Music Reviews

Artemeida – “Radio Lyric Irina” – [Alrealon Musique]

puplaif   11/16/2022   A Library, Cassette

Artemeida is the solo project of saxophonist, Irina Tanaeva, who is based in Moscow, Russia. She also performs with the band Moscow Noise Manufactory. She created this album during the COVID lockdown of 2020, while experiencing feelings of unease and confusion. She shares that her “goal was to make a dance mix with an experimental noise sound. Sound as a symbol of the unusual feeling of reality around.” Her expression of these feelings manifests across six tracks. Throughout the album she combines various electronic noises, almost imperceptible vocals, and  saxophone that weaves in and out of these compositions.

Track 1 starts and stops, like a commuter train whose destination is the cosmos. Track 2 has a pulsating rhythm and includes muffled spoken words. Track 3 is more beat driven, accompanied by echoing sax. Track 4 features a distorted vocal loop with haunting tones. The final track takes us back to the station with a marchlike beat. It took me a few listens to really absorb all the sounds happening here, but the more I listened, the more I fell into Artemeida’s trance. 

Electric Orange – “psi-hybrid” – [Self Published]

carsonstreet   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

Electric Orange is a German neo krautrock band led by Dirk Jan Müller (keyboards) and Dirk Bittner (guitar). The band’s music is a blend of hypnotic and tribal beats, soaring organ and synths, spacey guitars, samples and analogue effects. They also experiment with rare, obscure and vintage instruments. Müller and Bittner are also regular members of the band Space Invaders and Müller is driving an electronics project named Cosmic Ground The song titles are often funny and thought-provoking puns. Psych, kraut, electronics and space – Electric Orange has it all.

Els A-Phonics – “Els A-Phonics And Friends” – [Sleazy Records]

carsonstreet   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

The Els A-Phonics is a surf band from Valencia, Spain. Formed in 2009 by former members of bands like Chewbacca’s, Pildora X and The Vibrants. Els A-Phonics have released some really upbeat, creative (and well produced) surf and they’ve teamed up with some of the best: Mike Barbwire, Nokie Edwards, Deke Dickerson, Jon Blair and others on this album.

Shadows, The – “The Shadows In The 60s” – [EMI]

carsonstreet   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

The Shadows were an English instrumental rock band who dominated the British popular music charts in the early 1960s. The Shadows were a major influence on many guitarists, including Brian May, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour and Andy Powell. Twang! A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows (1996) featured Blackmore, Peter Green, Randy Bachman, Neil Young, Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton and others playing Shadows hits. Also, a major influence on surf music. Suffice it to say; big time great guitar work and a band that helped shape rock and roll.

Cazzadio – “Il Tempo Della Locusta” – [Black Plagve Productions]

Ms. Conduct   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

A reissue of a seminal early beat-driven power electronics album from an obscure, influential and shadowy Italian outfit.  This work is immersed in the heavy machinery of war technologies.  Espionage telemetries in the black waters of conspiracy-driven wars throb with bombastic rhythmics driven from black-on-black weaponry. Despite the heavy militaristic/war thematics it is possible to side-slip into an adjacent imaginary universe while listening and allow this album to soundtrack one’s favorite post-apocalyptic superstate scenario or simply enjoy the metallic acoustics.

Monocube – “Substratum” – [Malignant Records]

Ms. Conduct   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

This album from Monocube mines the psychical landscapes from the descent-worlds in tribute to the bottomless selves who stalk these nether regions in somnambulistic unconsciousness. In the cold & voided domain of vaporous dark drone, synth layers and stirring strings evoke the transient-eternal paradox.  On the geologic side, this is cavernous and uninhabitable terrain save for only the most evolutionarily built: a plutonic dimension for lost souls unliberated and stuck in the orbit of heedless repetition.

Mona Demone – “S3RP3NT” – [Ratskin Records]

Ms. Conduct   11/16/2022   A Library, CD

This album shamelessly relishes in the splicing & synthesizing of various binaries to hybridize its own anthemic animations: Neptunic rainbow-diesel siren songs soundtrack a campy tromp through the soon-to-be-devastated wonderlands of our greenwashed Armageddon while joyfully tripping on psychedelic analogs made with a kitchen table chemistry set. Dance-y in the DIY tradition of ****-off homemade beats, this is an album for listeners who can undertake the moral-aesthetic quest of finding good-in-the-bad and trip inside someone else’s head without judgement.

Religious War – “Reigning Chaos – Discography” – [Puke N Vomit Records]

beastofbourbon   11/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

Religious War was a hardcore punk band from Portland, OR that formed in 1996 and disbanded in 2003. This compilation released in 2022 features the two 7” EPs and 12” vinyl records they released during their time. The songs are heavy, fast and brutal with a metal tinge in the classic Anarcho-punk “D-Beat” style made famous by iconic UK punk band Discharge. The cover art and anarchist lyrical content that strike against government, societal ills, and war show this influence as well. It’s an ideal soundtrack for our time. 

Tracks 1-8 ‘Cracked System’ 12″ -2003

Tracks 9-11 ‘s/t’ EP – 1998

Tracks 12-14 ‘Asylum’ EP – 2001

Beast of Bourbon

Hulder – “Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry” – [20 Buck Spin]

Terra Incognita   11/12/2022   A Library, CD

“Godslastering” can be translated from Dutch as “blasphemy.” The blasphemy of this album is that Hulder dedicates her hymns not to God but to the common people——those who toil fruitlessly in the frozen ground, who are subjugated and forced into labor and war, who die of famine and disease, who contend with pain, isolation, and desperation. What better way to express this narrative of misery than through the music of black metal.

Self-described as dark medieval black metal, Hulder is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Marliese “Marz” Beeuwsaert. Since inception in 2018, Hulder has released a number of demos, singles, and EPs; Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry is the first LP (released in 2021). On this album she performs the vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards. (Necreon was the session drummer.)

Hulder presents us with music that is at once furious and melodic, melding black metal with folk in unique ways, both subtly and not so subtly. This is reflected not just in her musicianship but also in her vocal style. She has strong, low, black metal vocals that rage but aren’t so distorted that the lyrics are undiscernible. She can also sing gently in soprano and is likely the source of the choral singing in the background of a few tracks. Hulder incorporates folk elements that add to the dark ambiance rather than detract from it——there are only patches of light, quickly overtaken by gloom, frigidness, blustering gales, and sudden downpours.

The two tracks that I’m most drawn to, I have come to realize, represent two extremes of the album: “De Dijle”and “Lowland Famine.”

“De Dijle” (Track 4) is named after the river Dyle, which runs through Hulder’s hometown in the Flanders region of Belgium. It begins with the sounds of the river’s flow and the melody of an acoustic guitar, but this initial tranquility is gradually submerged. This song is plagued with an eerie, gentle, looming darkness. Hulder reigns in her terror-rage black metal vocals to a raspy, echoing whisper to spin tales of the river, all in Dutch. The acoustic guitars and keyboards are in the forefront, with electric guitar entering later and only in the background to add to the song’s unfolding intensity.

“Lowland Famine” (Track 6) attacks immediately, with fast drums and melodic guitars and keyboards. Hulder’s vocals are an onslaught of harsh retribution. The guitar and the keyboard each get their spotlight, but the guitar gets more lead time in this song compared with the others. This song thrashes melodic black metal, drops down to a slow, marching anthem marked by double kick drum, roams the landscape, and ends solitarily with the guitar.

The two extremes are both represented in “A Forlorn Peasant’s Hymn” (Track 7). The first three verses are in Dutch, sung with soft, breathy, high-pitched vocals, and nestled in melodic electroacoustic guitar and synth. This folk ballad style strikingly breaks into fast, full-boar metal midway, and Hulder’s vocals turn to heavy savagery, sung in English. The ending is revved up and abrupt. This song is a culmination of Hulder’s range of styles and creativity and is appropriately the title track in essence.

Folk elements are also present in “Sown in Barren Soil” (Track 3) and “From Whence an Ancient Evil Once Reigned” (Track 8). These elements include acoustic guitar and bass, subtle choral vocals, flute (synthesized?), and ambient sounds of nature.

The black metal within which all of this is grounded——the brutal vocals, pummeling drums, straightforward riffs, and melodic keyboard and guitar leads——is solid. Between and within songs, the tempo and rhythm shift. The tracks more firmly rooted in classic black metal are “Upon Frigid Winds” (Track 1), “Creature of Demonic Majesty” (Track 2), and “Purgations of Bodily Corruptions” (Track 5).

Hulder harbors her heritage in her music; she brings with her an appreciation for the culture, daily ritual, and natural surroundings of the rural farm country she grew up in. This album’s lyrics portray a mythical realm, but instilled is a respect for generations past, an acknowledgement of their struggles, and a consciousness of humanity’s deep roots. Despite the medieval imagery, the lyrics transcend myth and time, reflecting the plight of humankind in perpetuity. The hardship and hunger and death represented particularly contrast against the overabundance and indulgence of the US, which Hulder herself has called witness to, having moved to the US over ten years ago and now being based in the Pacific Northwest. As a piece of Hulder’s journey to further her consciousness of self, this album also furthers humanity’s consciousness of itself and its environment. Did we truly leave the Dark Ages behind?

To Hulder I say, Gezondheid!

Javelosa, David “Microwave” – “Atomic Odyssey” – [Hyperspace Communications]

cinder   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library

Wow, this is the ultimate space age bachelor pad fantasy music! Magical, intergalactic synth fueled lounge electronica from the year 3032 (ok, 1998…) All instrumental & groovy as hell. Definitely turn on that lava lamp, and throw down some shag rugs. Mitch Lemay might have a spare leisure suit or 2? Perfect little tracks to add a little sparkly sunshine to your playlist. Bartender, cosmo please!      

Javelosa apparently also has publications and teachings on topics such as production for Video and Computer Games, Game Industry Analysis & Producing Music for Interactive games.

Thick Air – “Pillars of Creation” – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   11/10/2022   A Library, Cassette

Long form improvisations on a Yamaha PSS-270, slowly thrusting you into the cosmos. Pillars Of Creation takes its name from the iconic 1995 Hubble Space Telescope photo, definitely look that up to create the mindset for these sounds. Otherworldly synths float on top of large gas bubbles of bass. Meditative and serene. Drifting along the astral planes of sparkly space crystals. Solo project of Matt LaJoie who ‘cites intuition and accident as foundational to the Thick Air genesis, trusting the freefall process of creation and decay, motion and miasma.’ 

Dodge Jones Rage – “West Coast Power Outage II” – [Charnel Music]

cinder   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library

Pandemic-driven experimental-noise-audio collaboration started in 2021 from the trio of Chris Dodge (Spazz), Mason Jones (Subarachnoid Space, Collision Stories, Numinous Eye) & William Rage (Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, At Jennie Richie, New Blockaders, irr.app.(ext.) – last names make the project. It’s power electronics pushed to the max. Turn ’em all on at once, slowly turn the knobs, scream a distorted moan and blast your fucking ears off. Not a complete white wall wash, there’s hidden undertones of sanity. Sizzled & churned, burnt to a crisp. Delicious. 

Proudpilot – “Monsters Exist” – [Peyote Muzik]

whngr   11/10/2022   A Library, CD

Powerful female-fronted post/punk/dark/wave/goth/rock from Turkey.

Complex hard-hitting drums propel driving rhythms from the bass creating a heavy platform for the other-worldly and evocative synthesizers, further elevating the haunting vocals to explore beautifully dark and strange realms. Incredibly full sounds from this three-piece with great variety in tones especially from the synthesizer, the gorgeous delivery of their sound is especially prevalent on track 10, “First Contact” and reminds this volunteer of the project Kaelen Mikla . With luscious washes of synth that at times are thick with gloriously brooding atmosphere and other times borrow the lead from the bass in what sounds like an electric xylophone or a reverbed-out marimba but with the impact of the traditional instrumentation of polyrhythmic drumming and note-intensive bass lines. Resplendent in a kind of macabre and spectral sphere of heavy diaphanous sound.

Proud Pilot are (though “were” is probably more accurate as this is their only release) , Ekin Üzeltüzenci (Ekin Fil) on synth and vox, Pınar Üzeltüzenci (Biblo) on bass guitar, and Kaan Akay (Psycho Mantis) on drums. I was unable to uncover the relationship between Ekin and Pinar Üzeltüzenci, be it siblings, cousins, father and daughter, or what intuition tells me and my desires refuse to except… husband and wife, but whatever the truth may be, I am stricken with envy, not because I think that I would be even a remotely adequate partner for Ekin but that any proximity to her might illuminate some of the secrets behind her incredible talent and her motivations. That said, I am also quite cognizant of how much pleasure I take in the mystery. Do not miss her far quieter, much more somber and atmospheric solo work as Ekin Fil.

Istanbul – 2009

Lord Diabolus, The – “Down There…” – [Dark Descent Records]

whngr   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library


Low fidelity black/death metal/grind with heretical samples, guttural vocals, and electronic atmosphere on this single sided LP.

The Lord Diabolus was an alias of Finland’s, Beherit while in legal purgatory with their label (Turbo Music) at the time of this recording and were an early 2nd wave project of Marko Laiho/”Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance” (guitar, vocals, keyboards, and programming), Jari Pirinen/”Sodomatic Slaughter” (drums), and Arjo Wennström/”Black Jesus” (bass) who had left the band prior to this recording, from the very northern climes of Lapland that, in the frozen depths of winter, will receive only three hours of sunlight… a month. Cold and bleak is the terrain; dark and miserable are the sounds of, “Down There…” Beherit would become a notable and formative scion in the esteemed legacy of Scandinavian Black Metal especially known for their use of electronics atmosphere and samples; a practice that was considered avantgarde, less brutal, less raw, and perhaps more feminine, something that was (and to many, still is) viewed with derision. Laiho seemed unfazed by the opinions of sheep and would go on to focus on electronic dark ambient before moving to Thailand to dabble in techno. In 2008 he would return to Finland and reform Beherit with Pirinen, susequently releasing 3 more albums. In their early days they, along with other Finnish metalers including Mika Luttinen of Impaled Nazarene, would become embroiled in an intense feud with the Norwegian Black Metal scene that would be known as the “Dark War” (a slightly tongue and cheek and juvenile designation that would not rival the genuine and lasting animosity between the Norwegian and French scenes) and were notorious for their early live performances which included the heads of pigs and goats upon the stage which would help them amass a dedicated cvlt following.

Rovaniemi, Finland – 1991

Lunsford, Kilynn – “Custodians of Human Succession” – [Ever / Never]

whngr   11/10/2022   12-inch, A Library

Aggressively weird pop from the outer, slightly more tenable, rings of Hades.

Discordant and jarring songs that are structured fairly traditionally though every other aspect of these recordings sound unique and nearly without influence. This, of course, is not the case (she states on the Ever / Never bndcmp page that she has had a “…life-long appreciation of Diamanda Galas”) but like a lot of the music produced during the world’s recent forced sequestration, Reality Testing feels unmitigatedly personal. Like a sonic sketchbook or an aural diary found in a young woman’s boudoir after her admission to the hospital, these whimsical and slightly brooding tracks feel polished through considerable tweaking in post. Unruly and arty, smoky jazz piano, funky bass, surreal and disjointed, reverse tracking, delay, petulant and idiosyncratic spoken/yelled lyrics, dada, saxophone, bubbling synthesizers degrade… and then self destruct, kinda kute, ultra-strange stream of consciousness musings from a clearly sound obsessed minstrel of her own mental apocalypse.

Kilynn Lunsford (Taiwan Housing Project, Little Claw, Black Egg, The Dark Places) originally of West Philadelphia, presently residing in New York by way of the PNW. A detailed and slightly voluble account of her perspective and processes is available on the aforementioned b.c. page.

New York – Nov. 2022 

Kihlstedt, Carla / Bossi, Matthias / Ismaily, Shahzad – “Causing A Tiger” – [Les Disques Victo]

whngr   11/9/2022   A Library, CD

Three improvisators strike out on a truly bizarre exploration with a wild variety of instruments, sounds and samples,vocal techniques, moods and timbres. No theme is off the table and only two tracks bear even the slightest resemblance to one another (“No Funeral At All” [Track 1] and “Still No Funeral At All” [Track 2] being a kind of strange tradition american hoedown with banjo(?), fiddle (?), and wistful female vocals). Like a roulette wheel of compositions and deliveries that could only work if the bonds between the players were seamless and infrangible… which apparently they are.

Quiet, zither(?), barking dogs, arrhythmic, trumpets of Tijuana(?), boisterous, pig snorts,  Björk(?), balloon squeaks, traditional, distortion, ruminative violin, faerie folk, keyboards, sad, irreverent, sleepy, violin bow destruction, social, bass guitar, understated, inscrutable, windchimes(?), Tom Waits(?), trumpets of The Bronx(?), synthesizer drones, art(?), extraterrestrial, whimsy, twilight, melancholy, pensive, harmonic, basketballs(?), interdimensional, drunk goblins, conversive,  etc…

Once local Carla Kihlstedt has a voluminous curriculum vitae , that includes violin, accordion, and composing, and collaboration with both John Zorn and Fred Frith (the later is credited on this album for bass guitar, piano, and fiddle) originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and has several other albums in our library unlike her cohorts who have none (until now). Matthias Bossi is a percussionist and composer from Boston, and Shazad Ismaily is a guitarist, bassist, accordionist and composer from NYC both of whom have sprawling CV’s themselves. Their FB page (dormant since 2016) has a thoughtful and much more insightful biography than I can provide here; however I can relate that the inspiration for the title of the group came from the Jorge Luis Borges poem, “The Other Tiger”.  

San Francisco and (?) – 2010

No Dead Monsters – “Lineup” – [Fun With Tape Records]

kittywompus   11/9/2022   A Library

A Two track 45 recorded in 2017 but released in 2022 by Annandale, VA 3 piece punk outfit No Dead Monsters has Steve Francis on vocals/guitar, Chico Rodriguez on Drums/Vocals, and Brian Kiviat on Bass. Self described as ” high energy, driving, grinding upbeat melodic punk goodness.” This is the band’s first release since their 2018 single “Let it Burn”, that followed the release of a few other singles released all of which have a very pronounced punk sound. Both tracks, each running about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, begin with drums leading into a guitar baseline for vocals to join. “Lineup” is more energetic at the start and leans more punk with smashing fast paced drums and urgent guitar in comparison to the intro and overall pace of “D Hall”, however both carry a very similar energy and sound.

A Benefit Compilation for Leslie Keffer [Coll] – “Paroxysm” – [No Part Of IT]

kittywompus   11/9/2022   A Library

2022 Release

This album was put together as a means to help noise musician Leslie Keffer financially as she has been unable to work due to physically incapacitating symptoms of epilepsy. The entire compilation is mostly ambient noise with a few of the later tracks containing distorted vocals and samples. The first track is by Leslie Keffer herself, a very sci-fi trilling and chilling track that descends into shrieking whirring all while maintaining an ominous bass note that sounds theremin in origin. The rest of the album follows suit with electronically driven (mostly) instrumental tracks from different artists. Ranging from growling noise and static (with track 9 Johnathan Canady – The latest disturbing symptom (early mix) ) to more experimental unnerving ambience with distorted samples (Track 4 Testing Vault – Strange Kind Unborn). This may not be for every show but I do recommend checking it out if you’re into science fiction soundtracks at all , or if you just like noise. I recommend track 12 (Ravenna – Nobody knows the struggle I’ve been through {edit}) It is worth noting that Track 13 is not a song but an instrument backed folklore poem about “The Hunter”. There is a longer (and differently ordered) version of this compilation on bandcamp also worth listening too, it contains more tracks that deviate from this original album with the inclusion of downtempo electronica and lounge music type tracks in addition to noise.

Freshly Composted Vol. 2 [coll] – [Compost]

aarbor   11/9/2022   A Library, CD

Freshly Composted volume 2 a Compost label compilation from 2007 features 13 tracks of techno, deep house, future jazz and hip hop. It’s a survey of what Compost considers important releases from the recent past years. Don’t miss the remixes by grandmasters of the game like Carl Craig, Moodyman, Todd Terje or Robag Wruhme. AArbor

n.b. FCC on Track 11

Gentle Cycle, The – “Landslide Eyes” – [300mics]

Brian Damage   11/7/2022   12-inch, A Library

The description “psych” tends to get tossed around a lot, and more often than not, it’s applied to some dudes with marginal skills that got high in their cousin’s living room and noticed that there was a cheapo Strat copy and a practice amp in the corner.

This is definitely not the case with The Gentle Cycle. Co-founder Derek See has lived the psychedelic music lifestyle for decades – perhaps his whole life. For Derek, every day is Labor Day weekend of 1968. Derek is not only a session musician, but is also a member of The Chocolate Watchband, The Rain Parade, and the Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500) band, and formerly was a member of The Careless Hearts and helmed The Bang! Girl Group Revue.

Landslide Eyes is the second LP from The Gentle Cycle, and evokes the feeling of a late-summer evening in Los Angeles in the late 60s. There’s definitely a peace, love, and happiness vibe going on throughout, with some Byrds, later Monkees, Pet Sounds, and Buffalo Springfield influences. The Gentle Cycle would not have been out of place at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, but they’re definitely not a slavish cover or novelty band. There’s a real love, authenticity, and songcraft here that can only come from the osmosis one gets from full immersion in the music and the scene for decades.

The record does get gradually harder and darker as it progresses, culminating in the harder acid psych of tracks 13 and 14, “Eyes Landslide,” and “Mercury Twins.” All the tracks are killers, but particular standouts are “Like December Is Bold,” “Ivy,” “Landslide Eyes,” and “Let Me Look At The Sun.”

Highly recommended.

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