Posts Tagged ‘New Album’

Russian Circles named their 2016 album Guidance in reference to the uncertainty of the future. It was a fitting title for the times, with the album coming out a few months before America’s tumultuous presidential election, but it was intended more as a reference to the band’s own absence of a blueprint as they navigated their second decade as a band than as a social commentary. If there were questions as to how to move forward as a musical unit or individual doubts as to how to continue toiling as artists in the underground, the three years of relentless touring on the album only served to reinforce the Sisyphean struggle of artists. With their latest album Blood Year, Russian Circles forsake the sonic crossroads of divergent musical paths found on albums like Guidance and Memorial to offer up the most direct and forceful collection of songs in their discography.

The Chicago trio have always explored the dynamics of volume and timbre, with their albums vascilating between caustic attacks and blissful respites. Blood Year begins with the calm before the storm in “Hunter Moon”, where a few narcotic repetitions of guitarist Mike Sullivan’s melancholic plucked chords and woozy slide guitar usher in the first assault. “Arluck” charges out of the reverberating sustain of somber drones with Dave Turncrantz’s pounding rack and floor toms, expertly captured by Kurt Ballou at Electrical Audio in Chicago. The studio’s reputation for pristine drum tones is on full display in those opening bars, and when the drums break and Brian Cook’s grinding bass line forces its way into the mix it becomes evident as to why the band returned to Steve Albini’s world-famous recording studio where they’d tracked Enter, Geneva, and Memorial. Sullivan dives into the song with his signature finger-tapped leads and stacks loops of idiosyncratic harmonies on top of it. The song barrels through bottom heavy chugged guitar patterns and tightly wound noise-rock riffage before the rhythm section drops out to leave a lone guitar line in the ether. A second guitar line comes in on top of it. Then a third. The chasm fills with an orchestra of guitar loops before the drums and bass come back in and build to the song’s vicious conclusion.

With Sullivan, Turncrantz, and Cook all residing in different states, Russian Circles have typically crafted their albums by piecing together song fragments and home recordings into meticulous texture-rich studio productions. But after seven tours in North American and five trips to Europe in support of Guidance, the band made a conscious effort to approach the songs on Blood Year with the same organic feel of a live show. In an age where rock records are often built on a computerised grid, Russian Circles chose to track the foundations of the songs together in one room as complete takes without click tracks. The human pulse and unmetered energy is immediately obvious in the dissonant barrage of “Milano”. The no-frills wall of distortion and mid-tempo stomp of the song recalls some of Russian Circles’ most unrelentingly savage moments—Memorial’s “Burial”, Geneva’s title track, Empros’ “309”. The first half of Blood Year closes with “Kohokia”, a harrowing song that somehow manages to capture the unsettling negative space of Spiderland in one moment, the blurry clamor of ashen metal in the next, and ultimately arriving at a triumphant pinnacle of staccato bass chords, battering ram drums, and heroic tapped guitar leads.

Side two begins with one of the few reserved moments on the album in the slow fever-dream loop-stacked baritone guitar lines provided by Cook on “Ghost on High”. It’s less a song than a prelude to the tremolo-picked battle anthem “Sinaia”. Guitar overdubs were done at Ballou’s God City studio, and the engineer’s gift for rendering a variety of exquisite distorted tones can be heard in the timbre-rich medley of pastoral drones in the introduction, fury-of-Valhalla tremolo picking in the verses, scathing black metal-tinged snarl in the bridge, and cataclysmic chords in the finale. Russian Circles albums have typically ended with a comedown—the pensive “Xavii”, the folk ballads of “Praise Be Man” and “Memorial”, the delay-soaked ambience of “Philos”—but Blood Year ends on its most vengeful note, with the barbaric battery of “Quartered”.

If Guidance was meant to be an exploration of forking paths, Blood Year is an almost single-minded statement of authority. While it retains the dexterity, multi-faceted techniques, and dramatic compositions that have been a trademark of Russian Circles since day one, Blood Year fully embraces the most forceful aspects of the band’s repertoire.

Listen to ‘Arluck’ here (tour dates after):

USSIAN CIRCLES IRELAND/UK DATES

AUG 08 Dublin, IRE @ Button Factory *

AUG 09 Galway IRE @ Roisin Dubh *

AUG 10 Belfast UK @ Limelight 2 *

AUG 12 Glasgow, UK @ G2 +

AUG 13 Manchester, UK @ Gorilla +

AUG 14 London, UK @ Earth +

AUG 16 Bristol, UK @ ArcTanGent Festival +
Support from

* No Spill Blood 

+ A.A. Williams

With further European tour dates to be announced soon.

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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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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)

KEN mode share a new track ‘Not Soulmates’ from their incoming album Loved (Season Of Mist/New Damage Records in Canada, August 31st), alongside European tour dates in November through to December – full listings below.

About the track Jesse Matthewson comments “The main ‘chorus’ line,  I suppose you could call it, “You’re going to continue enjoying this mistake with me”, was conceived by Scott’s wife. This song is about the many complexities of love and the humour that surrounds its entirety – whether people choose to process it or not. It’s got riffs you can throw round-house kicks to and is an ode to the Melvins and Zeni Geva.”

Listen here:

EUROPEAN LIVE DATES:

w/Birds In Row & Coilguns

Nov 15 – Joué, FR @ Temps Machine

Nov 16 – Orléans, FR @ Astrolabe

Nov 17 – Bordeaux, FR @ Void

Nov 18 – Toulouse, FR @ Rex

Nov 19 – Montpellier, FR @ Blacksheep

Nov 20 – Clermont, FR @ Raymond

Nov 21 – Lausanne, CH @ Romandie

Nov 22 – Besancon, FR @ L’Antonnoir

Nov 23 – Kalsruhe, DE @ Die Stadtmitte

Nov 24 – Gigors, FR @ CBGC’s

Nov 25 – Milano, IT @ Magnolia

Nov 27 – Nantes, FR @ Le Ferrailleur

Nov 28 – Le Havre, FR @ Fort de Tourneville

Nov 29 – Paris, FR @ Le Petit Bain

Dec 1 – London, UK @ MacBeth

Dec 2 – Brussels, BE @ Magasin4

Prior to that the band shall be playing the following dates:

w/Shallow North Dakota

Sept 28 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Good Will Social Club

Sept 29 – Saskatoon, SK @ The Black Cat Tavern

Sept 30 – Calgary, AB @ Palamino Smokehouse

w/Birds In Row

Oct 13 – Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club

Oct 14 – Chicago, IL @ Live Wire

Oct 15 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar

Oct 16 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone

Oct 18 – Atlanta, GA @ Basement

Oct 19 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern

Oct 20 – Falls Church, VA @ VFW 9278

Oct 21 – Boston, MA @ Middle East

Oct 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

Oct 23 – Portland, ME @ Geno’s

Oct 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

Oct 25 – Rochester, NY @ Photo City

Oct 26 – Toronto, ON @ Bovine Sex Club

Oct 27 – Montreal, QC @ Turbo Haus

Oct 28 – Quebec City, QC @ La Source De La Martiniere

Oct 29 – Ottawa, ON @ House of Targ

You can also watch the video for the opening track, ‘Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should’:

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Grammy-winning Norwegian art-noise-rock outfit Årabrot are returning on 7th September with their new album Who Do You Love. Over the years the band has collaborated with producers like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians such as Ted Parsons (Killing Joke/Swans), Sunn O))))’s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik. Most recently they appeared at this year’s Roadburn Festival which was swiftly followed by a support slot in Norway with Marilyn Manson. You can listen to the latest track from the record, ‘Maldoror’s Love’, here, now:

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Arabrot

The London based alternative/indie rock trio Desert Mountain Tribe will release their second album on 1st June. Om Parvat Mystery is co-produced by the band with James Aparicio and was recorded in London and the Faroe Islands. Najma Akhtar, the well known British singer of Indian ancestry who has previously collaborated with the likes of Page & Plant and Jah Wobble as well as making several acclaimed solo albums in her own right, features on two songs.

Describing the new album, DMT say : “We’re very proud of this new record. It definitely shows a progression from our personal tastes in music and style of playing. We didn’t consciously make an effort to sound different from the first album but it felt like a natural development to a more experimental sound.”

Ahead of the album, and following lead single ‘Wide Eyes’, they’re streaming ‘High Drive’. Get your lugs round it here:

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/412506723%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-YvR9A&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show

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Prepare your mind, body, and the deepest recesses of your soul: the black gates that Dark Buddha Rising opened a decade ago with I, open further in 2018, as the band announce the II EP, due for release via Neurot Recordings on 23rd March 2018. II continues to traverse spiritual planes, opening up a vortex with their sonic, and following calls from beyond.

For 10 years, the Finnish band has convened in the now-famous Wastement studio space; set below their home city of Tampere, Finland; to roil in the sounds of the underground, to meet dark spirits, to breathe in time with rhythmic pulses sent from the skies, the stars and the very dirt around them.

On the surface, the band emits the blackest of psychedelia. Deep down, their sounds are forged in the blue fires of the ancients, exhalations of gods, goddesses and demons alike. Of this new offering, V. Ajomo says: "To drain our sonic temple, we wanted to record the new material which was made for 2016 shows in order to proceed towards the unknown with open minds and hearts. After the cleansing, we initiated our chamber with ambient meditation and opened the portals of inspiration for our future work."

II sees Dark Buddha Rising return to its purest incarnation: a three-piece rhythm section; J.Rämänen on drums, P. Rämänen on bass and V. Ajomo on guitar; and with J. Saarivuori on synths and M. Neuman on main vocals. "We have done a full cycle of the orbit and now is the time for gravitational slingshot towards the new dimensions in sound, deliverance and vision"; Ajomo adds.

The EP’s A-side was recorded and mixed in Space Junk Studio by K.Nyyssönen and B-side was recorded in Wastement by DBR and mixed by S. Tamminen.

It has been two years since Dark Buddha Rising found a home amongst kindred spirits at Neurot Recordings, who released Inversum; the first album recorded in the band’s Wastement home: "the asylum of eternal feedback".

Get a taste of II here: