Changed things up a bit more this time. Some likely year end favorites are on this playlist, like Roly Porter and The Stranger. Goddamn those records are amazing.
AGB Radio 2013/10/21
Roly Porter – Cloud (from Life Cycle Of A Massive Star)
Emptyset – Order (from Recur)
Shadowlust – Citadel (from Iris/Citadel)
Superstar – Pastoral Dirge (from A Toast To…)
Cave – Silver Headband (from Threace)
The Body – To Attempt Openness (from Christs, Redeemers)
Gnaw – Vulture (from Horrible Chamber)
Troum – Ater (from Syzygie)
Wilburn Burchette – Witch’s Will (from I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990)
30,000 Monkies – Stab You Elf (from Womb Eater Wife Beater)
Arnaut Pavle – Eat The Soil From This Grave (from Arnaut Pavle)
Perfect Pussy – IV (from I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling)
Dressed In Streams – The Breastplate Shines (from Dressed In Streams)
Grey Host – Noble Beast (from Dawn For Vutlures)
Saturnalia Temple – Dreaming Out Of Death (from Ur)
Blue Hummingbird On The Left – Storm (from Tliltic Tlapoyauak)
The Stranger – Providence Or Fate (from Watching Dead Empires In Decay)
Raising Holy Sparks – For Fran, Etched In Glass & Water V (from For Fran, Etched In Glass & Water)
Changed things up a bit more this time. Some likely year end favorites are on this playlist, like Roly Porter and The Stranger. Goddamn those records are amazing.
This new Olan Mill is one gorgeous fucking record. Five smooth tracks of lush pastoral beauty, blooming with otherworldly sweetness and as tender as can be. The drone comes in all forms, from resonant angelic choirs and sweeping cinematic strings, to buried sustained tones and delicate piano keys, all layered in a harmonic perfection that wrings your heart dry, empties your tear ducts, and bathes you in a sunlight you never knew existed. There’s a deep sadness, so painful that the only shred of optimism to be found is in knowing that you’re still alive to feel it. Hiraeth is a record of such heavenly warmth and bittersweet bliss, I guarantee it alone will sustain you through the upcoming winter. Vinyl & CD available, with different artwork for each (fyi that’s the LP artwork up there).
AGB Radio is back on the air/tubes. First one was last night. If you missed it, download it here. I’ll be keeping an archive of my shows, accessible by that link over on the right.
AGB Radio 2013/10/14
Nils Frahm – Ross’s Harmonium (from Spaces)
Noveller – No Dreams (from No Dreams)
Paper Voices – Magdalena (from Clover Hill)
The Field – 20 Seconds Of Affection (from Cupid’s Head)
Factory Floor – Turn It Up (from Factory Floor)
High Aura’d – Remain In Light (from High Aura’d / Blood Bright Star Split)
Esmerine – White Light (from Dalmak)
Body/Head – Can’t Help You (from Coming Apart)
Mind Over Mirrors – Innumerable Step (from When The Rest Are Up At Four)
Tropic Of Cancer – Wake The Night (from I Feel Nothing)
Holden – Delabole (from The Inheritors)
Bvdub & Loscil – Thanatos (from Erebus)
Yasushi Yoshida – Remembrance In Glass (from Secret Figure)
Plankton Wat – Bread Of Dreams (from Drifter’s Temple)
Johnny Hawaii – Driving Through The Jungle (from Southern Lights)
Orphax – Winterslaap In De Zomer (from De Tragedie Van Een Liedjesschrijver Zonder Woorden)
Secret Pyramid – Move Through Night (from Movements Of Night)
Olan Mill – Soft Furnishings (from Hiraeth)
Mikael Lind – Old Tales Of Folly (from Unsettled Beings)
Super exciting news you guys. I’m doing a radio show/podcast again! Every Monday night from 7:00-9:00 (EST) on my pal’s internet radio station BFF.fm starting TONIGHT. I’ll be playing the best drone I can get my hands on. Also expect plenty of other killer goodness: massive doom, ancient foreign folk, subtle techno, raw black metal, tender Americana, skull splitting noise, earworm pop, and whatever the fuck else is in rotation at AGB HQ.
I’ll be posting the shows here on the site after they air, so if you miss it on BFF.fm, you can download it here and take it with you everywhere you go.
AGB RADIO! BFF.FM! TONIGHT! 7-9!
Holy cow now this is a fucking record. Secret Pyramid, aka Amir Abbey, has brought us a stunning display of soft drone perfection, the stuff dreams are made of. This really is the embodiment of softness, no hard edges or jagged angles to be found, the stark sphere of a billiard ball obscured behind a gauzy veil, taking clips of melodies and stretching them out, looped on themselves and buried under a thick Basinskian blanket, piano notes floating out from the black green of an ocean cave, finding their way to the top and caught in the subtle surface shimmer, everything washed in a comforting melancholic static and hanging in the delicate balance between sleep & consciousness, a magically golden midnight haze that opens up half-forgotten memories both tender & somber. Super special stuff from a new-to-me dude courtesy of the ever-trustworthy Students Of Decay.
Mother. Fucking. Drone. This is the real shit. Long form synth transcendence that’ll push your fucking skull straight through the fabric of space/time. Two sidelong pieces, absolutely humongous slabs of gritty bliss, heaving & waving layers filling in the wrinkles of your brain, a monotonous minimalism that I would bind to my goddamn bones and take with me wherever I went if I could, drones clipping in the red and glistening from the bottom of a well, boring down on every atom in your body until the negative space is non-existent and you’re lifted up to the next level of reality. So so fucking good, and yours for only $6.50 courtesy of the baddest dudes at Umor Rex.
This dude is pure fucking magic. Steve Fors’ debut as Aeronaut last year, Coronal Mass was outstanding, and his time spent in The Golden Sores has sadly continued without much fanfare. But man, Your Space Transmissions Listening Kit is all out soaring static bliss, telling the story (from the perspective of a 7 year old) of an astronaut lost in the blackness of space (perfectly timed with Cuarón’s upcoming Gravity). Four 15 minute tracks that dance with death, pushed to the edge of asphyxiating on bittersweet euphoria, staring straight into the heart of a star and filling your ears with the sound of golden perfection, moments lasting forever stuck in the vacuum of nothing, isolated dread, swirling stardust, abyss meditation, and harmonic beauty, unsure if you’re in heaven or hell, just overwhelmed by every sight & sound. Only 100 CDs of this beast were made but every one of them includes a pair of 3D glasses and some sweet anaglyph images.
I first heard about Argentina’s finest Federico Durand through his superb collaboration with Nicholas Szczepanik under the guise of Every Hidden Color. This
debut LP of Durand’s (translated to The Language Of The Fireflies) takes that pristine sound from Luz and amplifies it to a level of pure magic. This is a record of subtle complex sounds, finding wonder in the smallest audio spaces and turning a regular peaceful morning into a world of bright white bliss. Intimate field recordings of wildlife chatter and drifting chimes are in perfect company amidst minimal tonal shimmer, delicate softness, humble piano twinkling, and emotional dreams. This is a damn near perfect drone record, kicking introverted euphoria into uncharted territory. As is all things with Desire Path, El Idioma is limited, so don’t sleep on this.
The second part (of a two parter, this is it. ICYMI: part 1) of what I’ve been blasting the fuck out of for the past few months. Here lie the black, doomed, & loud as hell records that are front to back awesome.
Hope Drone – Hope Drone (OSCL)
100% killer post black metal out of Australia, blistering & furious with raspy roaring vocals and a grim outlook set to annihilate you that’s not very often seen in the Cascadian stuff, it’s low on the shimmer (though it’s there a bit) and heavy on the heavy.
Sadhaka – Terma (Pest / Sick Man Getting Sick)
Super fucking awesome USBM band that sadly only got their record released overseas. This is some insane post everything shit, a little post metalcore here, a little post black metal there, but monstrous through & through, thick atmospheres, major dark riffs that are admittedly a bit catchy, but when this thing explodes, it’s so beastly, vocals sounding like they’re being echoed out of a bottomless abyss and spot on heart attack beats. Been playing this one almost nonstop since I found it.
Quttinirpaaq – No Visitors (Rural Isolation Project)
Hands down the weirdest record in this list, these guys have churned out some gruesome industrial sludge that sounds like it was scraped from the bottom of an evaporated acid bath and splattered up against bass heavy grooves & rusted iron drum beats, gritty & heavy as fuck with a Bachelor’s degree in bombastic noise punk and a minor in scorched psych, something a freakish cult would dance to as they burn you alive in your fevered hallucinations.
Old Witch – Come Mourning Come (self released)
Holy fuck this is one huge goddamn record, the most perfect blending of doom, black metal, & drone I’ve heard in a long time, monstrous drums & earth rattling guitars that will tear the fucking world apart as we all fall into the pits of hell, and definitely a Carpenter/horror score vibe with backing synths that turn this into a brutally tense nightmare. Hands down of of my favorites this year.
Surachai – Embraced (self released)
This one came out of nowhere and it fuckin rules, just one dude who enlisted a bunch of pals to flesh things out and give this a truly overwhelming sound, Embraced is some next level shit, complex wall of sound black metal that’s super fuckin precise, tight tremolo shredding on top of a controlled chaos of percussion a la Zach Hill or Greg Fox, this is nonstop amazing.
Peste Noire – Peste Noire (La Mesnie Herlequin)
Forget all those shoegazey French black metal bands, Peste Noire is the Frenchest black metal there is and they’re the fucking best. Their newest record eschews a lot of the black metal norms and takes on a heavy dose of punk & cabaret styles, both of which I normally hate, but for some reason the accordion, xylophone, classical acoustic guitar, spit in your face vocals, and all the other non-BM sounds on here get folded in with the blast beats & buzzing guitars and end up making the craziest, noisiest, coolest fucking (mostly) black metal record.
When Woods Make Graves – Whispers From The Black Lake (self released)
Solo British dude who’s pretty prolific, cites my favorite classics (Burzum, Paysage D’Hiver, Weakling, etc) as influences, and makes his shit free* for the taking, there’s no reason not to love him already. But his records are incredible and his most recent one is no different, with 6 tracks (4 of which break the 14 minute mark) churning out guitar squalls & murky atmospheres, overwhelming in every way, he’s just as good at making lengthy devastating epics as he is switching out his guitar for some synths and laying down massive bleak drones.
Hivelords – Cavern Apothecary (Anthropic)
Some fearsome shit right here, these Philly dudes spill fresh blood in the blackened doom arena, frenzied blast beats & killer fucking riffs b/w a slow plodding death march & clean majestic vocals, at once black, heavy, doomed, & pure fucking evil, these guys have a path to the Dark Throne laid out right in front of them.
Charnel House – Black Blood (Sygil)
A record unlike any other, this is some sort of beautifully dark atmospheric black metal, but not the kind you’re thinking of, this is a record straight out of a haunted house, eerie guitars & bass jamming a fucked up atmosphere while some ghost lady seduces you to the Underworld, lurching drums that rise up from the basement to burst out in flaming blast beats. I don’t know what depths this came from but I both hope I never find it and am pissed I’m not there already.
Cultes Des Ghouls – Henbane (Hells Headbangers)
A truly twisted black metal record, equal parts thrashy, heavy, and fucked, this is grizzly necro show with dual vocals that howl & groan, debased buzzing riffs, start & stop drums, crazy samples, a candlelit graveyard stomp, the kind of shit that Satan himself rocks to.
Just because I stopped writing for a bit doesn’t mean I stopped listening. Actually felt like I did way more listening than usual, or maybe it was just more quality listening without the review cloud storming up in my brain. Either way, here’s a quick rundown of some chill records I’ve been jamming these past few months. Part 2 will be the louder noisier scarier stuff.
Danny Paul Grody – Between Two Worlds (Three Lobed)
Omfg this is one of my favorites from this year, Grody (of the forever missed Tarentel) goes way beyond the experimental guitar soli stuff and turns solo guitarscapes into a lush & serene ocean spanning this life and every other, delicate drone, subtle piano, & obscured vocals breathing bliss into every moment of this record. For a guitar record, it goes places you never dreamed of.
Alessandro Cortini – Forse Volume 1 (Important)
This has been getting tonnnns of spins over here. Cortini is from Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels, which automatically (shamefully) made me not care about this. But for some reason I listened to a sound sample and was instantly sold. This is some incredible minimal/maximal single-Buchla-synth drone stuff that’s got the occasional rhythm and is fucking out of this world awesome. Sadly you missed your chance with the 2xLP, it’s sold out. Luckily, Volumes 2 & 3 are forthcoming before the year’s end. This is gonna be a trilogy to write home about let me tell you.
Earn – Hell On Earth (Bathetic)
Why this guy isn’t at the top of the drone chain yet I don’t know. But lets hope Hell On Earth puts him there. I can hardly imagine a more beautifully dark record than this, channeling soft woozy bliss into a black mourning shroud, this is the ghostly stuff you see out of the corner of your eye on a sun-drenched foggy morning, supremely perfect, definitely one of the best drone records you’ll come across this year.
Henry Plotnick – Fields (Holy Mountain)
It’s hard to not call every embarrassingly talented kid that hasn’t even hit high school a genius, but here we have 11 year old Plotnick’s debut 2xLP of melodic loops in the vain of the early minimal masters and goddamn this guy is fuckin going places. Regardless of his age, Fields is a fucking triumph of transcendental zoning. Fingers crossed he keeps recording.
The Archivist – The Wooden Laser (self released)
I was maybe a bit biased from the get-go due to this guy’s name but objectively speaking this record is the fucking best. The Wooden Laser is a barely there minimalism, crank this fucker up and you can still hear you pet’s heartbeat 3 rooms over. An ambiance formed around dusty tapes and whispered electronics, you can give 100% of your ears to this and it’ll show you all the crevices in the fabric of reality.
Sarah Davachi – The Untuning Of The Sky (Full Spectrum)
A debut of this caliber shouldn’t be going as unnoticed as it is, Davachi has cuddled up next to a variety of electronics (ARP, Buchla, Serge, Mellotron) and coaxed tender long-form minimal drone dreams out of them, deeply saturated in warmth & finessed to a level of tonal perfection I don’t think many people ever achieve.
D. Burke Mahoney – LORAN-C (self released)
An homage to the 1350 foot transmitter LORAN-C in Greeland that collapsed in 1964, this is a beautiful drone record that’s overwhelmingly minimal, the kind of sounds you hear emerge from a silent room that has various quiet machines powered up, the sound of a room breathing, exceptional, precise, & absolutely perfect. Also, it’s free.
Lustmord – The Word As Power (Blackest Ever Black)
I was never too into Lustmord but when I heard this was a drone record based on various guest artists’ vocals (Jarboe! Soriah!), I had to check it out. Blew my expectations right out of the water. I love some quality black magic ritual drone like Phurpa and Zurvan and this fits right in, expansive & evocative detailed drones resonating through empty caverns, so fucking excellent.
Marisa Anderson – Mercury (Mississippi)
How I’ve yet to hear of Anderson before this record is a baffling travesty. She picks & strums her way on electric, acoustic, and lap-steel guitars playing 100% awesome experimental Americana, twanging & echoing under wide open skies and doing an assortment of styles, bluesy drags, lazy folk, dusty Appalachian ragas, and tying it all together with an old fashioned tenderness. Love this so much.
Big Blood – Radio Valkyrie 1905-1917 (Feeding Tube)
Insanely fantastic record from this Maine psych folk duo, only their second full length and somehow they’ve already honed a hazy dark sound that puts everything else to shame. Songs fit for midnight forest rituals and ghost stories by the fire, a seriously warped ethereal vibe that’s unshakeable after the first track’s vapors seep into your pores.
Molly Drake – Molly Drake (Squirrel Thing)
Unearthed recordings from the 50s by Nick Drake’s mom!! This woman has an undeniably charming & enchanting voice, singing sweet somber tunes & floating effortlessly on her piano, this is a record that’ll transport you to the drawing room you never got to hang in.
Agarttha – A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands (King Of The Monsters)
Agarttha is one Francesca Marongiu (of Architeuthis Rex) conjuring a doomy folk, or folksy doom, or some manner of subdued occult magik that pours out of your speakers like a fog, offering elements of psych & pop that are as inexplicable as they are welcome. One weird fuckin record, covers you in a thick layer of moss that you’ll never wash off.
Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe (Dead Oceans)
Been enthralled with Barwick ever since I saw her open for Eluvium years ago and her new record takes her layered vocal bliss to uncharted heights, sometimes venturing into pop territory, but pure fucking heaven through & through. Hands down one of the most beautiful records and completely deserving of all the praise that’s been heaped upon it lately.
This is basically my own personal schedule, meaning anything that’s not on my schedule I’m almost certainly not going to. The bands on my shortlist are either ones I already know & love (I am NOT missing Charlemagne Palestine) or ones that have sparked enough interest in me to risk choosing them over a sure-fire winner (maybe Alexander Turnquist is better than either Dan Friel or High Aura’d but come on). I know there’s lots of other cool shit going down at Hopscotch that’s not on my list, that’s what makes it a near-perfect fest, but I can only see one band at a time (hope there’s some top men working on a solution to that) and this is to help me (and maybe you) narrow shit down before you panic in the moment and accidentally see Saints Apollo instead of Cian Nugent.
Anyway, here’s the night-by-night breakdown, here’s my recs in spreadhseet & PDF forms. There’s also gonna be some KILLLERRRRR day parties that haven’t been officially announced yet but keep an eye on Cory Rayborn’s/Three Lobed’s insane Kings Barcade day show. Last year it was one of the highlights of the fest and this year it looks to be even better OMGGGG.
First things first, Black Twig Picker & Pelt dude Nathan Bowles kicks things off at the Fletcher Opera Theater at 8:30 with his high brow banjo, followed by an hour and a half of the intimate dreamfolk from the lovely Angel Olsen at 9:30, which bleeds right into crowdpleaser Grouper at 11. Definitely a stacked chill venue for the opening night.
The Dreebs bring their avant anti-punk noise pop blasphemy to the Kennedy Theater at 9, then this year’s superhyped-with-good-reason Pharmakon will rupture guts and bang heads with her sleazy atomic darkwave at 10. The new Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) and Eugene Robinson (Oxbow) collab Sal Mineo follows at 11, who I haven’t heard yet and while I’m not a huge fan of either of those dudes’ respective bands, they have an upcoming album on Important so I’m game. Then finally, FINALLY, motherfucking WOLD will play their fifth show ever at midnight. Their nightmarish black noise is not to be fucked with (that recent vinyl reissue of Freermasonry on Ideologic Organ was hellish) and they’ve got that whole mystery thing going for them so long story short I am fuckin PSYCHED for this set. Sadly, there’s a problem…
They’re right in between a killer bill at Kings Barcade. Japanese noise legend and this year’s “Improviser In Residence” Merzbow starts at 11:30 and everyone’s favorite ferocious dudes Wolf Eyes are at 12:30. What’s a noisehead to do? Not only that, but Ohio’s Mike Shiflet will set the scene at 10:30 with his beautiful & precise massive darkness. Fuckin bill of the century right there. A couple of guys named Boyzone start off at 9:30. I don’t know em but their picture on Hopscotch looks like they put on a good show of “playful mayhem.”
Golden Void’s brand of San Franciscan catchy shreddy psych is sure to be awesome, they’re on at 11 at Deep South. Also at 11 but at The Hive is sprawling spaced droner Expo ’70. If you’re looking to math it up, Liturgy’s Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is also in the band Survival, who brings some sweet modernized math rock jams at Lincoln Theater at 10:30, then my #1 guitar tappin lady Marnie Stern will get your existential self racing on an endorphin high at 11:30 (also at Lincoln).
Endless Boogie kinda speak for themselves, and righteously so. They play at 11:30 at Slim’s and I’ve heard their shows are pretty fuckin great. They’re followed by Jonathan Kane’s February, who’s up against Wolf Eyes at 12:30. They’re new to me but with comparisons to Swans and Jon Mueller’s Death Blues set last yet, I can safely say this show will be fucking awesome.
The main stage at City Plaza has Future Islands at 7. Even though I’m not into huge stages/crowds like that, Future Islands are cool enough to maybe venture into that abyss. Plus, nothing else will be going on.
CAM has what seems like a pretty sweet lineup all night with OXYxMORON at 9:30, Helado Negro at 10:30, XXYYXX at 11:30, and Ryan Hemsworth at 12:30. I’ve only heard of Hemsworth but I’ve never listened to anything more than a song or two by him. The other artists sound similarly cool if not more so and the laid back electronic jams, soft pop & sharp hip hop might be a good way to spend the night. And CAM is a great spot too, albeit a little out of the way.
Another venue that has a bill I don’t know much about save for the 100% incredible noise pop of ex-Parts & Laborer (RIP) Dan Friel is The Hive. Friel is on at 10 and if his solo set is anything like a P&L show, be prepared to get the fuck down. Just before him at 9 is Waumiss, a husband/wife duo crafting a strange & extraordinary bedroom pop. Then there’s the new project from Brian Foote of Nudge called Leech, doing what sounds like a minimal classy ambient techno kinda thing at 11, followed by Nightlands at 12 playing a lush harmonic pop with a dash of sunny psych.
There’s two other places, Kennedy Theater & Long View Center, with bills running parallel set times and similar genred bands, but Long View strays more towards the experimental, especially as the night progresses (so they win I think). Kennedy Theater starts with the gorgeous expansive calm of Villages at 9, Alexander Turnquist’s exquisite 12-string picking at 10, MA’s own garage freaks Speedy Ortiz at 11, and the gloomy glamour of Waxahatchee’s brooding folk at 12.
Pair that with Long View Center’s damn near perfect lineup of the thick fuzzy Ilyas Ahmed dreams at 9, Boston’s chief dark guitar drone hero High Aura’d at 10, Daniel Bachman’s dizzying & dazzling acoustic wonderland at 11, and thee mighty Charlemagne Palestine performing some manner of experimental minimal weird perfection at 12. Oh the things you’ll hear.
The killer hip hop show is going down at Lincoln Theater with Alpoko Don at 10:30, Action Bronson at 11:30, and Earl Sweatshirt at 12:30 (assuming he doesn’t cancel). And playing late into the night at Five Star starting around 12:30 is the beloved all over the place Magik Markers, doing stuff for the first time in a long time. Pretty fucking exciting.
Things start off at City Plaza with The Breeders at 6:50 and Spiritualized at 8:40. Not that crazy about The Breeders and Spiritualized is cool but I don’t really listen to em all that much so this is a definite maybe.
Cian Nugent is at the Fletcher Opera Theater at 9 bringing his experimental Appalachian folksy brilliance all the way from Ireland. Definitely a rare set. The slow magic of Low graces the same place at 11. Fingers crossed they’ll do something like that droning 30 minute version “Do You Know How To Waltz?” Smack in between them at 10 but over at Kennedy Theater is Scout Niblett with her awkward & angular sparse creeprock.
Then things start getting dicey with lots of painful overlapping sets.
The Long View Center has a fantastic bill with Pelt, Lonnie Holley, and Califone at 10, 11, and 12 respectively. Pelt plays an incredible folk drone that kinda reminds me of the theme to the show Carnivàle in the best way possible. Lonnie Holley is a 63 year old dude doin some crazy fuckin anti-folk/pop/blues bizarro shit whose debut was just put out by Dust To Digital. So, don’t miss that, obviously. Then the criminally underrated Califone share their patented avant dust rock to a hopefully massive crowd.
The Scottish Richard Youngs plays for an hour and a half at Memorial Auditorium starting at 10:30. Never totally sure what to expect from his sets but it’s guaranteed to be some next level experimental folk genius. John Cale plays after him at 12 if you’re into that but I’d rather put my money on…
The muthafuckin Charalambides at Five Star at 12:30. Tom & Christina Carter’s slow spectral/spiritual folk knows no bounds and is exceptionally exceptional. Before them at 11:30 is the French weirdo High Wolf who plays some warped & spacey psych drone pop stuff. Sure to be out of this world. And before him at 10:30 is Arborea from the wilds of western Maine, and while I haven’t heard much from them, the instruments all hit the sweet spot for me (banjo, harmonium, Basho-esque guitar, etc). Pretty sure this whole lineup is A+ work.
But then there’s the fuckin metal show of the year at Lincoln Theater. Inter Arma is at 10:30 who seriously have one of the best records this year, Sky Burial, which crams heavy psych black post metal death folk doom monstrosities all into one insanely amazing album. Then the almighty doomlords Evoken, who admittedly aren’t the same as they used to be (only one original member remains) but that one dude has been perfecting funeral doom for 20+ years and goodgod they deserve all the fucking medals. Their latest, Atra Mors, is some mantle-worthy shit. Then venerable dopesmokers Sleep close out the night with some hefty fuckin doom that’ll crack open your head and let the craziness soar.
And if the electronic bug is bitin, then CAM is where it’s at with Horse Lords at 10:30, Holly Herndon at 11:30, and Matmos at 12:30. I just saw Matmos and Horse Lords a couple months ago, so I’ll probably skip out on this, but that shouldn’t tell you anything about their awesomeness, they’re both totally worth your time, especially if you’ve never seen Matmos before. Herndon is extra desirable though, her debut from last year Movement is still in rotation here, with some of the best contemporary composition mixed with sweet & sexy strange beats, it’s almost too much for a brain to handle.
Majical Cloudz goes on at 12 at The Hive. That new record is pretty cool in the slow dark catchy sorta way but I feel like it might be less inspiring live. Who knows. There’s also Foot Village closing out Slim’s at 12:30 and their bombastic shriek ‘n’ drums cacophony is hands down one of the best ways to end a fest.
So, pray tell, where are you gonna be?
I’ve been weighed down by some heavy fuckin depression & anxiety issues lately. I feel like I can’t accomplish a single fucking thing, anything that I do is a steaming pile of shit, and it’s making me so tense my body is rebelling against me. Not quite sure how or where that’s going but I know AGB has been stressing me the fuck out. It’s not what I want it to be but I don’t have the time to make it perfect so I spin my wheels and hope it’s enough.
I have so much fucking guilt over it that it affects everything else I do, so I constantly fight myself over whether or not I should shut AGB down. I don’t want to because I love it and I’d hate myself if I did, but then I tell myself maybe it’d be better for my well-being if I pulled the plug. I don’t know if it would or not.
I couldn’t/can’t bring myself to shut it down, but about 2 weeks ago I told myself that I’d put AGB on like a summer hiatus or something. Basically, don’t think about it, don’t do anything with it, just step back, take a deep breath, and wait until something happens. In these past couple of weeks I think I might have felt a little better due in part to trying to keep AGB out of my head, which is why I’m writing this instead of reviewing a new record. I’ve decided the hiatus is real enough to tell you about it and make it a thing.
I’m saying now that I want to come back. My hope is that I’ll figure some shit out or have some realizations or whatever and eventually, at the very least, want to update AGB again because I actually want to and not because I think I need to. I’d still like to do a guide to Hopscotch fest like I did last year because this year’s got some crazy shit in store, but who knows.
When something changes, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, keep well. I’ll see you soon.
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 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?