Thursday, May 26, 2011
give it to you
When you get a tape that looks like this in the mail, you know you are in for a discovery. I took a few minutes to examine this and figure out what kind of music might be on this one. My blog definitely leans towards harsh, dark and creepy sounds so when I looked at this cover I thought "junk, harsh noise with an ironic hate of the deaf and an equal distaste of cassette tape cases". Seemed like a solid guess. The folded info sheet/sign language card is glued to one side of this tape and the tape itself has the kind of typed labels that you find in a sad christian book store of some jesus rambling cassette. So I was a little surprised when I removed the adhesive and placed this in my player. The music is lo-fi bedroom psych/folk that is definitely a little on the indie side. It exists somewhere near Neutral Milk Hotel and Mt. Eerie but doesn't really sound like either. More sparse and empty but full of almost overwhelming emotion. The songs are mainly acoustic guitar and effected vocals but with the occasional drum,wood block, chime or toy piano accompaniment. The beautiful lyrics and an excellent singing voice are the real strengths of this release. I almost wonder if he uses the very DIY packaging to somehow hide his talent. Like girls who let their hair hang over their faces. This is quite well done.
Friday, May 20, 2011
More excellent minimal drone from Remnants. Subtle layers of tones that create sounds that can resemble a swiftly moving train to a jet engine, warming up. There is a sad undertone to this release. Like you are moving away from something you once loved. Or are being taken away. Simple layout and pro-printed cassettes compliment this beautiful release.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Laying Waste to the Kingdom of Light
When I was younger, around 1989-90, I used to hang out with some kids that had older brothers. They would hang out in the woods, make huge fires, drink beer, talk about satan and blast metal over a jukebox that leaned against a tree. I would get to tag along and hang back as I learned a whole bunch about being a hesher. It wasn't really were i ended up but I have fond memories of throwing shit in fires and listening to Slayer, Venom, Celtic Frost, Iron Maiden or whatever they had on their warped fourth generation mixed tapes. Glass Coffin immediately brought those memories flooding back. Old school Black Metal done in that amazing lofi "bedroom black metal" I had encountered more and more lately. Four tracks ranging from mid paced to blazing fast and all played by noise guru Josh Lay. This is impressive. It's basically an homage to Bathory, Mayhem and Venom. The audio is perfect with it's mid range guitars and insane mix. Josh Lay continues to impress me with his range of work and this cassette has been a strangely nostalgic trip for me. Summer is coming, it will be the perfect time to get outdoors, put this tape on and then burn your parents lawn furniture to shit.
More harsh rage from Gnawed. I am really finding myself pretty into this project. This one starts off with some hypnotic noise loops that slowly builds chaos around it. Almost a bit of a John Carpenter feel. More anxiety and tension than the first cassette that was more in your face. It's definitely still very dark and pissed with the same brutal vocals. It's pretty excellent work. Awesome creepy layout in simple black, white and grey. Good work.
Gnawed is scary. Heavy almost industrial loops of noise and maybe guitars paired with intense drones of what sounds like every horrible insect swarming your home. Excellent vocals delivered with a harsh intensity that tears through you. Synths that build until they explode into a fountain of feedback. This reminds me a bit of Hair Police meets Josh Lay. Maybe a touch of earlier Gnaw Their Tongues. It's pretty fucking pissed. The layout is a little obvious with it's X-ray images although i like the simple yet heavy typography. Look this up.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
la conjuration sacree
The starts out so beautiful. A faraway, haunting piano plays as an intro to what might be an audio illustration of the story of Orpheus. Dark, tragic and mournful. The whole work is crushingly sad and still somehow subtle. It could be a backdrop to your horrible lonely life. This is some very interesting work for this Honduran artist. Limited to 84 copies and totally crucial to help tone down the joy of the coming summer.
Regosphere was a total surprise. I didn't know what to expect but, to be honest, the name kinda through me off. I thought it might be wacky junk noise or even vaguely dancey noise type stuff with a name like that. Now that i know what Regosphere sounds like it makes a lot more sense. Imagine Blue Sabbath Black Cheer meets Josh Lay. Heavy, noisy and dark but with a less doomy sound than BSBC but heavier on the vocals. The vocals on this release pierce and break up both the noise walls and subtle melodies throughout. This release is apparently the second in a trilogy called the "swarm trilogy"; dealing with suicide. It's a serious full length; seven tracks over two sides that show a wide range of audio dynamics. Well worth picking up. Packaged in an oversized box with a full color insert. Beautiful work from Phage Tapes.