Friday, March 25, 2011
Two long drone pieces apparently based on vocal work that both really sound like the inside of a cathedral slowly being destroyed by a hurricane. Sad, beautiful and full of obliterated chants of long dead monks. Each piece is unique but travels along a similar path. Heavy and noisy drones that almost build to a point of harsh noise but somehow stays focused. I am very impressed with this release from what was a new band to me. I am looking forward to more work from this Brooklym based act. Limited to 50 copies.
by myself to myself sacrificed
This is right up my alley. Subtle, lo fi drones made to sound like a lost shortwave transmission. So quiet and lonely sounding that you can't help but feeling really alone when hearing this. I think this would be right at home on Hanson Records' series of cassettes. Similar in it's focus and restraint to Aaron Dilloway's catalog. Excellent work. Limited to 40 copies. I don't have any label info as I believe this is self released but you can email here for a copy email@example.com soon. These may be gone.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
6335/dBpm/Silver Antlers/Transcode split cs
Utah has some pretty killer sounds coming out of it these days. This four way split is made up of 75% Utah acts and it's a pretty awesome cross section of potential. 6335 starts out with what i think is a live performance full of ever shifting waves of distortion and glitches before settling into some restrained drones. The audio on this is a little lacking but I assume that is the live quality of the recording. dBpm is very beautiful. Reminds me a bit of Sigur Ros' approach to drone and ambient. Silver Antlers (who I believe is the only non Utah based project) delivers a track that sounds very professional and has a touch of rhythm throughout it. It leans a bit towards a Brian Eno style of minimal electronic. Finally, Transcode sounds like they took a song with piano, acoustic guitars, drums and horns and completely destroyed it. Cut up sounds start out the chaos before super restrained tones finish off this release. Well done. The packaging is simple and very dig. Everything is handwritten, the outside, the insert and all done with a Bic pen. The outsides are spraypainted as are the tapes. You will also receive a download code, so that rules. Limited to 40 copies.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Bonesfield/Facialmess split cs
First of all this tape looks fucking cool. The artwork is totally wild. Super intricate machines that look like a Robotech version of biomechanics. It's crazy. The design of the tape is a little bit 90's but it's expertly done. The designer obviously had a vision when designing with Stumptown Printers' "Brad" cassette packaging. I would definitely pick one of these up, open it and marvel at the meticulous artwork and two color screen printing. Intense… Now onto the sounds. Bonesfield is pretty rad harsh electronics. Sounds a bit like more recent Merzbow with a heavy use of filters. The sounds on here tend to lean towards the techno side of noise. Imagine a touch of Aphex Twin with your harsh noise. I can imagine a pair of Akai samplers being played and manipulated. Lot's of dynamics throughout the 8 shorter tracks. It's basically a full length release on one side of the tape. With Facialmess you get a similar type of noise. I guess if Bonesfield has a touch of Aphex Twin then Facialmess has a more generous helping of Squarepusher. Still noise, no slap bass or break beats but you get these glitchy stuttering bursts with a lot more empty spaces. There is quite a bit of samples and you all know how I feel about samples at this point. On this release they do create an interesting narrative, but they don't really seem to go anywhere after you get through the four tracks. Well worth checking out though.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Super fast 90's hardcore played by a contemporary band. At times, when it is at it's best, it can sound a lot like Infest. That is a very good thing; pissed, fast, loose and belligerent. I love it like this. Most of the nine songs lean this direction and it takes me back. Occasionally they go a bit more melodic and it gets real close to the pop punk side of hardcore and I am not too into that stuff. Still worth looking into if pissed, fast hardcore with an early 90's sound is something you are into. Includes a download code and pretty punk xeroxed covers.
Winters in Osaka
never coming back
Really diverse sounds from Winters in Osaka. Starts off with a cold whirlwind and then fades into a sad sounding acoustic guitar. Vaguely reminiscent of LSD March before it falls into some gorgeous drones. Somewhere between the analog of throat singing and synths with the digital of sine waves and pedal effects. All used in a thoughtful and subtle way. Very restrained. I am not familiar with WIO yet but I imagine that the collaborators on this release did color the sounds a bit. Although with the collaborative efforts of Robbie Judkins, Jim Katatonic, Greg Ratajczak and A.C. Way there really is a focused singular vision. I am impressed. I am a little less then excited by the one sided cassette thing though. I never like that. Especially when reviewing, it just says to me, "I hope you love rewinding". I don't.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Baculum/Breaking the Will 2xcs
Harsh, ever shifting electronics from Baculum. Sounds full of hate, pain, fear. Two tracks of sharp twitching noise. Bleak and dangerously harsh. Recommended for sure. Breaking the Will is a belligerent narrative told with broken up samples and bits of harsh noise. It sounds a bit more crusty than Baculum and the samples seem to reference fights and cops. "I've never been beaten before, but that looks bad. That it is man…." Fucked.
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Wicked King Wicker split LP
Gnarled Forest Recordings/Noiseville Records
A brutal split offering from two different but like minded grim acts. First is BSBC with their side sounding like it was recorded in the belly of a giant hulking steel bellied freighter bound for hell. Truly grim anti-music from the duo of Stan Reed and wm. Rage. BSBC would do the best soundtrack work if someone would just make a movie dark enough. Maybe if Guillermo Del Toro's "At the Mountains of Madness" ever gets made this could be the soundtrack. The reverse side is from Wicked King Wicker is equally bleak in a totally different way. It starts with what sounds like some very heavy bass guitar right before it falls into a plodding pit of blackened noise and feedback. The occasional screaming vocal and wave of piercing distortion break up the chaos by adding to it. As i said before. Brutal. Limited to 300 and probably disappearing fast.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I don't think this has anything to do with Jewish super hero Marc Spector or the Egyptian god Khonshu but it is excellent Black Metal from the label Universal Consciousness. Similar to Lord Time in it's amazing lo fi "bedroom Black Metal" sound but goes in a totally different direction. The songs are very morose and sad. Longer more restrained guitar riffs and more present vocals. I am not as big a fan of the black metal production thing where vocals are the loudest thing in the mix. It really just kinda makes the guitars sound quiet and not tough at all. That is not a constant on this recording; only a couple times does that come up and it's used to a pretty interesting effect. I do prefer the other tracks where the vocals sit nicely in the music. I guess this is another member from Harassor who goes by the moniker Lord Foul or possibly James Brown III. Either way he has a very competent approach to the song writing on this record. It was described as "Shoegaze Black Metal" and although I have never heard that before I can see why. The epic nature of the riffs, the melancholy feeling, the walls of distortion and raw nature of the recording certainly bring a level of "shoegaze" to mind. I really suggest checking out this cassette and the Lord Time one mentioned below. Both limited to 100 copies.
This is Black Metal. As a genre that has been co-opted and redefined many times, I feel that people spend a lot of time and energy on how legitimate someone's version of Black Metal is. It seems like a waste of time because even the most "trve" black metal can either sound like Bathory or it can sound like atmospheric ambient stuff and still hit the mark. People will argue about whether Wolves in the Throne Room are black metal or grey metal or if Deathspell Omega is still, or ever was, black metal. I don't know nor do i care. Black Metal is like pornography; you know it when you hear it. Lord time is most definitely Black Metal. I would almost put it in with the Les Légions Noires type of stuff sonically. It's a little crusty, a little atmospheric and also is self described as "bedroom black metal". I assume that refers to the recording quality. Very lo fi and awesome. The guitars, which are nice and loud in the mix, are obviously played through a sans amp into a board or possibly mic'd poorly through a small practice amp with everything set at 2. It sounds gritty as hell. Excellent short tracks of fast and fucked up sounds. Often accompanied by samples of distant chants and walls of harsh static. Same songs on both sides but the song order and the overall sound is totally different. Lord Time is the solo work of Andorkappen from the group Harassor. I myself have never heard of Harassor but I think I need to check this group out. Lots of creativity but with a level of reverence to the founders of Black Metal. Really nice letterpresses j cards and good design. Oh yeah, there is also blood smeared on the cassette. So, yeah. Fuck.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Tapes of a Neon God
Totally amazing dirty, punk, fucked noise rock from Montgomery Alabama. Super rhythmic and pissed throughout. Kinda reminds me of Rudimentary Peni meets Jesus Lizard but way noisier. The kind of songs where you imagine the bass player is probably strumming all the strings on his bass for most of the parts. The songs are catchy but really filthy. Not lyrically so much but just the sound of them. It sounds like music that would be blasted at you through a sewer grate. The vocals have a deranged David Yow and Mike from Eyehategod sort of delivery. It's pretty harsh. Great all around. I have listened to this release dozens of times this week. Nine tracks of pure noise rot. I love this. The artwork is stunning by the way. Free drinks to Anderson Cook. Excellent work motherfuckers.
Japanese Women - Order by TAPES OF A NEON GOD
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Robert Turman/Aaron Dilloway split cs
This is why I love buying cassettes. Robert Turman was in the legendary NON and Aaron Dilloway is known by all to always do fantastic work. The pedigrees alone are enough for you to take the risk and pick this up. The first sides starts with these scary vocal and noise loops that create an interesting five minute long rhythm. Then these strange horns come in and you feel like you are actually listening to someone have a bad dream in an alternate reality where the nazis won WWII. It just gets better from there. I have probably done serious damage to this tape by playing it so much. The artwork is the usual gorgeous, simple and perfect artwork you expect from Hanson. I don't think it's out of print so i recommend picking this up right away.
This is grind. Not grindcore or whatever but there is a constant grind that sits in your brain and will not cease until this c15 runs out. Synths, tv static, and pedal effects all help compliment what sounds like microscopic butchery. This stuff may actually make your brain break. My wife has asked me not to listen to this stuff around the baby. Great artwork in Hanson's signature packaging.
Slicing Grandpa/Dried Up Corpse split cs
Well, there little to no information on this tape. The cover is a still from that scene in The Shining where the elevators spill blood everywhere. So it's go that going for it. It's still a nicely printed cover just with no text anywhere on it. The tape itself has both projects names scrawled in pen on the cassette itself. I think the Slicing Grandpa side was recorded live. It is very lo fi and has some strange distant vocals and drums. I appreciate this type of recording. It's raw and mesmerizing. I am usually not a fan of drums being used in noise but i think due to the recording quality it creates an almost Crash Worship live bootleg kind of vibe. Dried Up Corpse is as usual totally brutal. Stan Reed's work is so focused that you start to get the feeling that it's all part of a larger singular work. I bet if you listen to all of it in order you will open a portal to hell like in the Hellraiser comics. No idea how to acquire this tape or how many were made.