Music Reviews

Rites Of Thy Degringolade – “An Ode To Sin” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   6/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

I dub thee: Metal of the Flies.

Lurching, lumbering, Canadian (Edmoton) death metal  ca. 2005 repressed in 2015 by the illustrious and never missing Nuclear War Now!.

Gravel throat, killing layers, wicked timing, endless doom, abrupt despair, and cascading wrath. Blast beats, trashcan cymbals, grinding, burrowing, retching, riffs, slaughter, shredding. Track three is the stand out, with its killer hook, slashing solo and sickening time changes but there is much diversity on this album. Is that scratching on Thyhathbecomehim (A4)? Mysterious synth sounds, majesty, and misanthropy. It starts with noise, ends with flies, and left me aching… for MORE!

Thank you, Sir AIDS. Might I have another?

Scum / Unsustainable Social Condition [coll] – [Skin Trade Recordings]

whngr   6/11/2020   A Library, Cassette

Hot from the harsh presses at Skin Trade, this noise-wall split is caustic, terra inferna, cornea peeling red-line texture. I believe SCUM to be Japan’s Sou Inomoto. Active since 2010 his A-side is the  less comfortable one as the erratic frequency changes are jarring and otherworldly. Like TRON on brown-acid. Electronic helicopter space-warp. Sub-sonic rumbles, cascades of electronic lemmings plunging towards their imminent demise in an ocean of white noise. Automatons march to war with laser wielding cyborg-centaur as the sky turns to strata of glass and then implodes, sending panes sheering and then slipping through an anomalous atmosphere. Ruin.
Unsustainable Social Condition is Matt Purse of Oxen records (Los Angeles) and his offering has no nuance, no inflection. Just a pure white-noise avalanche with what might be buried vocals though often this kind of sound can blur the lines of reality for this miserable volunteer, exciting my tendencies towards auditory hallucination and mild psychosis, my mind searching desperately for patterns and meaning that simply do not exist. I imagine, if he had his druthers, U.S.C. would be capable of disrupting the listeners’ ability to modulate the volume, keeping it pinned with excessive amounts of amplification. However, I submit that at low volumes this recording could in fact (undermining to the intentions of Purse) be therapeutic. Possibly heightening the composer’s antipathy towards his audience, bolstering the prevalent paradox of the harsh noise paradigm.

Resuscitator – “Iniciation” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   6/10/2020   12-inch, A Library

Early (1994) stripped-down black metal from southern CA (Downey). 

Slow single note bends, cave toms, guttural breath, ugly death, crystal meth… Actually sounds more like beer and weed to this miserable volunteer but it is hard to know as this project is veiled in mystery like a proper black metal band of yore. Eschewing high production and virtuosity for atmosphere and anonymity. Not plowing any unfurrowed earth but pleasantly dark and morose like a well-worn flaxen cloak of eternal darkness, soft and saturated for decades with your own heretical musk. Sometimes you don’t want to be tested, sometimes you just want to embrace the night, raise your crooked hand to the moon, and scowl like a goblin. Probably the most unique thing about Iniciation from the perspective of 2020 is a slightly naive note of the theatrical; sounding like it they recorded their live set in a garage, including a bit of in-character stage banter which feels a little like meeting a smokin’ hot goth girl (in the early 90’s) who knows as much about Middle Earth as you do (nerd love being the sweetest, least judgmental, and most deeply binding emotion of them all) who then returns your awkward advances in kind. Like a soothing elven balm rubbed into the chaffed and bleeding fissures of your soul.

Corrupted – “Felicific Algorithm” – [Cold Spring Records UK]

whngr   6/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

Totally unlike their early detuned doom-sludge works, this album (which has no suggested speed) seems to forgo their previous instrumentation for a more computer generated one to focus on drone and mid to heavy-weight noise. Some sources state that it may in fact be the work of Martin Bowes (previous member of Attrition, Pigface and Engram) though I have not been able to find much support of the theory (found on Juno Record’s website), it does seem plausible as these tracks fall well outside the purview of Corrupted’s previous releases.
Side A employs an extremely slow and long start of an almost sub-sonic signal that may rattle volunteers expecting dirge but will eventually erupt into harsh stabs of red-lined white noise, tumbling shards of glass, and feedback modulated for listener’s distress which just as suddenly evolves into meditative waves of low frequency relaxation.
Side B is notably less discordant, employing human voices buried within tides of computer generated drone and electronic bubbles over sonic curios.
I find this album compelling but I am doubtful that the source is truly from Japan’s Corrupted. Quite an oddity, this.

Smell & Quim – “Cosmic Bondage” – [Hospital Productions]

whngr   6/6/2020   12-inch, A Library

Abhorrent Abstract Filth

Seven tracks of anally fixated atrocities suitable for none but the most disturbed and maladapted. It is as if a young deaf boy discovered they could prolapse their bowels at will and while using their crusty child fingers to pack their lower intestine back into their torso decided to invent songs devoted to the confusing sensations of pleasure and pain pulsing from their distended rectum. Squeals of feedback and white noise, loops of butt porn, balloons squeak and expire, drones, and steel Chinese finger-torture traps that echo and tumble into a drawer of stolen pornography from the 60’s, whines of tinnitus mixed with tweaker toys. Hatchlings chirp, mechanical saws attached to novelty phalluses, Geppetto’s donkey puppet comes to life with sphincters for hooves and an insatiable appetite for rectal intercourse and with every thrust of its wooden mule-appendage develops an inarticulate eruptive vocabulary derived from sado masochistic ass Bukkake. Also of note, this double LP was originally released in 1995 as a limited (100) spray-painted gold cassette with a tethered Barbie™ doll sporting a proliferation of pubic hair, or perhaps a merkin, so that the extended track lengths don’t fit within the current (anal-log) format. Excellent and unique packaging from Hospital Productions though slightly sterile when compared to the painful and repellent sounds within and surely lacking the repugnant donkey-punch of the first release on Stinky Horse Fuck.

Hallucinator – “Another Cruel Dimension” – [Carbonized]

whngr   6/6/2020   12-inch, A Library

Oakland’s Hallucinator plot to upend your sanity with this, their second outing and first release on Carbonized. Less cerebral than visceral, more power than virtuosity though the technique is excellent, this album is more about impact. It’s Darkthrone inspired death metal with psychedelic interludes. Fucking crushing riffs, chug-chugs, ripping, rending, slaughter, battery and assault. Guttural, blast beats, shredding, horror, derangement, doom and despair, dungeons, and spooky synthesizer bookends. Refined production and excellent composition provide a familiar metal formulae with a spattering of genuine innovation. Looking forward to hearing more annihilation from these local long-hairs, though this LP sounds heavily scrutinized and polished (while still raw and powerful) that they would be forgiven if they want a respite before their next offering.

Disciples of Mockery – “Prelude to Apocalypse” – [Necroharmonic Productions]

whngr   6/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

Death Metal from New Jersey ca. 1999 with a sepulcher full of nauseating vocals. Speed, dirge, lurching, driving, pick scrapes, feed-back, shredding, pummeling, and an unbearable amount of pinch harmonics. Clutch your soul and a hurghll a wave of sick into oblivion as you thrash your greasy hair and blaspheme in the key of misery. Includes three ex-members of an early incarnation of Incantation ca.1991. The sounds might slightly date themselves but this miserable volunteer approves of the imagery and packaging on this malevolent cassette from yesteryear.

Chicago Sinfonietta & Mei-Ann Chen – “Project W – Works By Diverse Women Composers” – [Cedille Records]

Medusa of Troy   6/3/2020   A Library, CD, Music Reviews

This 2019 album of classical works is based on the highlights of Chicago Sinfonietta’s 30th season (2017-2018) [Mei-Ann Chen, conductor and musical director], which featured the works of American women composers. Most of the compositions on Project W were newly commissioned by the orchestra, from Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Jessie Montgomery, and Reena Esmail. The album starts with a performance of Dance in the Canebreaks, written by pioneering African-American composer Florence B. Price. Dances, consisting of 3 jaunty pieces, is sweet and fun, reminiscent of Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess”, but with its own flair. “Sin fronteras” by Clarice Assad & “Coincident Dances” by Jessie Montgomery (part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble) sound like traditional classical music. Reena Esmail’s “Charukeshi bandish” has traditional classical Indian arrangements along with vocals, while her “#metoo” is skittish and tense. The album ends with Jennifer Higdon’s 5-movement piece, Dance Card, which alternates between high-energy pieces (no. 1, 3 & 5) and slower, sweeter pieces (no. 2 & 4). This album won’t fit on all shows, but certain pieces can work around the edges of international, blues, drone and ambient sets. Check it out.

Les Yper Sound – “Explorations In Drums and Sax” – [Figure & Ground]

aarbor   6/3/2020   12-inch, A Library

Originally Les Yper-Sound (also sometimes called Les Hyper-Sound) was a fake band consisting of Michel Colombier and Pierre Henry. On this recording  (which was released in 2016) there are 5 tracks written by the originals and 10 written by Jas Walton [sax] and Miles Arntzen [drums] who are the current version of Les Yper-Sound. The “remarks” on each track will tell you everything you need to know. My favorite remark is “about the track Potato Brain: “Moroccan Qarkabeb. Dramatic. Lights off.” It’s playful, tongue-in-check and lot of fun, after all it’s on clear vinyl – do not miss this one!


JAMBU E OS MITICO SONS DA AMAZONIA 1974-1986 [coll.] – [Analog Africa]

aarbor   6/3/2020   A Library

Jambu and the mythical sounds of the Amazon. Jambu, it turns out, is an appetite stimulating plant which is used in the cuisine of Belem in the Brazilian state of Para (Northeast Brazil) the gateway to the Amazon. This collection is a well-researched guide to the music of this region by the folks at Analog Africa. A range of styles and music which reflect the local culture as well as influences from the Caribbean and Africa.


Karma to Burn – “Almost Heathen” – [Spitfire]

atavist   6/2/2020   A Library, CD

Groove laden, instrumental stoner(ish) rock. Not stoner metal, that is—the vibe is more of the “take a shot of whiskey and jump in the mosh pit” variety than “smoke a bowl and space out on the couch”. The energy level is high, with a precision-engineered rhythm section and disciplined guitars that swerve, stop, and start to match. Reminds me of bands like Walrus who were working in a similar vein at that time in the mid-late 90s and early 2000s. They frequently draw comparisons to Kyuss. The tracks on this CD are pretty interchangeable, in that they are consistently well-made and will induce rhythmic head nods of approval if this is your kind of thing. Not having a vocalist means they never stay in one place too long. They allow themselves to get a little spacy and chilled-out in the last track. Turn it up and hit the wayback machine to 2001.

Laguerre/Noetinger – DnT – [Aagoo Records]

Max Level   5/27/2020   A Library, CD

Two well-known French electro-acoustic sound artists (Anthony Laguerre and Jerome Noetinger) bring us many forms of noise by way of tape loops, manipulation, distortion, live processing and… drums! This release seems to be centered around the sounds of a drum kit. It shows up everywhere, often being processed in some way or other, and is combined with some odd noises–notes and blips and hums and is that a dog barking in the distance on Track 4? The dynamics vary from track to track, but it never takes long for this thing to get back to spotlighting the drums. Track 2 is probably my favorite–it starts in a quietly tense place and ramps up to a crashing drumscape on some weird planet, accompanied by an overload of intense alien shrieking.

Moenda – "Moenda" – [Kinnikinnik]

Thurston Hunger   5/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Now-defunct three piece Moenda released this back in 2011. Band (and label) were from North Carolina, for me this jumps into the parade that features bands like Guerilla Toss and Sea Moss, groups that have a pretty amazing drummer as their majorette. For Moeda, Davey Blackburn is the
percussion whiz, he’s joined by guitar and galactic synth effects courtesy of Ross Wilbanks and Jeremy Fisher. Unlike the referenced bands, there’s not a lot of vocals here (a little chatter on “The Wider the Smile the Sharper the Blade” and maybe a sampled Brazilian priestess on the closer). The music is not so menacing as that Smile/Blade, I’d color it “angry cute” mostly based upon the arsenal of toys that Wilbanks and Fisher. I mean check out “Eschaton” after the big fat synth burbles evaporate, there’s a kind of Gershon Kingsley joy before returning to the world’s end. Another fave is “Cut Here and Here” with a teapot whistle sound slicing through as the song sambas on. Indie instro march and perculate powder, hop in line.
-Thurston Hunger

Himukalt – “Vulgar” – [Found Remains]

lexi glass   5/27/2020   A Library, CD

As Himulkalt, Nevada visual/sound artist Ester Kärkkäinen relates her experience of female sexuality as “a feedback loop of misery and desire.” In her visual work, xeroxed grayscale photographs of bodies are cut and superimposed in repeating patterns, as if her subjects were reflected in a shattered mirror. Her power electronics work could be heard as the sonic analogue of these images: on Vulgar, jagged, repetitive rhythms are layered with blasts of noise, while Kärkkäinen’s whispers, moans, and screams are fractured by effects and static. A creeping menace builds through the tape, suggesting a scene of violation that we finally witness on “to whisper intent” (T8). A violent reaction follows on “not in this body” (T9), exploding into the ecstasy of revenge on the final track “want you to see me” (T10). Originally released in 2017 on No Rent Records and reissued this year on Found Remains.

Machine Girl – "Gemini" – [Orange Milk]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

machine girl seems to be the moniker for a matt stephenson out of NYC aka Artie’s Kryptonite aka some seriously chaotic pixified millennial dance music. idk if theys a gemini for sure but speaking as one, it sure sounds it: vaporwave? who tf knows, but there sure is some labile attention shifting genre mashup: energetic breakcore, bright bodied trance, some juke and footwork tweaks and twerks, all constantly zone switching then dropping back into vibe. i feel like im missing out on something listening to this digitally, this has a serious mixtape feel and the aesthetic lends well to lofi textures, but alas all the tapes seem to sell out, even this re-release. late spring grooves right in time for this sun’s season.

Crazy Doberman – "Illusory Expansion" – [Astral Spirits]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

new release of psy skronk din spiritualism from this revolving door collective of jazz deconstructionists hailing across the wasteland of middle america. alternate zoning from one psychic plain to the next tracking rapidly across two expansive tape sides; feels like a DMT dissociation with the amount of space travel power packed into so little time. the whole trip flows like orchestral movements, and the attendance is there, with the density of players producing such cohesive sound. equal parts harsh and ethereal, jazz and psychedelic, there’s something for everyone here so tune in and drop out

Metzger, Paul – "Tombeaux" – [Nero's Neptune Records]

humana   5/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

Metzger’s creativity permeates this release, from the modified 23-string banjo he designed to his compositions and arrangement of Debussy’s “Beau Soir.” The tone might be guessed from the album’s title, which means tombs, but even “Sepulchre” is not as doomy as you might expect it to be–there is a hopeful intensity to each of these compositions, and they last long enough leave you feeling satisfied.

Haslinger, Paul – "Exit Ghost" – [Artificial Instinct]

humana   5/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

What sheer loveliness this album is! Haslinger, composer, keyboardist, guitarist, former member of Tangerine Dream, has created a scintillating aural delight for us with this one. Violins, cello, violas, bass, guitars, piano, keys play our emotions quite nicely. Exit Ghost itself sounds like staticky radio on top of s synthy bed. I love this.

Adele H – "Civilization" – [Psychic Sound Recordings]

humana   5/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

Adele H is an Italian experimental vocalist and percussionist (as may be gleaned from the picture of Rome on the album cover). Grant Corum joins her on drums, flute, and harp on a couple of the songs. Her voice is pleasing and the songs are mellow and spirit-expanding. The track titles mirror what the songs sound like. Enjoy!

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