Friday, June 29, 2018

Yokonono - Haunted Head tape

Two completely sleep-inducing and zoning-out 40-minute bubbling drones that stay the same throughout. No point here but to crawl on the floor while blasting the air conditioning on these hot days, or as the label says to focus before the exams. 2016 tape on Beartown.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Louise Landes Levi - IKIRU or The Wanderer

Whereas the previous solo albums of experimental music priestess Louise Landes Levi (here and here) had a more soothing and meditative effect, this one sounds more dramatic and dystopian; this is due to the theme of the album being the monarch butterfly, a species whose numbers have greatly plummeted in recent years. There is an immense feeling of loss and mourning in Louise's wailing sarangi, while in Ira Cohen's poem she recites at the beginning of the second she juxtaposes the strength and resilience of a creature whose brain is the size of a pinhead but knows how to fly to Mexico against the imminent extinction brought about by human negligence. On this album she is accompanied by Bart DePaepe of Sloow Tapes (who had released From The Ming Oracle) and Timo Van Luijk (both members of Ilta Hämärä) who recorded/mixed the album and probably had a hand in the instrumentation too, as there are drones and instances of some sort of dulcimer apart from the sarangi. Proceeds from this album will go to a buttefly conservation center, and since this album is supremely beautiful, I strongly recommend you offer some sort of financial aid straight through Oaken Palace. 2018 LP on Oaken Palace.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Filthy Turd - Buxom Psychic & Reptilian Revelator

Disgusting skronky dictaphone noise and musique concrète by everyone's beloved turd sandwich. Unsettling almost singing too, ideal for any uptown expensive restaurant. 15 tracks here but I'm not sure if I've separated them correctly. Tape on Beartown Records.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Female Borstal (Culver/Mutant Ape/Haikai No Ku project)

As mentioned in the previous post on the Wasp Bomb/Female Borstal split tape, the latter is a project consisting of Lee Stokoe of Culver on bass, George Proctor of Mutant Ape on drums and Jerome Smith of Haikai No Ku on guitar. Their music is sort of a mix between Lee's Marzuraan super-heavy sludge and Jerome's Haikai No Ku psychedelic vastness, something like a more energetic and less sleep-inducing Bong or Let Us Prey-era Electric Wizard (my fave Wizard album btw). The riffs are real nice and there is an epic and agonizing feeling that usually culminates in noisy feedback and echo-drowned jams. Here are some of their releases:

2011 - Female Borstal cdr (Turgid Animal) - Download

2012 - Women In Prison...In Manchester 12.04.12 cdr (Turgid Animal) - Download

Live Split with Drunk In Hell - Free Download

NIHL/Female Borstal split tape on Matching Head - Get it from the label itself - get active!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wasp Bomb / Female Borstal ‎– Live At The Dog And Parrot 28.3.14 (Fuckin' Amateurs)

Another obscurity brought to your family's entertainment by Blyth's finest record label is this live recording of Wasp Bomb and Female Borstal. Wasp Bomb was a (one-off I gather) project of Lucy Johnson (Smut, Witchblood, Indian Lady, Dark Bargain), Jamie Stewart (Fuckin' Amateurs, Wrest, Oppenheimer, Satanhartalt) along with two other people and played feedback-fog-heavy screaming punk/noise rock, and I'm not sure if I separated the tracks correctly. Female Borstal was one of the myriad projects of Lee Stokoe, accompanied by George Proctor (Mutant Ape, Karst, Turgid Animal) and Jerome Smith (Oppenheimer, Charles Dexter Ward). One of the most band-like musically ones at that, since they played a more psychedelic and energetic version of Marzuraan, that is, lysergic doom metal/drone. Expect much noise and intensity, proceed with caution. 2014 tape on Fuckin' Amateurs.


Various ‎– Noisenet # 7: UK Noise Compilation tape

Very nice tape featuring loads of UK noise artists, both classics and then-emerging ones,  including Ashtray Navigations, Coits, Neil Campbell, Smell & Quim, Culver, Expose Your Eyes (the tape's highligh IMO), Mlehst, Con-Dom, and Grey Wolves. Do you need anything more than that? 1996 tape on the Taiwanese label Noise (no, not the German label releasing Running Wild records).


Monday, June 11, 2018

Various ‎– Fuckin' Fifty? (Fuckin' Amateurs compilation 6 X cdr)

The two recent posts about Xazzaz and TQ Zine were more or less related to Fuckin' Amateurs, so I thought to post this. In short, F#A was a ten-year-long project started by Martin Gregory and Jamie Stewart, documenting the life of the North-East English no-audience underground, mainly by bootlegging gigs of those artists and bands located or playing there, many of whom have received posts about here, or are going to get! That scene is really vibrant, diverse and creative and F#A did an amazing job keeping the light alive, until its folding of operations last year, which has fortunately been taken over by No-Audience Underground tapes. In this mammoth six-cdr compilation celebrating the fiftieth release of the label, a long series of artists ranging from drone, noise, punk, dictaphone and free jazz are compiled. Some are blog favorites, such as Jazzfinger, Posset, Waz Hoola, Culver, Wrest, Basilica, MC Blazin, Mechanical Children, Hapsburg Braganza, Lobster Priest, Charles Dexter Ward, as well as enigmatic car-race radio broadcast dictaphone worshipper Chris "Pause" Richardson. The highlight, though, is the last track of the last cdr, which is a band called The Nice People From Straightsville doing a cacophonous lo-fi castrato-voice cover of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine" renamed "I'm Going to Ashington." 2009 6-cdr set on Fuckin' Amateurs.

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5
Disc 6

Vampyres (Lee Stokoe & Martyn Reid)

Vampyres is a hot new project by Lee Stokoe of Culver/Witchblood/Matching Head tapes/millions of other projects and Martyn Reid of Depletion (2017's  Lost Signals tape on Matching Head was a masterpiece of grey industrial synth bleakness) and in their releases they play intense and dense droning industrialized noise quite close to Depletion. If Culver is the all-devouring primeval drone of the Great Old Ones lurking out of space to engulf us, Vampyres is the dark daily presence of Nyarlathotep, the carrier that brings the message that our technology-infested world will be engulfed in evil.

Since Lee prefers Culver and  MH material not to be uploaded online, I will provide links to anything that has been posted online by labels, and links for potential purchases.

Astral Sacrifice (2017, At War With False Noise) - Free streaming 

So hypnotic and miserable is the sound that I fell asleep listening to it while waiting at a public service.

Century Scars (2017, Invisible City Records) - Free download

Damaged screaming poisoned-wind-swept noise drone.

Bloodstream (2017, Matching Head) - Buy it

Like a pool of green toxic fluids dripping from big evil factory machines.

Voyeurs At The Gates Of Hell (2018, Matching Head) - Buy it
Caustic like acid on throbbing flesh wounds with deceptive moments of lull.

At The Altar (2018, Cruel Nature Recordings) - 1 tape remaining

Impenetrable sprawling ringing drone on a real bad trip.

Despondent Kingdom (2018, Narcolepsia) - Samples and ordering

The most recent one and possibly the best one yet along with Bloodstream. Three tracks of evil modular synth industrial drone of the order of Maurizio Bianchi and early Wolf Eyes.

Vampyres & Rust Ruus - Live At Club Ponderosa, Gateshead, 30 September 2017 (No-Audience Underground Tapes)

Ali Robertson & Joyce Whitfield, Vampyres, brb>voicecoil, Spoils & Relics - Live At Soundroom Gateshead 23 June 2017 (No-Audience Underground Tapes) - Contact the label for free tape copies

Two live documents of gigs of Vampyres, where they are even more deafening, abrasive and threatening. On the other side of the first tape, Rust Ruus plays high-pitched sounds which sound to me like they have been created with wind instruments - but I'm not sure. On the other tape, Ali Robertson of Usurper and Joyce Whitfield play a live set of dictaphone sounds and Posset-like autistic mouth sounds. brb>voicecoil offers a set of pulsating and slightly rhythmic/a-rhythmic electronic weirdness. Spoils & Relics sound like they are constantly connecting live wires to each other along with samples of some robotic talking are heard in the background.

Also, Vampyres have set up a soundcloud account, where they have posted two more tracks that I haven't seen anywhere.

(and of course, these tapes can be got via email contact)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

TQ Zine 10 & 11 / Charlie Ulyatt - Inaudible Gestures

With each issue TQ Zine gets better and better and gradually fills up adequately the slumber of Radio Free Midwich, which we still invoke to wake up when the stars are right. The last few issues have seen a shift into high gears, with offering of cdrs to subscribers and extremely interesting interviews, which seem to get even better with the oncoming issues that will celebrate a year since the first light of day.

#10 comes with a cdr sampler of the superb Linear Obsessional label, featuring released, as well as exclusive, tracks from the label's 2017 output, which has now been posted as non-subscriber earcandy. Everything sounds great, but I especially dig the tracks by Kassia Flux (also reviewed and interviewed in issue 11), Steven Ball, Far Rainbow, as well as Lost Robots. The latter band is given an extensive feature in said issue to mark their recording return after nine years with the album Arms in which they offer a stunning combination of kraut rock, This Heat-style madness and the sound of Canterbury. Also included, aside from expected reviews, is a free download coupon for Nat Lyon's nice Slant Front Desk (expect dark pop with a hint of western), and the highlight, which is the first part of an interview with Jamie Stewart, aka harsh noise artist Wrest, co-founder of the important NE England label Fuckin' Amateurs, and member of Satanhartalt and Oppenheimer, whose works have been covered here. In this interview he talks extensively about the town of Blyth and noise and it's a great read.

I've just received #11 in the mail, and it's a fantastic job. Aside from the second part of Jamie's interview, where he recounts the founding and course of Fuckin' Amateurs, followed by a list of notable Fuckin' Amateurs releases, as well as an extensive feature of Charlie Ulyatt's music, consisting of two reviews, an interview and a free cdr of his latest release, Inaudible Gestures.

Charlie Ulyatt seems to be a relative newcomer to the experimental underground, with his earliest outings dating from 2016. In his interview he states that he drew large inspiration from Earth/Dylan Carlson, which is reason enough to give his music a chance. He also cites Dean McPhee and John Fahey, though I would also point to Slint and late Talk Talk as referential points to his guitar playing. On his first release, Dead Birds, there is indeed a lot of leaning on Earth's reform material, especially Hex, as well as Carlson's solo material. Shifting is a much more experimental affair, offering a string of prepared guitar/e-bow offerings, creating an electric/drone counterpart to Jon Collin's guitar experiments. On his most recent release, Inaudible Gestures, (which is as I said offered free to TQ subscribers) he abandons the guitar for a molestation of the cello (which he says has recently started taking lessons on) creating highly entertaining avant-drone/free-jazz, with referential points possibly being Roof, Revolutionary Ensemble, and modern-day masters Diktat.

I wanna thank TQ for introducing me to Charlie, whose music can be found on Bandcamp, is offered for free, and deserves financial support. TQ in itself deserves our support and subscriptions for the great work that must continue, so head over to the blog and get in touch!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Xazzaz - The Candle Is Lit tape

Xazzaz playing "happy droneday to you" on the occasion of Lee Stokoe's birthday (as can be seen on the tape inlay). Having read reviews of his live appearances, I gotta say that they were pretty accurate in their raving: deadening/deafening drone with a more industrial-Throbbing Gristle vibe here, and as always with the greyness of NE England ever-present. Essential listening released in 2014 on the sadly missed Fuckin' Amateurs.


Friday, June 8, 2018

Xazzaz - Smoke Jaguar/Ghost Wolf cdr

Over-the-top distorto-guitar noise on the first track, but all the money's on the second track, which is a wild psychedelic ritual drone with hazy electronics, guitar feedbacks and ecstatic percussion, quite reminiscent of Matthew Bower's Total. Superb. 2012 cdr on Molotov.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Xazzaz / La Mancha Del Pecado ‎– La Esquina Roja Split cdr

On this superb split between two of the most notable guitar-based drone/noisers of the present, Xazzaz/Mike Simpson is at his most black-metal moment, combining sinister tremolo riffing with terrorist feedback in a buried-in-the-coffin sound, while La Mancha Del Pecado/Miguel Perez plays a heavy Culver-ian/Sunn-O)))-esque heavy static drone hymn that sounds like it also has a little bit of an organ. 2013 cdr on Oracle Netlabel


Xazzaz - Untitled cdr

Damn me if Matthew Bower isn't proud of his disciples. This one could have been one of the greatest post-reunion Skullflower releases, with its combination of a menacing serpentine riff with psychedelic electronics and a buried sound. Listened to the riff and don't tell that this could have also been the drone version of Carl Orff's "Veris Leta Facies" from Carmina Burana. The sinister drone black metal evilness gives way to ten minutes of industrial drone stasis, a mix between a factory and a Sunn O))). The second track is an interplay between low-frequency electronics and bass drone throb, like Culver working on a spaceship. An essential release of the North-East English underground. 2012 cdr on Molotov.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Xazzaz - Black Hearts and Brittle Bones cdr

This one sounds deceptively quiet, beginning with a beautiful droning sound of what I think is accordion, sounding very similar to fellow spirit Culver, and around the three-minute mark a siren-like guitar feedback comes in, after which things become suffocating. For the remaining 9 minutes we are treated with harsh and miserable guitar improvisation, somewhere between Earth 2, Skullflower and oozing black metal, thereby sounding similar to Mike's dungeon black drone project Satanhartalt. Just great. 2012 cdr on Molotov.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Xazzaz - Obit cdr

We've talked about Mike Simpson, Xazzaz, his label Molotov Productions with the great visuals and the bands he plays in (Gigantmæcg, Satanhartalt, Dark Bargain and Oppenheimer) before. Xazzaz is his solo project, in which he plays guitar-based deafening noisedrone with over-the-top bass distortion and swarms of feedback, under which sometimes you can hear a hint of riffing. 2012 cdr on Molotov Productions.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Stuart Chalmers - Self Destruction cdr

A dystopian work of environmental collapse caused the self-destructive tendencies of humanities is presented here by Stuart Chalmers, one of the most interesting musicians at work at the moment. Once again he graces us with his dream-like playing of the South-Asian swarmandal instrument, generating pieces of immense fragile beauty contrasted with samples of logging and pieces of horror-like ambient noise, obviously wanting to reflect the immediacy of preserving whatever pristine's left of our nature from the devouring greed of capitalist gluttony. 2017 cdr on Reverb Worship.

PS. Stuart has just released a new one called The Shadow, which is again great. Check it here.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mutant Throbbing Gristle tribute cd


This is a tribute/remix cd of TG classics ("United," "Hot on the Heels of Love," Hamburger Lady," "Still Walking," "Persuasion," and "What A Day"), revisited by Carl Craig, Motor, Hedonastik, Two Lone Swordsmen, Ratcliffe, and Carter Tutti themselves. Some of the tracks have too much of a modern electronic, almost club-ish vibe, but a few manage to stay faithful to the TG spirit (if not letter), like Hedonastik's "What A Day," which also has a late Coil-like feel to it, or Carl Craig's "Hot on the Heels," which sounds as late-70ish as the original one. Good for collecting reasons. 2004 cd on NovaMute.