Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Minamata - Niigata cd

Violent industrial madness, the very meaning of what industrial sounds like. Deafening, unpenetrating noise, punishing minimal rhythms and tortured screams reflecting the condition of the victims of the Niigata Minamata disease caused in 1965 by mercury poisoning passing through the food chain and causing limb numbness, weakened vision and hearing/speech damage. This is the 2007 Zone De Confusion cd re-release of the legendary 1986 cassette.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Nat Birchall - 4 albums (The Sixth Sense, World Without Form, Invocations, Creation)

Nat Birchall is a tenor and soprano sax player from Manchester who plays amazing soulful jazz in the direction of Pharoah Sanders, John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane. He as also played in albums by fellow Mancunian trumpet player Matthew Halsall, owner of Gondwana Records, on which he has released two albums. Below are four of Nat's albums.

Nat Birchall - The Sixth Sense

This 1999, much underrated debut album is less immersed in spirituality and possesses a stronger hard-bop sound and contains a cover of McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance." 1999 cd on Sixth Sense.


Nat Birchall - World Without Form



This is his fifth album, and having heard the previous two, Akhenaten and Sacred Dimension, I think this is the one where he moves toward spirituality and sky-reaching majesty, whereas the aforementioned albums were still in a Coltraney My Favorite Things vein before he himself went up in the sky with Ascension. Contains the amazing piano playing of Adam Fairhall and the supreme ballad "Dream of Eden." 2012 cd on Sound Soul And Spirit.


Nat Birchall - Invocations


This is even deeper and more soulful, while also being more free-form. Includes a cover of Coltrane's "To Be." Highly recommended shit. 2015 cd on Jazzman.


Nat Birchall - Creation

His latest album has an amazing sense of uplifting, liveliness and intensity not found so much in his earlier stuff, and this is certainly influenced by the inclusion of two drummers. Whereas the cosmic vibe - central in all albums - up to this point was more reliant on atmosphere, here it reaches another level accentuated by the energy of the players, who are constantly sprouting colors and ideas.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Posset / Robert Ridley-Shackleton ‎– Untitled split cdr


Posset is the Lord of the Almighty Dictaphone, an avid lover of drooling mouths sounds, and a central writer of the supreme Radio Free Midwich blog. His side ranges from the sounds most of us do after swallowing too much sea water combined with reverse cocaine snorting to gamelan-like sounds on the supremely titled "Tubular Balls." Robert-Ridley Shackleton is the owner of Hissing Frames label and another knight of the Almighty Dictaphone and for his part he starts by looking for something in his drawers (the precise sounds of how I used to search for things that my mother had criminally thrown out without asking) and ends up trying to make a portable generator on batteries. Great. 2014 cdr on Hissing Frames limited to 12 copies.


Thomas Brinkmann ‎– What You Hear (Is What You Hear) cd

Experiments in tonal fixity by minimalist techno artist Thomas Brinkmann. Sometimes ambient, sometimes noise, and miles away from what techno comes to mind, this could, however, be considered a deconstructed approach to techno turntablism in an elemental form of groove-making albeit through tones rather than through beats or clicks. 2015 cd on Editions Mego.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Murder Book - The Ones That Got Away tape

Another Murder Book post. This one could be described as "dark-ambient-wall" with its bass rumbles under the distortion and could be considered as one of the project's most cohesive offerings. 2008 tape on Second Sleep.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ashtray Navigations ‎– To Get Beyond Nihilism By Revaluing Combat 3" CDr

"To get beyond nihilism by revaluing combat" was a motto of Charles Ludlam, American queer actor and theatrical director, who reworked in a pastiche fashion elements of pop culture. This motto, appropriated by AIDS activists - Ludlam was an AIDS victim - implies that being active (revaluing combat) is the way of overcoming interpellated notions of passivity (nihilism) within society. I'm not sure how Ashtray Navigations reflect this message through this wee little cd, but the fourth 20-minute track (the first three ones are all less than a minute long) contains a mournful but embattled spirit driven by a wailing cello and cymbal/drum action. Great stuff. 2005 cdr on Hypnagogia.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Ashtray Navigations ‎– The "O" Mouth Direct Input Raygun 7"

Ashtray Navigations sound very Skullflower-y here, somewhere between black metal-y fuzzy static harshness  and fizzy psychedelia. 2009 7" on Turgid Animal.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Ashtray Navigations ‎– The Love That Whirrs cd

Psychedelic madness nodding to Total. No plastic ass drum beats or incoherent guitar solos by Phil Todd here, so grab it without any doubts. 2005 cd on Last Visible Dog.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Culver & Waz Hoola - Maps of War tape

I haven't posted any Culver for quite some time, so what better opportunity than to couple it with the Waz Hoola post? True to his long-standing tradition of making collaboration releases with other drone artists, here Lee Stokoe has worked with Waz Hoola on creating a tape that is not dominated by one's or the other's style. Not exactly typical of Culver's predominantly drone wall catalogue, this is among Culver's more subtle releases (which are not a few, though!) but also contains the throbbing bass drone found in the Waz Hoola cdr-s prior to Multiply Reality By Infinity, whereas they explore new ground especially in the second track with the inclusion of a SUPERB hypnotic and sparse drone tone in the background of the throbbing bass that sounds like the humming of a machine forgotten in an Antarctic research station. Top-notch! 2009 tape on the majestic Matching Head tape label.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Waz Hoola

Waz Hoola was a drone project from the English North-West. Here are some of his releases.

Waz Hoola - The Things That Are Keeping Me Alive... Are Killing Me cdr

Deep drone synth explorations into space. 2006 cdr on Sepia Tones.


Waz Hoola - There Is More To Living Than Just Being Alive cdr



Deeper and more subtle bass tones. 2007 cdr on Infinite Exhange.


Waz Hoola - Multiply Reality By Infinity cd

Sadly Waz Hoola didn't release anything after this, which is a shame, because this is a crowing achievement for the drone underground. The first track should be a blueprint for anyone desiring to play crushing epic drone metal - seriously you gotta hear this track - while the second one is a psychedelic masterpiece of a metal-particle fog. Amazing stuff. 2009 cd on Red Guard Records.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Justin Rhody & Matthew Himes - Romantic Love tape

Eerie and ominous guitar/violin/electronics drone for wandering in abandoned buildings. Quite reminiscent of Jazzfinger in its toxic radioactive feel. 2010 tape on Lighten Up Sounds.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chet Baker & Wolfgang Lackerschmid


Chet Baker & Wolfgang Lackerschmid - Ballads For Two

For the last ten years of his suffering life, Chet Baker played mostly in Europe and released stuff on minor labels. One such album is this incredible collaboration with German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid, including an amazing instrumental rendition of "You Don't Know What Love Is," as well as other amazing tracks like "Blue Bossa" and "Five Years Ago." I absolutely love this album, Chet's trumpet sounds so broken and fragile. For about a year I listened to it non-stop. It was initially released in 1979 by Sandra Music, but this is a cd rip from the 1986 in-akustik lable re-release.



Chet Baker & Wolfgang Lackerschmid Feat. Larry Coryell, Buster Williams, Tony Williams

This was released one year after Ballads For Two and features an all-star line-up with guitar legend larry Coryell, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Tony Williams. Not as mellow as Ballads For Two (apart from "Here's That Rainy Day"), it contains some great interplays between Baker and Coryell and really great cocktail jazz stuff, as well as Baker's amazing scat-singing in "Balzwaltz." Released in 1980 by Sandra Music and this is the 1986 cd re-release by Inak.