Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nate Young - Regression: Blinding Confusion (NNA Tapes, 2013)

Wolf Eyes' Nate Young has released a solo album along the lines of his group's record earlier this year. The Harsh and punchy noise pioneers "grew up" on "No Answer:Lower Floors" in that they exchanged the need for song titles like "Stabbed in the Face" and blistering audio aggression for controlled yet frightening musicality. Hell, they even got a guitar player who actually knows how to play.

On "Blinding Confusion", Young takes this concept of control even further. His Sequential Circuits Pro One, synth lines, modules and percussion are incredibly subtle, even minimal. This is an eerily meandering journey through a 70's horror film sans camp factor plus musique concrete. The album is quite lush, creepy and intriguing in its simplicity.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this one on headphones in the dark.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Stranger - Watching Dead Empires in Decay (Modern Love, 2013)

James Leyland Kirby is, without question, one of my most listened to artists of the past few years. His work as The Caretaker is akin to the static background music of my mind. Whereas that work invokes the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel ballroom, with its chopped and screwed 78's, his new work as The Stranger has a different cinematic feel.

This is like the bleakest scenes from Eraserhead. This is what it would sound like if Raime and Demdike Stare were proles working in a  factory at night. The graveyard shift crew haggard and miserable, overworked and delirious. The ambience is their hallucinations, horrors fit for the dungeon they're in. The percussive elements are the proverbial whips to the back demanding the completion of this sixteen hour task. There is also a bit of Lustmord's "Metavoid" record, like plodding through a marsh knee deep in the muck, as in a nightmare when you have trouble walking. If you find beauty in masochistic doom and gloom, you'll love this one.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Love's Secret Ascension: Coil, Coltrane and the 70th Birthday of LSD

Someone wrote an article about my personal journey for truth in the decade that was my 20's. Ok, not really but its uncannily specific down to the fact that Coil and Coltrane are my two favorite musicians of all time. My personal affectations not withstanding, this is a wonderful piece. Enjoy.

Peter Bebergal celebrates the original synthesis of LSD with a thoughtful look at acid and transcendent magickal music. Read it HERE

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vestiges - The Descent of Man (Self-Released, 2010)

"The Descent Of Man follows the creation, the evolution, and the eventual annihilation of mankind. Today, we find ourselves hoping to reverse the damage that we have done and struggling to sustain what little earth we have yet to rape repeatedly. We validate this existence with stories that justify our behavior and our role in the natural world. The promise of salvation in a land we have yet to see has clouded our judgment in a land that is right before our eyes. Industrialization, militarization, overpopulation, theism, specieism, and nihilism are regarded as evolution and progress. Our greed and ignorance have been celebrated and our past has been forgotten. We were meant to be a part of nature. We were not meant to conquer nature. We were given life and we have done everything in our power to bring death upon everything in our path, including ourselves. There will be horrifying consequences for what we have done.

For man has sown contempt, man shall reap a bitter end.
Let our bodies replenish this earth, for the true color of man has shown!"

Those are words from the band itself. Every once in a while a group of musicians reminds me that something actually matters.  The Washington D.C. outfit Vestiges plays atmospheric blackened crust with a narrative that could double as the soundtrack to Derrick Jensen's book "Endgame".

Sit down with this one. No distractions. Just you and a record. Trust me. It will shake you to your core.

Download for free or donation HERE. You can also purchase the gorgeous gatefold vinyl there too.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Patrick Vian - Bruits et temps Analogues (Egg Records, 1976 / Straubold, 2013)

This year has seen the vinyl re-issue of a phenomenal and little known album. French musician Patrick Vian's "Bruits et temp Analogues" is improvisational jazz meeting synth rock for a journey into the unknown. Think early Tangerine Dream jamming with Soft Machine and Heldon, Conrad Schnitzler's bizarre noise experiments, and a deep prog groove, all held together by masterful percussion (Mino Cinelu of Gong, Miles Davis and Weather Report).

Vian plays Moog c2, ARP 2600, Moog sequencer and piano. Also joining him are Georges Granier on Rhodes and marimba, and Bernard Lavialle on electric guitar. This lineup emits deep droning psychedelic vibes, for an undeniable head trip. And incidentally, I can't stop looking at this album cover.

Here is a track by his other project as well:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Torn Birch - Effigy (VAALD, 2013)

Earlier this year, Grant Evans, of Hooker Vision, unleashed a beast that wouldn't be conducive to his primary label. VAALD is his new venture, one that documents the lower depths of sound exploration.

Torn Birch, an anonymous project released as part of Evans' first batch of cassettes, is a mindbending listen. This is a narrative pastiche that surpasses music and noise, moving into pure emotion. Beginning in a vein reminiscent of the earliest Abruptum recordings, there are pangs of anguish in the vocals. Things later alternate between ambient, drone and noise, relaying a perfectly experimental bedroom black metal aesthetic. "Effigy" is a paradox of beauty and horror.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Forest Swords - Engravings (Tri Angle, 2013)

UK mastermind Matthew Barnes is back. This time with a full length LP release. 2010's Dagger Paths EP was high on my year end list, and it looks like he'll make the finals again.

There are many misnomers or confusing tags we could lay on the man's music. I like to call it psychedelic r&b, pastoral folk, dub pastoral (as Tiny Mixtapes called it), or ghost box (for the true Brit nerds out there). Regardless, he is brilliant with loops and samples of his own very organic guitar, percussion, keys and voice. These are nostalgic and sensual droning pop structures that result in a futuristic sound that is his, and his alone. Forest Swords is occult, groovy, and introspective. Hip shaking music for the brain. Beauty and the bleak.

Listen to the full album:

Purchase the vinyl HERE