Music Reviews

Occelensbrigg – “Frostbitten Cleansing” – [Harvest of Death]

whngr   12/15/2020   A Library, Cassette

Murky, blown out Black Metal by this lone soul hailing from Portugal. Part of the  Aldebaran Circle, a clandestine group of projects that include:  Aldebaran, Degredo, Espírito, Ginnungagap, Mallitiae, Nox Insultum, Ordem Satânica, Trono Além Morte, and Voëmmr.  Cold, grim, ugly, and culminating in a brief passage of perverse valiance, these five tracks are like a plunge into a frozen lake occupied by a legion of medieval corpses. Drifting through the icy water, their hollow stares intermittently falling upon your empty soul while casting scowling aspersion before lolling on through the icy void.

Diotte, Braden – “General Manifest” – [East Imperial Noise]

whngr   12/15/2020   A Library, CD

Bass player of Tarantula Hawk explores the enormity of empty space employing field recordings and layers of sparse ambient noise/drone with all three compositions tied together by the hypnotizing rhythm of moving trains. There is something very captivating about these sounds that were informed by Diotte’s time riding the rails (I presume without a ticket) and in some ways I believe it detracts from the power of these pieces and the journey by attempting to describe them. Like fine cinema it is often best to go in knowing as little as possible… However, one brief caveat: this album begins at a glacial pace and the long/soft/slow signal may rattle the stones of even the most stalwart volunteer.

Thayer, Lloyd & Deupree, Jerome – “Duets” – [Feeding Tube Records]

mickeyslim   12/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

Absolutely fantastic release from Feeding Tube Records. This is improvisations by multi-instrumentalist Lloyd Thayer (who performed at the 1000 Incarnation of the Rose Fest) on the Chaturangui (an Indian 12-string instrument) and Weissenborn lap steel, alongside Jerome Deupree on percussion.

This is bluesey, psychey, indian-infused jams. Heady, ethereal and colorful. Swirling strings, easy brush-string beats. Whirling smoke dreams of Junior Kimbrough and Ravi Shankar’s love-child.

Lipscomb, Mance – “Mance Lipscomb Volume 4” – [Arhoolie Records Inc.]

mickeyslim   12/9/2020   12-inch, Blues

Navasota, Texas songster Mance Lipscomb recording once again for Arhoolie Records in Berkely. Discovered in 1960 during the blues roots discovery boom of the ’60s, Lispcomb, unlike most, had no earlier recordings. This is his fifth full-length, fourth in a series for Arhoolie. Most of his recordings, including the A-side on this release, were “live recordings” done in one session, in a single take. Extensive liner notes detail the unusual plight of Lipscomb, including his rise to fame as an important figure in the folk music revival period.

Excellent stories, raw gritty vocals. This is some top-notch, front-porch shit. Enjoy!

Pas Musique and Rapoon – “Composited Reality” – [Zoharum]

lexi glass   12/9/2020   A Library, CD

Two major projects in experimental music collide on this disc: Pas Musique, the Brooklyn-based music and film collective led by Robert Pepper, and Rapoon, the solo project of Robin Storey, a founding member of Zoviet France. The duo have collaborated several times over the past decade, and this release contains a recording of one of those meetings, an hour-long live performance in New York in 2017, presented here in its entirety as a single track. The performance opens with rhythmic, ritualistic sounds – percussion, bells, and droning sitar-  that continue as a thread throughout the piece, a refrain that serves as a portal into subconscious spaces. Layered field recordings and electronic ambience dredge up long forgotten memories like the music box chimes from childhood, venture into dark passages, ruminate on looping patterns of thought, and together construct a complete unreality.

Cole, Max – "Mo High" – [Wah Wah Records]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

 Max Cole’s Mo High features a berimbau (Brazilian single-stringed percussion instrument – a musical bow – originally from Africa) and vocals which are very soul-kissed. You might even catch yourself singing along to Max’s almost choirboy pitched infectious vocals, which demand answers to a backing provided by unreal keys, shrieking synths and fractured beats. Natural Self’s (Nathaniel Pearn – of the Tru Thoughts label) remix gives the beats extra bite, a more powerful bass and loops. Be sure to give both sides a play! AArbor

Fauna Flash – "Fusion" – [Compost]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

From 2001 this release showcases the work of Fauna Flash (Roland Appel and Christian Prommer) in a variety of styles from the electro dub of Mother Nature, to jazzy house, funk, breakbeats – even to hip hop (last track). Appel and Prommer are drummers and play with the Rainer Truby Trio and with Peter Kruder in Voom Voom. Very nice drum ‘n bass tracks throughout. Some tracks have vocals, some don’t. It’s an excellent mixed bag. Probably their best album. AArbor

Cohran, Kelan Philip & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – "Kelan Philip Cohran & The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble" – [Honest Jon's Records]

aarbor   12/9/2020   12-inch, Jazz

Phil Cohran was a jazz musician, best known for playing the trumpet in the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1959-1961 and for founding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and Afro-Arts Theatre. This was one of his last recordings (from 2012, he died in 2017 at the age of 90). At times it sounds like a New Orleans brass band, at times like klezmer, at times like Balkan gypsy music, at times like Red Baraat, but it cooks and is always interesting. AArbor 

Virulent Specter – “Upon a Dead and Derelict Throne” – [Black Gangrene]

whngr   12/5/2020   12-inch, A Library

U.S.B.M. No-fidelity, no members, no fucks given. Tilling the frost kissed barren soil of our fathomless despair. The tinny drums buried below stand out perversely like a horrible secret that everyone knows but dare not speak. That snare that rings through the murky drone of trem-picked guitars and goblin shrieks. The scourge of divinity and the essence of antipathy.
Each side of this tremendous LP were originally released as two tapes compiled and released with great attention to detail by Black Gangrene. Unfortunately in direct contrast with my own attention to detail as the A side already exists in the our Library on cassette. Whatever, it still fucking punishes like a sadistic warlord prowling the battlefield for fallen enemies to drag back to camp.

More is known about this recondite but you won’t hear it from me… ’cause I’m not saying, but I will say this, the lone soul behind this recording embodies the kind of ethos that captured my interest in Black Metal back in the 90’s. One where every aspect of the project are envisioned and executed by a single person, and that person has total creative control and exists primarily in isolation. The song of the recluse.

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