Archive for Matthew Bowers

Sunroof! – Silver Bear Mist (VHF) 2005

Posted in Drone, Music, noise, Sunroof!, Vibracathedral Orchestra with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

In the past few weeks I’ve come back to the improv free drone/noise/rock/whatever of Matthew Bowers other “other” band. In the ten years they’ve been producing records they manage to get a proper release out every two years or so. Panzer Division Lou Reed was reviewed here some time ago but it’s only now that I’ve decided to explore further. Their first record Delicate Autobahn Under Construction is hard to get a handle on and I’ll leave that one for another time. But this double CD from 2005 is tremendously accessible. Thinks of of a freak take on psychedelic krautrock and you’ll have yourself a firm starting point.

A lot of these improv, free, noise bands rarely get their shit together and as a listener you have to wonder whether we’re all being hoodwinked by what is in essence aural, narcissistic wankery (I’m looking at you No Neck Blues Band) – I know these records must have been fun to make but I mean seriously, they suck to listen to. I suppose this why Silver Bear Mist has struck such a chord with me. It is a seriously mental, fun listen. And at the end of the day isn’t that what music is about – enjoyment. I can enjoy challenging experiences, I enjoy having my brain scrubbed clean by Lasse Marhaug, I enjoy exquisite drone by Daniel Menche, and for the last few weeks I’ve been having a blast with Sunroof! – if it ain’t fun to listen to it ain’t worth shit.

Hototogisu – Some Blood Will Stick (Important) 2006

Posted in Drone, Music, noise with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


What a nasty bit of work this is. This is Matthew Bowers other band when he is not playing in Skullflower or Sunroof!. He is joined by Marcia Bassett from Double Leopards and Zaimph. Some Blood Will Stick is a compilation of two very limited EP’s that came our on their own label in limited editions of 100. For this release on Important. the tracks have been edited and generally fiddled with and a sixth, previously unreleased track, added.  The first track comes across like a Black Mass at a Birchville Cat Motel show. Dark, visceral, malevolent and just generally nasty are the reactions I had when I first heard it and now that I’ve listened to this a few times that opinion has not changed. If you like your drone blacker than black then this just might be the record for you. It’s a bigger genre than you think this drone stuff. I like this record because sometimes I just want to wallow in something this black. Yet like so many of these drone/ noiserock records there is some transcendence to be had here but very little beauty. This is one of the densest noise records I own. In fact it takes some commitment to listen to because like any good noise record it removes the listener to an isolated space for a very personal experience. 

Sunroof! – Panzer Division Lou Reed (VHF) 2007

Posted in Music, noise, Sunroof!, yellow swans with tags , , , on May 18, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

A couple of weeks ago a reader left a comment on this blog alerting me to the imminent demise of Yellow Swans. On June 30 of this year they will be no more. Now I fucking love the Yellow Swans and after the excellent At All Ends I was really looking forward to where they were going next. So I again look to greener pastures on my journey through experimental music. One of the bands that I’d heard of but hadn’t heard was Sunroof!. Sunroof ! is the band of Matthew Bowers, the veteran experimental artist that was also behind Skullflower (another band I’ve heard of but haven’t heard). I thought it was time to give them a go and I started with Panzer Division Lou Reed because firstly it is their latest and secondly because it was the only Sunroof record I could find in my local rip-off record store.

I’ve read a couple of other reviews and they all seemed to mention that his is one of the more aggressive and dense recordings that Sunroof! have produced and is a swerve to the left from their usual drone based recordings. I have no idea whether that is true. This is the only Sunroof! record I’ve listened to, so I have nothing to compare it to. What I will say though, is that this is one of the most challenging yet interesting noise records I currently own. It’s a big slice of improvised rock-noise that certainly took me aback when I first listened to it. I’ve wrestled with it now for couple of weeks and I’m pretty happy with the journey it took me on. This sounds similar to those Yellow Swans records when they preface their name with a word beginning with D. In particular I though that this sounded a lot like Dreamed Yellow Swans which is now sadly out of print. I’m a sucker for this type of noise and although the reviews I read weren’t exactly positive, having no knowledge of what their other records sound like allows me to approach it with an independent mind. This record is great and if you are a Yellow Swans freak like myself then Panzer Division Lou Reed is well worth tracking down.

Sunroof Live 2007!

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