Posts Tagged ‘Ipecac Recordings’

Ipecac Recordings – 1st September 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Dälek have always been about progress and evolution, and not only remaining contemporary but pushing the parameters. Since they emerged in ’98, they’ve stood at the forefront of the challenging end of hip-hop, a genre which has witnessed immense expansion over the last two decades – but has equally seen its horizons shrink dramatically within the suffocating avenues of the commercial mainstream. One might say that this polarity is a key fact in the framing of Endangered Philosophies. The polarisation between the mainstream and everything else musical is representative of the world at large: the political landscape provides perhaps the most significant and substantial indicator here, with left and right parties both moving further away from centre and claiming almost equal ground in the process, and not just domestically here in England.

Endangered Philosophies is an album for the now, as the press release points out: ‘Within the context of the current political landscape, the title Endangered Philosophies certainly brings to mind pertinent issues of moment, notably the rampant rise of anti-intellectualism, as well as the all too rapid erosion of genuinely progressive values in the face of fearful reactionary forces.’

‘Echoes Of…’ launches the album with a nauseating washing machine churn that grinds along before the thumping rhythm crashes in. the vocals are low in the mix – rare and seemingly contradictory for a hip-hop album, but this is Dälek, an act as inclined toward rock and industrial tropes as conventional hip-hop stylings. It’s a gnarling industrialised trudge, and the whiplash scratching and other overt concessions to genre form are crushed hard against one another into an oppressive and intense slab of sound.

‘Weapons’ is woozy, dark, and suffocating. ‘Few Understand’ is less abrasive, but rides on a dense, pulsating swell of sound underpinned by a plodding beneath that carries a real weight. Sometimes, a live drum sound is all it takes to elevate a hip-hop track above the conventions and into fresh, liberated territories.

With the vocals enveloped in delay and heavy layers of extraneous noise, the lyrics aren’t always entirely prominent, but the sentiment is entirely clear at all times. The shuffling trudge of ‘Son of Immigrants’ is underpinned by an almost subsonic bass. In contrast, there’s something approaching a levity about ‘Beyond the Madness’, the semi-ambient synths drifting cinematically over the insistent rhythm, and the seven-minute ‘A Collective Cancelled Thought’ is monumentally weighty, the bass churning beneath a shifting, turning squall of sound. ‘Battlecries’ is slow and bleak, with lyrics about black males being murdered and the state of culture and society providing the message to the work of the mixed medium.

It’s the contrasts which lie at the heart of the compositions on Endangered Philosophies which make it the album it is, and which render it so compelling.

Dalek_EP_Cover

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Dälek share a brand new video for ‘Echoes Of…’, the opening track from their upcoming new album, Endangered Philosophies (1st September, Ipecac Recordings). The video was directed, animated, and produced by Chris White (EAM – Electric Action Messages).

Watch below, and check out their recently announced European tour dates further down.

ENDANGERED PHILOSOPHIES TOUR DATES:

Thu. 2-Nov-2017 FR Grenoble – La Bobine w/ Labrats Bugband
Sat. 4-Nov-2017 FR Lyon – Bizarre! w/ Dead Obies
Sun 5-Nov-2017 CH Martigny – Les Caves Du Manoir
Mon 6-Nov-2017 DE Esslingen – Komma
Tue 7-Nov-2017 DE Nuremburg – Musik Verein
Wed 8-Nov-2017 DE Berlin – Urban Spree w/ debmaster 
Fri 10-Nov-2017 DK Copenhagen – Stengade 
Sun 12-Nov-2017 BE Kortrijk – Sonic City Festival, curated by Thurston Moore, with Moor Mother…
Tue 14-Nov-2017 UK Colchester – Colchester Arts Centre
Wed 15-Nov-2017 NO Oslo – Bla with Moor Mother
Thu 16-Nov-2017 UK London  – Underworld Camden
Fri 17-Nov-2017 FR Paris – Batobar
Sat. 18-Nov-2017 FR Brest – Festival Invisible at La Carene with Action Beat and Camera

SUMMER TOUR DATES:

Fri. 18-Aug-2017 Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
Sat. 19-Aug-2017 Double Happiness – Columbus, OH
Sun. 20-Aug-2017 Mac’s – Lansing, MI
Mon. 21-Aug-2017 Reggies – Chicago, IL (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Tue. 22-Aug-2017 Mod Club Theatre – Toronto, Canada (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Wed. 23-Aug-2017 Corona Theatre – Montreal, Canada (w/ Cult Of Luna)
Thu. 24-Aug-2017 Worcester Palladium – Worcester, MA (w/ Cult Of Luna)

Fri. 25-Aug-2017 Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY (w/ Cult Of Luna)

Sat. 28-Oct  Baltimore, MD  Rams Head (Days of Darkness Festival)

Ipecac Recordings – 7th July 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Melvins’ 415th album since their formation in the Mezozoic era is a double: their first. As if the founding sludgelords, the masters of the megalithic, needed to take it to another level of epic indulgence. A Walk With Love and Death isn’t exactly a concept album, as much as an album of two halves. So says the press release. If anything, it’s actually two distinct albums released together: Death, a proper Melvins’ release and Love, the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled A Walk With Love and Death.

But of course, it’s a Melvins album. Which means that, fundamentally, it sounds like a Melvins album. That’s no criticism: I want a Melvins album to sound like a Melvins album but then, would it ever sound like anything else?

They really make full use of the double-album format for this outing. It begins with a slow-building, expansive six and a half-minuter that has echoes of ‘Mine is No Disgrace’ from The Crybaby, but instead of erupting into a blistering wall of noise, keeps the focus tight on a proggy trip with a vaguely psychedelic hue.

‘Sober-delic’ follows, a mid-tempo trudge which also stretches beyond the six-minute mark and ‘Euthanasia’ is vintage Melvins, a hefty sludge trudge with heavily treated vocals. ‘What’s Wrong With You?’ is a warped psychedelic stoner rock tune with a twisted pop edge, propelled by a thumping bassline and wild guitars. The nine songs which make up the Death album don’t exactly offer up any surprises (which is arguably a surprise in itself given the band’s wildly varied output over the last 30 years), but do deliver a Melvins album that’s as solid as anything they’ve done. It brings the grind. It hammers with the riffs. It’s sludgy, grungy, yet packs some great pop moments. And what at times it lacks in terms of attack, it compensates in scale, with the prog leanings of ‘Flaming Creature’ partially submerged by the low-end churn that they’ve made their own.

Commencing with a vaguely experimental intro track, in which mellifluous piano notes drift through the sound of chatter, the Love set is a very different proposition. The fourteen tracks are shorter and stranger, leaning toward noisy ambience, and find Melvins revisiting the kind of territory explored on Prick and the playfully perverse ‘Cowboy’ single from the mid ‘90s.

When they do actually play tunes, it’s whacked out, trippy psychedelic pop or fucked -up jazz: ‘Give it to Me’ is a zany, mess of doodling Hammond organs and theramins duelling with thumping percussion that’s pure 60s garage. But mostly it’s weird shit like ‘Chicken Butt’ and ‘Halfway to Bakersfield’, and it’s all very much ‘what the fuck’?

It’s Melvins’ eternal capacity to confound which is an integral aspect of their enduring appeal. It would be so easy, and no doubt more career-savvy to work to their tried and tested formula and to put out an album of straight ahead sludge rock every two to three years, instead of going off on infinite tangents and releasing two albums a year. But the fact is, they’re actually very good at producing weird, far-out experimental shit, and the results of some of their collaborations have been as strong as unexpected. It’s their drive to create, and to endlessly push in so many different directions which keeps Melvins fresh, and above all, relevant.

Melvins - Love and Death

Another ‘supergroup’ eh? But seriously, check this for a lineup…. Dead Cross, consist of Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer/Suicidal Tendencies), Justin Pearson (Retox/The Locust), Mike Patton (Faith No More/Tomahawk) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer). And ahead of the release of their debit album, they’ve unveiled the video for the track ‘Seizure and Desist’.

Watch it here:

Ipecac Recordings – 24th February 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Some project ae just so wild and so awesome that they can’t fail. Crystal Fairy is one. The fact that it’s out on Ipecac should be a big clue. Essentially another Melvins offshoot, this project features King Buzzo and Dale Crover (Melvins and myriad mental offshoots), with Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta, At the Drive In). If you haven’t already encountered Le Butcherettes, our life is sadly lacking and you need to do something about it, immediately.

Le Butcherettes are one of the most ferociously angular, choppy, abrasive and truly awesome contemporary exemplars of the no-wave ethos, and Terri Gender Bender is a fearsome and fantastic front woman: the perfect foil to the sludge with a grin craziness of The Melvins. Omar Rodrguez-Lopez (Mars Volta, At the Drive In) is hardly a weak link here.

As the press release recounts, ‘The whole idea for Crystal Fairy began when The Melvins and Le Butcherettes toured together and The Melvins started doing the song “Rebel Girl” with Teri at the end of their set.’

The album erupts with a whack! Think! Chug-a-chug thundrball punk-tinged rock racket of Chiseler’. It crackles. It fizzes. But what’s perhaps unexpected is just how accessible it is, courtesy of its strong, melody-led chorus. It also has that early 80s vibe and the poke of a small-town pub gig or a demo tape recorded by an ultra-proficient provincial band who deserve a wide audience. That’s not a criticism of Crystal Fairy, but of the industry, at least as it was.

Rock cliché is never far away on this album: ‘Necklace of Divorce’ wheels in AC/CDisms and Led Zeppelinisms galore, but there’s a savviness to the delivery that hints at a certain knowingness, a play on the clichés being stirred in and churned around in the mix. The result is alchemy, and an album brimming with choppy tunes that explode with full-throttle drive, and build the dynamics with passages of tension-building stealth. Grunge classic? Yeah, and so much more

‘Moth Tongue’ simply sounds like Terri Gender Bender fronting The Melvins playing one of their poppier tracks. As such, it’s ace, and ‘Bent Teeth’ is simply scorching. As is the album as a whole: raucous rambunctious, it combined churning, gritty riffs with wild-eyed histrionic vocals. As much as I’m a sucker for a meaty guitar, I’m even more one to be pulled in by a vocal delivery that borders on the psychotic, and Terri’s go that absolutely nailed. But then, as the title track attests, the foursome can also nail a full-throttle post-punk pop tune: think Blondie, think PJ Harvey, delivered with energy and guts and raw sex. Belting as the backing is, Terri makes it: she sounds dangerous, intense, precarious. While the basslines tear through your guts, she tears through your very soul.

Crystal Fairy is the supergroup every supergroup should aspire to: the embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll awesome, they’ve got the full works going on here.

 

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Le Butcherettes, who are in the midst of a European tour, have unveiled the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez directed video for “My Mallely”, which appeared on their 2015 album, A Raw Youth (Ipecac Recordings).

The video was filmed in the contrasting locations of New York City and the ruins of Juárez Mexico, in a neighbourhood and cinema that was a casualty of the 2008-2013 war. Teri Gender Bender offers context to the video: "The juxtaposition of the video’s setting, place and time is a roller coaster of emotional history. Juárez. A lost city re-emerging. New York City. Feeling lost in a city that has been emerging. The duality is a constant in every feeling and way. No matter where you are, one absorbs their surroundings and grows within the chaotic element. That to me is the beauty of survivalism."

Watch the video here. Full list of tour dates below.

 

 

LE BUTCHERETTES TOUR DATES:
October 7  Zurich, Switzerland  Dynamo
October 8  Milan, Italy  Tunnel
October 10  Valencia, Spain  Loco Club
October 11  Madrid, Spain  El Sol
October 12  Barcelona, Spain  Sidecare
October 14  London, UK The Black Heart (appearance at Rough Trade East @ 1pm)
October 15  Coventry, UK  Kasbah
October 16  Birmingham, UK  Hare & Hounds
October 17  Cardiff, UK  CLWB ifor Bach
October 19  Dublin, Ireland The Workman’s Club
October 20  Belfast, UK  Black Box
October 21  Glasgow, UK  King Tut’s
October 22  Manchester, UK  Night & Day