Music Reviews

Virulent Specter – “Black Temple of Omniscient Manipulation, The” – [Black Gangrene]

whngr   6/23/2022   A Library, CD

Grotesque Black Monster

Low Fidelity four-track one man U.S. Black Metal with tenuous connections to the sketchy side of the underground. A feral expulsion of antisocial satanic venom with little variation in tracks connoting pure malice, eschewing clever composition and production for unfettered spite. This is how we like it. Show us your vehemence with sweat and blood, not with clever mouse work and countless hours cloaked in the glow of your purring iOS. Perhaps casting dispersion on those that might spit derisively that this is bedroom metal.

Everything: “X”. This recording, like all his output, is untouched by disparate hands. Every aspect including art are rendered by this single arcane Black Mage on to four-track using traditional instrumentation and purposefully heavy-handed production as X sees no reason in diluting his creative endeavors with the opinions, abilities, or failings of others. Retaining an absolutely “pure” creative process. X has stated that he is a drummer before all else, a sentiment that is conveyed well by this album comprised of ten primal tracks where low fidelity drum assaults cleave through the mire like a scythe through corpulent and diseased flesh. He is also the sole member of Eerie Silence, a highly esoteric circle of projects focusing on an array of unholy perspectives that includes his projects, Ctenizidae (Goblin Metal?), Ärid (Troll Metal?), and Black Wilderness (Dark Ambient / Ghoul Noise?), completing a sigil of warding against the pollution of total creative control. 

? – 2021

Quitter, Andrew – “Mountain Hymns for City Rats” – [DumpsterScore Home Recordings]

whngr   6/23/2022   A Library, CD

Strange electronic atmosphere, narcoleptic astral travelling with fantastic storylines. Refractive liquid entities and hovering mechanical serpents, cave fog, invisible derelict repulsion amplifiers, tremulous IRM’s, sine v cosine anomalies, post-sentient mist magnifiers, withering wind with meter, non-linear melting suppositions, unearthly haze, revulsive rodent rhythms, pendulant green lasers, and curious gutter waifs (a rare variety of urban faerie that will inhabit entrances to the subterranean world).  Every/thing is sound. nothing is ex/accepted. Meandering, bizarre, and transcendent..
Andrew Quitter (Regosphere) is from the Midwest and has stated an early interest in punk/crust/powerviolence/metal citing Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Man Is The Bastard which would thrust him into the noise, where he resides still. However, lately it is less harsh and more expansively divergent, exploring myriad disciplines through recording (field and otherwise), prepared instrument builder, microphone destroyer, graphic design both digital and antiquated, what sounds to this miserable volunteer, an incredible amount of correspondence, along with running a tape label. Currently based in the Pacific Northwest and the responsible party behind DumpsterScore, a prolific DIY, Heavy Electronics label active since 2003.
Portland – 2019

Black Leather Jesus – “Bride of The Lamb” – [Deadline Recordings]

whngr   6/23/2022   A Library, Cassette

Sado-evangelic Noise Wall

Two perverse sides, two heretical slabs. Play in reverse and the holy ghost might cum on your stigmata. Play front to back to induce immaculate abortion… either one will put another nail in the cross of listener alienation.

BLJ is one Richard Ramirez. Impossibly prolific noise producer with irons in more fires than anyone else, including the avantgarde fashion industry. Initially from Texas, indefatigably active since 1989, and now residing in the Philadelphia area with his husband and collaborator (Same guy. His name is Sean).

A re-release from 2019 but made originally in 1994.

JeConte and Mali Allstars, The – “Mali Blues” – [Soulnow Records]

aarbor   6/22/2022   CD, International

They met at the Festival in the Desert: American JeConte (vocals and harmonica), harmonica player and rhythm guitarist Boubacar Sidibe, n’goni player and electric guitarist Adama Drame, percussionist and calabash player Mahamadou Kone and bassist Sekou Bah. This release was recorded in 2012 in Bamako, Mali during a coup d’etat. The intent is to preserve the music and culture of the people of Mali and to raise money to support them during a difficult time. The musicians are heavy hitters, the music is lovely but it’s a bit too shiny/overproduced and missing the grit of an authentic African recording. Some tracks sound bluesy but others are sound more like Afropop. AArbor

Weaver, Jane – “Flock” – [Fire Records]

puplaif   6/22/2022   12-inch, A Library

Do you look at yourself and find nothing? Jane Weaver ponders this, and other existential queries on her 11th album Flock. 

My ears gravitated towards the album’s whimsical and blissful sounds. The lyrical content is, at times, difficult to decipher among the mix, though that didn’t stop me from singing along! Weaver’s airy vocals mimic the songs of the various birds in her flock. It’s as if she’s summoning them through each song, awaiting their return as depicted on the album cover’s artwork, which features a portrait of Jane seated in a peacock chair, surrounded by a fortress of colorful birdhouses. The overall sound is dreamy, poppy, and a little bit funky. Touches of chimes, flute, and guitar intermingle with space age laser beam synths and drum machine loops. 

Pressed on buttercream vinyl. 

Sunny Side Up [coll] – [Brownswood Recordings]

aarbor   6/22/2022   A Library, CD

On Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label from the UK is this interesting collection of music from Australian/New Zealander artists which was released in 2019. Though not all of these musicians are from Melbourne, the scene they are a part of is centered there. The sound is at the intersection of jazz, soul and club beats. You’ll hear splashes of deep house, cha cha, samba, p-funk and soul with a jazz mindset as the common denominator. AArbor

Lawson and Merrill – “Signals” – [Neuma]

karma   6/22/2022   A Library, CD

Great music for your journey, whether by cars or (different) trains. Also great music to listen to while relaxing in your Tulip Chair somewhere in your Eichler, eating some silver apples. David Lawson and David Merrill are electronic musicians who collaborated on this project, which was inspired by midcentury electronic pioneers. Lawson provided the base track and Merrill added the sonic toppings. This collaboration is seamless and the tracks are meandering but all reach very convincing points. Feel the thought waves cease during Morning Meditation (track 1), 16 minutes go by very quickly. Track 2 is more “Smile” than “Surfin’ USA;” there was clearly a gray and cloudy morning on this beach. Don’t miss the gem of a Track 3, the just-dark-enough track 4, or the optimistic coda. I hope Lawson and Merrill collaborate more!

BeNe GeSSeRiT – “Fashion Is a Dirty Word” – [Domani Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   12-inch, A Library

A completely tweaked treat from 1987 Belgium via Alain Neffe. Here Alain is “Benedict G” synthing his way around and besides his wife Nadine Bal (aka “B. Ghola”). Things start with a mirror world take on G-L-O-R-I-A but the whole album is glorious with some songs taking longer to read their titles than to actually listen to them. Check out #2 like a shot of la-la-las in a bar from Blade Runner. Nadine’s imbalanced vox are so perfect, often in a kind of clipped and buzzed English. Insane Music for Insane People is not just an appropriate assessment, it was the title for Neffe’s series of collections in the 80’s. Kookoo keyboards, drum machines with dimples, occasional sax/clarinet squalls, brief processional guitar. But mostly the analog keys carry the sound for art-inflected minimal music, which is not afraid to
be catchy at times. Or to be imitation Chinese or an Xmas carol in exile. “You Can Dance If You Want To” is like the Waitresses meet the Kinks. Things are definitely kinky strange through-out, but less red-light district and far more playful wonder for your inner child bouncing on a trampoline of reverb.
Forget fear, Fun is the mind-liberator.
-Thurston Hunger
PS KFJC has a Feeding Tube Bennie & the G lp for further frolic

Pond, The – “Turchesi Miracolosi” – [Syrphe]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   A Library, CD

Syrphe’s up! Killer label, and this duet falls in line with femme freq fatale work from Iva Bittova to Fovea Hex to Anna Homler and beyond! Elisabetta Lanfredini might be classically trained, but also might have just grown up singing in dark German forests. Multi-lingual, and multi-tracked, her voice is soothing and strange. Nicolas Wiese as her electronic accompanist is subtle and deft, almost like providing the lighting equivalent for these musical mini-movies. Lanfredini’s voice can glide gossamer as on the opening track, or she can shout out like a barker at a knight’s hard day duel as on “Cavalleresco.” That song alternates with her also whispering and singing lullabye-like. The next track, she summons English as her voice is burst into chords and she speak sings a diary of rebirth if not emancipation. Two short improvs invoke
voice-triggered percussion. In the end, close your eyes and mind your head for “Salome” – a different kind of doom. Quite an inspiring swirl-wind of a voice/electronic release. Don’t miss!
-Thurston Hunger

D-Vices, The – “Adequate / Modern Boy” – [Celluloid Lunch Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   7-inch, A Library

Bass bopping driving no wave from Montreal 1980, freshly reissued in 2022. Was stoked to see this in Cinderaura’s recent haul for KFJC, as by chance I had recently heard the American Devices “Gory Story.” (Gotta give props to Tremendo Garaje for that.) The D-Vices are an earlier incarnation still with an accent on Vivce, featuring Phil Nolin on vox/guitar. Nolin’s guitar brings a sort of Television-style search-and-slash-and-destroy. Nolin’s vox are full of piss and vinegar. These two short blasts really stand up over time, “Modern Boy” could get people Contorting on the dance floor. Nolin’s lyrics are delivered like body blows, at times his guitar and voice step back to let Rick Trembles bass and Guy LaPointe’s drums cruise for a few measures. Maybe live those measures would stretch out for minutes, it’s a pretty gritty groove. Trembles was the only Canuck to stick with the American Devices phase.
-Thurston Hunger

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