Reviews Search

Zelienople, "The World is a House on Fire"

Veterans of the sprawling Chicago music scene, Zelienople have carved out a unique sound over their enviable slew of releases. The World is a House on Fire is the latest chapter in the band's story, and frames their music more succinctly than ever before. Mike Weis (percussion), Matt Christensen (vocals, guitar) and Brian Harding (bass, saxophone) managed to perfect brooding, melancholy doom pop on their last full length Give It Up, and this latest LP finds the band in a lighter mood.

The trio have utilized dream pop tropes before, but in the first bars of opener "The Southern" there is no doubt that the haunted Americana of the bands previous has been swathed in a haze of drifting synthesizer tones and echoing organ drones (played by occasional member Donn Ha). The simplistic beauty of Slowdive and early Verve is distilled to a vapour as it drifts into Christensen's characteristic vocals and Weis's soft, subtle percussion. This isn't pop music, but the skeletons of pop are just about audible, enshrined in something far more beautiful and much more delicate.

The World is a House on Fire is a blissful and utterly enveloping addition to the Zelienople canon, and while it might be more subtle than their previous records, it stays with you more than you might expect. Haunting doesn't even begin to describe it…

More information here.


6024 Hits

Aufgehoben, "Fragments of the Marble Plan"

The follow-up to 2008's Khora, Fragments of the Marble Plan adds an electronic carapace to Aufgehoben's cataclysmic noise-rock foundation. The prevailing sound evokes the Mego label before it added "Editions" to its name and became enamored of American guitar mavericks—back when it purveyed cyclotronic, abstract electronic music that had the centrifugal force of an irrefutable Ph.D. thesis.

Such is the overwhelming power of Aufgehoben on the British group's sixth album that even exposure to the MP3s makes one relieved to have health insurance. Music this apocalyptic has few peers, but some approximate touchstones are the most radically "out" and knotty moments of Norwegian post-jazz ensemble Supersilent, This Heat after realizing that Brise-Glace didn't pay them a penny in royalties, or Farmers Manual after extensive immersion in Mainliner's back catalog. Fragments of the Marble Plan is a terrifying force of nature, a Rube Goldberg machine run amok, the sound of civilization atomizing into controlled chaos. It's so cold, it's hellish. Although Aufgehoben feels your need for catharsis, they convince you that being ready to jump out of your skin is the new normal.

If Aufgehoben prompted clichés, one would say that they "take no prisoners" on Fragments of the Marble Plan. This music is war—with all of the fascinating horrors and grisly casualties inherent in that endeavor. Get a helmet.

More information here.


6504 Hits

Peaking Lights, "Lucifer"


It is a true pleasure to announce the third full length release from West Coast dub heads Peaking Lights: Lucifer. With it, the golden duo of Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis continue to crystallize their mesmerizing sound and find new dimensions within. Lucifer also comes at a time of great transition for this married couple and it reflects the possibilities that they have found during this new life era, especially with the birth of their son, Mikko- a guiding light muse for the album.

Recorded in Brooklyn at Gary’s Electric studio over the course of a month, Peaking Lights consider Lucifer a nocturnal version of their sound. It's slinkier and full of grooves. "To us this record is about play and playfulness, unconditional love, rhythms and pulses, creation and vibration," says Coyes. Lucifer is also Peaking Lights' most ambitious release to date in terms of its approach and scope. Through their studio experiments, the duo has managed to link their musical loves—dub, krautrock, analog electronic dance music, sound collages, pop music—all while maintaining cohesive songs. Lucifer was self-produced and engineered by Al Carlson (Yeasayer, Ford & Lopatin, 0PN).

Though the name Lucifer may carry sinister connotations to some, to Peaking Lights it represents the start of something new. "All of our record titles have come to us in dreams, daydreams and epiphanies." says Coyes. "Lucifer sat so strong with us. It means 'Venus, bearer of light' and is the first sign of the sunrise. There are some major astrological and astronomical events involving Venus in this year of 2012."

The songs on Lucifer, by most people that have heard them, so far conjour a night time version of previous works, music to soundtrack the moonrise to the sunrise. To Indra and I, though there are similarities to earlier recordings, this stands on its own its changed us, or maybe we were already changed when we wrote it and it is that cathartic release. There was a new approach to recording our rhythms and we were able to see thru many more influences. To us this record is about play and playfulness, unconditional love, rhythms and pulses, creation and vibration we are really happy to share these recordings!

Aaron and Indra have garnered attention for their amazing mixes of super rare and smartly curated jams-here is one to check out with a selection of as-yet unidentified snippets of music from their new record on the newly-live

The album comes out on June 19th.  More information is available here.



6840 Hits

"Broken Flag: A Retrospective 1982-85" CD reissue


Special 5-CD box-set edition of the Broken Flag Retrospective originally released on vinyl in 2007. A compilation and retrospective of one of the most important and influential British noise and power electronics-labels led by Gary Mundy of Ramleh.

This edition was made to coincide with the Never Say When event organised by Second Layer and Harbinger Sound. Includes classic material spanning 1982-85 from Sutcliffe Jugend, Consumer Electronics, Un-Kommuniti, Maurizio Bianchi, Controlled Bleeding, Ramleh, Male Rape Group (Mundy/Best), Kleistwahr, TOLL, New Blockaders, Mauthausen Orchestra, Falx Cerebri, Giancarlo Toniutti, Vortex Campaign and many more. All material is the same as the out-of-print vinyl edition. Also comes with a booklet featuring extensive notes by Gary Mundy.


More information is available here.

9385 Hits

SEMA/Robert Haigh, "Time Will Say Nothing" 4LP box set

SEMA was an 80's experimental-project by Robert Haigh who became well-known in the '90s for his ambient Drum & Bass-project Omni Trio.

In 1980, Robert formed the industrial/avant-funk bands Truth Club and Fote as well as his own label Le Rey Records.

Between 1982 and 1984 he released 4 LPs under the name SEMA on his own Le Rey label: Notes from Underground, Theme from Hunger, Extract from Rosa Silber and Three Seasons Only - which can be found in this box set release.

He also contributed to several Nurse With Wound (United Dairies) projects. Those recordings are provided as bonus tracks on this box set in addition to the 4LPs.

The music of SEMA integrates pianos, orchestral instruments and experimental techniques in a neo-classical and minimalist approach.

These legendary recordings employ a wide palette of light and shade, emotion, texture and atmosphere to produce a sound that is unique in its form and expression.

More information is available here.


8152 Hits

Richard Youngs, "Core to the Brave"

With scores of releases both solo & in collaboration that stretch back for more than 20 years, Richard Youngs perhaps needs the least amount of introduction of any of the artists Root Strata has worked with. We're extremely excited to help Richard add another singular entry into his discography. Core To The Brave hits with a shock and never lets up. Composed of what appears to be blown out bass & spastic drum rhythms, these tracks cascade into shimmering loops of distortion, their weight reaching a critical mass that often feels likes it's on the verge of ecstatic collapse. Everything is elevated further in & up by that one and only voice, floating over top like a lush wind come down from the mountains.

More information here.

Core To The Brave cover art

6745 Hits

Mike Shiflet, "Merciless"

Ohio-based noise veteran Mike Shiflet’s decomposed visions were put into crystal clear focus on 2011's Sufferers, and Merciless is that record’s seismic companion piece. Shiflet's expertise in the field of experimental noise music has been shown on a whole host of albums, collaborations and hyper-limited releases but has rarely been framed so succinctly as on this duo of records.

Continuing Sufferers’ exploration into grim, teeth-chattering tape manipulation and drone we are introduced to the landscape of Merciless with the hospital-room grind of "Feeble Breaths," a dense slab of guitar plucks, compressed air coughs and dentists drill squeals. These sounds are crafted into grit, drone and white noise to create a slowly shifting dense wall of oddly familiar sound. It isn't all doom and gloom however, as Shiflet manages to show his tender side on the meltingly epic "Exodus and Exile" which might be his most beautiful composition to date. A cascade of synthesizer tones that echo the most haunting moments of Ligeti or even Arvo Part, this is somehow all underpinned by a sense of imminent dread. A dread which Shiflet cashes in on the album's title track, an extended collaboration with noise superstar C Spencer Yeh, who matches his signature violin abuse with Shiflet's shimmering electro-acoustic treatments.

Merciless is an unrelenting piece of work, and all the better for it. Let it sink in and prepare to have your mind prized open, you won’t regret it.

More information here.



6888 Hits

Reformed Faction, "The World Awake!/11 Stueck"

The World Awake! / 11 Stueck is a new double album from Reformed Faction, the duo of Robin Storey and Mark Spybey.

The World Awake! was originally intended for a vinyl release and recorded from improvisations made on one day in November of 2009. 11 Stueck was compiled from improvisations made on December 1st 2009, with drummer Christian Alderson and bass player Oscar Ruiz Fernandez.  The Austin Texas based musician Tony D’Oporto, aka Gnome, also appears on one track.   The work references the writing of Henry Miller, in his aptly entitled essay, "With Edgar Varese in the Gobi Desert:"

"The World Awake! Just to repeat that to yourself five times a day is enough to make an anarchist of you.  How would you awaken the world – if you were a musician? With a sonata for rusty tin openers? Have you ever thought about it? Or would you rather remain asleep?"

"We have been educated to such a fine – or dull – point that we are incapable of enjoying something new, something different, until we are first told what it’s all about. We don’t trust our five senses.  We rely on our critics and educators, all of whom are failures in the realm of creation."   Varese said, "What should be avoided; tones of propaganda. As well as any journalistic speculation on timely events and doctrines.  I want the epic impact of our epoch, stripped of its mannerisms and snobberisms…. Imagination is the last word."

This first edition of The World Awake/11 Stueck is presented in a high-quality screen printed sleeve with printed slipcases for each disc. It is limited to 444 copies.

More information here.

Reformed Faction - The World Awake/11 Stueck image


6712 Hits

Julia Holter, "Ekstasis"

Julia Holter second album, Ekstasis, is a collection of songs written and recorded across the span of three years in Los Angeles, California.

Holter's songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Her Eating the Stars EP (2007) was a first attempt at musically transcribing this beauty, while discovering the honest enjoyment of unadulterated creativity. The anonymous authorship and shimmering gold detail of medieval illuminated manuscripts particularly inspired the ornately-orchestrated pop song mystery of Stars. Holter's debut album Tragedy (Leaving Records, 2011) embraced similar strains of shimmer, but used sparser textures in a narrative context.

Ekstasis marks a return to the playful searching of Stars, but guided by newly-learned disciplines, slightly better technology, and nearly limitless home recording time. Formative experiences at Cal Arts studying with Michael Pisaro and in India singing with harmonium under guru Pashupati nath Mishra marked a slight detour for Holter in what started as a more traditional composition route. The trajectory leading to the creation of Ekstasis suggests her thirst for knowledge and experience.

While Ekstasis reflects the conventions of her classical training, the album is also uncannily, if unknowingly, poppy. Holter's approach to crafting the songs of Ekstasis centered around what she describes as, "open ear decisions: what seemed to sound best for that moment." This blindness to reference unintentionally steers Ekstasis along the experimental pop spectrum most commonly associated to New York's Downtown music micro-universe of the 80s, specifically the works of Laurie Anderson and Arthur Russell.

With the blindness that leads Ekstasis, there are also many compositional methods at play. "Marienbad" was built while playing around on a Fender Rhodes with imagined imagery of topiary gardens and scenes from the song's film namesake in mind. The entirety of "Boy in the Moon" - the Casio SK-1 noodles, melody, and lyrics - was improvised over a seven minute catharsis. The melody and lyrics for "Four Gardens" were written spontaneously while rearranging an older song on a loop pedal for a live performance. "This is Ekstasis" contains a bass line built from a medieval isorhythm technique, allowing it to maintain a sense of repetition, but shift slightly with every turn.

There is a unique story and approach with each song, but all are united by the magnetism of the medieval manuscripts and Holter's "desire to get outside of my body and find what I can't define." It took Holter stepping outside of her solely self-written and recorded body of music to engage fellow Los Angeles musician and friend Cole M. Greif-Neill in the final phase of Ekstasis. Greif-Neil added perspective and brought out the greatest sonic potential that each song secretly contained. Holter says, "The first time I heard his mix of 'Marienband" the garden became so rich. Suddenly there were bright greens, the statues' edges defined, the fountains pouring..."

Ekstasis is an album indulged in these beautiful, simple, unfolding life mysteries. "All of these fleeting images and muses are so important," says Holter. "As with the manuscripts, when I see them, I hear voices. I am continually following the voices in the gold leaf. I can't know them, but I will follow their beautiful song."

Julia Holter's Ekstasis was released on March 8th, 2012 on RVNG Intl. in 2xLP, CD, and digital formats.



6673 Hits

Nurse With Wound, "Creakiness and other misdemeanours"

Creakiness and other misdemeanours collects the long out of print Creakiness LP as well as various other very limited releases.
'Sand Tangled Women' was released as a limited edition 7' by Klanggalerie.
'Little Dipper Minus Two (Echo poeme sequence 1)' was a cd-r limited to 200 copies.
' A Perfectly Natural Explanation' was released on a limited edition 7".
New artwork by Babs Santini.
More information here.
6331 Hits

Porter Ricks, "Biokinetics"

Techno isn’t a genre that has birthed many consistent albums, and the dub techno subgenre even less so, but one indisputable classic is Porter Ricks’ debut Biokinetics. Originally issued on the legendary Basic Channel sub-label Chain Reaction in 1996 following a trio of 12”s, Biokinetics was the first of the label’s album releases, and still stands as its crowning achievement. The duo was made up of dark ambient pioneer Thomas Koner and sound engineer Andy Mellwig, and between them they re-framed the techno sound, imbuing the spacious ambience pioneered by label bosses Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald with a frosty, isolated experimental bent, and combining it with the sort of haunted minimalism of early Plastikman.

What separated Biokinetics from other albums at the time was its unwavering narrative – the exact sound has been interpreted countless times since, but the immersive qualities of this singular record have rarely been touched. Maybe it is down to the silvery underwater concept that ties each track together – the bubbling pads, sub-aquatic basses and muffled kick drums. But as with any great album, it’s hard to exactly put your finger on what makes it a classic. Simply put Biokinetics is one of the most important records in the genre, and it’s a pleasure for us to make it available to the world once more.

More information here.



7242 Hits

Espvall/Jakobsons/Szelag, "Improvisations for Strings and Electronics"

On the aptly titled Improvisations for Strings and Electronics, Marielle Jakobsons and Agnes Szelag (Myrmyr) team up with cellist Helena Espvall (of Espers) on a series of, you guessed it, improvisations for strings and electronics. Recorded in Oakland, CA, Jakobsons and Szelag created graphic scores for the occasion.

A little while ago Agnes asked me which bands I’d compare this album to. I couldn’t think of a single one. Not even the more classically oriented works of someone like Godspeed! You Black Emperor really come close.

What did immediately leap to mind were the string quartets of contemporary composers Gloria Coates, Morton Feldman, Per Nørgård, and Henryk Górecki. As well, some of the more challenging, discordant and visceral works of Arvo Pärt bear a similarity to the sinuous, winding melodies and stunning tonal landscape created here.

Ethereal and rapturous beauty tempered with sinister, creeping danger looming ominously in the shadows.

CD. 5 tracks / 43:13 mins. Multi-layered handmade transparent outer-sleeve, lino-block printed envelope. Limited edition of 100.

More information here.


6164 Hits

Richard Skelton, "Skura"


*SKURA ~ Complete Works, 2005-2011, Book + DVD-R

2nd Edition : 2nd February, 2012

*SKURA comprises the artist's complete musical works published through Sustain-Release: 20 albums, 93 tracks, over 12 hours of music.

Previously available as a highly limited 20-disc set, *SKURA is now available as a collection of high quality, 320kbps MP3's on a single DVD-R. This edition is accompanied by a 122-page book featuring a full discography, artwork, poem fragments, liner notes and introductory essays by The Wire's Tony Herrington and Mojo's Andrew Male. Each copy is signed by the artist.

More information is available here.



7256 Hits

Nurse With Wound & Graham Bowers, "Rupture"




This CD is the first collaboration of Steven Stapleton's Nurse With Wound and composer/sculptor Graham Bowers. It is, without doubt, one of the best things we have ever released. It's an extremely unnerving, but also hauntingly moving listening experience.

The work is an attempt to create a musical illustration of the "goings-on" in the brain during the last hour and three minutes of a life after suffering a major stroke. It is multi-layered and is primarily concerned with the internal chaos caused by the loss of control of thought processes, responses and consequential actions, with all types of incoherent disjointed memories and present real time events - as well as moments of lucidity, panic and fear - clashing, merging and evolving.

It's essentially one long piece, but is presented in three parts:

1. "...a life as it now is,

2. not what it was,

3. . ...and will never be again"

It arrives packaged in a beautiful 6 panel gloss laminated digipak, featuring artwork from both Babs Santini and Graham Bowers. The edition is limited to just 1000 copies in this format.

More information here.

8072 Hits

Diane Cluck's Song-of-the-Week Project

The singular and painfully unprolific Diane Cluck is embarking upon a new project in which she will release a new song every week for six months.

Go here for more details.



6428 Hits

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.

9153 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.

8887 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


9779 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.


9866 Hits

Deluxe Throbbing Gristle Reissues



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.)


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


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.


9393 Hits