Rivulets, "I Remember Everything"

I Remember Everything cover art

"I've known Nathan for many years and we've played shows and made records together, so I know his thing - hushed, reaching vocals weaving an often melancholic impression over sparse guitar and ambient backdrop. As the opening song ("Reinforced/Delicate") stumbles in, carrying that familiar weight, I thought I knew what was coming, but I was wrong. By the first two lines of "Into the Night", the second song, I had to sit down because if the rest of the record was going to be like this, I knew I wanted to be there with it. To my delight, it did not let up - every song a relentless epiphany, the ragged edge of emotional, even physical, abandon.  Timeless songs like "My Favorite Drug is Sleep" and "I was Once a Handsome Man" careen into the more artful/obtuse textures even thru the sprawling electric tribute of "Ride on, Molina."  This is what happens when someone with a truly unique vision sticks to their guns and proves it."

- Alan Sparhawk, Low

Out September 23rd.  More information can be found here.

4775 Hits

Scott Walker & Sunn O))), "Soused"

Official 'Soused' Trailer, Pre-Order Now Available

When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, little did they know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott was back with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind.

Recorded in London in early 2014 and produced by Scott Walker and long-time ally Peter Walsh with the assistance of musical director Mark Warman, Soused is a 5-track 18-minute body of work that cements both acts’ wide-reaching and otherworldly renown.

Out October 20th on 4AD.

More information and a brief trailer can be found here.

5048 Hits

Earth, "Primitive and Deadly"

Primitive And Deadly is EARTH's tenth studio collection.  Dylan Carlson and long term cohort, drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing an Ouroborean creative cycle, twenty-five years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in their music.  For the first time in their diverse second act, they allow themselves to be a rock band, freed of adornment and embellishment.  As much as Carlson's guitar has always been the focal point of EARTH's music, it's been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies' drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn O))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) and Jodie Cox (Narrows).  Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive And Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free-ranging meditations of EARTH into something approaching traditional pop structures.

Out September 2nd.

More information can be found here.

Primitive And Deadly

 

6421 Hits

Godflesh, "A World Lit Only By Fire"

The first new full-length Godflesh album in 13 years will be released on Justin Broadrick's own Avalanche Recordings label on October 7, 2014.

More information will eventually be posted here.

A new song ("New Dark Ages") can be heard here.

godfleshworldlitcd

5482 Hits

"Beautiful Noise" (Shoegaze Documentary)

Beautiful Noise is the first-ever documentary about one of the most influential, underground music movements of the late 20th century.

Featuring members of: Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Swervedriver, Lush, Curve, Pale Saints, Seefeel, and more.

Created by filmmakers Eric Green (Writer/Director) & Sarah Ogletree (Producer/Editor) and their production company HypFilms, Beautiful Noise is a DIY, indie film and passion project inspired by a deep appreciation of the music and the desire to see it documented in musical history.

The genesis of the project began with the principals Green in April of 2005 and Ogletree and evolved over the course of many years and with the help of a great many people who believed in the project and donated their time, equipment, knowledge, and even money to see this film released.

Following a  successfull Kickstarter campaign and a protracted licensing phase, the filmmakers were able to complete the film.

Beautiful Noise Premiered May 31, 2014 at the Seattle International Film Festival and Internationally June 8, 2014 at the Sheffield International Film Festival.  Currently it continues to screen in festivals and will next be released on Home Video (date to be announced soon).

More information can be found here.

7233 Hits

Severed Heads reissues

Medical Records presents two of the most striking and iconic reissues in its catalog.

ECT Vol. 1

Since The Accident was originally released in 1983 on Ink Records. The LP exemplifies the transition point between experimental structure and loops into the catchy pop hooks that would later define such releases as Rotund For Success.

Difficult to classify, it is a masterpiece of electronic music. The opening track "Relic Of The Empire" is a slow sequenced magnificent piece with time-stretched samples overlaid with multiple tracks to create a symphony quite unlike anything heard before. The hit "Dead Eyes Opened" (charted in 1985 as a single) is a dance floor-friendly track with crafted synth hooks fused with bursts of noise intertwining with interesting vocal samples.  "Gashing The Old Mae West" is a perfect example of how the record can take a dark turn into the style of the earlier Sev Heads with jagged industrial crunched out tape loops and folding in and out samples.

ECT Vol. 1

City Slab Horror was originally released in 1985 (also on Ink Records) . This LP, though 2 years after Since The Accident, continues to carry the torch illustrating the evolving transition between experimental structure and loops into the catchy pop hooks that would later define such releases as Rotund For Success.

This LP seems to move slightly into darker territory in general with its synth textures and slower tempo tracks, but overall has a nice “continuation” feel from Since The Accident, yet with obvious technological evolutions. The opening track "Spasm" drags the listener down the Sev Head mental rabbit-hole instantly with its heady samples and eloquent drum machine rhythm.  "Spitoon Thud" is a rambunctious affair with its cacophony of samples and percussion.  "4.W.D." is a great sneak peek into the sound of the Sev Heads LPs to come with its treated vocals and pop hooks (perfected on later records such as The Big Bigot).  Next to last is the amazing "Goodbye Tonsils" track which is unstoppably catchy and features more of the creative use of samples which made this group so interesting.

Though signed to '80s industrial label icon Nettwerk in North America and often classified in the same vein, these records are not easily definable and have a life of their own. Though commonly misclassified with a lot of the late '80s industrial/goth scene (as well as touring with Skinny Puppy at one point), Severed Heads would be more accurately in good company with acts such as Cabaret Voltaire, early Coil, Chris & Cosey (and CTI), and the like.  Long out-of-print and a rarity on the collector’s market, these LPs are presented with original repro jacket.  Remastered by Tom Ellard from the original source masters. Presented on high-quality 180gram heavyweight black and white vinyl.  Features bonus LP insert compiled by Tom Ellard with ephemera from the time.  Limited Edition.

More information can be found here.

 

 

 

8885 Hits

Duane Pitre & Cory Allen, "The Seeker and the Healer"

duane pitre and cory allen - the seeker and the healer (12inch vinyl lp)

Performed and put to tape at Estuary Recording Facility, The Seeker and The Healer constitutes the first collaborative work from Texas-based sound artist Cory Allen and minimalist composer Duane Pitre, who hails from Louisiana.

The album's two sidelong pieces were developed out of multiple improvisational sessions governed by predetermined rules, sourced from piano, bowed guitar, harmonium, and 49-stringed drone harp (a custom-made instrument of Allen's own design featured here on record for the first time).

In the context of both musicians' discographies, these pieces occupy a unique and important place, synthesizing the strengths and compositional tendencies of each into a sympathetic and symbiotic whole. Pitre's powerful, overtone-laden string work, documented on sterling outings for labels such as Important and Root Strata, is on fine display here, augmented by the keen sense of pacing and attention to the finer points of acoustic atmosphere that typify Allen;s solo output. Both pieces go beyond academic minimalism, mining deeper and more personal terrain.

The arc of "The Seeker" begins with contemplative piano clusters that are wed to guitar and harmonium drones, building to a dramatic crescendo and punctuated by percussive histrionics sourced from Allen’s drone harp. "The Healer" conjures a focused, mournful environment imbued with rich sonic lyricism by way of Pitre’s bowed guitar. Operating as a duo, Allen and Pitre have found truly fertile ground, producing an album that stands as a radiant beacon in their already exemplary catalogs- a masterful record that proves to be distinct from their past releases and simply cannot be missed.

More information can be found here.

8674 Hits

Alessandro Cortini, "Sonno"

Alessandro Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails’ live unit.

His recordings under his own name have gained prominence in recent years and he has become known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America. Cortini makes a surprising departure into the 202 on his debut album for Hospital Productions - Sonno.

Sonno was recorded in hotel rooms, using a Roland MC 202 through a delay pedal, recorded direct, sometimes into a small portable speaker system.

"I liked to walk around the room with a handheld recorder to hear where the sequence would sound better, turn on faucets, open doors or windows to see how the ambient sounds would interact with the MC 202/delay/speaker sound. It was very relaxing and liberating to make music this way..."

The result is a beautifully restrained yet oddly emotive album that's quite distinct from the overly academic approach so often undertaken by hardware driven devotees.

More information can be found here.

5606 Hits

Tashi Dorji

cover

Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Access to any music created outside the country is limited, as are most cultural options, given the geologically isolation of the country. How Dorji went from a life so remote to developing his innovative and revelatory guitar style is mind-boggling.

Yearning for access to the world outside, Dorji pursued and obtained a fully-paid scholarship to a liberal arts school in Asheville, NC, in his early twenties. He’s since settled in there (save a short stint in Maine), soaking up a vast array of music, most notably the works of Derek Bailey and John Zorn. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

After a handful of cassettes on various labels, Dorji presents his first proper album on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and inspired by spreading word of Dorji’s talents. The six compositions here are hand-picked by Dorji and Chasny as the most representative and far-reaching of his recordings. Taken together, they announce a new guitar music unlike anything being made today.

More information can be found here.

5844 Hits

OOIOO, "Gamel"

OOIOO has always created a musical language all its own. Under the leadership of Yoshimi, also a founding member of Boredoms, the group has recorded six albums that have subverted expectations and warped perceptions of what constitutes pop and experimental music. Four years of work went into making Gamel, their bold new album inspired by the Javanese style of gamelan and the first new music from Yoshimi in over five years. Gamelan is an ancient form that has inspired a great many composers and musicians over the past century, from Erik Satie and Claude Debussy to Mouse on Mars and Sun City Girls. The introduction of this traditional form transformed the group into a super tribe, side-stepping the road between the past and the future. Their focus is not to replicate these ancient styles, but to incorporate them into their consistently inventive, constantly shifting musical frameworks. They take their love of indigenous music into an entirely new dimension by freely weaving organic and electric tones into a vivid tapestry, employing their keen sense of color and texture.

While previous OOIOO albums have been largely studio creations, Gamel is the most accurate portrayal of the band's overwhelming, forceful live presence they have released yet. Yoshimi leads her minimalistic rhythm ensemble by making quick, impulsive shifts in tone and attack, the group acting as one mind under her expert instruction. While the gamelan elements will be brand new to many listeners, the band offsets the bizarre with familiar, at times even nostalgic and childlike, melodies. Gamel is euphoric, bursting at the seams with an exhilarating frenzy that is universal yet uniquely their own. OOIOO’s music is reflected in the ear of the beholder, with each listener taking away something different.

Yoshimi began her music career in 1986 playing drums in UFO or Die with vocalist Eye, and later joined him in the revolutionary noise-pop group Boredoms. Her explosive drum performances captivated audiences and even inspired Wayne Coyne to name a now-famous Flaming Lips album in her honor. While the band’s tours of the United States are infrequent, they are as The New York Times has stated, transcendent.

More information can be found here.

5670 Hits

Jacaszek & Kwartludium, "Catalogue Des Arbres"

jacaszek & kwartludium - catalogue des arbres (cd)

For the past decade or so, Polish musician Michał Jacaszek has been exploring a new, resolutely modern chapter in Eastern Europe's long, storied love affair with classical music. His creations are painstakingly crafted collages of electronic textures and baroque instrumentation, harpsichords being swarmed by woolly static one minute and pulled apart by billowing wind the next. A push-and-pull tension runs deep and constant throughout. Ambient music is rarely so sonically challenging. Jacaszek has recorded for Ghostly International, Miasmah, Gusstaff Records and Experimedia and other labels. This is his first release for Touch.

Michał Jacaszek writes:

"When poets and writers declare their enchantment for the forms of nature, they often use musical terms as metaphors. Visual artists' creations often resemble graphic partitas, when recapturing the rhythms of landscapes.  Confirming, in a way, these musical intuitions, composers write great music deeply inspired by birdsongs, wind rustlings, waves repetitions etc."

More information can be found here.

5216 Hits

Hildur Gudnadóttir, "Saman"

hildur gudnadottir - saman (cd)

This album is about resonance: on Saman, which means "Together," Hildur melts her voice with her cello, connecting the two instruments together. The result is a highly involving and moving album, recorded, mixed and mastered in Berlin. Hildur's sylph-like vocals contrast beautifully with rich cello tones, resolving the tension between light and dark to produce a unique listening experience.

More information can be found here.

5180 Hits

Noveller & Thisquietarmy, "Reveries"

Reveries is the first collaborative effort of Noveller & TQA, two critically acclaimed lonesome composers welcoming us to an expanded guitar-based journey. Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based composer Sarah Lipstate while Thisquietarmy is Eric Quach, unstoppable globetrotting musician from Montreal. Both use the guitar as their main instrument, creating some of the most impressive, hypnotic and rich-textured electric guitar works from the past years.

Empty architecture, luminosity, rocks and deserted zones. Somewhere between Antonioni's Zabriskie Point and Tarkovski's Stalker, there is a walk, a wait and an epiphany.

It happened. You were not there. You just read it. Or maybe it's the synopsis of it. It's written on the back cover of a dog-eared paperback that girl with the golden cap lost in the train you were just in. She was in a hurry. You'll never know its end, you just have to stick to the rocks and to the music.

Tomorrow is another day and tonight might be the night.

Recorded in January 2013 at Electric Blue Studios in Brooklyn, this new long player finds Sarah & Eric at their most luminous and aerial state, writing together layers of blissful drones resulting of a highly meditative and emotional four-parts piece.

More information here.

4980 Hits

Big Blood, "Unlikely Mothers"

Brand new double LP from the duo of Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella, who also play in Cerberus Shoal and Fire On Fire. The duo also performed on Michael Gira's Swans LP, The Seer in 2012. Based out of Portland, Maine, Big Blood has dropped a ton of stunning self-released CDs and cassettes since 2006 as well as some fantastic vinyl releases for Time-Lag, Feeding Tube, Phase and Immune.

Big Blood's sound is rooted in folk and prime '60s / '70s garage psych. This new double LP sees them focus more on the electric side of things than on some previous releases with the addition of drummer, Shon. The record was recorded after Colleen spent a lot of time listening to Sabbath, Zepp and Dead Moon, so it definitely has a heavier vibe than some of their past releases.

The gatefold sleeve features artwork by Colleen, Unlikely Mothers refers to Colleen's mother (pictured on the inside) and Colleen's aunt (pictured on the outside), both were nuns. Her aunt stayed a nun and colleen's mom left (obviously) during Vatican II. The two images for the sleeve are from an ongoing series about women who buck common notions of who are the mothers in our lives.

More information can be found here.

5975 Hits

Godflesh, "Decline and Fall" EP

First new material since 2001.  Six new songs plus two dub versions.

More information can be found here.

Decline and Fall EP cover art

4628 Hits

Esplendor Geométrico reissues

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The reissue of ARISPEJAL ASTISARÓ+ on vinyl for the first time!, in expanded version (Double LP) with the four outstanding tracks "Noising in the Rain I - IV," included in the legendary Bruitiste compilation (1987) by RRRrecords.   Recorded between 1987 and 1989 and firstly published only in CD (1992) by Línea Alternativa,  an especially interesting period where the unique and characteristic  rhythmic-industrial Esplendor Geométrico style, developed along the eighties, turns more minimalistic, schematic, cold and rough.

Remastered in 2014 with a vastly improved sound, ARISPEJAL ASTISARÓ+ includes the 10 original tracks of the CD plus the 4 of Bruitiste, that constitutes the perfection of the eighties E.G. sound in all its aspects, included the voice of Arturo Lanz.  Aggressive siderurgical hammering ("Jari", "Arispejal astisaro"), mechanized tribalism ("Felacion", "Bi bajin"), and hypnotic spirals ("Catare").

View Product Details

Geometrik presents the reissue, on vinyl for the first time and remastered in 2014 from the original reel to reel tapes!, of SHEIKH ALJAMA, originally published only in CD (1991) by Daft Records (Dirk Ivens label).  Recorded  between 1987 and 1989, an especially interesting period where the unique and characteristic  rhythmic-industrial E.G. style, developed along the eighties, turns more minimalistic, schematic, cold and rough, with sporadic influences of Arabic musics and rhythms. SHEIKH ALJAMA is an Esplendor Geométrico classic and one of the best albums of their whole career, including their hit "Sinaya."  Sheikh Aljama stands out for the incorporation of sonorities, voices and percussions of Arabic influence.

More information can be found here.

5150 Hits

Officer!, "Dead Unique"

Blackest Ever Black presents to you Dead Unique, an album by Officer! recorded in 1995 but - outrageously, inexplicably - never before released into the public domain. This then is not a reissue or a revival; it's a new record that just happens to have been maturing in the cask for, oh, a little shy of 20 years. It also happens to be a lost classic of English art-rock, and the crowning achievement in the career of its mercurial creator, Mick Hobbs, who was closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage studio.

A complex but thrillingly immediate avant-pop song cycle that charms and confounds at every turn, Dead Unique will give immense pleasure not only to Officer!’s existing cult following, but to anyone with an appreciation of piquant, idiosyncratic songcraft – fans of Kevin Ayers, Flaming Tunes, Art Bears, Woo, Dislocation Dance, R. Stevie Moore, Robert Wyatt, Cleaners From Venus, Lol Coxhill or The Monochrome Set should especially pay attention. It touches upon ragged-raw rock ‘n roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz and paranoid dub-space, effortlessly shifting from skronking abstraction to rousing harmonic refrain and back again.

Blurring the roles of storyteller, poet and prankster, Hobbs turns memorable line after memorable line, booby-trapping them with mischievous puns, fleet-footed literary allusions, sudden digressions and shifts of register, nonsense rhymes and other wordplay. But his acute wit and flair for the absurd is moored by a deep romantic sensibility, and though it delights in the minutiae of the human comedy, Dead Unique ultimately addresses its biggest themes: love, loss, commitment, independence, the mutability and inconstancy of all things. "You lose, you learn, you advance…but you always go back."

More information can be found here.

4665 Hits

Lawrence English, "Wilderness of Mirrors"

Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. It is two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A Baker’s novel, The Peregrine. It is English’s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation.

The phrase, wilderness of mirrors, draws its root from T.S Eliot’s elegant poem "Gerontion." During the cold war, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial.

Wilderness Of Mirrors also reflects English’s interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The album’s overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics.

“During the course of this record,” English explains, “I was fortunate enough to experience live performances by artists I deeply respect for their use of volume as an affecting quality, specifically Earth, Swans and My Bloody Valentine. I had the chance to experience each of these groups at various stages in the making this record and each of them reinforced my interest in emulating that inner ear and bodily sensation that extreme densities of vibration in air brings about.”

The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness Of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane.

“We face constant and unsettled change,” English notes, “It's not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bare witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?”

Wilderness Of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality.

Out July 21, 2014.  More information here.

5323 Hits

Ensemble Economique, "Melt Into Nothing"

Melt Into Nothing is ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE's most lucid seance to date. The prolific Humboldt County musician has stripped layers off of his trademark haze but retained the beautiful desolation that’s earned him a rabid fanbase. The solo project of former Starving Weirdos member Brian Pyle, Ensemble Economique has crossed a land bridge from apocryphal world music and dusty soundtracks to gauzy 4AD-style atmospherics. Trellises of guitar embolden Pyle’s whispered, threadbare lyrics. On "Hey Baby," the itinerant tone feels like an update on Neil Young's stark and beautiful soundtrack for Jarmusch's "Dead Man." "Melt Into Nothing," like that beautiful film music, evokes the great American expanse.

Field recordings slip in and out of the mix. On "Fade for Miles," Pyle's adroit effects and backwards tape manipulation make the long trail on his vocals fade into waves on a rocky beach. Pyle combines minor-key organ and spacious string synths on "Never Gonna Die," recalling the grey grace of the releases on Factory's gothic cousin, Benelux. Thunder accentuates the dubbed-out machine drum programming as Pyle's dulcet tenor floats in storm clouds. The full-length also features contributions from Toronto artist DenMother and Parisian artist Sophia Hamadi, also of dark-wave Opale. This music is not excessively dark or severe. Rather, the record explores the internal dialogue of solitary walks. "Melt Into Nothing" is for making sense of humanity in nature’s unforgiving face. Ensemble Economique has made his most accessible record yet, but the complex emotion behind these tracks remains resonant and ultimately mysterious.

Out June 27th, 2014.  More info can eventually be found here.

4401 Hits

Mike Weis, "Don't Know, Just Walk" (Zelienople)

Don't Know, Just Walk cover art

Side A - "The Temple Bell Stops"

Side B - "But The Sound Keeps Coming" and "Out Of The Flowers."

Recorded at SOMA studios on April 21st, 2013 by The Norman Conquest. One take performances recorded without overdubs with the exception of an ARP 2600 Analog Synthesizer track by The Norman Conquest on "But The Sound Keeps Coming."

"Out Of The Flowers" was an improvisation with The Norman Conquest on the ARP.

Source material for "The Temple Bell Stops" and "But The Sound Keeps Coming" recorded by me at home in Chicago and in the field. Chanting on "The Temple Bell Stops" by an unknown monk at Jogyesa Buddhist Temple in Seoul, South Korea.

Additional contributions on "But The Sound Keeps Coming" by anonymous Cardinals, Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Woodpeckers and Blue-Jays in Hobart, Indiana; also Tree Frogs and Crickets at Hussy Lake, Michigan and Grasshoppers and Gold Finches at Clark and Pine Dune and Swale preserve in Gary, Indiana.

“There is all the time in the world for studying music, but for living there is scarcely any time at all. For living takes place each instant and that instant is always changing. The wisest thing to do is to open one’s ears immediately and hear a sound suddenly before one’s thinking has a chance to turn it into something logical, abstract, or symbolical. Sounds are sounds and men are men, but now our feet are a little off the ground.” -John Cage, from Juilliard Lectureenople

More information will eventually appear here.

4232 Hits