Another one in the Bjerga/Iversen floppy disk series. In this one, it sounds like they were scuba-diving and they caught sounds of signals and other sounds from boats. I like it, it makes me sleepy. 2010 floppy on Gold Soundz.
Another floppy by the Norwegian duo, this time we have a submerged drony piece with someone talking over. Guess Bjerga and Iversen went into a manhole and recorded the sounds from above. Nice. 2009 floppy on Gold Soundz.
Aaaahhhh ze floppy disque! Strong contender for most obsolete and redundant storage format of all times. How many times have all of us cursed a dysfunctional floppy where we had stored a file in the 90s and we couldn't retrieve it. Bjerga/Iversen have released a number of floppy discs containing small excerpts of noise, but unfortunately I don't think they have been successful in rekindling interest in floppies as a beloved format for the underground (whereas vinyl and the cassette are far from being extinct). So, this one includes one minute of screeching resembling the noise made by elevator ropes if they had been recorded inside the shaft. 2008 floppy on Sindre Bjerga's Gold Soundz.
Frozen and sprawling dark ambient soundscapes with an emphasis on manipulated sounds of bells chiming by Mystified, the project of Thomas Park, whose work includes collaborations with Nocturnal Emissions and Robin Storey. A good soundtrack for the wintry death of nature that is slowly but surely arriving. 2009 cdr on Triple Bath.
Even more high-octane thrash metal hazy anthems by Bart DePaepe, and in this one it seems that he had just left a guitar on with a wah and a delay pedal being recorded over everything else, thus the result is slightly more noisy. Which is good man! I like the packaging as well, recycled hard paper and with nice colored wools tying the thing together. 2015 lp on Vohu Manah Records.
More drug-addled crawl by the Belgian druid of psychedelic flights, yet this one sounds a little varied, with more kosmische vibes, a touch of blues, and a nice sense of americana. It's like listening to Popol Vuh while driving in a Cadillac to drink tea (well not that exactly...) and watch the stars on Mojave Desert. 2015 tape on Sloow Tapes.
First solo tape by Bart DePaepe, boss of Sloow Tapes/Sloow Wax, current member of Amanita Vulva (covered on this blog before) and former member of the mighty Sylvester Anfang II. People familiar with Sloow Tapes and the bands mentioned know what this is about: lysergic, crawling psychedelic haze infested with serpentine melodies, wah-wah, fuzz, delays, minimal drumming, and some amazing accordion in lo-fi mode. 2014 tape on Sloow Tapes.
Some 11-12 years ago, the Greensboro, North Carolina, DIY hardcore punk band Żegota played at a squat in my hometown. It was an amazing, passionate show by one of the most politically-outspoken bands of the early 2000s that was part of the anarchist Crimethinc. collective. Before the show, I had the chance to strike up a conversation with the drummer of the band, Will Ridenour, who was a very polite and thoughtful person, and I still remember that evening and the conversation fondly. Among discussions about politics, punk and hip hop Will was also very kind to offer me cds by some other projects he was involved in, two of which were Dawn Chorus and The Somnambulist Brain, whose cd I am presenting here. For people who have heard Żegota, some of the breadth of the instrumentation and multicultural inclusion will be familiar in this little cdr, which despite not having any connection to punk, it contains some African percussions and non-western melodic themes/scales also found in the quieter parts of Żegota's output. Not including any of the anger inherent in Żegota, the music here is very melodic, calming and hopeful, with a maritime, beach-like atmosphere, like very laid-back indie rock. Really cool stuff, worth listening to. This was probably made in 2004 and it was self-released.
Unless there are surprises (and I don't think that Morbid Angel's upcoming cd will be any worth, plus Wu-Tang Clan's new cd is meh, despite claims to the return to that grimy, demonic ruggedness of their first collective and solo albums), this will be the best release of 2017 by far. In the early 1980s, Mark Valentine, writer of weird fiction and researcher of obscure literature, who runs the blog Wormwood Diana, recorded a track "Journey to the West" played on a toy reed organ for a comp tape called Deleted Funtime. After so many years, the great experimental-improvisational group Watch Repair revisited the track and some other reed melodies Valentine had recorded, which were included in a 1981 tape called National Grid 2. The longing, solitary melodies of MV have been extended into three epic music poems all exceeding the ten-minute mark, enriched with synths, guitars, ambient effects and the sounds of birds. Taking on the medieval aspect of the original melodies, the reworked versions oscillate between psychedelic folk and dense ambient, attaining an immense feeling of a ship on a journey through fog.
Also visit the bandcamp site of the amazing Watch Repair and give some of your dosh to help them keep up the awesomeness! I also suggest that you give a listen to the Tidal Path release.
The first cdr is the 2017 version including a pdf of the booklet, the second is a 3" cdr containing the original recordings of the three tracks appearing on National Grid 2 and "Journey to the West" from Deleted Funtime.
At the request of a reader, I'm posting two more releases by Louise Landes Levi, whose amazing From the Ming Oracle lp was posted here. The one is Kinnari, originally released in 1986, and Padma, originally released in 1988. Both were self-rereleased by LLL in 2015, while her 2011 tape City of Delirium on Sloow Tapes, contained spoken words over excerpts from both works. Expect great Indian classical music with LLL on sarangi, and other musicians on sitar and tabla, along with the sounds of birds.
NOTE: These two haven't been ripped by me. I found them somewhere online (don't remember where), and I'm just re-posting them. Unfortunately, all files are in 128 kbps, which sucks, but I just obliged to the fellow reader's request. Sorry.
This is a project of German musician JJ Whitefield who has played in various funk bands. This is very different, however. The first side ("Drumside") contains psychedelic music very much inspired by Can and heavily reliant on Jaki Liezebeit-y drum rhythms, while the second one ("Dreamside") is synth-based and greatly influenced by Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream and Cluster, showcasing a very dreamy and floating atmosphere. 2015 cd on Now-Again Records.
Mostly drone-focused compilation, featuring tracks by RYN, Violence Beyond the Snowline, TenHornedBeast, Harm (you know the deal by now), Trollmann Av Ildtoppberg, Culver, Leo Slayer, plus two smash-and-clang tracks by Snotnosed, and one psychedelic reversal bliss track by Michael Gillham (that is, Snotnosed). 2004 CD-R in DVD case by Traqueto.
This is sadly the last Harm release, as Samantha Davies would eventually join other more well-known groups/projects, in one of which she played together for some time with Lee Stokoe, with whose main moniker Culver she shares this split demo. The Harm track is once again a blindfolded treading through dense clouds of feedback, while the Culver side (with loops by Harm) resembles the sound of the engine of an ice breaker ship, which characterizes many of his releases. 2006 tape on Matching Head.
Harm was a (solo?) project of Samantha Davies, now a member of many well-known BM-noise band. I have already posted a compilation featuring a Harm track, possibly from her/their first demo The Dye From The Dresses of the Drowned Women(which I hope someone will eventually share). As with that track, this tape is absolutely some of the best drone to have ever been recorded, immensely dark, dense and deafening, easily rivaling early Sunn O))) or the Earth 2 for the throne of guitar drone, but without the decidedly metal approach. This is definitely a must listen. 2006 tape on Matching Head.
Uh oh, doesn't Anna Von Hausswolff like what the music would have been in a medieval Pull & Bear clothes store? The base for her sound is gothic, church-organ heavy drony rock, but her high-tone vocals, the production and the pop sensibilities bring out a much more lush sound, like what Lana Del Rey would sound like if she listened to mid-1990s Swans, were Scandinavian, and didn't address her music to teen girls shopping at Forever 21, but to Vikings looking for a new shield at a Hanseatic city mall while on a break from attacking Christian monks. Lawl. OK, a more serious description could "Dead Can Dance covering Black Sabbath." Well, I hope that the references to Lana Del Rey and clothes big stores don't put off people from listening, she is fun, and the live videos I've seen on Youtube are more passionate and war-like.
For three decades now, Al Margolis has been creating drones based on contemporary avant-garde music. On this cd, the sound sources have been baritone sax, cello, violin, clarinet as well as vocals, assembled to create a minimalist sound which is almost Gyorgy Ligetti-ish at some points (third track), or Stockhausen-y in the wind instrument parts. Very highly recommended. 2014 cd on Nefryt.
Slowly-building and then dissolving lap-steel/e-bow improvisations by Tom Carter of psychedelic masters Charalambides. Ideal sounds for driving on a desert highway or walking in a barren rocky landscape at night. Originally released as a cd-r on Wholly Other, this is is the 2004 cd reissue by Kranky. Download
Sachiko and Rinji Fukuoka played together in Overhang Party, but the fuzz/garage vibe of that band has nothing to do with this one. This cd consists of two live performances where Fukuoka's dirge-like violin fits nicely with Sachiko's vocal incantation and underwater electronics. Overall it sounds to me a lot similar to some Troum stuff. 2011 cd on Music Atlach.
This is exceptional. Serving as an elegy for the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, what we have is an amalgam of improvisational sounds to stand for the swirling tumult of environmental disaster. Violin funeral dirges, toxic waste electronics, and psychedelic guitar lines eventually crash and melt into the cathartic noise of the Earth's inevitable end. Luca Massolin on bass, guitar and electronics, Rinji Fukuoka on violin and Michel Henritzi on lapsteel guitar. 2014 lp on Backwards
Hyster Tapes is a Finnish label releasing top-notch experimental stuff on recycled tapes. This one includes various takes on drone, from the improvisational approach of XXIII, the subterranean modern classical awesomeness of Kytö & Suihkonen, the void heaviness of Culver, the more dark ambient-ish ideas of Grey Park, Mosaic Antenna, and Yuriyuri, to the amazing atonality of Destroy All Tie Fighters, whose track can only be compared to Sunn O)))'s "bassAliens." Seriously, this is one track that has to be heard, and I beg anyone who has their split cdr with Skullpture to share it!!! 2007 tape on Hyster Tapes.
I think I have said this before about a Culver or Lee Stokoe-related release, but this is the musical equivalent of working as a stoker for the engine of an icebreaker ship or a huge furnace, such as the one described as being always on the brink of explosion in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. As you can always expect from Culver, this is deep, deafening drone wall by one of the greatest masters of the underground. 2007 cd-r on Sindre Bjerga's Gold Soundz.
Oppenheimer is one of the many groups in which Lee Stokoe of the almighty beacon of deep drone Culver and Matching Head Tapes plays. Also playing are Jamie Stewart of Wrest and Satanhartalt (whose works will one day be covered here), Jerome Smith of Charles Dexter Ward, Female Borstal (also including Lee!) and Haikai No Ku, and Mike Simpson of the amazing Xazzaz, also of Satanhartalt and Molotov Productions. All these guys are contributors to the small but powerful North England underground noise/drone scene. Here, though, they play something slightly different, showcasing a deafening but highly rhythmic type of skronk/noise rock, which is heavily influenced by the motorik style as well as containing some surprisingly rock 'n' roll parts, especially in the 2015 release. As obvious in the liner notes, instrument duties are exchanged among the band members. Worth checking out.