Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holographic Beast "Glass Tightrope" cs

Holographic Beast
Glass Tightrope
Know/Care Sounds

The initial mood set up by this release is almost too comforting. You realize in a couple seconds that everything is probably going to be destroyed. Like entering a room full of stacks of fine china. Something permanent is about to happen. It does. Harsh commanding vocals and a wall of harsh and spastic noise tears into the serene yet somehow alien landscape set up in the first few minutes. That is just the first three tracks. The repetition and rhythmic waves of noise that color this release are incredibly hypnotic. I had a hard time remembering that I had to write about this while listening to it. I started out thinking I was going to give this a 3 instead of a 4 because I was pretty underwhelmed by the layout at first but now looking at it in relation to the audio on this release I would say that it is a perfect compliment. Holographic Beast does not release a ton of things but it is nice when they do. Excellent work. Still has a download in it as well. 

Holographic Beast "Perpetual Filth" cs

Holographic Beast
Perpetual Filth
Know/Care Sounds

The sounds on this cassette are actually more than a couple years old but I find the work to be very fresh sounding. Odd vocal layers, piercing yet controlled feedback, huge buzzing drones and none of it sounds accidental. I don't feel like this was all improvised. This doesn't seem like simple knob turning; this feels intentional. I was surprised at how restrained the pieces on this cassette were. Moments of Throbbing Gristle meets Andrew Chalk. Each track is unique but they all seem totally cohesive with the other tracks. Haunting and sad sounds are all dedicated to someone who had passed. Nice simple j cards and limited to 100 copies. I hope there are more of these. Includes a digital download if you swing that way. 

Pregnant Spore "(ache for)" cs

Pregnant Spore
(ache for)
Rainbow Bridge 

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It is epic and the sounds are great but it also feels a little off. You know how John Wiese does that sort of stop and start noise thing, bursts of harsh destruction mixed with absolute silence? You get a lot of that here. It does seem pretty interesting and restrained at times but then again it feels a little lifted as well. Like I said I am a bit confused on how I feel. The first half of the first side is great but it really feels a little familiar but the second half of the first side is the Pregnant Spore I love. Pulsing rhythms of pure noise mixed with broken synths and tortured sounding loops. It all has that lo-fi sound I love from Pregnant Spore's earlier releases. I guess this was recorded mainly by accident while trying out some ideas and the artist fell into a bit of a trance. I can see that. I have done that. You create some very interesting things but sometimes it gets a bit self indulgent. Not that I think in noise that is really a bad thing. At least I hope not. When I said this was epic I should also point out that this cassette is a c92 so you are in for a trip here. The packaging is very thrown together. Folded origami paper for a jcard, completely blank cassettes and tiny computer print out info cards. It is limited to 50 copies and I think you should grab one. Just as the audio on this release keeps changing so does my opinion. It's perplexing. It's a piece that I may have to revisit a few more times. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sun Boxes on 7"

Sun Boxes 7"

So I don't really review things that I can't hold in my hand but this seemed pretty interesting. Craig Colorusso constructed these solar powered little drone machines and places them out in nature. Like a giant beautiful Buddha Box. I guess he made a couple of field recordings and pressed a 7". The audio I have heard sounds great and I may just order one of these for myself but until I do all I can tell you is that this looks interesting and you may want to check it out. It would actually be ideal to see/hear this in it's intended setting, nature. Check out the blog and look to see where the next installation if going up. It seems like it could really be just about anywhere.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mawdryn cs

Universal Consciousness

Mawdryn is a one man atmospheric drone/metal project by Roskva (Lightning Swords of Death & Endless Blizzard). It's a really fucking heavy revelation. Giant slow riffs with pummeling drums and synths that makes something absolutely enormous. To borrow an idea from the UC's website, this is pure Satanic Majesty. When people say drone/metal they probably think Sunn 0))), Habsyll, Black Boned Angel or something in that vein but Mawdryn deserves it's own place in the genre. This may be my favorite new release and I will be wearing this one out. Limited to 100 copies so get this. This is going to be huge. Vinyl and cd represses… all that stuff. Hell, I would love to reissue it on my label. Letter pressed jcards as usual. Beautiful (ignore the cracked case). 

Lord Time "Black Hole at the End of the Tunnel" cs

Lord Time
Black Hole at the End of the Tunnel
Universal Conciousness

I was very stoked to see this arrive as the last Lord Time cassette was amazing. BHATEOTT is no exception. There are 20 short tracks that all sort of swirl and blend together on this cassette. Still excellent and twisted lo-fi black metal but there is a lot more to the overall piece on this one. Moments of noise, psychedelic, drone and neo-folk add some much interesting contrast that you will need to listen to this many times to get it all. Some songs rage with blast beats and super fast discordant guitars while others sound like a funeral dirge at a concentration camp. Bleak. This is totally crucial and I can't recommend this enough. Amazing letterpressed j cards and cassettes covered in real blood as usual. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weeping Swords "Death Wins Every War" cs

Weeping Swords
Death Wins Every War
Worthless Recordings

Again, not at all what I was expecting. Weeping Swords sorta creates their own genre here. It's like blackened Badalamenti or something. Sad swelling synths accompanied by minimal drums and driven by some completely brutal screaming. It's gorgeous and horrific at the same time. I think the Twin Peaks soundtrack is a pretty good comparison to some of the music on here. I think maybe just have that dude from Xasthur sing over it and you have a decent idea of what you might find on this release. There are other tracks that are just solid ambient doom as well but with a different feel than you may be used to. The audio is mastered a bit quiet and that's a tiny bit of a bummer but this release is super fucking solid, just turn it up loud and be prepared to cry yourself into a nightmare. 

Robert Ridley-Shackleton "Super Goaty Mix Tape" cs

Robert Ridley-Shackleton
Super Goaty Mix Tape
Goaty Tapes

I was fully not expecting this. Not at all. This is awesome lo-fi, no-rock, bedroom trash rock and it's fucking great. Drums machines and lunatic bass playing perfectly accompanies some very strange lyrics. The music kinda sounds like if 1950's rock n roll was the last genre ever explored and it has just evolved and mutated into a weird bastard over the last 60 years. It's subversive and strange. The way the levels are mixed is fucking crazy. It almost sounds like it was recorded into a four track that did not have the option of adjusting input levels so he just said "fuck it" and went with it. "My husband comes home every night wanting food on the table and to beat up my face" Yup, this guy is something special. I had not heard of this label before but their aesthetic is amazing and the tapes are beautiful. I am pleased to have discovered both Robert and Goaty Tapes. Really good work. The tape here includes three full lengths by Robert Ridley-Shackleton: Here Comes Robby, Prick with a Stick and Ugly. It is a bit on the long side and there is very little in the way of information in the actual release but I think you will be happy. 

Deadbeat "Source Tape for Lonely Nights" cs

Source Tape for Lonely Nights
Worthless Recordings

Pretty straight forward noise from Deadbeat. Bubbling, crunching type of noise that fills you with just enough comfort and anxiety to keep you engaged. It's weird to compare it like this but it kinda of reminds me of a slowed down Dried Up Corpse. Implying that there is a tempo to either Deadbeat or Dried Up Corpse is ridiculous but when you hear it it might make sense. There is no frills on this one. No samples, no vocals from the abyss just pure churning noise that runs through your room like lava. The packaging is simple and unpretentious. There isn't even any label information. Refreshing. 

Black Cum cs

Black Cum
self released

So yeah…  This is fucking insane. Really terrible and hard to listen to but at the same time kinda awesome. There is little in the way of music or even noise on this cassette. It sounds like ti was recorded on a small radioshack cassette recorder in a wreck room somewhere.There is lots of badly scream/sung lyrics about killing the president, killing cops, drinking, drugs and what have you. I actually love how they refer to themselves from time to time like "this is what happens when Black Cum gets fucked up on drugs and booze". They do that kind of thing a lot. Not sure if there is any real instruments, maybe acoustic guitar, maybe a tambourine but after that I think I am hearing cardboard boxes, and whatever was in the room at the time of recording. The also spend some time discussing "the album" at the end of the cassette and the results are hilarious. Its pretty nuts. I think this is worth hearing once at least for the line "if you're going to kill a cop, it might as well be a pregnant cop." What the fuck? This stream of consciousness, while being both ignorant and precious at the same time, is ultimately a failure. It is a pretty glorious failure though and I think that is what they are going for. When I got this in the mail the note inside said "Hey Demian, Wondering if you could review this. It's self released & it's just terrible. Thanks. -Black Cum" No problem guys. By the way, awesome name. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jessika Kenny & Eyvind Kang "Aestuarium" 12"

Jessika Kenny & Eyvind Kang
Ideological Organ/Editions Mego

This is truly unbelievable. Listening to this made me realize how small my musical world really is. I want to pretend I know a lot about metal, jazz, folk, noise, whatever… but in reality I inhabit a very small corner of an entire universe of music. The whole of this recording is made up of interplay between the human voice, performed by Jessika Kenny, and viola, performed by Eyvind Kang. I have been a little familiar with some of their collaborative works, most recently they both worked on Monoliths and Dimensions by SUNN0))) on the track "Big Church". The music is so beautiful and flawless on this record. It can sound like it's from Ireland, Isreal and Tibet all at the same time. This is evidence of why the spiritual and the musical are so intwined. This is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. My eyes have been opened and I want to see more. Apparently this is a vinyl repressing from a cd release in 2005 and Stephen O'Malley has given this a wonderful treatment. His design and care in the production of these records are apparent. Definitely a must for anyone searching for something they haven't found yet.

Fire in the Head/Bereft split 12"

Fire in the Head/Bereft split 12"
MA/PE/FU Vol. 1
Existence Establishment

This 12" is the first in a series of releases focusing on Massachusetts noise artists. Both acts on this record deliver some intense industrial power electronics and harsh noise. Fire in the Head is Michael Page (also of Sky Burial, which I loved) and he brings some brutal sounds. I thought for a minute there might be a Full Metal Jacket sample within the music but I don't think so. I was about to have to remind everyone of the 20 year moratorium on using any samples from Full Metal Jacket. 20 years. Serious, but I must stress that I am really not a fan of samples. They just take me out of it. I start wondering where that sample was from and I can't get into the otherwise awesome sounds being created. Sometimes it works well but I guess it's all personal preference. Still Fire in the Head is pretty good. Super heavy grinding synths and harsh noise. The vocals are pretty deranged and that adds a nice bit of fury to what is already pissed. Bereft is also very dark. More of a laid back harsh drone meets the Swans type of thing. It's pretty fucking awesome actually. Dark, noisy and with creepy vocals. Reminds me a bit of Drowner from Seattle. Massachusetts has some pretty killer shit happening and I hope this series of 12"s shows that off.  The one negative for me isn't as important as whether or not the music is any good but it's still important. The layout. I rally hate the type treatment for pretty much the whole record. Maybe it was intentional but the type mixed with the photographs makes this look like I was receiving a straight edge hardcore 12" from 1995. I was expecting both bands to sound like Strife and Ten Yard Fight or something. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Night Heir "Wind in my Dreams, Mist in my House" cs

Night Heir
Wind in my Dreams, Mist in my House
Secret Lexicon

You really have to hand it to this one for the scale of this record alone. Ten tracks that spread over about 40 minutes of continuous neo-folk, black metal, and prog. There are some very interesting uses of unique percussion and a huge choir of voices. Sometimes the vocals get a little too sing song for me but there is usually a tinge of madness behind those vocals and that really helps carry it. The songs are huge and sprawling and it's really difficult to figure out where one starts and another ends. There are moments, my favorite moments, where things almost start to sound a little like Voivod. You can't go wrong with that. There are other moments of ambient black metal that fades into full on black hatred. Musically it's pretty solid. Besides some of the singing that really isn't my think, my only other issue with this release is the layout. It feels like maybe they weren't exactly sure how the j card would print as there are some blacks that don't match up and look pretty awkward. The text is pretty nice but then there are some punch out letters on the inside that make little sense with the rest of the layout. They could really have edited a bit there. All in all though, this is a solid offering. Limited to 100 numbered copies.