TWR: Horrific aggro-tronic assault. Aggressive power-eletronics with grindcore drumming (sounds like a kit to my ear/not programmed), sludge elements, and power-violence vocals (guttural bellows and shredded screams/yells) out of Portland OR. At times plodding and lumbering, elsewhere blistering and cacophonous but almost always crushingly heavy with only track A4 (Perverse Divine) offering a brief, dark, reverbed out bass interlude between the barrages of doom, hate, and despair. Members of Ash Borer, Torture Rack, Disgust, Pissblood, et alia, engage in a blinding attack of unhinged rage and semi-consensual tympanic membrane violation. Perfect for alienating listeners, an evening of self-harm, or a soundtrack to shooting the hostages. All cuts track, no discernible F.C.C.’s, no fun, and no remorse.
Fairly aggressive electronic noise with pissed off vocals and some slightly down tempo near-drone tracks to temper the fury. This debut album comes to us from Leeds, U.K. that is “… influenced primarily by noise artists and hardcore punk as well drawing inspiration from the tedium of office work, social isolation and familial issues.” Abrasive, ugly, and harsh, you may need a few dry tissues after dropping the needle on Soft Issues… not for your tears but to soak up the blood draining from your ears. However, not all tracks are discordant and anxiety inducing. The B-side of this L.P. dips into some shallow pools of almost mellow drones. Though somber and unsettling, they provide a brief respite from the cacophonous onslaught of distorted pulses, whitenoise, and aural fibrillation. Even , at times, employing a pounding rhythm above the squeals of modulated feedback and guttural screams like a corruption of hard techno or industrial while evoking a kind of (anti-)ethos culled from hardcore-punk as stated on their bandcamp page. Not recomended for volunteers suffering from migraines or for family gatherings which is why I wanted to get this into the library before the Holidays. Seasons Grievings my whingelings.
Repetitive and slightly basic one man blck mtl from Seattle. Straight ahead, cold, bleak and solitary. No thresholds were broken on this tape, no limits tested, no souls were rend, or minds blown but fairly enjoyable none the less. However, The B-side is not , in the opinion of this miserable volunteer, listenable. Employing the same chords as Aqua’s, “Barbie Girl” I began to wonder if this wasn’t a hoax, or a test, that perhaps S.C. (the sole credit on this album that is dedicated to “no one”) was foisting upon the world, an insidious and bizarre sonic trolling. But I do not now believe this is the case as any black metaller worth his salt would never have listened to much less been aware of Aqua, Barbie, or anything that wasn’t cold, grim, low fidelity, or soaked in the frozen blood of their enemies.
Three Word Review: Real neck breaker.
Driving guitar, drums, synthsizer(s), sparse effected and incomprehensible vocals that flirt with absurd repetition. Both primal and futuristic, offering a nod to its forebearers while peering toward future horizons and progressing relentlessly in to the past. It is alien and strange but uses an attractive, familiar, and hypnotizing language to elucidate space, grandeur, and perhaps intellect. Of feeling puerile and insignificant in the shadow of an indifferent juggernaut. Mastermind and composer, San Francisco’s Steve Peacock (Ulthar, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Mastery) has rallied the troops around his solo-project Apprentice Destroyer to lay waste to the poseurs, posturers, and hapless bystanders alike. Adding three other (lead) guitarists including, Shelby Lermo (Vastum, Uthar), Leila Rauf (Vastum, Hammers of Misfortune), Nick Stanley, and Bob Renz, synthing from Max Bonick, the drumming of Brandon Thomas (Pale Chalice), might give an allusion to the sounds found on this album while being mastered for vinyl by James Plotkin may provide yet another clue. And though I hear many other projects in this record, Boris, Big Black, Pelican, (none of which are mentioned to by the band, instead referencing Swans, Glenn Branca, Neu and Tangerine Dream on their bandcamp page), you still might not guess as to its greatest quality. It is unique. A singular entity. One of power and of promise. An epic album with an appropriate title. Permanent Climbing Monolith.
Cold, grim, and crvshing.
Switzerland’s co-label (Kunsthall Produktionen) owners Wintherr and Nimosh of Paysage D’Hiver and Nordlicht respectively lay down a side-long track each of pvre depressive black metal devastation with a few short dark ambient interludes.Taking inspiration from the winter landscape (Paysage D’Hiver is French for Landscape of Winter) and natural themes (schnee means snow and Nordlicht is Northern lights in German), indeed, the Kusthall website has stated: “All of the band’s releases are connected, in that they tell different pieces of a story describing a realm known as “Paysage d’Hiver”.
A melange of cinematic horror/suspense from the eighties beautifully repackaged by Waxwork. Classical orchestral compositions replete with scare inducing strings, terrifying timpani, heart pounding pipe organ, phobic oboe, fear inciting flute, and a full retinue of traditional instrumentation to evoke foreboding and fright with just a bit of hair-raising synthesizer, modified human vocalization, a few compulsory wolf howls to book-end the score, and a mini library of synth sounds are applied to the end like a hoary post-script. This edition also includes a mouthful of isolated synth sounds staked to the beginning and end for the werewolf completists/aficionados among us. However, not all the tracks are designed to build tension, B21- a kind of retro-rock jam suggesting thoughtful resolution and B29- a nostalgic theme to a television newscast. This killer soundtrack to the 1981 thriller showcased some cutting-edge practical special effects and was released the same year as the markedly superior, An American Werewolf In London. Sadly it would have been nearly impossible to appreciate the extraordinarily refined film score emanating from the single speaker hung from your steamy window at the drive-in.
Aural pet abuse.
A piercingly shrill keening reminiscent of a high-powered flash charging up before your uncle blinds you in the annual Thanksgiving family photo begins the assault on your furbabies’ sanity but quickly evolves into synthesized balloon squeaks and other abstractions. Echos, white-noise, bleeps, bloops, and crunches. Strobes, peels, shimmering squelches and later unintelligible muffled yells. Shards of sonic glass piercing the Tympanic Membrane, as Spot attacks the speaker and Fluffy claws first the door and then your face in a frenzied search of egress. A superb album for anxiety inducing enthusiasts of unstructured knob twirling and fader fingering by noise artist Sam Clifton. Reminds this miserable volunteer of an advanced AI’s death sonnet or perhaps a Wednesday evening at KFJC.
Not harsh noise but not safe either.
The packaging of this LP is an excellent representation of the sounds hidden under the jacket. Side-A is an exercise in abstract sound collage including a dizzying array of elements. Chirping, industrial machinery, bleeps, bagpipes, whirs, drone,, humms, bubbles, roars and myriad other synthesized weirdness. Mostly unnerving but could be considered meditative to either the enlightened or the mentally ill but does not induce anxiety in this wretched volunteer. The jacket cover that must represent Side B (There is no text printed on the exterior just a double-sided insert) looks like a photograph of a migraine headache and fittingly the track is a sidelong field recording from the Hotel Auburn ca.1999 when this part of South of Market (now “SOMA”) was also called The Black Triangle referring to the area’s most popular (at least at the time) elicit drug at the time, black tar heroin. This is where Panicsville aka. Andy Ortmann was living and apparently it felt natural (he related in an interview) to record the argument between his two sick and/or drug addled and/or inebriated neighbors. Accompanied by his analog synthesizer, this track is slightly more stressful and is forbidden from broadcasts during daylight hours. Some online searches would lead us to speculate on whether this is inspired musique concrete but it sounds to me to be a sonic snapshot of the time and place and a deplorable (if relatable) glorifying of the filth and moral deficiency of our most debilitated rejects of society: the artist and the addict. I would know, I’ve been both. Mildly anxiety inducing but I’m currently well medicated.
F.C.C.’s liberally peppered throughout side-B like the ants on the ceiling of a flop-house including a delightful locked-groove at the end; “You want a stunt mother fucker?”
Includes a cd of the unedited exchange between these two pathetic men at the end of their respective tethers.
I’m not sure why Brainbombs captures my adoration every single fucking time. Just pure, unfettered genius in my opinion. Like they exist just for me. A deranged, sonorous love letter to my shriveled prune-heart. Maybe it’s the cold, flat monotony of the drums or the detached pentatonic fret-tickling of the guitar? Not likely, those are both qualities I rarely tolerate much less bask in. Perhaps it is the incessant bleets of the saxophone squealing away to its own cacophonous free-jazz composition? Or could it be the nearly broken “Euro-English” iterated dispassionately like a poetry recital by an adolescent sociopath, or the sado-sexual lyrics that, it could be argued, glorify the most horrific traumas one might have the misfortune to bear witness (or be subjected) to. Subjects that can, for this miserable volunteer, cut a little to close to the bone. On the surface I would say that none of these sound much like selling points but then there is the repetition. A ceaseless barrage of hypnotically simple garage/art-rock played in series relentlessly. Like a word spoken until its meaning is lost while rocking back and forth in your cell, a screwdriver repeatedly perforating a lung, or a hammer striking the back of a skull. Repetition. Like the collapsing will of the hostage whose will be crushed by their captors interminable and nefarious indoctrination, their ego folding in upon itself endlessly until only an echo of the self remains. It repeats ad naseum. Like a deranged sonic Stockholm-syndrome.
If you’ll be my S.L.A., I’ll gladly be your Patty Hearst.
A brooding murderer’s long-form psychedelic foray into spooky spirituality on this, his less than poignant and most recent contribution to society. Sultry dated white-man blues/riff-rock in the key of Dad with the kind instrumentation you’d expect from someone who has spent the bulk of his life trying to conjure mentally the Santana concerts he would never be able to witness in person with a heavy emphasis on guitars, bass, synthesizer, simulated (counterfeit) traditional Indian music, and his own smokey convict voice. This double l.p. is dressed to kill in a fancy jacket to commemorate the end of any kind of shame or remorse one might hope to find from a former drug fueled sex-cult member serving a life sentence within the Californian and Oregon prison systems. Former Manson “family” member Bobby BeauSoleil was given the death sentence for stabbing his friend and fellow “family” associate Greg Hinman to death at which time, according to Manson, had initiated “Helter Skelter,” his borrowed title for his prophecy of an apocalyptic race-war in which his followers would survive (and ultimately reign over humanity) by finding a hidden golden city buried in the desert of Death Valley. However, that didn’t happen and the lot of them were collected, incarcerated, and after the media circus left town mostly ignored. What did happen was his sentence was commuted to life in prison and after getting stabbed a bit he would eventually sever ties with the “family.” Then, with the help of a small splattering of celebrity and a collaboration with outsider film-maker Kenneth Anger, he would be able to continue recording his own trippy brand of Jim Morrison inspired (though considerably less talented [at least towards the beginning of Morrison’s career] and inebriated. Say what you will about Morrison, J.M. had massive gobs of whatever B.BS. dreams of having]) brand of introspective grooves utilizing musicians hand-selected from a cadre of his fellow inmates with impunity and often the support of prison officials. But Bobby won’t ever give up on the dream maaan! Nothing was going to stop BeauSoleil from his destiny of attempting to slay some sweet riffs on his guitar and pontificating rather tastelessly on his pseudo-spiritual journey. While wanky, trite, self-absorbed, and certainly morally questionable, Voodoo Shivaya still has a few descent hooks, and some “killer”(coughs in hand) jams. It is also a kind of time-capsule, like if a spooky hippy-biker with nothing but time (and blood) on his hands recorded himself in the late seventies with modern mics, computers, and instrument modelling(?) but without originality, virtuosity, or much if any tact.
Horrifying wails buried in industrial dissonance. Solo project of one Murice “Morie” De Jong, maniacally prolific (Mystagogue, Black Mouth Of Spite, The Sombre, Golden Ashes, Obscuring Veil, Cloak of Altering, De Magia Veterum, Caput Mortem, et al, ad nauseum) Dutch musician and demagogue of disorder and decay, whose singular aspiration seems to be illustrating sonically the scope and breadth of human suffering. Drone, synthesizer, spite, choral guttural chanting, cudgels embedded in palates, shimmers, wrath, obscenely tight “tom” strikes, misery, white noise, horror, deranged booms, and anguish. A recoiling from all things benevolent and yet there is also a kind of grandeur present as well. Like a priest who was well trained in the language and practice of venerating God, who knew the price he payed when he chose to bathe in goats blood and spew heretical vitriolic blasphemy towards the kingdom of heaven and his holy Father. Rejecting the promise of eternal rewards in the afterlife to bask in the raging trash fire that is humanity. Noise elements abound and while at times quite harsh can offer an interesting and sometimes slightly soothing texture over one of the most notable aspects of this album; its “percussion”. Devastating blast beats, crushing snare drops (flams from heaven), plodding and lurching drum terror that reminds this wretched volunteer of the project The Body which is further reinforced by the guest vocals by one Chip King on track B1 “The Doctrine Of Paranoid Seraphims”. A terrible feeling of personal reckoning is represented on this delightful L.P. wrapped in a fittingly colourless and appealing(appalling) jacket.
whngr 9/5/2019 A Library
Cold and bleak black metal from Mora, Sweden. A Chinese (Beijing) release of demos from 2005 and 2009 with a potentially deliberate ham-fisted production (left a cough in, etc.), simple/crude structure and technique that can sound derivative of the music scene that was exploding around them but with a smattering of notable departures. It might sound like I am slagging it but this is in fact how I like my BXM. I like it raw, I like it grim, and I like it Nordic. In 2019 we are awash with bands similar to Tomhet but that is because the formula is good or at least it is one that speaks to the (aging) youth. Miserable, misunderstood, and fundamentally aware of their (our) inevitable demise but this project came to being in 1999 in an idyllic mountain resort about equidistant between Stockholm and Oslo so its got some provenance and if the art wasn’t so fucking crude I would probably champion them more steadfastly. Bonus points for wind sounds, general weirdness especially in the vocs, and for being a Swedish band released by a Chinese label with ties to Australia (wtf 2019).
whngr 9/5/2019 A Library
A glorious ambient/industrial sidelong single with shimmering drones, whirs, thumps, pulses, and dreamy abstractions culled from tapes sourced from six (6) noisicians in real time by Michael Anderson (aka. Mkl Anderson, Mkl Drekka). Primarily sedate layers of narcolepsy inducing sounds that could be a Vicodin holiday or a fever dream depending on the listeners perspective going in to this drier-lint lined cocoon of an album. A limited colaborative release (300 copies) from Anderson’s own Bluesanct label and Red Frost Industries. B side is side A in reverse and vice versa.Aserv eciv dna eserver ni A edis si edis B.
Lovely and somber orchestral movements from this mysterious project out of Fairhaven Massachusetts. Primarily string compositions with sparse accompaniment from timpani, cymbal, and flute (I suspect all instruments are synthesized) that evoke a lonely and perhaps haunted soul’s journey towards damnation. This release is so new and possibly cvlt that as of this writing it had only a singular presence on the internet (bandcamp) and thus prompted me to submit my first ever addition to discogs. Though nothing about this album is exceptional or ground breaking it does feel very personal and it is easy to imagine the artist pouring him/herself into this release with abandon. Slightly lacking in emotion it can feel cold and intellectual or perhaps dead inside, not unlike a sociopath trying to connect with the strange emotive world they sometimes encounter at the cemetery where they often go to reflect.
This 45 is a fucking battery of hideous, in-the-red, filthy, low-fidelity rock, little to no fucking roll and a bad fucking attitude. Germany’s Life Fucker are as mysterious as they are resonate to this poor volunteer’s wretched, black heart. Drums sound like trashcans, check. Guitars howling feedback like possessed banshees, check. Buried, mostly indecipherable vocals shrieking away at unseen tormentors, check. Slightly shit art with skulls and chains, check. Bonuses include a song about being surrounded by rats and a German band being released on a Japanese label in English that has d- beat/hardcore (non)sensibilities and no fucks clearly given. One potential drawback may be that the drummer is a little too talented, If I were a god, I would kick him in his left knee and stomp on one of his hands so they sounded just a bit more desperate and ugly. Everything else is fucking perfect. Play this record and fucking lose control!Querulously there are no discernible FCC’s, what the fuck?
Unholy Black-Noise. Shrill tortured screeching, rasping electronic noise, buried guitars trem-picked mercilessly, and conspicuously absent drums on all three seven inches. Having one hoof deeply buried in the Black Metal trench and the other hovering over the nexus between noise and drone you may find the hairs on your neck bristling with anxiety at the peals of harsh white noise or perhaps, as I was after repeated listens, you’ll be lulled into a kind of uneasy tranquility like a dire wolf sinking into one of the tar pits at La Brea. After thrashing and struggling against your eventual demise, your throat so coated in viscous black sludge that you can no longer gnash your wolf teeth or cry your wolf death-song. There is only your ending. Only surrender and defeat and a kind of solace in the certainty of your wretched wolf fate. Cerebral, conceptual, and cvlt, Oakland’s Sutexh.Hexen. has tapped into something and these fledgling efforts seem to set a precedent for the horrible majesty that awaits them. These tracks were originally released on three cassettes in 2010 and this re-release appear to be, if just, on the wrong side of bootleg status as they appear to have been authorized by a single defunct member of S.H. Excellent sounds in lack-luster packaging but the tapes are so rare and sought after this will sate the ardent blackened-harsh noise completists.
whngr 8/2/2019 A Library
Three-Word-Review: Underwater mastication with migraine.
Two side-longs, a side with two tracks, and one with four of nearly subliminal and sporadically unsettling minimalist sound-sculpture by the prolific noise musician and composer John Wiese (long-e, hard-s) of Bastard Noise, Sissy Spacek, Smegma, et al.
Shimmers and chirps, drones and hums, empty space, crunching, abstract abrasions, amplified fidgeting, whirring, whetting, and worried cymbals. While there is evidence that this album was highly scrutinized, processed, and edited by its creator it can, at times, sound like a pocket dial from a torpid machine shop. Perhaps this is a singular perspective but for me this album conjures images of being submerged within a partially frozen lake, floating beneath the ice, and ultimately succumbing to hypothermia, hypoxia, and death.
Hideously ugly, driving rock outta Queens that seems to revel in mental illness and the hopelessness of being young and damaged with little hope for the future. Noisy, fierce, and unrelenting these young men are thematically drawn to suicide, the morass of modern adolescence, self-harm, and psychiatric evaluation.
Lo-fi, feedback, sickening drum abuse, over-driven bass, samples and shredded vocal-chords. A soothing panacea for the deeply depraved inner child kept locked away in many a “well-adjusted” college-radio disc jockey.
whngr 7/8/2019 A Library
Slightly spooky, mellow, and sparse with some noisy elements. Long tracks for snacks, graves, and small seizures.
Ingrid is confused and upset
chirps and spectral swells
tape player in need of repair or being repaired
electronic drones and singing bowls
strings made blessed/cursed cat-gut
carousel is fueled by the dreams of imprisoned children
rusty bridges bowed by coast-giants
white noise, organ, and pulses of static
bells are distant or hallucinatory
melancholy guitar picking
monumental sub-oceanic ancient gears in their final movements.
sizzle-zaps and zings
rumbles and sounds of industry from a subterranean demi-god foundry
Very little information on this local project though member A.C. Way has been active in several projects in the Bay Area including Sutekh Hexen and most recently as Thoabath both of which are represented heavily in our library. Bruce Anderson performed guitars and other [etc.], and James Kaiser handled tape and other [etc.] as well as running the label Petit Mal Music (which this cdr was released on), before ultimately passing from this realm in 2017 at the age of 46.
Medium: Paranormal Field Recordings And Compositions, 1901-2017 [coll] – [Kennesaw State University Zuckerman Museum of Art]
An assemblage of recordings of and inspired by efforts to communicate with the dead. This L.P. is a companion to the 2017 Kennesaw State University exhibit at the Zuckerman Museum of Art and runs the gamut from quirky to schlock, dreamy atmosphere to interpretive high art conceptualization, with just a sliver of spooky. This is not what I was hoping it would be; unequivocal verification of the paranormal, irrefutable evidence of souls trapped between planes of existence but unfortunately it is far from it. At times engaging and atmospheric, at other times pure camp. Perhaps witnessing the exhibit would help to illuminate some of the more tawdry aspects of this album but on it’s own it appears to lack cohesion and credibility. Perhaps that is fitting, maybe the intangible should remain as such and the efforts to document the ephemeral should be unattainable and reductive.
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File