Archive for May, 2022

Buñuel have shared the video for Killers Like Us album track "It’s All Mine." The video is a visceral display of mercilessness and aggression, with the band performing live in an empty room which can barely contain their energy.

Speaking of the song, vocalist Eugene S. Robinson says, "A kind word and a gun gets your video a lot further than just a kind word… Heavily influenced by film, and mindful of the ways in which film affects life, and life is affected by film, this video needed to recall the fact that musical art for us is probably a little bit more and not so much less of a life and death deal. The funny part was, when trying to get the insurance for the video shoot they were very worried about crowds. And when they HEARD the music they were very worried about ‘dangerous things’. So I had to assure them that there were no dangerous things on set. So, yeah, basically I lied. Which they should have understood is precisely what I’d do in that instance."

The noise in their music is reflected in the erratic figure (of actor Mattia Azzarelli) drawing scratchy charcoal pictures, footage of which is spliced between shots of the band. This haphazard assortment of imagery is expertly crafted by director/editor Duccio Brunetti and director of photography Niccolò Arcostanzo.

About the song the director comments, "When I first heard “It’s all mine” by Buñuel I felt that the song was about something that was “trapped in a cage”. I tried to translate this rage, those vibes that came from their music, into a cinematic experience: I elaborated their meticulous sound into a “bloody” vision that I hope the audience will never forget."

Watch the video here:

EUROPEAN AND UK TOUR DATES:

02/07 – Arcella Bella, Padova (IT)

03/07 – Fluc, Wien (AT)

04/07 – T3 – Kultúrny Prostriedok, Bratislava (SK) – NEW

05/07 – Cassiopeia, Berlin (DE)

07/07 – La Bulle Café, Lille (FR)

08/07 – Cafe Oto, London (UK)

09/07 – Supersonic Fest, Birmingham (UK)

10/07 – The Prince Albert, Brighton (UK)

11/07 – Crofters Rights, Bristol (UK)

12/07 – Glazart, Paris (FR)

13/07 – Le Bamp, Brussels (BE)

14/07 – La Grenze, Strasbourg (FR)

15/07 – Humbug, Basel (CH)

16/07 – Freakout Club, Bologna (IT) NEW

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Shit happens: some good, some bad. Feather Trade, who grabbed our attention when supporting Benefits in York back in February, were scheduled to support The Mission on May 26th. As fate would have it, the night’s scheduling with an early curfew meant they got dropped from the lineup, although their regular drummer is now occupying the stool for Hussey and co. How does stuff like that even happen? But when life gives you lemons, Feather Trade book a run of shows instead.

If you’re in the vicinity of any of these places, we’d very much recommend going.

FRIDAY MAY 27 – MANCHESTER – AATMA

w / Cold Water Swimmers

Inca Babies

Jim’s Rolling Beat

SATURDAY MAY 28 – MACCLESFIELD – MASH GURU

w/ Urban Theory

SUNDAY MAY 29 – HAILFAX – THE TURKS HEAD

w/ Triptych (from Glasgow)

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InsideOut Music – 6th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s been a lot of beefing and bitching about ‘authentic’ indie bands and labels in circulation of late, particularly about bands who have been blasted into the collective conscious seemingly overnight and questions being asked of their ‘indie’ credibility.’ The sceptics question, ‘how can a band go from nowhere, not even a handful of local gigs, to emerging, fully-formed on a national level? Surely there must be finance and machinations behind the scenes?’ Every story is different, of course: Benefits have truly emerged – against the odds – by sheer hard work and grass-roots support via word-of-mouth promotion. The Lovely Eggs have done it 100% DIY, but it’s taken forever for them to achieve the cult status they now have that means they can sell out 50-capacity venues. Wet Leg got snapped up by a large-scale independent label early on, because it happens, just as historically bands would send a demo to a major label and get signed for big money by some A&R dude seeking to be the one who discovered the next big thing (but for every five hundred bands signed, only a handful would even release a single before being dropped). And so it was that Royal Blood weren’t quite the from-the—bottom grafters they may seem, and even Arctic Monkeys weren’t purely word of mouth viral in their ascendency, despite their legend. But is it fair to begrudge bands reaching the audience they deserve? So many great bands have failed to make an impression simply because they’ve not had the backing or exposure required to puh them up to the next echelon.

And what of labels being acquired by majors? Is that selling out? Not necessarily: it depends on the deal, and more than an independent brewery being bought up necessarily means its beer will be brewed under license elsewhere and become more supermarket piss. So InsideOut may be owned by Sony, but they’re seemingly left to do what they do as a channel for all things prog, while benefiting from major-label funding and distribution, which is a win for all concerned.

It’s highly unlikely that Sony would have picked up and given a home to the debut album from Chinese purveyors of progressive metal, OU. Not because it isn’t any good – it is – it’s just a long way from being overtly commercial, and all the better for it, of course.

One of the reasons it’s so far from having mass appeal is because it’s simply too ‘different’. ‘Travel’, the first song of the eight, has many elements of electropop and the darker side of 80s chart rock, but the vocals are bombastic, soaring, everything all at once, incorporating the quirkiness of Bjork with choral stylings and flying at times completely over the top, and the song’s unpredictable structure sees the segments shop and change in a blink. You need hooks to get on the radio, not oddball noodling shit like ‘Farewell’, where Lunn Wu sounds like she’s possessed by the spirit of Billy MacKenzie fronting Evanescence covering Captain Beefheart in a technical metal style. Or a drum ‘n’ bass take on Yes’ back catalogue. Or something. Point is, there’s a hell of a lot happening either all at once or in rapid succession, and it’s a lot to take in, and sometimes it’s too much.

It’s very much the kind of prog that blends math rock and jazz to froth up something that’s busy, to the point of being dizzying. There are some decent tunes and pleasant melodies in the mix here – but they’re in the mix with whirling chaos and some kind of cerebral explosion.

When they do slow things down and bring down the manifold layers of hyperactivity, as they do in the altogether gentler and magnificently mystical mid-album interlude, ‘Ghost’, they reveal a real knack for atmosphere and ethereality. Haunting and evocative, it’s a magnificent piece. In contrast, ‘Euphoria’ begins as a pleasant, rippling piano-led piece that quickly evolves into what sounds like about three songs all playing at once, which is difficult to assimilate.

The musicianship is outstanding, but it sometimes feels as if they’re trying too hard to showcase their technical prowess, and just because you have ideas doesn’t mean you should play them all at once. It’s good, but it’s busy, and the twangy slap bass on ‘Prejudice’ is a little flimsy in the face of the full-on crunch of ‘Light’.

One is indisputably well-realised, both in terms of composition and production. But despite it seemingly being too much in parts, some of it leaves you yearning for more.

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Crease is the debut full-length album of deconstructed electroacoustic postpunk songcraft by Montréal guitarist and producer Kee Avil, whose touchstones range from Scott Walker and Coil to Fiona Apple; (early) PJ Harvey and (later) Juana Molina to Eartheater, Pan Daijing and Smerz—or like Grouper produced by Matmos.

Chiselled twitchy minimalist guitar, sinuous electronics, industrial and prepared-instrument micro-samples, furtive rhythmic propulsion, all galvanised by the anxious intimacy of finely wrought lyricism/vocals: Crease is one of those debut records that excites a wide range of peerless references precisely because it’s so compelling and convincing in its own idiosyncratic originality, vision, detail and execution.

Ahead of some extensive touring, Kee Avil has unveiled a video for album track ‘Drying’. Watch it here:

20.05 Vigo ES Radar Estudios

21.05 Lugo ES Liberdades Sonoras

24.05 Leeds UK The Brudenell*  

25.05 Glasgow UK The Hugs and Pint*

26.05 Nantes FR Whine Nat White Heat

27.05 Dublin IE Pepper Canister Church*

29.05 Manchester UK The White Hotel*

30.05 London UK Oslo*

31.05 London UK Oslo*

01.06 Vienna AT Replugged

02.06 Prague CZ Underdogs

03.06 Brussels BE  Les Ateliers Claus**

04.06 Antwerp BE wunderkammer x de studio 
*with Suuns
**with Horse Lords

~

Canada / Spring
10.06 Toronto ON TONE

11.06 Ottawa ON Pique Summer Edition

17.06 Montreal QC Suoni Per Il Popolo – official Crease release show

25.06 Vancouver BC Vancouver International Jazz Festival

~

Europe Summer / Fall
10.08 Berlin GE A l’Arme

13.11 Utrecht NL Le Guess Who?

And more to be announced.

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Defined as "The queen of the electric harp", Kety Fusco continues to surprise and subvert expectations with her new single ‘Shivers’, produced by Francesco Motta and Aris Bassetti, to be released on all digital platforms on May 13th on the international label Floating Notes Records. It is the first excerpt from a new solo album coming out in 2023.

With the addition of Carmine Luvone on cello, the Italian-Swiss harpist launches a new provocation: ‘Shivers’ represents a new form of music, a new genre. Fusco’s harp sings as if it were a voice, the sound box creates the rhythm, the resonant strings decorate the harmony, and the scratchy noises envelop the atmosphere of the composition. According to Fusco: "The search for the instrumental genre of the harp is also about discovering what kind of music and genre you can create with it. Since there is no real musical reference to the world of contemporary pop music on the harp, I have to make attempts to express myself and continue to embrace my idea of the contemporary harp, feeling its vibrations and letting myself be overwhelmed by the shivers that these resonances cause me, and continue to compose and let the world discover a new idea of the harp".

Kety Fusco’s music is a mix of insistence and passion, pop and electronic music, wild dancing, and organic research of experimental music. ‘Shivers’ follows the horror sound-track Music To Make A Dream Come True, released last March as the result of extensive sound research undertaken by Kety on her harp. Music To Make A Dream Come True, accompanied by an esoteric videoclip shot by Studio Asparagus, was the result of sampling sounds from Kety’s harp, which she then published in her personal sound library: Beyond the Harp, Extreme, Extended, Experimental, available to artists, producers and art lovers on the website www.ketyfusco.com. Fusco wants to transform the vision of the harp, moving away from the usual arpeggios and sound carpets, and instead delving into a world of timbres that are never usually associated with the instrument. Kety’s sound research on the harp will continue in autumn with the release of the experimental record The Harp by Kety Fusco Pt. I, made in collaboration with IOSONOUNCANE, the mastering and sound engineer Alessio Sabella, and Aris Bassetti. The record will premiere this summer at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.

Watch  here:

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Cruel Nature Records – 27th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Aidan Baker – classically-trained multi-instrumentalist from Toronto (now resident in Berlin), who specialises in electric guitar works – using treated and otherwise non-conventional playing methods – is an artist who I seemingly can’t escape from. His ever-shifting styles and labels may be as difficult to keep pace with as his ever-expanding catalogue, but it seems that whoever’s releasing his work, I’m on their mailing list. This is very much a good thing, as Baker is one of those artists who, despite – or perhaps because – of being impossible to pigeonhole, never disappoints.

Baker’s second release on Cruel Nature, following 2021’s Stimmt, marks something of a shift, from what the accompanying notes ‘was big on atmospherics and abstraction’ to a sound that ‘shoots a bullet straight into the heart of the riff and explodes it, in all its scorching white-out fuzzed-up glory’.

On listening to the album’s grunt and growl guitar assault, the specific meaning of the album’s title remains unclear: ‘tenebrous’ is either obscure, or murky, or otherwise causing gloom, while ‘tenebrism’ refers to ‘a style of painting especially associated with the Italian painter Caravaggio and his followers in which most of the figures are engulfed in shadow but some are dramatically illuminated by a beam of light usually from an identifiable source’. ‘Tenebrist’ seems to lack a specific definition. So is Baker casting himself in the role of an artist whose musical compositions follow in the shadow-casting tradition of Caravaggio, or is this a nod to obscurity, darkness, gloom?

It’s perhaps an amalgamation of all of the aforementioned meanings. The title track, which comes in two parts, lifts the curtain, with a heavy overloading trudge of massive distortion, the guitar too loud of the mics recording, while the drums plod, half-buried but strangely crisp and clear, down in the mix. Unexpectedly, I’m reminded of the production and mix of Moby’s Animal Rights, although the guitar here is much less trebly, angled instead toward the mid and lower ranges, with ‘Tenebrist II’ really plunging deep into psychedelic sludge. The speakers positive crackle with the thick distortion, wrapped in swathes of feedback.

‘Turgid’ is a crackling, buzzing, math-rock explosion: it’s busy and blistering, and somewhere towards the end, the sound thickens, become denser, darker, more abrasive, culminating in a spark-flying meltdown.

The blurb describes Tenebrist as ‘low-down and heavy, and serving up ‘swathes of grunge, pummelling the senses and scattering rhythms through its maximalist energy’, but this is an understatement that only goes so far in conveying the massive sonic impact. ‘Violet Contrast’ is missing an ‘n’: driven by thumping, thunderous drums in a mist of low, slow, smoggy synth drones, it builds gradually to a monumental, percussion-driven climax over the course of a sustained crescendo of drums on drums.

‘Dramatic Illumination’ – in two parts – seems to cast a nod to Caravaggio, and this thirteen-minute suite cuts a dark sonic furrow, as clattering percussion and drones of low, low frequency feedback moan in an avant-jazz mess of calamitous noise, whereby the entire song sounds like the slow wind-down at the end of a set. You wonder when and where it will end… but it doesn’t. Finally, on ‘Dramatic Illumination II,’ the guitar glides in, but it still feels like the end.

The eight-and-a-half-minute closer ‘Chiasroscurious’ is a culmination of the album’s journey; a shuddering, juddering, wall of noise that makes you momentarily think your stereo’s fucked and your speakers are knackered with it’s massively overloading distortion that’s absolutely ruinous, swelling to a sonic tsunami that redefines devastation.

Tenebrist hurts. It’s immense and devastating on every level. The volume hurts. It’s a beast, and exactly the exercise in punishment we all need.

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Constellation – 20th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

The first collaborative full-length album by Automatisme (the Canadian musician and conceptual artist William Jourdain) and Swiss field recordist, ambient musician, visual artist and writer/academic Stefan Paulus, Gap/Void is nothing if not a deep, immersive sonic experience.

While the origins of many albums are largely unremarkable and barely worthy of reading, let alone comment, Gap/Void is a strong exception, and for that reason, it feels appropriate to quote at length:

Paulus approached Jourdain with a proposal based on his field recordings made during numerous mountain expeditions in the Swiss Alps, the Caucasus, and north of the Arctic Circle—documenting stormy weather, high alpine winds, avalanches, and sounds emanating from glaciers and from the insides of crevices and caves. Paulus created ambient noisescapes from these recordings by splicing and folding them into hundreds of layers of sound: an analog to the geological strata of their geographic sources. The resulting audio mixes, compounding a multiplicity of spatio-temporal excursions, were then further encased in drones using the natural tone series (the traditional zäuerli or wordless yodels of northeastern Switzerland), the monotonic standing drone of Lamonte Young’s Dream Syndicate, and the mass chords of early 1970s Kosmische Musik as points of reference. Paulus sent these extended ambient/noise pieces to Jourdain as source material for the latter’s bespoke Automatisme techniques, where variable tempo and glitch systems forge more overt minimal techno/IDM works.

‘Hey, how about an Arctic trek?’ doesn’t really sound like a pitch for a musical collaboration, and pitched to a TV producer, it would probably have been a series with its own self-made soundtrack – although for TV they’d have probably wanted some celebrities slogging across the barren wastes lugging audio gear or something stupid.

The first of the album’s ten tracks is the twelve-minute ‘Säntis’, where an insistent and overtly synthesised loop thrums against a slow ambient swirl before an insistent uptempo kick drum beat thumps in and for a spell things go techno… before becoming derailed. The tempos are all over, the ebbs and flows run in different times and tempos and before long it becomes quite overwhelming, disorientating as the layers build… and then everything falls away and you’re left with the rumbling sound of the wind scouring the bleak, barren ground. It sounds harsh and inhospitable, it sounds dark and unsettling, and yet it feels less tense and is somehow less agitating than the preceding pulse-quickening sensory overload.

Things do settle a little as the album progresses, and by the arrival of the third track, ‘Uble Schlucht’, we’re into something of a more straightforward Krautrock style, dominated by bubbling synths and motorik grooves. But, at the same time, it’s a soundscape of shifting terrain, of snowdrifts and undulations, crags and cervices.

There’s a restlessness about Gap/Void that means it’s impossible to settle, that keeps you on edge in a way. The compositions – particularly the way the percussion is eternally evolving, in a continual flux, more a series of palpitations and panic attacks than a pulsating heartbeat – are tense, ever-moving, with a flicker-filled urgency that offers little respite.

‘Blau Schnee’ goes all out on the deep bass and low-end murkiness, the beats and bass melting into one another, while ‘Stoos’ goes ultra-sparse and is so minimal it borders on the microtonal, before an off-tempo beat bounds in and trips the wire.

The pieces on the second half of the album are rather shorter, with none over the six-minute mark, but the sound and sensation remain similar, with crackling electronics dominating and beats that poke at the innards – sometimes subtly, others less so. But it never really lets up, and while very little of Gap/Void gives even the vaguest hint of its source and origins, it does convey a certain sense off desolation, of isolation. Soon, we will all live in desert, and it will sound like this.

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Christopher Nosnibor

Human Impact may have cancelled the UK leg of their tour citing, among other things, Brexit – which is disappointing, but unsurprising – but the arrival of new music offers some solace, I suppose.

Put simply, the UK’s separation form the EU has completely fucked the arts, especially touring musicians not only within the UK, but those wanting to play here, and not only those coming from the EU. The idea that we’re some kind of powerful supernation with immense international clout for trade and everything else is beyond deluded: we’re a small island with little to boast economically right now. So here I am, sitting by candlelight in an attempt to reduce my energy consumption, while sipping a pint of homebrew because the price of beer is soaring almost as fast as diesel and train fares – which is one reason I’ve not been to a gig all month, and it’s starting to feel like lockdown as actually better than this, meaning the timing of arrival of ‘Imperative’ couldn’t be better.

The band announced a new lineup with the release of their first new material since last year’s EP01 as follows: ‘Human Impact is super excited to announce that our line up for the upcoming European tour will include Jon Syverson (Daughters) on drums and Cooper (Made Out of Babies) on bass. We will miss Phil Puleo and Chris Pravdica, but our evolution as a band continues and Jon and Coop will join us in making these live shows truly unforgettable. Human Impact’s self-titled debut album arrived on the eve of the pandemic back in March 2020, which received much critical acclaim and landed them the front cover of New Noise Magazine France. Human Impact followed up with an eight-song EP, dubbed EP01 a year later in March 2021 which featured a mix of singles and unreleased B-sides that were recorded simultaneously to the debut album. ‘Imperative’ is the first new music from the band since then’.

It’s one hell of a way to herald the new phase of the band. ‘Imperative’ is an absolute beast of a tune, an angry grey mass of anguish and angst that slams and grinds and kicks and churns with the nihilistic fury of the best of Unsane and Daughters. It’s brutal, not in its abrasion, but in its straight-up solid bludgeoning. The guitars are steely, but corroded, the sound of twisted metal against a frenzied bass and rolling drums. Feel the pain.

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2022 TOUR DATES

15/06/22 : Sonic Morgue @ Kuppelhalle/Silent Green – Berlin (DE)

17/06/22 : Trix – Antwerpen (BE) 1

8/06/22 : Paradiso – Amsterdam Noord (NL)

19/06/22 : Mezz – Breda (NL)

20/06/22 : Botanique – Brussels (BE)

21/06/22 : Paard – Den Haag (NL)

22/06/22 : Grand Mix – Tourcoing (FR)

24/06/22 : Hellfest – Clisson (FR)

25/06/22 : Nadir – Bourges (FR)

26/06/22 : La Ferronerie – Pau (FR)

27/06/22 : Sye electric – Gigors et Lozeron (FR)

28/06/22 : Tannerie – Bourg en Bresse (FR)

29/06/22 : Sedel – Lucerne (CH)

30/06/22 : SoloMacello @ Bloom – Mezzago (IT)

01/07/22 : RCCB – Rome (IT) 0

2/07/22 : Freakout – Bologna (IT)

Industrial band Panic Lift continues the unraveling of its themed EP release cycle with the band’s first release of 2022 titled Stitched.

This four song EP features two new songs titled ‘Every Broken Piece’ and ‘Bitter Cold’ with remixes from Mechanical Vein and Tragic Impulse.

Lyrically, “Every Broken Piece” and “Bitter Cold” continue with the familiar themes of stress, coping, and concerns of self-image. Hardcore Panic Lift fans may remember “Every Broken Piece” from Panic Lift’s lockdown shows in 2020 that were broadcast online during the height of the COVID19 Pandemic.

For Stitched, Panic Lift explores a harsh ebm sound more stylistically similar to their landmark debut record , Witness To Our Collapse. James Francis explains “I’ve always tried to find a happy medium between what I’m doing now, and where I started” he continues “but now that I’m doing smaller releases, I have the ability to experiment with different styles without having to worry much about how they fit with the rest of my catalog.”

Watch ‘Every Broken Piece’  here:

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