Thursday, June 30, 2011
"Dark Times is the fifth album by Melbourne artist Cam Butler, a veteran of the Australian city's live scene thanks to years spent at the helm of instrumental rock band SIlver Ray, who have previously ventured onto British soil in support of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. This fact only exacerbates that it'd be hard getting through a review of Butler's music without making some sort of reference to Dirty Three, and sure enough there's the same sort of lyricism to Butler's violin and guitar work to justify the comparison, though on Dark Times the musical scope seems much larger, often bringing to mind the Western scores of Ennio Morricone, never more so than on 'Thunderstorm's A Coming' which features a dense orchestration led by an old fashioned tremolo-laden guitar melody. It's refreshing to hear violins and guitars combined in instrumental music without everything spilling into an overly familiar post-rock setting, and taut, atmospheric pieces like Across The Stormy Seas' sound engagingly epic whilst smartly avoiding the pitfalls of cliche. Similarly, the energised drumming and wild string configurations of 'I Surrender' provide another highlight, roughing up the overall sound, while the sprawled out melodies of 'In A Lifetime' stretch into a more pronouncedly ambitious symphonic scale. Dark Times is a brilliantly executed album, sticking to a very specific vision that puts a fresh spin on the idiom of instrumental rock music."
"His first film, written in collaboration with the notorious surrealist artist Salvador Dali, was "Un Chien Andalou" (1928). Neither the title ("an Andalusian dog") nor anything else in the film was intended to make sense. It remains the most famous short film ever made, and anyone halfway interested in the cinema sees it sooner or later, usually several times.
It was made in the hope of administering a revolutionary shock to society. "For the first time in the history of the cinema," wrote the critic Ado Kyrou, "a director tries not to please but rather to alienate nearly all potential spectators." That was then, this is now. Today, its techniques have been so thoroughly absorbed even in the mainstream that its shock value is diluted--except for that famous shot of the slicing of the eyeball, or perhaps the shot of the man dragging the grand piano that has the priests and the dead donkeys on top of it. . . .
It is useful to remember that "Un Chien Andalou" was made not by the Bunuel and Dali that we see as crumbling old men in photographs, but by headstrong young men in their 20s, intoxicated by the freedom of Paris during the decade of the Lost Generation. There is a buried connection between the surrealists and the Sex Pistols, Bunuel and David Lynch, Dali and Damien Hirst (the artist who exhibited half a lamb in a cube of plastic). "Although the surrealists didn't consider themselves terrorists," Bunuel wrote in his autobiography, "they were constantly fighting a society they despised. Their principal weapon wasn't guns, of course; it was scandal."
The scandal of "Un Chien Andalou" has become one of the legends of the surrealists. At the first screening, Bunuel claimed, he stood behind the screen with his pockets filled with stones, "to throw at the audience in case of disaster." Others do not remember the stones, but Bunuel's memories were sometimes a vivid rewrite of life. When he and his friends first saw Sergei Eisenstein's revolutionary Soviet film "Battleship Potemkin," he claimed, they left the theater and immediately began tearing up the street stones to build barricades. True?
"Un Chien Andalou" was one of the first handmade films--movies made by their creators on a shoestring budget, without studio financing. It is an ancestor of the works of John Cassavetes and today's independent digital movies. Bunuel (1900-1983), a Spaniard lured to Paris by vague dreams of becoming an artist, found employment in the film industry, learned on the job, was fired for insulting the great director Abel Gance and drifted into the orbit of the surrealists.
He went to spend a few days at the house of Dali, a fellow Spaniard, and told him of a dream he'd had, in which a cloud sliced the moon in half, "like a razor blade slicing through an eye." Dali countered with his own dream about a hand crawling with ants. "And what if we started right there and made a film?" he asked Bunuel, and they did. They wrote the screenplay together, and Bunuel directed, taking only a few days and borrowing the budget from his mother.
In collaborating on the scenario, their method was to toss shocking images or events at one another. Both had to agree before a shot was included in the film. "No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted," Bunuel remembered. "We had to open all doors to the irrational and keep only those images that surprised us, without trying to explain why."
The image of the moon was followed by the image of a man with a razor (Bunuel) slicing a woman's eye (actually a calf's eye--although legend has transformed it into a pig). The hand crawling with ants was followed by a transvestite on a bicycle, a hairy armpit, a severed hand on the sidewalk, a stick poking the hand, a silent-movie style sexual assault, a woman protecting herself with a tennis racket, the would-be rapist pulling the piano with its bizarre load, two apparently living statues in sand from the torso up, and so on. To describe the movie is simply to list its shots, since there is no story line to link them.
And yet we try to link them nevertheless. Countless analysts have applied Freudian, Marxist, and Jungian formulas to the film. Bunuel laughed at them all. Still, to look at the film is to learn how thoroughly we have been taught by other films to find meaning even when it isn't there.
Bunuel told an actress to look out the window at "anything -- a military parade, perhaps." In fact, the next shot shows the transvestite falling dead off the bicycle. We naturally assume the actress is looking at the body on the sidewalk. It is alien to everything we know about the movies to conclude that the window shot and the sidewalk shot simply happen to follow one another without any connection. In the same way, we assume that the man pulls the pianos (with the priests, dead donkeys, etc) across the room because his sexual advance has been rebuffed by the woman with the tennis racket. But Bunuel might argue the events have no connection -- the man's advance is rejected, and then, in an absolutely unrelated action, he picks up the ropes and starts to pull the pianos.
While looking at "Un Chien Andalou," it is useful to look with equal attention at ourselves as we watch the movie. We assume it is the "story" of the people in the film -- these men, these women, these events. But what if the people are not protagonists but merely models -- simply actors hired to represent people performing certain actions? We know that the car at the auto show does not belong to (and was not designed or built by) the model in the bathing suit who points to it. Bunuel might argue that his actors have a similar relationship to the events surrounding them.
Luis Bunuel (1900-1983) made another surrealist film, "L'Age d'Or" (1930), which was accused of sacrilege and suppressed for many years. He was a journeyman for MGM at one point, supervising the Spanish-language versions of Hollywood movies. He made many movies in Mexico, some of them, like "The Young and the Damned" and "The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz" highly valued. At 61 he had a worldwide hit with "Viridiana." with its shocking scene modeled on the Last Supper, and for the next 17 years, a period of inspired productivity, produced one astonishing film after another, such as "The Exterminating Angel," "Diary of a Chambermaid," "Belle de Jour," "That Obscure Object of Desire," "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise," "Tristana" and "The Phantom of Liberty."
"Un Chien Andalou" is a curtain-raiser: In a way, he was never unfaithful to it. A movie like this is a tonic. It assaults old and unconscious habits of moviegoing. It is disturbing, frustrating, maddening. It seems without purpose (and yet how much purpose, really, is there in seeing most of the movies we attend?). There is wry humor in it, and a cheerful willingness to offend. Most members of today's audiences are not offended, and maybe that means the surrealists won their revolution: They demonstrated that art (and life) need not follow obediently within narrow restrictions that have been decreed since time immemorial. And that in a film that is alive and not mummified by convention, you never know what you might see when you look out the window."
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
"Clocking in at just under 14 minutes, the new album by Southern California hardcore band NAILS is nothing short of awesome. Every one of the album’s ten tracks will pummel into you unrelentingly, as good hardcore and should. The Six Feet Under Records website describes NAILS as sounding like “Entombed covering and Drop Dead“, which is damn near spot on. Interesting enough, the album was recorded at Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou’s Godcity recording studio, with Kurt producing. That should already tell you that this album will be good.
The album opens to immediate chaos and aural violence with the 32 second “Conform”. The term “powerviolence” becomes perfectly clear. Before you even realize that song’s over, you’re under hell-fire with more pummeling blasts, maniacal screams, and grinding and screeching guitars that continue throughout the next three tracks, nonstop. This album doesn’t seem to want to let up.
Amidst the pissed off chants of “Suffering Soul”, NAILS step back from the chaos just a bit and play some hardcore riffs with some slower groove. Nails continues the pace into the title track “Unsilent Death”.
NAILS knows how to make 14 minutes feel like a long time, and they make good use of their time. The songs blend together seamlessly at times, giving the illusion of lasting much longer. Speaking on the album’s structure, I’d believe it if this album was written as one piece of music broken up into tracks.
The album is still pummeling away in fury like a jackhammer. A short guitar solo is thrown out in “No Servant”. Now it’s back to business as usual with “Scapegoat”, which leads into the album’s longest song and closing track “Depths”. The guitars are the main voice here. Layered screeches, noise, and feedback take over a lot of the song, creating the sonic equivalent of disaster. A considerably slower and heavy as fuck riff with proper use oflead the track to close with a mood if impending doom, ending the album in guitar feedback. What a perfect closer.
NAILS – Unsilent Death is a great grind album. Although short, it does exactly what it’s supposed to. If you’re a fan of Pig Destroyer,
Monday, June 27, 2011
"Lapham made his indie-comics bones with the acclaimed Stray Bullets, and moves into the mainstream with this over-the-top effort. Like its predecessor, Young Liars revolves around a cast of entertainingly flawed characters headed by narrator Danny Noonan, a self-destructive rock-musician wannabe obsessively in love with poor-little-rich-girl Sadie Dawkins, whose dangerously erratic behavior is caused by a bullet lodged in her brain. Supporting players include a transvestite junkie, a bulimic former model, a groupie, and a slumming, scheming rich kid. The plot veers as wildly as Sadie’s moods, beginning in the Manhattan rock-club demimonde before the group, en route to a planned art heist in Spain, hops an ocean liner, pursued by a band of malevolent killers hired by Sadie’s father. Rock accompaniment to the action is implicit, and mix-tape suggestions preface each chapter. Lapham’s bold, clear, character-focused art helps to root the messy, sprawling story line. In real life, you wouldn’t want to get within five blocks of these people, but watching their wild ride from a safe distance is an undeniable kick."
"New York Times bestselling author Kevin Baker (Dreamland) writes his first original graphic novel, with internationally acclaimed artist Danijel Zezelj. Alik Strelnikov lives in the shadow of Coney Island, a world of silenced rides and rusting amusement parks that mock his dreams of becoming a hero. Ten years ago, he traded a brutal existence in the Russian army for the promise of America only to become an enforcer in the Brooklyn mob. Now, he chases his ghosts with all he has left: booze, heroin and his lover, Marina, part-time prostitute and full-time fortune teller. The only way the two of them can escape their miserable fates hinges on a desperate plan that will put them between warring mobs and span a century, from contemporary Coney Island to the Russia of the Second Chechen War to spellbinding 1910s New York. Mixing historical novel, immigrant fiction and crime thriller, LUNA PARK marks Kevin Baker's return to Coney Island, the setting of his critically beloved Dreamland and features breathtaking art by Danijel Zezelj (LOVELESS) with to-die-for colors by Dave Stewart (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER)."
"It is a snowing Christmas Eve… Everything seems so peaceful when a huge earthquake occurs. The earthquake causes the city to be in ruin, and the surviving people need to find ways to stay alive. Some go crazy and rob others, some cling onto God, some gather to live together. The 6 main characters meet at a church while they were trying to find shelter from the snow. What will they see and experience in this extreme situation…?"
"This release collects all of their released (mostly out-of-print) material to the present: their newest tape on their own Psychic Violence label; the material from their split with Fell Voices; and their demo from 2009, however, unlike the low resolution files of the demo tracks that are available for download on many blogs, the demo material on this tape was mastered by zz. Additionally, the material was professionally duplicated on chrome high resolution tape."
Sunday, June 26, 2011
"In 1973, a rock guitarist and an electronic knob-twiddler released a revered and trail-blazing document in contemporary ambient music: Rober Fripp and Brian Eno's No Pussyfooting. Thirty-five years later, guitarist Richard Pinhas and noise artist Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) have formed the 21st century version of the concept." – Brandon Wu/Washington City Paper
It's interesting that Brandon Wu compares the work of Richard Pinhas and Merzbow to Fripp and Eno. At the time it was recorded, No Pussyfooting was considered to be practically 'noise' (sound familiar?) and Robert Fripp has gone on record about how the record label didn't want to release the album because it would affect the commmercial impact of these artsts. Yet, with time, the work the duo did was absorbed into the greater musical universe - if not into the mainstream - and its influence continues to this day.
While it's never safe to predict the future, perhaps the unlikely but also quite logical meeting of Richard's billowing clouds of guitarwork with Masami's well considered sonic assault will also prove to be influencial upon the larger musical universe. In any event, this recording from September, 2010, expands upon their first studio meeting, Keio Line and offers an obvious follow-up, as well as new twists to the sound.
The first pressing of Rhizome also includes a number of bonuses not available after the initial pressing and all included at regular single-CD pricing!: a bonus DVD of a generous excerpt of the duo's performance at the 2010 Sonic Circuits festival as well as a download coupon for their performance in Paris, November 12, 2008.
"A surprising meeting of minds and one of the strongest CDs I've heard in a while."
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Fortunately for all involved, House does not disappoint. In fact, it not only succeeds but succeeds with confidence. This is evident about thirty seconds into opening track “Twin Lanes,” when an adrenaline rush of sweeping chords trumpets its arrival over a rapidly looping melodic bass line. This creates a fast/slow dynamic — perhaps the titular “twin” elements — that allows the song’s amorphous structure to settle into shifting grooves of varying frequencies; the track develops gradually but constantly.
“I Can Still Hear Your Voice” begins similarly but takes greater pains to reinforce an overall musical theme: though largely lacking in percussion, this is a startlingly rhythmic album, at turns syncopated, driving, and freewheeling. Here, rather than casting a boring uniformity over shiftless arpeggios, this sense of rhythm frames the abstract melody and sound-effect decorations in an accessible context. I wouldn’t turn to an album like, say, What Happened to introduce someone to contemporary electronic ambient music, but House will sound pleasant to both longtime fans of the genre as well as new listeners.
And even when there is more tangible percussion, Elliot and Goldberg make it slightly bizarre—there’s no 808 worship here. “Dead Occasion,” for instance, is punctuated by what sounds like the pipe-warping noise from Super Mario World. “Ovary Stunts,” meanwhile, features the firmest percussive loop on the album; it’s as though one of the guys is wobbling sheet metal while the other bangs trash cans lids together. Somehow, this isn’t grating. In fact, the loop begins the track in solo fashion before doing beat duty for a spacey, new-age melody.
House ends with “P.M.,” my favorite track here precisely because it’s so different. Arrhythmic and more abstract than anything else on the album, it’s also the longest cut at over thirteen minutes. “P.M.” feels appropriately nocturnal; it buzzes with the sound of distant UFOs dashing across starry skies. It also exemplifies the fact that Mist makes space music in a way that Emeralds doesn’t; whereas the latter fills tracks to the brim, Elliot and Goldberg let their synth lines breathe. In so doing, they let their electronics do what they will, resulting in an unpredictability that makes albums like this one sound so fun."
"Let's get one thing straight: Blasphemy are quite possibly the heaviest band ever to inhabit the world of metal, IMO. They do this by combining the best elements of black metal (morbid atmosphere, chaotic structuring and Satanic bluster), death metal (disharmonic instrumental prowess and vomited vocal assaults) and even grind (short, to-the-point songs and a general habit of not fucking around), and single-handedly created the monstrous subgenre known as War Metal. While the debut, Fallen Angel Of Doom, is in it's own right a vicious slab of hateful aggression, Gods Of War still stands as their definitive musical statement.
There's really no point dissecting this album song-by-song, since it mostly blurs together in a short, nasty mess of metallic fury. Each track rushes at you with the speed and force of a freight train, not bothering to stop for anything or anyone. A few scattered intro pieces help to break things up a little, but that's only to let you breathe a bit before the next beating. Souped up thrash riffs and precise blastbeats hold the whole mess together, while the vocals bellow out over the top like an enraged demon, spewing invective and scaring little kids. At a pinch, i'd have to say Blasphemous Attack, Nocturnal Slayer and Necrosadist are the standouts, but only by a flea's dick. Overall, this album is a sustained beating that takes no prisoners and contains absolutely zero filler.
Unfortunately, it's only 20 minutes long. It's a good thing, then, that Osmose chose to tack the classic demo Blood Upon The Altar onto the disc - and also amusing that it takes up more than half the total playing time. This demo is more grounded in classic black metal than Gods Of War itself - the vocals and riffing are more obviously influenced by Bathory and Venom, while the drumming tends to be more streamlined and less blasting. These songs have several creepy keyboard/effect pieces here and there, while the production is raw as fuck but amazingly clear all the same. If anything, I actually prefer some of these songs to their album versions - particularly the tunes which ended up on Fallen Angel Of Doom, since the mix here is less murky than on the album.
So overall, you get nearly 42 minutes of brutal blackened war metal. The only complaint I can think of is that the disc is mastered a bit too low for it's own good, but that's nothing a bit of volume cranking won't fix. Buy or pose!"
"The début solo album by one of the two Funckarma brothers, “Vade” is a deep and intense re-interpretation of many current electronic genres by one of the most praised actors of this scene. Painstakingly detailed, deep and ever-morphing release, this full length album sees Roel Funcken expresses his takes at dubstep, IDM or club beats, free of any boundaries and preconceptions. A particularly rewarding and mesmerizing album which confirms once again the talent of relevance of this producer.
Following the heavy and smoke-filled second volume of Funckarma's Dubstoned series at the end of 2008, Roel Funcken returns to Ad Noiseam, this time with his first full length solo album. Acting without his brother (Don Funcken, the other half of Funckarma), but collaborating on some tracks with Kettel and Cor Bolten (with whom Funckarma wrote an album as Legiac for Sending Orbs), Roel Funcken delivers here what is at the same time a first solo experience and an important, main course of a release.
Spread over 16 tracks and taking all the available duration of a CD, “Vade” is the collusion of many genres that Roel Funcken has tried and touched in the recent years. The weight and depth of the dubstep-influenced Dubstoned series is there, but so are the lighter, more flowing electronica of Funckarma's past efforts or the electro-minded dancefloor tunes of several Funckarma side-projects. From wonky beats to glitches, from abstract breaks to straight up club lines, “Vade” appears as the translation onto music of Roel Funcken's take at not one, but many current music scenes. And what else to expect from a confirmed, veteran musician, an sound engineer and an frequent performer?
Particularly intense and lush, extremely detailed and the result of a very careful production process, “Vade” is a masterful piece of work, and one of the kind which can only come from an experienced musician. Roel Funcken's solo album stands as a towering and essential production: playful at times, deadly efficient at others, and constantly hanging between beauty and force."
Friday, June 24, 2011
"hecq can be seen as a phenomenon: an artist who consistently shows his amazing skills in creating new sound, a producer that works with musical technology and presents remixes that spotlight unseen facets in the work of other musicians. boysen is more than an expert knob twidler; the listener can easily hear that there is a sensitive human being operating the controls. on 0000, atmospheric soundscapes meet sharp cadences and abrupt breaks which leads the enthralled listener into hecq's world - an audiobook without a narrator.
cd2 is a collection of hecq remixes and collaborations by nine different artists (some of them yet unknown - rekt, sytrjv, phylum sinter...) and others that are familiar (mad ep, snog, nebulo, newt, ginormous...). sounds range from syncopated electronic surveys and threatening soundtrack ambience to a chilling sound carpet that is accompanied by a voice that every hymen records' listener should know...
one should be careful when making bold statements but this is hecq's best album and it will be one of the electronica landmarks in 2007. don't be fooled by the influences boysen is writing about; they are subliminally audible and in the end you will realize: 'it sounds like....hecq!"
"While students at Oberlin College, Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi clicked over a shared love of classic house and techno records that prompted them to make “some kind of dance music that wasn’t just emulating what we were hearing”. The duo’s music often forms out of melodies, samples or concepts that through jamming and improvisation organically materialize into full-fledged compositions. However, for “7AM”, their debut LP, they have also sharpened their focus and concentrated on structures, creating a set of 9 entirely new tracks that, while undoubtedly sounding cleaner and more polished, have more importantly lost none of the band’s intrigue and penchant for free-flowing experimentation. Rather than relying on triggering loops, or sequencing on a computer the music is performed and composed live, resulting in a form of discourse between the band and their instruments. The result is an a-typical one for electronic dance music- textures and tones that move along with a firm rhythmt but still retain an distinctly human and emotional core.
From the dramatic break that splits “Forever the Feeling” down the middle, to the soulful heart-break of “Dancing in Slow Motion”, featuring the vocal talents of Shannon Funchess, of Light Asylum, to the gloriously euphoric gospel-tinged trance of “Cheaters”, it is clear that “7AM” is a major leap forwards from anything they’ve done before. The title, in the bands words. “It is meant to evoke the sort of confused, dreamy, half-awake, half-asleep state that one experiences after staying up all night partying”. Somewhere between bliss, exhaustion, melancholy, start of a new day, end of a night”. And indeed, “7 AM” is simultaneously haunting, off-kilter, moving and addictive.
At first glance, the moniker Teengirl Fantasy may seem strange for two American college students making sprawling, woozily throbbing electronic dance music. Upon closer inspection however the meaning seems to be made clear – their compositions, rather than reflecting the fascinations of a teenage girl, are intended more as a portal into the psyche of one, real or imagined – a densely cluttered, richly colorful stream of consciousness which may often dart in many directions at once, paying homage to everything from 90’s R&B, shoegaze, rave and vintage house divas, before assimilating it into one seamless whole."
"Walls are a duo comprising Alessio Natalizia (Banjo Or Freakout) and Sam Willis of Djs/producers/label owners Allez Allez. They met when Willis was on remixing duties for Natalizia. Their short but densely packed debut situates itself in a sort of war zone somewhere between Techno and the frazzled neo-rock of Animal Collective, or maybe Boards Of Canada and My Bloody Valentine.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
"Following the first Scuba LP, A Mutual Antipathy (2008), and the more recent Aesaunic EP (2009), this album takes the Scuba sound to a new level. The collision of dubstep and techno has produced startling music from a wide range of producers in the last few years, none more than Scuba, and that has been well documented. But Triangulation moves past the dubstep/techno axis and into new territory. Working at multiple tempos, the album covers an area ranging from house to experimental drum n bass while retaining the Scuba sound that has become so distinctive.
You Got Me and So You Think You’re Special, released as an advance 12”, reflect the range of the album with the huge bass and frenetic energy of the former contrasting with the melancholic atmospheres and melodies of the latter. The listless beauty of Before, the aggressively percussive Minerals and the hyperactive electro of On Deck provide further stylistic variation, but this is not simply a collection of tracks – for the best sonic results this album should be listened to in full."
Contains the interpretations cd as well.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
"On the 17th of March, there is a classical strings concert unlike any other in the world. Ninety-six young musicians, divided into twenty-four quartets perform before an audience of the world’s greatest conductors and instrumentalists. Only one group - a single quartet - is chosen from these performers. Success brings prestige beyond imagination and guaranteed entry into any orchestra on the planet. It is a once in a lifetime chance for those striving to perfect the art of music. The ultimate dream… and possibly the ultimate nightmare."
Friday, June 17, 2011
"This husband/wife duo have toned down the experimental nature of their sound considerably, stripping away the noise to reveal beautiful, luminescent pop music. Their releases have always shown huge potential, subtly foreshadowing this new aesthetic. These guys could get huge" (omgvinyl.com)
"Peaking Lights always pull its listeners into a faded Polaroid of the Pacific Ocean whenever the ethereal pop sensibilities of vocalist-keyboardist Indra Dunis join forces with the reverberated guitar and twitching sonics of Aaron Coyes. You can bet that the album will be crawling with warm sounds from electrical Frankenstein Coyes’ suitcases of self-rewired household electronics, rewired guitar pedals, and manipulated thrift-store keyboards."
"Keiji Haino is an individual that never ceases to provoke new ideas in the minds of those that meet him. And so, although he is usually surrounded by amplifiers, a myriad of effects pedals, and cables plugged into his guitar, he nonetheless amazed his audience with the power of the simplicity of his purely vocal performance and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, in 2008, as part of the InFamous Carousel Festival. The following year I had the opportunity to get to know him a bit better, acting as interpreter for his solo performance at Les Instants Chavirés in Montreuil. Being the intermediary for all his questions allowed me to fully understand the extent to which he attempts to give the absolute best of himself on stage, and how he leads a tireless quest for music. This led me to wonder if what he had done in 2008 couldn't be done without the technology, replacing the electronic amplification with the acoustic properties of a space. Solidifying this proposal did not take long; my musician friend and label associate, Eric Cordier, who has worked for 20 years with site-specific sound recording, knew of several acoustically interesting spaces in the region in which he grew up.
And so we find ourselves en route to Normandy, in June 2010. We had a week consecrated to the exploration of one voice, and this is not just any voice; a voice developed outside of any school, through a unique journey, a voice simultaneously rock and spiritual, outside any taboo, a voice that shakes us to the core. This time, in addition, this voice is heard in its purest state. Of all the spaces visited, amongst them many churches and caves, a forest, a cliff, a tunnel, industrial wastelands, etc, it was in a quarry cave in the village of La Haye de Routot that he was able to release his entire being, offering up one hour of introspective song, so good that I believed at one moment I saw him disappear… in any case it was at this point that his voice and his body were able to melt into the space, or perhaps to become the atmosphere itself. This album presents this recording, preceded by those made in the church in the same village."
Vampillia from Japan describe themselves as a 10 piece “brutal orchestra” and turn classical into hardcore music.
The three vocalists are backed by twin guitars and violins, a bass, a viola, a piano and a DJ.
Members include recording drummer Toyohito Yoshikawa (ex Boredoms) and Kazuhisa Chikada (World’s End Girlfriend) as 2nd drummer.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
"Clannad's story revolves around Tomoya Okazaki, a third year high school student who dislikes his life. Tomoya's mother (Atsuko) died when Tomoya was young, leaving his father (Naoyuki) to raise him. After the accident, Tomoya's father turned to alcohol and gambling, and held frequent fights with his son. One day, Naoyuki, again arguing with his son, slammed Tomoya against the wall, dislocating Tomoya's shoulder. Ever since then, his father has treated Tomoya nicely, but distantly, as if Tomoya and he were strangers rather than a family. This hurts Tomoya more than his previous relationship with his father, and the awkwardness of returning home leads Tomoya constantly to stay out all night. Additionally, the injury disables Tomoya from participating in his basketball club, and pushes him to distance himself from his school and other activities. Thus his delinquent life begins. Tomoya's good friend Youhei Sunohara, who got thrown out of the soccer club for a dispute, is also a delinquent and often hangs out in his dorm room with Tomoya doing nothing much.
The story opens on Monday April 14, 2003 at the beginning of the school year, when Tomoya meets by chance Nagisa Furukawa, a soft-spoken girl one year older than him who is repeating her last year in high school due to being sick much of the previous year. Her goal is to join the drama club which she was unable to do due to her sickness, but they find that the drama club was disbanded after the few remaining members graduated. Since Tomoya has a lot of time to kill, he starts to help Nagisa in reforming the drama club. During this period, Tomoya meets and hangs out with several other girls who he gets to know well and help with their individual problems."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Compilation albums are often a fraught listening experience; the hit/miss ratio can be quite high when due attention is not given to the sequencing of album tracks. The Silence was Warm is a release best enjoyed in the confines of your bedroom, or on headphones. The title, despite being somewhat misleading under the trade practices act (the music is mostly subtle and understated, but there is virtually no silence), is a perfect summation of the music contained within. Let it caress you into an indolent state on a Sunday afternoon.
Library Tapes (David Wenngren) opens proceedings with the crackle and hiss of old vinyl and a simple Satie-esque piano etude. Teho Teardo (guitar, rhodes, electronics) and Martina Bertoni (cello) of Modern Institute from Italy explore the beautiful resonance of the cello combined with suspenseful keys, reminding me of Bohren und der club of gore, all deep breaths and poignancy. Interestingly enough, Teho has an impressive international noise network background, starting out in a band called Meathead, working with Mick Harris from Scorn and remixing Cop Shoot Cop. I think he’s mellowed somewhat, by the sound of ‘Cars’. Summer Night Air from Newcastle, the home of the famous brown ale, approaches the Ryokan from a similar angle to Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. Paul from Summer Night Air candidly describes his music as, “C,F,A,C,G played on synthetic keyboard strings (with a little bit of guitar) through silly amounts of delay and reverb”, I like it!
The Japanese contributors to The Silence was Warm certainly deliver the goods; Headphone Science’s stately, deceptively simple drum programming brings to mind soaking in a Japanese hot tub (but not too hot). ‘Lost’ by Tanaka Munechika reminds me of watching debris caught in the vortex of an emptying bath slowly spiralling until it is lost from view. Label boss Kentaro Togawa rounds out proceedings with the emotional intelligence of ‘Riverside Sunshine’, all simple guitar progressions and cinematic grandeur."
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
"Excellent discovery from the good people at Lo Recordings, Motohiro Nakashima brings together a stripped down and radiant bland of electronic composition and acoustic tinkering for his debut european release. The influences are all there - ranging from the vibes/bell-like cascades associated with Nobokazu Takemura to effervescent bass pads and analogue percussive loops that Aphex's more mellow anthems have become so well known for. The emphasis throughout is on a simmering warmth, albeit one that at times makes way for acoustic introspection ("Landlocked") or more minimal electronic structuring ("Shh") most in line with the fabulous album collaboration between Carsten Nicolai and Ryuchi Sakamoto. "And I went To Sleep" is a lovely debut, a delicate collection of music designed first and foremost to sooth. Highly recommended."
"Originally formed in 1967 at Kyoto University, it was 10 years later that this album '77 LIVE was recorded... Over their 30 year musical career though, LES RALLIZES DÉNUDÉS would still go fairly unknown even in their native country... But thanks to some quality reissues of their work on CD over the last 12 years, new audiences around the world are getting the opportunity to hear one of the very first Psychedelic/Noise bands of Japan... Prepare to have your minds blown!"
"Les Joyaux de la Princesse require little in the way of introduction; their establishment in the late eighties as the project of one Eric Konafel heralded the emergence of the post-industrial offshoot that would come to be known as martial industrial or military pop. (I prefer the former; the latter sounds almost insulting.)
Conceptually, this album is centred around the Croix de Sange, an obscure French movement in the 1930's. And they are indeed obscure; a thorough web search turned up nothing â€“ at least nothing in English. This is a pity, as knowing who they are and what they stood for would allow me to appreciate the album's conceptual basis and given that the 1930's were an ideological battlefield, it is impossible to tell where they lie on the political spectrum. The spoken samples littering this album do not help much, as they are all in French. The booklet expands upon the concept through appropriate images collected from various sources concerning this group. It certainly enhances the atmosphere but I am no closer to knowing who they were. As with all good albums, this can be appreciated without knowing about the concept behind it â€“ but ones listened experience is inevitably enriched by knowing about the concept.
In light of Konafel's status as the fons et origin of martial industrial, it is no surprise that many of the trappings of the genre â€“classical flourishes, speech samples, snippets of old WWII songs- are to be found here. Yet the argument can be quite convincingly made that this is not an album of martial industrial â€“ as bombast is conspicuous by its absence and the argument can be made that this is an inherent requirement of the genre, no less so than guitars in rock. There are a few bombastic moments but the overwhelming atmosphere is one of almost lethargic broodiness, alternatively driven by strings and a Hammond style organ, at time severing into ambient territory, but rarely losing that sense of foreboding. However, the strings and organ form only part of the ominous atmosphere and it would not be as effective if it weren't for the little touches such as the crackling of vinyl when an olden speech sample is rendered.
With each song driving the concept forward, this is again not one of those albums where the listener can just pick and choose which songs he or she would want to hear. To do so here would be pointless as it would not only disrupt the flow but interfere with the atmosphere that Konafel is attempting to generate and it is strongly recommended that this album be listened to in order, from beginning to end in one go.
Les Joyaux de la Princesse have not released many albums, despite the years Konafel has under the proverbial belt. But when they (well, he) do decide to release an album, you can be sure that it will be a masterpiece that will be worth every hard earned penny."
I've haven't posted in a while since I am bust with schoolwork and I haven't gotten any new music for the past three months. But, judging from the Ailesgrises posts, he seems to be keepin' the blog in decent shape.
Anyways, I came here to post a one-man project called Cloudkicker. He plays a fusion of Math Rock and Progressive Rock, along with other genres. Due to this, he, along with bands that hold similiar stylings, get lumped into the Djent movement.
Instead of posting a Mediafire link, I'll just post his Bandcamp where you can get his albums for free.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Love and Rockets contains several ongoing serial narratives, the most prominent being Gilbert's Palomar stories and Jaime's Hoppers 13 (aka Locas) stories. It also contains one-offs, shorter stories, surrealist jokes, and more.
Palomar tells the story of a fictional village in Latin America and its inhabitants. Its vibrant characters and sometimes-fantastic events are sometimes compared to the magical realism literary style of authors such as Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez. The series is also sometimes referred to as Heartbreak Soup, after the first story set in Palomar.
Hoppers 13 follows the tangled lives of a group of primarily chicano characters, from their teenage years in the early days of the California punk scene to the present day. (Hoppers, or Huerta, is a fictional city based on the Hernandezes' home town of Oxnard, California.) Two memorable members of Jaime's cast are Margarita Luisa "Maggie" Chascarrillo and Esperanza "Hopey" Leticia Glass, whose on-again, off-again romance is a focus for many Hoppers 13 storylines. The series is also often called Locas (Spanish for "crazy women") because of the many female characters depicted.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Love and Rockets opus is the way Los Bros Hernandez portray the passage of time in a relatively realistic manner despite the traditional constraints of the medium. For example, Maggie's character debuted as a slight yet curvy young adult mechanic living in a world both distinctly chicano and punk with a sci-fi twist. As Jaime developed her character in more detail, she started to gain weight slowly. Over the years, Maggie and the other characters have evolved, growing more layered and complex as their stories develop. The present Maggie is now the manager of an apartment complex with bleached blonde hair and a penchant for wearing sexy bathing suits on her rubenesque figure. Jaime has also made extensive use of flashbacks, with Maggie and the others presented at different ages from toddlers through teenagers and young adults to thirtysomethings. The first issue of volume two of Love and Rockets featured a cover with a range of different Maggie ages/looks.