Locust: After The Rain (Editions Mego, 2014)

October 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Locust: After The Rain

Locust: After The Rain

Mark Van Hoen (ex-Seefeel) continues to resurrect his Locust project, which released its first album since 2001 last year, on new home Editions Mego. This autumnal album definitely feels like a soundtrack of sorts, with the songs all blending into each other and having a common mood. Most of them are pretty short, which further makes them feel like variations on a theme. The songs generally feature immersive synth tones reminsicent of classic ’70s/’80s European ambient music and occasionally downtempo beats and shadowy vocals. “To Lonely Shores” in particular has kind of a spooky Twin Peaks/Rosemary’s Baby feel, with its sighing wordless vocals. “Shadows Cast By Planes” has loping tabla-like beats during its first half, then settles into ambience during the second. “I’ll Be There” is the most uptempo, poppy track, with harp-like sounds and melodies reminiscent of Plaid at their prettiest and most accessible, but like the previous track, it switches gears halfway through and goes into a dream-like second part with a slow heartbeat-like rhythm. “Signals” has some spoken word samples which are submerged enough that you can’t make out what they’re saying, along with a few bits of backwards harp notes and carefully measured synths. “Sky Black Horses” features eerie backwards shuddering beats which slowly fade in and out like a percussive tornado appearing, moving away, reappearing, and then repeating the cycle. “Won’t Be Long” ends the album with more shadowy vocals, and Ryuichi Sakamoto soundtrack atmospheres.

Show #260 – 10/18/14

October 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hour 1
3:01 AM Pharmakon ~ Autoimmune ~ Bestial Burden ~ Sacred Bones
3:05 AM Excepter ~ Destroy ~ Familiar ~ Blast First Petite
3:13 AM Oren Ambarchi ~ Quixotism Part 3 ~ Quixotism ~ Editions Mego
3:20 AM Quicksails ~ Find Flux ~ Introducing…… ~ Captcha Records
3:23 AM Locust ~ Colonnades ~ After The Rain ~ Editions Mego
3:26 AM Asonat ~ One Step At The Time ~ Connection ~ n5MD
3:33 AM Brizbomb ~ 090930FT04 ~ 0909 ~ self-released
3:35 AM Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler ~ Echo Sounder ~ Slant Of Light ~ Thrill Jockey
3:42 AM A Winged Victory For The Sullen ~ ATOMOS V ~ ATOMOS ~ Kranky
3:46 AM Mahler Haze ~ Of Salt & Slugs ~ Sweat Saves Blood ~ Personal Archives
3:54 AM Bataille Solaire ~ Talea ~ Compilation 1 ~ Noumenal Loom
3:57 AM Ballerine Nadiya ~ Help From the Cold ~ Ballerine Nadiya ~ Singapore Sling Tapes
Hour 2
4:02 AM Pjusk ~ Falmet ~ Solstov ~ 12k
4:04 AM Nora Petran ~ Rib Phone ~ Vice President ~ Personal Archives
4:08 AM Omar Khorshid And His Group ~ Banadi A Lek (Farid Al Atrache) ~ Live In Australia 1981 ~ Sublime Frequencies
4:12 AM The Budos Band ~ Trail Of Tears ~ Burnt Offering ~ Daptone
4:15 AM Hydropark ~ Impostors, Fabricators, Certain Characters ~ lathe cut 7″ ~ Life Like
4:21 AM Exocomet ~ Forerunner ~ Exocomet ~ self-released
4:25 AM WAND ~ Flying Golem ~ Ganglion Reef ~ GOD?
4:30 AM Girma Yifrashewa ~ Chewata ~ Love & Peace ~ Unseen Worlds
4:36 AM Oscifer ~ Rigvisscube ~ Acidic Soul ~ Personal Archives
4:40 AM The Renaissance ~ Win ~ Road To Incursio ~ Software
4:43 AM Mind Dynamics ~ Fractal Tanning ~ Active Supply ~ Digitalis
4:46 AM Sound Out Light ~ Realization ~ I’m Leaving This World ~ Digitalis
4:49 AM Transfixed Movement ~ Scrapes Of Tin ~ Stagnant Progressions ~ Digitalis
4:55 AM Autechre ~ Live @ Warp25 9/20/14 (excerpt) ~ mp3 ~ archive.org
Hour 3
5:03 AM DJ Clap ~ TOTAL MIX ~ mp3 ~ Soundcloud
5:20 AM Aphex Twin ~ PAPAT4 (Pineal Mix) ~ Syro ~ Warp
5:24 AM Mail Order Monsters ~ Electric Funeral ~ Mail Order Monsters ~ self-released
5:30 AM Simian Mobile Disco ~ Sun Dogs ~ Whorl ~ Anti-
5:38 AM William Parker/In Order To Survive ~ The Peach Orchard ~ The Peach Orchard ~ AUM Fidelity

Crush Collision 10/16/14 R.I.P. MARK BELL

October 17, 2014 at 9:11 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:01 PM LFO ~ Helen
10:08 PM LFO ~ Advance
10:11 PM LFO ~ Track 14
10:13 PM LFO ~ Track 4
10:18 PM LFO ~ Probe
10:22 PM LFO ~ Mentok 1
10:26 PM LFO ~ Simon From Sydney
10:29 PM LFO ~ Nurture
10:32 PM LFO ~ LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)
10:37 PM LFO ~ Love Is The Message
10:39 PM LFO ~ Squeaky
10:42 PM LFO ~ Tied Up (Acid Mix)
10:45 PM Nightmares On Wax ~ Aftermath (LFO Remix)
10:48 PM LFO ~ Ultra Schall
10:50 PM LFO ~ Push
10:53 PM LFO ~ Freeze
10:56 PM LFO ~ We Are Back
10:59 PM LFO ~ Tan Ta Ra (Moby Remix)
Hour 2
11:04 PM LFO ~ You Have To Understand
11:07 PM Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force ~ Planet Rock (LFO House Mix II)
11:12 PM LFO ~ Groovy Distortion
11:14 PM LFO ~ Syndrome
11:18 PM Yellow Magic Orchestra ~ La Femme Chinoise (LFO Remix)
11:20 PM LFO ~ Psychodelik
11:24 PM LFO ~ What Is House (LFO Remix)
11:28 PM LFO Vs. F.U.S.E. ~ Loop
11:35 PM LFO ~ Blown
11:37 PM Björk ~ Hyperballad (Disco Sync Mix By LFO)
11:40 PM LFO ~ Freak
11:45 PM LFO ~ Shut Down
11:48 PM LFO ~ Flu-Shot (Kringlan)
11:52 PM LFO ~ Mummy, I’ve Had An Accident…
11:55 PM LFO ~ Kombat Drinking
11:57 PM LFO ~ Jason Vorhees

Oren Ambarchi: Quixotism (Editions Mego, 2014)

October 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Oren Ambarchi: Quixotism

Oren Ambarchi: Quixotism

On Oren Ambarchi’s latest release, he teams up with an all-star cast to realize an excellent work of steady, pulsating minimalism. Thomas Brinkmann provides a steady electronic rhythm which courses throughout the album’s entire 47-minute runtime, which constantly simmers and gradually adds flourishes and variations, and sometimes seems to play with the other instruments, which add accents in time to the rhythm. The second, third and fourth parts seem to be most influenced by minimal techno and clicks’n’cuts, with the third part having a bit more rhythmic variation and additional percussion. On the 18-minute first part, the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra provides a dissonant sound bed, while piano notes from John Tilbury and delicate, panned guitar notes from Ambarchi resonate in the foreground. Eyvind Kang provides bowed instruments in the first and last parts, and Jim O’Rourke adds rippling synths to the last two. The last part unexpectedly features delicate tabla playing accompanying the solemn viola and chiming synths. It builds up to a wondrous, quietly intense part around 10 minutes, then strips back down to a pulse for the remaining minutes.

Pharmakon: Bestial Burden (Sacred Bones, 2014)

October 14, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pharmakon: Bestial Burden

Pharmakon: Bestial Burden

Second full-length from Margaret Chardiet’s industrial/power electronics project, which has recently toured with Swans, Godflesh and Cut Hands (William Bennett of Whitehouse). This is every bit as gory and sickness-inducing as its artwork suggests. Opener “Vacuum” is 90 seconds of heavy breathing which escalates into hyperventilating, and “Intent or Instinct” is 8 minutes of slow throbbing beats, feedback, and larynx-shredding vocals. “Body Betrays Itself” is a bit more concise and approachable, the vocals come in earlier and aren’t quite as screamy in the beginning, and the synths sort of melt into a haze during the last couple minutes. “Primitive Struggle” is 2 minutes of choking and coughing to a beat. “Autoimmune” is far and away the highlight of the album, just a total stormer which could even fit next to Skinny Puppy at your next hard industrial dance party. “Bestial Burden” is the most disturbing track on the album, in which Chardiet alternates between a girlish voice, hellish screaming, and nervous, pained laughter, all while repeatedly exclaiming “I don’t belong here”, in some sort of Alice In Hades nightmare. I’m not really well versed enough in power electronics as a genre to be able to compare Pharmakon to anyone else, so I’m inevitably reminded of Wolf Eyes and Whitehouse just because they’re more well known, and I’m sure being on Sacred Bones gives her exposure to a much different fanbase than if she’d just stuck to tape labels. But this is a bloody, infected, diseased, fascinating album.

Show #259 – 10/11/14

October 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
3:01 AM Sun Kil Moon ~ I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same ~ Benji ~ Caldo Verde
3:12 AM Peaking Lights ~ Everyone and Us ~ Cosmic Logic ~ Weird World
3:15 AM Ballerine Nadiya ~ I’m Quiet On Purpose Or Whatever ~ Ballerine Nadiya ~ Singapore Sling Tapes
3:18 AM Piper Spray And Benzaldehyde Monster ~ Monopole/Plants/Knee ~ Piper Spray And Benzaldehyde Monster ~ Singapore Sling Tapes
3:22 AM Zola Jesus ~ Long Way Down ~ Taiga ~ Mute
3:25 AM Gazelle Twin ~ Belly Of The Beast ~ Unflesh ~ Last Gang
3:29 AM The Bug featuring Liz Harris ~ Black Wasp ~ Exit ~ Ninja Tune
3:34 AM Zke ~ Cabeza, 1982 ~ Death of Miriam ~ Personal Archives
3:40 AM Aby Ngana Diop ~ Dieuleul-Dieuleul ~ Liital ~ Awesome Tapes From Africa
3:45 AM Dromez ~ I Want You To Feel It ~ Predatour 2013 ~ Personal Archives
3:52 AM Noirodyn ~ Spacesirens Loopspirals ~ Infradesigns ~ Praxis
3:56 AM Lejsovka & Freund ~ From Royal Ave ~ Mold On Canvas ~ Bark And Hiss
3:59 AM Philip Perkins ~ The 5000 Washcloths Of Nancy B ~ Mister Anyhow ~ Fun Music
Hour 2
4:03 AM The Spookfish ~ Goblets ~ Living Room ~ Singapore Sling Tapes
4:05 AM Balmorhea ~ HEIR II (Ben Aqua Remix) ~ HEIR ~ Western Vinyl
4:09 AM Flying Lotus ~ Ready Err Not ~ You’re Dead! ~ Warp
4:10 AM Rustie ~ Paradise Stone ~ Green Language ~ Warp
4:13 AM Suicideyear ~ When You Sleep ~ Remembrance ~ Software
4:17 AM Redinho ~ Dive ~ Redinho ~ Numbers
4:19 AM Aphex Twin ~ s950tx16wasr10 [earth portal mix] ~ Syro ~ Warp
4:25 AM Gavin Gamboa ~ Humoresque X ~ Humoresques For The Verge Of Sanities ~ Bandcamp
4:29 AM KIVA ~ KIVA: June 1985 ~ KIVA ~ Pogus Productions
4:35 AM clipping. ~ Something They Don’t Know ~ mp3 ~ Bandcamp
4:41 AM Fela Kuti & Africa 70 ~ Johny Just Drop (Edit) ~ Finding Fela ~ Knitting Factory Records
4:52 AM The Pop Group ~ Colour Blind ~ We Are Time ~ Freaks R Us
4:56 AM Saturn’s Rival ~ IV ~ Saturn’s Rival ~ pfMentum
Hour 3
5:00 AM Failed Flowers ~ My Death ~ Demo 2014 ~ tape
5:02 AM Failed Flowers ~ Talk About It ~ Demo 2014 ~ tape
5:03 AM The Aislers Set ~ Langour In The Balcony ~ How I Learned To Write Backwards ~ Suicide Squeeze
5:05 AM Kane Strang ~ Winded ~ Temporary: Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Undergrund 2011-2014 ~ Ba Da Bing
5:08 AM Steelism ~ Marfa Lights ~ 615 To Fame ~ Single Lock
5:13 AM Land Observations ~ Return To Ravenna ~ The Grand Tour ~ Mute
5:19 AM Laetitia Sadier ~ The Scene of the Lie ~ Something Shines ~ Drag City
5:24 AM Sun Ra and His Arkestra ~ Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus ~ In The Orbit Of Ra ~ Strut
5:31 AM Alvin Lucier ~ Coda Variation 4 ~ Almost New York ~ Pogus Productions
5:37 AM Panoply Performance Laboratory ~ Act IV ~ Institute_Institut ~ Gold Bolus
5:41 AM Whirr ~ Dry ~ Sway ~ Graveface
5:46 AM This Will Destroy You ~ Dustism ~ Another Language ~ Suicide Squeeze
5:52 AM Music Blues ~ The Price Is Wrong ~ Things Haven’t Gone Well ~ Thrill Jockey
5:57 AM Bill Baird ~ Sonneries de la Rose + Croix ~ Diamond Eyepatch ~ Moon Glyph

Failed Flowers: Demo 2014 tape (self-released, 2014)

October 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Failed Flowers: Demo 2014

Failed Flowers: Demo 2014

One of the newest ventures from the Ann Arbor indie-pop community that includes members of Saturday Looks Good To Me and Bad Indians. This is a sharp, jangly, mostly speedy C86-indebted lo-fi group, with Autumn and Fred both handling vocals. Almost all of the songs are under 2 minutes, and while the tape starts out punky, the song called “Fuck You” is actually slower, quieter, and sadder. Kind of fitting, as is the band’s name, and the lyrics and the general feel of the music; it all just suggests disconnection, things not working out. After all the brooding tension of the short, punkier songs, it takes a 4 minute instrumental called “Episodes” to clear everything out, before the last burst “Matters”. Tape and download available on Bandcamp.

Synthek & Audiolouis: Unwise 2LP (Natch Records, 2014)

October 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Synthek & Audiolouis: Unwise 2LP

Synthek & Audiolouis: Unwise 2LP

First album from Tresor resident Synthek and his partner Audiolouis, who are both founders of Natch Records. Broken techno similar to the Stroboscopic Artefacts label, in which beats rarely stick to solid 4/4 and instead bustle up and are tough and jagged. “Spiral Path”, however, does indeed have some spiraling synths around a 4/4 stomp, and “Headroom” is a crunchy, peaktime dark techno anthem. But the duo definitely excels in melding dark atmospheres with inventive industrial-strength beats, and there’s no shortage of tracks here which do that.

The Dead Milkmen: Pretty Music For Pretty People (self-released, 2014)

October 4, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Dead Milkmen: Pretty Music For Pretty People

The Dead Milkmen: Pretty Music For Pretty People

Philadelphia’s greatest band ever delivers their second album this decade, after taking a decade and a half off (their last album was 1995’s Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig), after which they broke up, took up other projects, and bassist Dave Blood tragically killed himself in 2004). Self-released, as was their last album, and they put a lot of care into the packaging, and they include the lyrics, which of course is great. Musically, it sounds like the Milkmen, basically; some of it is uptempo punk rock, but there’s slower, sometimes more serious songs, and a little bit more synth than I remember hearing on their older albums (lead singer Rodney Anonymous is a huge industrial fan, and he even namechecks digital hardcore band Ambassador21 on “Make It Witchy”, and Mute Records flagship act The Normal on “Dark Clouds Over Middlemarch”). A lot of the time with this band, the melodies and even verses seem kind of secondary, as if they just came up with a great/funny song title and just built everything else around it, but sometimes that’s all you need. Some things just need to be said, and they just come out and say it, and it’s great. As with the last album, they’re even more pissed off with the world as ever; the title track starts off the album blasting the music industry and “Big Words Make The Baby Jesus Cry” is about the world being brainwashed into being Christian and dumb. “Mary Anne Cotton (The Poisoner’s Song)”, “Somewhere Over Antarctica”, and “Sanitary Times” are the more serious songs that one of the other band members (probably Joe Jack Talcum, or maybe Dean Clean) sings lead on instead of Rodney; “Mary Anne Cotton” is kind of psychedelic folk-pop, “Somewhere Over Antarctica” is a bit darker, like The Church or something, and “Sanitary Times” is a darkly humorous string-synth-laden tune about selling tombs. “Streetlamps/Walking to Work” starts out as a peppy surf instrumental, then turns into a song about ignoring tragedy and not saving people’s lives because of being late to work. “All You Need Is Nothing” puts being poor into perspective; if you have nothing, what is really essential, what can you live without? Love is expensive, it isn’t even part of the question. “Hipster Beard”, somewhat disappointingly, is not actually a song about hipster beards, a subject the Milkmen surely have something amusing to say about. But this is a band that named an original song “I Am The Walrus”, so they’re not immune to playing with your expectations with their song titles. I can’t say there’s anything as astonishingly brilliant/hilarious as “Stuart” on here, nor is there another insanely catchy/funny ditty like “Punk Rock Girl”, but really, it doesn’t matter because the fact that the Dead Milkmen are still around, and they still write Dead Milkmen songs and sound like the Dead Milkmen, and they still play live and tour, means that something is right in this world. I’ve said this before, but my appreciation and respect for this band has only increased as I’ve aged.

Girl Tears: Tension (Sinderlyn, 2014)

October 4, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Girl Tears: Tension

Girl Tears: Tension

I wanted to hate this because of the band name, but it’s actually kind of refreshing, if only because every song here is a minute or less. The entire album is 9 minutes long, and most of the songs stop abruptly like they’re being cut off mid-thought. Fast, noisy, almost goth-y garage punk (deep spooky voice w/ reverb). “Never Again” and “Tension” are the most hardcore-fast songs. “Lobotomy” has a drumstick-click intro and some tom fills towards the end, so that’s the closest you get to a drum solo (or any kind of solo) on this album. The whole album is over before you can even think, so you might as well just play the whole thing several times in a row.

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