Archive for Music

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.

Sunn O))) meets Nurse With Wound – The Iron Soul of Nothing (Ideologic Organ) 2011

Posted in nurse with wound, sunn O))) with tags , , , on November 3, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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Hello blog people. Long time no write. I’ve decided to reactivate this little noise blog as a way of bringing records to your attention that Ingmar I don’t get around to covering on The Antidote Podcast. I suppose it also allows me to write about records from the past rather than the new release schedule that Ingmar and I try to stick to. So in honour of Sunn O)))’s recent collaborations with Scott Walker (I’m still putting off listening to that one) and Ulver (just ignore the last track) I thought I’d cover something I’ve been enjoying for a while.

I’ve got two copies of this. The first is a four track version I downloaded off NWW’s bandcamp page and the second copy is a three track version which appears as  the second disc in a two disc reissue of SunnO)))’s OO Void which was released in 2011. That release was a re-release of a re-release by Japanese label Daymare in 2008 which I remember my local indie record store trying to charge me $74.00 for. Out-fucking-rageous if you ask me. The original OO Void was actually recorded in 2000 and got released by Hydra Head records that year.

In 2007 some smarty decided it would be a good idea to send a nice clean digital copy of OO Void to the Nurse With Wound lads to see what they would come up with. So what did they come up with? Only the doomiest, bleakest, blackened version of Sunn O))) that you could possibly ever hope for. For the most part NWW take the doom-laden glacial metal of Sunn O))) and make it into a sinister, quite evil listen. This is less a metal monolith and more a terrifying aural journey into the heart of darkness. Absolutely wonderful. I have a great deal of affection for Sunn O))) particularly Flight of the Behemoth (featuring Merzbow yay!) and the terrific White albums. The wonderful thing about The Iron Soul of Nothing is experiencing the doom aesthetic from a non-metal source. This is less about being crushed and more about being mentally suffocated.

For the most part the collaboration (or is it a remix) is instrumental but on the wonderful Ash on The Trees (the third track) the vocals of Pete Stahl (from Washington DC hardcore band Scream) are somehow extracted form beneath the ugliness of the original record to provide a bleak prelude to a track of unrelenting fear – kind of like a black mass with power chords).

Get this from NWW’s bandcamp page for a quick fix. Essential.

Henry Blacker – Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings (Riot Season) 2014

Posted in Henry Blacker, Hey Collosus, Music with tags , , on March 9, 2014 by noisenoisenoise

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One of my favorite records of last year was the mighty Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo by the excellent Hey Colossus, a record that was criminally overlooked by all  cool publications everywhere. I think that’s a bit sad really it was in my Top 10 of last year. So  imagine my excitement when two of the Hey Colossus lads teams up with some drummer or other and release this slab of stoner rock goodness. The first track is the blistering Crab House, a track that is so good it’s like crossing Cruise Yourself era Girls Against Boys with Go With the Flow era Queens of the Stone Age. It’s like descending a stare case into rock n’ roll heaven. The ghost of Touch and Go records creeps throughout the eight tracks on this.  The influences are clear, Jesus Lizard, Killdozer, Girls Against Boys and yes Queens of the Stone Age are all here. This references back  to an era when alt-rock actually meant something, an era before hardcore became watered-down and all the bands singed to Interscope. It’s a big lump of sweaty, beer soaked, flannel wearing rock music that hurled me back to my teenage years. So. Fucking. Good.

 

 

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

No Anchor – The Golden Bridge (Grindcore Karaoke) 2012

Posted in Australian underground, Music, No Anchor with tags , , on February 6, 2013 by noisenoisenoise

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Hello there. It’s been a while. Here at casa ducks battle satan I have immersed myself in a shit-ton of new records. So many in fact that I reckon I’ve only listened to about half of them.  Listening to all of these records has kept me away from this blog but that is all about to change. Shit has got me inspired.

So anyway, today I am working on some wonderful legal argument with Kevin Drumm’s excellent Arghhh! CDr keeping the procrastination at bay when I start having a bit of a scroll through the old ipod and find this. I completely forgot that I downloaded this from bandcamp at the end of last year which in retrospect is a disgusting oversight because No Anchor are kind of my favourite Australian band at the moment. Have been for a couple of years when I really think about it.  There is something really satisfying about their blend of metal and hardcore with a smattering of Albini-esque menace. Some of their past records have a much more stoner rock vibe to them but the thing I love about The Golden Bridge is the sheer relentlessness of the first five  tracks. To my ears it is like a mash-up between Fucked Up, early Girls Against Boys and Rapeman. That comparison doesn’t really do the rest of the record justice because shit does get a bit mellow from time to time  in a Melvinsy sort of way.

I have listened to this about four times today and I am loving the shit out of it. Type No Anchor into bandcamp and get yourself a copy – its freakin’ free. You have absolutely no excuse. The best album of 2012 you never knew existed.

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.

Hallock Hill – The Union / A Hem of Evening (Mie Music) 2012

Posted in Hallock Hill, Music with tags , , on September 9, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I’ve listened to and digested every Mie Music release from the last few years and it occurred to me whilst I was listening to this record by Hallock Hill that this small boutique label has introduced me to music and artists that have sent me off on musical tangents that I never expected. In effect the taste of some guy called Henry has now become part of my musical journey. This is the guy who not only release one of the best things Daniel Menche has ever done in the spooky Yagua Ovy but also rereleased Gate’s epic Dew Line record – just because, you know, he wanted to.

Take this double LP from Hallock Hill for instance. I am a noise and experimental music guy with a nostalgic bent for late eighties hardcore. I like my music shockingly difficult – bordering on indescribable. So why has this record of 15 of the most hauntingly beautiful improvised acoustic guitar tracks had me completely mesmerised for the past few days? Before playing this record  the idea of listening to acoustic guitar solo music – well look, quite frankly, it probably wouldn’t have happened. But Hallock Hill, otherwise known as Tom Lecky has created a pretty yet occasionally dissonant space for people like me to drown in. This double record is actually two separate works. The Union was originally released last year and A Hem Of Evening was recorded about the same time but finds it’s first release here. I don’t play the guitar and my desire in creating music finished at the end of HIgh School so I have o idea what Lecky is actually doing but it sound like there are three separate guitar players at times particularly on the amazing The Sheets. The effect he creates is both archaic and meditative. This record could have come out anytime in the past 40 years – music like this is timeless.

If you haven’t got a record player, I’m assuming Boomkat will have a digital copy for sale soon enough. Check out samples at miemusic.co.uk.

Arsenal – Factory Smog Is A Sign Of Progress (Touch and Go) 1990

Posted in Arsenal, Big Black, Music with tags , , , on August 29, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I bet you are thinking to yourself, “why on earth do I need to read a review about some late 1980’s hardcore band that no-one remembers of even cares about”.  Well the reason that I wanted to draw this to your attention is that Arsenal was the final pre-law school  band of Santiago Durango,  the bass player for Naked Raygun and most importantly Big Black.  When Albini folded Big Black and then went on to his finest hour in the terrifyingly great  Rapeman, Durango moved on to Arsenal which he may have been the only member of (I stand to be corrected – info is limited). Now at the time that Durango was releasing the mighty Manipulator EP on Blast First, Albini was creating all sorts of fuss with Rapeman to the point that his much protested tour of the UK ended in the band breaking up. I suspect that Arsenal kind of got  starved of oxygen at the time. Durango then went on to release the Factory Smog Is a Sign Of Progress EP on Touch and Go and then ceased to exist. The CD of Factory ….. that I tracked down on amazon also includes the Manipulator EP. The only other place Arsenal every appeared was on the famous Devils Jukebox 10 x 7inch single boxset that Blast First put out in the late 1980’s. The  single fro that compilation, Little Hitlers, appears on Manipulator.

So there you have it –  a career of nine released tracks all contained on an out of print but easily available  CD.  The music itself mines a much more straight forward hardcore path.  The chilling obliqueness of Big Black is set to one side  for a more music friendly approach. It is still a ferocious record (particularly the four tracks that make up the Manipulator EP) and the reason I  recommend it is that it is absolutely soaked with “that” bass sound. If you have spent any time with Big Black you will know what I mean.  If  I was to nerd-out and create my late 1980’s hardcore supergroup then the role of bass player would have been given to Durango. His playing is easily identifiable and, well, it makes me very happy hearing it again outside of the context of Big Black.  If you have any interest in mid-western hardcore from this period then Arsenal is worthwhile hearing. It is a bit of a lost gem quite frankly.

Mike Shiflet – Sufferers (Type) 2011

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on August 10, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Type records have been releasing some absolutely cracking records in 2011/2012. Two of the finest are the Mike Shiflet records Sufferers and Merciless. Both records were recorded just before Shiflet’s ground breaking Llanos record of last year. Sufferers came out at the end of last year and is my favourite of the two. It’s always hard to categorise Shiflet’s music. I suppose the starting point is to call the tracks on Sufferers drone but I just feel that the use of that term is just not quite right. There is a melancholic deliberateness to the work here.The sound moves incrementally and  in some ways it has the overall feel of an ambient version of Wolf Eye’s  Burned Mind record of a few years back. There is a lurching post apocalyptic field recording quality to the first few tracks but it’s Shiflet’s use of volume and intensity of the sounds that makes Sufferers a couple of steps away form an ordinary drone listening experience. This is drone for the rust-belt noise guys – the sort of thing which seeps into your consciousness to leave you just a little creeped out and extremely unsettled.  Tremendous.

Pete Swanson – Man With Potential (Type) 2011

Posted in Drone, Music, Pete Swanson, yellow swans with tags , , on July 31, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Sorry I haven’t been around. Life has kind of gotten in the way of updating this site as much as I would like to. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been listening to a shit-ton of great music but in between the impending arrival of my third son, selling our house and a fucking horrible bout of Influenza A, the desire to type out my thoughts on records kind of collapsed. I even had to miss Keith Fullertom-Whitman’s recent show at the IMA because of the evil flu. One show I won’t be missing no matter whether I get sick, my kid gets born early or some other life issue is Pete Swanson’s gig at the Judith Wright Centre in August. The Yellow Swans are my favourite band –  period. I think for the last Yellow Swans record I reviewed here, Going Places, I said that the band just kept going from strength to strength wit this continual ability to make a better record that their last. I think Pete Swanson has managed to continue this quality into his solo work.

There are records of the past few years that i call my “Holy Shit” record. Albums that are just so flawlessly fantastic that  they attain the right to be called instant classics. In that group I place Black To Comm’s Alphabet 1968. Burning Star Core’s Challenger, Yellow Swans Going Places, Mike Shiflet’s Llanos, Daniel Menche and Kevin Drumm’s Gauntlet, Cane Swords’ Big Warmup In The Mouth Of Eternity. I also think that Man With Potential is up there with those records. Man With Potential sees Swanson embrace electronica and variations of techno, dub and minimalist beats and inject it with a giant dose of melancholia to replicate the rave at the end of the world. It’s stunning stuff. An album that is such a leap to the left of the  tremendous guitar  drones of the  I Don’t Rock At All. This is vinyl only but for a couple of bucks boomkat will sell you the mp3. One of the best records you’ll ever buy.

Haswell & Hecker – Blackest Ever Black (Warner Classics and Jazz) 2007

Posted in Florian Hecker, Music, noise, Russell Haswell with tags , , , on June 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

The location – Warner Classical and Jazz Corporate Office, London 2007

Phil: Thanks for coming everyone. As you know this meeting has been called to discuss the first quarter releases. So what have you all got?

Debbie: I have some great Ray Charles reissues.

Phil: Great – they’ll sell like fucking hot cakes. What else?

John: I’ve got a new 18 year old cello protegé from Malaysia.

Phil: Sounds good. Is she fuckable?

John: Hell yeah!

Phil: What do you have Bill?

Bill: Well I’ve been reading the Wire and there are  these two guys called Florian Hecker and Russell Haswell and they are into sound art and shit.

Phil: I’m listening …

Bill: See what they do is feed pictures into Xenakis’s UPIC machine to produce sound and music. It is totally off the charts! It sounds like electronic squelches and drones and stuff. It’s  a total mind fuck.

Phil: It may be the amount of PCP I’ve just had but that sounds like an absolute winner.

Bill: They may not be fuckable but the sound totally fucks with your mind so same same if you get my meaning.

Phil: You had me at “may”.

Fast forward three months later

Phil: Bill can you come in here for a second.

Bil: Sure, what’s up?

Phil: You’re fired. Get out.

* I quite liked it by the way.

Mike Shiflet – Gutter Divas (Dokuro) 2010

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on June 5, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Mike Shiflet has had a great run of releases recently and I promise I’ll get around to posting on them soon but I really wanted to write about this one. Gutter Divas was a cassette only release from 2010 which appeared in very limited quantities on an Italian label, Dokuro. There are still copies floating around on the internets but you need not  worry about such things because for  couple  of bucks you can get your own copy straight of Mike’s bandcamp site. I actually find it extraordinarily difficult to write about Shiflet’s music. He has graciously agreed to an interview but  for  a man who makes a living  cross examining witnesses I’m really struggling to come up with a set of questions that don’t sound lame.

Anyway, Gutter Divas is a two track release which focuses on static-heavy drone. The first track Gutter Divas uses sudden changes in volume to, I don’t know, raise  the tension and  … look what I think he does is smash the passiveness of the usual listening experience that tends to be the fall back position of people like me who are huge fans of the meditative qualities of drone. Drone is an overused term on this blog  and it has a many variants as any other genre but I suppose what Shiflet achieves is a more restless, industrial, overt form which is like a caffeinated ambience. The second track, They Don’t Have The Heart to Tell You is the type of straight up drone record where the subtle insertions of other frequencies and sounds and variations in volume keep the track from being purely static. Although it feels like much less is going  on than the first track, it is far more aggressive in the fact that the drone used is the type that changes the  listener’s ear pressure (which I actually like a fair bit). Gutter Divas is the Shiflet record I listen to the most and a pretty neat starting for those that have never heard him before.

CM Von Hausswolff – 800 000 Seconds in Harar (Touch) 2011

Posted in CM Von Hausswolf, Drone, Music with tags , , , on June 4, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

I the last few years of his life, Arthur Rimbaud, lived in Harar Ethiopia where he made his living as a coffee merchant and arms dealer. It was the place where he first started suffering the symptoms of cancer which would later claim his life at the age of 37. A playwright, Ullrich Hillebrad sent Swedish sound artist and composer  CM Von Hausswolff to Harar to record sounds for some music that he wanted Von Hausswolf to develop for a play based on a letter written by Rimbaud.

Von Hauswolff manages to  get a large number of field recordings from his stay in Harar as well as some notes from an ethiopian string  instrument called a krar which he then creates into pieces of the most exquisite minimalist drone. The first two tracks, Day and Night,are like a perfect amalgam of two of my favourite records, Russell Haswell’s Wild Tracks and Kevin Drumm’s Imperial Horizon.  The remaining two tracks are not quite as strong as the two openers, but the third track Alas! is what I reckon Stars of the Lid would sound like if they scored a horror film. Glacial tension if you can imagine such a thing. I suppose another way to hear it is  as an interesting link to Von Hausswolff’s interest in EVP’s and other  spooky things.  The final track is much more challenging.   A Sleeper in the Valley is an oscillator overlaying a morse code rendition of one of Rimbaud’s poems. Awesome? Shit yeah! And pretentious as fuck I might add but when the record sounds this good I  don’t really care.

Dave Phillips – ? (Heart and Crossbone) 2010

Posted in Dave Phillips, Music, noise with tags , , on May 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Late last year I was posting about some record or another and several loyal readers began speaking very highly of Dave Phillips. At that time I had never heard of him yet after those comments I started to see his name everywhere. Phillips was one of the co-founders of hardcore group, Fear of God, and after their break up has been producing solo work under his own name.

If  my house caught on fire and I could only save ten of my CD’s I reckon this would probably be one of them. Phillips has moved along way from any semblance of hardcore on ?. This is a record that is all about embracing field recordings and sound collage in a, quite frankly, terrifying way. Much seems to have been written about the third track which to me sounds like a light bondage session with Satan. Nurse with Wound would often insert prurient sounds into their tracks but I don’t think anything comes close to the sheer and utter filth that Phillips puts together on this one.  Yet bum slapping, demonic grunting  and female moaning aside, the manner in which he fuses multiple layered bird calls, static, a loud and persistent heart beat, a swarm of flies, street sounds, accordion, doom piano and other goodies will have your average filed recording nut in fits of pleasure.  It’s like Daniel Menche, Nurse With Wound and Russell Haswell’s Wild Tracks all blended together to create something that is both challenging and accessible at the same time. ? is well worth your time.

Trouble Books – Concatenating Fields (Mie Music) 2012

Posted in Music, Trouble Books with tags , on April 29, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Good Lord this is a great record. Trouble Books are a  husband and wife duo from Ohio. Last year they released a record with Emerald’s Mark McGuire from Emeralds that seemed  to have been very well received. On Concatenating Fields they display a lot in common with Mark McGuire’s style of music but Trouble Books embrace  a much more pop aesthetic. I am an absolute sucker for great experimental pop. Trouble Books remind me of an amalgam of the melancholic, ambient, psych pop of another era. It  reminded me of Drop Nineteens, Black Dice, The Postal Service, Animal Collective, Emeralds – you get the idea. For the most part it is glorious pop music that challenges and mesmerises.You know, I very rarely listen to records that have a tune anymore but when I hear records like this I can appreciate pop music on a new level. A record that is like a warm hug for the soon to hit antipodean winter.

This is a limited release  from Mie Music. Pick it up here.

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Heroin in Tahiti – Death Surf (Boring Machines) 2012

Posted in Music with tags , on April 26, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Worst-band-name-ever but what a cracking record. Death Surf  is one of the latest releases on the Italian label, Boring Machines. This is a record that channels the Spaghetti Western sounds of Ennio Morricone and updates them for the spooky hauntology generation. This record manages to sound amazingly familiar yet with an extremely sinister edge. In many ways it has a similar vibe to Earth’s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method record of  a few years ago but it also combines Morricone, Surf Music and Sun City Girls/Cramps – style guitar motifs. It somehow manages to channel a morbid bleakness through twanging surf guitar and the sounds of waves breaking on the beach. A mondo-doomo beach party for the chronically depressed. I am loving the shit out of this.

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