Sunday, December 31, 2017

Charles Lloyd ‎– All My Relations CD

Charles Lloyd commanding a super quarter joined by Bobo Stenson on piano, Anders Jormin on double bass and Billy Hart on drums. Far more energetic than most of his albums which are more inwards, we got here a relaxed dancey feel in the greatly titled "Thelonious Theonlyous" where someone (Jormin?) makes Keith-Jarrett-like moans, and superb flute by Lloyd on the Coltrane-esque "Little Peace" 1995 cd on ECM.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ascension - Five Titles cd

After Stefan Jaworzyn quit Skullflower in the early 90s, he says he abandoned his guitar for a few years, before being convinced to take it up again by drummer Tony Irving. So the two of them started the groups Ascension and Descension which are essentially free jazz but improvised and played on exclusively rock instruments, namely electric guitar and drums, similar to Skullflower's innovative rock approach to noise music. Despite the improvised nature, there is a unique connection between the two guys, and this is topped by the last track which is a 27-minute dual guitar noise and feedback assault from another planet. Yeah baby this is great. 1996 cd on Shock.


Friday, December 29, 2017


Thralldom is a NYC-based black metal band with a lot of noise and ambient elements and occult thematology. What sets them apart from run-of-the-mill BM is their very noisy approach which has influences from Swans, Godflesh and paranoid riffs which avoid the typical Norwegian-style tremolo riffing. Responsible for this are Jaldagar on drums and Killusion (Ryan Lipynsky) on guitar and vocals, who is the frontman of dark sludge band Unearthly Trance, whose debut Season of Seance, Science of Silence is one of my all-time favorite doom/sludge albums. Below is part of their discography, minus their EPs and their reunion cd Time Will Bend Into Horror which I didn't really like.
2002 - A Murderous Magus Of The Morphogenetic Grid 7" (Regimental Records)

Lo-fi black/doom metal with cool Darkthrone/punk riffs.


2003 - Beast Eye Opened To The Sky LP (Parasitic Records)

 Demented, radioactive noisy evil with great off-kilter guitar work and vocals.


2005 - The Seven Heads of The Lion Serpent 7" (Deathstrike Records)

 Yo, isn't that Celtic Frost's heptagram? The Celtic Frost references doesn't stop there as the first track is a very groovy and danceable Celtic Frost-meets-Motorhead-meets Darkthrone anthem. The two other tracks are equally great.


 2005 - Black Sun Resistance LP (Profound Lore Records)


More occult metal awesomeness, with more 80's metal influences like Bathory, Hellhammer and Sarcofago, but with great atmospheric guitar work similar to Godflesh and motorik rhythms.


2006 - A Shaman Steering The Vessel of Vastness cd (Profound Lore Records)

The last Thralldom before their break-up was their most experimental but also their heavier. Thick death/black riffs mix with chaotic drums/guitar improvisations and battle with misanthropic noise and ambient moments of unnerving calm. Majestic. 2006 cd on Profound Lore Records.

Witchblood - Ecsed tape

The return of Johnson/Stokoe finds them in a much deeper and heavier mood. No longer does LJ plays multi-note melodies on the piano, just some very sinister and majestic chords, and the droning background is considerably murkier than the thin sound of the first tape. On the flipside, there is a superb 11-minute track dominated by a shimmering organ chord which, in contrast to the crawling descend that usually characterizes LS's music, has a very ascending and floating quality. As for the title, Ecsed is the Hungarian town where Elizabeth Bathory grew up. Essential. 2016 tape on Matching Head.

Download (removed after artist's request)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Popular Radiation & Witchblood - Live At The Mining Institute split tape

This is an amazing split live tape recorded in Newcastle and shared between Popular Radiation and Witchblood. PR is a solo project of Jazfinger's Hasan Gaylani, so you know you should expect something good. This isn't Jazzfinger-like improvisations but a grinding, climactic drone accompanied by some deep bass noises. It's very good, but the highlight is Witchblood, a project of the omniscient droner Lee Stokoe of Culver and one of the most talented women in noise, Lucy Johnson, whose Smut releases I've just posted. What we have here is one of the most beautiful and enveloping drone recordings ever made, consisting of a maniacal piano melody (played by Lucy?) and a deafening, screaming siren drone (Lee-made?) that sounds like it's played on strings, but I'm not sure. I really can't get enough of this, it has an amazing cathartic quality and must be placed among the classics of modern experimental music. 2014 tape on Boiled Brains Bootlegs.

Download (removed after artist's request)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Witchblood - Eponine tape

Witchblood is one of the best projects of the omniscient Lee Stokoe of Culver and Lucy Johnson, one of the most talented women in noise, whose work as Smut I've just posted. As noted in Smut's Piano One tape, Lucy is a superb piano player, and Witchblood's music is very much reliant on resonant piano melodies, while Lee probably accompanies here on guitar ambiences and sound manipulations. The result here is less noisy than what both artists usually present and possesses a psychedelic and spectral quality, which sometimes sound very much like 1970s horror movie soundtracks, or nightmarish nursery songs. Indeed, the fifth track has a very musicbox-hazy child dream melody that is just hair-raising. This ghostly, fleeting mood is also highlighted by the sound which is drowned, and a little bit like recorded on chewed-up tape. Amazing music by some of the most creative noise minds at work at the moment. 2013 tape on Matching Head.

Download (removed after artist's request)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Nils Helstrom & Cathal Rodgers - Fractal Dimensions cdr

Masterful, enveloping dark ambient like the good old days of Cold Meat Industry by these two Irish-based musicians, of which Cathal Rodgers has been active in many other projects such as long-running dirge doom band Wreck of the Hesperus, Wererju and Sperimicidal. 2015 self-released cdr.


Martyn Bates & Troum - To A Child Dancing In The Wind cd

This collab with Eyeless in Gaza singer is one of the highlights of Troum's career which anyway has many peaks. Based on William Butler Yeats poems sung by Bates in a calm and evocative manner and transcendental drones and beautiful passages with accordion, balalaika and harmonica, this album has an amazing yearning feeling. The first track "Mad as the Mist and Snow" and it's reprise in track 6, are probably some of the best things ever put on record. Must listen. 2006 cd on Transgredient Records.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Koreisch - This Decaying Schizophrenic Christ Complex cd

A fitting album for Christmas Day. In the late '90s the British hardcore scene became witness to a surge of mindfucked bands who created music that took its cue from hardcore, and fused it with metal, ambient and noise that was extremely dark, anguished and terrifying by the standards of hardcore at that time, even with the presence of bands like Integrity or early Converge. The leading bands of that scene were Canvas, Slavearc and an offshoot of the latter band called Koreisch, who hailed from Sheffield. Their only release was this nightmarish cd which was released in 1999 by Screams of Salvation and combines horrifying noise, crushing doom metal and violent outbursts of cacophonous, weird-timed grindcore. Being a hardcore punk kid in my late teens, I've got to say that this is one of the albums that got me interested in noise, about which I only knew Merzbow at that time. This is the 2004 cd reissue on Calculated Risk Products.