deluxe handmade packaging and strictly limited to 80 copies.

Album Review

Telecult Powers – Black Meditations (Experimedia, 2014)

telecult powers - black meditations album cover
Telecult PowersNever Ending Empires (Experimedia)

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.


 

Crazy duo of Witchbeam & Mr. Matthews are back at it with a stellar freakshow on Experimedia that features guests like Rachel & Grant Evans (Motion Sickness of Time Travel & Nova Scotian Arms) and Lala Ryan (Excepter), so already this record is at peak awesomeness. Dark rhythmic weirdness banged out in an enchanted lodge that sounds just like what you’d hope a record called Black Meditations would sound like, unnerving noise waving in & out of focus, bleary drone making you woozy and filling every inch of the room, suffocating and hypnotic, conjuring an inter-dimensional knowledge of the Beyond, these guys capture the ritualistic séance of the 21st century with a creeped out occult vibe that permeates every moment, from the stuttering static and panning future electronics to the bizarre samples and mystical imagery, this record is way off the deep end, and I gotta say I’m both surprised and impressed Experimedia released this. Not their usual type of jam, but clearly Black Meditations transcends that bullshit, this will be right at home in any weirdo’s collection.

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (August 11, 2014)

Can’t believe how good the new Trepaneringsritualen full length is. Crazy awesome stuff.
 

AGB Radio 2014/08/11

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/ The Gerogerigegege – Gay Holtel Ultra (from Hotel Ultra)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:52 Antwon – Baby Hair (from Heavy Hearted In Doldrums)
00:03:50 Shabazz Palaces – They Come In Gold (from Lese Majesty)
00:07:11 Young Thug feat. Quavo – Sub Zero (from 1017 Thug 2)
00:11:06 Drowse – Needing (from Songs To Sleep On)
00:14:06 Demdike Stare – 40 Years Under The Cosh (from Testpressing #006)
00:20:07 Talk break
00:21:14 Trepaneringsritualen – He Who Is My Mirror (from Perfection & Permanence)
00:26:27 [ˈɡlasnəsʲtʲ] – Beta Triangle (from The Old World)
00:33:46 Yob – Unmask The Spectre (from Clearing The Path To Ascend)
00:49:06 Talk break
00:49:50 Hobo Cubes – Flowers Lay Dormant (from Memories)
00:55:00 drcarlsonalbion – Gold VII (from Gold)
00:58:00 Keeper – As It Needs To Be… (from MMXIV)
01:06:16 Dinner Music – The Coffin Maker Speaks (from Tomb Of Comb)
01:09:32 Botanist – Leucadendron Argenteum (from VI: Flora)
01:15:35 Drose – Finger On It (from Finger On It)
01:18:54 Talk break
01:20:20 Possessor – Limb From Limb (from Electric Hell)
01:23:38 Sunfighter – Midnight Suns (from Golden Eagle Of Illumination)
01:33:33 Makthaverskan – Slowly Sinking (from Makthaverskan II)
01:36:31 Talk break
01:37:13 Strange Mountain – Grizzly Kids (from Ancient Eyes)
01:40:28 Sleeping Peonies – Opal (from Opal)
01:42:35 Terence Hannum – If Only You Know What Darkness I Am Plunged Into (from Via Negativa)
01:58:14 Talk break

AGB Radio

AGB Radio (August 4, 2014) – Favorite Songs Of 2014 (So Far)

These are some of my favorite songs from this year. So much excellent stuff to come out in 2014, and even more on the way.

 
AGB Radio 2014/08/04

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/ Millie & Andrea – Back Down (from Drop The Vowels)
00:00:00 Talk break
00:00:56 Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – What We Loved Was Not Enough (from Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything)
00:12:18 Dama/Libra – Stravinsky (from Claw)
00:18:06 Claypipe – Shed Your Clothes And Feel The Sun (from A Daylight Blessing)
00:20:30 Have A Nice Life – Music Will Untune The Sky (from The Unnatural World)
00:25:29 Fennesz – The Liar (from Bécs)
00:30:01 Talk break
00:31:22 Peder Mannerfelt – Derrvish (from Lines Describing Circles)
00:35:29 Cody Yantis – Brightness IV (from Resonant Memory)
00:39:51 Wreck & Reference – Flies (from Want)
00:43:34 Ben Frost – Nolan (from A U R O R A)
00:50:32 Planning For Burial – Desideratum (from Desideratum)
00:53:52 Future Death – Junkhammer (from Special Victim)
01:00:00 Talk break
01:01:09 The Body – Our Souls Were Clean (from I Shall Die Here)
01:06:26 clipping. – Story 2 (from CLPPNG)
01:08:36 Röyksopp & Robyn – Monument (from Do It Again)
01:18:30 Eric Holm – Måtinden (from Andøya)
01:27:02 Nothing – Dig (from Guilty OF Everything)
01:31:03 Talk break
01:32:21 Lawrence English – Another Body (from Wilderness Of Mirrors)
01:38:46 Horseback – Passing Through (from Piedmont Apocrypha)
01:45:25 Fatalism – Isabelle (from Mystery Of Death)
01:51:54 Ian William Craig – On The Reach Of Explanations (from A Turn Of Breath)
01:57:45 Talk break