Thursday, 31 March 2011

SONIC ROUTER: Interview & Mix - Konx-om-Pax [Display Copy]

My second feature for the awesome Sonic Router blog is up today: An interview with Glaswegian digital artist and sonic experimenter Tom Scholefield, aka Display Copy, aka Konx om Pax. He's given the Router a mix featuring a load of far out techno and experimental electronic musics.  I had a chat to him about it and his own album which is out now.

Here's a bit - more and the mix inside the TELEPORTER:

"I started out making really really hard Jeff Mills-y techno when I was about 15, on a Yamaha DJX keyboard. Really purposeful hard as fuck loopy techno. It sounded really bad and then I learnt more about production and stuff, moved away from more traditional music and got into noise based stuff later on.

On the mix there's a thread between the tracks that ties them together, a sense of formlessness to it, an amorphousness which is a counterpoint to the more structured techno...

They are two really clear things in my head and I understood when you said formless, I like the really loose and unformulaic – no rigid bar structure or tempo, music that doesn't have a repetitive structure. Really weird compared to more traditional dance music. There's definitely quite a strong link between most of the tracks in the mix.

There’s a noisiness and a trance-y, meditative aspect running through to the last track... a kind of religious, ritualistic trance music...

That sounds like something out of Blade Runner doesn't it? I found that last track on a really cool blog; it was tagged with the genre 'Ceremony'. I like that there was a genre called Ceremony. "

Wooden Stake - Invoke the Ageless Witch

This immense slab of monolithic doom is brought to you by the boy/girl two piece Wooden Stake
but it sounds as full as any band you'd care to mention, and after hearing this you'll be tripping over yourself to cram a list of influences as long as your arm - but that's almost irrelevant in the face of something of this magnitude. Their debut full length album, Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades, is out now on Razorback contains nine epic pieces of tortured incandescent grim horror.  Vanessa Nocer handles vocals and bass with Wayne "Elektrokutioner" Sarantopoulos on guitar and drums. Double tracked multi-ranging voices splinter rafters and carve trenches out of the cold earth - deep, dense and violent always, a harbinger of doom in the truest sense. Music that is theatrical without blowing over into shlock horror, there's atmosphere in every eerie corner of this, and suspense behind every twist.

STREAM: Halls - Soundcloud Set - Solace, Colossus & Brave New World

Two brand new tracks from London producer Halls, uploaded into his recently opened Solace set - Colossus and Brave New World join Solace in this producer's deepening catalogue of sumptuously consuming music, similar in effect to Holy Other, evoking an out-of-body weightlessness and checkabale against the likes of James Blake and Jamie XX in tems of subtle textures. These new tracks moves at a beautifully glacial pace; Colossus' sounds refracting through a coolly composed blue ice core. As the name suggests there's something imposing about this piece, but it's an enormity that lacks intimidation, it is instead a tenderly enveloping presence that blocks out all other stimuli from your senses. The track's passage slowly grinds across a landscape of flickering beats, humming synths locked on course for the transcendent, and a mournful reverb heavy vocal that slowly slowly pulls you closer in to it's thrall.  Brave New World is an even more cosmic piece, sounding exactly like a 2001 style shot, a camera slowly panning out of pure darkness to reveal space dust, a thin shimmering atmosphere and the enormous body of a mysterious planet. 

Play and be sucked in.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

VIDEO: Xander Harris - Tanned Skin Dress

Official video for the trailer track from Xander Harris' 12", Urban Gothic.  Released on Amanda Brown's 100% Silk label, and directed by her and Ben Shearn, this is a smoother, housier slice of synth cosmia that previous releases from The Deeep and Ital, but is nonethless distinctly Silk, especially when coupled with Brown's trademark tone-washed memorabilia video style.

VIDEO: Teehn Bwitches - Wicked Dr (Instrumental edit)

Fokkawolfe steps out of his bloggers seat to take up the directors chair for a second witch house related video. His first was an unofficial clip - a personal ode and illustration for the short Ritualz track Russia Ukraine, but this is his first official video - for the artist Teehn Bwitches.  technicolour gore recalling the likes of horror classics Carrie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and managing to get some geometry in there too. Looks great.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

DOWNLOAD: Holy Other - Touch

This track debuted on Gorilla Vs. Bear & Altered Zones yesterday and it's getting a starry-eyed repost from me to underscore/overstate how highly I rate this artist - a simple RT wouldn't do.  One of the greatest artists to have emerged from the margins of the witch house scene, the Berlin-based Mancunian Holy Other will be releasing his second record, the12" With U on Tri Angle on 6th June.  Seems a long time to wait, but I lasted a full 6 months on Yr Love and We Over so I can go two on this one beautiful pulsing burst of electro-cosmic R&B.  It's swirling firmament pierced with 8-bit blips, incoming radar signals of alien, otherworldy origin towing universally recognised symbols of romance in their wake - starbursts, moon beams and solar flares. The peaks engulf the speakers in fantastical euphoria, the basslines carry eddies of dark matter and your mere human ears are locked betwixt the two; stultefied into trance and blissful submission.  No idea what happens when this drops onto dancefloors; I guess people start to slowly fuck each other into serenity.

DOWLOAD: Holy Other -Touch

Play on repeat for weeks to get the full effect.

DOWNLOAD: Ajris - Uccanen Imellalen N Tamazgha

Uccanen Imellalen N Tamazgha


Atmospheric black metal from Algeria?  I remember an interview with Sunn O))) years ago where Stephen O'Malley said he was looking forward to the incoming wave of Nigerian BM that was headed this way.  At the time I was sure he was joking, now I'm not so sure.  Huge influx of savage grimnity from the Middle East and Africa of late and although none of it is really pushing anything hugely groundbreaking in songwriting or structure it's interesting enough to hear the subtle variation that comes from an excess of heat rather than cold.  Bands like Tadnees, Al-Namrood and many other on the Shaytan Productions label are all pushing a malaevolent inferno of noise that has exchanges sinuous trance for a brute aggression - the Lebanese band Ayat pushing their incarnation of anti-existence anti-Islamic hate energy to the same punishing extremes as Anaal Nathrakh with even more brutal production.

This demo from Ajris sits somewhere in the middle of all that is current across the world, influenced as it is by the intrisically less aggressive strains of depressive, atmospheric and ambient black metal, but still has a deep bite, especially in the guttural vocals and constantly blasting drums.  The rhythm section sets up a rushing undercurrent that sweeps beneath the trebely drone of guitar on top.  All works really nicely together with some great movements within the long (10+ and 18+ minute) tracks.

Find them on Facebook and Reverb Nation

Monday, 28 March 2011

REVIEW: Evenings - North Dorm

Evenings is a one man band from Charlottesville, VA resident Nathan Broaddus.  His music's electronic/analgoue shimmer-gaze invokes a certain whimsical nature, the kind whose steely glare is fixed at some far-off point in distant reminiscence in a similar way to Surrey artist Vondelpark who I wrote about recently, and Felt Drawings - both one man outfits creating beautiful music with a sensitive and brooding centre.  Last year's North Dorm Ep is the only release from Evenings so far but there should be plenty here to keep you involved and hooked for some time, especially now the sun is coming out, these kind of soporific sounds are still the essential soundtrack for basking to.

Getting his sounds further out there, Broaddus has given the final track to a short film directed by Daniel Vasquez titled Conviver no Sertao which documents the subsistence lifestyle of a family living in the Brazillian countryside.

Follow him on Twitter.

VIDEO: Moon Tides - Swimming

Suitably aquatic video to set off the lilting shoegazey haze pop of Colorado's Moon Tides' track Swimming.  The video features a swathe of current trends in spades - lens flare, soft focus, instagram-esq sepia and nostalgia finishes.  Hands up I'm a sucker for those, they look nice don't they? And they go so well with the washy reverb of the guitars, all out and back froth and swash. I'm far from being bored of looking at and hearing this kind of thing yet, so bands don;t be afraid to keep 'em coming.  The big bonus in this video being the potential for shark attack at any moment. Someone cut an extended edit for me?

Download the track for free from the band's Bandcamp, where you can also get the track To Be which they put up in January this year too.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

guys, let's all post in the LASTFM THREAD!

Stats time. unfazed by the shifting hours. DiS Vs. Vs. NFR

I couldn't live without our threads

Good week.

ps iTunes, I hate you; scrobble my cocking ipod.

01. Craft Spells - 104
02. GuMMy†Be▲R! - 85
03. Evenings - 41
04. Daterape - 37
05. Guards - 33
05. The Soft Moon - 33
05. Twin Shadow - 33
08. Bosco Delrey - 31
09. Sealings - 30
10. Gruff Rhys - 26
11. Peaking Lights – 24

1 - New album on Captured Tracks, sounds almost identical to Wild Nothing but without the prominent basslines. Really good. After The Moment has a gorgeous hook.

2 – Witch Made Knicca king Herr Gummy releases his first full album of WitchHouse begat dystopian mostly-instrumental R&Bastard acid electronica. Free download:

3 - $5 gets you five doses of cloudy comedown dream-wave electronics to melt your fragile mind into:

4 – Nowhere near as shit as you'd expect with a name like that. In fact, they added me on Soundcloud and I ignored them for over a month but it turns out they're really very good. More free rekkids for you – the track Cold Remains is the one to go for, if nothing else. But you'll like them all if you;re into cold-wave darkane electro/ whytch hauz. Link you to my blog this time:

5 – Still good. Still hugely preferable to listening to Arcade Fire – what you like about Funeral stripped of everything you didn't like that came after. And guess what – No charge:

5b – Another Captured Tracks release another band to obsess over. If you haven't heard this album yet you need it in your life now (part one) If only they could finish songs properly

5c - If you haven't heard this album yet you need it in your life now (part two)

8 – Off the chain gospel soft-rock ramalama rockabilly lunacy. Pretty similar to Ariel Pink's Before Today in the way it pops hooks out of the unlikeliest places. Damn catchy.

9 – Fucking righteous noise rock from Brighton Get some:

10 – Don't really like this as much as Candylion but it is good.

11 - If you haven't heard this album yet you need it in your life now (part three; the best)

Friday, 25 March 2011

VIDEO: Maria Minerva - California Scheming

Here's the official - debut I think - video for lo-fi Estonian gauze-pop artist Maria Minerva's track California Scheming, from her Not Not Fun released 12" Noble Savage. NNF also put out her debut cassette Tallinn At Dawn in February too - both still available. The amount of swooshiness floating across the slowly crumbling pop centre is enough to give you the vapours. I also sense that if you weren;t told, you could detect a definite sense of Eastern European pop-scene to it.  File alongside but even further to the left-field of Laurel Halo and LA Vampires.

Here's a couple more tracks to check out from the No Fear of Pop Soundcloud:

VIDEO: Blondes - Lover

I love Blondes so much.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Old Apparatus - Side A (EP, Deep Medi Musik)

Posting this youtube rip of Old Apparatus because it's so dense, claustrophobic and atmospheric, and I've been listening to a lot of Raime, this rolls straight out the same subterannean street map as that.  Haunting, rivetting.  From the Deep Medi Musik released 12" in January, this is the first side to two parts of urban decay caught on tape.

DOWNLOAD: Daterape - Machaevol and Cold Remains Eps

If you couldn't stomach the idea of a joke genre called rapegaze then you might blanch at a band called Daterape - but juvenile name or not, you'd be missing out if you didn't check out at least one of the tracks available to you. Two eps - Machaevol and Cold Remains - are up for free download from this mediafire link - all gone from their Bandcamp source but the artist has made them available here:


Check out Cold Remains and see if this doesn't have the kind of chill pulse that switched you on to the the occult rhythic twitch of witch house in the first place. It also has a similar swirling sigh that characterised Holy Other's own brand of cosmic drag - making that three ephemeral genre's I've thrown at you in the space of two paragraphs - but you can replace them all with a simple electronica if it makes you feel better. If you can handle them you should get a lot out of the eight tracks on offer here.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

VIDEO: Sundrips - When

Beautifully gauzy video to preview the forthcoming Just A Glimpse CD from Sundrips, out soon on Debacle Records. Tripping over to the Sundrips page will prbably land you right in the centre of a host of nu-age drone-gaze motion-blurred experimentalists you've never heard of. It did for me and I am now third eye deep into some heavy reverberations that are going to take me an enjoyably long time to listen through. Play this video to hear the tip of the iceberg and follow it through the rabbit hole.

STREAM: Mist - Twin Lanes / Forma - FORMA237B

John Elliot's Spectrum Spools label - the cosmic companian project to Peter Rehberg's Editions Mego - is winding up for a few big releases this year, the first will be Forma's self-titled synthbeat LP, the second will be the Houses double LP from Elliot's own band Mist.  The Spool's Soundcloud has posted up a couple of tracks to tune you in to the trans-galactic frequencies the label will be broadcasting on, and here they are: as lush as the harshness of space will allow

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

STREAM: Purple & Green set

Purple & Green is the New Jack Funks Duo of Adam "Dr ""White Rainbow"" Pizza" Forkner (the man with more layers than a cheese supreme) and Justin jGreeN Johnson - an R&B vocalist freshly timeported in from the Teddy Riley heyday. Not content with laying the boogie down last month, 2011's king cosmonaut is back playing glorious soulful club music straight out of the heart of Portland, Forkner's supple blend of cosmic psychedelia synth workouts and echoplex delay mayhem throbs, pulses and spirals about the honey tones of Johnson across these three tracks of sensual body popping class.  There's even a video for the second track in this set, Human Nature - which is already a Michael Jackson song title, a well they know, the scamps.

Gonjasufi - She's Gone (Oneohtrix Point Never Remix)

This is a bit silly but a bit brilliant. Technically slapdash, but emotionally resonant. Only just heard it, but it's worth the post for posterity.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Conan/Slomatics spilt - Artwork worthy of a post of it's own

Check out this amazingness. From the pen of Tony Roberts, who also designed covers for High on Fire, Electric Wizard and Unearthly Trance, this is the artwork for the split 12" between Liverpool's Conan and Belfast's Slomatics.

Head of Crom Records are due to release the record on May 9th. The album is currently being mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Isis, Earth), and will be released on a limited edition sky blue 12”.  A CD version of the release will also be available via Aurora Borealis who also put out Conan's incredible last album Horseback Battle Hammer.

Incendiary British Doom gathers on the horizon.  Ready yourself to face it.

STREAM: Factory Floor - R E A L L O V E (An Optimo Espacio Remix)

Factory Floor.  Need I say more?

Kind of hope they release more than three songs this year, but on the other hand it's that same minimalism that arcs through their music into their entire being that makes them so vital.

The original version of this is like a hyperspeed I Feel Love, a similar combination of beat and bassline to the Moroder pulse electrocuted into urgency.  The remix slows things down, opens it out for a less claustrophobic listen and a less intimidating suggestion as to what Real Love might be.

The original and this remix will be released as a single on 6th April on Blast First Petite.

  Factory Floor - ~ ( R E A L L O V E ) (An Optimo Espacio Remix) by Optimo Music

Friday, 18 March 2011

STREAM: Ex Confusion - Music For My Love

Exquisitely beautiful drone from Japanese composer Ex Confusion.  There is a Soundcloud to follow, as well as Bandcamp, from which you can get this new album, and last years Something To Remember

Sounds like it was recorded straight to grainy tape through entirely analogue equipment, the matt finish and fuzzy edged vingetting the sound, suspending it away from any edge, away from harshness; that same amniotic feeling Eluvium's Similies album offered.  Wonderfully immersive and evocative.

VIDEO: P For Persia - Turtles All The Way Down

Brighton's P For Persia have been forging a kinetic, non-linear path through the scuzzy underground for a few years now - famously (for me, anyway) showering stages with an unpredictably dangeous energy and an engaging predeliction for carnage. Their last album, Mount Muffin Top was a huge hit around these parts and now they have another full set of chaotic, frenetic wildcore chiptune deviance to batter into yr ears with their new self-released album Coral Canyon.

This is a video for the track Turtles All The Way Down, recorded and produced by the band -guitarist Luke Smith who has a production company called L.S Productions, with stop motion artwork created by guitar/synth mangler Alex Porter.

Full brace of lynx here for you, including Soundcloud where you can download four tracks off their album right now. GO GO GO!!!:

DOWNLOAD: Tree of Sores - Tree of Sores

Tree of Sores
Tree of Sores


Trio from Leeds make epic ep of crushing shapeshifting doom. CD version is released on Witchhunter Records, limited to just 150 copies so be quick, if it's not too late already. bands with this much promise don't stay in stock for long. And by promise, I mean already delivering in the extreme.  The production might need a bit of beefing to add some more weight, but it's not so necessary.  The gnarly grunting basslines and sheer walls of guitar scree morph beween solemn chugging and cyclones of kinetic fury with an intrinsicly momentus sense of composition. No aimless drift between segments, just pure atmospheric build and howling release with hair raising, teeth clenching results. The six tracks are also heightened with the addition of female vocals - too rare in this kind of music, but almost always well deployed when they are - to add to the range of anguished spite.

Excellent release, worth owning - before it owns you.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

VIDEO: Twilight Owls - Wakonda Auga

Last and distinctly not least in my posts from the Lautreamont RA Studios video set, Twilight Owls is probably my favourite artist from the left-field psych/drone scene out of Russia that I covered, playing as TO, in Khumry and other soundscapist bands - his solo project as Twilight Owls has some of the most beautifully sculpted sounds and effective, euphorically subtle manipulations of themes of any drone artists to have caught my ears in the last twelve months.  This mirror rippled light trailing video enhances the disorienting effect of the music as each delayed chord hangs and rocks back and forth between the next, overlapping and shifting forwards with mental hazing effect that leaves you stoned.

Follow him on his Soundcloud too, for updats on all his projects.

VIDEO: Pears - Servants

The most lounge, louche and laid back of all these LRAS video posts, Pears I discovered through two AMDISCS releases last year, both still available from his page HERE.  Effervescent hypnogogic Club Tropicalia from Brooklyn by way of Cape Town, SA.  This track is a total sun drenched psychedelic rush and bodes well, if not already well worn, paths to the future.

VIDEO: Mpala Garoo - Easts

Second in the Lautremont RA Studios video posts - One of the psychedelic Russian underground's most illuminated artists who I wrote about when I was struck with an Eastern fever a while back, Mpala Garoo also peforms as Sunbells Fenimore - both had free downloads of shimmering drone, the former more tropical, the latter more oceanic, but both very very deep and trancey.  He;s an absurd video for Mpala's new track East that comes on more like a stuttering Matrix Metals refit - all cut and shut haloid VHS distortion and sputtering Casio.  Incredible all round.

VIDEO: Ssalvia - Moonblood

Video to the closing psychotropic waltz from Ssalvia's incredible Thought Has Wings cassette out on Leaving Records - on MP3 too if the tapes are all sold out, which I guess they would be by now.  This is directed by Lautreamont RA Studios, whose only web presence seems to be their Vimeo page - from which I'm going to post every video, because they're all bands I have covered and love, not just glanced over, but awesome new bands who I've had on repeat since first hearing them.

So here's the first. Steady yourselves for an h-pop glitter-bomb to your third eye.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Dragged Into Sunlight - Boiled Angel

Unholy blackened UK sludge from the quite well named Dragged Into Sunlight. They re-released one of their two 2009 albums earlier this year, with a brand new one planned in the coming months.  So you can have this as a teaser.

I'm deep into a doom trip right now. 


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

DOWNLOAD: Honeydrum - Pink Lips

New album from the darkbeat pop combo Honeydrum, available from their Bandcamp.  Lovely black romance and dim candle flicker romanticism, juxtaposed against bontempi rhythms and an almost tropical flourish. A little bit Ducktails in Human Stuff, a little bit Ariel Pink in Dream Eyes, these new tracks are beautiful progression from their last releases - all of which are up for d/l from their Bandcamp and one of which gets a new video featured here:

PREVIEW: Ford & Lopatin - Channel Pressure

This news is about as exciting as it gets kids! Ford & Lopatin have served up a preview teaser to their post-GAMES release Channel Pressure on 7th June, on their own  Software label and Mexican Summer.  Like channel hopping through some parallel universe broadcast perpetually locked  to a lost 80's fm frequency, you get blasts of smooth blue-eyed pop, white collar soul, anthemic power chords all buffed up with the tech-know-how of this pair of recalcitrant retro-pioneers.

I like it a lot.

Friday, 11 March 2011


For this weeks Fast and Furious Friday Feature I am giving you someone who really steals the crown in this event by being called Fastest and producing some of the most furious hypermangled drum machine propelled synth-core you can imagine. Not only that, but it's weird as green shit to boot. It's a lot of things all thrown into a rabid engine and revved up to the max. No You try Googling for Fastest!  He has a YouTube channel featuring a lot of handbreak turn shock circuitry overloaded onto weird videos, like this one.

DOWNLOAD: Liquid Skulls - Dead In Yr Eyes

Liquid Skulls
Dead In Yr Eyes

O.K. so this band will be coming to a blog near you soon - they've already appeared on a handful of the ones I follow and I'm happy to add them to NFR and give this release more webspace.  Liquid Skulls work with an inspired melding of influences and sounds, hard to pin down and so free and elegant you'd never want to cage it like that anyway.  Drone, folk, finger picking and swampy tones dredged up from muddy depths and plucked from the most feathery clouds - this is animated landscaping in song form at an engrossing level.

Only 2 listeners on at the time of writing - definitely not going to stay that way for long.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

STREAM: Wicked King Wicker - The Destruction Ritual

Wicked King Wicker is an East Coast one man sludge doom band with a limited cassette of grimly blow-out blackend drone and corrosive ultradoomscapery, released on Waves of Decay - a label I just discovered recently and who I will be posting several bands of in the next few days, offering you releases as a slow drip drip viciousness into your skull like Chinese water torture. The track posted here is from The Destruction Ritual cassette, the artwork above is from the split with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer on BSBC's Gnarled Forest label.  The colourful cornucopia of this artwork belies a harsh noisy environment, though the columns and sheep heads are subtle sledgehammer hints at the subject matter.  This is bleak and harrowing and there at least four more releases worth in his back catalogue from Cold Spring, and if that wasn't enough, he also plays in a band called Wolverine Carcass, no less.  

Find WKW on


DOWNLOAD: Gayngs - Affilyated



The album cover is the bastardised offspring of both the winged Doomtree emblem and the Gayngs symbol, slick with fluids, oozing the excesses from this raw sexual commingling.  If you heard the Gayngs album last year chances are it won you over with it's slyly seductive charms eventually, if not instantly.  These remixes (or 'regrinds' as the band calls them) are a different beast to the album. Each instrument and vocal track on Relayted was saved individually with an arbitrary title and offered to each remixer who choose ten tracks which they had to use. They could warp and morph the tracks any way they wanted with the proviso that the beat stick to the sultry 69bpm of the original concept.

The results, as you will hear for yourself soon enough, are quite simply orgasmic. There's a lot more beats and drums popping about the mixes, vocals from two or three different songs layering on to each other, orgiastically, conveniently for the deliberately lurid themes. It all gets pulled off so well that it's making me write in a constant stream of euphemism.

Get some Gayngs regrinding yer ears!!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

DOWNLOAD: Vortex Rikers - Nullpunkt

Vortex Rikers
Nullpunkt ep


Germany's dankest witch house producers Vortex Rikers release another free ep of blood-blackening ambient crawl. Throbbing with trance inducing cosmic energies, this new release floats more beats into the mix than previously, snatches of melodies drifting between the echoing thuds and flickers that punctuate the coalescent hum. The title translates as Zero Point, and though this isn't quite a ground zero re-approach to their sound, it's definitely an incremental shift towards ever more salient ground.  The conviction of the sounds and atmospheres, the patience with which they are played out is an ambience recalling Boards of Canada's most shadowy dreamscapes - an influence that should play a larger part in the more ambient oriented witch house artists with their own interpretations of occult and controversial themes subtly enshrounded within their oblique music.

Nearly all Vortex Rikers albums are available as free downloads from their Bandcamp, and they're very good at posting stuff on their Soundcloud, so get yr claws into them there too.

STREAM: Deliberate - Acid Under

Long-time friends - original and best we might say - of Not For Resale, Deliberate left Brighton for their industrial hometown of Sheffield a couple of years ago.  The core duo of Chris and Esther have added new members to their live-set line-up to flesh out their sound of starkly minimal synth pop and have recorded some new tracks to plug in their brand new Soundcloud...or maybe that should be the other way around.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

DOWNLOAD: Dark Castle - Seeing Through Time

From the Brooklyn Vegan website's Soundcloud alongside an interview with Stevie Floyd in a preview to their forthcoming Surrender To All Life Beyond Form album on Profound Lore - DARK CASTLE are back. Their debut made my top 20 albums of the year when it was released a couple of years back and this track alone makes it look like the follow up will be a strong contender again. The breakdown hellstorm of cymbal and feedback carnage at the end is indicative enough, the album artwork ups the ante on the visual side - the horseback black widow of Spirited Migration replaced by an energy pouring third eye.  All signs point to awesome (I USE THAT WORD TOO MUCH - FUCK IT, LET THIS CRUSH THE LIGHT FROM YR SYNAPSES)

PREVIEW: The Outer Church w/ Raime (Thursday 10th March)

How can the lineups for The Outer Church keep getting better like they are? Apparently next month's may even top this one - Demdike, raime....hard to see where they can go from there to keep the trajectory inclined like that but we wait with baited senses, all 6 of them. Come to this on Thursday and see if you can't even find a seventh.

Thursday 10th March
£5/4 on the door

The March edition of The Outer Church promises to be an adventure in bass-heavy murk and eldritch folk. Signed to up-and-coming label Blackest Ever Black, London duo Raime have been hailed as the new dark princes of British electronic music, with the likes of The Wire, Resident Advisor and NME all clamouring for a piece of the black stuff. According to FACT, "the duo deploy a number of obscure samples from goth, industrial and post-punk records, but these are placed in unique, bass-heavy arrangements that gesture at dubstep and techno without really adhering to either genre’s conventions."

New Mordant Music signing Ekoplekz produces what Boomkat have termed "gorgeously spooked analogue electronics" comparable to 80s industrialists Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Robert Rental after some low-end surgery and a crash course in Radiophonics. This set will feature a specially commissioned piece of video art by Jade Boyd.

Alexander Tucker should require little introduction - rightly acclaimed for his expansive avant folk with electronic shadings, his forthcoming album Dorwytch (Thrill Jockey) is set to be one of 2011's must-haves. In addition, there will be haunted sounds courtesy of the OC DJs plus a selection of lurid visuals.

DOWNLOAD: Ghost Animal Guest Mix (NFR Mix 08, March 2011)

Fall In Love/Let Me Go

a mix for Not For Resale by Michael Avishay of Ghost Animal

The second of this year's mixes is another guest mix from a current obsession - Ghost Animal. The LA based boy/girl two piece mine a blown out noise blasted seam of Spector haunted West Coast pop music - high on class, decadence and all that comes with that kind of lifestyle too - both sides to the street, glamour on the inside and filth on the floor beneath the high gloss heels.  So here's the influences and up-to-date infatuations of lead man Michael Avishay with some hugely insightful descriptions and reasonings for each of these 21 tracks in this massive double disc of a mix.

Artwork is again by my man Chris Prewett - needs to get himself a website, should be doing so any day now.

Take it away MA!

Fall In Love/Let Me Go
punk, goth, power pop, and new wave
Tracklist & explanations

01. Las Robertas - Tele (Cry Out Loud - Art Fag, 2010)
I've been listening to Las Robertas for a while now and have been excited about them since stumbling across their Phil Spector-referencing "Street Feelings" on Myspace several months ago. Since then, I've become good friends with Mercedes, who plays guitar, and we've been keeping up with each other ever since, sharing new songs, talking about SXSW, and fantasizing about a Costa Rican summer tour. Their entire album, out on Art Fag, is fantastic, but "Tele" really stands out to me, mainly because of the quick reference to Nirvana's teen-fuck anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit": twice in the song you hear what sounds like "hello, hello, hello, hello, hello," echoing Kurt's build-up to the chorus of "Teen Spirit." I really love it when songs reinvent, recycle, and reference powerful and influential songs from the past, and borrowing that little grunge snarl gives this track all the more attitude as it shines through fistpunching its way past layers of scuzz and reverb. A keeper for sure.

02. The Cigarettes - The Bore
(Happiness, Glory, and Calmness - ?)
I don't really know that much about this band, and have only been able to find about fifteen tracks of theirs online. I came across them while trolling YouTube, trying to find bands similar to The Nerves or the Rocking Ramrods (I can't remember). From what I can tell, their sound never really stayed the same - the songs on Happiness, Glory, and Calmness sound like an early Gin Blossoms or something, while the other album of theirs I found is a lot more power pop/punk. I'm pretty sure Yuck has listened to this song on repeat. I just love the balance of the overdriven fuzzy guitar and the clean, jangly guitars hidden in the background. And those almost-whispered vocals ("It will be the same again") are perfect. Fuck it, this song is pretty much perfect. Wish I knew more about this band. Any help is greatly appreciated.

03. Yuck - Georgia
(Yuck - Fat Possum, 2011)
This song is just pure pop perfection. Bouncing and jangly, it carries echoes and traces of 90s guitar pop laced with an obsession with the early Slumberland catalogue. Yuck are one of the rising stars of rock n roll, there's no question about it.

04. Mika Miko - I Got A Lot (New New New)
(We Be Xuxa - Post Present Medium, 2009)
Mika Miko got big in L.A. right before I was really old enough to go to the Smell, so getting into them for me has been more of an educational experience, teaching myself the punk rock history of my hometown, which really rose to prominence in the late 70s with Gun Club, Flesh Eaters, and X and reached its peak with the rise of No Age and Mika Miko around 2004-5. I didn't really understand how much Mika Miko meant to L.A. until we played our first show at the Smell in January: on your right as you walk in, there's a giant Misfits reference painted onto the wall ("WHERE EAGLES DARE") and above it a sentiment that I feel perfectly captures what the Smell has meant to the L.A. DIY punk scene over the last ten years or so: "We love you Mika Miko!" While it's great to see Jen Clavin doing well in Cold Cave, I wish Mika Miko was still around - never mind that Jen and I, as I found out one night, both went to the same high school, are from the same area code, and share a feverish love of everything Jeffery Lee Pierce laid his hands on. Mika Miko - all of them - are punk rock goddesses.

05. Youthbitch - Straight to Hell
(No Coast Word + Dreams, 2011)
The Willamette Weekly, Portland's hip local weekly (or whatever), recently expressed hope that Youthbitch will be the next big thing, putting Portland on the map. Never mind that Stevie & Nico, Youthbitch's mainstays, lead singers, and sole songwriters, are both midwest transplants - they are slowly taking over the Portland scene. Oh, they're also both good friends of mine, so maybe I'm a little biased/hopeful. Their entire cassette No Coast (their first release despite causing riots since 2007) is fucking amazing. The production is stellar, the songwriting is top-notch, and the performance is as lively and energetic as tape can capture (nothing beats seeing them live, though). Imagine if The Sonics, The Sex Pistols, and The Nerves had a lovechild and it was raised by Mick Jones. And grew up in the middle of nowhere pissed off in skinny jeans and crushed velvet blazers. Now you're getting the idea. I love every song on their cassette, but Straight to Hell, for some reason, stands out to me.

06. Gin Blossoms - Come On Hard 
(Major Lodge Victory - Hybrid Recordings, 2006)
I hadn't listened to Gin Blossoms until someone made a reference to them in a recent Cloud Nothings record review. I'm a huge fan of Dylan Baldi's stuff, so I figured I should look up Gin Blossoms, if they were at all an influence on him. Turns out the reference was a pretty weak one, and Gin Blossoms can lean a little hard on the alt-country side at times, but "Come On Hard" is a seriously fantastic song. They may not have been a huge influence on Cloud Nothings, but their shadow looms heavily over other 90s revival favorites (Yuck). I'm just a sucker for tight, perfect songwriting, and that's exactly what this song is. And lyrics like "I promise I won't hurt you anymore" are so direct, honest, and, though understated, somewhat magical. It's hard to hear sincerity anymore, but Gin Blossoms serve as a reminder that not everything is ironic.

07. The Plugz - Better Luck
(Better Luck – Fatima, 1981)
The Plugz are another band I found while browsing "related" Youtube videos. I don't know much about this band except that they formed in 1978, are Latino, and are from L.A. This song is just fantastic. Tito Larriva's vocals are amazing, always on the verge of breaking wild, just barely restraining. And I love the lyrics: "When things look closer that's when they're furthest away." I want to hear more bands like this, I'm serious. The ideal mix of everything, I think.

08. Hausu
- She's A Babe (EP - Highfives and Handshakes, 2011)
Hausu is one of those next-big-thing bands. Led by Seattle DIY mainstay Ben Funkhouser, Hausu is made up of four friends of mine here at Reed. Their tunes are amazing, a perfect blend of the gothy pop sensibilities of the Cure and the off-beat attitude of Orange Juice. They've only recorded a few songs and played as many shows, but they've got a 12" EP in the works (coming out in October on High Fives and Handshakes). They're young, they're talented, and they're about to take over. "She's A Babe" is my favorite of the three songs they've released so far, but just barely (early demo "The Haze" and "Weaving Spiders" are both killer as well). I think it's the combination of the lyrical hesitancy and subtle pain of the verses matched with the blasé simplicity of the chorus ("It's so cold in the rain/I won't last till the summer", "She's a babe and there's nothing left to say") that really gets me. That, and the song as catchy as hell.

09. Minks - Juniper (By The Hedge - Captured Tracks, 2011)
By The Hedge took a while to grow on me. I was a huge (bordering on obsessive fan) of their first single "Funeral Song" and was hoping for an album full of instant hits akin to their first two 7"s. But By The Hedge is delicate, careful, and intelligently composed, balanced equally with catchy goth-like pop tunes and songs that dance just this side of meandering experiment. "Juniper" stands out to me because Marisa and I have been trying to figure out how to balance our voices in the new songs we're writing, and "Juniper" is a perfect example of that striking shared middle ground of male/female vocals. It's beautiful.

10. The Nerves - Gimme Some Time
(One Way Ticket - Alive, 2008)
The Nerves are the ultimate power pop band. "Hanging On the Telephone" might be the best song of the 70s. Hell, Blondie covered it (and Blondie fucking rules). But there's something about "Gimme Some Time" that kills me. It's my favorite song of theirs. I can't really think of much else to say. I wish I could write songs like simple and this catchy.

11. Cloud Nothings - Forget You All The Time (Cloud Nothings Carpark, 2011)
I've been a fan of Cloud Nothings since the beginning, when the home-recorded mega-lo-fi
Turning On first started floating around. But like Wavves before him, Cloud Nothings mastermind Dylan Baldi proved that the move from the bedroom to the studio can be beneficial rather than compromising. His first proper LP is a full realization of a finely tuned (and rare) pop sensibility that owes as much to the Clash as it does to Cap'n Jazz. "Forget You All The Time" is the mellow, slow, sad song of the record, but it's also, I think, the highlight. Baldi can write fast, fuck you spit in your face pop songs but "Forget You All The Time" proves too that he's got plenty more in his arsenal than a two-minute scuzz banger. I'm a sucker for pretty songs, and this one is gorgeous.

12. The Soft Moon - When It's Over
(The Soft Moon - Captured Tracks, 2010)
I fucking love The Soft Moon's self-titled debut. It's dark, brooding, goth as fuck, and full of haunted barely-whispered vocals. But it's not all atmosphere: it's feeling, it's depth, and, honestly, it's brilliant songwriting. Not ever good song has to have verse/chorus/verse all hook-laden and relentless. "When It's Over" is a slower, more introspective song than most of the album, and for that alone it stands out, not to mention it's incredibly beautiful in that dark, depressive kind of way.

13. Foxes in Fiction - Fifteen Ativan (Alternate Version)
(Alberto EP - Orchid Tapes, 2011)
Warren Hildebrand has been a close friend and inspiration since the beginning, even co-releasing our first cassette Summertime in Heaven with Mat Cothran of Coma Cinema. A slower, more ambient version of "Fiften Ativan," an elegy to a friend of his who died of an overdose, appeared on his first album Swung From the Branches. This version, which is on his most recent release, the Alberto EP, exposes the melancholic pop sensibilities underlying the song itself. It's sad, it's beautiful, and it's really an elegy in the truest sense of the word, right down to the chanted "Here she comes, here she comes," accompanying the song's fade-out, turning the song from an inward-focused introspective lament of a lost friend to the possibility of memory as eternally recurring, inside and outside of the young, crooning Hildebrand.

14. The Radio Dept - Ewan
(Lesser Matters – XL, 2003)
My friend Justin sent me this song a few months ago to coax me into an appreciation of The Radio Dept., a band which I had sadly neglected up until then. Though Lesser Matters is far more lo-fi and guitar driven than the excellent follow-up, Clinging to a Scheme, there's something about this song that really gets me. It's very much the kind of song I'm always trying to write: catchy and upbeat but melancholic, elegiac, and introspective. "You can feel the sunshine fading."

15. Big Troubles - Bite Yr Tongue
(Worry - Olde English Spelling Bee, 2010)
I don't have much to say about this song except those fuzzy, woozy guitars make me swoon. This is just a really really good fucking song. Their whole album is phenomenal. It might be lo-fi, but you can tell its an aesthetic choice with a purpose or sound in mind rather than just lazy recording. Plus, that chorus! "You know I'm a fool." I love that. It's just dripping with hopeless young love on the brink of fuck-you.

16. Selebrities
- Time (Ladies Man Effect EP - Cascine, 2010)
This song is just so fucking good and so fucking catchy and so fucking New Order, I love the fucking shit out of it. Don't need to say any more.
17. The Lemonheads - Bit Part (It's a Shame About Ray - Atlantic 1992)
Another song Marisa introduced me to (which I've subsequently tried to rip off a million times). Short and perfect, aching and yearning, a broken-hearted man's plea for the slimmest shred of a woman he's loved and lost. I think. One of the best songs from the 90s.

18. Summer Camp - I Want You
(from their forthcoming debut LP)
I know this song just dropped about a week ago (on gorilla vs. bear) but I've listened to it upwards of 20 times a day since them. I'm obsessed. Liz's vocals are unparalleled and she stands out and outshines most if not all of her contemporaries. Never has a song about stalking sounded so romantic, so necessary, so compelling. Not since Sting, at least. There's just something about simple, repeated chorus lyrics that can really make a song pop. It's that repetitive obsessiveness conveyed that, I think, is essential. And those synths! And those drums! I just wanna grab the cute shy girl at the dance that I've been watching conspicuously out of the corner of my eye and kiss her full on the mouth right then and there. Oh and I have a total fanboy crush on Liz Sankey, too.

19. Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas (Heaven or Las Vegas – 4AD, 1990)This song is perfect. It's beautiful, luscious, gorgeous; hopeful and hopeless at the same time. Spot on production, incredible vocals, impeccable songwriting. It doesn't really get much better than the Cocteau Twins in general, and "Heaven or Las Vegas" is by far my favorite track of theirs. Fucking hell I miss the 80s.

20. Craft Spells - You Should Close the Door
(Idle Labor - Captured Tracks, 2011)
What can I say about Craft Spells? It really all started with Justin when we first started talking almost a year ago when both of us were unknown and unsigned (he, of course, is now signed to esteemed Brooklyn label Captured Tracks while we, sadly, remained unsigned) about forming a New Order cover band and touring the world. Our friendship aside, I'm a very strong admirer of Justin's incredible pop sensibilities and songwriting abilities, not to mention his freaky wizard-like self-production abilities (
all of Idle Labor, except for a few back-up vocals done by bassist Jack Doyle Smith, was recorded by Justin in his bedroom). "You Should Close the Door" is the ultimate heartache, the final plea of a heartache-ridden man disabused of all notions of true love or intimacy, the ultimate anthem of the lovesick introvert, forever running away, forever shutting himself in. Yet beneath all of it still shines the hope and longing for love, for connection. "This is me in my sorrow," Justin sings, low, uncertain, vulnerable. The last cry to be left alone ends up being a suggestion - "you should close the door" - beneath which is hidden a desperate plea to stay. This is without question one of my favorite songs I've ever heard. It's just too fucking beautiful. It really makes me cry, breaks my heart, and tears me apart.


21. The Chameleons - John, I'm Only Dancing (David Bowie cover)
(Strange Times Free (bonus tracks) – Geffen, 1986)
Kickass band The Chameleons covering David Bowie WHAT THE FUCK! I inherited some 20-odd Chameleons tracks from Marisa (or downloaded them on her recommendation) and discovered weeks later that this Bowie cover was tucked away as a bonus track. Holy shit! I love the original (obviously) but I think I might like this one even more (can I say that? Is that acceptable?!). Takes Bowie's original and gives it that goth tinge that I love so much. I don't know how well-known this track is, but it's gotta rank up there with one of the best covers ever recorded. They just fucking nailed it. Also every time I listen to this version I hear "John, I'm only Danzig," which makes it even more awesome.

Monday, 7 March 2011

VIDEO: The Ocular Audio Experiment - Mesmeria EP

Here's something to really get your mind lost in - video to the first side of a huge sprawling inter-cosmia two track release from The Ocular Audio Experiment. As their band name suggests, TOAE is an integrated audio/visual experience and this is the first part of it. The web is light on info but heavy on their output -videos a plenty and the only slight details floating amogst the cathode ray carnage is that it is a project begun by Alex Pollock in the winter of 2009. He does have a Twitter too. Keep an eye here, this all looks psyched.

Alex has his own label through which he released four albums last year: His first album, Spectro-Sonic Cosmic Gaze, was also released on the German Quetzi Records label.

DOWNLOAD: Mamaleek - Kurdaitcha


Website & Info

Two piece experimental black metal from San Francisco - remember when all the good stuff came from there? Looks like it never truly never dried up, this is just as incredible as the first time you heard the likes of Leviathan and Xasthur, only on a different plane of existence. Some of those oriental BM bands like Al-Namrood and Darkestrah may have primed you for some Eastern flourishes, but this is something else right from the start, in fact from the very first second the album starts you can tell that it's out of the ordinary mould and it feels all the more powerful for it.

Breaking apart the tenets of what is Black Metal alongside bands such as Fell Voices and Agalloch there's a mix of electronic, finely rehearsed epic composition alongside loose and naturally occurring improvisation in here that defies the entire genre, a fist in the face of it. Indian drone flutes, ambient noise, organ interludes, something approaching soft rock. It's a free flowing mix of influences and sounds executed with conviction and nuanced appreciation for musicality, even in it's most atonal breakdowns.  

In their own, truly Black Metal, words:

"We hope to prop up sorcery and ritual as a means of resistance to an everyday debasing reality that exists as a curse. It has become such a great pity that much of music, once so affecting and vital, has developed a xenophobic, ecclesiastical nature that trajects humanity’s own regression. Music, be it whatever genre, should always be a source of refuge and strength. Outside of attempting this fate, we are just as useless as anyone and would prefer to let time and whatever integrity is still left fill in the rest. "

Pay what you want (donate what you can!) for the digital download. $20 for the high quality vinyl (only 150 being pressed.)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Could I interest anyone in a Last.FM thread?

Drowned in Sound thread haunts my blog, as is its weekly wont.

Officially The Best Week Of Music Listening This Year

...or for months, maybe even Ever if I succumb to the hyperbole fevers.  Everything that is free to download I posted on my blog in the last week or so, so if you want it come get it.

01. Ssaliva - 136
02. Clair Cassis - 85
03. †‡† - 72
04. Mamaleek - 65
05. Gayngs - 35
06. Peaking Lights - 33
07. Low - 30
07. Cold Cave - 30
09. Nicolas Jaar - 26
10. The Ash Eaters – 25

1 – Cosmic vibrations / Hypnogogic amazements. You can see from the number how much I like this, and there's only 9 tracks. The guitar line in the title track has a funky nostalgic shimmer-groove down hard.

2 – New free ep out of nowhere. Josh from velvet Cacoon. Perfect black metal in 3 minute po song sizes. Luxurious.

3 – really like this new ep. The last black metal track is absurd.

4 – 'nother free album of incredible BM, this time like nothing ever – deeply ingrained oriental influences throughout, like Fell Voices – at a push.

5 – more freeness – Affilyated 'regrinds' of Relayted tracks. Such a cool concept to this, the results are a spectacular as the originals, sometimes more so for different reasons.  You need this NOW.

6 – You also need this in your life if you don;t have it already. One of the rare albums that will improve your lot through listening

7a – new album is too too beautiful by far. Burst my heart apart on it three times.

7B – this is such a great album too, every track pumps the blood through your veins twice as hard as the last

9 –  ridiculously young talent, trotted the globe and come back with this at just 19. Ambient kraut, or something.

10 – last but by no means least – Umesh Amtey of Brown Jenkins new band's demo ep – next level disorienting funeral doom.

Friday, 4 March 2011

STREAM: Com Truise - Innerface

New, unreleased Com Truise track taken from the expanded remastered version of the 'Cyanide Sisters' EP out now on Ghostly International.

Doing it like no one else in 2011, Seth Haley's "mid-fi synth-wave, slow-motion funk" has been updating itself over the last ten years to a place where his contemporaries have tracked back through their databanks to catch up with him, Future music interveted, nostalgia techno, for fans of Games, Tri Angle, Altered Zones - you probably already know this, if not, you need this. Software Music.

DOWNLOAD: The Ash Eaters - Cold Hearts

The Ash Eaters
Cold Hearts
Download from

Continuing these incredible few weeks for metal releases, here are download links for free copies of Umesh Amtey's new project The Ash Eaters' 2010 three-track demo Cold Hearts. Mediafire files includes artwork and lyrics.

Amtey's second Moribund released Brown Jenkins album, Angel Eyes was my album of the year in 2008, and with all his Jenkins' releases he has single-handedly drawn a distinct circle from which his unique recasting of black metal and funeral doom has grown, towering alone unchallenged with a monolithic stature.  The Ash Eaters follows on from where he left off with his mostly solo Brown Jenkins project - nightmarishly blurred fever dreams of howling leviathan stalked voids - Lovecraftian cosmic horror.  This new band is a two-piece including Demiurge who worked on Brown Jenkins final album Death Obsession.

The first striking addition to the sound is the wall of screeching feedback cast over the first past of the opening  Desperate Angels. Where Jenkins worked with dissonance and the manipulative shearing of reality from hallucination, The Ash Eaters use a slightly heavier set brute energy to barge its way into your senses.  All the cascading riffs from before are present, that signature sound boiling with a tar-thick viscosity throughout, a confounding rabid lushness. All Your Stars Will Die drops in deep gothic choral vocal accompaniment to the tremelo waterfall of rushing appegiated chords and the Heavens open to rays of black light, burning through on a guttural chug of bassy riffs contrasting, swirling into a sickly whirlpool of sound as the two tones warp aural perspectives.  This is deliberately overwhelming and all-consuming music that succeeds not through speed and battery but with crushing airless momentum and a euphoric relentlessness that provokes adreneline rushes with changes in density and volume of sound, pressure drops and disorientation.  Night Never Ends throws in a couple of shapes that develop the sound of Brown Jenkins and mark out this project as distinct; two minutes into the enveloping darkness a choppy speeding riff savagely gnaws into the drums thundering at it, it has a looser, wilder, rockier feel, separate to the wildness evident in the rest of the tracks; later on there is a booming yawning feral climax that spirals upwards in appropriate conclusion.

The band have already recorded the first album in full and are in the process of securing a label and distribution for it , so hopefully the full debut should be not too far away.  Umesh is already writing the guitar parts for the 2nd album right now, so The Ash Eaters are a fully active and dangerous concern - not just that, but they plan on moving up to New York at some point too. The Big Apple won't know what's hit it when this Texan dust blown dirt rolls in.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Following on from my review of ∆AIMON's excellent Amen album, here's a video for the closing track EXU REI.  Video has been put together by Scumbag Movies.  Suitably overdriven colour washes, abstracted footage and general dysphoria. Lovely.

Review: Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar
Space Is Only Noise
Circus Company

Born in New York, relocated to Santiago then back to the States where he is now at Brown University, at the tender age of 19, Nicolas Jaar has also already played live and DJ sets in places such as Berlin and Mexico. Being physically well travelled lends his music if not an authentic (because that's a horrid vacuous term when applied to musical provenance) then a suitably echoic sense of conviction. Impossible to pin down into any one genre other than 'Electronic' (if you must, and which he will destroy when he hits Fabric, London with a full band at the end of March) just listening to any one track will have you feeling around for at least five or six artists it reminds you of; though mostly I hear the spirits of Villalobos and Kraftwerk - sprawling House music with a teutonic sense of clean lined efficiency, though you'll have to drift through 6 minutes of Eric Satie embalmed piano progression to reach the first strains of it, and even then it is slow and gracefully composed in delivering them up.  As restrained in it's sparse atmospherics as James Blake - to whom comparisons are inevitable - as well as equally youthful London based electronic-loop composer Halls (whose incredible reverb-heavy ep you can pick up for just £1 from his Bandcamp), this is an album that should be finding its way into many different music fans hearts.

Too Many Kids Finding Rain In The Dust is the first time a perceptibly driven beat kicks in, along with dryly intoned Autobahn style vocals and a similar tracer effect speeding through it, later on a less streamlined sense of momentum is punched out of the end of the record in the stuttering Variations coming in after an almost chaotic segue from icy minimalism through a jazz barrage that trips into a jarred vocal sample, repeatedly snatched just as it hits a peak – aptly titled no doubt and a cheeky precursor to the final Satie -esque piano tumbles of ^Tre that fade out to finish.

The highlight of the record, and the track I've posted below, involves a techno-esque throb, the Gui Boratto technicolour peak of the title track; a piece that starts off beautifully sparse then fills itself out with a fat krauty bass and vocal line reminiscent of Fujiya & Miyagi and some amazing cosmic-techno-futuristic-nihilistic sloganeering, until it builds into some filter-rich peaking House streaked with luminescence.

Much like Boratto's album Chromophobia was a beautifully nuanced listen, Jaar's album is also saturated with detail and a composed with a cool head, even when everything around it was sparkling and fizzing uncontrollabally, the composer at the helm kept a steady course through it, determined to ensure the aesthetic never lost itself too fitfully, using restraint as the vital final concluding part to the album.  If there's any complaint it's that the album is slightly too long, and these ideas of economy teeter on the edge of losing themselves in the scale of the venture - with the snatches of jazz and glitch breaking up the smoothness - or contrasting to it and aiding it - It's a complaint that doesn't undermine the achievement of this record too detrimentally, each track being as engaging as the last once it has you in its thrall.


Clown and Sunset

Circus Company

CALL FOR PAPERS: Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory

Repost from the Black Metal Theory blog.  My critical analysis abilities, breadth of literature and knowledge of academic theory fall way short of the level needed to consider submitting to this, but it still might not stop me. Literally the most interesting thing to happen in black metal since its inception...when and however that may be.

Helvete is a new open access electronic and print journal of black metal theory.

Zachary Price
Aspasia Stephanou
Benjamin Woodard

Editorial Advisory Board
Dominic Fox
Nicola Masciandaro
Dan Mellamphy
Michael O’Rourke
Karin Sellberg
Steven Shakespeare

Incipit: Open Issue
Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory (Winter 2012)
Edited by Zachary Price, Aspasia Stephanou, and Benjamin Woodard

The editors of Helvete, a new journal of black metal theory, invite submissions for the journal’s inaugural issue. This issue is open topic in two senses. Firstly, it is an open issue in that all submissions appropriate to the journal’s general theme will be considered. Secondly, however, the editors encourage contributors to consider the topic itself open just as the first issue of a periodical publication is its opening. Thus, submissions that interrogate the problematics of beginning and genesis—or of openings, apertures, holes, etc.—at the conjunction of black metal and theory will be given priority. Black metal theory is the practice of the mutual blackening of theory and metal, and thus pushes the limits of contemporary academic genres by definition. In recognition of this, the editors welcome not only proposals for articles, but also for non, para, and protoacademic works, including commentaries, fragments, and visuals. We wish to encourage engagement in black metal theory by whatever means necessary.


1 June 2011: Proposals due
1 September 2011: Drafts due
November 2011: Drafts returned with comments
1 February 2012: Final drafts due
March 2012: Publication

Proposals may be sent to the editors at
For detailed guidelines, see the Submission Checklist on our website: