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Prolific artist from Arizona. Sounds like tones, knocking, buzzing, and noise crunch.
Solo debut from the guitarist from Pelican. Also associated with RLYR and Chord. From Chicago. Sounds like humming buzzing tones from a chord organ with occasional acoustic and electric guitar, keyboard, vocals, and cat collar. Moody. Layered. Dramatic. Chill. This is one of my favorite kinds of rock n roll. Vocal on track 3. Spacey basey on track 4.
Kleistwahr is the solo electronic project of Gary Mundy, of the legendary industrial/power electronics band Ramleh; his work under this name dates back to a pair of Broken Flag cassette releases from 1983. Mundy has returned to this project in recent years to create a series of intensely beautiful noise records that share a common theme of modern despair, including 2014′s The World Is Not My Home, 2016′s Over Your Heads Forever, and now this 2017 LP from Cairo’s Nashazphone label.
Music for Zeitgeist Fighters holds two sidelong tracks, “Music For Dead Dreams” (T1) and “Music For Fucked Films” (T2), composed from relentless guitar feedback, ghostly voices straining to be heard through the distortion, hazy piano melodies, droning organ, and blistering noise. Blasts of harshness coexist with tragic beauty in a way that is so effortless and so authentic that it is immediately clear that this is work of a master. Philip Best wrote of this record: “Really don’t want to ruin the fun and generally I’m up for anything but this fucking shit cannot go on, can it?” In these deeply fucked times, music this blazingly powerful stirs the will to keep fighting.
Holy crapola. Power punk is alive and well, thank the gods. My neck still has a kink in it from flipping my head around so much to this album by the Uranium Club (a.k.a. Minneapolis Uranium Club). Eight cuts of right on, 21st century nihilist punk songs filled with snark and futility due to the world’s current situation. Smart, young dude intelligent lyrics about god, earth destruction, messed up relationships: we are living the dream. May I state my references/what I hear when playing this for the fifth time: early fast Buzzcocks, early Devo, Steve Albini/Big Black, Gene Wilder Willie Wonka. Great guitar work. Strong bass lines. Powerful straight ahead drumming. Three of the four guys take on vocals. Track one is spoken word “ad” about the band. Track eight is a quick instrumental. Play it LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Der Plan Der Plan Der Plan. Du bist wunderbar. Considered to be the originators of Neue Deutsche Welle, Der Plan, from Dusseldorf, began in 1979 as more of an industrial band but moved into the electronic beats that make them famous. They incorporate puppets, masks, wild costumes, home made sets, all looking like a kindergarten class taking on “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, along with the angular, electronic driven “simplistic” synth sounds. In 1984, they made a video and LP called “Japlan” which led to a successful tour of Japan. The album did very well there but was not released in Germany. Until 2013.
Hypnopazuzu is a newish project by legendary David Tibet and Youth (Martin Glover, bassist of Killing Joke and other projects and producer). Supposedly this project was in the works for years, at least on a conversational level. Youth and Tibet are highly intimidating men so it is interesting on how to approach this big work. Musically, it is lush, rich and full, with stunning orchestrations combining strings and moog, synthesizers, guitar and percussion. All pieces are slow but never dull. Always moving, flowing, changing from quiet to full sound, contrasting and playing with Tibet’s vocals. Tibet has a unique, distinguishable voice, known immediately by those who are familiar with his work. His singing style is reminiscent of ancient church choral work, sometimes chant-like, always captivating. The songs are about… the hell if I know. Even reading the lyrics lost me. Which isn’t bad, they are just deep. Tibet is influenced by or follows and studies esoteric Christianity as well as sects of Tibetan Buddhism, ancient literary texts, gods and Gods both light and dark, magick and themes of apocalypse. Mix that up with older children’s tales, experimental sexuality, and selections from Gilgamesh and you have an idea of the range of topics being sung. Intimidating but heartfelt and sincere. This CD is a stunner and would work on almost every show at the station. Don’t be intimidated.
Black metal split with two two-man bands that share one drummer (Nemesis Infernum), and that guy really likes drums. Drums are very prominent throughout.
Velonnic Sin seem like they might put a little bit more thought into their songwriting, but that’s just speculation. Velonnic Sin is pretty at times, but those times are surrounded by more traditional metal riffs and growl-screaming.
Sin Origin is more driven and has eviler vocals, but the long song durations feel unnecessary at times. The insert under the tray describes them as “corpse-painted Darkthrone worship with ultra-long Black Metal conciertos[sic]“.
This 2010 CD is the most recent proper album from Anti-Free-Speech Action’s favourite gay, vegetarian, British-working-class, pro-Israel neo-Nazi.
Douglas P. is a legendary figure and voice in the post-punk scene, and as a matter of fact, KFJC co-presented his last show in San Francisco, where a small and rather pathetic congregation of picketers made known their displeasure with the artist’s consistent use of Third Reich imagery, as well, I’d imagine, as his refusal to disavow his own curious brand of New Right/Post-Left (but hardly Hitlerian) politics. His outlook and uniforms are an uncomfortable combo to be sure, but I wonder if that’s the point… Gee whiz…
Another point: there is and shall be no band in the world like Death in June; furthermore, Death in June has never been a political band per se. The artist’s interrogation of modernity’s numerous betrayals (on the personal and international scale) certainly lends itself to political analysis (e.g. t.1), but ‘Peaceful Snow’ is essentially distilled from the thoughts and feelings of a poetically-inclined gay man facing old age on his horizon and with a lifetime of refusal to compromise at his back. Although there is some bile here, in many ways it is the most tender album he has ever done, summoning the inevitable spectre of his old group, Current 93 (‘Soft Black Stars,’ anyone?) in its sober treatment of lost connections and truths long tried by the passage of time; you could say there’s some Leonard Cohen in there too, actually, whose body of work is an apter point of reference for Di6′s than one might think.
The songs are all enriched and expanded by Douglas’ newest collaborator, Neofolk neophyte Miro Snejdr (he has a Death in June tattoo), who transcribed them from guitar to intricate and fragile piano passages, somehow evoking both Burt Bacharach and Ozymandias.
I was a fool not to have checked this out sooner, because it was easily the best Death in June album since ‘Operation Hummingbird.’
French composer Wilson Trouve and Alameda’s Time Released Sound bring us 11 tracks of ambient piano, field recordings, guitar, and synthesizer swells, all processed and encased in layers of shellac. Romantic and pastoral impulses dominate. The piano work is tonally related to minimalism, but uncharacteristically, it brings a romantic sentiment to the proceedings
2 CD’s, 2 long slow-moving tunes, 63 & 53 mins from Australia’s The Necks. CDs mix together nicely. Repetitive piano and sidewinding bass phrases, some electroacoustic and film sample sounds. Drum machines. 88 BPM. Made me want to go out at night and repossess some vehicles. 6 minutes in, “Can I get a beer?” You’ll need one. 15 minutes, a guy gets roughed up. 37 minutes in, this lady gets thrown out a window. Ambulances wail, the crime scene photographers do their job. Let’s go on a stakeout.
Brooklyn’s Grant Cutler recorded musicians improvising to delayed recordings of themselves, building odd warm drones. The compositional process is guided by the dumb logic of delay, and the results are anything but. Klangfarbenmelodie colors, shifting terrain, structures constructing and desconstructing simultaneously. 8 short tunes 3-7 minutes each. We have another Cutler 12″ in the library.
Robert Moran’s music on this CD exists in two modes. Driving, rhythmic, high energy (Open Veins & 32 Crypptograms) or tragic elegy (Arias & Stimmen). The tragedy of AIDS is never far away. This “disgracefully pretty” Minimalism offers seductive critique.
Marta Mist is a trio from Leeds, and there’s not much more information out there about them than that. This 2015 release from local label Time Released Sound is their first since 2012′s Industries. We received our copy when Naysayer hosted the label’s founders on the air in January 2017.
The album contains two ~20-minute pieces, each divided into three sections that move through a variety of styles:
“Scavengers” (T1) begins with a duet between strings and an echoing piano; later, angelic choral vocals join in. A drum beat surfaces followed by distorted guitars, (~6:00), and the piece takes on a darker, more menacing tone. The third section (~13:00) introduces a brilliant drone and electronic rhythms, and before fading away, returns to the sound of the piano.
“Hunters” (T2) begins similarly, with a string-focused section – think Philip Glass meets Dirty Three – while a subtle beat lurks in the background. Then, the string arpeggios turn into bold strokes in the dramatic second movement (~7:00). Finally, jazz-inspired drums lead into a guitar section (~12:00) that reminds me of all those post-rock bands from the 90s, like Tortoise or especially Do Make Say Think.
This is beautiful work – play an entire track, or scavenge excerpts for your show.
Josef Van Wissem is a Dutch minimalist composer and lute player who won the Cannes Soundtrack Award for the score to “Only Lovers Left Alive”, the second film collaboration with film maker Jim Jarmusch. “Concerning….” is his first collaboration with Jarmusch, who also plays guitar on the five track album. Five quiet, mostly somber extended pieces of truly minimalist lute playing. Simple repeated plucking of several strings, with repeated chords against a backdrop of Jarmusch’s guitar feedback and wall of drone. Lushly contemplative, moody and dark. Track five is a minimalist lute solo with the title spoken as lyric at the end of the song. Gorgeous alone or perfect for mixing: I hear wind, the sound of children, waves, someone crying, laughter in the distance, power tools. It all works.
A one woman band possibly named after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film about the opening up of self-understanding through sexual encounter, sung in French, using post-post punk instrumentation and monotone speak singing? Sign me up. Track 1, “Let’s Start”, begins with a sound clip from Fela Kuti inviting someone, us, in to do what we came for. Sexual and more, almost revolutionary. And then the fun starts. Maisa D., who is Theoreme, sets up 9 tracks that are just discordant enough to be disturbing but beat driven enough to not necessarily make you dance, but make you stand sullenly in the dark club bouncing your head. Each piece is buzzy, as if the volume is up too high, or the cheap speakers can’t handle the bass. Very nice, like rusted wires scraped on your skin. It’s wonderful to hear something new, that references the past but sounds 21st century.
Masked and anonymous quintet of serial killer worshipers from the United Kingdom. This is their second full length release, from 2012. It is really one 40-minute song, but the CD version divides it into three tracks. The first part is basically instrumental rock with wandering guitar and funerary violin, like a more evil Godspeed You Black Emperor. Parts two and three are Black/Death/Doom Metal monstrosities of unforgiving heaviness with demonic shrieks and crushing guitar vortices. Shreds of Bolt Thrower, Bethlehem, and Portal surface. All three parts feature samples from interviews with famous psychopaths, sometimes buried in the mix like on that one shitty Pink Floyd album. I think Dragged Into Sunlight are one of the sickest Death Metal bands around today, and they definitely push the genre to its limits here. Very evil, in a timeless way. The “widowmaker” myocardial infarcation is the occlusion of the anterior interventricular branch of the left coronary artery, which causes a massive and lethal heart attack, which means one less carbon footprint and one less boring opinion.
Concern is Gordon Ashworth of Portland OR, and “Caesarean” is the second full-length release under this name.
Three drone tracks composed with beautiful yet simple instrumentation recorded to tape (cassette and 1/4″), processed and layered. The tape artifacts (crackles, warbles, rumbles) are elevated and emphasized, forming an integral part of the rich organic sound.
Faded fidelity, warm and weathered, like a long-lost and long-loved cassette churning peacefully in the surf, slowly finding its way ashore.
A1 builds upon a broken piano loop, incorporating clarinet splices before giving way to a brilliant drone emanating from a shruti box (similar to a harmonium) with a glistening banjo gleam.
A2 holds more radiant bellowing drones from the shrunti box, sharper and more focused than before. The banjos have lost their sparkle, and are now pensive and melancholy. Less of a buildup, and more of a slow cathartic release.
B evokes a synthetic cityscape. Birds and bells, distant factories and passing cars. A mix of soothing piano and sinister hums. Building and dissolving multiple times, as if experiencing the world by train, passing through a series of foreign yet familiar towns, separated by long, dark tunnels.
Dirgey Swamp-Rock (or swampy Dirge-Rock?) from Der Blutharsch’s drinkin’, whorin’, sunglasses-at-night-wearin’ court jester, AKA Novo Homo. The Australia-based Black Irish bastard offers up two slabs of tongue-in-cheek fatalism sounding like The Scientists, Roland S. Howard and The Gun Club boot-partying Roy Orbison at the wrong speed. This is on King Dude’s label but Wolfkind does the Neofolk-Country-Cough-Syrup-Blues thing much better than Dude could ever dream. Threats on side A, come-ons on side B. FCC side A.
Rashad Decker mastered this 2013 release, our local Drone Ranger’s only work on Mego to date. Don’t you dare call it noise, it’s “electroacoustic music”; after all it was created at the Djarassi resident artist’s program. Sweet Jimmy H. collected source sounds between 2007 and 2012 but says the only contexts he can remember are “the desolate howl of a metal screen activated by a desert wind, the hissing air compression from the cooling apparatus for a laser at [SLAC], and the tremolo rhythms from a thin wire” and yep that’s the vibe here, lonely desolate haunted sounds, part organic and part constructed, disconcerting even in lush moments. The two-track A side is more eventful, with dense rushes of startling static and crackling electroshocks speckling grinding gears and passing traffic. The B side is like a wide, windy, abandoned place where squinting reveals shuffling hordes of ghosts. Sometimes curiously sterile and sometime bursting at the seams with emotion, this collection of manipulated sounds is intended to convey “[e]xistential rupturing, the collapse of the self, the aftershocks of dark energy, and a belief in the hope for renewal.” A mesmerizing effort on par with Nurse With Wound (they have collaborated), Lustmord or Crawl Unit.
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