Claustrophobic dark ambient with an atmosphere invoking insane asylums with rusted doors or abandoned train stations, in the archetypical Cold Meat Industry style of Sephiroth, Desiderii Marginis and Raison d' Etre 2003 cd on Cold Meat Industry.
Four years after Stories Across Borders, this one is a more full fleshed version of the art pop/ambient version of that album, with a more expansive and psychedelic sound, perhaps aided in fact by the participation of Steven Wilson and Colin Edwin, his Porcupine Tree bandmates. Also, when I first heard the harmonica on the first track, I said "hey this one's off Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden," and indeed Mark Beltham, the harmonica player on that album participates on a few tracks, giving also a Talk Talk vibe here, along with late Pink Floyd influences. Good stuff. 1995 cd on Medium Productions Limited.
I've mentioned how important CrimethInc. records and its bands were in politicizing me as a teen punk/metalhead. Its mid-to-late-1990s records of Catharsis, Gehenna and Timebomb were integral in the consolidation of the metallic hardcore genre, and more specifically the "holy terror" subgenre, along with Integrity, Ringworm, All Out War, Kickback and a few more American and European HC bands. The Inside Front zine run by Brian Dingledine - singer of Catharsis and key figure of the label/collective - opened my eyes to so many hardcore punk bands and features important articles about politics, anticapitalism and self-organization. Over the years CrimethInc. kind of became irrelevant to me politically as I moved towards more Marxist viewpoints but I still go back to read some of the stuff.
Anyway, this LP features seven tracks, one each by Belgian thrash-metal-influenced straight-edge/vegan legends Congress, Italian political metallic hardcore Timebomb, deathcore barbarians Systral from Bremen (check out their split 7" with Acheborn), more old-school hc by Refused side-project Final Exit, nightmarish sludge/punk by the incomparable Damad, technical mathy hc by Jesuit (members of which were Brian Benoit of Dillinger Escape Plan and Nate Newton of Converge/Old Man Gloom), and the highlight which is the absolutely evil, scary, infernal and apocalyptic medley of "Testimony/Divine Rewards" by Gehenna, one of the most savage and destructive hardcore punk bands ever. Even though all tracks here are absolutely awesome, they can be found elsewhere in the respective bands' releases, but this track, consisting of a jam of "Testimony" from their classic 7" The Birth of Vengeance and unknown track "Divine Rewards," hasn't ever been released anywhere else, not even in the re-release of The War of the Sons of Light and the Suns of Darkness.
Apart from the rich booklet containing lyrics and interviews/texts of the band plus a second booklet analyzing the strategies of standardization and uniformity in Western advanced capitalist societies. This is an essential release of 1990s political hardcore, so you must get it. 1997 LP on CrimethInc.
The last Sonichaos Aeon release (in the liner notes there was supposed to be more coming, but it seems that this never came to fruition) has nothing to do with metal anymore (even with metal in Sonichaos Aeon's twisted sense). There's a cinematic-noir-style intro with a guy talking over Salah Ragab's "Ramadan In Space Time," giving the notion that there is a concept behind related to drugs, followed by two tracks of hard-hitting Detroit-style techno with elements of trance, which are more accomplished than their earlier electronic tracks. The final track is a surprising club techno cover of Manowar's "Fighting The World," that needs to be heard to be believed. 2006 self-released cdr.
The next Sonichaos Aeon takes all the black metal and electronic elements of the previous demo and combine them with a lot of expired psychedelic narcotics to create a severely damaged trip. First four tracks alternate between fucked up black metal/industrial acting as a primitive version of Dodheimsgard (even the vocals are reminiscent of Aldrahn's) and unsettling beat-driven tranced-out dark electronica, as if the black metal tracks had been removed from Mysticum's In the Streams of Inferno. This is followed by two super-distorted tracks of garage/rock 'n' roll, and ending by two electronic remixes of "Satan Am I" from Hellel Benshahamar. The last one is pretty hilarious; it's a cheap club trance remix based on Spanish-sung distorted vocals and flamenco melodies. This is super fun but darkly toxic at the same time. 2002 self-released tape.
Sonichaos Aeon was a weird Greek band playing a mix of black metal and industrial/electronica, but with a satirical bend. The tape starts with the music from John Carpenter's Children of The Corn (thinking this is an Asphyx record) and their black metal side sounds like a primitive, low-level playing skill Hellhammer-ish and rock-'n'-roll-ish distorted mess with alternating shouted and high-pitched damaged vocals filled with delay that almost always end with some sort of mocking black metal seriousness, whether that is crowd applause or Spanish singing over Middle-Eastern scales. The electronic track here is kinda similar to the late-1990s black metal bands' take on industrial, accompanied by discordant guitars and the like. It's not that it's something innovative, but their delivery and mocking mood makes it something nice to hear. As a bonus, there are three more tracks coming from earlier demos, which were included in a compilation cd called Heavy Metal Antichrist, that sound like a cripple man's attempt to play Ved Buens Ende or Dodheimsgard; the last of the three, "Haunted," is a industrial noise ritual cover of the track by Old Funeral, the first band of Abbath and Varg Vikernes. 1999 self-released tape.
Two days ago I got Cosey Fanni Tutti's Art Sex Music memoir in the mail and I have been devouring it with much interest. I'm about halfway through, right after the breakup of TG and just into her pregnancy and beginning of C&C. She talks extensively about pre-TG activities, COUM Transmissions, her torturous relationship with Genesis P-Orridge (who is portrayed in way less than flattering ways, abusive, physically violent, sexist...) and her youth in Hull , her loving mother, her strict father. I felt particularly sad about the cutting off of contact with her mother as a result of the infamous ICA "wreckers of civilization" exhibition, about which, however, she talks rather little given how important for TG's reputation that event was. In fact, the TG part takes up much less pages than early life/COUM. I'm looking forward to reading about the reunion and second demise of TG. As a tribute to this extraordinary woman who has been central in the shaping of my musical tastes, and with whom I was in love as a teen (there are a few striptease photos inside, too) I'm posting the ninth album of her shared music group with fellow TG-er Chris Carter (her recounting of sexual experiences as a trio with either GPO or Sleazy are fun, plus their making of snuff films), which I heard when I was about 15 from "Big Bear," a scary guy who lived close to mine but whose house I frequented a lot during my teens, because he burned me cdrs of albums by Coil, TG, Current 93, Death In June, etc. When I heard this album I was starting to discover noise and I had read about TG's abrasiveness and horror so I was kinda shocked to hear that this was electro/synth-pop stuff with a hint of dub without any terror inside. But I was especially drawn to Cosey's sensuous, erection-inducing vocals and the dark electronic sound and I now consider it a masterpiece of a music genre I'm not particularly fond of. 1991 album on Play It Again Sam Records.
Life’s been too busy lately with family, work and
studies so I had no time to make a happy birthday post about TQ, so now I’m
posting something about both latest issues. Last month TQ Zine marked its first
anniversary with #12 celebrating it with a 3-cdr compilation of artists making
tracks inspired by three previous issue covers. This is over 3 hours of noise,
ambient, and experimental sounds. I haven’t been able to pay full attention to
the music, but through two listens I have discovered some new stuff which I
might have read about before but didn’t get around to listening to, plus tracks
by artists I had already heard. The tracks I particularly distinguished are: an
amazing jazzy ambient track by Chlorine (must hear more from them), a cacophonous
reed and guitar detuning jam with surreal lyrics from Chow Mwng (congrats for
making a track with lyrics for a cover), beautiful floating droney ambient from
Ghost Signs, vocal drone and throat singing by James Worse, throbbing and
reverberating subterranean drone by Joined By Wire, an amazing combination of
early Swans, Skullflower and My Bloody Valentine by Penance Stare (must find
out more), this blog’s favorite Posset making a great number poem, organ and
string drone by The Daughters of Conceptual Sex Death, and the absolutely best
discovery of recent months called Möbius, a vocal ambient
drone duo from Newcastle offering an AMAZING witch invocation drone that I can’t
stop listening to. How the fuck did these people elude my drone radar? Thank
you TQ for ceaselessly teaching me about good music. The content of # 12 is filled
with descriptions of the tracks’ recording processes by the artists themselves,
and is complete with Rob Hayler’s essay on the origins and characteristics of
the No-Audience Underground. Check out the full compilation here.
#13 is a heartfelt tribute to John Peel with
accounts of getting to know him or recording Peel Sessions by various artists,
and a truly warming comic about him, plus some reviews. I have to say that not
having grown up in the UK or the English-speaking world in general I never had
the chance to really listen to him during his lifetime, although I had read
lots about him through magazine about psychedelic rock as a child. But as I
grew up and I became obsessed with grindcore and crust punk I read about his
promotion of heroes of my adolescence like Napalm Death and Extreme Noise
Terror, and I realize how important it was for someone like him to exist in the
established media. This issue is accompanied by a DVD of the documentary Republic about the city of Blyth being
voted worst town in England in 1992. I was very intrigued about this doc when I
read about a few months ago, but I still haven’t watched it, but looking
forward to it.
Next issue seems to have another good offer
for its subscribers, namely a Posset cd, which is reason enough for someone to