30 January, 2013

RSD-10 Pioneer

Teenage Depression - Skank Or Die (1984)

Salutations to you Yahoo scumbags. Lots of commotion here at TER, as we're less than two weeks away from the release of Pissed Jean's new LP. Those not in the know need only listen to the masterful King Of Jeans to understand why PJ is one of my favorite bands. They evoke all the monotonous fun and excitement of male pattern baldness and the shrinking waist of your grease soaked pajama bottoms.
In anticipation of Honeys, I'll be posting some material that has influenced Pissed Jeans over their career. The first of these is a New Jersey group by the name of Teenage Depression, whom PJ indirectly reference on their last album's opener. TD is right up my alley: smarmy punks who were too smart for their own good (at least one of the members went to Brown), and harbored a deep hatred of Henry Rollins. Other subjects of their ridicule include frat boys, anarchists, communists, Reagan, and the Clash. They did, however, have an inexplicable obsession with a female drummer named Kate, whom I assume to be Kate Schellenbach of Beastie Boys fame.

Brittany Holberg

Stick Men With Ray Guns - Some People Deserve To Suffer (2002)

28 January, 2013

Altair IV

Louis and Bebe Barron - Forbidden Planet (1956)

Predating the invention of the Moog by almost a decade, Louis and Bebe Barron constructed unique instruments to compose first completely electronic soundtrack.
From the liner notes:
"We design and construct electronic circuits which function electronically in a manner remarkably similar to the way that lower life-forms function psychologically. There is a comprehensive mathematical science explaining it, called 'Cybernetics', which is concerned with the Control and Communication in the Animal and Machines. It was first propounded by Prof. Norbert Wiener of M.I.T. who found that there are certain natural laws of behavior applicable alike to animals (including humans) and electronic machines. In scoring Forbidden Planet - as in all our work - we created individual cybernetics circuits for particular themes and leit motifs, rather than using standard sound generators. Actually, each circuit has a characteristic activity pattern as well as a 'voice'.
"Most remarkable is that the sounds which emanate from those electronic nervous systems seem to convey strong emotional meaning to listeners. We were delighted to hear people tell us that the tonalities in Forbidden Planet remind them of what their dreams sound like. There were no synthesizers or traditions of electronic music when we scored this film, and therefore we were free to explore 'terra incognito' with all its surprises and adventures."

25 January, 2013

De Imitatione Christi

Gloria Mundi - Glory Of The World (1978)

The Word Is Out (1979)

Hello gentle readers, today I'd like to introduce you to Eddie Maelov and Sunshine Patterson. The UK native multilingual pair were responsible for some interesting music in the late 70s/early 80s.
First up we have Gloria Mundi, a group that Mick Mercer has described as the first goth band. The "Glory Of The World" 7" does have some gothy elements (ominous organ, prominent bass, spooky cover art), but to say that they were goth is a poor representation of the group's overall catalogue. The b-side " Nothing To Say" is a saxophone charged uptempo punk track with vaguely suicidal lyrics.
The Word Is Out was the group's second, and last, LP. It's quite a fragmented effort that starts off with saxophone oriented punk songs, and transitions to free jazz/almost krautrock jam sessions. The last few songs feature more synthesizer, foreshadowing the move to the pair's next musical venture.

Mystery Soap

Eddie & Sunshine - Lines (1982)

Perfect Strangers (1983)

Following Gloria Mundi's dissolution, Maelov and Patterson took the home electronics route. They began releasing synthpop singles in 1981 as simply Eddie & Sunshine. The title track on the "Lines" 7," arguably their best tune, is partially sung in French and draws comparisons to the Belgian cold wave of the era. I do not have the b-side to this release, but you can listen here.
Perfect Strangers was the duo's sole LP. By this time the pair's sound became progressively overtaken with a cabaret aesthetic. As a result, some of material sounds dated and corny.

21 January, 2013

Actualization of Places

Unwound - New Plastic Ideas (1994)

Here is Unwound's second album to finish out today's double dose of abrasive 90s music. A very dynamic record from Olympia's bi-polar trio who alternate between tracks that punch with feedback laden power chords and slow simmering tunes that boil over in dramatic crescendos.

Jawbone Of An Ass

Rye Coalition - Hee Saw Dhuh Kaet (1996)

Starting the week off with an old school double header to mark the return of virtual buddy (and coincidental neighbor) JGD. Up first: the debut of Jersey's favorite college drop-outs. They couple smarmy humor with rawkin' post-hardcore in this otic reenactment of the Old Testament.

17 January, 2013

The Age Of Webern

György Ligeti, Morton Feldman, Larry Austin - Leonard Bernstein Conducts Music of Our Time (1965)

"In music there is always a certain amount of resentment to things that are new and different. Yet no one objects to new developments in automobiles, refrigerators or women's clothes. Notwithstanding their public acceptance, the latter often turn out to be mere fads, while new music frequently becomes old music - revered, respected and regarded as a gift to posterity. So it was with Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony in the nineteenth century and with Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" in the twentieth. At first, they were met with howls of anguish by the public and were assaulted by the press. They are now imbedded in the standard repertory. 
We, at Columbia Records, are neither seers nor prophets, but we feel it our duty to have the public hear and judge works that may become part of music's lasting history. The pieces recorded in this album are, without question, controversial. But controversy is the means by which man evaluates the developments of his time. We believe in the future. We believe that you believe, too."

Mushin No Shin

John Cage, Henri Pousseur, Milton Babbitt - New Electronic Music From Leaders Of The Avant-Garde (1967)

"I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electronical instruments that will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard."

14 January, 2013

Arthur Fine

Natural Assembly - Arms of Departure (2012)

Natural Assembly is a new two piece dark synth-wave group from London, UK, consisting of J.Cannon & Z.Zsigo. Influenced by Front 242 and New Order, pounding drum machines sustain liquid synthesizer melodies and reverberated vocals beat until decay. Six tunes to mark a personal debut that will be the perfect soundtrack for your last days on Earth.

Diphenylcyanoarsine

Blue Cross - I Am Death (2012)

The second album by this female-fronted Ottawa band. They play old-school deathrock/post-punk, but with more punk influence overall. Current & ex Germ Attak, Schizophasia, Iron Dogs, Bastardator, etc. Features eight new originals and a Marilyn Manson cover song as well.

11 January, 2013

Taygeta

Merzbow - Tauromachine (1998)


09 January, 2013

NO/007

White Hex - Heat (2012)

Nihilistic Orbs is an Australian label that specializes in bored girls and thrift store synths. Here are two great releases from them.
White Hex are a Brisbane duo consisting of one of the members of Slug Guts and his crack house roommate. This debut EP plays like an aural reenactment of the too cool girl at the party coming off of lithium. You lurk around waiting for her to puke on your friend's couch, but she just drivels on about her favorite Karl Lagerfeld dress instead.

NO/008

NUN - Solvents 7" (2012)

The second post in today's Nihilistic Orbs double header. Melbourne's NUN is the product of B-movie nostalgia and Jonathan Richman induced heat stroke. The result is a range of sounds that are self-described as "sinister drone orgy to hyperkinetic synth punk and uber-saturated gothic psychosis".

08 January, 2013

Moog-Organ-Rhythm

Klaus Wunderlich - Sound 2000 (1973)

Meet Klaus Wunderlich, a German organist who adopted synthesizers later into his career and mastered the art of kitsch. This album marks Wunderlich's first foray into the realm of the Moog, covering musical territory that ranges from Dvořák to Bacharach.

07 January, 2013

Gropius

Bauhaus - In The Flat Field (1980)

I finished 2012 with an all Bauhaus performance from Peter Murphy and deemed it appropriate to share some of their albums. Now I'm not big on legacy performances, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Peter play in a very intimate venue. At 55, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Murphy is still a fabulous showman.
The group's first LP, In The Flat Field, is Bauhaus' purest release in a gothic post-punk sense. This was a necromancer resurrecting the glamorous corpses of Bowie and Bolan. The glitz was replaced with gloom, as screeching guitars along with ape-like screams and poorly recited Latin chants would fill discotheques for the better part of the coming decade. A near perfect blueprint for the goth scene.

Meyer

Bauhaus - Mask (1981)

Rohe

Bauhaus - The Sky's Gone Out (1982)