Wednesday, 31 August 2011

SONIC ROUTER: Gorgons: Making Modern Sounds As Antiques

"I don’t want to think of it as merely casting a filter over something and calling it old or dirty. I want the reworking process of certain gestures to find a balance between what you exactly hear in your head while creating and the serendipitous events that occur to reach that sound or feeling you want a sound to impart."  Chris Vocchia - Gorgons

New interview by me with Chicago based ambient beatsmith Chris Vocchia, aka Gorgons is up on the Sonic Router site.

Over the last few weeks I've been chatting with Chris and getting deeper into the psyche of the mysterious producer responsible for the tracks I posted about in July. As in thrall to the ancient as he is the modern, this is a producer with depth. 


REVIEW: Evenings - Lately

Twilight descends once more, cast from the speakers in long drawn shadows, the light of the fading sun flickering across the room in its own . I've had the previous Evenings release, North Dorm ep on repeat since Nathan Broadus put it out last summer. It says a lot for the tenacity of the atmosphere he creates that I've been playing those five songs for ove a year and still haven't tired of them. It wouldn't be quite appropriate to say it's been a long wait because I've been so immersed in that release that I haven't really yearned for anything else from him, though often wondered how he would develop his sounds. This new release exceeds and confounds any expectations I had.  This has been out a couple of weeks now and has been subtly dominating my stereo.  Focussing on the ambient elements, losing the chillwave-comedown beats and bouyant patterns in favour of pure evocative vignettes, it is a romantic slowdance of an album that slowly bleeds into the darkest corners of consciousness inducing hypnagogic states and daydream paralysis.

gently winds up with a music-box introduction that sets the scene for that half-asleep fabricated memory nostalgia that H-Pop is famous for, yet presenting it with a clear-eyed production that still somehow manages to retain all that hazy mugginess and an intimacy that makes you want to get even closer into it, let all those bulging bass bubbles surround you, swim your prone body trance-like through the amniotic pulses.   There are snatches of vocals, beyond disembodied, barely human; a snatch of a laugh in Genève; in Lo-Vélo amongst the trembling melody they appear out the other side of elegent and ethereal, descending from an angelic plane, falling from the sky through the earth into a watery realm, through male and female, through refracted lights and colours; in [I] Softly We Go they are shapeshifted into avian coos; then the finale of [Lately] See You Soon brings in piano and a completely compressed voice that sounds like the softest pecussion to match the beautiful key note impact of padded hammer on string.

The track titles are all punctuated, accented, distorted and minimised. Not in a Witch House way, more of a Warp/Rephlex kind of abstracted yet almost meaningfully ambiguous fashion. It adds an aesthetic that worked well for Aphex Twin and it works here.  The track lengths are equally erractic, the brief //// an 8-second murmer betwen two 3-minute pieces, there's an 8-minute micro-epic that begins with the sounds of the sea.  It's actually a very rare and refreshing thing to see an artist capable of allowing the songs to develop and conclude within their own worlds; it suggests music dictated to the artist through the virtues of their own existance. Absolutely nothing of this album feels forced and that's a small but no means insignificant illustration of it.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

P.E.S.T – Black Metal Theory Symposium

New black metal symposium announced for Ireland in November on the Black Metal Theory blog.

"This Black Metal Theory Symposium invites speculations, commentaries, reflections, archivizations, reconceptualizations and interventions on pestilence, decay, plague, decomposition, putrefaction, rot, corpses, infestation, consumption, perversion, cannibalism, necrophilia, flesh, feeding, worms, insects, rats, rationalism, plants, ecology, swarms, maggots, fever, vampirism, waste ... among other things."
Full preview repost here:

P.E.S.T. (Philial Epidemic Strategy Tryst)

affirmation (acting as companion) of a non-survival-supporting life whose tentacles crack death open merely as a collective perversion, a philia, which progressively disterminalizes as the end of all becomings or the terminus ad quem of becomings; and is transmuted to a collapsing expanse exhumed, deflowered and scavenged by life (non-survivalist life: unlife), its netting, mazing and bonding philia: a space of becomings, so contagious and epidemic, which as Nick Land puts it, is a “Pest”, a “meltdown plague ... Death as a terminal expanse of coldness and a part of desiring-machine is messed up through the pestilential and wasteful (exorbitant) bonds of epidemic life (philia) which frantically composes new strategies of 'openness to everything' – by means of its ungrounding strategies, bonds of philia and affirmation – not merely openness as the plane of being open but rather being lacerated, cracked, butchered and laid open ... then, sewing and scavenging what have been opened through the bonds of philia and the interphyletic labyrinths of life through which becoming runs as a vermiculating, mazing machine or an engineer of labyrinthine inter-dimensionalities.
– Reza Negarestani “Death as a Perversion: Openness and Germinal Death”
 Christ on the cross appeared to me ... then summoned me to place my mouth to the wound in his side. It seemed to me that I saw and drank the blood, which was freshly flowing from his side … At times it seems to my soul that it enters into Christ’s side, and this is a source of great joy and delight. … [W]e washed the feet of the women and the hands of the men, and especially those of one of the lepers which were festering and in an advanced stage of decomposition. Then we drank the very water with which we had washed him. And the drink was so sweet that, all the way home, we tasted its sweetness and it was as if we had received Holy Communion.
– Angela of Foligno, Memorial
 To be this much in love is to be sick (and I love to be sick).
– Georges Bataille, The Impossible

Pest: any deadly epidemic disease; plague (now rare); anything destructive; any insect, fungus, etc that destroys cultivated plants; a troublesome person or thing. Pestilent: deadly; producing pestilence; hurtful to health and life; pernicious; mischievous, vexatious [Fr peste and pestilence, from L pestis, pestilential, related to perdo, to destroy, ruin, lose; cf. perditus, lost, ruined by love].

Black Metal and Theory meet in a place of mutual pestering, a dark star-crossed extra-section of their individual para-sites, a rendezvous for conspiratorial communication; unnatural and extra-natural participation. The pestilential bonding of the equally sick pair exposes and releases to the air an epidemic of openness, “not merely openness as the plane of being open but rather being lacerated, cracked, butchered and laid open” (Negarestani). Black Metal and Theory have proven to be mutually antagonistic, vexatious, and their conjoining has occasioned much annoyance on both sides: from fans of Black Metal and from ivory tower theorists. Black Metal Theory is a pest and Black Metal theorists are mischievous pesterers. It is little wonder, then, that Black Metal theory is para-academic, simultaneously beside, outside and inside the academy: “Meeting, communicating or touching the true pestilential bonds of Empedocles' philia or the contagious plateau of interphylum or epidemic openness, the resistance, any isolationist struggle, uncommunicative reaction or opposition to, remains unchanged (unmutated) becomes impossible (but appreciated as a strategy intensifying the mess, the waste of the process and engineering the exorbitant). Through the expanse of philia, everything should participate and participation has no end, nor beginning, nor horizon, nor a certain objective of participation. Infested by the epidemic (contagious and wasteful) bonds of philia, openness is triggered on all levels of its communicative lines but more on the plane of ‘being opened’ than ‘being open’ or ‘being open to’” (Negarestani, “Death as a Perversion”). Black Metal Theory perverts, infests, and invents strategies for philial deviation, cross-breeding philosophy with the love of black metal, mating orcs and elves.

Pester: to infest (archaic); annoy persistently. [Apparently from Ofr empestrer (FR empêtrer), to entangle, from L in in, and LL pāstōrium a foot-shackle, from L pāstus, pa p of pāscere to feed]

The space or plane where Black Metal and Theory feed upon each other and are shackled together is one of mutual pestering, a cascade of parasitisms where it is impossible to tell which is guest and which is host, to discern what is living and what is dead, what is natural and what is not. A philial epidemic strategy for the two-fold event of infestation necessitates a “pact with putrefaction”, the “moment of nucleation with nigredo” (Negarestani). Nothing beats the supreme intimacy of inter-laceration and mutual rot. It is the only way of being anywhere: “Infinite universe as silent as death / In this coffin I lay to rest” (Inquisition, “Astral Path to Supreme Majesties,” Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm).

Pestle: an instrument for pounding or grinding.

To find strategies, or schizotrategies, which would allow for the contagious tryst between Black Metal and theory, one needs to pound reason, to grind out a pestilential rationalism. “Intelligibility is the epiphenomenon of a necrophilic intimacy ... reason reanimates the dead rather than bestowing life upon it ... intelligibility is the reanimation of the dead according to an external agency. Reason grounds the universe not only on a necrophilic intimacy but also in conformity with an undead machine imbued with the chemistry of putrefaction and nigredo” (Negarestani). One strategy for grounding the mathesis of decay is the Etruscan torture ritual where a living man or woman was tied to a rotting corpse, “shackled to their rotting double” and “left to decay.” What the Etruscan practice demonstrates is that the decay which is normally associated with the outside is always already internal to the body, to the flesh. The binding of the putrefying corpse and the living body is a strategy for necrophilic intimacy. This necroeroticism also reveals that the living are always already-dead and that the dead are always-already reanimatable. Black Metal, which is often “characterized among its followers and opponents by its ambivalent relationship with death and decay to such an extent that it is often said that the only protagonists in Black Metal are festering corpses” (Negarestani and Masciandaro “Black Metal Commentary”), is in an ambivalently necromantic relationship, a philial relationship between the living and the dead. The strategic philial tryst between the immoderate commentator, “the one who loves thinking” and “the loved one (black metal)” (Nicola Masciandaro, “Anti-Cosmosis: Black Mahapralaya”) is necrological, an erotic rotting open of the object that exceeds the correlational parameters of exegesis and interpretation. “It is the ambivalent relationship of Black Metal with death that gives rise to the most criticized aspect of Black Metal, namely, necromanticism. As a part of vitalistic investment in death, necromanticism involves a liberalist or hedonistic openness toward death in the form of a simultaneously econonomical and libidinal synthesis between desire and death ... Black Metal can also be approached from a more twisted and colder intimacy with death, an impersonal realm where the already-dead finds its voice in the living” (Masciandaro and Negarestani). This twisted nest of relations is an inescapable yet reversible catena, a black chain of being or necrophilic link of perverse (non)relations: “Love (philia) in all its forms entangles openness with closure, and ultimately closure with the radical exteriority of the outside” (Reza Negarestani, Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials).

Parasite: an organism that lives in or on another living organism and derives subsistence from it without rendering it any service in return. 
Black Metal and Theory are parasites and sites of para-kinesis: para-sites. For Michel Serres parasitism is a nest of relations in a chain of feeding on, a perpetual or persistent movement where the host and guest make a good meal for the other. Serres’ parasitic relation reverses the usual notion of semiconduction, a unidirectional arrow where one thing feeds on another and gives nothing in return. It is a multi-vorous, vociferous exchange: a reciprocal interference.  Parasitism produces disharmony; it engineers noise in the system. Black Metal Theory as Philial Epidemic Strategy Tryst (P.E.S.T.) creates such a site for parasitic static, interference, black noise.

This Black Metal Theory Symposium invites speculations, commentaries, reflections, archivizations, reconceptualizations and interventions on pestilence, decay, plague, decomposition, putrefaction, rot, corpses, infestation, consumption, perversion, cannibalism, necrophilia, flesh, feeding, worms, insects, rats, rationalism, plants, ecology, swarms, maggots, fever, vampirism, waste ... among other things. “Let’s gather our contagious diseases and make love” (Negarestani, Cyclonopedia).

Keynote Speaker:
Reza Negarestani (via video link)

Live Acts:

Confirmed Participants:
Paul Ennis
Diarmuid Hester
Jan Los 
Nicola Masciandaro
Michael O’ Rourke
Zachary Price
Karin Sellberg
Steven Shakespeare
Aspasia Stephanou
Scott Wilson
Ben Woodard

Confirmed Artists:
Vincent Como

[Image: Vincent Como, Hexe 001. Carbon paper, graphite, and invocation on paper, from a series of 23 works based on ancient defixiones, or curse tablets.]

Friday, 26 August 2011

STREAM: Halls x Sun Glitters - Swan / There

The enigmatic London based electronic producer Halls releases new jams alongside Sun Glitters, and the two remix each other. World spins slightly slower at a more distant angle. Light refracts softly, time locks in a disembodied loop of your own inner experience.  Beyond lush.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

DOWNLOAD: //TENSE// - Pleasure Games

It's late, more than half cut, this is making a lot of sense. //TENSE// always tends to, but at the time of writing, it really does. Just let that throb dig deep into you.  Like they say: "Drank a few beers. Got all sexy."

VIDEO: German Army - Pulling Lashes

Vide to illustrate the proto gunk crunk German Army track Pulling Lashes, produced by Moduli TV.  Taken from the DryR ep out now on Amdiscs:


Monday, 22 August 2011


weekly listening, a day late than normal  but no less pointless profound  pointless profound 

DiS thread

01. Robel Synthesia - 52
02. The Weeknd - 42
03. Code Pie - 40
04. Evenings - 38
05. Roll The Dice - 31
06. GuMMy†Be▲R! - 26
07. Jon Porras - 24
08. Field Dress - 22
09. Monsters Build Mean Robots - 15
10. Luke Abbott - 14
10. In the Shadow of the Mountain - 14

1 – Better than his first release earlier this summer. Updated chillwave. It's very nice indeed, and totally randomly has a song with a rainforest/jungle noises sample that is the exact same one that my baby's monkey alarm clock has.

2 – new mixtape/album is excellent. Full of great moments, phrasing, samples, soul and attitude. Kid could go far, whoever he/it/they/she is.

3 – Terrible name but good colourful pop music from Montreal.

4 – Not sure why this hasn;t registered more plays, it;s all I'm listenign to. Maybe the ipod's inconsistent scrobbling is to blame. Essential bedtime listening, totally dreamy. Lost a lot of the bouncy beats from last year's North Dorm ep, focussing heavily on the hypnagogic pop soporifics.

5 – An awesome band.

6 – New Ep about to be released on Disaro. His strongest yet for me, even bette than the Spectral Analysis ep.

7 – Undercurrent on Root Strata. Mesmerising.

8 – Crazy technicolour psych garage noise pop blow out. I think they literally threw everything the had at the wall and taped the results.

9 – I've been waiting 5 years for their second album, and they've finally dropped it: WeShouldHaveDestroyedOurGeneralsNotTheirEnemies. It's post-rock, if you couldn't tell from that title. And Lo it is good.

10a – Holcomb Drones. Up there with the Andy Stott album for electronic album of the year?

10b – Animal Collective / Deerhunter psych dream pop. Played it the last couple of mornings so not really got the chance hear it properly.


REVIEW: Monsters Build Mean Robots - We Should Have Destroyed Our Generals And Not Their Enemies

Self released on their own Nice Weather for Airstrikes label, Monsters Build Mean Robots have finally put out their long-anticipated follow up to their 2008 self-titled debut - number 5 in my albums of the year when it emerged not long after they did, a collection of subliminally arresting electronic post-rock tracks with a dark edge of political confrontation that focussed on global Government's warcraft.  On this second album their titular and lyrical leanings are still well into the left but this time they include materialism and a more personal existentialism across the five tracks.  As well as embellishing their vocal potency they have also changed their musical outlook considerably.  In their new incarnation there are no longer moments of sparse ambient flicker and glitch to build and direct the tensions and emotions, instead where it was once sounds sourced from the databanks of Leaf, Warp, and Kompakt, ambient signifiers that glowed throughout the tracks, here all that psychic energy is channelled through the sheer rapturous power of the guitar with reference to bands like Sigur Ros, Explosions In The Sky, and Arcade Fire.

The album features all the prominent post-rock landmarks you could need (exhaustive title included) and embellishes them with instinctive structures in miniaturised forms. No 10 minute + slow growing epics, just mini ones, bottled into pop songs.  Glockenspiel fills ripple up the soaring crescendos of Song for the Generals; the progress of Lament 77 is interspersed with detailed vocal nuances, spaces in the walls of guitars where inflections and backing can slip through. The composition of the songs is assured and confident which gives the band an air of authority important if your key lyrical stock is chastising those in power and standing up  as spokesperson for the disenfranchised.  Spearheading the band is the voice and guitar of Pete Lambrou - whichever update of Post.Rock.V.XX we're up to now, he's at the forefront of it, putting on bands around the South and fronting both MBMR and the more rock-centric Last Days of Lorca.  When he suggests that you burn down your home, in Psalm 57, you're inclined to take his lead and go through with it.  He's got a real lived-in sounding set of chords, got a bit of fire to his falsetto that sets him apart from the Jonsi's and Bellamy's of the world although he is capable of layering on the dreaminess and hollering up a bit of bombast when it suits, and more importantly, where it fits. Again: composition is the keystone to this album's success.

We Should Have Destroyed Our Generals And Not Their Enemies is being officially launched with a free-entry party is TONIGHT! at the Druids Arms, Brighton.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

DOWNLOAD: Elvis Depressedly - Selfless Violence (Self-Released)

Deep black trance from Los Angeles with a Bandcamp page header that simply says DEATH 2 AMERICA.  The sombre tones of the music suggest she already died with this the soundtrack to the wake.

Recorded straight to tape then upped to the internet, there's a definite bedroom quality to these five pieces. Completely murky and garbled lo-fi productions, that peak into the muddied red on the final track Life Sentence, is an aesthetic that's been driven into the ground, yet it's still consistently compelling when it's used to swamp out good ideas and here,despite the unsophisticated equipment and sounds involved, things becomes all the more emotionally arresting because of the wounded nature of the recordings.

Opener Bummer Dreams starts off in muted coruscating form, then quickly pans out to a softer, choral vocal loop with a more melodic drift than it initially suggested. Boy Satan swirls about in holotropic eddies that wash over each other threatening to capsize the progression of the track with a grace approaching euphoria when compared to the weaker title track which is the least developed and thinnest sounding of all the pieces. Turn Blue redresses things by washing back out of the speakers in elegant form, then on again to the soupy murk of the closing track.

Very promising, if indeed there is more to come at all, which with a project like this could easily go either way by running over with improvisations or dry up and reform in another project. 

Oh yeah, and that name. It's not Com Truise or Back Stabbath, but I like it.

DOWNLOAD from the Bandcamp

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

VIDEO: Wooden Shjips - Black Smoke Rise

Colour me psyched about seeing Wooden Shjips at End of the Road festival in a couple of weeks.  A band that really makes more sense live - by virtue of smashing your own senses into fractal shards of blues rock repetition.

VIDEO: White Hills - Paradise

A mighty wall of synapse collapsing sound meets...and ipod advert vs some plastic dragons.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

REVIEW: Liquid Skulls - In Lungs (Self-Released)

In Lungs in the third self-released album from Memphis based soporific ambient folk band Liquid Skulls. Woven from skeins of deeply haunting material, this record manages to be even more intricate and delicate than March's gossamer Dead In Yr Eyes.  Extending my interpretations of the sounds I described in my post on that previous release, their quicksilver sound is hard to define, occupying a blurred landscape constructed in some twilight netherworld beween the ambiance of Grouper's deer dragging and Appalachian wyrd folk song structures - less campfire, more swampfire - a boggy and murky veil obscuring a comforting soul-warming centre.

All free downloads are now sold out but you can still pick this up for just $5 from their Bandcamp.

Monday, 15 August 2011


New video and track from the ever excellent Asian Women On The Telephone in which the band dredge up tranced out chains of dungeon clank and cackle.  The video collages together hellish visions and live footage to illustrate this somewhat more demonic slab of industrial drone.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


weekly listening statistics. exciting!


keepong it statted to the max for your best line in Sunday entertainment >>>
01. Liquid Skulls - 52
02. AK/DK - 41
03. Book of Sand - 36
04. Craft - 30
05. Sam Amidon - 23
06. Roll The Dice - 22
07. Wild Nothing - 17
08. Peaking Lights - 16
09. Barn Owl - 12
09. Stag Hare - 12

1 – New album released this month that beautifully develops, enhances and refines their ambient folk drone songwriting.

2 – Brighton drum/synth 2 piece released their debut cassette last week. I wrote something:

3 – Phenomenal – but subtly so – blend of drone, ambient and black metal. Vaguely similar to Nadja or The Angelic Process crossed with someone like Jon Porras.

4 – Swedish black & roll of the highest/nastiest order. It's not that high actually, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. My kind of fun music anyway

5 – Looking forward to seeing him at End of the Road

6 – Going to interview this band soon, just started listening to the album. All very interesting.

7 – Heard he/they're not so great live, but still, another EOTR excite.

8 – It's possible I play this too much, but at least one play a week for the last 8 months hasn't taken the edge of it at all.

9a – Love Shadowland.

9b – New album is immense, 4 huge tracks of involving biotrance:

Track of the week:

Hmm.. why not:

Friday, 12 August 2011

PREVIEW: Sounds from the Brighton Underground: Hereharehere, Bad Orb, Hobo Sonn, Blood Stereo, Bolide Splinter Group

Sounds from the Brighton Underground
Cafe Oto, London

Saturday 20 August 2011

Doors: 8pm
Tickets: £6 advance / £7 on the door

A one night showcase of some of the main artists involved in Brighton's closely knit post-Noise weirdo-improv scene.


Robin Dickinson (who also performs solo electronics as Slow Listener) and Melanie Potter perform no-fi a'cappella vocal improv rituals.


Bad Orb is the solo project of Sarah Albury (Polly Shang Kuan Band, Jettatura) whose audio-visual work lies in the blurry area between fact and fiction.

Bad Orb on Facebook


Solo joint of Ian Murphy (Gryn Brvs), uses a single sound source and dissolves it into the finest hiss and crackle.


Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance create thick, psychedelic audio-mulch with tapes, throats and objects.

"Blood Stereo... explores hand-cranked 20th century technology in combination with epiglottal gymnastics and free music modes inherited as much from punk rock's mutilated aesthetic as utopian art styles." David Keenan

Blood Stereo on Myspace
Dylan Nyoukis on Ubuweb


Members of guerilla-Improv unit, Bolide, (Daniel Spicer, F. Ampism, Tom Roberts, Lewis Major) performing a free-style electro-acoustic jam with Dylan Nyoukis and Ian Murphy.

Bolide website

Thursday, 11 August 2011

VIDEO / REVIEW: AK/DK - Dispatch #1

Firstly, viddy yrselves blind on this hallucinatory stroboscopic video for the first physical release from Brighton based Drum/Synth/FX improv duo AK/DK  Stand well back from this, here's a band that's about to go off!  Seriously though, this is exciting. Imagine a stripped back Battles, Lightning Bolt with synth, DFA 1979...with synth, Holy Fuck with....out a couple of members?  No guitars, just pulsing, oscillating, pumping, glitching, sweeping chaos propelled by a loose limbed beat frenzy.  They have a regular visual expert with them at their gigs to capture and refract the stage chaos, the effect of which is replicated in this video. Disorientating. 

The single is titled Dispatch #1 and comes on tape. Six tracks of what I described up there. their huge stage improv blow-outs condensed, but not tamed, into bite sized pop hits in waiting.  In their words: synthpunknoisecrunk.

The cassette comes in a run of 250 hand numbered copies in either Red, Blue, Green and Yellow, and each has a coloured case. Each cassette comes with a digital download, so it doesn't matter if you don't have a tape machine anymore!  But you should.  Order it HERE

Here's a monolithic forty minute slab of technicolour noise from their Soundcloud:

  AK/DK at Concorde2 Sept 2010 by AK/DK

Catch them on stage on 16th September at The Hope, Brighton town.

Hit 'em up everywhere:

VIDEO: Roll The Dice - In Dust

Roll the Dice trail their forthcoming album In Dust, with a teaser video directed by Frode Fjerdingstad featuring words written by Rory Gibb ( DiS / Sonic Router / Always Everything ) narrated by the gravel voiced Paul Bolderson and backed by some cinematic granite heavy drone from the duo.  The result is a cross between Godspeed and a gritty Western, coupled with the visuals that illustrate and reinforce both those comparisons again.

The album is released on 12th September. Preorder at the Leaf Label HERE

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

DOWNLOAD: ĸŋüłł - Jesus Summer Camp

Jesus Summer Camp


Discordant metalicised guitar drone and freak vibes from this Russian outfit.  Another band in the line of people heading out of the tundra deep into ever more expansive terrains of infinitely expanding tone loops and riff cycles - think Twilight Owls, Mpala Garoo, Sunbells Fenimore, Asian Women On The Telephone.

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

DOWNLOAD: Sad Souls - Precious Paragons (Self-Released)

Sad Souls
Precious Paragons

Second release this year from Tom Autey's Ann Arbor, MI based ambient-folk solo-outfit Sad Souls Following January's Forest Loops, Precious Paragons starts off at a more Primitive folk angle, lonesome, wistful, melancholic then moves towards a rawer, rugged-trail form of feral and full of the gnarled vigour that instills. The success of this release rests on the contrasts: Just after the tumbling flutey centre of New Skyboxthere's a cover of Nico's These Days which is every bit as brittle and doomed romantic as the original, stripped even further back towards an ethereal minimalism. The two final tracks, Bull Men and Elf Ears combine the initial influences of Nick Drake and John Fahey and drop things off on the dust kicking route it began on.  Very lovely indeed.

He also records even dreamier pieces under the name Cerulean Tapes

VIDEO / DOWNLOAD: Blissed Out - Drones (Ritualz Remix)

Where did witch house go?  It just ate itself and regurgitated it into an pulse quickening collaboration with neon aacid vomit visuals.  Gnarly retro-active blog music from the blistered fingertips of Blissed Out given a relentless rescrub by dark artisan Ritualz

Download from the Soundcloud or from Mediafire if that's all gone (which it probably has at the time of writing).

Monday, 8 August 2011

REVIEW: Honeydrum - Pleasures of the Sun (AmDiscs)

Pleasures of the Sun

That cover art should clue you in to the sounds of Honeydrum: a romantic clinch, mid waltz, blurred out of focus, shaking with both emotional tension, erotic release and the furtive hand of the voyeristic cameraman.  This six track album develops the band from their seven previous eps into a proposition less fierce than the likes of Ghost Animal, less murky than the handful of Beach Fossil bands yet muddier that the clear-eyed Wild Nothings, Honeydrum have a sound that is definitely of the now, with a distinct feel and tone that sets them out from their peers - in their own words; "Atmospheric mall jams". The way they shuffle their feet and hunch their shoulders gives them the air of a slouchier, grouchier Blank Dogs - by now you're getting into the references - a mix of John Hughes and John Waters films. Heavy 80's hangover.

You can download it for free, so you should probably just do that right now:  Digital version out now on the band's BANDCAMP.  Cassettes available from 15th August to order HERE

Thursday, 4 August 2011

ALBUM PREVIEW: Gimu - Crestfallen (Children Play Records)

(Children Play Records)

I wrote about Brazillian drone artist Gimu in June when he released The Sacred and heaped praise upon the marbled shades of its granite drone.  This new album is no different; Crestfallen is three fantastic pieces of piano bathed in mithril ambience.  Stream the full album via Gimu's Soundcloud and order from ChildrenPlay Records now.

Part 1:

Part 2

Part 3:

Review: Hateful Abandon - Move (Todestrieb)

Released on Ipswich based black/dark metal/industrial label Todestrieb Move is the follow-up to 2008's Lungs which saw the duo of Swine and V/M drop the harsh black metal noise of their debut Neverending Black Torrent of Death (released under the name Abandon) in favour of cleaner guitar tones channelled from a new-wave, dark-pop and post-punk perspective. Heavily shaded by the shapes thrown by the likes of Dead Can Dance, The Cure, and Joy Division it almost annihilated their existing audience of knuckle dragging metalhead noiseniks and cast them somewhat adrift of definable categorisation.  The definition of Hateful Abandon as a musical entity, and their position in regards to any kind of historical lineage or current scene is something mainman Mart Brindley (aka Vintyr) explained in assertive no uncertain terms when I sent him some questions for their inclusion in the UK Black Metal Week feature on the blog in December. Read that interview here.

Simply put, this band stand alone.

There's little trace of black metal left on this new album, and other than the vocals which can peak out into hoarse roars there's very little Metal here at all; there's more similarity to current band like The Horrors or Cold cave here than any of the recent strains of black metal bands.  Yet despite that it is one of of the most violent, angry, aggressive and imposing albums to have crushed the air from my speakers in a long while. It's not about defining or submitting to genre tropes to aid the listener in understanding the themes of the record, instead it is all in the vocal delivery, the atmosphere that overrides all the instruments contributing to it. A heavy Swans atmosphere hangs over the record a well

The rise and fall of intertwined guitar/piano crescendos in Human Clockwork is like something from latter day Mogwai (and someone else can tell me the precursor to them).  Overlapping doomy chug of bass in Copper Foundation overlaid by scrabbling guitar lines and alternate rasped and glowering vocal.
Huge throbbing momentum of Poundland that sucks up distorted debris and sonic carnage from the earth scorched by its approach. Has Godflesh written all over, shakes off the comparison, stamps a boot into its face then elevates out of the claustrophobia by adding an echoing choral chant into the final moments. The final track Lost is another of the album highlights, digging in to another emotive key lead finale that loops over into cathartic oblivion, retaining the hostility of the rest of the album, easing it out through a fading coda until there is nothing left.

The musicianship and song structuring in the album is phenomenal, the relentless procession of ideas is as intense as the music itself.  A total experience.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

LIVE VIDEO: Pseudo Nippon Acoustic Live in the Strawditorium

Pseudo Nippon, live, with no power.  But so much.  As the man says:

"we no muscle beef egg band all the time, we like yoghurt and berries and do folk too xx



VIDEO: Deekie - The Wedding Song

Really densely colour-warped, maxxed out super8 high-gain grainy clip for London based psych-drone duo Deekie's The Wedding Song, lifted from the Brickenden EP, which I wrote about here, and still available for naught over here:

Visit the deekie blog at

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

REVIEW: Stag Hare - Spirit Canoes (Inner Islands / Hands In The Dark)

New release from Utah, US based solo-voyaging bio-trance project Stag Hare, available on mixed colour 12" (including d/l) from Inner Islands and limited edition 50 digipack & poster CD run from Hands In The Dark

Arriving at the same time as the Gkfoes Vjgoaf album Spirit Canoes on the same label, this is another release that continues to exemplify Inner Islands as a force to reckoned with - the power of Mother Nature herself.  Stag Hare's music is as equally infused with the sounds and resonances of the natural world as Gkfoes, and on Spirit Canoes he is trying to channel as much as she can through her music along the same transcendent plane.  Composed of four long pieces of deeply hypnotic tranquility floated out over beats drawn from deep earthy tones, Stag Hare loses himself in directing the listener on a tour of the natural forces of the Earth, the vibe getting super heavy out there in the wilderness, bringing hypnotic tides of rhythm and drone crashing right over your head, threatening to wash you away with its flow.

Can't get enough of this biosphere meditative trance at the moment, and the summer is the best time for it - lying out under the evening sky, watching as the music slowly pull the stars out of hiding.

VIDEO: Turbowolf - A Rose For The Crows

Classic rock powered up to '11 with a vintage video style to go with it, this is a brand new clip from Bristol's hard rock heroes TurbowolfA Rose For The Crows is the first single from the debut self-titled album Turbowolf, to be released on the tidily numbered 11/11/11 through Hassle Records. Too awesome, as always. Too long to wait for that full length.

Monday, 1 August 2011

REVIEW: Gkfoes Vjgoaf - Nature Eternal Striving (Inner Islands)

Gkfoes Vjgoaf
Nature Eternal Striving
(Inner Islands)

Sean Conrad is an exploratory sort of person.  He is physically well travelled, having moved round the US and now residing in New Zealand, though his camp there is an equally nomadic one. His previous release as Gkfoes Vjgoaf, Glacial Ways found him take tentative steps towards the water's edge of a new sound - the element itself; Water.  With titles that involve the words River, Mist, Clouds and Snow the main influence for Nature Eternal Striving is explicitly liquid and the album immediately starts with the gentle sway and rocking that echoes the waves and tides and continues to expound on the theme throughout. This new record comes with one of Sean's more insightful introductions which explains his disinterest in water and the fact he hasn't even been swimming for five years, then explains his realisation of it's importance to him and a new found connection to it.  The music of Gkfoes has always been elementally obsessed, starting off with forest forays and campfire rounds ripened in the pine scented backwoods of his home state of California, albums strewn with birdsong and wind rustling leaves, tracks embellished with the sounds of the ambient nature around him.  Now living in one of the wettest regions on Earth he has begun producing music that is in thrall to the rhythms and textures that make up seventy percent of the world's surface and the insides of our bodies.

On Nature Eternal Striving Sean has filled his sound out just that little bit much more and created his most cohesive and wholly consuming record to date. What he achieves is one of those masterly atmospheres that is not so easy to describe, yet so easy to sink into and be transported along with. Its apparent simplicity belies it's complex psychological effect and musical construction; a harmonising of alertness and deep slow breathing trance that will almost flat line your heart-rate with tracks like the 17 minute River Friends and closing Temple Of Snow.  This is drone music with a lot of movement. There's a shimmering post-rock ambience to the way his use of repetition is pushed to subliminally affecting, physically arresting purposes, teasing out endlessly looping refrains of majestic beauty.  This is new age trance music in the vein of White Rainbow's Prism Of Eternal Now without the ironic knowingness of what it's attempting, nor any of the crudity of someone like Dolphins Into The Future (though Ka Ala Ke Kua does convincingly refutes that).

In a harsh critical sense this could be viewed as practical, utility, flotation tank music, but that view would overlook the depth and sheer talent of the musicianship that enhance the album through the intangible elements of quiet euphoria that have always been there in his work. On ...Striving Sean has made these elements more pronounced whilst simultaneously immersing them into the body of the tracks with a more finessed subtlety that makes them much more consciously apparent, creating a coherent, transcendent, yet still elusive album that is always ahead of the listener, leading the mind into over-abundant landscapes of sonic fauna and flora.

Nature Eternal Striving
is released on 12th August by Inner Islands and is available to order now. Comes on multicoloured 12" vinyl in a double gatefold sleeve, with digital download.

Here's the final track from the album; The Temple In Snow:

PREVIEW: The Outer Church 11th August: Strange Aeons with Ensemble Economique, High Wolf & The Wyrding Module

Preview repost plagiarised straight from The Outer Church itself, except to say from me to repeat in case you don't notice....

High Wolf everybody!  HIGH WOLF IS COMING TO TOWN!!!!!! >>>

As ever, The Outer Church brings you a line-up notable for its consistency and immersive potential, complementary layers of sound and vision offering a portal beyond the mundane. It's not just a gig... it's The Outer Church.

Starving Weirdo Brian Pyle presents a live performance in his solo guise as Ensemble Economique, touching on contemporary composition, electronic soundtracks and troubled drift. Last year's Psychical (Not Not Fun) drew plaudits from all quarters, and his forthcoming album for Dekorder is set to build on that album's uncanny success.

A modern psychedelic phenomenon, High Wolf - otherwise known as Max - has recorded for Winged Sun,

Not Not Fun, Moamoo and Holy Mountain and collaborated with Astral Social Club on the Iibiis Rooge project. Prepare for a dizzying demonstration of Pyramidal Meditation.

The Wyrding Module is a solo project from paramusician Christopher Gladwin, one half of Team Doyobi (Skam, ICASEA). The psychotronic sounds of the Module are inspired by Kosmische Musik, mantra-rock, post-industrial ambience and the occult.

The Wyrding Module Live @ Fuel 2 (mp3)

Visual Hex by James R Moore aka Black Mountain Transmitter