August 22, 2018

Rolling across melting gardens

Poison words flowing out the beast of thousand tongues.

(Helmed by Pyramids' R. Loren, the SWWW crew includes Swans' Ted Parsons on drums, Prurient's Dominick Fernow handling the noise, James Blackshaw on piano, vocals from Marissa Nadler, and a plethora of other duties handled by members of Unwound, Krallice, Slowdive, Nadja, Current 93, and more. Add to the fact that the record was inspired by a tripped-out encounter Loren had with The Red Badge of Courage author Stephen Crane's ghost, and you've got what appears to be one heady, crowded outing on your hands. In reality, Sailors With Wax Wings is anything but convoluted, using most of its sticky-slow 53 minutes to focus on ghosted textures, squalling riffage, and melodic theatrics).

Echoes from the land of sorcerers

Jumping towards the huge void.

(Tony Wakeford is an English neofolk and neoclassical musician who primarily records under the name Sol Invictus; he has also composed classical music whilst recording outside the framework of Sol Invictus. He has subsequently brought transformative concepts into the familiar terrain of his principal group. He formed L'Orchestre Noir (later Orchestra Noir) in the mid-1990s to explore classical and soundtrack composition. His early 90's collaborative work with Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound produced exceedingly experimental recordings that are radically different from Sol Invictus material. Matt Howden is a songwriter, violinist and vocalist from Sheffield, England., who was involved in several bands as 7JK, Glass Hamsters, HaWthorn, Raindogs, Rasp (5), Sieben, Stiki, The Glass Hammers and the Duo Noir, with Tony Wakeford).

Heikko hiljaisuus

Entering the zone of eternal silence.

(Sink was formed in Pori, Finland, in 2002; the sound of the band exists somewhere between drone, black metal and dark ambient with a strong presence of experimentation and occasional classical and choral influences).

Subiendo por la tortuosa ruta hacia el calvario

Trying to liquify wounded tissues to unblessed water.

(Wind Atlas was formed in Barcelona, Spain, in 2012 by Sergi Algiz and Andrea P. Latorre; this band fuses post-punk with world music sounds paralleling the explorations of Dead Can Dance, with hints of early 90’s  Ethereal Gothic Rock like The Shroud, mixed with Post-Industrial and Neo-folk sounds).

Dance of blind twins

Poems to burn down the sky.

(Astrobrite is the Chicago-based shoegaze noise-pop project from the musician Scott Cortez (STAR, lovesliescrushing). Interestingly enough, Astrobrite solely played live and released no official records until 2001, all the while building a reputation as a band that “transcends shoegaze by destroying the fuzz/noise boundaries setup by previous shoegazing outfits and manages to make the most beautiful and melodic noise you’ll ever hear).

Ancient witchcraft methods

Uncover the veil with sacred hymns.

(Black Mare is an ethereal/goth solo project of Sera Timms, from Ides of Gemini).

August 21, 2018

The fortune of living dead

Fear beyond any senses.

(Asva is an American experimental doom/sludge/drone metal band, originally formed by Stuart Dahlquist and B.R.A.D. in 2003. The name of the project is derived from a Sanskrit word aśva, meaning a "horse". Asva never fits traditional definitions of such genres as doom, sludge or drone, always presenting uncommon and unconventional interpretations, even though this project had a significant influence on the scene. But the latest album confirms the final departure from a realm of purely metal-related genres, being much more melodic and uplifted). 

The golden dawn of sadness

Crushed bamboo trees turning to red.

(Bloody Panda is a doom/experimental  band based in New York City; the band was formed in 2003 by Yoshiko Ohara, an established visual artist based in Osaka, Japan, then joined by Josh Rothenberger (guitar), Bryan Camphire (bass), and Blake McDowell (organ), ultimately rounded out by "respected jazz and world music drummer/percussion-ist/tabla-ist" Dan Weiss.)

Travelling across dark lights

A place where the angels rests forever.

(Cyclobe are a duo formed by Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown. They make hallucinatory electronic soundscapes by mixing sampled and heavily synthesized sounds with acoustic arrangements for a variety of instruments including hurdy-gurdy, border pipes, duduk and clarinet. Their approach draws upon diverse forms, including acousmatic, drone music, sound collage, folk and progressive rock).

Begravelse af museet

A trip into endless nightmares.
(Myrkur is renowned Danish composer and classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Amalie Bruun. Her sophomore album 'Mareridt' (translation: Nightmare) is a rich juxtaposition of the dark and the light; the moon and the mother earth; the witch and the saint. Myrkur explores deeper into the mysterious and the feminine with 11 tracks that further progress her visionary blend of metal with gorgeous, stirring melodies, dark folk passages, choral arrangements and superb, horrific beauty.

Further taking Myrkur to new artistic heights are lyrics in multiple languages, an unforgettable collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe and an array of special instrumentation including violin, mandola, folk drums, nyckelharpa (an ancient Swedish key harp), and Kulning (an ancient Scandinavian herding call). 'Mareridt' is a profound manifestation of nightmares.

Like a marriage of King Diamond's 'Them' with Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake', 'Mareridt' is a carefully composed concept freed from genre. The compositions sweep into one another like a soundtrack designed to guide the listener through emotional turmoil. One minute the songs are fighting back, the next lulling you to submission. Timeless, triumphant, powerful and hypnotic, 'Mareridt' is a sonic nightmare that you never want to escape). 

Night beasts released

Opening deep wounds in despair.

(Khost are a Birmingham, UK based duo, headed by Andy Swan (Iroha). Since their inception in 2013, they have shared the stage with Godflesh, Final, JK Flesh, Conan, Con-Dom, Moss, Anaal Nathrakh, My Silent Wake, Empires Of Light, Goatess, OvO and more). 

The obsolescence of all languages

Buried bodies in a feast of agonizing crawls.

(Echo Beds is a band currently residing in Denver, they outsource influence from a specific niche lineage that was in and of itself mechanically fabricated to mirror the past in favor of the future. Specializing in both consumer electronics and homemade contraptions, these noise fetishists are veterans to their craft. Having seen them perform numerous times, they come bearing body bags full of hardware, a battalion of 8×10 cabinets, broken cymbals, television monitors, oil drums, and other unnecessary but probably necessary gadgets. Each piece has its own part in the orchestrated spirit of destruction).

Drowning in a river of hydroxytryptamin

In praise of dead beholders.

((Dolch) is a doom/black metal band from Germany, with pounding drums and droning ambiance often set the backdrop for vocals that flutter between tragically human and densely ethereal, always maintaining just enough presence in the greyscale universe in which the band and its music reside).

Vypijte Boží jed

Translucent blood drains slowly.

(Czech "integrated music" project of composer Vladimír Hirsch and sound-engineer Tom Saivon, started in 1999 as more abstract sprout of their sympho-industrial band Skrol, stressing the work with rich arsenal of sound structures. It is based on grasping both ways in a manner (contemporary classical v. industrial and dark ambient), which would allow them to partake of each other’s principal formal attributes, both on the basis of violent confrontation and of mutual empathy. The goal of this specific form of work is a unification of seemingly irreconcilable worlds into a indivisible essence. This act represents the metaphorical and philosophical principles of the formation’s work).

August 11, 2018

Invocations in blood

Brutal litanies to honor the unwanted.

(Aesthetic Meat Front, probably considered more art than music is ritualistic noise. Noise, less clangy and almost ambient in nature drips through the air. Haunting voices and images, sounds that send shivers up the spine, and textures swell about, sending your thoughts to places you might otherwise want or need to forget. This rather intense noise was designed for use durring often bloody rituals involving anything from animal parts to body modification). 

The art of levitation on strings

Condensing lights into intermediate states.

(Full length collaboration between Ellen Fullman, Theresa Wong, and Barn Owl produced by The Norman Conquest. Barn Owl''s extended drones and Theresa and The Norman Conquest''s strings are the perfect accompaniment to Fullman''s Long Stringed Instrument; a product of her own invention. This is an album of deep material of a complexly emotional nature. Eternal ragas for the infinite now. Recorded in the pastoral setting of the Headlands Center For The Arts.
In 1981 Ellen Fullman began developing the “Long String Instrument,” an installation of dozens of wires fifty feet or more in length, tuned in Just Intonation and ‘bowed’ with rosin coated fingers. Fullman has developed a unique notation system to choreograph the performer’s movements, exploring sonic events that occur at specific nodal point locations along the string-length of the instrument. She has recorded extensively with this unusual instrument and has collaborated with such luminary figures as composer Pauline Oliveros, choreographer Deborah Hay, the Kronos Quartet, and Keiji Haino. Barn Owl are Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras. Looking over America from their nest in San Francisco the pair stretch out hazy, devotional drones).

August 10, 2018

Taking a walk without return

Keep quiet under the spiritual noisewall.

(Belong is an American experimental music duo composed of Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones. The group formed in New Orleans in 2002. The duo's sound blends ambient styles, with a focus on guitar textures. Reviews have made comparisons to current electronica artists like Fennesz and Tim Hecker, as well as the early 1990s shoegazing sound attributed to bands such as My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Guitars and synthesizers are run through various effects to produce the band's sound). 

Shadows of rising stars

Where the kings lies beyond life.

(Voice Of Eye is the duo of Bonnie McNairn and Jim Wilson. The two started playing together when Bonnie joined the avantgarde ensemble Cruor based in Houston (Texas). When they parted ways with Ure Thrall, the other members continued on as the noise/industrial combo Esoterica Landscapes 7. Later the group reduced still to become just Bonnie and Jim as Voice Of Eye. In the early 1990's, they collaborated with Ure Thrall's Terminus project and became Asianova, which is long defunct, but still trickling out archival material. Since relocating from Texas to rural New Mexico, they have disappeared from the public eye. Voice Of Eye's specialty is "organic sound sculpting": a form of electronic ethnic ambient music that relies mainly on electronic drones and manipulated instruments. Of particular note is that Jim Wilson has built several special instrument for the group). 

A black sea of dead birds

Tears flowing unto dark breakwater.

(Black Mare is the solo ethereal/dark project of Sera Timms (Ides of Gemini, Black Math Horseman, Zun).


August 2, 2018

Prelude to an unfinished existence

Looking up the stars fading out one by one.

(Formed in 1992 as Blind Justice, changed the name to Envy in 1995. Envy are a nominally hardcore/post-hardcore/screamo band from Tokyo, Japan. They are comprised of Tetsuya Fukagawa (vocals, left the group in 2016), Nobukata Kawai (guitar), Masahiro Tobita (guitar), Manabu Nakagawa (bass) and Dairoku Seki (drums); Jesu is a post-metal band formed in 2003 by Justin Broadrick following the breakup of Godflesh, pioneers of industrial music).

Open the door to a new path of existence

Remove the inside contents of failures and fears.

("October Language" is the debut album by New Orleans based duo Belong, comprised of Turk Dietrich and Mike Jones. Since it's release in early 2006, Belongs debut masterpiece has accumulated a dedicated cult following, with comparisons to the work of Tim Hecker and Gas, with some claims that it plays like My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" sans the songs. While these comparisons are useful for filing this album into a particular bin in the record shop, time has proven that "October Language" is a unique album which remains unmatched by its contemporaries).

Opening the black secret cage of doom

Forgotten codes to be descifrated.

(Formed in Macon, Georgia, United States in 1999 by K.Angylus (R.I.P. 2008) and M.Dragynfly. The Angelic Process produced music over an eight year period and they are considered as one of the pioneers and figureheads of the extreme music style called ambient drone metal).

Kissing the bride of the sleeper

Sun is rising in the hills of Tracia.

(Wind Atlas’ music has gained in nuances, drifting smoothly from dark dream-pop and new-wave passages (which remind us of Dead Can Dance) to gloomy postpunk atmospheres similar to those of Crispy Ambulance, Durruti Column or In Camera. Music to think of an unknown continent, to look for the lost alchemical formula, to eventually discover Talos the robot hurling rocks at the Argonauts. Music that requires to do nothing but listen, a task that nowadays appears almost impossible. 

The message is conveyed in an imagined language from a terra incognita, the lingua ignota. Each song is like an accent or a period, like a comma, a verse, a whole chapter of a liturgical chant).

The inevitable course of aging

A pretty quiet calm surrounding the graveyard.

(Hailing from Chicago, Zelienople have been etching out a place for themselves in the Windy City for the past five years. Constant collaborators with Souled American's Scott Tuma, this band mixes ghostly song structures with ambient drones).

Et originis omnium linguarum

Echoes of the longest day.

(Ele Ypsis is the tortured child of distant artistic lovers that arises from the collaboration between French singer and composer Laure Le Prunenec (Öxxö Xööx, Igorrr, Corpo-Mente and Rïcin) and belgian composer and producer Stélian Derenne).