Archive for the Drone Category

Secret Pyramid- The Silent March (Students of Decay) 2014

Posted in Drone, Secret Pyramid with tags , , on November 7, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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Students of Decay released one of my favourite records of all time, Peter Wright’s At Last A New Dawn. That was all the way back in 2007 and since then they have been releasing appealing slabs of drone, ambient and experimental electronic music out into the world. This year I had the good fortune to get myself a copy of the shimmering beauty that is Kyle Bobby Dunn’s The Infinite Sadness of Kyle Bobby Dunn which if you haven’t head it is an absolute treat for those of us who enjoys our trips to the drone/ambient sector of experimental music.

A record that doesn’t stray too far from the drone ambient axis is this mesmerising dose of loveliness. Secret Pyramid is the name used by Canadian musician Amir Abbey. The Silent March was originally released in 2011 on cassette by a small Canadian label however after releasing Secret Pyramid’s Movements of Night last year Students of Decay thought it may be a good idea to give this a wider release.

I for one am glad I did. I only received my copy a few days ago and I can’t stop listening to it. The Silent March consists of seven slowly evolving drone tracks that somehow still manage a dull shimmer under some pretty overcast sky. Sadness can be a beautiful thing in music and this record is a prime example.  The acoustic guitar based Come Down Gently mines similar (although much more subtle) territory to Earth’s recent output over the last  few years ago. It sounds to me almost like Stars of the Lid  descending into western gothic territory. Quite lovely really. I’m a sucker for this kind of sound and if you do enjoy the drone work of Kevin Drumm, Stars of the Lid, Kyle Bobby Dunn or even Richard Skelton you’ll need to listen to this.

It will be officially released on 11 November in Vinyl and download formats. If you are extra smart can i suggest the two CD set which also includes Movements of Night as well.

Machinefabriek – Secret Photographs (Important) 2013

Posted in Drone, Machinefabriek, Music with tags , , on March 9, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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I’ve become a little obsessed with the works of Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek over the past 18 months or so. It all started when I  first  heard the amazing Veldwerk compilation which was almost the perfect blend of field recordings, drone, noise, electronic manipulation and sonic experimentation. Since then I’ve tried to track down most of his readily available records and not once have I been disappointed.  I think the main reason for that is that Zuydervelt isn’t beholden to one particular sound. Although it was his processed field recordings that sucked me in, it is commissioned  works for dance and film that keep me coming back.

The soon to be released Episode 23 of The Antidote Podcast will feature two of his more recent works, the challenging Doepfer Worm  and the sublime piece written for the Moscow Ballet, Attention, the Doors Are Closing, and because this blog doesn’t necessarily focus on new releases I thought I’d start with Secret Photographs, the 2012 soundtrack to the film of the same  name.

I’m not sure if the film has seen the light of day as yet but it was to focus on the photographic obsession of Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, a 1930’s gangster that spent his final days in Spain. After he died a large  number of photographs were discovered and sold on ebay. The director of the film Mike Hoolboom managed to purchase them and the idea for the film began.

The soundtrack is made up of three long pieces which span a total of 70 minutes or so. Each of the tracks focuses on a minimal, shimmering drone. That seems to be a term I’ve used before but to further clarify – Secret Photographs is drone in a fragile, Stars of the Lid kind of way rather than the painfully pitched drone work of say Hototogisu. This album is a great staring point for anyone interested in minimal drone work. Indeed it is in a select group of records that manage to stay true to it’s ascetic without ever becoming boring. Simply stunning.

 

Slomo – The Bog (Important) 2008

Posted in Doom, Drone, Music, Slomo with tags , , , on April 7, 2013 by noisenoisenoise

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Now here is a band that should be much more well known than they are. Towards the end of last year they released their new record The Grain and when I found out, well – let’s just say that I was pretty excited. You see Slomo have released two of my favourite records – 2005’s The Creep and The Bog which came out on Important in 2008. Since then though, nothing, absolutely fuck all until now  of course. But first I think  The Bog is worth bringing to people’s attention. I reckon it may be  one of the strangest things that Important ever  released. Slomo are a duo from England who specialise in a slow moving, doom/ambient/creepy vibe – think what it would sound like if Mike Connelly asked Steven O’Malley to help out on a Failing Lights record. The band describe their sound as highly ritualised glumbient. I love the term glumbient but it may not quite encapsulate how sinister the music can be. The album itself is a  one hour long meditation in blackened dreamscapes and the threat of the unseen. I don’t listen to that much doom or black metal anymore but The Bog has been something I have gone back to  again and again. If you stumble over a copy on your travels it might just be worth picking up.

Joe Panzner – Clearing, Polluted (Copy for Your Records) 2011

Posted in Drone, Joe Panzner, Music, noise with tags , , on April 6, 2013 by noisenoisenoise

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I first heard Joe Panzner last year when he released the absolutely amazing Recollect Reconstruct split cassette with Mike Shiflet. That record was only edged out by Mike Shiflet’s indispensable The Choir, The Army from being my favourite record of 2012. I decided to do a little bit of further exploring into Panzner’s output – the only problem is that there is not a great deal out there. Besides the split with Mike Shiflet he has released two albums proper, this in 2011 and Polished Rocks in 2006 (which you  can get from Panzner’s bandcamp store for a couple of bucks.

Clearing, Polluted is actually a great title for this record because, especially on the first track, there is a counterbalance between micro-static noodling (think very early Kevin Drumm) and absolutely exquisite showers of volume-basted static noise which is quite extraordinary to experience. I won’t lie, I had a couple of tries coming to terms with this record before it suddenly clicked – it is certainly pitched at the more difficult end of the experimental electronic/noise spectrum but  I always think that it is those “more difficult” records that have the biggest payout for the listener in the long term. There is a shit tonne of things going on here from long form drones to John Wiese style noise hyperactivity and if you decide to give this a play and think that the “silent” noise of the first few minutes of the first track are representative of what you are going to experience then  you are in for an absolute treat. I just wish he’d make more records.

Mike Shiflet – Blurred and Scorched (Wachsender Prozess) 2012

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on February 25, 2013 by noisenoisenoise

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Hey did you know that Mike Shiflet snuck out another CDr in 2012? Me Neither. But thanks to the power of the twitter and the majesty of bandcamp you can snaffle a copy either digitally or a physical CDr if you so choose. I would have got myself the CDr but there is no international shipping so usnon-american noise people will have to make do with the digital version. It should not be a real mystery to anyone who reads this blog regularly that I appreciate Shiflet’s art. In fact he produced my two favourite records of last year. There is just something about the gritty, intense drones that Shiflet produces which do for something for me. Although Blurred and Scorched may lack some of the shimmering epicness of The Choir, The Army, it’s ten tracks are great examples of agitated experimental drone music. It’s the type of sound that is meditative and challenging at the same time. If I had heard it last year it would certainly have sneaked into my top 10. Shiflet along with Aaron Dilloway and Kevin Drumm are currently making up my unholy trinity of US experimental artists right now.

At the moment (until the end of February) Mike is using the proceeds of the sale of Blurred and Scorched to help some fellow Ohian musicians with their medical bills. Coming from a country with universal healthcare I find the thought of that kind of depressing but please make sure you pick up a copy before March and while your there get yourself a copy of Llanos and Omnivores. Both classics.

www.mikeshiflet.bandcamp.com

Locrian & Christoph Heemann – S/T (Handmade Birds) 2012

Posted in Christoph Heemann, Doom, Drone, Locrian, Music with tags , , , , on October 16, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Here are two artists I don’t know a lot about. I knew about Heemann from his collaboration with Merzbow and work with Nurse With Wound and the Chicago duo Locrian have made a previous  appearance on this site with their Rain of Ashes record. Before listening to this record I kind of knew that Locrian mined a drone metal sort of sound palette. That sort of sound  feels very stale to me now. The  number of submissions I receive from bands who still play it have not instilled me with a great deal of confidence that there is anyone thinking freshly about metal in a drone  context. When this arrived I was in two minds whether I would listen to it but I did and I’m glad I did. This is a truly great record. It is also a pretty difficult sound to pin down.  There is a shit load going on on this records four lengthy tracks. The first track Hecatomb is one of my favourite pieces of music mright now. It’s roots are obviously firmly in a drone metal context yet it is the injection of Necks style piano and  a feeling of improvised abandon with the guitars which lend the music an open, expansive feel. The second track lifts its skirts to reveal its blackened metal soul whilst the third track Edgeless City is an excursion through ambient drone with a sinister edge that gradually becomes much more oppressive.The final track, The Drowned Forest sees the artists getting their inner druid on for some ritualistic vocal action which become more intense as it progresses. It’s strangely beautiful and overwhelming all at once.

2012 has seen some excellent collaborations and split LP’s. Swanson and Shiflet, Dilloway and Lescalleet, Shiflet and Panzner, Blankenship and Reed have all produced amazing records this year. Add this too the pile.  This record has restored my faith in  bleak metal.

Bee Mask – Elegy For Beach Friday (Spectrum Spools) 2011

Posted in Bee Mask, Drone, Music with tags , , , on October 10, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I have seen some unbelievably great shows this year. One of my absolute favourites was back in July when Rites Wild and a rather unimpressive local act supported the great Bee Mask aka Chris Madak. Of course with any great show there is always great merch and I just so happened to get myself a copy of Elegy For Beach Friday before I left.

It is difficult to describe the experimental  electronica that Bee Mask produces. It is fair to say that on this record, the foundations of the  sound is rooted firmly in drone territory but infused throughout are Caretaker-style nostalgia, bubbling electronica, buzzing insect-like sounds, broad sweeping elegiac passages of sheer beauty, synth excursions and clouds of opaque and menacing drone. As an album, Elegy works extraordinarily well notwithstanding that it is a compilation of rare vinyl and tape tracks from 2003 to 2010. In fact rarely has a record had such an effect on me as this. It is one of those records that seeps into the consciousness and is an almost perfect rendering of great electronica that explores  beauty, menace and sadness. Bee Mask has a new EP on Room 40 and his new Spectrum Spools release of new material arrives in a few weeks. Don’t be surprised to see either of those reviewed hear soon. Elegy is mesmerising and fantastic.

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