Saturday, April 27, 2019

Maurizio Bianchi - Atholgog 3" cdr

For this year's Easter post, here's some good ol' MB, paying his tribute to jesus, with track titles such as "Kraniou Topos" and "His Death Our Life." The music is typical (i.e. good) MB: mystical ambient/noise/drone, with a more psychedelic touch on tracks 2 and 3, bordering on Popol Vuh and kosmische. 3" cdr on Stridulum Recordings.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Nivhek - After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house

Nivhek is a new alternate moniker for the work of Liz Harris/Grouper. After last year's awesome Grid Of Points, which accompanied me during my mother's short hospitalization and death, this new four-part recording features also Michael Morley (The Dead C/Gate), has an equally depressive/ghostly mood. Piano is to be found in minimum quantities here, as the main instrument is a lonely vibrating synth, along with some intense deep bass drones, and of course Liz's evasive vocals. There's a somewhat ethereal quality reminding me of Dead Can Dance's Within The Realm of a Dying Sun. As I said it's a very depressive record; two days ago I listened to it on repeat for a few hours while reading Teodor Adorno's Lectures on Negative Dialectics (a very difficult read in itself) and having a cold due to having open windows during a somewhat cold day, and I felt very miserable to the point of feeling my heart beating weakly. I don't want to dissuade you from listening to it; it's another high peak for Grouper, it's just that it can really destroy a good mood. 2019 LP on Yellow Electric; I chose not to separate the tracks, as they continue seamlessly and it would ruin the unity.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Haare - Gateways tape

The glorious Haare returns with another slab of mystic, threatening, and hallucinatory industrial drone/ambient/noise. The conviction with which Haare does their thing is amazing. I've yet to hear one recording that strays from this psychedelic evil maze of black matter and toxic liquids. 2018 tape on Heavy Meditation.


Friday, April 19, 2019

Idris Muhammad ‎– My Turn LP

For something completely different, here's a latter-day LP of legendary jazz fusion/funk drummer Idris Muhammad, whose 1974 LP Power Of Soul is one of my five favorite jazz albums of all time. Apart from Idris's always amazing groovy drumming, this album marks a return for Bob James (yes the composer of "Nautilus" from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas) on keyboards (who also conducted Power Of Soul and wrote the great second track on there "Piece Of Mind") and stellar saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., who also played sax in 1974 and wrote the classic "Loran's Dance." Of course, this isn't exactly 1970s-styled funk/jazz, but has a more modern flavor, with elements of r'n'b and soul, but also slightly latin hints; however, the most jamming moments, such as the latin-tinged "There Is A Girl," are excellent. 1990 LP on Lipstick Records.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Xqui - Timepieces/Settlers EPs

After the feverish Capitulate full-length cd earlier this year, Xqui returns with more subterranean manipulated sonicscapes. My description of his music as "Lovecraftian horror for urban landscapes" continues here; subdued dreamy and unsettling passages in undeground tunnels is always what comes to my mind when I hear his stuff, and while I was hearing "Biff" from his latest EP Settlers, I couldn't help but remember when I was playing maniacally Call of Cthulhu - Dark Corners of the Earth, and thought how much these tracks would fit that awesome game, (Which reminds me to ask, has anyone played the new Call of Cthulhu game? Is it worth?), or they could as well have been released by the master label of dark ambient in the late 1990s and early 200s, Roger Karmanik's Cold Meat Industry.

Both Settlers and Timepieces are available for free on Xqui's bandcamp, so enjoy them, and why not, help the artist continue his awesome job. Plus, I notices a new track from an EP due out in May called "Monatomic," which mixes the dark ambient style with a slightly 1980's experimental industrial style such as that of the very early Coil or Current 93 ritualistic feel (or even with SPK's Zamia Lehmanni), with an amazing reverb feel. Really excited for this new EP!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Vae Victis / Ahriman split 7"

Two strangely groovy and technical hardcore tracks akin to Rune and Stalingrad from Ahriman, and two screaming and raging anthems of crust/screamoviolence/black metal madness by the great Vae Victis. 1998 7" on Satan's Pimp and 702 Records.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Vae Victis - Ugly Reflection LP

Just when you thought that spring was finally here and that there wouldn't be any more rain and gloomy skies, there's yet another week of storms and greyness. What better weather for some bleak metallic hardcore by Vae Victis, a band from Reno featuring the beast of Jensen Ward (Iron Lung, Artimus Pyle). Short, desperate pieces of crust-via-black metal-via noise rock dissonance, up to par with His Hero Is Gone and Gehenna. Classic but underrated album. 2001 LP on Back The Draft and Moral Atrophy.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Blyth Holes ‎– Blyth Graveyard tape

One of the most mysterious recordings of the North-East England underground is this one which seems to commemorate the contributions of Jamie Stewart, Martin Gregory and Waz Hoola to the scene. Actually, it is  an one-off recording by George Proctor (Mutant Ape, Inseminoid, Turgid Animal Records), Ben Jones (Jazzfinger, Mechanical Children), and Dean Glaister (RYN, Erases) playing very lo-fi harsh noise and musique concrète, with the second track being so lo-fi that is almost hypnotic. 2011 tape on Ecstatic Peace! with artwork by Kim Gordon!!!


Monday, April 8, 2019

Bjerga/Iversen - The Smallest Roads Are Paved With Bricks of Gold CDR

My time is very limited these days due to work and family, so posts will probably be scarce. So, the return to writing here will be marked by a return to Bjerga/Iversen after quite some time, with one of their most hypnotic drone-centered recordings, and more specifically with a sci-fi/spaceship sound that has a soundtrack feel to it. 2006 cdr on Celestial Jars.


Monday, April 1, 2019

Tepe Gawra ‎– A Rise In The Chalcolithic

Hails to Radio Free Midwich for introducing me to Other Forms of Consecrated Life, an online-only label releasing SUPERB drone/ambient/electronic music. So far, they have done only five albums, all of which are worth mentioning, but the one here (the label's debut release) is absolutely exceptional. Tepe Gawra (named after an ancient Mesopotamian city) is an otherwise unknown entity, since I don't find any info on discogs, and this makes it even more interesting. The music here matches the name and the cover art (all of OFOCL's releases have minimal artwork depicting ancient artifact), as we have some of the most enveloping, consuming and hypnotic drone I've ever listened to. There's a definite ritual and devotional atmosphere emerging from the crushing, powerful drones, which could be likened to Troum in terms of the mystical atmosphere, but the ones here are even more addictive. Track 2, "Tholoi B", in particular, has this Middle-Eastern wind instrument melody underneath the drone heaviness and it's, well I can't describe, you must hear it.


As I said, all releases of Other Forms of Consecrated Life are worth a listen, and I also recommend especially buying and listening to the piano recordings of The Shattered Vessel by Eva Kierten, and Fundamental Colours by Lynette Sandholm Evvers.