Posts Tagged ‘EP’

Fast & Bulbous Records – 22nd July 2022.

They’ve been described as sounding like the nagging repetitions of The Fall mixed with the fury of Black Flag, played at 100mph. band names don’t get much more punk than this. And they’re from Leeds, which has in recent years proved to be a hotbed of guitar-driven musical fury. This is what happens when a large city with lots of little venues finds itself in a different place from the rest of the country. Richly multicultural, innovative and entrepreneurial, with a large student population, it’s both a centre for tertiary industry and mass-scale redevelopment and gentrification as well as a place of terrible deprivation. So much for levelling up; so much for the northern powerhouse. But Leeds has always been apart, as its 80s musical heritage is testament to, and since the millennium, it’s been a hotbed of emerging styles, through post-rock and jerky, quirky indie, through math rock and all-out noisy shit, with countless bands emerging – and quickly fading again – in the process.

Scum have survived the pandemic, having formed in 2018, to drop a second EP, and the trio haven’t spent the time away figuring out how to make their millions writing pop songs.

On For Health and Well-Being, the trio are everything they’ve been described as, with a dash of Trail of the Dead tossed into the mix, and it’s a punky, energetic blend of styles that all point to energetic fury. The title tracks is a 25-second spoken word piece where a swell of noise and feedback rises in the background before halting abruptly and the full-throttle guitar attack of ‘Abuserism’ (the longest song at 3:30) piles in.

Blink and you’ll miss the 32-second ‘Vanity Support’: it’s the furious ‘Hard’ that really grabs the attention with its thick riffage and hardcore attitude, and the closer, ‘Intravenous Inconvenience’ powers it to a close.

Take same time out and give it a blast, and do it on work time. Because employers are all about supporting Health and Well-Being, right?

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Industrial band, Kevorkian Death Cycle is revived from a seven-year sleep with the release of Collection:Injection 01, the first EP in a three-part series of releases that resurrects their classic anthology album, Collection For Injection

Released in 1996, Collection For Injection was the culmination of a particularly experimental and exploratory four year period for the band. Songs like “Veal” and “Send Me The Machine” helped to broaden the listener base due to the songs’ chaotic, thrashing beats, and the bleak, dystopian lyrical content.

The present landscape under the Covid pandemic inspired founding members, Ryan Gribbin and Roger Jarvis to revisit their 1996 anthology’s raucous perversity through a modern lens.  Its themes of a society deeply fractured with violence, health crises, political extremism, division, religious fascism, and hatred are just as relevant today as they were thirty years ago.

The resulting release series begins with the EP, Collection: Injection 01 and includes four modern machinations: “Man Made”, “Send Me the Machine”, “Spring Heel Jack”, and “Veal”.

Aiding in the band’s resurrected body of work are Rob Robinson of The Order of the Static Temple, and Sean Whitman of A Brilliant Massacre. Both artists are on the Negative Gain Productions roster and bring heir extensive composition and production knowledge to the project, twisting and revising particular songs from Collection For Injection to bring them into the contemporary consciousness.  

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Nynode Intermedia – 27th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

In case it needed restating, the pandemic really dig screw everything up for everyone. I’m not even going to go there again now.

As the press release that accompanies this new EP from Philipp Rumsch Ensemble, the Leipzig based composer, pianist and sound designer Philipp Rumsch and his twelve-piece ensemble ‘had the finger on the pulse when they released their concept album μ: of anxiety x discernment.’

Anxiety peaked globally barely a month later, and the world was held in the grip f panic for the best part of the subsequent two years.

The album, ‘recorded partly with the use of a special binaural recording technique to create a three-dimensional soundstage…was praised by Electronic Sound, BBC, NDR and many more. Furthermore, the release assured the band’s recognition being one of the most exciting large ensembles in Europe.’

But you can’t lug a large ensemble round Europe when it’s locked down and there’s travel chaos and no-one knows what the hell’s going on, and it’s not easy to collaborate with international artists other than digitally either. But, two years in the making, it’s finally landed: ‘the rework EP μ: of transfiguration x resonance is finally seeing the light of the day. Four artists / collectives contemplating on the album’s material from different points of view by deconstructing the core material and putting it together in new ways. The prestigious lineup consists of musicians and sound artists from the ensemble’s creative environment. Jana Irmert (collaborations with, i.a., Jóhann Jóhannsson), Shramm aka Jörg Wähner (Apparat, Bodo Bill, Dieter Meier and many more), Moritz Fasbender (the most recent project of musician Friederike Bernhardt) and the string trio Toechter (Lisa Marie Vogel, Katrine Grarup Elbo and Marie-Claire Schlameus) each contributed one track’.

I’m almost inclined to steep back and applaud the fact they’ve simply done it, and that’s not sarcasm. As a taster, Jana Irmert’s ‘Echo’ is being released as a single.

There’s something quite intriguing in the very concept of a single from a work like this, and it challenges the conventional function of a single in some respects. At heart, the single over many years has served as – primarily – a promotional tool to shift album units, by providing a snippet of the album that shows its best side, so to speak. Historically, it was released in the hope of achieving radio or other coverage, or even a chart position, to boost album sales. And perhaps this will also do that: after all, the soft, undulating organ drones and soft wafts of analogue synth, and trilling oboe, amidst the sounds of winds and waves are soporific and mesmerising in their slow atmospherics. It’s soft and appealing, and so, so agreeable. In these troubled times, we need more untroublesome music, and this fits that bill.

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We’ve been tracking Plan Pony’s progress since the release of ‘Martyr’ back in the summer of 2020. Now, two years on, we’re getting another slice of experimental electroacoustic noise conjured from the array of vintage kit in Plan Pony’s stable in the form of the Creative Writing EP, released on Nim Brut.

Exploring the interplay between electronic sounds (courtesy of an old Korg ER1 drum machine) and acoustic sounds (from a variety of percussion, including a set of African dun duns) with a variety of samples captured on a Boss SP303. Recorded on a Tascam 488mkii cassette multitracker, pushing the levels high and experimenting with mic placement, the ingredients are a recipe for something exciting.

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Artwork from a photograph by Takafumi Otsuka.

2nd May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Bitch 16’ is the debut single from French darkwave project Distance H. It was recorded in collaboration with Ophelia from Saigon Blue Rain, one of a number of female vocalists to feature on Distance H’s forthcoming EP, Intimacy.

It’s a deft slice of dark pop with both atmosphere and edge, not to mention hints of Garbage. And while not without hooks – it has plenty – it’s the atmosphere that stays with you, at least after the first listen, and it’s the vibe you want to revisit and which makes you hit repeat – and that urge to hit repeat is strong.

Propelled by an old-school drum machine sound, there are some retro drum fills that sound just a shade clunky against the austere, smooth-surfaced synths, but there’s a compelling urgency, and a certain sass about ‘Bitch 16’ as Ophelia’s vocals glide and soar – and yes, perhaps it’s something about the translation, as the band summarise that ‘Bitch 16’ is ‘in some ways opposed to Sweet 16 and its form of happy, carefree transition. When sweetness gives way to brutality; when detachment gives way to obsession, when desire gives way to disgust’.

These are strong emotions, and Distance H have distilled them into a taut four and a half minutes, making for a strong debut.

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After a five-year wait for new music, Ruby the Hatchet are premiering the track ‘1000 Years’ from their new EP Live at Earthquaker, their first outing for Magnetic Eye Records. The three-track set is scheduled for release on April 22, with pre-sales commencing today.

Live at Earthquaker features early organic and raw versions of two brand-new songs recorded entirely live at EarthQuaker Devices headquarters in Akron, Ohio during the band’s US tour with KADAVAR, with the cherry on top being the physical format debut of their raucous version of URIAH HEEP’s 70s anthem ‘Easy Livin’’.

The EP’s two new songs will reappear in fully-produced recordings on the New Jersey riff-rockers’ new studio album that has been announced for 2022.

The video clip for ‘1000 Years’ was recorded live and produced at EarthQuaker Devices, and you can watch it here:

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Pic: Mike Wuthritch

Mark Sousa, the mastermind behind futurepop act, Voicecoil has just dropped the debut EP for his project, Gravity Corps.

“Gravity Corps is a different angle to what I do artistically.  It’s a more aggressive, angrier side of my mind.  It’s a more simplistic and raw presentation in its themes.” – Mark Sousa.

Zero Grav plays on various varied themes from track to track. ‘Thankful For Another Day’ is a simple statement of the same titled track. Tracks like ‘Selling Sorrow’ and ‘Cold And Elegant’ focus heavily on themes of artistic integrity and disassociation respectively. ‘Scarred To Death’ (the first piece written for the project) was inspired by dark science fiction.

Zero Grav is available now as a digital download via Bandcamp.

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7th December 2021

Crimson Brûlée emerged in 2019 as an offshoot of guitar-driven goths The Witch-Kings, after a difference of opinion over the incorporation of synths. No diss to The Witch-Kings, but Tragica presents a magnificent sound.

It’s a pretty awkward band name and so-so title for a great album, but there is context, at least for the latter, in that the EP is delivered in homage to the band’s original bassist, Johan, who passed away in early 2021.

He would likely have been proud. With Tragica Crimson Brûlée really nail their position as a top-notch goth act. It’s billed as an EP, but comes with a stack of remixes which bulks it uo to nine tracks, which is effectively an album or two EPs.

‘I Came Back to You’ is a strong opener, combining trad goth with the sound and feel of early Psychedelic Furs, packing minor chords and an insistent beat in the verses, that burst into something wonderful in the choruses. Light explodes and it feels redemptive. It could easily be a Talk Talk Talk outtake. The intro to ‘Nothing Dies Forever’ invites comparisons to She Wants Revenge: it’s dramatic, bold, bombastic, synth-led but driven by some meaty guitars, and absolutely fucking epic, and never lets up for its five-minute duration.

It’s the strolling bass that dominates ‘Restrained’, which is anything but in terms of its epicness. All bar one of the songs are over the five-minute mark, but ‘Where the Tarantulaa Roam’, extending beyond the six-minute mark, is an absolute beast, and one that calls to mind Susperia, only with swirling backing vocals reminiscent of All About Eve’s Julianne Reagan. With the synths backed off but sweeping all around, the mix is immense.

‘Why I Wear Black’ is more guitars, more SWR-like. Yet for all the references, this feels fresh and innovative: this is not an album that deals in tropes and the lyrics are personal and genuine rather than contrived.

It’s a really, really strong suite of songs, The remixes are pretty good, to be fair, but non-essential.

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I know, I know, poor form, etc., etc. But hey, it’s not every day this kind of thing happens.

…(something) ruined coalesced by happy accident as a live proposition. Like so many bands, lockdown hit our progress and development hard. The ‘white noise and shouting’ worked because of a combination of factors all in the moment – extreme volume, intuition, adrenaline, the consumption of alcohol. Replicating the vibe without those factors proved to be a challenge – but, when offered the platform of the FEAST online streaming events organised by the Nim Brut label during lockdown, it felt like an opportunity to develop a new way of working and to refine that sound in a more controlled setting. Trial and error led to the creation of noise first, vocals second, and over the course of several months, thing evolved, and …(something) ruined became something more, with not only a more defined sound, but a thematic focus lyrically.

E.P. is a cohesive document, but also a document of an evolution, and the tracks are presented in the chronology in which they were created, each first aired at a FEAST event.

‘Life Is Too Short’: small frustrations simmer and boil over when presented with the stark reality that you could die tomorrow and you’ve squandered the last 10 years your waking hours being nice and pandering to utter cunts.

‘On Mute’: anthem for remote workers around the globe as we’ve watched cretins babble away merrily on video calls while no-one can hear a single word – although, frustrating as it is, it’s usually better than hearing their words.

‘Harder, Not Smarter’: another corporate classic. Time and again management promote smart working, time-saving, and economy. But for all the words, there’s only whip-cracking ultimately.

‘On Brand’: brand isn’t just slogans and advertising. It’s an ethos. You don’t just work for a company, you are the company, a walking promotion. Live the brand.

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