Monday, 28 November 2011

DOWNLOAD: Sea Bastard - Great Barrier Riff

Brighton four-piece granite-dense combo Sea Bastard lay down their debut demo, and it flat out destroys from end to end.  Formed from the ashes of two of Brighton's heaviest joints, Jovian and Funeral Hag, this reformed entity enhances each of their own pure elements of doom and groove respectively, through three tracks of monolithic pace-changing guttural demoncy, in the vein and through the timeline of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and on.  The vocals are sick - the higher-registered raspy nasty spiteful snarl in opener Aqua Vitae drops to a gut deep rumble in Taedium. The guitar riffs peal out of their bottom end up into squealing flourishes of solo squall - or in reverse; the epically held feedback swollen tone in Aqua Vitae morphs into a chugging buzzsaw riff that shoots bolts of lightning from it's peaks.  Not just beholden to moments, the lengthy tracks allow plenty of space for offering up a relentless procession of awesome shapes, not least the shift in the aforementioned Taedium which has a sinister groove that lifts the momentum but allows not a shard of light into the bleakness.  The half hour of torrential riffing is pinned to the floor by oppressively weighted drumming and peripheral synapse flooding bass from wall to wall.

In its rough recorded demo form there's every subterranean element you could want, but if this were to be given a thorough studio makeover it would have you gargling blood in awe.

Download for Name Your Price from their BANDCAMP and catch them playing live with Northern 'caveman battle doom' combo Conan Saturday 21 January, at the Cowley Club with Pus and Dead Existence.

Friday, 25 November 2011

VIDEO: ʄ≜uxmuℭica ft. c♦o♦c♦o ᴐaᴚᴃ☉ᵯᴃ - The Model

New video from the hazardously challenging ʄ≜uxmuℭica, taken from his re-booted covers album. On another plane of existance this used to be Kraftwerk's The Model.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

VIDEO: Seahawks & Autre Ne Veut - Don's Rainbow

Seahawks' new 7" will be the first release on the newly minted Ocean Moon* imprint, and the teaser for their forthcoming live-band recorded full album Invisible Sunrise.   Don's Rainbow is the lead track and it features Autre Ne Veut on vocals, adding his dissociative nostalgic croon to this retro-cosmic outfit, adding another luminous guest-spot to his CV alongside an appearance on Ford & Lopatin's Channel Pressure.

*When I searched for Ocean Moon on Google I discovered this mildly disturbing Japanese doll designer's site.  Worth the visit.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

REVIEW: Civil Civic - Rules

The debut full length album from UK/Australian instrumental duo Civil Civic has arrived and it's killer. After teasing the world with a couple of singles, Rules reveals the band in their full glory as an outfit to get even deeper into and obsessed with.  It's not just that the tracks are catchy or addictive - which they are, incessantly - more that subsequent listens continue to excite and surprise even though you know what's coming, a quality that marks a record out as some kind of classic. Familiarity often falsely lulls people into assessing an album as great over time, but the longer you spend re-spinning these tracks the more joyous they seem to become. 

Deadly serious riffs and rhythm shifts are shot through with a sense of humour, starting off with Airspray's bastardised daytime tv show theme softening you up for the drop into ten tracks of guitar vibration that shake your core into elation.  Run Overdrive lives up to its name with a freewheeling riff saturated in noise and an upward spirally melody. Urgency is they heartbeat of many of these tracks - Street Trap, Grey Nurse,
Less Unless - all mid-to fast paced, none of them physically cantering along at breakneck hardcore paces, yet all of them carrying the momentum as if they were. It's the vapour trails of fuzz they leave behind that create the tangible illusion. Lights On A Leash sounds likes an Andrew WK party track minus the vocal exhortations to free-spiritness, but feel free to add the actions along too it. It's Krill displays the band's abilities at agile musicianship, built from sweeping melodies of danceably melancholic jangle it sounds undeniably like the kind of Smiths tune Morrisey's curmudgeonly outsider psyche forbade Johnny Marr to write. Mayfield presages the end with a small moment of distant countrified wide-blue-yonder stretching spacious calm before the gritty and somehow even wider-eyed Slack Year slowly, casually denoates and implodes slow motion stadium riffs one after the other, layering synths over guitars then guitars over synths in a sighing heap of cathartic resolution.

All funded by fan donations prior to pressing, the album is now out on digital d/l, 12" or CD all from their Bandcamp.  Yes, self-released and unsigned, but surely not for long.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

VIDEO / GIG PREVIEW - Pure X - Surface

New video for the trail track from Pure X's album Pleasure released on Acéphale Records. Directed by Silent Diane mastermind Malcolm Elijah. This may have just missed Halloween, but the spirit lives on.

For all my Brighton  readers, know that Pure X and Sleep∞Over play at Green Door Store tonight. Be there, be scared.

Friday, 14 October 2011

DOWNLOAD: Kультура Kурения - Рвота

Here's a sharp little three-track self-released ep from Russian black metal band KультураKурения, with a title that translates as the succinctly dirty Vomit. The first track ends up as pure cold Northern harshness – sky-scraping, star-gazing howls into the primordial abyss, backed by fuzzy tremolo and the comforting anti-fidelity beat of cardboard box drumming (a good thing) – but begins in the post-punk tradition of much Depressive BM, sounding more like The Cure than anything grim and Scandinavian - 'Blackwave' as they term the sound themselves on their website. While the track quickly dismantles this latter genre framework, suffocating it in blasting beats, the second bridges the styles with a more finessed sense of experimentation – a loose and ragged piece with reverbed notes floating into a wide atmospheric space, before taught clean riffs arch into peaks of fiery distortion. The final track combines all elements with the greatest presence and success with a lead riff that slowly mutates without ever losing any punch. It's a pretty rocking number than adds in layers of textures through screeching vocals and extra guitar all the while hanging on to its potent initial riff but developing the track through expansion and contraction of the guitar figures.

Download for free from their Bandcamp

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

REVIEW: GuMMy†Be▲R! - Time (Disaro)

GuMMy†Be▲R! drops another ep of his increasingly glamorous take on post-club electronics in the evolving collection of sounds of what was once called Witch House and is now not really known as anything, so disparate and far flung have many of its previously chief proponents been cast from each other. Time picks up where Herr Gummy left us with his last release Oakland but there's another level of development in the production - again, this guy just can't stop getting better. The beats are feeling more intuitive, the sounds becoming more substantial ad the tracks themselves bearing greater presence. Far removed from his first productions involving the garbled voices of children, gunshots and little else. 

Among the highlights of the nine tracks the stuttering house of the opening Cognitive Ascension evolves as its name implies, adding waves of melody that push the conscious up into sweaty peaks; the crystal clear heat haze of Sleeping in Dubai and its infectious treble drop, Astroid's bass throb and glassy counter rhythm, Fractured serves up a soundtrack to a lazy Californian beach side drive and the dreamy Friendzone vocalled Can't Go Wrong is pitchshifted into a subtle state of bliss.

The physical release came out at the end of August (didn't realise I'd had this on repeat so long!) on Disaro Records, limited to 200 CD copies,so it's probably all gone - check the status - but you can still get it digitally from the Disaro Bandcamp HERE

REVIEW: Sheer Ignorance - Conditioning (Self-Release)

Scotland's Sheer Ignorance began life in 2011 as a crust punk/black metal, d-beat frenzied project between Neil (of highly acclaimed death metal act ‘Nerrus Kor’) and Rick, the former bringing the vocals, the latter bringing the music.

Their debut EP was released in September 2011 and can be found on Bandcamp at  for just £3.

This new blackened hardcore death punk band blast so many genres into these five hyperfast songs it's barely worth trying to boil it down to anything if that indistinct tagging is the best I can come up with. Imagine the kinds of taught blackened punk spirited bands around at the moment such as Deafheaven or Castevet then reconceive them as more directly influenced by D-beat, Pig Destroyer and Napalm Death then you might come up with their sound. Lead track Pay Your Dues to Punk is so absurdly kinetic it blurs, as exhilirating as any opener should be. Social Conditioning could almost be their calling card, so diverse yet assimilated are all the influences: a great hi/low twin vocal attack, gruff and rumbly countered by fierce misanthropic shrieking, drums roll and boil locking the guitars down tight in savage switch ups between chugging and thrashing punctuated by melodic passages. It's a tightly written and ferociously performed piece, more than setting up the head-turning neck-snapping second track. Blood Sludge does what it suggests and slows things down to a doomier pace and atmosphere, those twin vocals playing off each other in even closer proximity as the riff churns up the dirt from the tarriest depths the band can reach, until half way through they draw up to a canter and blast their way out to the end. Militant Zombie Deathsquad drops straight in at full speed slashing out the speakers with hot-blooded full-throated guttural roaring and snarling – Zombies move fast these days and this blitzes you to a ragged corpse in two minutes before grinding down until your bones are powder. The end comes through politicised means with Mind Control Airwaves which fades out to finish, brilliant. I couldn't name another metal record that does that, the facetious little oiks. Perfect.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

NEW TRACK: Ewan Limb - Eye

Ewan Limb is a producer with seemingly only four tracks to his name, and a video for his first piece Doppler Effect. It's a brand new project from the psuedonymed Russian, whose intent is to "lead the listener by hand, selecting all new color of road under his feet. I try to do something magic, atmospheric sound."

After that, you know as much as me.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

DOWNLOAD: Adolescent - Leave for Summer

Two new demo tracks for downloading from one of Brighton's most promising electronic producers; Adolescent.   Following up on the excellent Run Away From Bad People ep released earlier in the summer this double whammy of killer atmospherics and shadowy beats sets out this artist's sound as one to get seriously involved with. The first track, Don't Feed Anger, builds up layers of beats, stuttering melodies, and vocals samples into a looping psychedelic peak.  Second track Walk Free, Walk Fast has that Bristol dubstep sound that Joker once called Purple. An itchy, twitchy rhythm locked over a soulfully bruised ambience decked out with futuristic tone jewels.  Amazing.

VIDEO: VHS Head - Death Dimension

Another great video as VHS Head get treated to visual accompaniments courtesy of

Monday, 10 October 2011

DOWNLOAD: Robel Synthesia - Neon Island

Neon Island is the second album of equatorial chillwave electronica from Atlanta based Robel Synthesia.

It's a progression from his first album, defining his sound into something different to the tropical daze feelings permeating strains of the subgenre in the forms of bands such as Ducktails, USF (Previously Universal Studios Florida) and Gala Drop. There's a golden heat-haze shimmer that characterises much of the album that starts warming up straight from first balmy delay soaked track Sun Rave, whose languid vocal sample of 'Yeah yeah' melts in and out of the mix in intervals. The album's concept follows the course of a day from dawn 'til sundown, so as the suns rays start to burn into the earth so too do the tempos of the tracks that chart its progress. Ultra Magic Leaf, surely an ode to that first smoke of the day, follows it by bringing the beats; a clipped triplet marching towards the high sun of midday lead by a reverbed synth line, wordless (or at least indecipherable) vocodered voice and glittering melody. Beach Chairs gets blasted again, slowing things down to a foggy smoked out drone, then on to Rainforest Kiss with its lush wavering backdrop of animal sounds and synths picked across by a thoughtfully pretty lead. Citrus Sunset's conga shuffle heralds the twilight hours along with a soaring voice that leads into the faster Liquid Stars and down tempo again into the dreamily atmospheric Moon Potion.

Here's the artist's self-made video to go with Rainforest Kiss.

As with Indica Float, this is almost incessantly listenable anytime album that I find myself putting on at all hours. Robel still has some way to go before his songwriting and production matches that of Washed Out, but his ambition and ideas are apparent and he may only be a side-chained compression mix away from achieving it.

Robel Synthesia: Neon Island - DOWNLOAD

GIG PREVIEW: The Outer Church w/ Grumbling Fur & The Haxan Cloak + Die Farbe

This month's Outer Church experience brings two Aurora Borealis related artists to town along with a screening of Huan Vu’s adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s The Colour Out Of Space.

Grumbling Fur is the collaboration between Alexander Tucker (Ginnungagap, Imbogodom, The Stargazer’s Assistant), multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (Guapo, Mothlite, Miracle), andJussi Lehtisalo (chief Head from Finland's Circle).  Together they conjure ritualistic clouds of blackened analoge motorik, THC soaked drone drawn from the similarly unfathomable depths scryed into through Lovecraft's cosmic weirdness.

The Haxan Cloak is the lone Bobby Krlic, who uses primitive percussion, strings and analogue modulation to channel experiments into "the very real potential and power of the actual physical properties of sound".  His self-titled album is an abstract, hallucinatory trip through a dark subsonic netherworld. A transportive cinematic experience that is magically unsettling in its pure recorded sound form, it should be even more likely to effect your physical realm in the live setting.

LAST.FM: un sujet de conversation listening stats. It's been a while.


01. Zola Jesus - 63
02. Lanterns On The Lake - 45
03. The Field - 32
04. Death In Vegas - 31
05. St. Vincent - 22
06. Twin Sister - 20
07. Youth Lagoon - 16
08. A Winged Victory for the Sullen - 15
09. The Rosebuds - 12
09. Jacqueline Wilson - 12

1 – Can't stop listening to Conatus. Amazing. Well worth holding out on Witch House for this to arrive. What? Yes it is. IT SURROUNDS EVERYTHING.

2 – They were good at End of the Road and the album is pretty enjoyable too. Nothing spectacular though but easy to throw on when I'm not paying attention, hence the plays.\

3 – Impossible to ignore this when it's on, just sucks you in and zones you out. Psychedelic Swedish techno via Kompakt. The title track is unbelievable.

4 – Who knew they had a new album? Not me Now I do. It's no Contino Sessions.

5 – Strange Mercy has a couple of great tracks – Northern Lights especially – but it's not that great. Not as good as the EMA album.

6 – Booooooorrrrrriiiiiing.

7 – Baroque, dreamy melancholic reverb-washed pop solo artist. Another one? Yes. This one seems like a keeper.

8 – Going to be one of my albums of the year. So sensual. (incidentally, it's October – we have to get started on our AOTY about now don't we?)

9a – Loud Planes Fly Low released in June is still getting a lot of plays, which can only mean one thing; it;s very good.

9b – free audio book with the Guardian on Saturday. Syd wanted to listen to it while he ate dinner but it;s all about some mother and a cat dying. Not really much fun so he wanted to isten to Korn and Mastodon instead. Funny boy.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

NEW TRACK: Gorgons - Faint Traces

Another superb new slice of chilly beatscaping from Chicago's Gorgons, this one a gorgeous slow rolling
trip that builds itself up towards a delicatly pointeed melody.

Read my recent interview with Gorgons at the Sonic Router HERE.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

DOWNLOAD: Twilight Owls - I've Never Been To The Sea

Another deeply enchanting ep from Moscow's solo drone pioneer Twilight Owls. This one is picked out a little bit more than his previous locked tone movements, as he clambers over the rockpools on his first foray to the seaside.  There's the humid air of Ducktails permeating the first part, a dense tropical twang rocking gently to the delay and reverb settings, along with that oddly East/West modal tone and sense of nostalgic aura that Real Estate creates so well too  The picked notes eventually get washed into the waves of drone that form the second track, but like the action of the tide itself they are eventually pushed back to the surface and on to the beach for the closing cycles.

He also recorded an seemingly infinite loop cover of John Maus' excellent Cop Killer:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

STREAM: Gnod - Vatican (DrumCunt Remix)

Hydra psych collective Gnod's epic, monolithic lumbering beast of a track has been given an even bassier rescrub by the deviant production techniques of London's DrumCunt.  Pitched down into the deep dark earth, exhumed and pulverised, Vatican finds itself rerendered as a slow motion drum and bass rumble that verges on the kinds of drag remixes that were pouring out of the walls last year.  This is great.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

VIDEO: Three Trapped Tigers - Reset

Matt Berry fronted epic 11+ minute sci-fi video for Three Trapped Tigers' "pretty huge" Reset track. 

This is actually incredible. Jaw-dropping, time-stopping head-turning. Not sure if you're watching a real sketch show, short film or one of the greatest music videos commited to tape.  It helps that the music of TTT is so polymorphously perverse that it could be soundtracking any of those things - from 2001 to Look Around You. Deadly serious in it's tounge in cheek luminosity.

Play this full screen size if you can, and on the biggest one you can find.

VIDEO: Ghosting Season - Washed Ashore

Monday, 19 September 2011

Weekly listening stats.  YES!


01. Warm Ghost - 73
02. At The Drive-In - 47
03. Allo Darlin' - 29
04. A Winged Victory for the Sullen - 24
05. Robel Synthesia - 23
06. Balam Acab - 21
06. Village of Spaces - 21
08. Future Shuttle - 18
09. Wolves in the Throne Room - 15
10. Andy Stott - 14

1 – still can't stop listening to Narrows. It's released next week and I expect to see it get hyped; Bowie / Numan retro style with nu-retro chillwave and more. Pretty addictive.

2 – played Relationship of Command to my 3 year old. He went fairly nuts

3 – Got their album after End of the Road. It's quite nice, got some good lyrics and lovely harmonies.

4 – Incredible classical drone album from Stars of the Lid member Adam Wiltzie and pianist Dustin O’Halloran, as you're probably already aware. On Friday night I played this then Nest, Balam Acab, Future Shuttle and FRKWYS Vol.7 one after the other and I think I did some permanent realigning of some neural networks.

5 – Chillwavey electronica that maps an afternoon in the life of. D/L for free:

6a – First couple of plays of Wander/Wonder and I think I might get hooked in. Doesn't sound like an electronic record at all, so lush and organic sounding; like he mic'd up a petri dish.

6b – Awesome psychedelic acid-folk album, similar if not better to all those 60's bands from UK and USA. Sounds like both sides of the pond and beyond.

8 – First full ep from NY based synth-space duo is a total trancer. Produced by Blondes, indebted to just about any synth player ever and very heavy on the gorgeous vocals.


10 – The title track on Passed Me By is some kind of sublime elevated techno, no?


GIG PREVIEW: Be Nothing Presents: Sun Glitters @ Green Door Store

New young promotions duo Be Nothing are putting on the liquid delicious Sun Glitters in Brighton town in just a few weeks. SHame we never got a sumemr hot enough to match the soporific heaviness the music this bad evokes. maybe turnign up to this gig will give you heatstroke from standing too close to the PA. 

Support comes from Brighton's own F.L.A. - a solo female electronic producer making propulsive dreamy beats, in a similar vein to the more Balearic tracks from Memory Tapes and the lush shimmery beatscapes of Universal Studios Florida.  Check out the F.L.A. Soundcloud for plenty more


Be Nothing are also DJing with Fokkawolfe and Xanadu at new club/live band night Abuse, also at GDS on the 23rd September. Free entry so fill yr brain cells up til they turn grey with a night of red strobe light, witch house, dark wave, technicolour noise and what-not-gaze.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

DOWNLOAD: I Am Blip - Sept 2011 live promo

Been a fan of Glasgow's I Am Blip since the early days of NFR, regularly playing his smoothly exhilirating electro-techno out our club nights and featuring them on our monthly mixes.  Here's a brand new live set to give you a taster of what he's currently coming up with.


See These Two Fingers
So What?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

STREAM: Hind Ear - Space & Yellow Yellow

Two new tracks from from Brighton's dreamiest post-rock outfit; Hind Ear - another winner of my title of Best Brighton Band.  These are intended for a full album which will see a release as soon as someone agree to press them up for the band. Anyone with a keen ear and a label should be on that like a shot.

Previously named Revenge of Shinobi in homage to the release of birds in the ending sequence of the game, the music is introspective but expansive, whimsically evocative but never twee.  Subtly building clusters of looped instruments and vocals usher in incremental progressions of the kind Italo-Disco overwhelms the senses with, and Hind Ear have their own parallel universe glitterball to serenade. The organ stabs and bass thrust of Spaces complement its rolling atmosphere, reminiscent of Holy Other yet more Earthly than cosmic. Yellow Yellow is an airy, ethereal, soul influenced dancefloor number that builds in density and intensity as it progresses, sounding hauntingly similar to The Antlers with celebratory whoops in the place of crushing dread.



Yellow Yellow


Thursday, 8 September 2011

STREAM: Bernholz - Consequences 2 (Faking It) & Austerity Boy

A while ago I reviewed the excellent debut release from Brighton based electronic producer Jez Berns, aka Bernholz. This is the second part in his ‘Consequences’ series asnd it comprises one long rehearsed improvisational loop jam titled 13. It was originally intended for the debut but Jez says it ran too long and was too rough to be ready in time so he's redone it in higer resolution and tweaked it. The title is a reference to this book he has been fascinated with recently, which questions the role of authenticity in popular music.

The track is available for free download from Brighton based label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, a label you should be getting to know from releasing the stunning Gazelle Twin album - an artist who should really have had a much stronger showing on this blog by now.

Jez has mooted plans to release a limited cassette run of the two Consequences projects later in the year, which would be very nice indeed.


Secondly, there will be a new ep released in October titled Austerity Boy with brand new tracks - the teaser for which you can hear here.  Keep your eyes here on on his Facebook for that

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

SONIC ROUTER: Roll The Dice Interview

"’s a victory for us because we started out with no real ambitions for it. When we got the first two tracks down that felt like a victory, then we had an album finished then it took almost a year before someone released it and that felt like a huge victory..." 
- Peder Mannerfelt

My most recent piece for the Sonic Router is up now: An interview with Swedish analogue kosmiche outfit Roll the Dice. They have an inspired new album out on Leaf next week followed closely by a show at Cafe Oto in London - and on the basis of the interview, it should really be one far out event.


DOWNLOAD: Pictureplane - Post Physical (Ritualz Alien Trance Remix)

Absurd. Brilliant. Pictureplane Vs. Ritualz.

Monday, 5 September 2011

GIG PREVIEW: The Outer Church - VHS Head + Anna Meredith + Mass Roman

Morning you spawn.

This month's Outer Church preview, diligently reposted here for your audio-visual preparatory pleasure. 

Be there.

Doors: 7.15pm
Admission: £5.00

Tickets available from

VHS Head is Adrian Blacow from Blackpool. Signed to legendary Manchester label Skam (Autechre, Gescom, Boards Of Canada), Blacow distills his vast collection of ex-rental videotapes into riotously funked-up brutalist dream collages demonstrated to tremendous effect on last year's Trademark Ribbons Of Gold and forthcoming EP Midnight Section.

VHS Head will be joined by video artist and long-time OC collaborator Jade Boyd, fresh from her live collaboration with John Carpenter associate Alan Howarth.

London-based composer Anna Meredith is building a reputation for her eclectic electronic work. She has supported These New Puritans and performed alongside James Blake, Seb Rochford, Broadcast, Max de Wardener and Mira Calix. Meredith plans to release her debut EP Black Prince Fury over the coming months. Live visuals will be provided by Eleanor Meredith.

Mass Roman is a Brighton based polymath with his fingers in many peculiar pies including improv shock unit Passiondale and the wistfully melodic Minor Sounds. For this event, however, he presents a solo set of wonked-out electronics. Sample his Mr PM album for deep - if disturbed - joy.

  Last Chance by mass roman 

Friday, 2 September 2011

DOWNLOAD: End of the Road Mix

I'm off to End of the Road, so here's a mix for you to get us all in the mood. 


The tracklist can be a surprise for you.

I have thrown this together with the kind of wild abandon I hope to be experiencing. Don't let me down EotR!   It's my first festival since having a baby. He's 3 next week so it's time to take him out.  He is very excited to see Lykke Li, Woods, Wooden Shjips, Wild Beasts.  Good boy.  Tempted to take a 3 year old to see Mogwai, probably not a great idea.  Not even the greatest ear defenders on earth could protect his fragile little ears from that.

Anyone else going?  Tweet me, yeh.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

REVIEW One Unique Signal - Hey Alchemist / Neuralgia (Genepool)

One Unique Signal smashed straight into my foveal vision with their first full length album Tribe, Castle & Nation back in 2007, every year they have managed to put out one essential release every year, be it a two track download or longer EP (the Dismemberment ep, we at NFR put on the release party for. Hands up, I claim conflict of interest - I already love this band).  Just ten seconds into any of their songs will illustrate why it took me approximately two seconds from receiving Nick's email to hitting the download link:  A gritty grey-skied UK version of A Place To Bury Strangers apocalyptic noise walls mixed with Wooden Shjips psychedelic strung out eye-ball blazing transcendence. Plus those textbook touchstones when piling the sound high - MBV, J&MC, Sonic Youth;  Whilst they are less heavy on the sheer volume than APTBS (but they do play ceiling collapsingly loud), they are no less intense, making up for painful levels with layers and layers and layers of textural guitar pulse, ebb & flow, drone and agonisingly ecstatic incremental shifts in the riff structure; there's the soul and distortion of those aforementioned bands, then then weight and nuance of a band like Sleep lurking about in there. Bass lines that possess your body, drum beats that replace your heart consuming your body's synchronicity and marching it around in thrall to the all consuming rhythm - and if that doesn't get you the sheets of guitar will envelop and constrict you into submission.

Some of you may get turned off on repetition, some of you might have just had all your switches flipped to On. Well, some of you Lose.  To paraphrase Ripley Johnson's comments in the recent Stool Pigeon interview; the riff doesn't stop you just lock into it from the continuum in which it exists and morph it to your own requirements and desires, bend it to your will, release yourself to it, into it and with it, and that's exactly what One Unique Signal do: Bad ass, killer zoned out/zoned in synapse-frying head-rush mind-fuck trance

This new EP is being released by Genepool who have released four of the band's six releases - the other two being self-distributed downloads.  This EP is two songs, the 6 minute Hey Alchemist! and the 7 minute Neuralgia - The melding of neurology and alchemy being this bands signature sound in a nutshell.  The first track drops straight onto the riff, leading with a snarling brute downstroke that drives forward with malicious momentum boiling to a finish of feedback and warped vocal loops.  The second track is more limber, elastic and loose, the Raw Power rock and roll of The Stooges stretched out and rolled over and over until the whole band stops it dead, leaving you suddenly alone in the empty cosmos of silence feeling all insignificant and quiet against the vastness of sound that just dumped you. Until you press play again and the whole thing picks up where it left off ad infinitum.

No links, previews, or edits to tease you with for this release, you'll just have to take my word for how good it is.  Head over to the bands website to download their previous free eps for a taster and order this from the label now. Digitally released on 5th September for just £2 from iTunes, the Ltd Ed 7" will be out on Oct 3rd on GenepoolThere is also an interview with Nick about said single on The Blog That Celebrates Itself, here.  

On top of that there's an essential date for Brightonians diaries - OUS play the Prince Albert in Brighton on the 18th September with The Telescopes - another key influence to their sound and a band they have been working closely with as promoters and producers for the last couple of years. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

SONIC ROUTER: Gorgons: Making Modern Sounds As Antiques

"I don’t want to think of it as merely casting a filter over something and calling it old or dirty. I want the reworking process of certain gestures to find a balance between what you exactly hear in your head while creating and the serendipitous events that occur to reach that sound or feeling you want a sound to impart."  Chris Vocchia - Gorgons

New interview by me with Chicago based ambient beatsmith Chris Vocchia, aka Gorgons is up on the Sonic Router site.

Over the last few weeks I've been chatting with Chris and getting deeper into the psyche of the mysterious producer responsible for the tracks I posted about in July. As in thrall to the ancient as he is the modern, this is a producer with depth. 


REVIEW: Evenings - Lately

Twilight descends once more, cast from the speakers in long drawn shadows, the light of the fading sun flickering across the room in its own . I've had the previous Evenings release, North Dorm ep on repeat since Nathan Broadus put it out last summer. It says a lot for the tenacity of the atmosphere he creates that I've been playing those five songs for ove a year and still haven't tired of them. It wouldn't be quite appropriate to say it's been a long wait because I've been so immersed in that release that I haven't really yearned for anything else from him, though often wondered how he would develop his sounds. This new release exceeds and confounds any expectations I had.  This has been out a couple of weeks now and has been subtly dominating my stereo.  Focussing on the ambient elements, losing the chillwave-comedown beats and bouyant patterns in favour of pure evocative vignettes, it is a romantic slowdance of an album that slowly bleeds into the darkest corners of consciousness inducing hypnagogic states and daydream paralysis.

gently winds up with a music-box introduction that sets the scene for that half-asleep fabricated memory nostalgia that H-Pop is famous for, yet presenting it with a clear-eyed production that still somehow manages to retain all that hazy mugginess and an intimacy that makes you want to get even closer into it, let all those bulging bass bubbles surround you, swim your prone body trance-like through the amniotic pulses.   There are snatches of vocals, beyond disembodied, barely human; a snatch of a laugh in Genève; in Lo-Vélo amongst the trembling melody they appear out the other side of elegent and ethereal, descending from an angelic plane, falling from the sky through the earth into a watery realm, through male and female, through refracted lights and colours; in [I] Softly We Go they are shapeshifted into avian coos; then the finale of [Lately] See You Soon brings in piano and a completely compressed voice that sounds like the softest pecussion to match the beautiful key note impact of padded hammer on string.

The track titles are all punctuated, accented, distorted and minimised. Not in a Witch House way, more of a Warp/Rephlex kind of abstracted yet almost meaningfully ambiguous fashion. It adds an aesthetic that worked well for Aphex Twin and it works here.  The track lengths are equally erractic, the brief //// an 8-second murmer betwen two 3-minute pieces, there's an 8-minute micro-epic that begins with the sounds of the sea.  It's actually a very rare and refreshing thing to see an artist capable of allowing the songs to develop and conclude within their own worlds; it suggests music dictated to the artist through the virtues of their own existance. Absolutely nothing of this album feels forced and that's a small but no means insignificant illustration of it.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

P.E.S.T – Black Metal Theory Symposium

New black metal symposium announced for Ireland in November on the Black Metal Theory blog.

"This Black Metal Theory Symposium invites speculations, commentaries, reflections, archivizations, reconceptualizations and interventions on pestilence, decay, plague, decomposition, putrefaction, rot, corpses, infestation, consumption, perversion, cannibalism, necrophilia, flesh, feeding, worms, insects, rats, rationalism, plants, ecology, swarms, maggots, fever, vampirism, waste ... among other things."
Full preview repost here:

P.E.S.T. (Philial Epidemic Strategy Tryst)

affirmation (acting as companion) of a non-survival-supporting life whose tentacles crack death open merely as a collective perversion, a philia, which progressively disterminalizes as the end of all becomings or the terminus ad quem of becomings; and is transmuted to a collapsing expanse exhumed, deflowered and scavenged by life (non-survivalist life: unlife), its netting, mazing and bonding philia: a space of becomings, so contagious and epidemic, which as Nick Land puts it, is a “Pest”, a “meltdown plague ... Death as a terminal expanse of coldness and a part of desiring-machine is messed up through the pestilential and wasteful (exorbitant) bonds of epidemic life (philia) which frantically composes new strategies of 'openness to everything' – by means of its ungrounding strategies, bonds of philia and affirmation – not merely openness as the plane of being open but rather being lacerated, cracked, butchered and laid open ... then, sewing and scavenging what have been opened through the bonds of philia and the interphyletic labyrinths of life through which becoming runs as a vermiculating, mazing machine or an engineer of labyrinthine inter-dimensionalities.
– Reza Negarestani “Death as a Perversion: Openness and Germinal Death”
 Christ on the cross appeared to me ... then summoned me to place my mouth to the wound in his side. It seemed to me that I saw and drank the blood, which was freshly flowing from his side … At times it seems to my soul that it enters into Christ’s side, and this is a source of great joy and delight. … [W]e washed the feet of the women and the hands of the men, and especially those of one of the lepers which were festering and in an advanced stage of decomposition. Then we drank the very water with which we had washed him. And the drink was so sweet that, all the way home, we tasted its sweetness and it was as if we had received Holy Communion.
– Angela of Foligno, Memorial
 To be this much in love is to be sick (and I love to be sick).
– Georges Bataille, The Impossible

Pest: any deadly epidemic disease; plague (now rare); anything destructive; any insect, fungus, etc that destroys cultivated plants; a troublesome person or thing. Pestilent: deadly; producing pestilence; hurtful to health and life; pernicious; mischievous, vexatious [Fr peste and pestilence, from L pestis, pestilential, related to perdo, to destroy, ruin, lose; cf. perditus, lost, ruined by love].

Black Metal and Theory meet in a place of mutual pestering, a dark star-crossed extra-section of their individual para-sites, a rendezvous for conspiratorial communication; unnatural and extra-natural participation. The pestilential bonding of the equally sick pair exposes and releases to the air an epidemic of openness, “not merely openness as the plane of being open but rather being lacerated, cracked, butchered and laid open” (Negarestani). Black Metal and Theory have proven to be mutually antagonistic, vexatious, and their conjoining has occasioned much annoyance on both sides: from fans of Black Metal and from ivory tower theorists. Black Metal Theory is a pest and Black Metal theorists are mischievous pesterers. It is little wonder, then, that Black Metal theory is para-academic, simultaneously beside, outside and inside the academy: “Meeting, communicating or touching the true pestilential bonds of Empedocles' philia or the contagious plateau of interphylum or epidemic openness, the resistance, any isolationist struggle, uncommunicative reaction or opposition to, remains unchanged (unmutated) becomes impossible (but appreciated as a strategy intensifying the mess, the waste of the process and engineering the exorbitant). Through the expanse of philia, everything should participate and participation has no end, nor beginning, nor horizon, nor a certain objective of participation. Infested by the epidemic (contagious and wasteful) bonds of philia, openness is triggered on all levels of its communicative lines but more on the plane of ‘being opened’ than ‘being open’ or ‘being open to’” (Negarestani, “Death as a Perversion”). Black Metal Theory perverts, infests, and invents strategies for philial deviation, cross-breeding philosophy with the love of black metal, mating orcs and elves.

Pester: to infest (archaic); annoy persistently. [Apparently from Ofr empestrer (FR empêtrer), to entangle, from L in in, and LL pāstōrium a foot-shackle, from L pāstus, pa p of pāscere to feed]

The space or plane where Black Metal and Theory feed upon each other and are shackled together is one of mutual pestering, a cascade of parasitisms where it is impossible to tell which is guest and which is host, to discern what is living and what is dead, what is natural and what is not. A philial epidemic strategy for the two-fold event of infestation necessitates a “pact with putrefaction”, the “moment of nucleation with nigredo” (Negarestani). Nothing beats the supreme intimacy of inter-laceration and mutual rot. It is the only way of being anywhere: “Infinite universe as silent as death / In this coffin I lay to rest” (Inquisition, “Astral Path to Supreme Majesties,” Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm).

Pestle: an instrument for pounding or grinding.

To find strategies, or schizotrategies, which would allow for the contagious tryst between Black Metal and theory, one needs to pound reason, to grind out a pestilential rationalism. “Intelligibility is the epiphenomenon of a necrophilic intimacy ... reason reanimates the dead rather than bestowing life upon it ... intelligibility is the reanimation of the dead according to an external agency. Reason grounds the universe not only on a necrophilic intimacy but also in conformity with an undead machine imbued with the chemistry of putrefaction and nigredo” (Negarestani). One strategy for grounding the mathesis of decay is the Etruscan torture ritual where a living man or woman was tied to a rotting corpse, “shackled to their rotting double” and “left to decay.” What the Etruscan practice demonstrates is that the decay which is normally associated with the outside is always already internal to the body, to the flesh. The binding of the putrefying corpse and the living body is a strategy for necrophilic intimacy. This necroeroticism also reveals that the living are always already-dead and that the dead are always-already reanimatable. Black Metal, which is often “characterized among its followers and opponents by its ambivalent relationship with death and decay to such an extent that it is often said that the only protagonists in Black Metal are festering corpses” (Negarestani and Masciandaro “Black Metal Commentary”), is in an ambivalently necromantic relationship, a philial relationship between the living and the dead. The strategic philial tryst between the immoderate commentator, “the one who loves thinking” and “the loved one (black metal)” (Nicola Masciandaro, “Anti-Cosmosis: Black Mahapralaya”) is necrological, an erotic rotting open of the object that exceeds the correlational parameters of exegesis and interpretation. “It is the ambivalent relationship of Black Metal with death that gives rise to the most criticized aspect of Black Metal, namely, necromanticism. As a part of vitalistic investment in death, necromanticism involves a liberalist or hedonistic openness toward death in the form of a simultaneously econonomical and libidinal synthesis between desire and death ... Black Metal can also be approached from a more twisted and colder intimacy with death, an impersonal realm where the already-dead finds its voice in the living” (Masciandaro and Negarestani). This twisted nest of relations is an inescapable yet reversible catena, a black chain of being or necrophilic link of perverse (non)relations: “Love (philia) in all its forms entangles openness with closure, and ultimately closure with the radical exteriority of the outside” (Reza Negarestani, Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials).

Parasite: an organism that lives in or on another living organism and derives subsistence from it without rendering it any service in return. 
Black Metal and Theory are parasites and sites of para-kinesis: para-sites. For Michel Serres parasitism is a nest of relations in a chain of feeding on, a perpetual or persistent movement where the host and guest make a good meal for the other. Serres’ parasitic relation reverses the usual notion of semiconduction, a unidirectional arrow where one thing feeds on another and gives nothing in return. It is a multi-vorous, vociferous exchange: a reciprocal interference.  Parasitism produces disharmony; it engineers noise in the system. Black Metal Theory as Philial Epidemic Strategy Tryst (P.E.S.T.) creates such a site for parasitic static, interference, black noise.

This Black Metal Theory Symposium invites speculations, commentaries, reflections, archivizations, reconceptualizations and interventions on pestilence, decay, plague, decomposition, putrefaction, rot, corpses, infestation, consumption, perversion, cannibalism, necrophilia, flesh, feeding, worms, insects, rats, rationalism, plants, ecology, swarms, maggots, fever, vampirism, waste ... among other things. “Let’s gather our contagious diseases and make love” (Negarestani, Cyclonopedia).

Keynote Speaker:
Reza Negarestani (via video link)

Live Acts:

Confirmed Participants:
Paul Ennis
Diarmuid Hester
Jan Los 
Nicola Masciandaro
Michael O’ Rourke
Zachary Price
Karin Sellberg
Steven Shakespeare
Aspasia Stephanou
Scott Wilson
Ben Woodard

Confirmed Artists:
Vincent Como

[Image: Vincent Como, Hexe 001. Carbon paper, graphite, and invocation on paper, from a series of 23 works based on ancient defixiones, or curse tablets.]

Friday, 26 August 2011

STREAM: Halls x Sun Glitters - Swan / There

The enigmatic London based electronic producer Halls releases new jams alongside Sun Glitters, and the two remix each other. World spins slightly slower at a more distant angle. Light refracts softly, time locks in a disembodied loop of your own inner experience.  Beyond lush.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

DOWNLOAD: //TENSE// - Pleasure Games

It's late, more than half cut, this is making a lot of sense. //TENSE// always tends to, but at the time of writing, it really does. Just let that throb dig deep into you.  Like they say: "Drank a few beers. Got all sexy."

VIDEO: German Army - Pulling Lashes

Vide to illustrate the proto gunk crunk German Army track Pulling Lashes, produced by Moduli TV.  Taken from the DryR ep out now on Amdiscs:


Monday, 22 August 2011


weekly listening, a day late than normal  but no less pointless profound  pointless profound 

DiS thread

01. Robel Synthesia - 52
02. The Weeknd - 42
03. Code Pie - 40
04. Evenings - 38
05. Roll The Dice - 31
06. GuMMy†Be▲R! - 26
07. Jon Porras - 24
08. Field Dress - 22
09. Monsters Build Mean Robots - 15
10. Luke Abbott - 14
10. In the Shadow of the Mountain - 14

1 – Better than his first release earlier this summer. Updated chillwave. It's very nice indeed, and totally randomly has a song with a rainforest/jungle noises sample that is the exact same one that my baby's monkey alarm clock has.

2 – new mixtape/album is excellent. Full of great moments, phrasing, samples, soul and attitude. Kid could go far, whoever he/it/they/she is.

3 – Terrible name but good colourful pop music from Montreal.

4 – Not sure why this hasn;t registered more plays, it;s all I'm listenign to. Maybe the ipod's inconsistent scrobbling is to blame. Essential bedtime listening, totally dreamy. Lost a lot of the bouncy beats from last year's North Dorm ep, focussing heavily on the hypnagogic pop soporifics.

5 – An awesome band.

6 – New Ep about to be released on Disaro. His strongest yet for me, even bette than the Spectral Analysis ep.

7 – Undercurrent on Root Strata. Mesmerising.

8 – Crazy technicolour psych garage noise pop blow out. I think they literally threw everything the had at the wall and taped the results.

9 – I've been waiting 5 years for their second album, and they've finally dropped it: WeShouldHaveDestroyedOurGeneralsNotTheirEnemies. It's post-rock, if you couldn't tell from that title. And Lo it is good.

10a – Holcomb Drones. Up there with the Andy Stott album for electronic album of the year?

10b – Animal Collective / Deerhunter psych dream pop. Played it the last couple of mornings so not really got the chance hear it properly.