Monday, November 29, 2010

Silver Bullets - Free Radical

Stunned, 2009

One of the best psych-rock neo-kraut knockers of the past couple years. Way into the Faust's "Krautrock"/ Neu!/ ur-Vibracathedral boogie-beat ad infinitum trance style. Way better than their recent release on Stunned, too.


Edgar Froese - Aqua

Brain, 1974

Hidden synth gem from the golden era, from the heavy-mustached Tangerine Dream founding member. From just before Phaedra, so you kind of know what to expect. Sequenced analogues, mellotron, dreams of futuristic oceanic habitats, the mysteries within the Earth itself.


Dire Wolves - Jams And The Giant Peace

Stunned, 2010

Totally zoned-in kraut/free jams from the band with both a great name and an even more awesome album title. Grooves in the vein of Magic Lantern/ Eternal Tapestry (spec. way better than Eternal Tapestry, and not as epic as Magic Lantern) with that kind of wonderful Stunned tru-lazy stoned living room just-made-for-the-hell-of-it vibe. One of the most vibrant of their crazy psychedelic rainbow collage covers too. Rocks.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Klaus Schulze - Timewind

Brain, 1975

One of my personal favorites (along with the classic debut Irrlicht) of Klaus Schulze's early kosmische synth works, this was also his first as far as I know (and thus one of the first albums ever) to use a sequencer. What you have is a nacent, minimal dark version of the old orchestral sound heard on classic Tangerine Dream albums like Phædra and Zeit. There's a certain kind of unrepeatable majesty to what these artists were doing back then, something about early digital vhs effects, massive synthesizers, orchestral training, virtuoso keyboard playing, and cosmic themes, that no amount of modern mimicry can recreate.


Outer Limits Recordings - I Need My T.V./ Julie 7"s

Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010

Outer Limits Recordings is the current main project of Sam Meringue, of Explorers/Matrix Metals/Yoga fame. A far cry from the first incarnation of Outer Limits Recordings, the less rotten-supermarket back alley graffiti and more surreal Vegas strip nightlife version of James Ferraro's Lamborghini Crystal seen in Foxy Baby, this is less post-Skaters 70s-90s metacultural archetypes and more accessible freak pop in the vein of Ariel Pink or R. Stevie Moore. While I would have thought I was more inclined for his more instrumental, submerged sounds, this is just too fucking great a combination of weird & catchy, like painful, infectious catchy. Not to mention every instrument Meringue touches still turns to golden magickal tools of TV-god invocation. What makes matters even better is that he created videos for all the tracks from both 7"s (and check out his youtube channel for more). Oh how I love this man. IMO both 7"s are great, but the shit really gets magical with Julie b/w Plastik Child


"you don't have to kill just to be happy"

CoH - Love Uncut

Eskaton, 2000

CoH, the Russian word son for "sound" (or according to most sources, just the Latin letters COH), is the electronic "post-pop" project of one Ivan Pavlov, a Sweden-inhabiting Russian ex-pat. A major collaboration with members of COIL, and released on one of their house labels, this 4-track EP bridges the gap between the borderlands of academic electroacoustic/noise music given on labels like Mego and Touch and COIL's purely magickal sonics. Reminds heavily of Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil-era COIL, choice cuts include Steven Thrower's positively alien digital invocations on "Prayer For Russell," and Jhonn Balance's drugged-out psych-ward screams on "Health And Deficiency: Love's Septic Domain," referencing the only other track (eponymous "Love's Secret Domain") where he is really this far out in the self-induced madness of magickal possession. CoH is glorious in his ability to imbue heavy digital electronics from the fringe with the deep warm ichor and stink of the human soul, a tact rarely seen outside of COIL.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Aeoga - Coav

Aural Hypnox, 2004

"To exhaust mind and body in order to obtain a condition of non-consciousness and thus receive, realize and create material based on both primal and absent vision."

Spare-ian scryings of the inner orb through dark absorption of excitatory states. One of the most shamanic outings of the Helixes Collective.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sean McCann - Fable Shop

Cylindrical Habitat Modules, 2010

The McCann Man gets real subtle on this one, with buried subconscious tones and melodies covered in lantern dust, various bells and whistles not of this age, invoking antiquarian surreal spaces. The kind of delicate touch with guitar-based drone manifestation rarely seen outside of Stars Of The Lid. Once again demonstrating he's a pro.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prince Rama - Shadow Temple

Paw Tracks, 2010

Normally bands which look like this (Indian Jewelry, Pocahaunted) get on my nerves. But somehow these crystal clutching weirdo youths stumbled upon a crazy awesome sound. It's like a Hindu-mantra-themed minimal synth Master Musicians of Bukkake, with Gang Gang Dance/ subverted Lisa Gerrard vocals. Mantras and Vaishnava holy music given the intensity of the American psych underground, drummed ad infinitum to the sound of lightning and kraut-synth flourishes.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vikki Jackman - Of Beauty Reminiscing

Faraway Press, 2007

Lonely, minimal, and nostalgic piano ambience from wife of David Jackman (Organum) and collaborator with Andrew Chalk, appearing on his Goldfall album. Carries the same kind of pale, eroded haze of subconscious acoustic memory as Chalk's best work solo and with Mirror, etc. Pure beauty.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Svarte Greiner - Penpals Forever (And Ever)

Digitalis, 2010

Revamped and reimagined version of the Penpals Forever cassette previously released on Digitalis. First side is remastered pieces of the original tape, second side is entirely new. Brighter and more technical than the original, but still the kind of subdued horror/depressive noise/ dark ambience you'd expect from his post-Knive work.


Burial Hex - Fantasma Di Perarolo

Brave Mysteries, 2010

Pinnacled death invocations and ghost inhabitances recorded high in the Italian alps on a 300 year old possessed organ. It must remind of Soriah's seminal Chao Organica in A Minor, another piece of deep pipe organ improvisation diverted away from the gaze of god, towards misty shadows and the demonic majesty beneath. Hail his majesty of the blood vial.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Naked On The Vague - Poltergeist Palm 7"

Skulltones, 2008

Though the duo is sometimes on the edge of "ooh look at us we're Australia's weirdest band look at how weird we are," there's thankfully nothing like that going on here. This is more on the side of tastefully edgy (well to these tastes at least) than willfully opaque and excessive art punk. Haunting urgoth post-punk industrialist moves, sounds worthy of both Siltbreeze's most angular, some kind of Sacred Bones underground side, or way back on Broken Flag during Mundy's Toll project. Thus on like-minded Skulltones. Haven't heard much else like this from the pair, it's a solid shortie for this kind of sound.


Ain Soph - Kshatriya

Misty Circles, 1988

Esoteric ritual musick from the legendary ltalian group's most fertile era. Hallmark of classic ritual pseudo-industrial work ala old Sigillum S, Zero Kama, and Capricorni Pneumatici. Neoclassical in intent, these are mysterious chorales for the monad, hymnals to pan and other Thelemic currents. Minimal operatic female voice, organ, chant, subtle electronic hums. Bow down in praise to the flash of light that is the guitar/overloaded tone in "Monsalvata" for it is the light of the throne of the ruler of the world.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lovesliescrushing - CRWTH (Chorus Redux)

Line, 2010

A reworking and rearrangement of the classic-but-hidden shoegaze act's seminal Chorus album, composed entirely of treated voice. Deeply subtle, ethereal and way above the fold, plenty worthy of a modern big-deal experimental/ambient label like Line. Makes you wonder why the original was so prone to disappear, but Projekt with its ugly lack of quality control seemed to have a way with burying its good artists in dust. Emotive, hazy surrealism like the best moments of Grouper, only it's a bit more of a baroque, levitated chorus, with the ornamental polish and ice-dusting of digital electronics, both old and new. There's vastly more to behold in sounds like these than the next new flavorless laptop guitar album.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Youngsbower - Relayer

VHF, 2004

Collaborative project between Matthew Bower (Skullflower, Sunroof! etc.) and Richard Youngs. Sound is the closest thing to the videogame electro-kraut seen on Sunroof!'s Cloudz, though much more shiny and polished. Some of the overtone guitar warp seen on Bliss shows up as well. Youngs' vocals are nowhere to be found which is great because for some reason his voice really gets on my nerves. What he instead brings is a shiny electro-acoustic flourish and looped & layered cascades upon cascades of banjo and other acoustic touches. The album is probably best summed up by the third (and best) track's name: "Iridescent Hoedown." Get on down.


Our Love Will Destroy The World - Stillborn Plague Angels

Dekorder, 2009

Fried space metal and blackened void-scryings from Campbell Kneale's newer solo project. Really moving further and further into his version of darkside Matt Bower with this work. Negative bliss.


Zaika - Live At The Church Of The Friendly Ghost

(no cover art found, sorry)

Yod Tapes, 2008

Zaika is the psychically intermingled duo of Tom Carter (Charalambides) and Marcia Bassett (Zaïmph, GHQ, Double Leopards, Hototogisu). What they make is the kind of perfect tuning-in psych droneout that you'd expect from each other's solo work. A really full sound of pedal-sustained feedback modes. Pure electricity.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birchville Cat Motel - Four Freckle Constellation

Conspiracy, 2008

One of Kneale's last albums under the BCM moniker until he changed to the (vastly more appropriate, imo) Our Love Will Destroy The World. Moves into more complex and thought-out compositional territory than the usual maximal/minimal layering technique. Not as shining-sword black metal as tracks like "Chi Vampire" or the pre-eponymous "Our Love Will Destroy The World" or releases like Bird Sister Blasphemy but there are some doom-drone moments reminiscent of his Black Boned Angel project. Everything is still soaked in that practiced satori assault of high pitched tones that break your mind and make you do things like hear the overtones in refrigerators and air conditioners as glorious zen musick. Distinct lack of those forward-carrying rock drums & riffs he sometimes uses too. One of his most composerly offerings for sure.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Dimension Of Music

Master Musicians Of Bukkake - Totem Two

Important Records, 2010

The follow-up to their 2009 opus Totem One moves into deeper, darker territory. Less gamelan, less rocking out but far more focus on orchestration and intensity of drone ritual. Phenomenally powerful atmospheres and transformations, in "Bardo Chonyid/ Master Of All Visible Shapes" a super-heavy orchestra of percussion, massive horns made of bone, and doom-drone feedback announce the arrive of the thousand-headed god of gods, his light then cascading in shimmers of raga guitar upon a mountain-sized temple throne infested with jungle. "Perde Kadirma" is a ceremonial feast of ney, baglama, and heavy drums recorded in Turkey performed with an improvisational flourish I haven't really seen outside of peak Don Cherry/Trilok Gurtu work (see next post). "The Heresy of Origen" is a Biblical epic of organ, harmonium, and synth in a sort of Klaus Schulze/ old Tangerine Dream mode fit for scenes of massive exodus and tribulation. "Coincidental Oppositorium" continues the semi-orchestral vibes with a cinematic and emotional string + brass piece, themes for the miracles and mysteries found on the desert voyage. "The Crystal Reformation" psychs out in a kind of short Sunroof!/Skaters drone freakout. "Patmos" ends the album with a glorious full-band piece with vocal harmonies above an uplifting string orchestrale, in a sort of sacred upward movement similar to some of Popol Vuh's most sheerly beautiful moments. Kind of like the way sunnO))) ended Monoliths & Dimensions with the uplifting "Alice." I want to kind of go on parade saying these guys are now my favorite band, but they really gotta change their name before I can do that :P


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuluum Shimmering - Ascent To The Spirit House

Short but powerful tape of melted tropical-shaman-themed bliss & jam, from a UK-based former Housecraft/ Cloud Valley mainstay. Only heard two tapes of this guy but it is wickedly solid work, good as (and in the same general stylistic vein as) Sean McCann or Xiphiidae. Great sleeve art on all his stuff too. No info on label/year.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bear Bones, Lay Low - Vallée De Dith

(K-RAA-K)³, 2009

Been getting way into the Belgian sound recently; Silvester Anfang/ Sylvester Anfang II, Ignatz, this and the whole (K-RAA-K)³ nexus. Not to forget Dolphins Into The Future and the ilk too, but new new age synth stuff has been in the background to the rough & tumble psych rockers the last few days. Guys sure know how to jam for such a notoriously underwhelming country (from what I can tell the rumors are unsubstantiated and just a product of mainline Brit arrogance). Actually a few countries known for little great contemporary music, i.e. France, have demonstrated sublime underground acts recently (well maybe just Natural Snow Buildings). Nothing of course like the constant stream of material pouring out of the US and UK. And Belgium did have Front 242 (shuddup they count for me). Anyways who cares about port of origin, these are some solid psych-drone tunes with a kind of tack that's somewhere between really stoned Neu! tracks and Steven R. Smith. Some Sunroof!-style sunshine arpeggios here as well. A lovely mind-bender.


Re-Ups, etc.

More fixed uploads, re-upped and tested, links updated in the original posts too. BJ Nilsen himself requested that I take his Invisible Cities down, as much as this kind of thing irritates me I have to oblige, as well Defeat disappeared off mediafire without any such request, so I deleted the post. Apologies but I would not enjoy this blog being shut down, not in the least.

Irr. App. (Ext.) - Dust Pincher Appliances
(apologies btw for the m4a, but I can't find a better rip and it would only fuck it up more to convert it to mp3)

Sean McCann - Lower Decks

p.s. No obvious/shameless plugs for your band here. I may be interested if it relates in some way to a music maker/technique/taste on display here, but I won't tolerate petty "Can you plz put up some of my Blablah kthx." Comment will be rejected, go advertise somewhere else.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Pussmonkeys!!!

James Ferraro - Feed Me (Muscleworks Inc, 2010)


Jim Ferraro - On Air (Musclworks Inc, 2010)


James Ferraro - Pixarni (Summer Headrush, 2009)



Kemialliset Ystävät - Harmaa Laguuni

Secret Eye, 2008

Underrated tour-only sequel to 2007's Untitled album. The ancient bog poppets rise to sing their songs, rife with algae-rusted paisley. Pentagonal kites blot the sky with night and day. Bizzarre paper owls stare through glowing eyes from holes beneath the waters. Sometimes like Robert Lowe playing his synth to Vibracathedral putting their instruments through Black Dice's effects, but in the land of no TV sets. But mostly it's just KY and they are them and if you know them you will love them and you will love this.


Willie Lane - Recliner Ragas

Child of Microtones, 2006

Serious back porch ragas for chill times, humid oceanside summer times. Yeah. Cornerstone brother of the Bummer Road bunch = MV + EE + Zuma + Willie. Masterly.


Yellow Swans - Mort Aux Vaches

Last port of call for starship Yellow Swans. Excellent place to leave things at before committing their sounds to the æthers of history. Great to see them on the label/series with such greats as Troum, Tim Hecker, every noise pro you've ever heard of. Guitar-led astral starsurge satori, like a rawer Going Places.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Ashtray Navigations - Six Imaginary Scenes From The Life Of Muhammad Al Aqil

Nashazphone, 2009

I don't know why I held off on Ashtray Navigations for so long, I guess the looming summer has me in the mood for gleeful overloaded sunshine psychedelia. Nothing much to say other than that this rules. Serious instrumental chops, not just monotony ad infinitum. Kind of like a freer version of Yellow Swans' Going Places. On Nashazphone, the probably fake Egyptian label that released kickass stuff like Hototogisu's Robed In Verdigris and Sun City Girl's Djinn Funnel.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunroof! - Splat!

U-Sound, 2003

What do Fleetwood Mac, rocket-brain psychedelic guitar noise, and Kermit the Frog all have in common? Absolutely nothing. But they all do in fact exist, in the universe of all places, which is kind of what this Sunroof! album sounds like. Unbelievably high voltage electricity straight from Matt Bower's brain to your ears. Just fucking epic.


Kane Pour - Cat On A Paisley Shawl/ Wasp In The Silver Orbitstream

Cat On A Paisley Shawl (Housecraft, 2009)


Wasp In The Silver Orbitstream (Vanishing Hour Revival/ Rotifer, 2010)


Two secret engraved vhs backmaskings revealing hidden space temples, transcoded by one half of Tricorn & Queue, along with good friend to these ears Xiphiidae. Complex, hazy hypnagogic compositions, not just some guy humping a synth into a tape and releasing it under some Ferraro-ripped pseudo-new age name. Not unexpected considering the quality of his other acts. Wasp In The Silver Orbistream was actually released with a vhs tape, it is now one of my major goals in life to find a copy in order to sniff the secret vhs crystals. Diverse sound too, all of Cat On A Paisley Shawl sounds like it was put through some kind of digital bitcrusher, the kind of sound you get with crappy mpeg videos. Deliberately faded sounding and hissed-out but doesn't sound like a gimmick. Parts of Wasp In The Silver Orbitstream have a total Forbidden Planet soundtrack vibe, so good, it ain't all just pastoral dream-frolics.

Vibracathedral Orchestra - The Sun Balance/ The Open Knot

Qbico, 2007

One of Vibracathedral Orchestra's greatest releases, this is them in a particularly zoned heavy synthy birdsong-raga mode ala Sunroof! circa Bliss. Very little drums on this one. I don't know if Neil Campbell was still with the Orchestra for this release but it certainly owes alot to him. Total, complete bliss will be achieved by the end of this recording, I swear if you are not in some sort of nirvana when the beyond-thought white light vocal choir comes in on "Open Knot Part III" yer some kind of meathead.


Kawabata Makoto/ Anla Courtis/ Rokugenkin - Kokura

Riot Season, 2006

Found this one by investigating Reynols/ Courtis on a whim, what we got is a surprisingly musically strong outing, featuring cascades of shimmering Sunroof!/Birchville feedback, skeletal song miniatures, meditative noise, and treated guitar. Courtis' usual backyard-junk monotone-as-satori added to Makoto's shamanic space journey guitar, and whatever Rokugenkin does filling out the sound. Solid and really impressive.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Zeni Geva - Nai-Ha

Nipp Guitar, 1993

Few bands may make you want to throw out your collection of hardcore and death metal records like Zeni Geva (although Big Black may come close). 'Cuz here it's just done right. Genius & brutality, as those Brainbombs would say. Intelligence & strength, pain and ecstasy are explored but this ain't no musical pornography, this is music for the thinking man's body. The Nai-Ha EP in particular puts this on show more than earlier records, with advanced compositions and sections of psychedelic scream-drone that move beyond the early Swans-isms of works like Maximum Money Monster and Total Castration.


Organum - Horii/ Sphyx

Horii (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords, 1986)


Sphyx (Aeroplane, 1994)


Organum is the experimental sound project of David Jackman, longtime player in the old UK underground of Nurse With Wound, Mirror, The Hafler Trio, etc. As would be assumed by the tendencies of his fellows and the length of his discography, his work covers vast territories of sound. The sound of these two works in particular is perhaps most adequately summarized visually by the back cover of Sphyx, that of a mysterious transcendent growth arising out of a din of sound. Here is peak meditative music created from the heavy, abrasive detritus of bowed cymbals, crushed metal, etc. All united with the singular flute or voice tone of om. Horii features frequent collaborator and wonderful artist of his own right, Andrew Chalk.