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John Wiese, "Seven of Wands"

JOHN WIESE 'Seven of Wands' (PAN 22)

As a composer, John Wiese is an elusive one. Employing a very healthy range of conceptual framework throughout his oevure, he's unmistakably recognizable, but rarely easy to predict. No matter what the sound, we find it always sounds like Wiese. Seven Of Wands contains a romanticism only hinted at previously. Comprised of pieces from a range of eras and sequenced into a narrative arc, this very unique album has a quality of being beautiful, listenable, immersive, and transportive all at once. He probably wouldn't like this, but I dare say  "musical."

Let's look for a second at the development of Wiese's solo albums to date: Magical Crystal Blah (2003), Soft Punk (2002–2005), Dramatic Accessories (2007), Circle Snare (2008), Zombie (2009), and now Seven Of Wands (2004–2010). With the exception of Zombie's rigid conceptualism, what we can see is a development of a completely individual approach to cutting and stereo spectrum, with a constantly fluctuating degree of severity in choice of sounds. On this latest, we see this transposed to a longer-form, with more emphasis on beauty and musical qualities (well, don't get me wrong), employing strategies and techniques of musique concrète and electroacoustic music throughout, all the while further emphasizing the mixing desk as a true instrument.

Two of the albums central pieces were developed while touring the US, UK and Europe with Liars, No Age, and (in quadraphonic) Matmos, and feature source material contributed by Angus Andrew (voice, field recording) and Julian Gross (percussion) of Liars. This is Wiese's second release on PAN, following the vinyl edition of C-Section, his duo album with Evan Parker.

The CD is a limited edition of 1000 copies, and is packaged in a pro-press digisleeve jacket which itself is housed in a one-tone silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by John Wiese and Bill Kouligas.

More information is available at the PAN website.

8470 Hits

Eli Keszler, "Cold Pin"

ELI KESZLER 'Cold Pin' (PAN 21)

Over two years in the making, Cold Pin is the new full length record by Eli Keszler. Both a composition and stand alone installation, 14 strings ranging in length from 25 to 3 feet are strung across a 15 x 40 curved wall, with motors attacking the strings, connected by micro-controllers, pick-ups and rca cables. Recorded in Boston's historic Cyclorama, a massive dome built to house the Cyclorama of the Battle of Gettysburg painting in 1884. The b side features in addition, a 'dry' version of the installation with motor attacks on metal squares rather then strings, creating dense percussive clusters. Cold Pin works within the frame work of left to right time and vertical structure. The installation acts as the architecture of the music, surrounding and immersing the live instruments into incredible density and sharp angular mass shapes, and functions alone as the performers stops. Rather then an individual sound the sustained horns, strings, drums and metallic attacks function as a singular unit, and continue too when they stop alongside the installation. Cold Pin features Eli Keszler (drums, crotales installation and guitar), Geoff Mullen (guitar), Ashley Paul (clarinet, guitar, greenbox) Greg Kelley (trumpet), Reuben Son (bassoon) and Benjamin Nelson (cello).

Eli Keszler is a composer, artist and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. In performance, he often plays drums, bowed crotales and guitar in conjunction with his installations. In his ensemble compositions, he uses extended strings, motors, crotales, horns and mechanical devices to create his sound, balancing intense harmonic formations with acoustic sustain, fast jarring rhythm, mechanical propulsion, dense textures and detailed visual presentations. Eli has toured extensively throughout Europe and the US, performing solo and in collaboration with artists such as Phill Niblock, Aki Onda, Joe Mcphee, Loren Connors, Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris, Steve Beresford, C Spencer Yeh, Greg Kelley (Nmperign), T Model Ford, Ran Blake, Ashley Paul and Steve Pyne. He has recorded solo releases for labels such as hiw own REL Records, ESP-DISK' and Type (Red Horse). His installations have appeared at the Boston Center for the Arts and Nuit Blanche NYC and the Shreveport MSPC New Music Festival. He has most recently won the Mata composers competition for the 2012 season. Eli Keszler is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake.

The Lp is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, in a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.

More information available at the PAN website.

8179 Hits

Isengrind, "Night of Raining Fire" LP

Solange Gularte (Natural Snow Buildings) returns for her second solo LP for Blackest Rainbow. A dreamy psychedelic haze of shimmering drones, minimal string plucking with barely-there vocals, Gularte's sound is somewhat more far out in comparison to say Twinsistermoon or Natural Snow Buildings. Night Of Raining Fire showcases this with tracks like the almost medieval sounding "Still Voyager," or the outsider folk sound of "Nadirs of the Sun." The record comes packaged in a stunning full colour sleeve covered in Gularte's strange surreal illustrations. Limited to 500 copies. 400 on heavyweight black virgin vinyl, 100 on coloured standard weight vinyl.  Click here to stream the album!

The album will be released December 15th.  For more information, go to Blackest Rainbow.

Night Of Raining Fire Cover Art

 

9026 Hits

Marissa Nadler, "Covers II"

Covers Volume II

Unofficial, hand-made second volume of Marissa's favorite covers.

01 Winter Lady [Leonard Cohen cover]
02 Learning to Fly [Tom Petty cover]
03 Birds [Neil Young cover]
04 Farewell Angelina [Bob Dylan cover]
05 You Don't Miss Your Water [William Bell cover]
06 The River [Bruce Springsteen cover]
07 Motel Blues [Loudon Wainwright III cover]
08 Distortions [Clinic cover]
09 Sara [Bob Dylan cover]
10 The Book of Love [The Magnetic Fields cover]
11 Avalanche [Leonard Cohen cover]
12 All My Trials [Traditional]
13 I'll Be Here in the Morning [Townes Van Zandt cover]

More info here.

 

9127 Hits

Deluxe Throbbing Gristle Reissues

 

TG VINYL RERELEASES

The Second Annual Report vinyl / CD - 31st Oct
D.O.A - Vinyl / CD -
7th Nov
20 Jazz Funk Greats- Vinyl / CD -
14th Nov
Heathen Earth - Vinyl / CD -
21st Nov
TG's Greatest Hits - Vinyl / CD -
28th Nov

Each album will be an edition of 2000 copies.
Chris Carter has remastered the audio and the LP's come packaged with an 8 page full colour booklet featuring some previously unpublished photos, press reviews from the time, and other visual ephemera from the Industrial Records archive.

(Please note that any recent coloured vinyl versions of the same albums are 'bootleg' copies of VASTLY inferior quality. These records were cynically made available to exploit Peter's death, and are NOT authorised by TG or Industrial Records Ltd. Be assured we are actively tracking down the culprits.)

TG DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

These albums have been remastered by Chris Carter and come with their original IR LP artworks and six page PDF booklets.

TG CD RERELEASES

Each title has been remastered by Chris Carter and comes packaged for the first time in the digi-pak format to better represent their original IR LP artwork. Each release in this 'Time Capsule' series, comes with an additional disc of selected TG live performances culled from our TG24 archive recordings. They are selected to represent TG live performances specific to the original release year of each album.

More info here.

vinylremasters

8636 Hits

Sunn O))) Meets Nurse With Wound

The Iron Soul Of Nothing

The Iron Soul of Nothing will be released on 11/29/11 by Ideologic Organ.

Finally, available now as double vinyl set this is a must for fans of both of these legendary sonic travelers: Steven Stapleton & Colin Potter twist SUNN O)))’s 2000 album “ØØVOID” inside out on Nurse’s dissection table.

"In 2007 we commissioned Nurse With Wound to re-work the masters of SUNN O)))’s second album “ØØVOID” to be included as a bonus CD on the Japanese reissue of said album released a year later on Daymare Recordings. We dug up the original 2" reels from the 2000 session, had Mell Dettmer bake the tapes, made the multitrack transfers and send the drive over to IC studios. The intial brief was to hopefully come up with to come up with something in the veiin of Nurse’s legendary Soliloquoy for Lilith set (my favorite release of the collective). What was returned was way beyond our expectations, completely transformed and rediscovered material, including highlighting formerly obscured vocals of the legendary Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Goatsnake). A vast creepy sonic journey some part drone/depth of SUNN O))), other part concrete weirdness of Nurse, third part just downright out there in surreality and obscure referencing." —Stephen O'Malley

More information here.

 

6562 Hits

"Shut Up Little Man" documentary

 

The most important audio recording released in the nineties wasn't a collection of songs by a self-tortured alternative star. The most important recording released in the grunge era was entitled SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! It was a covert audio recording of two older drunken men living in a small flat in San Francisco, who spent their available free time yelling, screaming, hitting and generally abusing each other.

The phenomenon began in 1987 when Eddie and Mitch (two young punks from the Mid West), moved next door to Peter Haskett (a flamboyant gay man), and Raymond Huffman (a raging homophobe). This ultimate odd-couple hated each other with raging abandon, and through the paper-thin walls their alcohol-fuelled rants terrorised Eddie and Mitch. Fearing for their lives they began to tape record evidence of the insane goings on from next door.

In recording Pete and Ray’s unique dialogue, the boys accidentally created one of the world’s first ‘viral’ pop-culture sensations. Their tapes went on to inspire a cult following, spawning sell-out CD’s, comic artworks by Dan Clowes (Ghostworld), stage-plays, music from the likes of Devo and a Hollywood feeding frenzy. For the newly famous Eddie and Mitchell, this would be a life-changing experience that would see them ingested into the belly and fired out the orifice of the pop culture beast.

In this first feature to come out of the SAFC’s FilmLab initiative, Matthew Bate (What the Future Sounded Like, Mystery of Flying Kicks) explores the blurring boundaries between privacy, art and exploitation.

Info here.

 

Shut Up Little Man!

5444 Hits

"Special Interests" Noise/Experimental Magazine issue #6

New issue out now.

Treriksröset, Boyd Rice, Slogun, Militia, Gnaw Their Tongues, Perispirit, Mika Taanila, As Loud As Possible, ILIOS, Black Boned Angel, KE/HIL, Control. Insider look at the new forces of American Power Electronics, “For Little Box” by: GX Jupitter-Larsen, The Essentials with Sick Seed, Haters and Night Science/Chrysalis. Art by: Waltteri M. (Armon Kuilu). Now bigger page size and more pages!! B5 (18x25cm) / 68 pages with full color cover!

More info here.

 

6627 Hits

"Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries"

The greatest heavy metal story ever told—the complete tale of a life lived for metal. Part anthology, part memoir, and years in the making, METALION includes over 600 reproduction pages from every issue of Slayer Mag—Slayer 1 through Slayer XX, plus the precursor Live Wire zine—spanning from the early 1980s through 2010. In addition, author Jon Kristiansen recounts his life’s story, from alienated outsider to central figure in Norwegian black metal to metal party beast to world-weary metal survivor. The book also features over 100 rare photographs, including two color sections and a portrait gallery of photographs taken by Kristiansen himself.

For twenty-five years, Norway’s Slayer Mag published the gospel of black metal and death metal, combining eye-ripping graphics, brutally honest writing, and relentless offbeat humor. With this anthology/memoir, editor Jon “Metalion” Kristiansen unfolds the extreme highs and lows of a life lived for heavy metal. Founded in 1985 in Sarpsborg, Norway, Slayer Mag quickly rose to prominence by championing countless unsigned death metal pioneers. The pages of Slayer Mag exploded along with the extreme metal underground, and as black metal rose to prominence in Norway in the 1990s, Slayer Mag remained the final word on the moods and motivations of those dark times.

The astonishing combination of archival material includes scores of key historic interviews with the most revered  figures in extreme metal, including Mayhem, Emperor, Slayer, Kreator, Nihilist, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Cathedral, Entombed, Morbid, Napalm Death, Metallica, Opeth, Cradle of Filth, Sadistik Execution, Usurper, Nifelheim, Darkthrone, Sodom, Destruction, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Exodus, Dissection, Candlemass, Carcass, Sepultura, Gorgoroth, Death, Watain, Sadus, Satyricon, Enslaved, Pentagram, Jarboe, Immortal, Possessed, Overkill, Ulver, Dark Angel, and countless others.

“From the start, I made Slayer Mag as honestly and as well as I could,” says Kristiansen. “I never knew any other way. I hope that I have produced something that will stand the test of time.”

“Presiding over the birth of extreme metal from its Scandinavian heartland, the first issue of the legendary Slayer fanzine was cranked out in 1985 and over the years shifted its coverage to provide an insider view of Swedish death metal and Norwegian black metal through their formative and most controversial years.”Terrorizer

“For countless metalheads, the zine Slayer was a lifeline to a global scene. Founder Jon Kristiansen was deep into the scene in Norway, and is, to this day, one of the best primary sources for facts and stories about Mayhem, Varg, and what really happened back in the day.”The Onion AV Club

More info here.

 

Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries

 

8939 Hits

Richard Skelton, "The Complete Landings"

Landings is the culmination of nearly half a decade spent exploring and remapping Anglezarke, on the West Pennine Moors of northern England. Over the course of its pagesLandings interwines the artist's own narrative with that of the landscape - its topography, history and place-names.

This Third Edition significantly expands on the previously published text, adding new writing from 2009-2011 as well as further research into the toponymic and linguistic heritage of the landscape.

To celebrate its publication, a new 35-minute album has been produced which reworks Rapture - a pivotal recording from the second Landings album. All three albums in the Landings Seriesare now available together, as a high-quality, digital download:

{1} Carousell Landings (28th June, 2006)
{2} Richard Skelton Landings (28th June, 2009)
{3} Richard Skelton Rapture (28th June, 2011)

Each edition of Landings is individually signed by the artist and presented in a beautiful handmade cover, printed on high-quality Gerstaecker paper.

More information here.

 

6644 Hits

My Cat Is An Alien, "Alienology: Selected Works 1998-2008"

ALIENOLOGY: Selected Works 1998-2008 Cover Art

10 CD

BOX SET

Stunning collection of works from 1998 to 2008, MY CAT IS AN ALIEN's first decade of adventure in outer space and modern music. All ultra-rare and long-out-of-print material from space brothers Maurizio and Roberto Opalio finally available for the first time in digital format, including a previously unreleased gem entitled 'Where The Lines Go To Sleep' (2004).
The selection starts from MY CAT IS AN ALIEN's 1999 first milestone 'Landscapes Of An Electric City' (originally spread throughout the world by Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace!). In these early years, MY CAT IS AN ALIEN decided to entrust thier own 'pictures of infinity' to several obscure labels specialized in producing limited as well as specially curated vinyl-only releases (not to mention the duo's own Opax Records imprint), thus creating a monumental corpus of work that gave birth to the brothers' myth.
Among many other fundamental works, this huge set also contains what MY CAT IS AN ALIEN have called 'The Great Void Trilogy', which was originally released on three separate LPs by Ed Hardy's legendary Eclipse Records in the middle of the last decade. The latest work presented in the set is 'Alien Blood' (2008), original soundtrack to the homonimous film by Roberto Opalio, which was shown at various European museums as part of the 'SONIC YOUTH etc: Sensational Fix' touring exhibition.
Each work has been accurately remastered and re-edited appositely for this box set release. The box also includes extensive liner notes, plus special art cards. 
A unique occasion for every adventurous listener to experience some of the most inscrutable and essential music of all times.
credits
released 14 September 2011 on Elliptical Noise.
DISC 1 - 'Landscapes Of An Electric City' 
DISC 2 - 'The Rest Is Silence' (part one) 
DISC 3 - 'The Rest Is Silence' (part two - extended version) 
DISC 4 - 'When The Windmill's Whirl Dies' 
DISC 5 - 'There's A Flame___Sometimes' 
DISC 6 - 'Where The Lines Go To Sleep' (previously unreleased) 
DISC 7 - 'Greetings From The Great Void' 
DISC 8 - 'The Secret Of The Dancing Snow' 
DISC 9 - 'For The Tears Of The Land_Prayers From The Outer Space' 
DISC 10 - 'Alien Blood - Soundtrack To The Film'

 

7274 Hits

Twinsistermoon," When Stars Glide Through Solid" Reissue

Long awaited reissue of the debut release from Mehdi Amezianes Twinsistermoon project, originally released as a gorgeous handmade self released CDR in 2007, to many of Natural Snow Buildings and each of their solo project, this is the pick of all their releases, which is rather ironic being that its one of the smallest release runs in the discography of all the Natural Snow Buildings and related projects, it is infact the most limited release of all the Twinsistermoon releases. But due to the massive level of word of mouth about their releases on blogs and in the smaller press publications this release has become one of those holy grail releases. Unlessof course you have a small wedge of cash lying around doing nothing. So, finally, and with great pleasure, the much talked of reissue is finally here. The record opens with a real stunner, 'I Wish I Could Drown The World In Reverberation' is a trance inducing piece, with percussive tambourine, dreamy vocals, and shimmering strings, with a gorgeous organic rich feeling. It's followed by 'To Breath Underwater', a more pastoral folk song, akin to some late 60s/early 70s folk artists. The album as a whole focuses more on the song-based material which occasionally venture into the more far-out zone outs.

The vinyl reissue features an entire side worth of new material, all of which is exclusive to the vinyl edition and is packaged in a beautiful gatefold sleeve featuring stunning new artwork by Solange Gularte. Limited to 600 copies. 200 direct mailorder copies on regular weight coloured vinyl, 400 copies on heavyweight black virgin vinyl.

The CD reissue features an additional bonus track, which is exclusive to the CD edition and is packaged in a beautiful gatefold sleeve featuring stunning new artwork by Solange Gularte. Limited to 500 copies.

More information available at Blackest Rainbow.

6295 Hits

John Fahey, "Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965)"

John Fahey: Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965)

Your Past Comes Back to Haunt YouAs with all histories, context and an appreciation for the times are essential. In 1958, when the earliest of these recordings were made there were probably no more than a handful of reissues of pre-war country blues 78s available on record in the United States. The long-playing 33 1/3 record was, itself, only a recent invention. Today, with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pre-war blues and hillbilly reissues available and in print, when it’s possible to walk into any halfway decent record store (to the extent record stores, halfway decent or otherwise, still exist) and find the complete recordings of Charley Patton or Blind Willie Johnson, it may be difficult to comprehend just how obscure and how otherworldly this music once was. — Glenn Jones, from the Introduction to Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You

DTD-21 : October 11, 2011
Edited by Glenn Jones 
88 page book with 5 CDs
115 tracks, most available on CD for the first time 
A co-production between Dust-to-Digital and Revenant

6948 Hits

"I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces: Music in Vernacular Photographs 1880-1955"

I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces: Music in Vernacular Photographs 1880-1955

I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces... i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces brings together a collection of early photographs related to music, a group of 78rpm recordings, and short excerpts from various literary sources that are contemporary with the sound and images. It is a somewhat intuitive gathering, culled from artist Steve Roden’s collection of thousands of vernacular photographs related to music, sound, and listening. The subjects range from the PT Barnum-esque Professor McRea - “Ontario’s Musical Wonder” (pictured with his complex sculptural one man band contraption) - to anonymous African-American guitar players and images of early phonographs. The images range from professional portraits to ethereal, accidental, double exposures - and include a range of photographic print processes, such as tintypes, ambrotypes, cdvs, cabinet cards, real photo postcards, albumen prints, and turn-of-the-century snapshots. 

The two CDs display a variety of recordings, including one-off amateur recordings, regular commercial releases, and early sound effects records. there is no narrative structure to the book, but the collision of literary quotes (Hamsun, Lagarkvist, Wordsworth, Nabakov, etc.). Recordings and images conspire towards a consistent mood that is anchored by the book’s title, which binds such disparate things as an early recording of an American cowboy ballad, a poem by a Swedish Nobel laureate, a recording of crickets created artificially, and an image of an itinerant anonymous woman sitting in a field, playing a guitar. The book also contains an essay by Roden.

5849 Hits

HTRK, "Rhinestones"

cover imageThis latest release from the long-running duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang is quite a bombshell, as Rhinestones was "inspired by a recent infatuation with 'eerie and gothic country music.'" To my ears, HTRK drawing inspiration from classic country heartache is already a winning formula right out of the gate, yet Rhinestones is even better than I might have hoped, as the Melbourne-based pair have spiced that new direction up further by filtering it through a "narcotic, nocturnal lens" in order to "map enigmatic badlands of strung out beauty" (count me in!). In less poetic terms, that means that Rhinestones is full of acoustic guitars, heartbreak, and half-sultry/half-ghostly vocal melodies and that every single one of these nine songs attain some degree of greatness. While yet another excellent HTRK album is hardly unexpected territory, I was nevertheless legitimately floored by how masterfully Standish and Yang executed this new vision, as Rhinestones is a beautifully stark, sensual, and effortlessly psychedelic tour de force that somehow also fitfully evokes great '80s pop in the vein of Pat Benatar. That is quite an impressive feat. This album will deservedly be all over "best of 2021" lists next month.

Heavy Machinery/N&J Blueberries

This album is an extremely impressive example of how an absolutely gorgeous album can result from a very stark and simple palette, as Rhinestones is basically just an acoustic guitar, an occasional drum machine click, Standish's breathily sensuous voice, some great songs, and plenty of unerring instincts. While the whole album is wonderful, it starts to become something transcendent at the end of the second piece. "Valentina" initially sounds like a lovesick folkie got the hypnagogic David Lynch/Julee Cruise treatment, but it ends in unexpectedly heavy fashion, as the final line "can you remove it from my finger?" locks into a haunting spiral of looping repetition. That cool surprise then happily seques into a three-song run of absolutely killer songs. On "Sunlight Feels like Bee Stings," what initially sounds like a sadness-soaked breakup song quickly blossoms into something darkly sexual and swirling with understatedly beautiful ripples of echoing psych guitar. The following "Siren Song," on the other hand, only lasts a mere 49 seconds, yet every single one of those seconds rules, as Yang unleashes a phantasmagoric reverie of hollow, wobbly chords and string scrapes augmented with little more than murmured vocals and a slow rhythm of finger snaps.

"Fast Friend" is another quiet masterpiece of psych guitar, approximating a sultry, bleary Pat Benatar cover with a slinky drum machine pulse and host of painterly hallucinatory touches. Some artists make great psychedelia with cool layering and inspired juxtapositions, but Yang is the sort that can make just a single note or chord sound amazing and I am very much into it. The rest of the album is rounded out by a classic HTRK-style single "Real Headfuck" and a few seemingly lesser pieces that are ultimately elevated by great outros. Yang and Standish are truly in peak form on this album, as the vocals seductively dance over a simmering array of cool backdrops and every last hand clap or string scrape is executed with flawless timing and maximum impact. If there is any caveat with Rhinestones at all, it is only that it might feel a bit too melancholy for some, but I found these songs to be a lot like the old joke about New England weather: if a song seems unmemorable or oppressively sad at first, odds are quite strong that something cool and unexpected is about to dramatically change that trajectory for the better. This is a hell of an album.

Samples can be found here.

2091 Hits

Felicity Mangan "Bell Metal Reeds"

cover imageThis is my first encounter with the unique fare of Berlin's One Instrument Records, but I have probably stumbled upon Felicity Mangan's work before, as she released an EP of animal-sourced sound art on Longform Editions back in 2019 and she is also half of the duo Native Instrument.  While it may sound like a stretch to call the multi-directional "quasi-bioacoustic sound piece" of her Longform EP Stereo'frog'ic "normal," it is nevertheless fair to say that frogs and homemade speakers are considerably closer to Mangan's comfort zone than a harmonica album (which is good, as I generally loathe harmonicas). And yet here we are: Bell Metal Reeds is an entirely harmonica-sourced album (Mangan picked one up at a flea market in Hamburg right before the pandemic). In most cases, learning that someone recorded a solo harmonica album over lockdown would—at best—elicit a wince, heavy sigh, or torrent of expletives from me, yet Mangan has somehow managed to wield the instrument so unconventionally and so beautifully that my mind has been properly blown. This is an incredible album, at times recalling everything from classic Kranky fare a la Windy & Carl to Neu! to Chris Watson.

One Instrument

Happily, there is very little on this album that is recognizably sourced from a flea market harmonica, which is a good thing in my book. The even better thing is how transcendently Mangan was able to repurpose her Hohner Echo Harp's sounds and the impressive variety of compositions that resulted. The opening "Echo Harp 1" kicks off the album in especially sublime fashion, as the first half unfolds as sensuous, wobbly drone swells enhanced with flutters of dreampop shimmer that lazily swoop around the drones like an iridescent bat. It almost sounds like Mangan deconstructed drone music and somehow wound up with something languorously sensual instead. Curiously, Mangan opted to shift gears midway through the piece, so the final minutes are more akin to texturally confused drone metal than sexy harmonica ambient. I am bit disappointed by that transformation, as the first half was brilliant, but there is an eerie bent note in the final section that I like, so all is forgiven. "Echo Harp 2" is another big surprise, as it initially resembles an ancient war procession shrouded in a flickering psychedelic haze. Gradually, however, a throbbing drone slowly rolls out of the enchanted fog to launch a final act that resembles a stretched, smeared, and deconstructed motorik rhythm enhanced by the eerie whistle of a passing ghost train. While the first two pieces start off as near-masterpieces and end as merely very good, "Echo Harp 3" manages to sustain its perfection all the way to the finish line, resembling a wonderfully sensuous and spacey instrumental in the Windy & Carl vein (albeit a bit synthier-sounding than that comparison suggests). The album winds to a close with yet another surprise stylistic detour, as "Echo Harp 4" begins life as a pulsing mass of psych drone, but evolves into a compellingly polyrhythmic twist on a jangly drone rock band with an unusual effects palette. That adds up to four surprising, inventive, and beautifully crafted songs in a row, so I guess I am now a raging Felicity Mangan fan. If she can work this kind of magic with the insane constraint of exclusively using a flea market harmonica, her potential must be damn near limitless.

Samples can be found here.

1911 Hits

Natural Snow Buildings, "Chants of Niflheim"

Natural Snow Buildings released a "surprise" album made specifically for Record Store Day.  Details are below.

Natural Snow Buildings - Chants Of Niflheim image

 

Brand new full length CD album from Natural Snow Buildings, made especially for Record Store Day. Following on from January 2011′s “Waves of the Random Sea”, this is the most recent recording from the duo of Mehdi and Solange, recorded over the first three months of 2011.

Epicly dark and brooding folk blurred with psychedelic and ritualistic overtones, this album sounds as good as any other Natural Snow Buildings / Twinsistermoon / Isengrind release, retaining the sound that only this duo can conjure up.

Opener “Chants of Niflheim Part 1″ is a dark reflection upon the concept of its title, followed by “Templars Ritual”, a psychedelic meandering 17 minutes of ritual head nodding zone outs. “Chants Of Niflheim Part 2″ builds ethereal levitation to new forms, from dark to light, blurring heavy riffs with almost vocal instrument sounds to create a mist of unknown. Album closer, “H. Scudder”, opens with Mehdi’s softly sung lyrics layered with percussion and string, heading straight into a deep ritualistic swirling drone section.

“Chants of Niflheim” again concretes Natural Snow Buildings as an essential contemporary duo, crossing the lines of folk drone experimentalism, traditional folk craftsmanship and post rock aesthetic. Again, another essential disc from this French duo.

Limited to 500 copies in full colour 4 panel card sleeves.

Tracks Are :

 

  • Chants Of Niflheim Part I
  • Templars Ritual
  • Chants Of Niflheim Part II
  • H. Scudder

 

Released on Blackest Rainbow Records, but not available through them.

 

7927 Hits

Rob Young's "Electric Eden"

 

The US edition of Electric Eden was published on Tuesday 10 May (Faber via Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Revised, updated and corrected!


In this groundbreaking survey of more than a century of music making in the British Isles, Rob Young investigates how the idea of folk has been handed down and transformed by successive generations – song collectors, composers, Marxist revivalists, folk-rockers, psychedelic voyagers, free festival-goers, experimental pop stars and electronic innovators. In a sweeping panorama of Albion’s soundscape that takes in the pioneer spirit of Cecil Sharp; the pastoral classicism of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Peter Warlock; the industrial folk revival of Ewan MacColl and  A. L. Lloyd; the folk-rock of Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Shirley Collins, John Martyn and Pentangle; the bucolic psychedelia of The Incredible String Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd; the acid folk of Comus, Forest, Mr Fox and Trees; The Wicker Man and occult folklore; the early Glastonbury and Stonehenge festivals; and the visionary pop of Kate Bush, Julian Cope and Talk Talk, Electric Eden maps out a native British musical voice that reflects the complex relationships between town and country, progress and nostalgia, radicalism and conservatism.


A wild combination of pagan echoes, spiritual quest, imaginative time-travel, pastoral innocence and electrified creativity, Electric Eden will be treasured by anyone interested in the tangled story of Britain’s folk music and Arcadian dreams.


‘Like its subject, this wonderful and informative book is full of surprises; a deep poetic sense runs alongside adroit analysis, absorbing narrative detail and lucid, singular overview. Young has charted a territory that is sodden with mystery and tunnelled under with ceaselessly interconnecting themes and ideas – it is as much a state of consciousness that his book describes, connecting sun-lit myths of ‘merrie England’ to a bewitchingly autumnal study of English music’s profound relationship with time and the land.’

Michael Bracewell


Electric Eden maps the secret aquifer beneath the flourishing landscape of British musical creativity over the last century: the country’s heathen heritage of folklore andfancy, ritual and magic, tall tales and stubborn superstitions. Roving from time immemorial to modern antiquarians like Julian Cope, via the pioneering folk song collectors of the early 20th Century, the psychedelic minstrels of the late 1960s, and 70s mavericks like John Martyn and Kate Bush, Rob Young has crafted a vivid and penetrating study of this old, weird Albion. Electric Eden is a stunning achievement.’ Simon Reynolds

 

 

8468 Hits

"The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye"

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been a key figure of the underground music scene for over 30 years. A cult artist in prepunk and post-punk groups Throbbing Gristle (1975 to 1981) and Psychic TV (1981 to present), he is considered to be the father of industrial music and a pioneer of acid house and techno. Not content with breaking new ground in music, Genesis has also used his position at the limits of society to challenge the very fundamentals of biology.

Transformation is, indeed, central to his life. He became a she to resemble his beloved Lady Jaye, now deceased. With peroxide hair, full lips and gold teeth, Genesis does not go unnoticed. A unique life, modeled on his other, Lady Jaye, who remains an integral part of himself. Without subscribing to any movement but living life as the ultimate experiment, he has made his body a work of art.

A kaleidoscopic collection of moving surfaces, composed of interviews (Orlan, Peaches, Peter Christopherson), role plays, concerts and his day to day life, comes together to paint a multi-faceted profile of this pioneer of industrial music and in doing so, exposes the abundant yet inherently elusive nature of his creativity.

http://marielosier.net/the-ballad-of-genesis-and-lady-jaye/

 

 

6877 Hits

"Boyd Rice: Iconoclast" DVD

Boyd Rice may well be the only person alive who's been on a first name basis with both Charlie Manson and Marilyn Manson. His career has spanned more than three decades, during which time he has remained at the epicenter of underground culture and controversy. Rice first came to prominence in the 70's as one of the founders of the genre known as Industrial Music, and soon gained a reputation for live shows that were deemed the most abrasive, minimalist and loudest concerts ever staged (his shows regularly clocked in at 130 decibels, whereas a jet plane taking off was a mere 113 decibels). As early as 1980, he was already hailed as The Godfather of Noise Music.

Since then, Rice has extended his creative pursuits to numerous fields, even lecturing at The Massachusettes Institute of Technology, despite being a high-school dropout. "My life", says Rice, "is a testament to the idea that you can achieve whatever the hell you want if you posess a modicum of creativity, and a certain amount of naivete concerning what is and isn't possible in this world. I've had one man shows of my paintings in New York, but I'm not a painter. I've authored several books, but I'm not a writer. I've made a living as a recording artist for the last 30 years, but I can't read a note of music or play an instrument. I've somehow managed to make a career out of doing a great number of things I'm in no way qualified to do".

Larry Wessel's documentary, ICONOCLAST is a 4 hour long tour de force, 6 years in the making; an in depth expose of Boyd Rice's life, career, and personal obsessions. No mere documentary, ICONOCLAST is more of a roller coaster ride through the fevered mindscape of one of the most controversial and unique artists of the modern age.

trailer here.

http://www.iconoclastmovie.com/

http://www.wesselmania.net/

 

 

12871 Hits