Regosphere/Harold Shipman – Split CDr
Combining the sound of layered synth centric industrial and barebones experimental harsh noise is not something you see too often, but the 43 minutes of this disc offer just that. The first track is the only Regosphere track clocking in at 18 minutes it’s a tour-de-force of what Andrew Quitter does best. Carefully composed drones and noise merging and morphing over the course of it’s running time. This is the kind of material I’ve come to expect from the project and it’s just as effective and succinct as usual.
This is my first exposure to the project Harold Shipman which is apparently named after an infamous serial killer. In contrast the artist offers 7 tracks of varied experimental harsh noise. The material is a complete opposite to Regosphere’s dirges and therefore quite jarring. Raw and simple the style dabbles in industrial and power electronics but for the most part stays within the realm of cut-up noise – yet once in a while meanders into experimental fuckery territory. I’m not too into this material, I’ve heard a lot of stuff like this and it tends to be quite forgettable.
Definitely a strange matchup on this one, something I believe will appeal to those more eclectic noise fans that like listening to different styles on one release. Solid material from Regosphere yet a bit of a rough introduction to the scatterbrained sounds of Harold Shipman.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3.5 out of 5 stars Concept: 3 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.1 out of 5 stars
Now that we're really starting to feel the frosty breath of old man winter, I thought it would be appropriate to share this awesome double cassette compilation of covers by artists all across the underground spectrum. Featuring tracks by the likes of Alvarius B (Sun City Girls), R. Stevie Moore, Carla Bozulich, Amps for Christ, Charlie McAlister, Simon Joyner (and tons more I've never heard of) this hot compilation will be sure to keep you toasty during the dark days of the impending season.
Smashed 40 : Slummer Jams by Various Artists
156 – Frontyard/Backyard C30
This tape presents a very strange sound indeed. I am not familiar with the works of this NYC-based artist but Frontyard/Backyard is quite clearly based off of many field recordings from various areas. I might assume they are from around the artist’s living space. That said, editing is very seamless yet also quite jarring in the recording’s contrasting atmospheres.
The tape alternates between more raw/unedited excerpts of field recordings and other recordings of sound effects type material like junk sounds, scrap metal, and even sounds that are quite abstract – but still have the home sampled feel to them. It’s an intriguing and sometimes jarring juxtaposition. One example of a strange convergence is when quick edits are made between inner city banter and more industrial sounds. I feel like there is a statement being made here, but I don’t think I am quite getting it.
Side B is a step in a yet even more abstract direction. I like the movement in this direction as I feel that 156 creates and finds some excellent sounds of this quality and edits them in ways that perplex and mesmerize. The only thing that feels like it’s missing from the composition is that certain midway point transitioning between the more concrete sounds and the abstract sounds. Another way to say this is that the editing is sometimes too choppy for me, I’d like to hear more flowing and morphing rather than cut-up editing and I think it would add more to the atmosphere and characteristics that I believe the artist is going for.
Enough criticism though. Taking Frontyard/Backyard for what it is I find it quite enjoyable and odd. It reminds me much of the early work of Hoor-Paar-Kraat. Interesting work with a lot of potential here.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3.5 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3 out of 5 stars Concept: 3.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars
Biava/The Smartlemon – Split C55
This is the first tape release for the Italian label which also offers material from these two Italian artists. The split tape contains a wealth of material from both artists with Biava being featured on side a and The Smartlemon on b.
Biava’s material is much more to my liking here. Although it sounds quite digital in many places the artist manages to create a cohesive and engaging showing of morphed sounds using various effects. The sounds are quite unique yet perhaps remind me of the work of Daniel Menche, as many sounds seem to be culled from natural sources and than highly manipulated.
The Smartlemon’s sound is much more all over the place. Experimental harsh noise with a lot of extreme timbre changes both work to confuse and disorient the listener. The problem with this is that it is not cohesive and this makes it somewhat forgettable. On top of that, the quality suffers due to the effects and lack of layering. I would even go as far as to say this material meanders into “fuckery” territory.
I don’t want to say to many negative things about the release though, as it’s a decent effort which presents many interesting sounds and timbres. Maybe it’s simply because it’s more on the experimental side of things that I don’t appreciate it as much as I should, but either way it’s a interesting listen.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 2.5 out of 5 stars Concept: 3 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars
A couple highlights:
* The angst lonely bedroom song Genevieve focuses on the passage of time and it's a Archie Comics pop romance of a good punk song. "We used to call you Jenny, ... but now you go by Genevieve" - HEART MELTING! It's like a younger and less soothing Roy Orbosne. I feel like I am listening to the fucking Beets on Nickelodeon's Doug, (Not the Brooklyn band ... although that band is the fucking best). There are some great major to minor chord transitions in the song as well.
* East Sides Lies is my favorite song because it sounds like early DEVO mixed with the cartoonish Angst of the RAMONES. But it also contains a solo that emulates and equals the greatest liberating riffs and hooks of DEATH.
Big Bill is a little more garage with some poppy bass lines and party rock beats. The vocalist even sounds a little like the CRAMPS or even, again, an early demo DEVO. Their fun party rock song Get with the Goblins is like if the lead singer is attempting to impersonate an alien from Mars with his domineering, staccato alto-tenor. They are surprisingly surfy, even hitting some Fred Schneider recorded by Steve Albini solo album territory (It's not as good as that album mind you, just reminiscent).
... This recording is distinctly inspired by the city is it recorded and mastered in, Austin Texas. It equally captures the energy of an Austin concert with that cities' strong commitment to home recording culture. GREAT guitar solos and psychedelic tones similar to the gnarl of MOUNTAIN.
BUY TAPE HERE: http://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/big-bill-basketball-shorts-split-cs
Artwork by http://www.showdeer.com
-- Jack Turnbull
I found myself out in the gardens’ July sun pencil scratching onto an old receipt. All about friend and improvisational guitarist Tashi Dorji and how wonderful he is and how much I adore his music. Thinking about the time we were jamming and some sound I made on the guitar caused him to outright belly laugh. And some scrawl about the story he once told me, about how the prince of Bhutan had asked him to play some Elvis songs in Thimphu , and Tashi declining the request. Or the countless times that we shared a meal together, or a fire. And how Tashi showed up at my job once, dragging me away because I was overstressed and needed food. “I’m way too hungry to cook now…..and plus, all the food that I have at home would take far too long to make, “ I whined.
He calmly demanded that I list the things I had lying around. Next thing I knew we were eating the most toothsome dish of something so simple. Potatoes, tomatoes, a little oil and some spices. Maybe one more ingredient? His presence and his music is like this too. Bare of pretension yet full of newness and uncompromising inertia. Seemingly quick, sharpened and then mellowed, presenting an intensity to fall into the moment and nourish oneself with the ingredients at hand. Reminiscent of the rythmn experiments of Derek Bailey, the lavish east leanings of Robbie Basho's playing and the intensity of Bill Orcutt's attack. Featuring the artwork of Amy-Moon. Offset printed. -- Dan Beckman
1st of December 2013 OTO Cafe LondonHati
Rafał Iwański - gongs, percussion
Rafał Kołacki - gongs, percussion
Radek Dziubek - laptop, pads
Rafał Iwański - gongs, percussion
Wojtek Jachna - trumpet, electronics
Rafał Kołacki - gongs, percussion
Artur Maćkowiak - guitar, effects
Tomek Popowski - drums, percussion
Kuba Ziołek - guitar, effects
On 1st of December we will have the chance to see the shared double bill of two very diverse line-ups which accidentally share the person of Rafał Iwański and Rafał Kołacki from Hati. A really rare chance to see such great bands which present outstanding musical and stylish eloquence as well as great background of musicians involved.Both musicians of Hati started off early in 1990's experimenting with post-punk and experimental industrial music and withdrew themselves off the narrow alley of electronic music early off deciding that they need to steer away from the clichees repeated in Polish underground at that time taking on more acoustic approach. Their decision laid the matter of form and function in more ritualistic and minimal music idiom which set them close to such experimenting musicians as Z'ev and La Monte Young or simply put them closer to the natural and deep ethnic music in this case devoid of the typical new age or typically meditative approach. Working hard on their style they combined many different aspects of both careful composition and introvertive but yet quite harmonious improvisation. Since their early 2000's debut they tirelessly promoted their music and developed the sonic formula releasing vinyls and cds and playing around Europe and USA. Rafał Iwański started his off top project X-Navi:Et which has more electroacoustic flair to it. This time they will promote their newest album released on vinyl by Zoharum
Innercity Ensembly truly deserves the name of All-Star orchestra as it consists of musicians from so much diverse backgrounds that it even more surprises with it form which is very firm and stern not having the typical eclectical mix that many times feels like a burden the musicians involved cannot really cope with. Both Hati members, Radek Dziubek who is known by playing in very enigmatic and ever changing post-rock project called Blimp active in 1990's and 2000's, Wojtek Jachna known from excellent free improvised jazzy duo Buhl Jachna, Artur Maćkowiak who experiments with guitar and two members of noise rock line up of Ed Wood - Tomek Popowski and Kuba Ziołek. The last one initiated the whole project and works for the credit of ever-busy and ever-changing silhouette of experimental musician and publisher successfully released likes of Alameda Trio, T'ien Lai Tin Pan Alley and his solo project Stara Rzeka. Innercity Ensemble greatly enriched by the previous experiences of all the musicians brings out perfect blend of electronica, guitar and wind based improvisation with gamelan of rhythmical ingenuity. A rare chance to see a real diversity which stays away from present, even in so-called underground, generic and snobbish audition pleasing muzak or overrated jazz.
"It's Kronk" is a little more atonal and reverberated. A minimalistic hi-hat is the only constant as the more cerebral, mysterious effect laden melodies hypnotically repeat through higher and lower frequencies. Later on in the song it changes mood and isn't menacing any longer, but it is still challenging music.
Side B opener, "That's Rite", is a little more funky. Fat bass lines are accompanied by wah-wah synthesizer. It sounds like eating greasy french fries. Some nice computer chords are played and the song at times feels straight up weirdo.
"Netwerk" finally gets the human touch and opens with some non-standard tuning guitar duo that is quite pleasant to the ears. It is followed by a droned out organ and finally an upbeat, uplifting looping synasizer part with fuzzed out low notes. A great end to a diverse electronic release.
One thing I appreciate about this tape is that while the sounds are all pretty much made by computers, which for my tastes is a turnoff, I do get a sense the musician is using his instrument to its full capacity. There is a lot going on in this tape sonically. The genres and moods switch and yet it is all being clearly played by Touchstone Pictures.
I am also about 90% sure it was made using Buzzmachines, some great free Windows shareware from 2002 that allows you to conduct and produce some fantastic beats. Maybe I'm totally wrong, but even if I am Buzzmachines is worth experimenting with. What do you have to lose, it's free!
-- Jack Turnbull
This is the second full-length CD release from this Ohio based death industrial act. If you are not quite familiar with the project yet Nyodene D focuses on repetitive crusty noise reminding me of a combination between Brighter Death Now and old school Grunt.
On Edenfall the influence of Europe After Storm-era Grunt is quite palpable. The most obvious element here is the repeating loops that act as a backbone to each track and then added noise and distorted vocals. Luckily it just nails this sound and brings new details and ideas to the recordings in one instance adding some great layered samples to the formula in the case of the track Anasazi.
Another enjoyable track here is Nihilation that makes use of a bending synth loop and produces a state of great vertigo. But the real standout is the chilling closer Borne on Vulture’s Beak, I Am Carried Into The Heavens that is the most minimalist outing here with windy drones, and low repetitive bass buzzes, coupled with Nyodene D’s token vocal attacks.
Worth mentioning is the excellent conceptual backdrop to everything. The lyrics are a great showing of darker-than-life apocalyptic tones and the art portrays the feelings of a decaying civilization perfectly with grungy high-contrast images of various eroding statues. Edenfall is a great record and follows in the footsteps of industrial music’s great albums that have come before it. Although it’s only a very slight step forward for the project, and the genre, there’s something to be said for keeping traditions alive this effectively.
As an optional add-on Edenfall also comes with a bonus disc which is a pretty incredible disc to just be tacked on as a bonus disc because not only does it run 35 minutes in length but it is also a collaboration with industrial powerhouse Sektor 304 from Portugall; a mainstay on the Malignant Records roster. This pairing is quite unexpected for me and I will go as far as to say that this collaboration is greater than the sum of it’s parts. I enjoy both projects a lot, but the merging of both their styles is truly something special and unique.
The more rhythmic sound design elements of Sektor 304 combine perfectly with the noisy distorted loops and junk percussion of Nyodene D. Open industrial warehouse atmospheres complete with shifting machinery, banging hammers, and power tools are joined with deep drones of distortion that provide a crunchy core. The tracks are very controlled though, this is a carefully planned and composed collaboration that dips down into some false quieter moments in The Shaft only to spring back into death industrial madness with Vulture – which I can only assume is named after Uncle Jesse’s excellent metal band from the hit television series full house. Sorry, showing my age there. But back to all seriousness, the track delivers such a heavy barrage of mechanized dirge and seething vocal attacks that it leaves me quite devastated.
Closing things out here is Furnace a track that features booming toms with harrowing alternating drones. Yet another strong track to add to the excellence which is this release. So impressive on all fronts with this collaboration being something really amazing.Composition: 4 out of 5 stars Sounds: 4.5 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 4 out of 5 stars Concept: 4.5 out of 5 stars Packaging: 4 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
When the world ends, and we're salvaging the ruined world for canned beans and purified water, German Army will probably be setting up to play in some crazy bunker venue, assuming they can scavenge enough batteries to power their synths. Their last tape, Youtan Polou, which came out on Chondritic Sound was one of the best tapes I heard last year, and Burushaski actually tops it. This is some truly other music, floating somewhere between industrial, noise, and synth-pop. Lots of minimal, pulsing beats, chilled out synthesizers, and baritone vocals clashing with whirring electronics and scrambled radio samples. The overall tone is extremely desolate and post apocalyptic, like a bunch of survivors piecing together entertainment from a vague memory of yesteryear. Germany Army know when to challenge your head and when to pull back. Some of these tracks are pretty scary, especially one particular track on the A side that has some of the most unsettling vocals I've ever heard, but they never linger in a frightening vibe too long before switching it up with a more melodic and dancey track, which makes for a really well paced listen. I can't recommend this enough, this a tape truly worth tracking down.
-- Timothy Johnson
FRKSE – Scholar Drugs C40
FRKSE is back with this conceptual cassette representing something quite different from the project. If you’ve read previous reviews you know that FRKSE normally merges industrial, middle eastern music, noise, and even hip-hop into a strange 70s psychedelic trip. Live, they come off more as an old school death industrial unit presenting pummeling dirges – but playing AKAI samplers with drumming fingers – it’s a strange and wonderful site and sound to behold.
But with this tape they offer droning dark ambience combined with distorted and delayed drum machine rhythms to create a sound that much reminds me of old school Megaptera – a project which many of their live sets have resonated alike. Both sides are similar featuring the tracks Diagram I and Diagram II.
This tape is sure to appeal to fans of old school industrial. Slow and creepy, there is no room for good feelings here. As for those who are not familiar with the work of FRKSE, it could act as a good introduction; yet it’s just the tip of the iceberg where the insanity and creativity of the project is concerned.Composition: 3 out of 5 stars Sounds: 3 out of 5 stars Production Quality: 3 out of 5 stars Concept: 3 out of 5 stars Packaging: 3 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is darkness.
Both amazing acts constantly putting out brutal shit. When they collaborate like this it gets even more fucked up.
You need to be a freak about both of these projects like I am.
Good luck finding this...
This is one of those situation where i bet this is totally amazing live but something is getting lost in the recording process. I like what I'm hearing. Intricate, yet subtle guitar playing that conjures some really dark and brooding moods but it is so quietly recorded that I can't really hear it without turning it up and then it's losing something. Maybe just mastering would help out a lot. I really mention this because I run into this a lot with my own recordings. I have put out some poorly mastered things into the world and this is much better than more of what I have done so I feel I should qualify my criticism with that. Either way there is some excellent playing on this.
The layout is pretty cool. They have this black metal-esque logo that is nice but seems superfluous to the layout. The blacklister text conveys the correct feel but the black xerox on black paper is basically impossible to see. I kinda like it but you are going to have to squint quite a bit.
I don't know too much about this release or how I acquired it but i'm pretty stoked I have it. Dark drones buried beneath broken piano lines create a unnerving experience for the listener. I don't have much to say other than I really enjoyed this piece. I would look for this one.
The layout is simple, dark and really well done. It's done by Kevin Gan Yuen (Sutekh Hexen) so I know it was in good hands. The text is illegible or Cvlt if you will. Seriously though, excellent work all around.
Pretty much straight up drone from Seattle's Paintings for Animals. I've had the pleasure of playing with them a few times and the work has always been really excellent. This cassette captures them quite well. There brand of drone has a much more organic and reserved feel. I am glad to have had a chance to hear them recorded.
The layout is nice but the printing is pretty bad. I can barely read any of the text and that bugs me a little. The photos are great though and the overall design is well executed so I'm not really complaining.
So this is odd. Black Cum has always had this weirdo/intentionally awful sort of vibe. This is basically electro-acoustical noise from Black CrUMbs, which I assume is Black Cum changing their name and doing something more abstract. It's not very good and maybe it's because I'm in a weird mood today but I am just not feeling it. I was sorta hoping for songs about eating babies and nazi dance parties but I didn't get it. I guess that's kinda shitty of me. You people aren't my monkeys and I guess i do appreciate that Black Cum is doing something new, in fact, the world is probably a better place with fewer songs about eating babies and nazis so I guess this is actually a victory. I should listen again. Tumult Lickers starts out with basically mellow guitar stuff. Acoustic guitar playing these spacey 90's sort of sounding Alice in Chains parts with a electric guitar beneath it adding little wah-infused licks and drones. There is also some field recordings that come in and offer some texture. Later you get these strange almost King Missile kinda of jams. I kinda like it. It's very different from what I was expecting. I admit I didn't listen to the entire tape but what I heard was pretty cool.
The packaging and layout are awful. I can't tell if there is a label that put this out the bands each get a side but on the Black Cum—or Black CrUMbs—side all of the songs are listed. It's just makes no real sense and is bad design. There is a rubber cockroach inside though and that was fun.
This is a very inconsistent release for me. It's at times brooding and full of that beautiful anxiety I look for and at other times, it's just unfocused and kinda boring. I think the lack of focus really shines unfortunately. There's samples and drums and feedback and guitar playing and textures… they are all fighting all the time. There isn't that sense of purpose that I find even in the most abstract HNW. When the acoustic guitar came in on the second side I was out. I would like to see a little more from this group. I get that sense that this is probably two guys that haven't been doing this very long. I bet it gets much better.
The layout is fine. Nothing to exciting. I would have loved to have seen it without the fold lines printed on the spine. That was either a mistake or just a bad choice.
Fucking awesome. La Mancha del Pecado always has good output but this collaboration with Culver is brutal. A single sided cassette full of blistering drone that gets in and gets out. I'm not a fan of single sided cassettes. That kinda bums me out a little. I would honestly rather the program just repeat on the second side but every time I get one it's always real good. Thanks guys. I love rewinding constantly.
It's not much to look at but it does it's job well. Packed in a resealable bag it has a line drawing of a beautiful girl in casual bondage with simple typewriter text on the back. It works.
This is what I needed. Brutal HNW. This has that sort of blown speakers/hollow tree sort of HNW sound. I assume you have heard Vomir before and you understand how brutal this shit is. It's like a palette cleanser for a shit day.
Simple layout with minimal text and information. I really dig the logo on the cover but aside from that there isn't much to talk about.