Friday, March 26, 2010

Seasons (pre-din) - Stars And Lights: Together We Fall

Thy-Rec, 2010

Atypically bleak and apocalyptic music from the normally docile ambient/drone artist. This makes it much more interesting than the fray of releases as well. Melancholy and dissonant guitar drones above a field of broken radio chatter, samples of Jonestown, along with other worlds-end mutterings and broken phonographs. The world ending not with a bang but a whisper:

'The stars rupture, exploding in silence... the last act played out as beauty is exposed to violence.'


Sean McCann - Lower Decks

Ekhein, 2010

More rarefied tone bliss straight from the starry skies by prodigy Sean McCann. Totally third-eye healing signals from paradisaical universes beyond. Hyperbole aside, this stuff is really, really excellent, totally elevated and epic yet mysteriously understated and humble, like the purveyors of the best drone alchemy: Axolotl, Tim Hecker, Celer, etc.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer - Drowning In Hate

Gnarled Forest, 2006

Another, earlier release that proves these guys have always done vastly more with noise than making juvenile walls of static: they create a whole landscape of the negative psyche, cathartic, psychedelic, and deliriously amorphous music. Atonal acoustic elements move through, screams burble throughout, and glorious psychic release is achieved. Still holding out for these guys to collaborate with Burial Hex, or at least do a split! It'd be the ultimate in death-noise tag-teams.


p.s. if anyone could hook me up with a rip of the BSBC + Irr. App. (Ext.) collaboration, Skeletal Imposition, I would be infinitely indebted!!!

Natural Snow Buildings - Night Coercion Into The Company Of Witches

Self-Released, 2008

While the second disc, "Gorgons" (also released as part of the one-copy rarities collection I Dream Of Drone), is of less note, the first album is a great, unique step in NSB's time-consuming discography. None of the 17-minute plus tracks lose my interest before the end. The first track, "Kadja Bousou" has the tribal drums + ascending drone swirl sound perfected on releases like The Sundowner and the longform tracks on Shadow Kingdom, Snowbringer Cult, etc. "Night Coercion" is a similar, more noisy and droned out journey. "Brooms, Trapdoors Keyholes" is really where this release shines, the pair douse their usual acoustic/guitar drones in digital-overload Axolotl washout, and travel into an semi-atonal Lovecraftian dimension far darker, intense and blasted-out than their usual peaks, it's almost reminiscent of a Total despondent void ego dissolve track circa 1994 or Hototogisu sawing a hole in the sky with violins and feedback. Only still very much NSB, with sitar drones, bells, reeds and wordless cascading vocals. One of my favorite of their minor releases.


Friday, March 19, 2010

...and who is able to stand?

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths EP

Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010

Another one with a lot of buzz around it from normally hypnagogic stalwarts Olde English Spelling Bee. This is a totally unexpectedly successful hybridization of genres: Boomkat appropriately described this as "Burial gone spaghetti western." David Keenan, which in case people couldn't tell is occasionally completely full of shit, thought this somehow the sound of the English countryside. Which makes sense, in the sense that it takes normally urban dubstep/garage r&b sample modes & minimal beats, puts them through an earthy roots dub filter, and adds Neil Young's Dead Man/ Steven R. Smith-style psychedelic western/country rock guitar tones. But this doesn't make any sense if you've never spent time in southern Arizona like I have, this record just completely sounds like Tucson to me. Unlike any other, nothing quite matches its ghetto+western feel. A great, pure sound that really just works, trust me. Been the only thing I've blasted out of my car window in days.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat - If The Sky Falls We Shall Catch Larks

(K-RAA-K)³, 2007

This would be another one of those 'terrible band name, great band' situations if I didn't know the origin of the band's name, stemming from a probably fictitious (yet intriguing) witchcraft ritual from a medieval treatise on witch hunting. Appropriate as such for a dark pagan folk group with such an almost psychedelic, atmospheric aura and professional poetic songwriting rarely seen beyond the like of Current 93. Also appropriately the solo project of one Belgian, Stef Heeren, a former member of Sylvester Anfang. I have not looked into much of his other recordings because the songs on this EP/ short album seem just too solid to leave away from. Apologies for the scarce postings of late.


"We need you Heaven now!"

dutchess, dutchess, there is a fire in the nursery!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lech (Leszek) Jankowski - Soundtrack to Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream Called Human Life

Atelier Koninck, 1994

"in a sense it's a much much more quieter a métier or alchemy of objects and silences, of things inhabited"
-Brothers Quay

Lech or Leszek Jankowski is the Polish composer of the scores for the astonishing films of the Brothers Quay. Subdued, silent, Weimaresque collages of Eastern Europe and dead Victoriana, Institute Benjamenta in particular is (almost entirely) a live action film, nevertheless the Quays' brush strokes the same; cameras move mechanically, quiet, slow, symbolic surreal actions play out with the same contemplative, lonely depth as their normal stop motion work. Only here a much clearer philosophical narrative is allowed to play out, as powerful as any of the Kafka they love so dear. Jankowski offers the perfect accompaniment, nay even the "blood" of their films as they state in the interview below, and as I've mentioned the composer's work has the same sort of abstract, atonal yet deeply emotional, sound-painterly approach as Richard Skelton or even Svarte Greiner.