31 October, 2012

What Fearful Pranks Ensue

Type O Negative - October Rust (1996)

29 October, 2012

Cú Chulainn

Samhain - Initium (1984)

I hope you had an enjoyable Halloween weekend.

26 October, 2012

Apotropaic Magic

Clan Of Xymox - Medusa (1986)

I never thought I'd grow up to be the kind of person who liked bands with goofy names and line-ups consisting of  anorexic guys in eyeliner, but here I am. You can attribute my aversion to the ridiculousness of it all: elder goth pretension, Victorian aesthetic, pseudo-paganism synchronized with modern technology, and the overall notion that a few alienated people felt the need to mimic Bela Lugosi just to fit in. And yet when I listen to this album, I feel compelled to dye the cat black and break into my mother's make-up kit. Invoke some of the same sentiments this Halloween weekend.

23 October, 2012

Obama Bin Laden

Vatican Shadow - Ornamented Walls (2012)

Ornamented Walls' is the most intense, brutal and, in many senses, most substantial work from Dominick Fernow's Vatican Shadow project yet. Released to coincide with his first tour of Europe, the album incorporates the live mix rehearsals of 'Operation Neptune Spear' with tracks made in their aftermath, recorded straight to tape and mastered by Matt Colton at Air Studios.

22 October, 2012

Ichor & Ochre

Chelsea Wolfe - Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs (2012)

20 October, 2012

Samuel Snow

King Dude - Burning Daylight (2012)

19 October, 2012

The Process Church of The Final Judgment

Danzig - 4p (1994)

I had no intention of posting a lot of Danzig on this blog, but something about this time of year compels me to do it! What can I say about this album that I haven't said before? 
4p is a swan song of sorts, an idea reinforced in the songs that mostly focus on death and departure. Perhaps it reflects the turmoil that the band was experiencing at the time as this is the final album to feature the original Danzig line-up, as well as a point of disembarkment for many fans. That it's a hit or miss record is understandable, since it's not as riff heavy or upbeat as its three predecessors. But what it lacks in energy, 4p more than makes up for in maturity and introspection. The band has never sounded as tight or polished; the drums have never been as audible. Glenn is at his vocal prime here, listen to "Dominion" and "Going Down To Die" and tell me you disagree. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that 4p starts off stronger than any other Danzig album. I can't skip a single one of those first six tracks. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the second half of the album, which is applicable to the rest of Danzig's records (How The Gods Kill might be an exception). But a couple of filler tracks and small annoyances (vocals are underproduced at times, the sirens at the beginning of "Bringer of Death," etc.) notwithstanding, 4p is a crucial listening experience for anyone looking to embrace the darkness within themselves.

17 October, 2012

Bottrop

Eleh - Homage To The Square Wave (2008)

Featuring two sidelong tracks each clocking-in at over 20 minutes, Homage is dedicated to the highly influential artist Josef Albers. Eleh return with their battery of vintage modular analog gear to produce a recording of pure tone, pure sound, pure volume and pure analog.
Eleh was formed to pay tribute to the pioneers of audio minimalism such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Eliane Radigue, Pauline Oliveros and Charlemagne Palestine. The tidal rumblings of Eleh will appeal to fans of Sunn O))), Om, Oren Ambarchi, etc. This is drone with density.

x(x,t) = A[sin(wt- kx) + sin(wt- kx+fo)]

Eleh - Homage To The Sine Wave (2009)

Homage to the Sine Wave is the second release in the sound wave series following 2008’s sold-out LP, Homage to the Square Wave. In a fashion similar to Square Wave, the elemental approach to construction of the pieces on Sine Wave is influenced by Josef Albers, the visual artist best known for his color studies embodied in paintings of geometric abstraction. 
Both faces feature sidelong compositions at just over 20 minutes each. Side A holds “Together We Are One,” a piece that begins floating in the ether but gently lands on a field of rhythmic bass pulses before dipping below the horizon. “Beneath the Silver Sun” on the B-side is a meditation on the night with a consistent delivery and subtle transformation that is dually tranquil and exhilarating. Volume reveals detail.

Joseph Fourier

Eleh - Homage To The Pointed Waveforms (2012)

"Homage To The Pointed Waveforms" is the final release in a series dedicated to specific sound waves. Following "Homage To The Square Wave" and "Homage To The Sine Wave", "Homage To The Pointed Waveforms" explores composition with triangle and sawtooth waves through studies of a dense modular system. Variations were performed live in Barcelona, Brussels and Madrid during spring 2011 but this LP is the next step. 
Side A contains a version of the piece that was conceived for the shows, which evolved during the three performances as it was continually reworked. Mixed with travel memories, the two tracks on side B are reflections on the arrangement.

15 October, 2012

Tears Rolling Down The Dash

Die Haut with Nick Cave - Burnin' The Ice (1983)

Part of Berlin's vigorous, Wall-shadowed counterculture, Die Haut's abrasive mix of sexless funk and doomy guitars suited then-neighbor Nick Cave as The Birthday Party began to dissolve. Cave added vocals to four tracks on this, Die Haut's long-lost debut.

14 October, 2012

Huitzilopochtli

Burning Star Core - Blood Lightning 2007 (2007)

Save me from the nothing I've become.

13 October, 2012

PVC 8952

Swans - Holy Money (1986)

10 October, 2012

Dangerous Doo-Wop

King Dude - You Can Break My Heart (2012)

King Dude returns hot of the heels of his prolific debut album Love, giving listeners a preview of two new tracks poetically titled You Can Break My Heart (which will be featured on his upcoming full-length Burning Daylight on Dais Records next week). An exclusive unreleased b-side of Devil’s Tail wraps up the old world backyard gospel that King Dude has cemented himself in over the past year. Serves tribute to both sides of the coin, both sides work equally, paying service to the ones we’ll never understand.

Ash of Yggdrasil

Nico - The Marble Index (1968)

“Where the statue stood of Newton, 
 With his prism and silent face, 
The marble index of a mind forever, 
Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone.”

09 October, 2012

A Bad Case Of Oxide Shedding

Years On Earth - Worlds Apart (1983)

Years On Earth were a little known Northampton electronic duo consisting of Bob Roke and Kevin Mebz. Bob and Mebz began experimenting with electronics in the late seventies, making custom built modular units and treating guitars. This is the group's final tape before abruptly parting ways the following year. Unfortunately, I am only able to share the few tracks that VOD reissued earlier this year due to the scarcity of the original tape.

07 October, 2012

Even An Evil Fatigue

Coil - Black Antlers (2004)

Black Antlers marked a departure for Coil moving away from pure electronic sound to the inclusion of acoustic instruments. With the release of The Ape of Naples, a somewhat muddled affair cobbled from sessions some 13 years old, Black Antlers is perhaps a more accurate reflection of Coil's latter musical direction cut short as it was by the tragic death of John Balance. Given that only one of these tracks surfaced on The Ape of Naples then these may yet become the definitive versions of these tracks. In hindsight, Black Antlers is strewn with veiled premonitions of Balance's impending fate no more tellingly than on 'Sex With Sun Ra' where he casts off the comment that "most accidents occur at home". The queasy electronics of 'The Gimp (Sometimes)' where the layered and effected voice of Balance expresses a deep sense of self-loathing in the lines "sometimes I hate myself". There's also the emotive reading of the Appalachian lullaby, 'All The Pretty Little Horses' where Balance delivers a powerful and mournful vocal take to the marimba backing that is almost swallowed up by the searing and soaring electronics. It's a beautiful song and its poignancy cannot be missed.

Left-Hand Path

Cold Cave - A Little Death To Laugh (2012)

Welcome back, Mr. Eisold.

05 October, 2012

Swildon's Hole

Sex Wound / Sump Split (2009)

"I went and tested for hiv at an anonymous site, after 10 weeks post exposure period. My finger was pricked with a needle. The nurse applied a band aid on my finger which was bleeding from the needle prick. There was only an interval of less than 2minutes betwwen each patient. My question: if the nurses gloves were dirty with blood from the previous patient who was HIV positive, then can I get HIV from the wound because of the needle prick, while the nurse applied the band aid for me? Is the needle pricked finger wound large enough and possible for HIV contaminated blood to enter my body via the dirty gloves of the nurse?"

03 October, 2012

Klaus Barbie

Sixth Comm - A Nothing Life (1987)

Patrick Leagas was a founding member of Death In June who was responsible for some of the elements that made Nada! so popular. Ironically enough, Leagas left the group soon after the release of that album. He moved to London where he began to make music under the moniker of Sixth Comm. This tape is the first Sixth Comm release and consists of a combination of old remixed Death In June tracks and other material recorded during 1984-86.

02 October, 2012

Dale's Principle

Tangerine Dream - Electronic Meditation (1970)

In autumn/winter of 1969 Edgar Froese, founder of Tangerine Dream, met Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler. This trio formed the line-up of Tangerine Dream to record the debut album Electronic Meditation. The band was supported by two other musicians: Jimmy Jackson (organ) and Thomas Keyserling (flute), but both were mysteriously left out of the credits of the original album.

The group rented an old factory building and started recording on an old 2-track Revox tape recorder. A demo tape came out of this, and it was handed over to Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, who had just founded his record company -- Ohr Records. Kaiser was extremely enthusiastic about their music and offered to make an album with Tangerine Dream on the condition that they accepted his suggestion for a title and what the cover should look like. Of course, Tangerine Dream went along with this offer even though the title, Electronic Meditation, is rather misleading; not a single real electronic instrument is used on this album.  In music and sound it describes (maybe?) the journey of a brain through different states of mind from birth to death.

Klaus Schulze: "We recorded and toured Electronic Meditation. That for me is the primary electronic album. Edgar played guitar, Schnitzler organ and me drums through loads of effects. We were experimenting with a lot of random stuff and were making up our own sounds. I remember Conrad had this metal cup full of these bits of glass in which he stuck a microphone attached to each machine. I played a lot of different percussive sounds that were then altered by machines. It was just great to be in a band who were open to so much experimentation."