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Music Reviews

Previn, Andre – “4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse (Original Sound Track), The” – [MGM Records]

whngr   6/4/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

Grandiose orchestral soundtrack fare with a few compelling song titles.

Horns, viola, timpani, cello, violin, tuba, oboe, flute, the whole gang’s here. One sorta classic loungy love song on B2, “Mine For The Moment”.
Much like the film the tracks on this LP bounces from cloyingly sweet to overly dramatic and often contain suspenseful passages or moments of life rending epiphany. Unfortunately this is not a tale of the apocalypse, cataclysm, nor of the Anti-Christ’s return to his throne on Earth… ’tis instead a film about family, love, and betrayal that hinges on espionage and the French Resistance during the Third Reich’s occupation during WWII. However, it does contain multiple allusions to the final chapter of the New Testament where four unholy riders, Conquest, War, Famine, and Death are given reign over a quarter of the earth so that they might decimate humanity… and much to my delight a few scenes where this is image is depicted, in my miserable opinion, quite convincingly though often superimposed over the main characters in this slightly lame and dated drama. It was achingly long (2:33:13) and they seemed to have spent a fair amount of money on it, thus the small sum I spent to view it online tells me that I have received a fairly good return on my investment and thus I am reinforced in my belief that it is important for me to have seen any and all films corresponding to the soundtracks I review for… your source. But don’t bother with the movie, trust me. Unless you are a completist with Nazi themed romances or depictions of fantastic death riders. Soundtrack is pretty good though, try the last two tracks if you’re feelin’ up for something classic and classy if slightly bombastic and pretentious.

Wet Labia – “Wet Labia” – [Kitty Play Records]

whngr   6/4/2021   A Library, Cassette

A chaotic din of snotty grrrage punk dripping in low fidelity. Rafter shakin’, vulva vibratin’, rock n’ roll for the unwashed and uninhibited.

Pounding, emphatic, and raw. Right in your face, rub it around, you’re a disgrace rock ‘n roll. Nice n’ southern with just a hint of morbid curiosity with nods to to low brow science-fiction and horror. A little t(w)angy, hot, sticky mess that just feels so fuckin’ good.

Frenetic female fronted three piece from Memphis TN, the “Labes”  wrote rousing and evocative numbers with memorable titles like, “Just A Whore” and “I Died This Way” while imploring us to, “… do the Zombie”, something I would gladly do if only I could return to the halcyon days of 2002. 

A-side was recorded by Alicja Trout (Lost Sounds) and Jay Reatard (Lost Sounds, Reatards) at the People’s Temple in Memphis.

B-side is a bedroom recording live to 4 track.

FCC’s: “What the fuck!?” in the first second of “Gone Away” on B3 (track 8 on the cd) and copious “Fuck”-‘s slathered all through “Fuck If I Know” B6 (track 11).

MK9 – “Discography and Video 2001-2006” – [Neural Operations]

lexi glass   6/2/2021   A Library, CD

This CDR collects mid-career tracks from the discography of Michael Nine, formerly a fixture of the Bay Area noise underground and now based in Vancouver. This period from the early 2000s falls between his first incarnation as Death Squad, that terrorized audiences throughout the 1990s, and his more recent project MK9, whose live actions combine extreme audiovisual compositions and spoken word. The retrospective begins with 2002’s Self Medicated (T1-T5), with five tracks that oscillate between high pitched feedback and rumbling low end pulses, screaming pain and dull numbness, a sound palette that recurs through the later releases. Two tracks from the 2002 7HZ compilation (T6, T7, from the storied SF experimental venue/art space of that name, a collaboration with Randy H.Y. Yau and Scott Arford/Radiosonde), brings disembodied, ghostly voices into the fray. On 2002’s Why (T8-T10) the vocals become discernible, a direct patch into the darkest corners of the subconscious. The Empathy/Apathy 7” from 2003 foregrounds a disturbing phone message recording and a visceral spoken word imagery (T11-T12). The disc concludes with early works from the MK9 project, 2005’s excellent Resist (T13-T18) and three additional tracks of obscure or unreleased material (T18-20) Released on the artist’s label Neural Operations.

FCCS: T10, T11, T12, T16, T18

Surrogate Activity – Old Growth [Imploding Sounds]

Number 6   5/30/2021   A Library

unknown entity from Dublin who applies an ecological perspective from the rapidly disappearing old growth of ancient woodland, the loss of which no doubt is expressed in the multilayered three part saga of two possibilities: 1. the sound of the invader’s attack on its own sustenance over thousands of years ℅ virulent homo sapiens, in less than an hour or 2. the cries of indigenous deciduous oak over the same period of time compressed into less than an hour.  we hope that all three parts capture the struggle between them until the end of our time here on earth.  the first track, named after the last surviving fragment of the great Oak Woods of Tinahely, serves as a harsh noise introductory wall that doesn’t give you a chance to pretend you are interested in your wake of destruction but assimilates your city bred ennui with a jolt of forest spite that sprays its interlopers with a fog of genocidal repellant that will only exist in dreams while disembodied voices of the dying human species is relished and celebrated with the only kind of joy that a hate forest can feel moving to the second track named after a formerly predominant wooded area that is nearly extinct with the exception of a few restoration projects such as the namesake of the thrid track, Abbyleix, where the midlands bog locals defiantly stopped the municipal excavation assault. one can now feel the roars of minor victory from this eternal conflict for mastery or perhaps an eventual leveling off into inaudible commensal equilibrium

Ovskum – “Atto I – Atto II” – [Insikt]

whngr   5/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Low fidelity depressive Black Metal from Italy circa 2006.

A dream of profound sadness and loss in four dismal parts. 

Buried electric guitar, buried drums (could be a sack filled with coins?), buried voices, buried ambient drone, buried lute (could be a zither)?, buried feedback, buried acoustic guitar, buried animal sounds (vulture?).

Murk, gloom, sorrow and doom tie these tracks together on a cassette that may or may not be the legitimate release (it does not match up with online information) from Insikt Records. Neither harsh nor intense this is like a diary entry written in tears, grieving the loss of one’s innocence or a profound loneliness that cannot be quelled in life… fortunately death is an inevitability, unlike love and hope.

Sophia – “Sigillum Militum” – [Cold Meat Industry]

whngr   5/28/2021   A Library, CD

Ambient Death Drone with allusions to arcane pagan rituals and perhaps a few nods to fascistic sabre rattling and one long uncomfortable pause/secret track (here’s a hint: it’s an outlier). 

Distant bells, frozen fog, hypnotic repetition, impending war, drunken trolls, chanting, antler helm, crescendos, rolling thunder, echoes, emphatic snare, possession, contemplative piano, winter, valorous horns, electronics, abstractive samples, rumbling synthesizers, triumph.

Swedish Ambient Industrial (once) side project of (hard drinking) Peter Bjärgö of Arcana (currently dissolved). Released in 2000 on Cold Meat Industry.

Agonanist – “Cynicism of Solitude, The” – [Transylvanian Tapes]

whngr   5/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Dreary Esoteric USBM

Dissonant guitars bend and shudder, esophageal wails expressing the horrors of life amid peels of poly rhythmic drums that intermittently pound, crash, and sprint towards the Suicide Cliffs. Rain spatters the ground, the tears are left hidden by the the torrent but the anguish has left deep scars that ache.

Deeply cloaked in mystery, it is only known that they hail from San Francisco though nothing more could be gleaned from any source on the author of this vertigo inducing Black Metal. Transylvanian Tapes 2020.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers – "Diary of a Band, The" – [Decca]

aarbor   5/26/2021   Blues, CD

The subtitle is “Selected highspots from sixty hours of Bluesbreakers club recordings 1967” Since the Bluesbreakers excelled live on stage Decca wanted to capture live performances. Mayall was against having recording engineers at their performances feeling that it would be too much of a strain for the band. He took a portable reel to reel tape machine to their live performances in the UK, Holland and Ireland during November and December 1967; recording each performance. Volume One showcases the band playing as well as the camaraderie between the musicians. Catch the humorous speech following Blood on the Night [1] and the insistence by a venue manager in Northern Ireland that the band play God Save the Queen [6] and their performance of it. Volume Two includes banter[6] between Chris Mercer and Keef Hartley during his drum solo and [3] a joke at the expense of Keith Tillman. AArbor

Up, Bustle and Out – "City Breakers" – [Routes Music]

aarbor   5/26/2021   12-inch, A Library

An unusual album from Up, Bustle and Out in that it focuses on Reggae, Dub with some Hip Hop as well. In addition to the usual Up, Bustle and Out beats, cuts, scratches and keyboards, the sound is musically even more diverse: flamenco guitar, a Jamaican DJ, trumpets, darbukas, even a Talkin’ Tabla dub featuring Nitin Sawhney. The lyrics are rife with revolution and dissent. Enjoy! AArbor

Hot 8 Brass Band – "Rock With The Hot 8 Brass Band" – [Tru Thoughts]

aarbor   5/26/2021   CD, Jazz

The Hot 8 Brass Band is from New Orleans. It’s a 20 year old band forged from 2 separate groups who all went to Fortier High School: the High Steppers and the Looney Tunes Brass Band. Sadly 4 of the original members are gone due to illness and street violence. Hurricane Katrina displaced band members as well. The Hot 8’s funk style is a blend of influences from the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth brass bands, with more elements of contemporary R&B, Rap and its local variation called “Bounce”. The Hot 8 have been featured in 2 Spike Lee documentaries. This release from 2007, the band’s first on Tru Thoughts, includes many of the original members. Enjoy! AArbor

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