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Opal Onyx – “Delta Sands” – [Tin Angel Records]

index

a surprising debut at first glance as this feels like a long awaited breakthrough from some mysterious group honing their sound for decades; but no, indeed a debut from this Brooklyn group with no previous projects to note. how is it that someone can just spring onto the scene unannounced and create a masterpiece such as this? almost frustrating… if not for the magnitude of beauty contained here: the opener immediately pulling you into its viscous clouds of ambience with its slogging and churning rhythms; not dark, but a shimmering black hue like the shiny opaque of its namesake. a misleading start though as the album’s sound grasps for clarity to its folky americana roots driven by guitar and cello melodies; like a dream we drift in and out of disjointed narratives, from the rustic confessions of Personal to the more gothic turn in Evaun and the morose desert dirge on The Devil, squinting in the hollow reverberating glare of the scalding black sun. as i said before, this album strikes as coming from a veteran supergroup perfecting their purpose over decades, with a distinctly dark-wave style traveling through the modern folk revival while passing through fields of trip-hop minus the beat and experimental noise plus the music. stylistically ambiguous and all the stronger because of it. sure to wow audiences with future endeavors and strike it big sooner than later, get ‘em while they’re fresh.

  • Reviewed by abacus on January 28, 2015 at 10:07 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Trampling The Holy Faith [coll] – [Gasmask Productions]

    index

    4-way split of disgusting disease ridden grindcore greats: mucous molesting vomit vocals and jagged repetitive riffage on the Profanatica end, leading into some plodding sludge stomp. Unholy Crucifix evokes a fiery haze where ungodly rituals of blackened hate and violence haunt the horizon. rapid fire blast attacks plague the flip-side, Nuclear Desecration bringing the damage of its namesake to both living and dead and Goatsodomy engaging in a collapsing inferno of frantic thrash. distinctly different sounds from each band, all utterly terrible.

  • Reviewed by abacus on January 28, 2015 at 9:54 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Infinite Waste – “Ghost Town EP” – [Self-release]

    a0418550673_10

    relentless misanthropy out of Oakland recorded here by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios. alternately crust ridden doom and manic time-confused grind. double-kick-happy drumming and fancy fretwork make this assault of penetrating metalcore feel restless throughout; overlapping vocals calling out for human eradication, total apocalypse.

  • Reviewed by abacus on January 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Left Hand Side, The – “Left Hand Side, The” – [BodyDeep Music]

    6aa98ea4dfbf4b485995ddc6b05c3096ac52e6e1

    Lots of cool jazzified-reggae and some instrumental funk from local artist. Has very nice roots bass lines, with plenty of sax, keyboards, and guitar melodies woven in. Vox on last track Woman Be Free. Also, an array of other interesting instruments appearing: sitar, tabla, baritone sax, and melodica.

    Favorites: Praying Mantis, Not Even, Desert Sand, Heartbeat

    –Selector

  • Reviewed by selector on January 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm
  • Filed as CD,Reggae
  • Comment on this review
  • S.C.O.A.M. – “Fucking Corpses” – [Teen Action]

    aka “Student Considers Other Academic Models” from SF. This is quirky, wonky, synthy, noizy, strangeness and pretty much what I would expect from a cassette release on Teen Action. I wouldn’t say “punky” but definitely experimental and overall weird. Theres a lot of interesting things going on so its worth the listen.

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on January 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Altered Labyrinth – “Lifeless Husks” – [Cream Cloud]

    a0150676133_2

    Alternative/indie/pop, slow to mid-paced, not quite so “labyrinthy”, but lots of cool bendy jangly guitar on most tracks. Has elements of My Bloody Valentine, Brian Eno, Adrian Belew, and XTC. Vocals seem a bit drowned out in most places.

    Favorites: Blinded, Chameleon Stripes, In The Lake

    –Selector

  • Reviewed by selector on January 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Roura, Oxai – “Melanesia X” – [Or Sound]

    Melanesia X front cover,13513,0
    Oxai Roura is a musician/composer, film maker and a researcher of ethnomusicology. Oxai was facinated by ancient African polyrhythms and chants so he trained with traditional masters Famoudou Konate and Mamady Keita. This release is the original soundtrack for the welcoming show performed by the Posue dance company and this performance has received many awards.
    This is special, perhaps some might consider it a combination of electronics and international? But thats really selling it short. This is very complex and interesting with very unique instrumentation. It does have a thematic/dramatic quality but does not read like a typical soundtrack. Please give this a listen, it will charm you.

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on January 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Naked Island – “Naked Island” – [Peak Oil]

    R-5885172-1405390929-2265.jpeg
    A collaboration from Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique) and Felicia Atkinson (Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier). This is a handpressed limited edition of only 300 copies and the cover has “lenticular” artwork. This is a long ambient(ish) techno(ish) ep a bit more on the psychedelic side of things. To call this “Techno” (which they do) is quite a stretch. This is long minimal shimmery tracks with mild droney elements and the faintest of beats (which very gradually fade in). Track 1 has female vocals in French which is intriguing and some minimal old school synth sounds. Track 2 is a bit more space jam. Actually both tracks really are space jammy scoundscapes. No this is not techno but you will like it a lot.

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on January 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Walker, Scott & Sunn O))) – “Soused” – [4AD]

    After your initial disappointment with the Scott Walker and Sunn O))) collaboration, “Soused”, sit back, enjoy and relish in the beauty and power that is “Soused”. “What does this mean?” you may be asking yourself. Well, nothing can rarely ever be as great as might be imagined and that is the case of “Soused”. When the names Scott Walker and Sunn 0))) are put together for a collaborative effort, well the juices get flowing and hopes and desires run rampant. It’s just not possible to meet those hopes. Which is unfortunate in this case because many have, and many will, turn away from this album. So be it. More then for the open minded. Sunn O))) approached Walker in 2009 to collaborate. Walker got back to them several years later with the proposal for a project, having written songs with Sunn O))) in mind. Thus, it came about. 5 tracks. 3 LP sides. Scott Walker lyrics to decode and decipher over whiskey and smokes. Sunn O))) being Sunn O))) but then more. Simple incessant percussion. A horn honk here. A scraped metal sheet there. Grating electronics pop in and out, short, sweet and emotional. Dirge guitar. Dirge. Silence, then a sound. Scott Walker’s almost chant like recitation of his verse. Now this kind of dark I understand. Bump the Beaky.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Vladislav Delay – “Visa” – [Ripatti Label]

    So far, the 2014 release “Visa” is probably the most physical-sounding album produced by Vladislav Delay (electronic producer Sasu Ripatti). There’s this emotional atmosphere where anger and frustration rub up against moments of drone and beauty in different soundscapes. This is his first ambient album in over a decade, and you’ll hear some metallic whirrs and clangs along the way as well as extended drones and loops, which is something he normally does not rely on in his other works. Tracks do end abruptly, however.

    VladislavDelay_Visa

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on January 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Uchu – “Uchu + Buddha” – [Namu]

    Uchu is a virtual trip ambient unit consisting of Makoto Kawabata, Hiroshi Higashi, and Ayano. All of their music is played on voice and electric guitar. This 2006 release is actually more of a compilation of their very first two albums (“1st” from February 1998, and “Buddha…” from March 1999). Some pretty nice, experimental and ambient tracks by Uchu!

    Uchu_Uchu+Buddha

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on January 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Moore, Thurston & Maloney, John: Caught On Tape – “Full Bleed” – [Northern Spy]

    This is Thurston Moore and John Moloney’s fourth release (2015) as they do their improvised sonic explorations into ear-splitting black metal intensity under the moniker of Caught on Tape. Lots of thrashing heard throughout the album and nine Herculean sludge fests dripping of gnarly-metal damaged heaviosity and punk-jazz-skronk-splattered fury.

    ThurstonMoore-JohnMoloney

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on January 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • OnYou – “Ultimum Photon A Sole” – [Captcha Records]

    OnYou has been around Chicago for many years, though the group has often spent hundreds of hours laboring away in their underground layer perfecting their style. Ultimum Photon A Sole is their seventh album, released in November 2014. These are psychedelic passages that complement the experimental and dark ambient vibe with echoed drones and weird alien voices. Mantric vocals, heavy guitar shredding and dual drumming can also be heard in these four tracks lasting about 35 minutes total.

    OnYou_UltimumPhotonASole

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on January 27, 2015 at 1:36 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Finger, Benjamin – “Bet, The” – [Watery Starve Press]

    Benjamin Finger, Norwegian sound sculptor collagist, photographer, film maker and pianist, has a new album called “The Bet”. Put out through Watery Starve Press, the micro press, “The Bet” is their first LP “publication” and what a smart move to start with this work. On this release, Finger delves into sounds taking the listener on a journey of dreamlike proportion. Whispering, scratches and clicks, indecipherable voices, electronic tones and hums, background recordings of the ephemera of nature and cities, piano tinklings, plucked metal strings, humming and singing voices, items struck, almost tunes??? this is a work of epic proportion which feels very small and personal, like a fever dream. If only my fever dreams sounded like this. Other reviews have referenced Alice falling down the rabbit hole or getting lost in a building of endless windows and doors and opening each which leads to another secret space. Those both work also. However you feel it, describe it, sense it, experience it, all should agree??? Benjamin Finger knows what he is doing. There is a level of sophistication to this production which blows away so many other sound collagists who try to do the same thing. Yet it does not sound larger than, cold, or overdone. It is so warm and comfortably uncomfortable. Listeners will wonder how this crawled into their head. Crawl on in.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 26, 2015 at 10:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Finger, Benjamin – “Bet, The” – [Watery Starve Press]

    Benjamin Finger, Norwegian sound sculptor collagist, photographer, film maker and pianist, has a new album called “The Bet”. Put out through Watery Starve Press, the micro press, “The Bet” is their first LP “publication” and what a smart move to start with this work. On this release, Finger delves into sounds taking the listener on a journey of dreamlike proportion. Whispering, scratches and clicks, indecipherable voices, electronic tones and hums, background recordings of the ephemera of nature and cities, piano tinklings, plucked metal strings, humming and singing voices, items struck, almost tunes??? this is a work of epic proportion which feels very small and personal, like a fever dream. If only my fever dreams sounded like this. Other reviews have referenced Alice falling down the rabbit hole or getting lost in a building of endless windows and doors and opening each which leads to another secret space. Those both work also. However you feel it, describe it, sense it, experience it, all should agree??? Benjamin Finger knows what he is doing. There is a level of sophistication to this production which blows away so many other sound collagists who try to do the same thing. Yet it does not sound larger than, cold, or overdone. It is so warm and comfortably uncomfortable. Listeners will wonder how this crawled into their head. Crawl on in.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 26, 2015 at 10:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Unexamine – “Carnal Opponents No Brothers” – [Oxen]

    unforgiving, unrelenting, and inhuman Unexamine is drummer Charlie Mumma, co-organizer of the Pure Harsh Noise Worship Festival in Portland and Danny Costa of l’Acephale. Unexamine has the same lineup as Rohit (a release titled Judge from our cassette library.)

    Two sides of excruciating noise, side A claims to have two tracks, but it looks and sounds like one to me. A lot going on, multi-layered electronics blasting out the stereo into your broken, bleeding eardrums. Favored by the unfavorable..

  • Reviewed by mickeyslim on January 22, 2015 at 8:01 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Bog Oak- A Treatise on Resurrection and the Afterlife (EP 45 rpm)

    Bog Oak-
    A Treatise on Resurrection and the
    Afterlife (EP 45 rpm)
    Dark brooding metal sludge bog core. Your
    passage into the swamps of the abyss.
    Screaming, harsh vocals coupled with a
    dark angel’s voice makes for an eerie calland
    -response tandem.
    Heavy guitars, pounding drums, and a oneway
    ticket into the wood chipper.
    Play it loudly, Cythoth would want it that
    way.
    Ras Babo

  • Reviewed by rasbabo on January 22, 2015 at 12:06 am
  • Filed as A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Plaid- Reachy Prints (2014)

    Plaid- Reachy Prints (2014)
    Electronics of many descriptions and layers,
    but with a cinematic and orchestral bend
    rather than pounding dance tunes. Slow,
    pensive tracks that create somber moods
    and drift in and out of dreamscapes.
    Tracks 4 and 7 have some giddyup, and for
    me the highlights of this CD.
    It’s too slow even for the chill room, maybe
    for the Ketamine hole if you’re spending the
    night.
    In his defense, he really fills up the space,
    maximizing the frequency range from super
    high tweets and squeaks to wall-shaking
    bass.
    Ras Babo

  • Reviewed by rasbabo on January 22, 2015 at 12:03 am
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Luc Ferrari ???Unheimlich Sch??n???- 1971

    Luc Ferrari
    ???Unheimlich Sch??n???- 1971
    Unheimlich, german for : uncanny,
    scary, eerie, incredible???.
    Sch??n, german for : beautiful, nice,
    good???
    15:40 track of musique concrete.
    A simple statement, spoken barely above a
    whisper, repeated many times with space
    intentionally left in between. You hear the
    breathing of the speaker, and she seems to
    move about the room saying the same thing
    but in an eerie uncanny way. The voice rises
    and falls, takes on a bit of echo, and the
    layers begin to build upon themselves. The
    breathing strengthens and fades out. The
    voice echoes and returns and fades away.
    The interplay between the two is like a
    crank phone call from beyond the grave. I
    expected a skeleton hand to reach through
    the speaker and gently wipe my hair away
    from my face.

    Ras Babo

  • Reviewed by rasbabo on January 22, 2015 at 12:01 am
  • Filed as A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Onna – “Onna” – [Holy Mountain]

    Sweet, sweet psych! Slow stoner riffage, wailing guitar noise jams, shoegaze-y pop interludes, and seagulls!

    Japanese underground “cartoonist” Keizo Miyanishi (his art is hardly cartoonish) brings his words and music out of the crypt. Tracks 1-3 are tracks and outtakes from a 7″ single from 1983. Tracks 6-9 are a live recording from ’83 and feature a pre-Ghost/Boris Michio Kurihara on arrangements and guitar. Tracks 4, 5, and 10 are outtakes from a 2007 album ‘Katawa.’

    Awesome guitar noise-psych on top of pulsing and thudding electronic beats. Take a hike up the holy mountain!

  • Reviewed by mickeyslim on January 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review


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