Posts Tagged ‘Album’

AMENRA share the official ‘Voor Immer’ music video from the forthcoming Relapse debut full-length De Doorn (June 25). Watch the full video on YouTube here:

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AMENRA vocalist Colin H. van Eeckhout comments:

“What you lose in the fire, you will find in the ashes”

"Voor Immer”  (“For Ever”) was one of the first songs we have written for De Doorn. We played it for the very first time in 2018 on the city square of Dixmude, West Flanders Belgium. Accompanied by the carillon, its bells a typical instrument from Belgium and the low countries, we connected the earth with the sky. It was initially written for a commemoration ceremony of the ending of the first world war.

Images of widows and mothers bereft of their sons. Destroyed cities and whom was left to die. Finding strength and courage to rebuild what once was there, without what was theirs.

The last time we played it live was in Menen, West Flanders Belgium end 2019. That night we gathered and burnt all our unacknowledged loss. Revealing by fire the 20feet high bronze AMENRA statue glowing red, a symbol of hope.

This is a song about finding that hope, the strength to carry on. Its content ever present in the world today.

Additionally, AMENRA announce a livestream event celebrating the release of De Doorn. The fire ritual will commence on June 27 at 9pm CET. More info at tickets are available HERE.

Amenra

Photo Credit: Jeroen Mylle

Christopher Nosnibor

2020 has been cack. That’s pretty much a fact. And here we are in December after nine months in varying degrees of lockdown around the globe, and many of us are really starting to feel it now. So what do we need to top off this annum of cack? More cack, of course, courtesy of the prime purveyors – and possibly the sole exponents – of cack-pop, Wevie Stonder.

Founded by Al Boorman in Brighton in 1993, along with Chris Umney, Richard Sothcott, Henry Sargeant, Wevie Stonder’s bio is a combination of tall tales and out-and-out oddness, which pretty much summarises everything they’ve done. Sargeant turned solo and split for Germany, where he’s now massive – or at least Vast – while Boorman operates a ‘music and sound design’ studio called Wevie as his mainline, with a catalogue of adverts and TV credits, spanning Comedy Central, Adidas, Netflix, and even Disney. Hunter S. Thompson said that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, and these guys demonstrate that it’s actually possible to go pro without ditching the weird. And make no mistake, they’re way weirder than most.

So this landed with me, and I don’t even know what the fuck it is. It’s a digital file. Is it an album? A podcast? Kinda. A FaceBook post on the Wevie Stonder page announced that ‘While some have been working on a vaccine, Al’s been working on an antidote to 2020 as a whole. To hear the results so far, tune in to the Skam Records live stream’. And so here we have an hour of wild experimentalism – with the emphasis firmly on the mental.

It starts off comparatively sedately with some wibbly synths and some narrative delivered in a prim English accent reminiscent of British 1950s children’s TV shows, but rapidly explodes into a brain-melting collage of all kinds of chaos. Despite the fact I’m personally more than well accustomed to all kinds of

A mere two minutes in, notes are sliding, gliding melting, a sonic equivalent of Dali’s brie-like clocks, before scratches and scrapes collide with mainstream trance and snippets of 80s disco chart hits are cut and spliced with vintage averts and clattering industrial beats. Carpet tile infomercials and grinding techno are glued at completely wrong angles. It’s disorientating, and the juxtaposition of the mundane and the strange creates an experience which is perfectly unheimlich, straddling as it does the familiar and the not-quite familiar just a step or two out of step with one another. It’s this proximity that creates such discomforting dissonance. You almost know where you are with it… but then there are elements which are just so wholly inexplicable.

You begin to feel woozy. You know, you get, that there is no lens into the mind of another person, especially not someone who thinks differently… but what the fuck is this? Suddenly Trout Mask Replica sounds coherent and linear. The thing about Hyperboredom (Vol 1) is just how quickly the scenes cut. It’s dizzying, and often, those cuts aren’t remotely subtle, but as clumsy as they come, calling to mind the primitive collaging of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu on 1987 and Shag Times.

Daytime YV snippets and wonky jazz collide in a messy mashup. ‘If you get bored of your own boredom, you experience what we call hyperboredom’ a soporific voice explains with almost a yawn. I’m thinking I’m more likely to throw up than suffer from any shade of boredom listening to this.

Whether knowingly or not, Hyperboredom belongs to the cut-up lineage that can be traced back to William Burroughs’ tape experiments of the late 50s and early 60s, and while the anarchic yet quintessentially English leanings may owe more to the Bonzo Dog band, the overall formulation is explicitly around methods of collaging, and the way different source materials play off one another. And in listening to this hour-long cut ‘n’ splice oddity, it’s impossible not to pick out or otherwise listen out for familiar voices and clips, and these in turn trigger recollections and avenues of reminiscence and contemplation, or otherwise the satisfaction of saying to yourself ‘ah, yes, I remember that’ – or frustratingly – aagh, that sounds so familiar, but what is it?’

And ultimately, what is it? It’s everything all at once, and one to explore, however much it might make you dizzy. The forthcoming album looks likely to be a cracker.

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Misanthropic Agenda – MAR056 – 4th December 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s been a few years since I last engaged with Simon Whetham’s work, which at least up to a certain point had a certain preoccupation with geography, or least location. In a sense – albeit somewhat tenuous, that relationship to place remains as a backdrop of sorts to Forced to Repeat Myself, which documents a tour (remember those?) in 2018.

Perhaps the absence of touring has driven many artists to review their archival recordings, and on Forced to Repeat Myself, Whetham contemplates the way in which touring drives a tendency toward homogeneity in terms of the way each night’s performance is assembled. For rock bands and acts performing compositions of a fixed nature, this is part and parcel; the repetition of set lists and even, over time, between-piece patter and introductions. But for artists whose work is based on improvisation, repetition is undesirable – after all, at what point does repetition become something rehearsed and preplanned?

As the accompanying text observes, ‘One characteristic aspect of the touring experience that is not discussed often enough is the dilemma of repetition. Not repetition as a mechanism of the work itself, but as a tedious consequence of being obligated to perform night after night in quick succession. Generating a completely unique performance for each stop, even with the assistance of improvisation, is a laborious undertaking that consumes too much time and sanity, while adhering to a rigid set of rules leaves one open to both burnout and diminishing returns. Is there a way to split the difference so that both performer and audience are always engaged to the highest standard?’

And so this is the context for Forced to Repeat Myself. As a document, it’s a curious one, and it may or may not be ironic that the cover art for Whetham’s ‘live’ album is a photograph of a venue with rows of empty seats. If it was indeed shot at one of the shows where Whetham performed on said tour or any other (and the presence of a flipchart suggests otherwise), it was surely during soundcheck. But then, history can be subject to so many manipulations, and the time and space begins to flake over the passage of the latter… the relevance of the track titles is unclear: they’re not dates, and this is not some kind of aural tour diary. Nor are the tracks really the same. Yes, Whetham does revert to certain tones and textures as one would expect from the same equipment operated within a more or less predetermined set length.

Random is only so random, and external factors invariably influence and direct the shape of things. That said, the same performance is never the same performance: different venues of different shapes and sizes, the kit run through a different PA, different audience responses… Life in lockdown may feel like perpetual groundhog day, but the reality is that we never live the same moment twice. No-one is more acutely aware of this than Whetham himself when he comments, “In each situation objects and materials unique to the space were incorporated into the performance setup and structure, generating sounds or resonating with them. And yet I could hear similar scenes, movements, even spaces. This repetition determined the dynamic of the composition, working with it and against it.”

And so we return to geography, location, in the most immediate of contexts. And over the course of the album’s eight pieces, the identifiable repetitions are few, as the same sounds are reworked, remixed, reimagined, and with each manipulation, however subtle, they’re a step or phase away from their previous version.

But over the course of the album we’re reminded just how strong Whetham’s ear is for texture and tone, and there is a spectacular abundance of crackling overdoing distortion, groaning drones humming clicking, bangs and scrapes and minimal electronic sounds colliding and vibrating against one another – hard and violently. The absence of audience sound and the up-close fixing of circuits mean that this doesn’t feel or sound like a live album, but it is, every inch, a hard sonic challenge.

mar056 digipak

Divide and Dissolve members Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects/ (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects/ (Māori) are very excited to announce the signing to Invada Records.

Today they release their new single and video for “We Are Really Worried About You”, from their forthcoming album Gas Lit,  which is produced by Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and set for release in late January 2021.

Watch the video here:

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About the new single, Divide and Dissolve comment:

‘We Are really worried about you’ is a call to transformation and freedom. This song and video seek to undermine and destroy the white supremacist colonial framework. We are weaving together our fight for Indigenous Sovereignty, Black and Indigenous Liberation, Water, Earth, and Indigenous land given back. Decolonise now.

At the start of the song, Takiaya’s formidable saxophone sound resonates strikingly like a siren song, beautiful with an undertone of danger. This gives way to a sudden surge of crushing percussion courtesy of Sylvie, and heavy guitar riffs, revealing the magnitude of their exhilarating multidimensional sonic, and powerful expression of their message.

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Photo credit: Billy Eyers

USA Nails release their fifth album “Character Stop” on October 23rd 2020 through Hex Records (USA) and Bigout Records (Europe).

The record was tracked live over 4 days at Bear Bites Horse in London with producer Wayne Adams. Though “Character Stop” still features the pummelling noise-punk that USA Nails have become renowned for, it’s balanced with more sober, downbeat moments. On it they explore identity – like the online personas of aggressive twitter users, influencers and vloggers, as well as more introspective takes on mental health, giving up on dreams, the joy (and despair) of being a part-timer, and contemplating who they would be if they decided to hang up their guitars for good. Guitarist Gareth Thomas comments,

"For me "Character Stop" is the best album USA Nails have ever made by miles. It’s more varied than anything we’ve ever done before and I think it’s stronger for it. I feel like it’s more fully realised, and more complete as a collection of songs. Everytime we get in a room together and write, the dynamic of our relationship as writers (and mates) develops a bit further, we get better at anticipating and complimenting each other. We’ve always tried to be efficient in our creativity, to do what feels natural and just let things flow. I’m obviously still really happy with all the music we’ve written up to this point, but on this record everything seemed to come together so sweetly. “

Frontman Steven Hodson describes first single ‘Revolution Worker’ as ‘about not knowing how long you have left at being in a band and life in general. My Dad died quite young and now I’m a father it’s something I think about quite a lot. It’s also about balancing time between family, work and band. All that grim stuff is wrapped up in a hell of a catchy riff, feedback and woodblocks.’

Ahead of the album, they’ve unveiled the video for ‘Revolution Worker’ . Watch it here:

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BlackLab, ‘the dark witch doom duo from Osaka, Japan’ are poised to return with their new long playing record Abyss.

Recorded under a full moon over three intense days, the album has the ‘off the leash’ abandon of ‘Fun House’ era ‘Stooges’ and is marked by a fat dose of doom meets slowed down hardcore punk; filled with loud, ultra distorted guitar, and yet, a surprising amount of melody as well.

In fact, Yuko has said that the band’s name is a combination of Black Sabbath and Stereolab, well here on Abyss is where that strange mix begins to make musical sense.

The band haven’t lost their love of lo-fi or ‘Riot Grrrl’ attitude.

The guitars are loud and heavily gnarled to the point of chaos.

Vocals go from shoegaze melodic to hardcore screams (in fact rarely has a vocalist in this genre screamed so musically as Yuko does) and underneath all this, Chia batters the skins, all rolling and tumbling thunder amidst the riffs.

Yes there is a smattering of ‘Sabbathy Wizarding’ of course, but submerged within dark, deep fuzz and punk rock crank and grind.

In truth the vibe is closer to both the arty heaviness of early Boris, and the sweet savagery of My Bloody Valentine, than any kind of ‘doom’ tropes. And in many ways, Blacklab are continuing the long tradition of Japanese experimental noise that bands like Melt Banana and Bordeoms exemplify. Ultimately though, it’s a sound that is undoubtedly BlackLab’s own.

So over 8 tracks, clocking in at around 42 mins, you get the current Blacklab world view.

‘Abyss’ is an album that is as raw and alive as it gets.

It’s refreshingly free of artifice, and it doesn’t arse around. What more can you want.

Say hello to the Osaka underground and watch the video for new single ‘Insanity’ now.

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead are returning after six years with their 10th full-length studio album X: The Godless Void and Other Stories – due out on 17th January 2020 on InsideOutMusic. The new LP comes as the band enters their 25th year together and along with the news today the band is releasing the first single and official video for “Don’t Look Down”.

Watch the video for the single here (2020 tour dates below):

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Sun 09 Feb 2020 Dunquerque, France, Les Quatre Ecluses

Mon 10 Feb 2020 Paris, France, Le Petit Bain

Wed 12 Feb 2020 Cologne, Germany, Stadtgarten

Thu 13 Feb 2020 Bielefeld, Germany, Forum

Fri 14 Feb 2020 Basel, Switzerland, Sommercasino

Sun 16 Feb 2020 Reutlingen, Germany, Franz.K

Mon 17 Feb 2020 Munich, Germany, Strom

Tue 18 Feb 2020 Vienna, Austria, Flex

Wed 19 Feb 2020 Berlin, Germany, Festsaal Kreuzberg

Fri 21 Feb 2020 Hamburg, Germany, The Stage Club

Sat 22 Feb 2020 Copenhagen, Denmark, Loppen

Sun 23 Feb 2020 Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm Nalen Klubb

Mon 24 Feb 2020 Oslo, Norway, Vulkan Arena 

Wed 26 Feb 2020 Amsterdam, Netherlands, Melkweg

Thu 27 Feb 2020 Nijmegen, Netherlands, Doornroosje

Fri 28 Feb 2020 Brussels, Belgium, Botanique

Sat 29 Feb 2020 Brighton, Sussex, England, Patterns

Sun 01 Mar 2020 Bristol, England, The Exchange

Mon 02 Mar 2020 Nottingham, England, The Bodega Social Club

Tue 03 Mar 2020 Edinburgh, Scotland, The Mash House

Wed 04 Mar 2020 Manchester, England, Night & Day

Thu 05 Mar 2020 Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Riverside

Sat 07 Mar 2020 Leicester, England, The Cookie

Sun 08 Mar 2020 Huddersfield, England, The Parish

Tue 10 Mar 2020 London, England, The Dome

Wed 11 Mar 2020 St Albans, England, The Horn

Teeth of the Sea… where to begin?

Who can say when, or how, the Wraiths began to make their presence felt. Yet when Teeth Of The Sea entered their base of operations The Facility to begin work in Autumn 2017 on their fifth album – the follow-up to 2015’s Highly Deadly Black Tarantula – it seemed hard to deny that these ghostly interruptions were at play. By November, all three members were in agreement that the disturbances were tangible and impossible to ignore.

It wasn’t just the more familiar spectres of the band’s collective and overactive imagination – the unruly morass of ‘80s horror and sci-fi movies, industrial ballast, 2000AD terror, ‘70s-damaged experimental brinksmanship and atmospheric grandeur that they’d somehow conspire to sculpt into coherent structures. For as much as the band were determined to create a vivid and maximalist work that threw all of the wildest imagination into sharp relief, what resulted summarily went beyond anything they could have expected.

The Wraith is out in February. Meanwhile, you can watch ‘Hirareth’, which we highly recommend:

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Teeth of the Sea

With their debut album Valley of Thorns having landed last week and attendant single ‘Mind Games’ actually breaking the UK charts, it’s been a big few days for The Kut. And they’ve now announced an extensive UK tour in support of the album. We’re excited.

The dates are below, and you can watch the video to ‘Mind Games’ here:

Tour Dates –

27/07 – B2 – Norwich

28/07 – Mama Liz’s Voodoo Lounge – Stamford

29/07 – The Green Door Store – Brighton

31/07 – The Joiner’s Arm – Southampton

1/08 – Mole’s Club – Bath

03/08 – The Zanzibar – Liverpool

04/08 – The Bread Shed – Manchester

07/08 – TBC – Glasgow

08/08 – Bannerman’s Edinburgh – Edinburgh 

09/08 – The Brickyard – Carlisle

10/08 – Trillian’s Rock Bar – Newcastle Upon Tyne

11/08 – The Soundhouse – Leicester

12/08 – The Verve – Leeds

13/08 – West Street Live – Sheffield

14/08 – Arches Venue – Coventry

15/08 – The Castle and Falcon – Birmingham

16/08 – The Chelsea In – Bristol

17/08 – The Moon – Cardiff

The Kut

‘Taxonomy Of Illusions’ is the opening track to Amplify Human Vibration, a full length soundtrack from Brighton cinematic post-rock duo Nordic Giants.

Amplify Human Vibration is the soundtrack to an upcoming short film, directed by the duo, that hopes to shed a positive light on the everyday world we live in. The crowd-funded film will be proceeded by the soundtrack, released on CD & Vinyl with the film given away online for free at a later date. The opening track of the soundtrack, ‘The Taxonomy of Illusions’ is named after and features a speech given by Terence McKenna at UC Berkeley in 1993.

“This opening track highlights some of the great illusions most of us have unwillingly accepted as our reality. The toxic consequences are now clear for everyone to see, so its really up to us to face our issues -not tomorrow, but today! The message of this song is not to create any more fear or negativity but to help realise our problems so we can empower ourselves and step out from this illusion/delusion we are living in,” say the band.

Listen here:

Amplify Human Vibration  is released on October 22nd.

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