Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trepaneringsritualen - "Septentrional" (2010)

"Sose benrenki, sose bluotrenki, sose lidirenki: ben zi bena, bluot zi bluoda, lid zi geliden, sose gelimida sin."

Three Legged Race - "Wrong Element" (2012)

A mere 20 minute release by Robert Beatty (Burning Star Core, Hair Police) that yields hours of danceable replayability, Wrong Element is stripped down, minimal techno that is as abstract and indefinite as it is psychedelic + pure.

Vatnajökull - "Drifting Ice Station" (2008)

Static, formless... arctic field recordings slightly build and eventually meld into soundscapes as fragile as splintering ice. The end result: a frigid, fleeting atmosphere.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Treetops - "North" (2008)

This tape is as hazy as an overcast summer day with allergens floating around. A certain lo-fi grittiness in the production combined with weightless synth progressions, this one's sure to induce narcolepsy. I'm seriously a lot more tired... or just more relaxed than I was fifteen minutes ago.

Mark McGuire - "Language Barrier" (2009)


Mark McGuire, not to be confused with infamous 'roid-filled slugger, Mark McGwire, is a member of Cleveland-based cosmic masters, Emeralds.  Language Barrier features similar epic landscapes with guitar loops building into harmonious rhythms.  All the standard droning effects are here plus some: delay, reverb, a multi-layered blanket of riffs to warm up to when looking at the chilly album artwork.  The sun still shines onto the melting snow -- there are rejuvenating aspects of the sound here too.  Galloping delay riffs like in "Mind Games" drive the snowdrifts through the tundra of arpeggiators.  Admittedly, the electronic drone scene is overrun, and like the ballplayer, a little too synthetic to form a whole lot of respect for.  But it's about making a name for one's self, and both McGuire and McGwire have earned enough fans and have impressive enough stats/releases to realize that whatever they do in their respective focuses deserves some kind of attention.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Relationships - "Greeting Cards For Tweens" (2011)

Good math rock/emo from drummer Eric Ross (of Wasp Nest Head Dress) and company, Relationships blend the jam tendencies of American Football with rhythmic spurts akin to Maps & Atlases. There is a certain grittiness to the production quality on this release... a satiating lo-fi experimentation with a certain secret to making catchy riffs. Drums pound away, yet at times retain a Minus The Bear-esque quality to the beats. Super jazzy progressions pop out of an emotional atmosphere while yells of agony can be heard in the background. The album and track titles reek of wryly, tritely written lyrics -- in a good way.

Pick it up here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Calypso Borealis - "Ore Bowal" (2011)

I'm jealous of this dude's drones. Hailing from France, Calypso Borealis has an expansive catalog of tapes released by various prestigious labels including Cloud Valley, Existential Cloth, House of Sun, etc… Ore Bowal resonates the dapper aesthetic of its releasing label, Hooker Vision. Track titles reflect the foreign dialect of an imaginary rainforest, the listener evaporating into a humid atmosphere. Pollen-releasing swells and simmers carry with fluidity and craftsmanship. Also, the tape-bends on this are out of this ecosystem. There is enough playtime with this release to leave the listener satisfied, yet mystified enough to crave additional trips.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pete Swanson - "Man With Potential" (2011)

Man With Potential was easily one of the most unique records to surface last year. Normally performing as the other half of the vibrant experimental/noise duo, Yellow Swans, we see Pete Swanson as a solo artist executing abstract minimal techno brilliantly. Odd, electronic sound-puzzles intertwined with looming drones and sporadic feedback, Swanson gracefully composes and arranges songs in a manner that shows balance and skill. Man With Potential teems with utterly fascinating textures fringed with colorful, brooding atmospheres that will definitely have a place in my rotation for many months to come.

Man With Potential

Koufar - "The Purity Of The Cedars" (2010)

Uncomfortably intense and devastating, Waddiah Chami's (Disgust, Bachir Gemayel) The Purity Of The Cedars is a must for any fan of extreme music. Extracting rhythmic circuit-abuse and frictional fuzz, Koufar's harsh electronics entity is a force to be reckoned with. Militant vocals entailing subject matter about the destruction of Islamic influence in Lebanon are barked and manipulated amidst feedback and bending static, each successive track more memorable than its predecessor. The Purity Of The Cedars sets an extremely high bar for modern power electronic artists, and is posted with high recommendation.

The Purity Of The Cedars

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pinky Lascaux - "Dear Brother" (2012)

Pittsburgh artist, Seth Ledonne, has created an endearing clamor along the lines of the self-titled split by Sports/Teeth Collection. Like a magic wand, Ledonne uses a contact mic to cast sound-spells on the listener in forms of repetitive racket and crimped feedback. From scratches, to what sounds like a battering ram being used on a washing machine, the variety of cacophony is quite quirky. Expressive lyricism tags along with wit in such lines as: "Let everybody know that you miss 'em. Let all your buddies know that you miss 'em." The passion can be heard though the Tom-and-Jerry-esque scuffles, the hootin' and hollerin', then cascades into harsh noise. This is the soundtrack of paint pails tumbling -- garage labor enamored. Indoor work being done with a twist of odd personality. As adamant as Ledonne is about community, I'm sure he'd want you to pick this one up and join in on the sentiments.

Dear Brother

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Moloch - "Possession" (2011)

Another grueling creation by the UK's sludge kings: Moloch. Riffs decompose any life that once was. Cool grooves emerge at points and then slip right back into despairing territory. Eerie sound clips like a woman changing from hysterical laughter to demon-expulsion heaving add to the [hooded] menacing recipe. Sludge inspired by EHG is taken down to a hellish tempo and is narrated by angry hollering -- everything irritating, not unlike the unfortunate time someone stepped in a swamp with their shoe on and had to wait for it to dry without taking it off, on a humid day with gnats abuzz about the ears. Yeah, the guitar tone is those gnats. The grimier the better; this is sludge at its finest. Possession brings Moloch a bit further down the path of raging antics.

Punch a neighbor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Arizona Jaguar - "1993 - 2009" (2009)

Arizona Jaguar is a psychedelic ambient trio who released their only tape entitled, 1993 - 2009, in 2009. Reminiscent of an amalgamation of Enno Velthuys's ambient works in the late '80s and Prehistoric Blackout's Wake Up Dead, Arizona Jaguar showcase their talent for creating gorgeous, albeit fleeting, ambient soundscapes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vatican Shadow / Contrepoison - "The Serpent Carries Him Into Paradise" (2011)

Here's an excellent split between Dominick Fernow's (Prurient, Ash Pool) synth/industrial project, Vatican Shadow, and dark electro/synthpop artist, Contrepoison (Pierre-Marc Tremblay). The A side, "Unknown To The Peacock, The Serpent And Scorpion Conspire" is very minimally done; a haunting loop is utilized with lo-fi background synths & simplistic rhythms and soon crackles and fades into side B. "A Deserted Story Adam's Endless Fidelity To The Iblis" sees Contrepoison performing a very strong track. This catchy pop song evokes a dwelling sadness thanks to Tremblay's somber vocals and depressing sound. Noisy, simple and brief, The Serpent Carries Him Into Paradise is a worthwhile release for any fan of experimental or electronic music.

The Serpent Carries Him Into Paradise

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Angels In America - "Narrow Road To The Interior" (2011)

The first track begins with promises of black metal, but overall, these sounds are far from such a grating genre. Angels In America take on a whole 'nother dimension, fusing intrigue and obnoxiousness into a dualistic product. This is one of the most unique outfits I have heard recently. Genre-defying, noisy at times, no-wave tendencies of cultivating something entirely outside the box of even obscure conventionality. Moppy Pont croons lethargically but forcefully through a web of reverb while Merv Glisten makes weirdo electronic loops and sewer-dub beats. Sometimes the vibe is slightly lassoed back for more folky renditions -- "Highway E-12" proves that Moppy can harmonize quite sweetly when she wants to. I knew nothing of these guys when they came through town; upon seeing them, I was caught in the spell they cast, with additional visual antics such as Moppy's tribal-spider dance amidst a flickering strobe-light. It's evident that Angels In America just don't care what people think ... sometimes they make interesting music.

Be haunted.

Franck Pourcel - "Dancing In The Sun" (1970)

At times I feel as though Lawrence Welk could come prancing around the corner due to the hokey style of some of these songs. On the other hand, this is a marvelously conducted album by Pourcel and his orchestra. Lounge music suitable for a paradisaical setting, with reflective, classical strides. A momentary romantic escape for a double agent sipping Caribbean bliss. Some of these sections ring out gloriously like the listener is heading a parade. It would not be farfetched to feel the record create a breeze while spinning it.

The happy ol' days.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Climax Denial - "Bodies Broken By The Weight Of Time" (2007)

Bodies Broken By The Weight Of Time opens with a minimal dark ambient introduction, setting an ominous mood for the remaining 45 minutes of tape. The two following tracks spiral into an abysmal wasteland of furious static and roaring feedback. Truly a master of his craft, Climax Denial offers an outlet for days where being in a pleasant mood is not an option.

Bodies Broken By The Weight Of Time

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Earth Station - "Control Belief" (2009)

Control Belief is the soundtrack to a scene where the last colony of humans left on Earth are boarding a spaceship, abandoning the planet in search of a more hospitable one in a far, distant galaxy. Loops of synth-based tones and humming drones are accompanied by quirky vintage electronic blips and bloops that span the vast, albeit short, soundscape that is Control Belief.

Earth Station all night.

Pregnant Spore - "Amoeba-Like Identity" (2011)

Baltimore sound artist, Justin Mark Lloyd (Dementia And Hope Trails, Dim Dusk Moving Gloom), released some of his best material last year, one of which being his split with the dreadful, Mold Omen -- an exceptional piece of noise music that did not leave my player for quite some time -- and Amoeba-Like Identity is no exception. Lloyd utilizes metal-on-metal effects, harsh fuzzy feedback, and other not-of-this-world extracts from who knows where to create his unique style of frantic noise collage. And despite the record being no easy listen (coming in at just under an hour in length), I find myself coming back to it more and more frequently.


Sports / Teeth Collection - "Split" (2007)

Noise/drone artists, Sports and Teeth Collection, have come together with one offering each, and with them, created one of the eeriest albums around! Abrupt, loud thuds and mysterious vibrations make up a good portion of the album's atmosphere as it drones and lurches for just over a quarter of an hour long. Fantastic music to lay down in a graveyard to.


Some Japanese Drone...

Nobuto Suda - "Modest Calm" (2011)

Nobuto Suda is a drone artist from Japan with a brilliant discography. Every song has a purpose, each swell thick with contemplation. Modest Calm is a phenomenal record.

Modest Calm

Miki Yui - "Silence Resounding" (2003)

Japanese minimal artist, Miki Yui's, Silence Resounding is an astounding release. Her musical base lies in electronic tones & field recordings making for an extremely therapeutic listen. Although any tendency toward melody is absent, Silence Resounding's ability to capture the complex, organic sounds of everyday life makes it a must-have for rainy spring days.

Silence Resounding


Everyday Loneliness - "Appropriation" (2009)

Appropriation is an incredible release; soothing tape loops manipulated & mingling with subtle, low quality drones render this tape nearly nirvana. You will be somber after listening to this -- akin to Basinski's Disintegration Loops or Crown of Cerberus's Awakening, this is therapeutically meditative ambient bliss from Jon Borges (Black Air, Emaciator)... and that should tell you a lot.


Mirror To Mirror - "Rerest" (2009)

Mirror To Mirror is a pleasant ambient project from Alex Twomey (of the tiny Jugular Forest label). Rerest feels weightless in its ability to create vivid dream-like atmospheres with swells of subtle, memorable progressions -- all recorded in wonderful low realization.


Failing Lights - "Black Swamps" (2007)

Failing Lights is the experimental/noise project of Mike Connelly from Wolf Eyes. There are plenty of harsh sounds and atypical textures on here that brush wonderfully right up against hissing and crackling sound loops. An eccentric release that will not be leaving my ears anytime soon; highly recommended.

Black Swamps

Pet Coffins - "Untitled" (2008)

Pet Coffins is a relatively unknown drone project that draws much comparison to the likes of Color Dream or Caen. It is very easy to get lost in this one -- too bad it isn't longer because I didn't want to be found.


Impregnable - "Beauty Stone" (2006)

Impregnable is perhaps my favorite project from sound artist Jeff Witscher (also of Marble Sky, Secret Abuse, Rene Hell). Although Impregnable often sees Witscher producing clamorous, harsh records, Beauty Stone takes a look at his quieter, more focused side. A lovely piece of work.

Beauty Stone