Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Exsanguinate/ La Infame Turba De Nocturnas Aves - Allegory Of Death

Misanthrope Studio, 2003

More top-notch Exsanguinate material split with the mysterious project of one Marco Alcocer, La Infame Turba De Nocturnas Aves. Garrison's side is as excellent as The Black Acts and follows in the same general form, but what's really remarkable here is his split mate. Really no info about Alcocer or LITDNA is out there but his short side is some truly high quality work, blending impressive noise/power electronics with ambient in a way that stays raw, reminding a bit of Sutcliffe Jügend's use of atmospheric drone or an analogue Cathode Terror Secretion minus the vocal frenzy. The sounds are sharp, uncompromising, and surprising, and benefit greatly from Garrison's mastering technique seen with both his and numerous other artists' releases.


Zoät-Aon - Star Autopsy/ The Triplex Bestial

Star Autopsy (Aural Hypnox, 2005)

The Triplex Betstial (Aural Hypnox, 2008)

Turgid elucidations of the ethereal flesh of the celestial bodies by Helixes associate Jaakko Vanhala. The consistency & quality of the Aural Hypnox releases is surely ineffable - as far as is revealed, Vanhala doesn't share his membership in any of the other Helixes projects and is yet another separate shining example of the brazen oneiracoustic explorations of their ritual sonics. The sound here is perhaps most easily spoken of as between the cosmic electromagickal surgery of Aeoga and the more subterranean, subdued graveside moments of Arktau Eos or latter-day Halo Manash, but Vanhala has truly uniquely touches the sounds with resonant blue starshine and sidesteps the ritual aspect of the usual æsthetic into territories more soundscapelike, generating external visions of time and place rather than sheer nameless emotional transmutation. On The Triplex Bestial his sound undergoes violent astral mutation as transcendence is achieved through primal transcendent gore, the stripping away of the veils of the universe like the skin of the reindeer of the sacred hunt.

Exsanguinate - The Black Acts/ Inhuman Treatment

The Black Acts (Crionic Mind, 2002)

Inhuman Treatment (Misanthrope Studio, 2002)

A now classic album & Mini-CDr EP by the ambient-industrial project of Thomas Garrison (Control) themed on the torture instruments of inquisitions past, present and future. Control has always had a great affinity for rounding out its power electronics sound with fat-sounding, dark, resonant, highly atmospheric, yet raw synth tones that in many occasions beats out the oldschool high-pitched wailing phaser and feedback that many continue to ape. This sound continues directly over to Exsanguinate, only there is a differently powerful ambient magick going on here, completely devoid of vocals and occasionally marked with explosive metal-on-metal percussive strikes. Intense, professionally-produced work that generates an incarnation of the "death industrial" aesthetic well within the side of the respectable (read: far better than most of the Cold Meat Industry stuff).


Friday, August 3, 2012

Year Of No Light - Nord/ Ausserwelt

Nord (Radar Swarm, 2006)


Ausserwelt (Music Fear Satan, 2010)


I hadn't realized that I had this post sitting in my drafts. I recently got back into this band after a long hiatus from metalloid type musicks, except for my continuingly growing love for the healing bleakness of Corrupted. And French group Year Of Light is not too unlike some of latter Corrupted's more epic and blissful moments. Year Of No Light seem to really get how to work this whole "post-metal" way of thinking; the pseudo-orchestral rapture of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and their ilk is here but with openings into even blacker abysses, but best of all minus the usual metal baggage, specifically blackened/ deathened vocals that when not done as well as the instruments causes a really sick feeling in my ears (here's looking at you, Altar Of Plagues). Shining particularly well of these two releases, in this regard, is Ausserwelt, completely devoid of vocals, but fraught with intense and meaningful drone, and epic storytelling chord progressions nonetheless. Either release is not to be missed, anyways.

Keiji Haino - ここ (Koko)

PSF, 2003

In what will be hopefully the start of regular uploads of Haino's solo discography (collabs may come later), this here is a perhaps unusually blissful slice of the vast, difficult, yet spiritually rewarding Japanese prodigy's œuvre. Released as a limited giveaway in the winter of '03-'04 for PSF's "Keiji Haino Fair" (what a lovely thing that must be), this half-hourish piece occupies the same austere, voidsome, bardolic black meditative territory as all his work, but moves in a more ethereal direction. Perhaps akin to a bliss-inducing version of his Nijiumu project, it almost moves into the shimmering moonlit territory of much of traditional Japanese psych, specifically Suishou No Fune or Les Rallizes Denudes and in its longform dronescaping not unlike a more strictly boundaried Kawabata Makoto solo piece. Ends in a positively rapturous forwards-reverse pure reverb that lasts almost a minute, perfectly peaking out this remarkable piece.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mount Vernon Arts Lab - The Séance At Hobs Lane

Ghost Box, 2005 (orig. Via Satellite, 2001)

Obscure occult analog science that closely aligns itself with the overall Ghost Box æsthetic, but deepens & darkens towards the serious thread between electricity and magick little studied outside of COIL in their communications with ELpH. Extraterrestrial Tesla musick. Rightly so, Drew Mulholland's project impressed Balance & Christopherson enough for them to remix a track here ("Hobgoblins," can't help but think of the hilarious MST3K episode) and give them an Eskaton release for the sister Mount Vernon Astral Temple. This track has a very Belbury Poly/Focus Group feel, it kind of sounds like a slow, horror-themed version of the IT Crowd theme or something Bruce Haack might have done with a moog. There the typical Ghost Box formalities end, yes there's an overall retro feel, but the rest of the album is vignettes of numinous drone, rickety, unsettling instrumental chamber music, lurking 70s film score jazz, and minimal electroacoustic phenomena, given their own space to stand alone for investigation. In places like a chthonic Igor Wakhévitch with a lot less pretention and a little more life. The overall vibe is of a massive laboratory filled with bulky tube electronics analyzing a séance with EEGs and such, in the home of a mad scientist obsessed with Tesla as much as John Dee. Brilliant occult hauntology.


Eric Zann - Ouroborindra

Ghost Box, 2005

Sidereal release of eclectic occult sampledelia and possessed instrumental vignettes taking its moniker from one of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories. In it the protagonist rents an apartment and is soon bewildered all nights by the maddening wails of his neighbor's violin, he eventually discovers that his neighbor is nothing more than a conduit for undefined extradimensional forces which possesses Zann nightly with their intonations and ululations across the void of space. Likewise this album is of a distinctly different sort than most of the other Ghost Box releases; a certain antiquarian pre-70s focus remains, but it is turned towards arcane mysteries of a malignant and misshapen sort. Like Anworth Kirk, or a beatless Demdike Stare in full-Haxan mode, Eric Zann has its closest sister in Mount Vernon Arts Lab. But rather than the latter's mostly analog electronic focus, Ouroborindra merges its sampledelic soup of radio signals from non-euclidean channels with wailing strings, brass, percussion instruments, likening their free skronk to the occult possession of the Lovecraft antagonist, with a knack for turning improvisation into unconscious malignancy rarely seen out of the more jazz-oriented elements of the Miasmah label (Kreng, Kaboom Karavan, Marcus Fjellström). Grisly and enveloping vibes.


"Don't you get it yet? It must work like ... a recording. Fixed in the floor and the walls, right in the substance of them. A trace... of what happened in there. And we pick it up. We act as detectors - decoders - amplifiers."
 The Stone Tape Nigel Kneale

"Inside the infernal box are impossible spaces, dark screens and mirrors, terrible traces of light, calcified thought forms and endless idiot mutterings. The switch is thrown and the magnetic coils begin to generate their obscene flickering images. This contraption might have been conceived by the Old Ones long before it was assembled by human hands."

The Infinity Box Alan Causley & MB Devot

Dabke - Sounds Of The Syrian Houran

Sham Palace, 2012

This is a much-needed vinyl exploration of contemporary dabke dance music from the fertile volcanic wine country of Syria, of the kind made quite popular in the semi-underground West by Omar Souleyman and his unexpectedly fertile live & digital promotion by Hisham Mayet & Alan Bishop's Sublime Frequencies label  (Sham Palace is a sister, so far vinyl-only, label of SF collaborator Mark Gergis, it's only other release so far is a 2011 reissue of Souleyman's Leh Jani). Its popularity in the West is not at all surprising as modern dabke has a slew of remarkable similarities with house & techno. Drum machines & synths have come to much prevalence in the Middle East, this is particlarly seen in dabke but even this is still usually accompanied by various live instruments and particularly striking virtuoso tabla work. The underlying beat is always of a similar sort, dabke literally means "stamping of the feet" (and this describes its accompanying folk dance) and it is this stomping 4/4 which is of course one of the elements most resonant with western dance music, but it has a familiar yet foreign feel in its Syrian manifestation. One of the most striking similarities to have hit me is that of the omniprescent Arabic wedding ululation to the pea whistle of hardcore rave (yes, really, you'll hear it). Like Souleyman's band, labryrinthine trance-like synths are found throughout but not with the same prevalence as with Souleyman's cavalryman Rizan Sa'id. The sort of ghetto-tech vibe of early unpolished Souleyman productions carries over and to me this offers great warmth and realness, the kind you get from old Jamaican soundsystem recordings, and this was one of the qualities I liked best about the earlier Sublime Frequencies compilations of Touareg rock (vs. the more intimate & dynamic ranged sound of i.e. Bombino). Stuff is as lively and great as the best Souleyman's had to offer and I find myself returning to it over its sheer warmth & energy, and not to mention travel envy.



Apologies for the long delay again, but a lot of focus was elsewhere, and honestly not much new music that fits this blog & that you haven't heard has peaked my fancy over the last couple months, and what does fit would have been material for swift deletion in the still-bleak filesharing climate.

Sucks but I'll just say something quick-ish about these jams:

Been way into Demdike Stare, as many of you I'm sure are and all of you should very much be, everything from Symbiosis to Elemental is just awesome, don't miss some of their gloriously eclectic yet aurally guided mixes, not to mention Miles Whittaker's Suum Cuique sideproject (2012's Ascetic Ideals is to not be missed) and relate projects like Miles & G.H. on Modern Love. Ascetic Ideals in particular is one of the most interesting revisions of minimal techno I've heard since Chain Reaction (obviously) or more similarly Pan Sonic or Mika Vainio's Ø project. Their whole approach to sound collation has been inspiring me like major, and I find myself able to listen to them when I find all other music bust. They're kind of geniuses, really.

Also on Modern Love but truly standing distinct from Demdike, I've been in heavy rotation with Andy Stott's Passed Me By & We Stay Together. A lot about this work brings me in again and again. To put it one way Stott hybridizes the minimal yet clausterphobic feel I like about juke & footwork with the beyond-dancefloor pitch black ambience of Burial, this is in particularly prevalent form on Passed Me By. I've been unimpressed with single-artist outings of hardcore footwork outside of the Bangs & Works compilations on Planet Mu; I've had more luck with post-dubstep/wonky reinterpretations of it like Kuedo (also some luck closer to the original style with the Massacooramaan Dead Long Time EP), but overall it puts forward a lot of good idea sketches that are begging to be done better and the controlled-chaotic skittering of the beats just makes me want to listen to some good Venetian Snares. Yet really the footwork comparison is an oversimplification of Stott's sound; its in places blacker than anything Burial has done, and even most Demdike. Another feel I get is almost that he's doing with vinyl what Oval was originally doing with (literally) scratched CDs, but in a more beat-focused way; much of the chop, screw, glacially slow polyrhythm & glitch seems to arise from natural accidents with minimal sampledelic elements. We Stay Together references other, sometimes lighter territory that does particularly remind of Suum Cuique's way out stretching of minimal tech into pro-bono industrial drone but with a more luminous, cosmic feel with some seriously psychedelic flanged in & out beat fragments. A major part of his appeal to me is his ability to veer into territory as deep into darkness and dub as Vex'd or even Scorn, but without the now done-to-death brocore wobble or even the original percussive elements of dubstep that have lost their flavor. Really smart stuff that keeps the beat in places others wouldn't be capable of.

4AD remains still largely hit & miss with its new 21st century roster but a couple 2012 albums are perhaps good signs for the future, though I'm really unsure of this, but who cares about the label itself really. Just REALLY stay away from that Joker album. Grimes - Visions is like seriously the best electropop since The Knife/Fever Ray and I wholly mean this. I've been way into her nacent stuff on Arbutus etc. because of its sweet bedroom Cocteau Twins with just a keyboard vibe, her natural cherubic voice has the full quality of Elizabeth Frazer but with more willingness to be eclectic. That was enough to sell me initially but now she's upped to production 1000 or so notches, still almost entirely herself but really impressively so. Perfectly balancing out along a shamanic dance-ambient treebranch and appealing to (many, many) new fans as well as those who were already into her. And she is just really one of the loveliest cutest good-heartedest human beings alive with wonderful non-self-conformist fashion sense. Parallel to that is Purity Ring's Shrines, technically not released yet but leaked all over, not going to tell you how to find it until Jul 24 as that'd be a red flag for the safety of this blog. Anyways what's here is also luminous electropop in the ultraviolet-bioluminescent post-Knife sphere but of a distinctly witch house vein. Now get me right, I have mixed feelings about this "genre," alot of it is to do with labels-being-labels and being taken too far, but I do see a great amount of good in its higher echelons (particularly Salem). Purity Ring take the juke/crunk snare drum machine roll and isolated clap + high & golden post-trance synths into much, much brighter territory but not of an explicitly feel-good sort (though it will definitely make you feel warm & fuzzy inside). It's way less explicitly hiphop but reminds a bit of the uplift of many Clams Casino tracks. Megan James' vocals are truly something special to these ears, yes they are chopped & screwed and futurized with tastefully used (meaning appropriately more electronic sounding) auto-tune, enough unadulterated chops come through so you know she has a good voice, but what is really strong is her writing, track names  ("Belispeak,"  "Crawlersout," "Obedear.") are more than just titles, they are pieces of a witty & introspective language fluent with James Joyce & Lewis Carroll dreamland portmanteaux. What more that is particlarly lovely about the album is how much of the material is just naturally catchy, but not in a grating way that gets stuck in your head despite yourself.

Youtube sample-o-rama under the cut:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


b3BETUNES, 2012



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer & Irr. App. (Ext.) - Skeletal Copula Remains/ Skeletal Imposition

Skeletal Copula Remains (Gnarled Forest/ Errata In Excelsis, 2011)

Skeletal Imposition (Gnarled Forest, 2009)

Blasphemous animal atrocities undergoing subconscious metamorphoses in a state of threatening amorphousness. Have been hunting down the 2011 LP forever and a half and it was worth all the effort, it's even more brilliant than the 2009 meeting of these unflinchingly creative and twisted sound masters. Matt Waldron (Irr. App. (Ext.)) adds his effortless capacity for professional surrealist slice & dice to BSBC's malicious electronics and nefarious beast howls. Short but perfectly condensed and without filler, both releases are some of my absolute favorite works of surrealistic noise of all time.


(art= "Meat Orchestra" by Mark Powell, totally check him out, this music IS the soundtrack to his horrifying miniatures)

Total - Hard + Low

Broken Flag, 1986

Another fine piece of old school psychedelic post-industrial and instrument-led power drone from Matthew Bower's main solo project of the late 80s-90s. This is the first work under this moniker and still reflects the charred, black & white war-crime Broken Flag aesthetic seen with Pure and early Ramleh. Black-box synths and corroded loops reflecting silent & undead post-apocalypses. "You'll Get Yours Yet" is still (seriously) my favorite power electronics track ever. But this tape is by no means entirely raging screech & howl, many tracks offer entirely acoustic passages, "Transfigured Night" offers a bleak Vajrayanic horn drone, and "The Sound of Music" is mainly a melancholic single-mode piano improvisation that presages Bower's much later work with minimal folk instrumentation. One of the best Broken Flag & Bower in general have had to offer.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Cathode Terror Secretion - Spectre Of History's Design/ UPDATE w/ S/T 3" CDR

Spectre Of History's Design (RRRecords, 2009)


The Cathode Terror Secretion (Accretion Disk, 200?)


Weirdly civilized digital power electronics with all-consuming vocals from a friend project of Yellow Swans/ Halflings. Turns the sardonic eye of the genre upwards to spiritual themes, existential terror, psychological uprooting and emotional upheaval of a purely psychological/psychedelic nature. Tracks like "Hymn" and "Purifier" are innovative admixtures of sacred vocal chant/drone and terror vox that set a since unheeded but transformative precedent for this kind of music that is surely not to be missed.

Upload Status

For your convenience, here is a little forward-dated blurb stating how far back I've finished uploading files from my old banned account:

As of 3/31/12:
8/10/11 (Brainworlds) Unfinished
7/27/11 (Lunar Abyss Deus Organum) Unfinished
7/20/11 (Aderlating) Unfinished
6/12/11 (Kreng - Grimoire) Done
(older unfinished)


Black Temple Carved In Smoke (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, 2006)


Witch Queen Ascending (Self-Released, 2006)


More Matthew Bower solo work that originates the whole psychedelic blackened modal droneswarm style of his latter work. Somebody reviewing some Bower release in The Wire (probably David Keenan, I mean who else?) prayed for this kind of guitar mayhem to come back and their prayers were amply answered from '06-on with everything Bower has done, with Hototogisu, Voltigueurs, Skullflower, etc. Totally electric and Black Temple... in particular goes into one of those pure blasting-open-the void kind of hyperfocused modal ascensions that I will never stop loving.

(thanks to The Static Fanatic for both of these)

p.s. Not to forget mentioning that my blog's title comes from a track on Witch Queen Ascending, "Enochian Tapestries," and its reincarnation on Skullflower's Strange Keys To Untune God's Firmament

Pure - Fetor

Freak Animal, 2007

Oldschool psychedelic power electronics from Matthew Bower's original (yes seriously) project, in name himself + Alex Windsor & Alex Binnie (Zos Kia), but in reality this release is Bowers solo, with Stefan Jaworzyn (original Skullflower, Ascension) filling in on the final live track. 2007 reissue/remaster of the 1981 Birthbiter release, with an additional live track and the original track titles and order according to the band.
While the use of guitars vaguely presages Sutcliffe Jügend's earliest work or maybe some old Broken Flag stuff like Toll, nothing in the original epi-industrial power electronics movement was anything like this, and really nothing has been exactly like this since except Bower's earliest Total releases (i.e. Hard+Low, Beyond The Rim). Has a seriously blackened, bombed out cloistered yet highly psychedelic feeling brought on partially by the lo-fi tape aura and partially by the hypnotic loop, echo, & feedback of the elements within. Remarkablely timeless, just plain unbelievable that this came out in 1981.


Murmuüre - Murmuüre

Cold Void Emanations, 2010

Iridescent pools of astral vastness from the French psychedelic black metal master. Kind of like an epic, more spacious version of Yoga meets Year Of No Light or a stripped down Angelic Process. Absolutely gorgeous and essential move for this increasingly interesting inter-genre zone.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tetsuo - Ranshuo

Shit Jam, 2004

Short and totally obscure, but fucking intense Japanese slow-mid pace sludge/noise hybrid. Driven to brilliantly over-the-top glory by those razor sharp Japanese shrieking vocals we've all grown to love. As if Zeni Geva were into Grief, Framtid, & White Hospital. Relentless brutality that will well win you over before the 17 minute end.


Burmese - White/ Men

White (Planaria, 2003)


Men (Load, 2004)


Brilliant hybrid of power violence, sludge, and power electronics. White even goes so far as to be reworkings of individual Whitehouse songs. Men however is much more heavy and original. I had always thought that, as demonstrated by Khanate, percussion done with a kind of stranglehold tension and release exudes a much more intense musical experience than the high-pitched whistles and screeches of power electronics can offer alone, and Burmese in this era demonstrate this perfectly. Not to be missed.