Sunday, June 28, 2015

Guidelines - Guidelines (2012)

Genre: Screamo
Country: United States

Guidelines' self-titled EP is one of my favorite screamo releases ever. In four relatively succinct tracks, the band encapsulates everything I love about the genre; impassioned vocals (thanks to two singers!), beautiful clean interludes, and a sense of catharsis during their more visceral moments. "Visceral" is hardly a word I would choose to describe most screamo, but the croaked vocals along with the coarse, fuzzed out production definitely helps the word find a home here. Definitely recommended for its brevity and quality.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Brigitte Fontaine - S/T (1972)

Genre: Avant-Folk, Spoken Word, Chamber Music, French Pop
Country: France

This one is pretty fun. Quirky, yet maintaining a nice level of sophistication. Brigitte's vocals and spoken word sections go from soft-spoken and melodious to yelling comparable to that of Keiji Haino. One to check out if you're wanting something odd, fresh, and exciting. 

Charts and Maps - Dead Horse (2011)

Genre: Jazz Fusion/Post-Rock
Country: United States

This record is so, so, soooo much fun! Combining eclectic jazz freak-outs and rigorous post-rock movements can't be an easy thing, but Charts and Maps do it in such a seemingly carefree manner, creating a thoroughly enjoyable and chillaxing listen in the process. The interplay between the guitars and horns is so awesome, both shining but not at the detriment of the other. Sometimes (like right now, where I am in a public place) it's hard for me not to close my eyes, lay back and imagine I'm not in some cool, smokey jazz club enjoying a cigar in my pin-striped suit and fedora. This is some classy shit right here.

no horses were injured during the recording of this album

Dendö Marionette - "Dendö Marionette" (1981)

Genre: Minimal Synth Punk
Country: Japan

The only release from this mysterious Japanese synth punk group Dendö Marionette. Covering the four tracks on the EP are dark and moody melodies played over infrequent synth pulses covered in heavily distorted vocals.

Its really disappointing that they never made any more material because this EP is quite good.

Dendö Marionette

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Amethystium- Transcience (2014)

Genre: New Age/Ambient/Darkwave
Country: Norway

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to frolic through celestial meadows with telekinetic cows and friendly elves in a serene, lush world without death, decay and madness? If so I have the right album for you. Featuring lush strings, laid-back percussion, hushed vocals and a otherworldly atmosphere that is just overflowing with melancholy, Transcience is everything that your heart chakra needs and more.

Hellkvlt Mexica - Males Antiguos (2012)

Genre: Black/Death Metal
Country: United States/Mexico

Males Antiguos is one of the strangest, most unsettling pieces of black/death metal I've ever heard AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Eschewing the genre's instrumental style in favor of cascading discordance, Hellkvlt Mexica while not groundbreaking, tries something different here and it works. Out of the four tracks here only two are actual songs, but both comprise of the weird chord structures, pained howls and explosive percussion. Overall, this is a very haunting release and will stick with you long after you put it down.

OoOoOh, scary!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Balloon Journey - Balloon Journey (2013 & 2014)


Genre: Electro acoustic / noise / sound collage
Country: United States

Recordings of balloons being rubbed together and blown up. It is really unique. The 2013 tape is better than the one released last year but both are worth listening to if you are into that sort of thing.

Balloon Journey (2013)
Balloon Journey (2014)

Galloping Shadow - Winters Web (2012)

Genre: Black Metal/Punk
Country: United States of America

Well executed punk-infused black metal made by one half of  Bone Awl. Not dissimilar to Bone Awl either. Extremely raw and fast. Highly recommend.

For fans of Raspberry Bulbs, Ildjarn and of course Bone Awl.

Winters Web

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Leo Ornstein - Complete Works for Cello and Piano (Joshua Gordon, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano. 2007)

Genre: Modern Classical, Chamber Music
Country: Ukraine

A little Modern Classical for you all. Here is one of the more forgotten greats of the genre, Leo Ornstein. A beautiful compilation of some of the most emotional and dreary chamber classical you've never heard. I recommend this one to fans of Arnold Schoenberg, Giacinto Scelsi and Alfred Schnittke.

Stream here:

Bhang Khang - Demo (2011)

Genre: Black Metal/Hardcore/Sludge
Country: United States

As recent years have seen a boom in punk and hardcore influenced black metal it was really only a matter of time before grim face-painted warriors of darkness began to dabble in one of hardcore's most aggressive forms, powerviolence. This is where the United States based Bhang Khang come in - formed in 2011, the group to date has only a single demo to their name but their extremely tight performance coupled with obvious compositional talent easily makes it one of the best black metal/hardcore demos I've heard in recent years.

While powerviolence and black metal play a much more prevalent role in Bhang Khang's sound the band does occasionally slow it down for a heavy, trudging sludge breakdown, adding even more depth to Bhang Khang's sonic stew. The juxtaposition of the band's central genres is displayed rather cleverly in a diverse array of ways here, sometimes showing the two existing within a single riff and other times with a more clear-cut separation. Overall they are balanced quite nicely, and with sludge's slow paced, bass laced crawl breaking up the blinding speed of PV and BM, the album avoids a certain monotony while also lending towards its overall longevity. In only a ten minute span a listen to Bhang Khang's 2011 Demo is definitely a bang worth its buck and should definitely be explored by anyone who listens to hardcore, black metal and/or fancies a combination of the two.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Varg - Ursviken (2015)

Genre: Dark Ambient
Country: Sweden

I've really been into this guy's music since I first heard him on last year's Field Records - Collection (which is a damn fine collection of assorted ambient goodies). Like Varg's other work it feels like walking through a blizzard. A lot of the more synth-ier parts remind me of Paysage d'Hiver, who share similar iced out aesthetics.


Modular Phaze - Self Is Self Again (2015)

Genre: Techno
Country: United States of America

Another techno release from 2015. This time from Modular Phaze, who is relatively new to the scene. Bass heavy and high in atmosphere. Nothing out of the ordinary but still a nice listen.

For fans of Russ Gabriel

Self Is Self Again
Blaze Inside - Pure Potenciality (2008)

Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Country: Colombia

Blaze Inside are the musical embodiment of the Colombian brutal death metal scene. Focusing on speed and brutality above all else, Blaze Inside deliver a potent combination of relentless blasts (on the pingiest of snares), murky low-end filth and inhuman gurgles and grunts. Accompanied by only the most atrocious production, this album stands as one of the few remaining relics of the slowly dying Colombian brutal death scene. Easy-listening this is not, but for those able to brave the storm, Blaze Inside provide a rewarding example of what the Colombian death metal scene can offer.

Stream: Pure Potenciality

Alle Totmachen! - Demo II (2010)

Genre: Black Metal/Noise
Country: Germany

Hailing from Germany, Alle Totmachen! play a pretty basic, yet enjoyable form of black noise. My favorite part of this release is definitely the deranged, almost feral vocal performance, which rises above the near-indecipherable onslaught of stomping punk-influenced black metal and cacophony of ear-shattering static. This is some seriously abrasive shit, but recommended if you, like myself, are a little off-center.
blakk noiz

Friday, June 19, 2015

K (Ivan Kamaldinov) - Lumi (2015)

Genre: Minimal Ambient/ Drone/ Field Recordings
Country: Russia

Dreamy, Ethereal, Blissful, this album has everything you could want from minimal ambient. Ever so slow progressions and layer upon layer of lo-fi ambience build up a rich atmosphere, and a cloud of easygoing ambient synths. Small amounts of distortion and static are implemented behind these layers of silky ambience, creating a more personal relationship with the listener, but still keeping that dream-like atmosphere that makes this album so beautiful. Overall solid album, I highly recommend this album to fans of William Baskinski and Datavis. 

Activity Of The Month: June 2015

Hello, my sweets. We have a new feature for you today. It's called Activity Of The Month. Once a month I shall post about one particular activity that digs deeps into my rainbow road-esque reservoir of morbidly grim entrails and inspires me to live peacefully, positively and happily. I hope my messages of light can inspire you as much as they inspire me. This month I've taken to poetry.

Expand your minds, open your hearts and loosen your buttholes for the beauty of poetry. Let the works of Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost to name a few penetrate your soul hole with their phallic literary might. Feast your hearts on this beautiful ditty written by Emily Dickinson.

"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help the fainting robin
Unto his nest again;
I shall not live in vain.

Read this, speak this, hear this, feel this and live this every single day. The pain of life's tribulations are all too real. We all have our individual struggles that we battle with daily, struggles that can be soothed by the divine universal intervention of human compassion. So read some poems, prance around in some catmint and listen to some ethereal, blackened, celestial dream pop and live. LIVE!!!!!! WHAT SAY YOU?

Wrong Assessment & Max_M - Toe Tag (2015)

Genre: Techno 
Country: Italy 

Here's one from Wrong Assessment and Max_M. Their music comes from a abstract and techno-oriented angle. In typical Max_M-related fashion the music is dark, brooding and pulse-pounding. 

One track from each artist and the two collaborate on track as well. For fans of Regis and Vril. 

Toe Tag

Drowning The Light - From The Abyss (2015)

Genre: Black Metal
Country: Australia

Drowning The Light is one of Australia's most prolific black metal artists thanks to two things: the sheer volume of his discography (14 full-lengths, 17 demos, 9 EPs, 13 splits and 6 compilations), but in more recent years, the noticeably rising quality of it. While his work from 2003-2009 was inconsistent at best, everything from that point has really been quite good, and this year's From The Abyss may just be his most accomplished release to date. By expanding beyond his atmospheric/depressive black metal roots, this album allows Drowning The Light to explore heights that seemed previously impossible to reach. On tracks like "Cursed Voyage" harmonized guitars collide with Medieval harmonies creating something breathtaking in the process, while songs such as "Rise! Under Satans Mighty Horns" offers something a bit more visceral. Every track has its own quirk, yet is united through a permeating medieval atmosphere, making this album feel complete without also feeling monotonous. I highly recommend this release.

Also, look at that album art!