"Dead C vs. Rangda"

Two of the greatest bands of the present day, each composed of two guitarists and a drummer. Every member's name carries its own legendary status. Richard Bishop. Ben Chasny. Chris Corsano. Michael Morley. Bruce Russell. Robbie Yeats. Fabricated empires have risen and been destroyed by the vast output of any one of these guys. Finally, they come together on one release: a split LP between two supergroups.

The Dead C's tracks are a gem of a find. The band uncovered recordings nestled in the back corner of their archives that they completely forgot existed. These tracks were under consideration for their seminal album Eusa Kills. The loose majesty found on that album comes to the fore here, with a group finding their wings right as they are set aflame.

Rangda recorded their two compositions at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana. Everything that brings these musicians together uncoils and commands. Beats of silence underscore tangents that lead back to main themes and out again. It’s as though the years and years of playing under their collective belts has culminated in these glorious moments.

More information here.

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6034 Hits

"Read & Burn: A Book About Wire"

Published to coincide with the release of Wire’s excellent new album Change Becomes Us, Read & Burn is the first serious, in-depth appraisal of one of the most influential British bands to emerge during the punk era.

If Wire were briefly a punk band, however, it was largely by historical accident. Their story is one of constant remaking and remodeling, one that stubbornly resists reduction to a single identity. Read & Burn traces Wire's diverse output from 1977 to the present and does justice to their restlessly inventive body of work by developing a sustained critical account of their shifting approaches. It combines analysis and interpretation with perspective drawn from extensive interviews with past and present members of the group, as well as producers, collaborators, and associates.

Out March 15, 2013 on Jawbone Press.

6727 Hits

"The Pierced Heart and The Machete"

In the past, I have definitely preferred Sublime Frequencies' musical releases to their cinematic ones, but Olivia Wyatt's follow-up to Staring into the Sun is quite a beguiling exception to that trend.  Naturally, one major reason that this film is so great is the exotic and fascinating subject matter (Vodou pilgrimages in Haiti).  However, Wyatt's skillful execution elevates her footage into something truly wonderful, lushly and kinetically capturing the unique and occasionally disturbing sights and sounds of a world that very few non-Haitians will ever to experience first-hand.

Continue reading
8663 Hits

Jon Mueller, "Death Blues"

Find Yourself. Impatience. Death Blues. Acceptance. Impermanence. Iron String. The six songs that comprise Jon Mueller's Death Blues are each their own doorway to both a bold new musical statement from the renowned drummer/percussionist and an unprecedented journey into a conscious contemplation of death -- and the life that surrounds it. Released in tandem with a multi-part manifesto, Death Blues transcends its own existence as 34-minute, earth-cracking rock album. Much like Mueller, whose landmark solo work stands alongside his role in notable bands Volcano Choir (and previously, Collections of Colonies of Bees), Death Blues embodies the acknowledgement that there's more to experiencing music than simply just listening.

Conceived and largely executed in its recorded form by Mueller himself -- adding hammered acoustic guitar and bold vocal patterning to his ever-evolving mastery of percussion -- Death Blues is audibly (and intensely) personal. However, the very act of recording was the first step in a discourse that Mueller began over a year ago, forming a band of brilliant performers from his Milwaukee, WI hometown that would go on to perform Death Blues at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC and at two sold-out Death Blues events in Milwaukee, where a labyrinth led the audience into a multi-sensory and participatory experience culminating in a climactic performance of the album. It was as close as one could get to being next to Mueller at that moment of discovery: of the inevitability of death as the impetus to become more present in each moment and of the necessity of building his own path to sharing that idea.

Death Blues is being collaboratively released by Taiga (vinyl) and Hometapes (digital).

Death Blues cover art

 

 

5978 Hits

Black Boned Angel, "The End"

 

This is the final album. The End, delivered in three parts, is achingly beautiful, and solidifies the territory explored in the band's previous efforts, including the stunning collaboration with Nadja, entitled Christ Send Light (20 Buck Spin), to convey an emotional journey through complex chord structures that render equal parts dissonance and melody.  Born from the mind of Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel, Our Love Will Destroy The World) and partner James Kirk, The End is a stunning juxtaposition of darkness and radiance that triggers a visceral reaction in the listener. Those familiar with previous works from this outfit, such as The Witch Must Be Killed (Conspiracy Records), Verdun (Riot Season), and the multiple releases on 20 Buck Spin, will be elated by this eloquent yet blistering final chapter in one of the best bands to grace the genre. This hand numbered edition of 500 is housed in a custom, oversized, 7" square envelope.

 

EDITION: 500, hand-numbered, eight pieces to assemble, archived in custom oversized 7" square envelope

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2013

More information here.

BLACK BONED ANGEL - THE END

 

 

6119 Hits

Black Sunroof!, "4 Black Suns and a Sinister Rainbow"

4 Black Suns & a Sinister Rainbow is the all new double album from legend Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Pure/Total) and his Voltigeurs cohort Samantha Davies. Wrenching the swirl of extreme drone alongside buried melodic texture and harsh blackened noise comes a gnarled, cohesive work which serves as evidence that even the most prolific artists can find boundaries to break, and envelopes to push. The nuance in this double album is infinite, with each listen rendering a new discovery. For those with the deep-seeded desire to challenge the listening impulse, and continue what is nearly the fourth decade of the musical progression of a master, you will undoubtedly be entranced by this lush mosaic of sonic density.

EDITION: 500, 2XCD, hand-numbered

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2013

More information here.

BLACK SUNROOF! - 4 BLACK SUNS AND A SINISTER RAINBOW

6471 Hits

Kevin Drumm, "Tannenbaum"

Kevin Drumm returns to Hospital with a double album of malign electronic ambient music. Drumm's subtle work with shifting, roving drones keep the pace and tempos moving with a Hitchcockian tension while details of a story emerge with swells and fades as other sequences are lost in the clatter of long chambers of isolation adorned with the trimmings of pagan beauties.

More information here.

 

KEVIN DRUMM - Tannenbaum image

 

7243 Hits

"Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo"

Scattered Melodies is a compilation of Korean Kayagum Sanjo Music. Sanjo, meaning "scattered melodies," is a form of stylized string improvisation developed in the 1890s originally for the Korean kayagum, a smaller distant cousin of the Japanese koto. Stark and haunting, falling in the gaps between folk and classical music, kayagum sanjo employs a gradually increasing tempo, focused improvisation (the "scattering of melodies"), elastic rhythms, and intense snaps and vibrato that seem to power through the hazy abstractions of the 78rpm recording technology (these are old, exceedingly rare records that have survived nearly insurmountable odds: invasion, occupation, war, division.).  Presented here are a few of the masters of sanjo as it originally emerged in the early part of the 20th century on 78rpm recordings from 1925 to the early 1950s. This limited edition LP comes enclosed in a beautiful tip-on jacket with two-sided insert featuring extended liner notes by compiler Robert Millis.

More information here.

 

LP SF077 Scattered Melodies (SF077) is a compilation of Korean Kayagum Sanjo Music. Sanjo, meaning

6891 Hits

"The Crying Princess: 78 rpm Records From Burma"

The Crying Princess compiles rare Burmese 78rpm records gathered by Robert Millis and Sublime Frequencies co-founder Alan Bishop during various trips to Burma (Myanmar) and continues the tradition of amazing music from this Southeast Asian nation released by SF (Princess Nicotine, Guitars From the Golden Triangle, Music of Nat Pwe). Spanning the years 1909 to 1960 these unique and ridiculously rare records feature early sides by Po Sein (one of the giants of early Burmese music and theater), vocal and harp music from 1929, "modern songs with electric guitar," and unique Burmese pop songs with piano, all from 78rpm sources. This limited edition LP comes enclosed in a beautiful tip-on jacket with two-sided insert featuring liner notes by compiler Robert Millis.

More information here.

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Crying Princess: 78 RPM Records from Burma LP (Sublime Frequencies)

7323 Hits

Charlatan, "Isolatarium"

It's tough to know what to expect when dealing with the output of musical mastermind Brad Rose.  Under a plethora of different guises he has stamped his mark on just as many genres, yet Isolatarium, his second under the Charlatan moniker might be his most focused to date. Dispensing with the jerky 808-led shimmer of its predecessor Triangles, Isolatarium makes its case with cold, digital synthesis and buried 4/4 pulses. The searing noise of Rose's output as The North Sea is still audible somewhere in the mix, but the key to this record is restraint, and any clouds of white noise are tempered by cascades of sizzling FM synthesis.

While album highlight "Kinetic Disruption" gives a nod to the outsider dance moves of Actress, Rose manages to push his clatter even further into the ether with a shroud of grinding oscillators and grimacing tape noise. It almost sounds like a devastating new take on the delirious experiments of Maggi Payne or Suzanne Ciani, but with the added hoarse cough of 21st century pessimism. Rose makes his best case with the album's closing track "Terminal Zero," and as the clanking percussion and drunken tones spiral into spluttering computer malfunction there's no doubt that he has hit on his richest seam to date. Sometimes to move forward we have to take a couple of steps back, and in doing this Rose has struck upon something lonely and undeniably beautiful.

More information here.

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5166 Hits

Talvihorros, "And It Was So"

What started out as a personal challenge to make an album in 7 days grew into something else entirely.  Over a year in the making, and expanding his trademark guitar sound with drums, strings, bells, organs and synthesisers, And It Was So features contributions from fellow label mates Field Rotation (violin) and Petrels (cello) along with tour partner Jordan Chatwin (drums/percussion) and long time collaborator Anais Lalange (viola).

If last year's album Descent Into Delta was reminiscent of plunging into the murky depths, his latest offering And It Was So evokes the expansiveness, dynamicism and density of the cosmos.  Attempting to find order in chaos is something Talvihorros has been striving to achieve over the past three albums and he has never balanced these elements so beautifully.

More information here and here.

5028 Hits

Holly Herndon, "Movement"

Holly Herndon's Movement is the debut offering of material by the young musician, modernist, and machinist.

Restless for reckless cultural immersion, Herndon left her Johnson City, Tennessee home as a teenager for Berlin, Germany. For several years, Herndon lived and learned techno music as party dweller and performer, eventually returning wide-minded to the States to pursue a Masters in Electronic Music at Mills College. Under the guidance of network pioneer John Bischoff, Roscoe Mitchell, and Maggi Payne, Herndon pursued her experiments with processed voice and explored embodiment in electronic music, earning the Elizabeth Mills Crothers award for best composer in 2011.

Started at the end of Herndon's studies, Movement is a test chamber that hybridizes her modern composition training and undying devotion to club music. To this extent, the influences of Maryanne Amacher and Galina Ustvolskaya are as prevalent in Herndon's music as Pan Sonic and Berlin and Birmingham 90s techno. Still, in line with pop deconstructionists Laurie Anderson and Art of Noise, Movement is purposefully positioned to reach new ears beyond a niche.

Honoring a strong tradition of computer composition from Stockhausen to Florian Hecker, Herndon is unapologetic about using a machine as her primary instrument. She builds most of her own instruments and vocal effects in the visual programming language Max/MSP, and sees it as a principled part of her practice to push the most modern processors to their limits.

"The laptop is the most intimate instrument we have at our disposal, engaging and absorbing our confessions and inspirations" says Herndon. "Its influence has both devastated and invigorated music as we know it. We've only just begun unlocking the possibilities at our fingertips. Those possibilities are what I work towards and against."

Incorporating themes of presence and physicality / flux and futurity within said musical expressions and tool set, Movement translates the Avant-Garde into what Herndon fundamentally considers "life practice." Movement opens with the malfunctioning hum and cyborg stutter of "Terminal." "Breathe," a minimalist articulation of data complexity within the human voice, informs the processing of Herndon's own vocal melodies in the syncopated house track "Fade."

The collection’s centerpiece "Movement" is about human-computer symbiosis and musically re-imagines what is perceived as "natural" atop a vigilant acid grind. "Dilato" drifts the live baritone vocal stream of Bruce Rameker through a slight digital process to curious mortal frays.

Herndon's ability to sharp turn from synthetic psychosis to hard-coded human sensuality allows Movement approachability for any listener knowingly or unknowingly seeking technological enlightenment. For those listeners escaping grid integration for holistic antiquity, keep a copy of Movement handy. You'll need the manual for reconfiguration later.

More information here.

Movement

 

5758 Hits

Steve Hauschildt, "Sequitur"

Exactly one year on from his last album, Steve Hauschildt returns with his most commanding work to date. Dense and lush arrangements conjure introspective atmospheres that reveal not only his contribution to the band Emeralds, but his ever-evolving strengths as a solo artist. Recorded in Vancouver and Cleveland, nearly 20 different instruments were culled from the 1960s to the present. This lends the album a much wider palette than its predecessor, Tragedy & Geometry. It is still, however, a logical follow-up to that work as the title Sequitur subtly implies. Because of its rich instrumentation, there are classic yet cutting-edge soundscapes fashioned out of the idiosyncrasies innate to the copious synthesizers, drum machines, and vocal processing used on the album. A substantial work, Hauschildt hones in on the place of voice and androgyny in music.

From Steve Hauschildt: "I was very interested in the artificiality of vocal or choir-like sounds that emulate a person or group singing, and how this has evolved with the advancement of musical technology over the decades. I also sang myself and used a vocoder. This was not to sound robotic or to auto-tune notes, but instead used to remove the connotations of gender inherent in the vocal formants that define how we naturally assign gender qualities to sounds, particularly the human voice. It was interesting to discover that certain replicable sounds become 'androgynous' when they carry both masculine and feminine characteristics. I was inspired to carry this idea into music mainly because of the work of Camille Paglia, Rosalind Picard and Donna Haraway. In a sense, the album treads the imaginary boundary between Nature and Artifice. Of course it is within a postmodern trajectory, but not necessarily a statement on cyborg theory or feminism. Rather, Sequitur is a musical domain where these ideas freely collide and coalesce to form emotive states for the listener."

More information here.

Steve Hauschildt - Sequitur image

5990 Hits

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, "Timon Irnok Manta"

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe has been through many shifts in his musical career, from playing with influential Chicago rockers 90 Day Men and forging haunting vocal drones as Lichens all the way to becoming a member of transcendent rockers Om and collaborating with Lucky Dragons and Doug Aitken, and Timon Irnok Manta marks the beginning of a brand new stage in his process. Recorded under his full name and based on fabled British science fiction series "The Tomorrow People," the record establishes Lowe’s format perfectly, with a single mantra-like piece followed by a 'version' in classic dub fashion."‘M'Bondo" follows closely in the footsteps of Lowe's recent slew of highly limited private-press releases, taking tumbling electrified rhythms and setting them up against slowly modulating analogue patterns, gradually building into something even more revenant. A far cry from the maximalist synthesizer music that has come to represent the norm, this is bass-heavy and precariously stripped bare, leaving only skeletons of influence and form.

On "M'Bondo (version)" we are given a closer look into Lowe's wide range of influences as he touches on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works II, early Popul Vuh and Rhythm and Sound in one fell swoop. The basic building blocks of the original track are still present, but graced with Lowe's unmistakable voice and punctuated by warbling tape hiss and chilling echoes. This is a brave step from one of the most compelling voices in experimental music, and the beginning of what promises to be a very rich musical seam.

More information here.

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5411 Hits

Diane Cluck, "fall. tour. songs."

"I recorded these songs with cellist Isabel Castellvi in preparation for our fall tour. Some of them were written as part of my current Song-of-the-Week project. Versions on the EP (with the exception of "Trophies") are different than those released through the project."

“Recording with Travis (engineer) and Isabel was enjoyable, ease-y. We recorded the songs live, meaning we played together in the same room, no overdubs. Each take was subtly different, and we might prefer cello on one and vocals on another…but with live recording we gave up perfectionism and listened for spirit."

--Diane

More information here.

fall. tour. songs. cover art

5683 Hits

Legendary Pink Dots, "Chemical Playschool 15"

The Legendary Pink Dots are back with their highly anticipated new album.

Chemical Playschool is a concept in which more then ever an indulgence in extended ballads and psychedelic improvisations allows Edward Ka-Spel's voice to engage us with his unique brand of storytelling, and the use of synthesizers brings to mind vintage space rock adapted for the modern age.

The album opens with the beautifully epic "Immaculate Conception" where Ka-Spel transports us into a world of stars and planets surrounded by voices and distant echos. In "The Opium Den Parts 1-3" we find a melancholy piece with classic LPD folk essence, arriving then at the ritual tribal ballad "Ranting and Raving."

Chemical Playschool is able to surpass all of our expectations for a band always able to surprise as they lead us through their peculiar dream world. A truly inspired release representing one of the most beautiful concepts created by this eclectic and mythic band.

More information here.

The Legendary Pink Dots. Chemical Playschool 15. CD.

6128 Hits

HTRK/Tropic of Cancer, "Part Time Punks Radio Sessions"

The Part Time Punks Radio Sessions 12" by HTRK and Tropic of Cancer holds six sublime songs of desire.

Comparable to a fly-on-a-wall Peel Sessions, the critically acclaimed Part Time Punks radio show is the sound of the LA underground, run by local icon Michael Stock.

The limited split captures both bands live at the radio headquarters during HTRK's first 2011 tour of the USA, accompanied by comrades in minimalism and melancholia, Tropic of Cancer.

Flipping this vinyl sounds like two sides of the same cursed coin, and mirrors a high school dance playing an endless lustful waltz. BPMs bumped down to a psychic stalk. It's a broken and beautiful memento.

More information here.

5247 Hits

Raime, "Quarter Turns Over a Living Line"

Quarter Turns Over A Living Line is the debut album by Raime.

It follows the duo's self-titled 2010 EP and two subsequent 12" singles, If Anywhere was here we would know where we are and Hennail.

Moving away from the sample-based strategies that characterized their early work, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead have looked increasingly to live instrumentation for their first full-length, mounting intensive recording sessions for percussion, guitar and strings before painstakingly piecing the album together at their home studio. The gothic and industrial signifiers in their music remain, but more submerged and oblique than ever - no more pronounced as influences than jungle's rhythmic dynamism and doom metal's oppressive weight, or aspects of techno, modern composition and dub.

The 7-track album is due to be released on November 19 on 2x12", CD and digital formats. The cover art is derived from an original photograph by William Oliver, produced in collaboration with Raime and featuring dancer Rosie Terry.

More information here.

6102 Hits

Pete Swanson, "Pro Style"

Since upsetting the techno multiverse with Man With Potential last year, ex-Yellow Swan Pete Swanson has tirelessly continued his exploration of the form, quickly breaking it down and moulding it in his image.  Pro Style is the result of those experiments, and finds Swanson at his most explosive, with his archetypal searing synthesizer blasts directed over warehouse kicks worthy of the Downwards catalogue. This is possibly Swanson's most technoid investigation to date, but any 'mainstream' form is peppered with more than enough failure to put a smile on the faces of unconvinced Yellow Swans fans.  Pro Style is far from Berlin's precise minimalism, instead taking a raw, hands on direction that we haven't heard in the genre for many years. Whether you're in the club or in the basement, Swanson's pounding kicks and (surprisingly) booming basses should keep the apocalypse at bay, for now at least.

More information can be found here.

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5493 Hits

Kevin Drumm, "Crowded"

Noise/drone legend Kevin Drumm has just released a new two-song album featuring contributions from Russell Haswell.

More information is available here.

7480 Hits