Sunday, December 30, 2018

Midnight Doctors - Through A Screen And Into A Hole

Jazz project conducted/masterminded by Phil Begg, who was also behind the very good ambient/drone project Hapsburg Braganza. This is the second effort of Midnight Doctors, after 2013's self-titled, which was graced with the presence of Mike Smith and Mike Vest of Bong, Dario-Lozano Thornton, and Posset, only the latter one appears on this. In contrast to that album's short vignettes of dark soundtrack jazz, this is a more focused attempt at creating long tracks. The music style is similar to Bohren & Der Club Of Gore's Sunset Mission and Black Earth, both in terms of the nightly foreboding atmosphere (minus the more horror-ish aspects of the latter album), and of the ambient feeling, which here is also accentuated by samples, electronics, and the droning of cellos, pianos, and other instruments. However, I wouldn't do this cd justice if I said that it's a rehashing of Bohren's masterpieces, as there is more at play here. Apart from the soundtrack aspects, there are also elements of deep spiritual jazz at its heaviest and finest,akin of Alice Coltrane's more experimental and improvised moments, reaching epic proportions on the penultimate track "Climactic Loss." Another point of reference could be The Embassadors more laid-back and spacious take on dark jazz. I also dig the slightly noise rock elements at play here, which remind of Reeks And The Wrecks (complete with a touch of New Orleans funeral jazz) and Oxbow's two latest jazz-tinged releases. A great album that has been on repeat for the last few days. 2015 cd on Ourodisc.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Inverted Pentagram ‎– Thee Astral Sign of War tape

Continuing in the Xmas festive spirit, here's an ultra rare promo tape by obscure Dutch black/death metal band Inverted Pentagram, who ran for a few years in the early 1990s before changing their name to Omnihierophantom (anyone heard their album?) before reverting back to the original name quite recently, and put on real fun corpsepaint and clothing, as you can see here. While this starts out in a typical early 1990s sloppy fast Beherit/Von fashion with heavily echoed vocals, there are a few surprises under their belt. There's ultra slow dirge black/doom with nice heavy bass (lovin' the continuous bell effect on "Ritual of the Black Woods", there's fun ritual improvisation with entertaining gurgling/water bloop effects on "Nyarlathotep...The Messenger" on an attempt to fascimile a Dagon effect, there's heavy organ. Nice!! Quite close in the more experimental aspects of early 90s black metal such as Necromantia, and with the obligatory clumsy-as-fuck and almost comical musicianship of that era, this makes a really cool listen on a night when you have come back home with your metal buddies to continue the drinking. 1993 tape on Black Flame Produxions.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Chœur des moines de l'abbaye de Bricquebec/De Cîteaux/Sept-Fons/de Timadeuc - Salve Regina (Deathspell Omega fans take notice)

For the obligatory festive album courtesy of your beloved half-Christian/half-Shia Lebanese jackass, a gift for the church-goers who love Deathspell Omega. Since I first heard Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice, I've been haunted by the Gregorian choir chanting throughout but more prominently at the hair-raising outro of track 1, the unforgettable "First Prayer." I'd done some research over the years, without any success at all, and only very recently did I manage to find where that sample came from. Discussions in the Metal Archives forum talked about a Jewish chant, while others mentioned it was a Russian Orthodox hymn, but none was the case. It is a French monastic choir going by the name Chœur des Moines de l'abbaye De Cîteaux, which is run by Trappist monks in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux near Dijon, and the hymn is "Magnificat Verbum caro factum est (Antiennes)." Now all of you children of Satan can rejoice at hearing this impeccable hymn in its full glory. As a fan of Catholic aesthetics, Gothic architecture, and all the blood, fire, and sin committed in the name of sweet little Jesus, I can't help but love the recordings in this cd (the hymn "Salve Regina" which has given the cd its name is not Arvo Pärt's composition), as they have a very devotional quality, given that they are sung by monk pros and not just choirs of good calliphone artists, and the recording has a quite lo-fi aspect that makes it even more mystical. Since these chants were recorded inside the churches, bells are occasionally heard to ring, thereby ascribing an even more cult feeling. Features recordings by four choirs of monks in France: Chœur des moines de l'abbaye de Bricquebec, Chœur des Moines de l'abbaye De Cîteaux, Chœur des moines de l'abbaye de Sept-Fons, and Chœur des moines de l'abbaye de Timadeuc. 2004 cd on Studio SM on the Eternel Gregorien series. Everyone have fun during these days; fuck consumerism, fuck shop owners, and fuck the festive opening of shops on Sundays that is done at the expense of the rest of workers.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Destroy All Monsters ‎– Bored

I remember being very happy when I bought this album during high school as it was one my of most sought-after things after I had a piece on a rock 'n' roll magazing on how experimental and psychedelic they were and that they were something like precursors to Throbbing Gristle. Well, musically not really, but still the sounds rock. This is the band Ron Asheton of The Stooges and Michael Davis of MC5 played in after the disbandment of the respective giants of rock 'n' roll. There is also Niagara, the female singer/performance artist, with her punk delivery and some real fun cat-like growls, as in the beginning of "Bored." The music is really good proto-punk hard r'n'r, with amazing musicianship (check the jamming vibe on "What Do I Get"? and the amazing drumming) and mind-blowing solos courtesy of Sir Asheton. This is a compilation of three 7"s they released circa 1978-1979, and it was released as a cd in 1991 by Cherry Red.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Unearthly Trance ‎– Season Of Seance, Science Of Silence cd

It was on a cold December day of 2003 that I bought the debut of Long Island's faves Unearthly Trance, after having already been mindblown by the Frost Walk With Me 7" and the amazing Beast Eye Open To The Sky LP by side project of singer/guitarist Ryan Lipinsky, Thralldom, and I remember listening to it non-stop during the Xmas holidays. While in later albums Unearthly Trance would adopt a crustier and tighter approach, with more elements by black metal and hardcore, in this one they are in a spiral of heavy-like-hippo-shit doom/sludge, with undertones of black metal and drone, doses of Celtic Frost goodness, and even ritual black ambient. Coupled with a lo-fi, but strong on the bass, production by Stephen O' Malley, this is one of the best doom/sludge albums of all time, and one that again arguably proves that Relapse can turn otherwise promising bands into more mediocre outfits when they manage to get their little corporate hands on them. The slow crushing riffs, the spacious production, and Lipinsky's desperate clean vocals, as well as his sinister rasps, proved an ideal showcase for one of this blog's dictums on your right hand, the one saying that good music is the music that makes you fall asleep, and this is what this album did many a time during cold and bleak wintry days. Highly recommended, up to par with Electric Wizard's Let Us Prey, Cathedral's Forest of Equilibrium, and Winter's Eternal Frost. 2003 cd on Rise Above Records.Download

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christophe Charles - Verena (and a comment on how Coil can potentially destroy your life)

"Verena" is a minimalist ambient composition created by Christophe Charles in 2000 composed of field recordings, glitsch electronics close to Coil's Worship The Glitsch, and a floating sense of drone ready to break out. Highly recommended listening.


Speaking of Coil's Worship The Glitsch (released as ELpH vs Coil) the time when I first listened to it coincided with a period of acute depression and anxiety disorder with psychosomatic symptoms that plagued my everyday life for many months and nearly destroyed my relationship with my then-girlfriend (and now wife) as well as my stomach. So, the three-part track "Halliwell Hammers" from that album, which refers to the murder of controversial British playwright Joe Orton - who wrote the influential play Loot - at the hands of his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell with a hammer. I don't know if I subconsciously related the sounds of that particular song, and especially its second and third part, with the actual murder - there is a percussive sound throughout, not a violent hammering bang - but from the first time I heard it I got instantly scared and anxious, and I don't remember ever having managed to listen to it through, though it lasts only 2.30 and 3.30 minutes respectively. Its cold crystalline sound always evoked to me an image of frozen green blankness, of expressionless faces, and to this day, the hair on the back of my skull and neck stand up. Combined with my then tortuous depression and stress-induced stomachache, I felt that if I was put to listen to that track continuously I would slice my wrists. I don't know why I'm going through the test to listen to all three parts of this track right now and write all this nonsense; maybe the fact that I'm in a extremely better situation right now in my life - being a father, having a regular job - enables me to confront that period. However, the suicidal sounds of "Halliwell Hammers" are still capable of raising my hair.

 The first, relatively harmless part:

The unspeakable part:

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christophe Charles ‎– Deposition Yokohama cd

Christophe Charles is a French sound artist who is based in Japan. I came across his music when I saw a butoh dance performance by great Japanese dancer/choreographer Mari Osanai. While I was talking to her, we discussed extensively on experimental music and she mentioned Christophe Charles, who has produced music for her performances, and when she returned to Japan she sent me two of his cds. In this cd, which is the soundtrack of an installation Charles did, we hear multiple tracks of very minimal electronics and musique concrète that challenge the idea of a narrative, linear duration and hearing experience, as all tracks have the same length, which potentially comes into conflict with the idea of a trademark track made by an artist. 1994 self-released cd.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Legendary Pink Dots ‎– Any Day Now cd

A legendary album by the Legendary Pink Dots, and a peak of the 1980s experimental synth music, with diverse cuts, from psychedelic electronic epics like "Casting The Runes" to jazz pop-noir masterpiece "A Strychnine Kiss" and baroque-tango ("The Gallery) to almost-progressive rock ("Waiting For the Cloud"). Could this be the bastard child of early Coil-meets-Peter-Gabriel-era-Genesis? It shouldn't be forgotten that Edward Ka-spel makes a stellar vocal performance on this album; he is also a great performer, as evidenced in the 2010 gig which I attended that was mindblowing. This is the original cd issue (minus the 3 bonus tracks) that was released in 1988 by


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fordell Research Unit ‎– 56.07°N 03.40°W cdr

Heavy psychedelic drone that would appeal to fans of early Tim Hecker as well as kosmische music by the ever-reliable FRU. 2007 cdr on Korovox Sound.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Psychophysicist - Psychophysicists CD

A masterpiece of alien ambient electronics born out of the collaboration of Adi Newton (Clock DVA) and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). An excellent exploration of tones, drones, frequencies and atmospheres. There's not much to say here, if you like later period Coil, UnicaZurn, Cyclobe, and even early Oneohtrix Point Never, you are going to love this. Try to buy it, as the booklet is also very informative on the concept of psychophysics. 1996 cd on Side Effects.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Clock DVA - Buried Dreams LP

Definitely the crowning achievement not only of Adi Newton working under the moniker Clock DVA (he's also had other peaks in his career such as the Psychophysicist album that is coming up next), but of whatever could be called rhythmic industrial, EBM or whatever. It is a horrifyingly dark and menacing album: no light emerges here. There is a totally perverted atmosphere, reflected also in the lyrics/liner notes which refer to De Sade (but there's also a political aspect with "The Hacker"). This was one of my earliest forays into experimental/electronic music as a teenager of 15, I was scared shitless when I first listened to it, and man, it still gives me shivers. "The Reign" is so fucking scary, I'm writing this thing listening to it right now in the dark with only a small lamp in order not to wake up my baby son and my hair is standing right up there. I've read that the cd remasters suck sound-wise, but dear readers, this rip is straight from the vinyl, so devour this album with abandon. 1989 LP on Interfisch Records/Wax Trax!


Friday, December 7, 2018

Xqui - November EP

The very creative Xqui, whose first releases I've talked about here, returns with a series of sinister lo-fi ambient drone. Don't know if the samples he captured on his mobile phone were taken from the place on the cover that warns of a "deep excavation," but there's truly a really subterranean feel to the recordings. Xqui here touches on some of the best masters of dark ambient like raison d'être, and Yen Pox, as well as the narrative approach to drone as perfected by Troum, but with a much more industrial perspective. This is Lovecraftian horror for urban landscapes, where Nyarlathotep preaches the message of the Great Old Ones in the metro or through text apps.

As always, Xqui is offering this great recording for on a voluntary-payment-basis, so enjoy it for free, but I'd urge everyone to give something to this very talented artist.

And I just noticed he's putting his second full-length cd called Capitulate (after the sublime Dragon) out early next year and is offering a pre-order period for it. From the three tracks posted, it seems he's already moving to other directions, especially on "Valley," which has a new agey-hypnagogic-industrial approach. Will be eagerly waiting for this one, too!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Deviant – Tools Of Termination tape

Tight as fuck brutal and technical death metal from Sweden with a good sense of melody similar to old Cryptopsy and fellow Swedes Insision. 2004 tape on Nuclear Winter Records.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Acrimonious - Perdition Gospel tape

Cool Greek black metal in the vein of Swedish "orthodox" black metal, that is, Casus Luciferi-era Watain, Ondskapt, Ofermod. Frozen arpeggios, good musicianship, excellent slower marching parts, what else do you want bruh? 2006 tape on Nuclear Winter Records.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Various ‎– The Japanese / American Noise Treaty 2XCD

Hectic working schedule and boredom allow me no time to upload something less well-known or a meaningful review, so I'm just gonna leave here one of the most classic noise compilation of all time, and probably the greatest example of how good Relapse/Release was in comparison to the commercial metal sewer they have now become. A compilation that features giants such as Merzbow, Masonna, K2, CCCC, Hijokaidan, Incapacitants, The Haters, Macronympha, Walking Time Bombs, Cock E.S.P., Richard Ramirez, and others. 1995 double cd on Release Entertainment.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tina Turner Tidal Wave ‎– Untitled tape (Soundholes)

Heavy, crushing tectonic synth electronics on this two-track tape, which indeed sound like tides colliding against rocks, or the roaring movement of tectonic plates. For fans of Tim Hecker up till Ravedeath, 1972. 2011 tape on Sound Holes.