Friday, December 31, 2010

These Immortal Souls - Get Lost ...Don't Lie (1987) Mute (SST in U.S.A.)

Seeing the trailer for the upcoming documentary "Rowland S. Howard:Autoluminescent" last night had me throwing this record on immediately. I was very disappointed when Howard passed away from liver cancer in 2009 at the youthful age of 48. I feel that he was one of the best, most creative and most influential guitarists that ever lived.

After changing the entire face of Post-Punk with his agressive, smarmy and gut-wrenching style with "The Birthday Party", he moved on to the more artful and mature sound of Simon Bonney's "Crime and the City Solution". Several good records into that project he, his brother Harry and a fellow named Epic Soundtracks quit the band and blazed a new trail with Genevieve McGuckin.

"These Immortal Souls" saw Roland S. Howard taking a stab at vocals. Worked for me. Initially hearing this, I was shocked to hear tasteful and charming vocal stylings from such an exceptional guitarist. These carefully crafted ballads and rockers are ripe with the vibes of drunken hymns and sea shanties like much of his Nick Cave-fueled past without feeling the potential emulating qualities that can be contrived or misleading. This is a romantic yet beautifully strung out testosterone-lead Dream Pop record of epic proportions. Highly Underrated. When you hear it, tell a friend.

Get It Here

Or: Get Lost (Don’t Lie!) - These Immortal Souls

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Al Lover - Safe as Milk Replica (2010)

My man Alex just whipped up a sick MPC remix tribute to Don. This is fucking brilliant. Don't sleep on his blog either. He regularly posts Free downloads of original material as well as nice dj mixes.

Get It Here

Al Lover blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Soft Moon - The Soft Moon (2010) Captured Tracks

Luis Vasquez has crafted an engaging retro 80's tribute album....sort of. He's a one man band who incorporates Post-Punk, New Wave, Shoegaze, Goth and some early Cure. Quite the perfect sound for me.

With Breathy vocals and icy dense instrumentals, he takes the listener on a spooky and atmospheric journey that feels wrought with pain and despair. The deeper I listened the more I noticed the anger and fear buried under most of the tracks which also draws the Gothic and Industrial comparisons.

The breadth of emotion here is multi-dimensional and as is the current Goth revival trend, there is a great deal of hope masked in the sadness.

This is a stunning debut that crept into my Top Ten Albums of the Year list even though I'd only been listening to it for three weeks. Of course, that was multiple times daily for three weeks.

Get It Here

Or: The Soft Moon - Soft Moon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A.H. Kraken - S/T (2008)

From Metz, France comes abrasive No Wave / Noise / Punk brutality like I've not heard in a while. Violent, vicious and destructive, there seems to be no direction here (except for a song about Kevin Costner) and I don't mind. Their mentality seems akin to the earliest Swans or Abruptum material. There is no concern for decibel levels, accessibility, their own safety or anything at all, really.

Through its incredibly harsh veneer, occasional glimpses of a groove can be distinguished. Their label "In the Red" describes them best by claiming the band is for fans of Brainbombs, Drunk with Guns and Pussy Galore. I would only add the Ann Arbor, MI Basement Noise circuit, late 90's Providence, R.I., the ugliest of the Young Gods repertoire, Arab on Radar, Frustration and Lightning Bolt to that list.

I can only imagine what they're doing to Kevin Costner in that song but I'm sure its not pretty.

Get It Here

Or: A.H. Kraken - A.H. Kraken

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Low - Christmas (1999)

Each holiday season I enjoy listening to three Christmas albums: A Phil Spector Christmas, John Fahey Christmas and Low's Christmas.

Everyone's favorite Duluth, Minnesota Mormon Slowcore band recorded this gem in 1999 and I have loved it ever since.

The opening track "Just Like Christmas" is an incredibly catchy lo-fi jangle that may have even put a smile on Phil Spector's face had he ever heard it. Following that are four more tasteful originals that hold their own along with covers of "Blue Christmas", "Silent Night" and a version of "Little Drummer Boy" that just crushes me.

When I was a boy I listened to my copy of the "Little Drummer Boy" LP year round. This is probably the reason I enjoy so much somber and downright depressing music in general. Low's version is true to the original. It reminds me of how intense and reverent the song was intended to come across. This is not your caroling choir in front of the corner store once a year. Here we have the slowest rum-pum-pums you've ever heard but buried in tape hiss and heavy organ drone.

This is a holiday classic for those who enjoy Christmas as well as those who do not.

Get It Here

Or: Christmas - Low

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Electric Bunnies - Through the Magical Door (2009)

These Florida rockers are so tripped out they can't decided on a genre. Good thing they don't need to. One track sounds like The Byrds meet Spaceman 3, the next sounds like Liars meet 13th Floor Elevators and the next is a screaming punk metal ditty with Iggy on vocal duties. Psychedelic Indie Rock Garage guitar Noise Punk Sunshine Pop Art Rock. Yep...but its honest and the production is outstanding.

I also like that the gatefold Lp jacket unfolds into a really amusing and disturbing board game. So drop some acid, sniff some glue and try to figure out what's up with these awesome weirdos.

Get It Here

Or: Through The Magical Door - Electric Bunnies

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here (2010)

I was skeptical. I thought it would be impossible to feel any impression from this album at all. Minutes into my first listen I knew I had judged prematurely.

Its been 16 years since his last studio album. After spending much of the last decade behind bars and continually battling drug problems, it seems he decided it was time for a collection of redemption songs.

His distinct voice is weathered and raspy these days. This combined with Richard Russell's Post-Hip Hop / Post-Industrial beats, Folk / Blues guitar and delicate string arrangements results in a production that is as diverse as it is creative.

With his classic mixture of spoken word and singing, he covers a lot of ground. Oddly enough, there are times when he even reminds me of a very serious and intense Ken Nordine.

As far as the subject matter, we hear him paying homage to the women in his life that taught him how to be a man, reminiscing on a childhood in a broken home, regretting the sheer hardship of existence itself as well as attempting to instill genuine hope in the listener.

The staunchly militant aggression has faded away, leaving the core of a man who is merely reflective and still bent on helping his fellow man, woman and child.

Get It Here

Or: I'm New Here (Bonus Track Version) - Gil Scott-Heron

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best 50 Albums of 2010...Plain and Simple...

50) Warpaint - The Fool
49) Cloudland Canyon - Fin Eaves
48) Best Coast - Crazy for You
47) Woven Hand - The Thrashing Floor
46) Javelin - No Mas
45) Soundpool - Mirrors in Your Eyes
44) Koen Holtkemp - Gravity / Bees
43) Future Islands - In Evening Air
42) Barn Owl - Ancestral Star
41) Crocodiles - Sleep Forever
40) Jonas Reinhardt - Powers of Audition
39) Sleepy Sun - Fever
38) Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
37) Nurse with Wound and Larsen - Erroneous: a selection of Errors
36) Twin Sister Moon - Then Fell the Ashes
35) The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter
34) Ceremony - Rocket Fire
33) Xela - The Devine
32) Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariarchi
31) Gary War - Police Water
30) U.S. Christmas - Run Thick in the Night
29) Wild Nothing - Gemini
28) Morton Feldman - For Phillip Guston
27) Rangda - False Flag
26) Mugstar - Lime
25) The Vandermark 5 - The Horse Jumps / The Ship is Gone
24) Flying Lotus - Cosmagramma
23) Chrome - Blood on the Moon
22) Wooden Shjips - Volume 2
21) Wolvserpent - Blood Seed
20) Villages - The Last Whole Earth
19) Boduf Songs - This Alone Above All Else in Spite of Everything
18) Wadada Leo Smith and Ed Blackwell - The Blue Mountain's Sun Drummer
17) Eddie Current Suppression Ring - Rush to Relax
16) Four Tet - There is Love in You
15) Legendary Pink Dots - Seconds Late for the Brighton Line
14) Grinderman - 2
13) Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
12) Locrian - The Crystal World
11) Magda - From the Fallen Page
10) Coil - Colour Sound Oblivion
09) J.G. Thirlwell - Manorexia
07) The Soft Moon - S/T
06) Swans - My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky
05) Umberto - Prophecy of the Black Widow
04) Zola Jesus - Stridulum
03) Emeralds - Does it Look Like I'm Here?
02) Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
01) Blessure Grave - Judged by Twelve, Carried by Six

Watch Blessure Grave "Open or Shut" Video

Please comment! I want feedback... good or bad. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Locrian - The Crystal World (2010)

Chicago based duo (now trio) Locrian are the epitome of the current Avant Metal Scene. Devising a brilliant pastiche of Noise, Doom, Drone and Black Metal, the result is a highly intriguing journey.

Based on the 1964 novel by J.G. Ballard about a doctor specializing in the treatment of leprousy, the caustic overtones make for an intense scenario. The compositions feel loose and improvisational and that's a format I'm consistently fond of. This is a nearly stream of consciousness aesthetic that is extremely dismal and chaotic yet pleasant and mature amidst the build-up and deconstruction.

Minimal synthesizer/keyboard drones and sometimes agressive sometimes buried growling vocals lead into quiet tribal drumming and patient guitar swells. The desperate and apocalyptic tension gives way to a crescendo of noisy blackened doom. The e-bowed guitar is reminiscent of Nachtmystium's album "Instinct:Decay" (Blake Judd has actually joined them on a previous outing). The second movement of this double length record is an epic single track of nearly an hour.

After seeking a tasteful merger of Black Metal and Drone for quite a while, I've stumbled upon it here. Experiencing the intensity of this group's live show earlier this year was quite an experience as well. In fact, it was one of the best I've ever had.

Get It Here

Or:The Crystal World - Locrian
After seeking

Monday, December 6, 2010

Klaus Schulze - Mirage (1977)

A stunning piece from a still underrated pioneer. Beginning his career as drummer for Tangerine Dream and leaving in 1970 to found Ash Ra Tempel, Schulze has made an indelible mark on Ambient and synth based music in general. Everyone in these genres has been incredibly influenced by his work. With over 60 solo albums he still strikes an occasional chord with me on albums to this day.

Utilizing analog synth, non-modular Moog, Farfisa and Mellotron and experimenting with strange electronic samples accompanied by a doom-like bassline, this is easily his darkest and best album. Lush atmospheres created here are reminiscent of Eno's Ambient 1 or Apollo. A warm and hypnotizing journey through 70's avant keyboard dreaminess.

The liner notes say it all:

"Music is a dream without the isolation of sleep. In fact whilst listening to music, your ego is living. But your universal ego, your principle watchs of your self ego is taking a new level of participation, the dream is reality because your are living the dream and your dreams control your reality. The supreme reality is creativity (all kinds of art) which takes you back to your mental origins. The musical theory is perfection, sometimes never obtained. The concept is a mental reaction, the process of movement and change, the basis of mankind. Music is the background to a mental picture, but the exact interpretation must be made by the listener, hence the music is only half composed and the listener himself should attack the composition to gain a mental repercussion. The listener has to add the meaning. The principles of music are to make the listener powerful and happy to endure our dying planet like by using their own creativity and being aware of emotion."

Schulze is a god. Eno got most of the credit.

Get It Here

Or: Mirage - Klaus Schulze

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trisome 21 - Million Lights (1987)

Taking their name after the condition known as Down Syndrome (for reasons unknown to me), Brothers Phillipe and Herve eventually created this definitive French Coldwave classic. The first two records are also solid but this is the one I find most cohesive and accessible.

Meandering through dark Ambient synthesizer interludes and banging yet lush drum sequencing,, they accomplish an oddly romantic hybrid of Joy Division, Dead Can Dance and early EBM. This is a dreamy, quirky, cerebral and impressive record.

Get It Here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Legendary Pink Dots - Seconds Late for the Brighton Line (2010)

Three decades and over fourty albums on and the Dots still fail to disappoint me. This follow up to the accessible pop deviation that was 2008's Plutonium Blonde sees Ka-Spel and Knight returning to their trademark Post-Industrial and Neo-Folk brooding that we know and love.

Eschewing guitars and drums, they rely on heavily psychedelic keyboard and synth sounds, producing a somber and melancholy yet warm and intellectual work that softly penetrates the dark recesses of the mind.

The lyrics feel like Ka-Spel is reflecting on the history of the band and its output and although its probably hard to believe, the lyrics are even more impenetrably cerebral than before. Regardless, the creepy electronics coincide with this ever darkening narrative.

I must say that as a long-time fan I sincerely miss Niels van Hornblower's occassional but brilliantly effective skronking but I'm thankful for the return to
the pre-pop Dots.

If you're unfamiliar with their body of work but enjoy misanthropic pop music and the drone aesthetic, begin with this and prepare to research back through thirty years of deeply beautiful contemplation of the subconscious.

Get It Here

Or: Legendary Pink Dots

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kommunity FK - Close One Sad Eye (1985)

When Patrick Mata founded Kommunity FK in 1978, not many knew the terms Gothic or Industrial. In the process he also founded the L.A. Deathrock scene. This album is the best documentation of his work. upon listening to this you'll hear many elements of other Goth, Darkwave and Industrial acts that you're familiar with. The difference is that Mata wasn't following trends. He began the American trend. Its his own original brand of dark Post-punk with a touch of 70's Glam. Bataille, Genet and Cocteau meet Bowie. Absolutely brilliant.

Get It Here

Or: Kommunity Fk

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Group Hex - EP (2010)

R.I.P Blessure Grave. I was upset about this until I began investigating related projects. Do not dismay. This EP by former members Tobias, Shiloe and J. Gradin (also Total Fang, Secret Tones) is a a taste of the Dark Minimal Synth coming our way soon. Beat-driven Minimal Wave synthesizers meet early Robert Smith guitar on a barbituate Coldwave dancefloor.

Just check out anything on Talking Helps. This should get me through my mourning period with ease.

Listen Here

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fuzz Against Junk - Netti Netti (2008)

This outstanding Bristol septet melds heavy 70's Acid Rock with hints of British Jazz and Krautrock all with an improvisational feel; And its surprisingly cohesive and accessible for such experimental material.

Sometimes intense and abrasive, sometimes groovy yet cerebral, they even stray into nasty funk and pastoral hippie folk at times. I enjoy that the vocalist hints at some Damo Suzuki, Don Van vliet, Dr. John and even a bit of David Tibet. And for the real nerd, you'll be happy to know there's even a cut that sounds intentionally like something from the Wicker Man soundtrack.

This is a delicious stew of Comets on Fire, Soft Machine, early Can, Sun Ra, Ghost, Current 93, Thuvian throat singing and Sun City Girls, all a part of a balanced breakfast.

Get It Here

Or: Netti Netti - Fuzz Against Junk

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cough - Sigillum Luciferi (2008)

Ok, folks. This is it. Sludge Metal songs about Satan and weed. I'm not sure it gets any better than this. The cover depicts Crowley's eleven-pointed star, a pentagram and marijuana leaves. I doubt they're serious about any of it but the imagery plays on all the attractive cliches of Metal in general and they have the skills and creativity to back it up.

I'm also impressed with the fact that they're not from the west coast. No revolving members from the Graves at Sea / Asunder scene. Richmond, Virginia. That's right. Southern boys. Hell yeah.

They acquired the drummer from The Sword for this album and he definitely makes his presence known. These are extremely slow and impressive compositions with the best production I've heard in this genre (Sanford Parker producer of Nachtmystium). Pure fucking magick. It gets more interesting as the album progresses. Let it seep into you.

Get It Here

Or: Sigillum Luciferi - Cough

Twin Sister Moon - Then Fell the Ashes (2010)

The latest release from Frenchman Mehdi Ameziane (of Natural Snow Buildings) doesn't beat around the bush. The first cut, "Black Nebulae", launches into a tempest of perilous metallic drone but he changes course nicely afterward.

"1976" and "Ghost That Was Your Life" are brief but lovely folk songs reminiscent of Benoit Pioulard. Mehdi's androgynous vocals are just gorgeous. He has a knack for calling to mind the 60's British folk scene a la Sandy Denny and Vashti Bunyan.

"The Big Sand" is essentially a ten minute medley of frightening Ritual Drone, friendly and inviting Ambient and another acoustic ballad.

"Desert Prophecy" and "Trailer" are a couple of melancholy yet hooky folk pop songs culminating into the title track, a twenty-four minute drone treatice which could become a classic. This piece builds for twenty-two minutes of now familiar elements but also incorporates very gentle and tasteful piano. Eventually, and no surprise here, he wraps up the album with another somber but beautiful folk ballad.

Unfortunately, everything he releases is a very limited vinyl run so you'll probably have to be content with those nasty mp3's. Regardless, this is very intriguing and enigmatic music that requires a specific listener. I hope you're one of them.

Get It Here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coil - How to Destroy Angels (1984)

This is it, folks. This is the record that got me into all the weird shit that you know about me. Seriously, it all stems from this. The first release from Coil. And to all you hipster kids that listen to drone and aren't aware, yes, amongst their monstrous output of Industrial and Acid House in the early 80's, this was their first recording. In my world, this is the original Drone recording. Not to be confused with Ambient because that's a different idea altogether. I'm talking about primal ritualistic drug-addled cosmic Carl Jung investigated honest to god droning ceremonial paganistic roots of post-simian intellect type shit.

This is music that makes you evolutionarily regressive. It always reminds me of William Hurt's character's desire for pure understanding in the film "Altered States". This is the appropriate score for the Mexican tribal psilocybin-ingesting scene in the film which focuses on the male ego and the innate power struggle of the anima and the animus. By the way, If you're not familiar with Ken Russell you should get a fucking clue.

This is ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy.

"The price of existence is eternal warfare."Further reading for Coil fanatics

Get It Here

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bohren and Der Club of Gore - Black Earth (2002)

If you're not familiar with Doom Jazz but enjoy the music of Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, you're in for a treat. Since 1992 this German quartet has been creating what I refer to as a demonic extension of the music for Twin Peaks. Also present is the influence of Barry Adamson's work on the "Lost Highway" soundtrack. Thanks to Mike Patton for re-issuing this on his Ipecac label in 2004. Its the Bad Angel on Codeine. I love this band.

They describe themselves as "an unholy mixture of slow jazz ballads, Black Sabbath Doom and down-tuned Autopsy sounds".

They've released a handful of albums through the years but "Black Earth" is their finest work. They work with traditional jazz instrumentation (minimal brushwork and sizzle cymbal on the drum kit, subtle upright bass, sparse piano, fender rhodes and breathy haunting saxophone); but eerier than you could imagine is the very creative and ghostly input of the mellotron. I'm also impressed with the way this album is mixed. I like the levels but be careful with your subwoofers when you throw this one on. This truly is Jazz for Doom Metalheads.

Get it here

Monday, November 8, 2010

James Blackshaw - Sunshrine (2005)

The introduction of bells is reminiscent of an old Folkways Soto Zen Temple Ceremony album I just purchased. And this is a perfect meditative palette for Blackshaw's 12 string guitar virtuosity. These are lush and sedate yet complex arrangements of finger-picking magick. Its dizzying to follow. So dizzying, that once you stop trying to follow it, you'll find yourself lost in a trance.

Unlike some of his Tacoma-esque contemporaries, Blackshaw is a talented composer. John Fahey's influence is apparent but so is Phillip Glass', as the guitar and bells meander down a beautifully repetitive path. His path is visionary and adventurous but never harsh or dark.

Recommended if you enjoy morning coffee, weed or meditation.

Get It Here

Or: Sunshrine - James Blackshaw

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blessure Grave - Judged By Twelve, Carried By Six (2010)

If you're a friend of mine that sees me often, you can probably disregard this one. I ramble on like a blithering idiot about how much I love this band.

Blessure Grave stunned me. At first listen I felt as if every room sound besides this was pushed into the background. Had someone asked me to describe a band I'd like to be in and proceeded to fabricate it? Because it felt very close to home.

T. Graves and Reyna Kay, along with a full live lineup, remind me of the early days of Goth before the hair and make-up, a time when Post-Punk musicians were clumsily yet honestly foraying into dark, depressing and self-loathing territory;taking the cue from Ian Curtis' honest emotion and starting the Darkwave movement. Blessure Grave describe themselves as drawing influence from Death in June and March Violets (and with an EP called "Unknown Blessures" obviously, Joy Division. I assume they are aware how difficult it is not to be pigeon-holed as Goth revivalists when creating such stylized material.

Its an authentically updated 80's vibe: fuzzy bass, minimal guitar melodies and synth lines, drums almost exclusively floor tom and snare, gutturral yet subversively elegant vocals; Its just an opiate for me.

I want their first tape more than anything else at the moment. Obsessed. Any help with that would be greatly appreciated.

Get it here.

Or: Judged By Twelve, Carried By Six - Blessure Grave

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Umberto - Prophecy of the Black Widow (2010)

Matt Hill's clan of Goblin worshippers and John Carpenter / Dario Argento film junkies are back with a new score for the euro-horror film that never was. This time they've changed the formula. Now, we're hearing a soundtrack as played by an 80's New Wave band with an expensive Giorgio Moroder habit. Incorporating Krautrock, Komische and minimal synth-driven fear and suspense, this outing is deployed predominantly by authentically produced keyboards and keytars. Its retro-innovative and very convincing but just as you get lost in the intensity, the campy elements leap out at you, once again bringing a smile to your face. If you enjoy the sounds of 70's horror and suspense (particularly low budget outings), I'm sure you'll dig this.

Get It Here:

Or: Prophecy of the Black Widow - Umberto

Friday, November 5, 2010

Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit (2010)

Its been four long years since my favorite American Black Metal band released an album. Well, the new one is here and it was well worth the wait.

The cello and field recordings of "They escaped the Weight of Darkness" introduce us to the new Agalloch. Its a beautiful ambient interlude that gives way to "Into the Painted Grey" which heralds the blastbeats and fine-tuned aggression of new drummer Aesop Dekker, who finally gives them the heavy handed sound they've been looking for.

"The Watcher's Monolith" calls to mind the Neo-Folk tendencies of "The Mantle". The acoustic-laden Post-Rock of this gorgeous track reminds me just how versatile this band can be.

The track I'd heard about but still wasn't prepared for is "Black Lake Nidstang", a seventeen minute sprawling epic worthy of the hype its been receiving. A minimal beginning gives way to a driving sludgy rhythm with a surprisingly clean yet plaintive vocal track. After a lovely seemingly infinite period, the tracks unravels into a droning experimental soundscape with a beautifully simple guitar loop before returning to the meat of the track and eventually decaying in a luscious fashion.

The closing track "To Drown" is by no means anti-climactic after the beast of a track prior. It holds its own as a classic Agalloch track reminding us of the Drudkh-like nature of this band but distinguishes itself with a classical march that resolves the album in a very mature and dignified manner.

Personally, I already prefer it over "The Mantle". Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe its just the fact that I'm a drummer and as an Agalloch fan, I finally dig the drummer. What's certain is that herein lies another Post-Black Metal Shoegaze Folk (insert label here) classic. I have been working on my albums of the year list and this one crept up on me. I couldn't be happier that it did.

Get It Here

Or: Agalloch

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls with Sand (2007)

Yes, its a Male / Female duo that plays Shoegaze Drone Doom Metal. No, you shouldn't just assume that since you listen to Nadja that you should disregard this. This is different.

K Angylus (Jacksonville, AL) and MDragonfly (Macon, GA) began recording around Athens in 1999. Unfortunately, eight years later, they had little acclaim. I discovered this band a year after their demise and am sad that I never had the opportunity to experience their live shows or their company.

Deeply emotional and honestly pleading vocals (sometimes singing, sometimes screaming) are buried deep within a cold wall of My Bloody Valentine-like noise, masked by thick black metal accented riffs at a speed akin to Neurosis or Jesu; with minimal tribal drums deep and heavy as you could imagine.

This is an album I love to walk around to when its bitterly cold out. The desperation and darkness is abundantly clear and I relish it.

The following is a statement from their Myspace blog:

During the last few weeks, I have had to face a very difficult it stands, I can no longer make music. The break to my already damaged right hand has not healed correctly. As of now, I can't play drums at all and I only have a limited ability to play guitar (and I cannot bow at all). Even with surgery, a recovery that would allow me to play well enough to continue the band is not assured. Such a surgery would also require extensive muscle reconstruction and bone resetting and will take an estimated year and a half to 2 years to heal.

I have made music for the last 12 years...nearly half my life. I've done The Angelic Process for nearly 9 of those. When I think about who I am without music, I don't really know. Sometimes, something is so much a part of you...

But to get to the point, The Angelic Process has been put on hold indefinitely. There is nothing else that can be done about that. We have also managed to sell out of all the copies of all the reissue albums and most of our supply of the other albums. We will no longer be selling Angelic Process merchandise through our website or Decaying Sun site. This may change in the future, but as of right now, we need a break from everything. The stress and amount of energy that have gone into making this decision have left M and I drained and in need of a recovery period. All the orders that have been placed will be filled and everyone will get their order, but no new orders will be excepted from this point on. Any new news or updates about the band will be posted here and on the website.

We want to thank everyone for everything. We have met so many amazing people because of the band and our life has been improved so much by those interactions. I so want to name everyone and thank them personally and I'm sure I will in time, but right now I just want to get this post over with.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. It feels like a part of me is dying. I am sorry to everyone who loves this band as much a we do. I'm sorry to everyone who will never see us play live. I'm sorry to everyone...

formally of The Angelic Process

Shortly thereafter, he committed suicide.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hearts of Darknesses - Music for Drunk Driving (2004)

its 2002. You decided to have a house party. You invited all your friends. you're a bit tipsy. A bit dizzy. You come out of the bathroom to find Nate Young doing a keg stand, Alec Empire rewiring your stereo / dj setup and Mongo beating on trash cans. Greg Gillis has just commandeered you're kitchen counter boombox with a Midnight Star tape, Lydia Lunch is coaxing your girlfriend into a game of spin the bottle near the closet and "No, Abruptum, Anal Cunt really can't walk. Put him back in the wheelchair, right now!"

Download a track here: LORENZO 333

Hearts of Darknesses

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gorecki - Symphony No. 3 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (1976)

I honestly feel this is the saddest musical composition ever written. After listening for many year's I'm still not calloused to its beauty and power.

The piece consists of three movements written over three months in 1976. A solo soprano sings three different stories. A Polish lament of Mother Mary, a message written on the wall of a Gestapo cell during World War II, and a folk song of a mother searching for her son killed in the Silesian uprisings. The dominant themes of the symphony are mother and son and the separation war causes.

Polish culture is steeped in pain and suffering and when you listen to this piece you will feel all of it. Completely let yourself go while listening and you WILL be deeply moved.

This piece also marks a departure from Gorecki's dissonant characteristics toward a distinctly tonal direction. I find it interesting to recognize the influence he has had on Drone and Ambient artists with work created almost entirely from minimal tones. Much like Morton Feldman, Gorecki needs large amounts of space to focus your attention on the balance of sound and the lack of sound, both of which are integral aspects of the work.

My favorite version is by Conductor David Zinman with the London Sinfionetta, Dawn Upshaw solo Soprano.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lustmord - Metavoid (2001)

This was my introduction to Dark Ambient music. A crucial experience that slightly altered my perception, as if I'd found an answer that had previously eluded me.

Brian Williams has been recording as Lustmord for 30 years. He IS Dark Ambient. After a stint in SPK in 1982, he delved deeper and deeper into a distinct horror / Sci-fi soundscape formula culminating in a successful career as a film sound artist in Hollywood.

Metavoid is rather different than most of his work, as it is quite symphonic. A most accessible work that could easily have been a film score. Gently unsettling, its more the fog of darkness as opposed to his usual terror and confusion as though actually being in the belly of the beast. Don't misunderstand, with titles like "The Ambivalent Abyss", "Blood Deep In Dread" and "A Light That is Darkness", this is no cakewalk but simply a good place to start for anyone interested in the genre.

The bulk of his discography is extremely demonic and unsettling. Though rarely abrasive, his work is so dense with corrupted tones, incantaions, tibetan horns, bullroarers, and chanting that it makes me feel as if I'm about to be sacrificed at some evil mass. Incidentally, His first live performance in 25 years was at The Church of Satan's high mass observance on (06-06-06). So lets go plodding through the viscous aural crimson waters like in that dream you had once where you were being chased by a specter but couldn't get off your knees. Creeped out yet?

Get It Here

Or: Metavoid - Lustmord