Archive for September, 2018

Tim Hecker shares the haunting new song ‘Keyed Out’ from his incoming, ninth full-length Konoyo, which is incoming via kranky on 28th September. Listen to it here:

Regarding ‘Keyed Out’, Hecker says: "The track "Keyed out" was written over several sessions and finished in a small temple on the outskirts of Tokyo, during one of our initial trips to record with Motonori. I wanted to resist the temptation to overload the music with layers and layers of hyper-edited texture, as if that would help the piece become more whole. The song is a lonely deteriorating synth line, refracted and isolated, played alongside a small court music ensemble on what was a crisp birdsong-filled November morning."

Tim Hecker announces more live dates including rare ensemble appearances in the US. Forthcoming performances for Konoyo will feature traditional Japanese Gagaku musicians on the shō, ryuteki and hichiriki in synergy with his own explorations of noise, dissonance, and melody, creating a hybrid of electronic abstraction and otherworldly minimalism, alternately heavy and gentle. Full dates below.

Tim Hecker + The Konoyo Ensemble

2018

October 2 – Tokyo, WWWX (Japan)

October 6 – London, Barbican Centre (UK)
October 4 – Lisbon, Culturgest (Portugal)

October 7 – Krakow, Unsound Festival (Poland)

October 9 – Berlin, Funkhaus (Germany)

JUST ANNOUNCED FOR 2019

February 18 – New York, National Sawdust

February 19 – New York, National Sawdust

February 22 – Los Angeles, Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

February 23 – Los Angeles, Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery [http://tinyurl.com/ycas9n4l]

Konoyo ("the world over here") was largely recorded during several trips to Japan where he collaborated with members of the gagaku ensemble Tokyo Gakuso, in a temple on the outskirts of Tokyo. Inspired by conversations with a recently deceased friend about negative space and a sense of music’s increasingly banal density, Hecker found himself drawn towards restraint and elegance, while making music both collectively and alone.

As with the Icelandic choir he arranged on 2016’s Love Streams, the heights of Hecker’s talent emerge in his manipulation of source material, bending and burnishing it into fantastical new forms. Keening strings are stretched into surreal, pixelated mirages; woodwinds warble and dissipate as fractal whispers of spatial haze; sparse gestures of percussion are chopped, isolated, and eroded, like disembodied signals from the afterlife. Both in texture and intent, Konoyo conjures a somber, ceremonial mood, suffused with ritual and regret. Visions flutter and fade; dreams gleam and decay.

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Nottingham metallers Deathflux recently released the new video for their latest single ‘Consume’, whipped up by Very Metal Art’s Andy Pilkington. You can check it here:

Formed in early 2016, Deathflux is the brain child of Nottingham guitarist Tom Clarke. Having spent several years playing up and down the UK and abroad in previous outfits, Clarke formed Deathflux in an attempt to expand his sonic palette. Recruiting members of his earlier outfit, death metal mob Cacodaemonic and progressive metallers Akarusa Yami, Clarke got to work laying the ground work for the band’s debut album, Execrated.

A bold departure for all involved, Deathflux shows off a visceral double vocal approach, with vocalists Adam Jones and Patrick MacDonald violently barking over chunky riffs, intricate drum work and elastic solos. Tracks like ‘Transcend’ see the two engaging in a brutal sparring contest. Meanwhile, Clarke and second guitarist Tom Else play off each other effortlessly, with fluid trade offs between high speed guitar histrionics, creating a flattening wall of aural violence.

With a number of dates already under their belts, including a blistering debut show at Nottingham’s Rock City, and more on the boil, the band are keen take their blistering assault to crowds around the world. With a belting debut and the live skills to back it up, Deathflux are a band to get invested in.

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One Man Death Metal Operation Unveil Video For Suffer In Peace

One-man extreme metal outfit Immolate Moth have release a new video for the song ‘Suffer In Peace’ from new album Pain, which was released independently in August.

You can watch the video here:

“Carefully constructed brutal fucking chaos” is an accurate description of the sound of Immolated moth. The work of Thom Bleasdale, who had his career as an audio engineer cut short by serious illness, misdiagnosis and mistreatment that should have killed him, Immolated moth is hybrid death metal with an old school feel that is a real expression of true anger, pain, fear and trauma. It does not get any more real than this.

Following on from the well-received EP, “This Broken Mind”, Thom has been working on “Pain” for just over two years. And in response to the criticisms received, Thom re-recorded the full album several times until it was as good as he could make it with his available resources and limited physical capabilities. And although his health is now deteriorating rapidly, he does hope to get one more album recorded before he is too ill to play metal any more. He is working on it now.

Thom has been in various bands since the age of fourteen, ranging from synth-based rock to hardcore, blues, and even hip-hop. While training to be an audio engineer at Abbey Road studios, Thom became ill and was misdiagnosed and mistreated for nearly 3 years, during which time he technically should have died several times. Having miraculously survived, Thom has been left with the crippling illness, fibromyalgia (and various other conditions that come with it), which now keeps him almost entirely shut in.

Due to the illness he can’t play live or play with other musicians as he does not know from one day to the next how well he will be able to function. Many days he is unable to even play his guitar, so to have recorded this project is a huge achievement. All the instruments are real, and nothing was programmed.

Many death metal musicians write about pain, anger, fear, isolation and anxiety, but having nearly died 9 times, having been bed-ridden for 6 years, and now living in constant pain and almost total isolation, Thom is actually living what he writes, every single day.

It is a constant battle which he knows one day he will lose, but he keeps fighting anyway.

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MONO are building towards the January release of their new album as well as next year’s 20th anniversary tour with a run of Europe dates in October, with support from Jo Quail.  The band has recently finished working on the new record with Steve Albini and new drummer Dahm. The first single, ‘After You Comes The Flood’, will be released this September.

MONO also has plans to release a short film in collaboration with director Julien Levy coinciding with the release of the first single. In the meantime they have shared a trailer for the tour here:

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Tour dates as follows:

Oct 1, 2018 / The Fleece / Bristol, UK

Oct 2, 2018 / Arts Centre / Norwich, UK

Oct 3, 2018 / Classic Grand / Glasgow, UK

Oct 4, 2018 / The Cluny / Newcastle, UK

Oct 5, 2018 / Left Bank / Leeds, UK

Oct 6, 2018 / De Central / Ghent, BE

Oct 7, 2018 / Tivoli De Helling / Utrecht, NL

Oct 8, 2018 / Tower / Bremen, DE

Oct 9, 2018 / Beatpol / Dresden, DE

Oct 10, 2018 / Schlachthof / Wiesbaden, DE

Oct 11, 2018 / Kiff / Aarau, CH

Oct 12, 2018 / Hard Rock Cafe / Lyon, FR

Oct 13, 2018 / AMFest / Barcelona, ES

Oct 14, 2018 / Le Rex / Toulouse, FR

Oct 15, 2018 / Krakatoa / Bordeaux, FR

Oct 16, 2018 / Astrolabe / Orleans, FR

Oct 17, 2018 / Nieuwe Nor / Heerlen, NL

Oct 18, 2018/ / Drucklufthaus / Oberhausen, DE

Oct 19, 2018 / Into The Void / Leeuwarden, NL

Oct 20, 2018 / Fuzz Club / Athens, GR*

Oct 22, 2018 / Zal / St. Petersburg, RU*

Oct 23, 2018 / Zil / Moscow, RU*

Support by A Storm Of Light & Jo Quail

(* without Jo Quail)

MONO Live in 2016 (Photo by Muto)

SVS Records

Christopher Nosnibor

This one positively explodes in the opening moments: a swirling black hole of noise that eviscerates the senses and assaults the eardrums with such ferocious force and excruciating volume that it feels like the end. The actual, living end.

Yet again, I find myself scrabbling for the press release while questioning the benefit of being told about the origins, mechanics or methodology behind the work. And so I find myself research one-line, and discover the visuals which accompany the audio, and begin to develop a real appreciation of the multimedia vision of Lukas Rehm, operating as Lybes Dimem for the purpose of the Syncleft Chronem project, a work which celebrates error and explores the relationship between various input stimuli and cognitive frictions. It’s complex, but can be readily reduced to the experience itself.

The visuals intensify the experience, but the sonic experience alone is intense and brings a blistering sensory overload. Syncleft Chronem is loud, attacking. Uncomfortable. Placing the album isn’t easy but then, it’s not entirely necessary: as a barrage of electronic noise with beats, it’s a work which assaults the listener from the outset with its sonic intensity, a combination of dense walls of noise, abrasive textures and tones, and sheer volume. How do you feel? I’m feeling tense, but excited, exhilarated as this racket assails my ears. Rehm clearly isn’t making music to win friends or influence people. He’s generating sound to see what it sounds like and how it feels.

Sometimes, you simply don’t need words. On ‘Saas’, there are threats of dancefloor-friendly beats for an industrial night as booming 4/4 bass thumps start up – but they halt abruptly, and the whole thing fractures and fragments. Everything halts before it hits a stride, everything jolts and shudders. Everything is too loud to hear properly.

Syncleft Chronem is brutal, in the sense that it affords no respite, no pause for thought. And nor should there be an apology for this: as with the best art, its intensity sustains fever pitch, is uncomfortable, feeds tension to the point of perspiration and palpitation. It hurts.

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Forking Paths PF0013 – 13th July 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

With a title referencing William Gibson’s Neuromancer, L5 finds maker of experimental minimal electronica New Tendencies explore an array of textures and tones with a real focus on the space around the sound. Sonar bleeps warp into whistles of feedback, consumed by underwater monsters and sonic detonations that linger like a heavy cloud of smoke, dust and rubble.

The shifts aren’t always delicate, the tones rarely gentle: the listener is dragged and hurled from high to low, abrasive, serrated edges sharpening the intensity of upper frequencies juxtaposed with rumbling, muffled lower ranges which pull at the pit of the stomach. The album’s ten compositions – which, given the way New Tendencies pull, drag, stretch, twist, and manipulate, are perhaps as well described as decompositions – are affecting by virtue of the physicality of the sound, and this in turn provokes a cerebral response.

Ordinarily, I find abstraction gives rise to an analytical rather than emotive response, but L5 is a different beast. The beats and rhythms – however diversely they manifest (and they range from distorted, crunching poundings to EQ-tweaked whiplash cracks via blasts of static) – create a sense of structure, however vague, a frame on which to hang the infinite varieties of noise, and thus draw the pieces back from absolute abstraction. And with the combination of structure and sonic impact comes a different type of response. Instead of seeking to analyse the technique, L5 invites the listener to feel the effects. And the effect becomes emotional on a certain level: the rippling waves and vibrations test the tension levels, pushing the up and pulling them down. Tense, intense, and at the very least, interesting.

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New Tendencies – L5

Neurot – 28th September 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

As you’d perhaps expect from an industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Sanford Parker (Buried at Sea), Mirrors for Psychic Warfare’s second album is heavy on the atmospherics. It’s also simply heavy. The songs themselves are considerably more concise than on the eponymous debut – there are no sprawling ten-minuters here, but they pack an oppressive density. I’ve probably arrived at I See What I Became in the wrong frame of mind: it’s one of those days where the spirits are low and you now that listening to Joy Division or Faith by The Cure would be a bad idea.

I See What I Became isn’t a mopey album. It’s just bleak.

It’s a slow build to start: ‘Animal Coffins’ shifts incrementally from rumbling dark ambience through a slow pulsing beat to a swirling, rhythmic throb of noise with exotic, mystical voices. With processed beats that click and thud, ‘Tomb Puncher’ is a crawling dirge dragged from the techno end of industrial, and is highly reminiscent of PIG, while elsewhere there’s the heavy wheeze of JG Thirlwell at his more experimental. The mechanised rhythms are cold, clinical, but also distorted and decaying at the edges, adding a layer of dirt to a sound that’s encrusted in filth and dried viscera. A sense of the grand and the epic inform the delivery and the production.

There’s an eastern flavour to ‘Rats in the Alley’ with its snaking motifs and frenetic percussion, but it’s partly submerged in a swathe of extraneous noise. There’s a lot of extraneous noise on I See What I Became: the instrumentation melts together so as to render the individual sources indistinguishable. Everything congeals into a heavy-grained sonic wall. On ‘Crooked Teeth’, things crank up slowly, picking up pace, volume and claustrophobic intensity before collapsing into a synapse-flickering cacophony of discord.

What does this articulate, emotionally, psychologically? Far from the clarity of enlightenment the title may suggests, I See What I Became conveys a wallowing in darkness and a sense of resignation, hollowed out, nihilistic. It’s a heavy grind that wears you down, and by the end, I feel drained. I see nothing, and I feel numb.

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Sargent House – 14th September 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Emma Ruth Rundle clearly likes to keep busy. Her career with The Nocturnes crossed over with her joining The Red Sparowes, which in turn crossed with the start of her solo career, which saw the release of ambient effort Electric Guitar: One in 2011, while also embarking with another band in the form of the trio Marriages in 2012. Her sprawling and rapidly-expanding discography is a document of a restless soul, and a spirit who’s not only creative but incapable of taking respite.

On Dark Horses may only contain eight songs, and none of significant length (the album clocks in around the forty-two minute mark, harking back to the days of an album fitting snugly, ideally with just a little breathing room, on one side of a C90 cassette), but it’s got range and intensity.

There are dark, haunting undertones to the dramatic shades cast on opener ‘Fever Dreams’, which bursts loud from between delicate wisps of fractal guitar before taking a more languid and wistful turn around the mid-point. ‘This shit is real,’ she agitates at one point. This shit is also graceful and expansive and powerful. ‘Control’ – one of the album’s real standouts – begins gently, mellow, chiming guitar that’s a post-rock country crossover providing the backdrop to Emma’s lilting country-infused vocals… before the deluge of distortion crashes in like a landslide. And keep on crashing, thunderously, a massive mess of sludgy weight, burying the drums an all but the cymbals, mashing and crashing away in the background. ‘Darkhorse’, too, builds gradually, chimes gracefully, and roars like thunder beneath a delicate vocal.

While any Chelsea Wolfe comparisons have merit, particularly in relation to the front end of the album, Emma Ruth Rundle brings a whole slew of other aspects to the party on On Dark Horses there’s a heavy folk element, both to the music and in Emma’s voice. Then again, post-rock passages yield to blistering crescendos that also draw on the most explosively soaring shoegaze.

When she takes it downtempo, as on ‘Races’, there are deep, sad guitar notes which arc, aquiver with reverb. And across the album, the sense of depth conveyed by the rich textures and the three-dimensional fullness of the sound render the songs with a rare physicality and intensity.

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Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses

31st August 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

SAHARAS’ previous single, ‘Sweat’ won me over in an instant, being a sucker for that post-millennial retake on the post-punk sound.

The contention that they’re ‘one of the most unique emerging bands in the industry’ might be a bit of a stretch, but on the strength of this latest effort, they’re proving to be one of the most consistent and exciting, which is probably a bigger deal.

They forewarn that ‘Shake My Fever’ marks ‘a shift in focus from their previous synth-heavy arrangements of past releases [resulting…] in an increase of emphasis on their spacious and melodic guitar work.’ This is no bad thing, and said guitar work was always there and integral to the sound and structure.

The cover art looks like a nod to The Cure’s ‘A Forest’, but with its buoyant post-punk disco beats, ‘Shake My Fever’ is closer to ‘Let’s go to Bed’ or ‘Hot! Hot! Hot!’. It’s unashamedly poppy and less angular than its predecessor: it’s still all about the smoky, chorus-heavy guitars and wandering bass groove, but with the melodic backing vocal hook to the fore in the chorus, it’s what you might justifiably call a ‘chooooon!’

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Saharas - Shake