Tuesday, November 21, 2017

In Zaire - Visions Of The Age To Come

In Zaire are an Italian group based in Berlin. They play dub and funk influenced psychedelic rock. There's a clarity and precision to their sound that helps makes it almost hypnotic.

 

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Above The Tree

Above The Tree is a solo project of Marco Bernacchia. He plays guitar augmented by odd noises and loops. There's a bluesy, lo-fi folk vibe to this.


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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Justin Walter - Unseen Forces

Justin Walter creates beautiful, gentle waves of organic sound by modulating his breath through an analog synth.



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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Group Home - Livin' Proof

Group Home were a short-lived hip-hop duo that were associated with Gang Starr. Both members of the act appeared on Gang Starr's Daily Operation LP, and Livin' Proof was produced by DJ Premier.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Grauzone - Eisbaer

Grauzone were a short-lived German new wave act. They released a handful of records with Eisbaer becoming a chart success in Germany and Austria. Eisbaer has a tight, danceable punk bass line punctured by sharp, dissonant electronic noises.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Desmadrados Soldado De Ventura

Desmadrados Soldado De Ventura are a British psychedelic rock band specialising in noisy extended freak-outs.


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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek - Bird, Lake, Objects

We've already highlighted the work of the electronic musician Jan Jelinek. But he's recorded a lot of great releases so we feel no shame in bringing another to your attention.

On Bird, Lake, Objects he collaborates with vibraphone player Masayoshi Fujita. Like Jelinek, Fujita's music shares an interest in exploring gentle texture and layers.

The product of their partnership is this hypnotic, immersive album.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Roy Montgomery - Tarkovsky Tone Poem

Along with groups like The Dead C, Roy Montgomery was part of New Zealand's rock deconstructionist scene.

He's played in bands such as The Pin Group and Dadamah as well as releasing records under his own name. This track is taken from a split LP that he made with The Dead C.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Malediction - Mould Of An Industrial Horizon

Malediction were a British grindcore act from the early Nineties. They were pretty well known on the tape-trading scene at the time. They put out a bunch of releases. This was one of my favourites.

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Choubi Choubi! Folk and pop sounds from Iraq

Another Sublime Frequencies compilation, this time collecting together pop music from Iraq.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hisato Higuchi

This Japanese guitarist creates fragile, whispered, blues full of gentle ghostly notes and tones.

 

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Eduard Artemyev - Stalker

You may not like or understand Andrei Tarkovsky's impenetrable Stalker, but a huge part of its haunting atmosphere can be attributed to Eduard Artemyev's incredible score.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Kikagaku Moyo - House In The Tall Grass

Kikagaku Moyo are psychedelic explores who switch between extended acid-fried wig-outs and gossamer smooth folk sweetness.



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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sly & The Family Drone

Sly & The Family Drone are rhythm fetishists seemingly on a mission to numb your cerebral cortex. Their sound is characterised by percussion clatter, gnarled electronic squelches, and bleary vocal incomprehension. And their live shows are usually pretty special (by that I mean, totally chaotic).



Investigate here



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Chico Hamilton - Peregrinations

Chico Hamilton was a jazz drummer and bandleader who came to prominence in the 1950s. Initially he played West Coast jazz, but throughout the Sixties and Seventies his music continued to evolve and move with times. In the 1970s he came to embrace the fusion sound that had emerged at the beginning of the decade.

That's where we find Chico Hamilton on 1975s Peregrinations.

 




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Phurpa

Phurpa are a Russian group who use overtone chanting to create a pre-Buddhist Tibetan ritualistic music.

Or to put it another way, it's a bunch of dudes in black robes growling.



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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jan Jelinek - Prime Time

Jan Jelinek has released music under a variety of different aliases (Farben and Gramm to name a couple).

Under his own name his predominantly released glitch techno. But on this EP from 2012 Jelinek goes for something different: a sound collage of different samples and audio snippets.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Herbie Mann - Stone Flute

Jazz flutist Herbie Mann had a lot of pop hits over his career. But on Stone Flute there's more of a progressive vibe like he's playing the quieter moments of Miles' Bitches Brew.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Don Cherry - Organic Music Society

Don Cherry was always one of the most adventurous musicians throughout his career. During the 1970s he started to explore African, Middle Eastern and Asian music. And one of the best examples of this genre fusion can be heard on Organic Music Society.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Aural Holograms

Finnish ambient droners specialising in highly atmospheric soundscapes.

Listening to them is like eavesdropping on an ancient ritual.




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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Abul Mogard

Abul Mogard only started making music after he retired from his job working in a factory.

The songs that he created on his homemade instruments were a way of recreating the sounds that he had become used to hearing throughout his working life.

Mogard's pieces are typically gentle, electronic, tonal washes with warm, slowly evolving melodies.



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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Verstarker

Forty-five minutes of instrumental space-rock motorik. Turn on, tune in, and enter the groove.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Black Bombaim

Black Bombaim are a Portugese heavy psych rock power trio. Driving hard rhythms, and sex-faced squalling guitar solos. They rock with some serious heavy-osity, tree chopping rhythms and kaleidoscope guitaring. Good beer chugging music.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gnod

Gnod are a brain melting post-industrial psych unit, whose principal musical interest is in deleting your IQ through tracks of throbbing, numbing, stun-trance stupor. Witness.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shit & Shine - Madame JoJo's, London, 27 December 2011

“How many you drummers have you got?” Someone asks a member of Shit & Shine before their set.

This is always the most important question for a Shit & Shine gig. It can be anyway from none to fifteen. Tonight the answer is three. The same number again are on some combination of keyboards, samplers, and vocals.

Tonight’s set is built around what sounds like a two stroke guitar note and mechanised sample beat. The three drummers lock into a groove on top of that.

The beat is surprisingly danceable. For a Shit & Shine gig it’s a floor filler. The vocals are processed to hell. They’re more textural than anything else. Cutting through the live sonic mixing that those who aren’t manufacturing the heavy rhythms are engaged in.

It’s one long continuous piece. The electronic washes evolve sinuously. Subtly shifting through the course of the set.

Those drums though forge onwards. Always forwards, always onwards. The act of repetition becoming a powerfully creative force.

Your mind deadens. But at the same time that liberates it. Your thoughts drift away. Replaced with mental blankness.

Finally the piece collapses inwards. Slowly toppling in on itself. It’s a gentle reintroduction back to the normal world.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bill Orcutt | Jessica Rylan | The Cian Nugent Band - Cafe Oto, London, 14 October 2011

I feel like death warmed up. I've been struck down by a virus. But I head to the gig anyway.

The Cian Nugent Band open the night. Well I think they open it. I thought there was another band. If they played it must have been brutally early. Before they start to play Nugent makes a series of unconnected remarks to the audience. He can tell we're not engaged and he seems unsettled. If you're going to talk to the audience either make sense or do it after you've earnt some good will by playing something we like.

Anyway, the Cian Nugent Band are a three piece. Guitar, drums, and violin. It's built around Cian Nugent's complex guitar playing. The violin mostly adds texture while the drumming asserts itself into the pieces. The opening song is six or seven minutes long. The rest of the set is one extended instrumental folk raga. It begins very slowly with chasms of silence inbetween the solitary sounds of the different instruments. The piece slowly builds and Nugent's playing becomes more fluent. The violin lays down nice chordal blocks of sound while the drummer scrapes his kit with bric-a-brac coaxing a range of sounds from it.

Jessica Rylan starts her set by recounting a very dull tale about her last gig in London. I'm beginning to think I've come to a gig of the world's worst anecdote artists. But she gets down to tweaking her table of effects gear soon enough. There's a smooth ECG reading repeated beep with deep sub bass underneath it. The sounds and tones are delicate and the set is well constructed. Some of this type of music borders on random twiddling, but a strong authorial sounds comes through clearly in her set.

Bill Orcutt, assuming you know who Harry Pussy are, needs no introduction. He plays malfunctioning blues on an out of tune guitar. Dense clusters of notes fly from the simple wooden guitar. Imagine a spider scrabbling over the strings and frets and you might get an idea of the sound. It reminds me of Paste, an alias of Dennis Callaci who used to run the Shrimper label. Orcutt hums and moans seemingly in pain, punctuating his playing with random yelps. The twangs, rattles and unconventional tunings and repeated bursts of notes create an air of spontaneity which really sucks you in. It’s as if you’re hearing music created for the first time. It’s for moments like that which it make it worth dragging my virus riddled carcass out.

Preferred drink: Kernel's Porter

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm Being Good | Bad Orb | Liberez - Power Lunches, London 24 September 2011

Arrive. Buy beer. Wait. Grinding out the time. Flying solo. Nothing to do. Sit. Drink beer. Wait.

A man comes round. He says the first band are on. Downstairs. Rehearsal room doubling as a gig venue. Liberez at the front. A four piece. Violin, guitar, vocals, drums. There use samples too.

Thuddy rhythms, repetitive riff patterns, eerie bowing, and mumbled, haunted vocals. One tracks reminds me of early Pram. The rest are like I don’t know who. They’re unexpected. They’re good.

Back upstairs. Buy beer. Hit the merch table. Wait. Time grinds. Back downstairs. Bad Orb is a lone woman. Table of wires and gizmos. You know the drill. Droney bland soundscapes. Indecipherable murmur whisper. Adds nothing. Piano and accordion come into the mix. Yeah, definitely better. The rooms hot. The set ends. Upstairs. Cool off. Buy one last beer.

I’m Being Good. Saw their fourth ever gig in 1992. Maybe 1993. Oil Seed Rape also played. Think it was the Beachcomber. The pubs long gone. But I’m Being Good still play gigs. I still go to them.

Noisy, mathy, knotty, rock. Simultaneously primitive and complex. The sound they’ve had for awhile. Fan will love it. Antagonists will loathe it. Newcomers could go either way.

They finish. Upstairs. Out into the night.

Preferred drink: Budvar

Friday, July 29, 2011

Shit & Shine - Madame JoJo's, London 26 July 2011

I always expect a confrontational performance from Shit & Shine. My previous sightings of had seen them in percussion orchestra mode, albeit one you’d more likely find in a steel factory than a concert hall.

Tonight the line up features only two drummers. There’s three on effects, pedals, and gadgets. And someone wearing a black hood doing something I can’t see.

They start the set quiet. Funereal rhythms from the two drummers whose synchronised drumming is performed with ritualistically large motions. There’s haunted house door creak and methodical thud slow mo menace like a John Carpenter score.

The set builds. Sounds are added. There’s modem screech dysfunction. Someone repeatedly slams a car door. On and on the thud continues, relentless, unceasing. Until there is just the absolute darkness of the monotheistic pursuit of noise.

Preferred drink: San Miguel

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raw Power Festival - Corsica Studios, 10 July 2011

I wasn’t looking forward to the Raw Power festival. Eleven hours of noisy bands in the concrete prison of Corsica Studios seemed like it would be a test of stamina.

Yes, I could have turned up halfway through, but I’m an all or nothing kind of person. So with heavy heart I found myself amongst the first people filing into the venue.

Opening the festival were The Cult of Dom Keller. And I was immediately glad of my decision to tough out the festival. The Cult cooked up a heady, thudding, woozy, 60s psych rock, reminding me a bit of Methadrone era Brian Jonestown Massacre. The acrid smell of the dry pumped into the venue only heightened the experience.

Domestic Blitz followed playing a routine kind of punk rock that I never particularly liked. The cover of George Harrison’s Got My Mind Set On You was a slightly surreal moment.

The special, semi-secret, guests for the festival were Clinic. One of those bands I’ve always known of but without ever hearing. I can’t say their seemingly bog standard indie rock converted me.

I decide to bail on Clinic and have a look at The Light Shines who have got the bum slot of the day by playing on the other stage opposite the special guests. Unfortunately they’re another band who owe a debt to the Brian Jonestown Massacre, however, they’re rather uninspired. They’re not bad, they’re just not good.

I held out quiet hopes for Snapped Ankles based solely on their name. They played a kind of punk funk with spacey electronic noises whilst dressed in bear suits. Something they probably regretted in the warm, unventilated confines of the venue.

As they’re not doing a lot for me I head next door to have a look at Race Horses. Something about Race Horses reminds me of a band I might have seen on Top of the Pops in 1985. The singer wears stone washed jeans which make me start thinking of Limahl.

I recharge physically and psychically by buying a burger and a Dom Keller EP. Next up are Hold Kiss Kill who rescue the festival from a half way slump. At first I worry that their set is going to be ruined by a murky sound, as the guitar and vocals are barely audible. Either someone adjusts the mix or I tune in as I really start to enjoy their set, even if they are massive My Bloody Valentine copyists.

It’s back to the main stage for The Koolaid Electric Company who I‘ve never come across before. Within a few minutes of their first song I realise they’re yet another Brian Jonestown Massacre sound-a-like. Was there a job lot going when they booked this festival? But hey, sometimes originality is overrated. And the Koolaid crew lay down some good hazey, spacey, psych-rock.

Prog revivalists Teeth of the Sea are next, blasting off into the deepest reaches of space rock.

Bo Ningen are a band I’ve always had a problem with. They’re hi-energy rock in Stooges, Acid Mothers Temple kind of way, but they always leave me feeling they should be better than they actually are. I’ve seen them four or five times, and they have their moments, but for me they never achieve lift off.

And then we come to Part Chimp who are currently on a valedictory lap of honour as they move towards their final disbandment. I am not sure that I’ve really got anything left to say about these guys. If you like noise, if you like rock, then you will like Part Chimp. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen them live and they are always, always, excellent.

Trans Am are due on in a little while. But the best part of half a day in the Corsica has taken a psychic toll on me. I can take no more of it’s barren, stark, concrete walls. The power of the rawness has beaten me. I leave.


Preferred drink: San Miguel