plain ketchup 2

Posted by othiym23 Thu, 24 Apr 2008 07:52:23 GMT

As promised, here’s the list of what-all I’ve added to my collection since the last time I posted one of these omnibus roundups. As always, the sources are various: Amoeba, Boomkat, the Amazon MP3 store, Mutant Sounds, Dualtrack, The Thing on the Doorstep, No Longer Forgotten Music, The Soundhead, Phoenix Hairpins, and What Fucked You. Some of them are duplicates from the last list big list I posted because I purchased copies of things I had downloaded to check out (like the excellent Au Revoir Simone album).

Some of you may notice that despite my fevered excoriation of Death in June (or, you know, ambivalent musings thereon), there’s a hearty selection of their music here. I decided I needed to hear more of their stuff for myself, and I have to say, extended exposure to their music reinforces my conviction that they’re purposefully playing games with their listeners in a way I find unconscionable, even if some of the (earlier) songs scratch a very specific, Joy Division-esque itch deep in my head. This is something Jessica Hopper deals with obliquely, in the context of indie hipsters becoming fans of black metal bands with questionable beliefs (another thing I’ve had to wrestle with repeatedly over the years).

UPDATE: The conversation continues over Jessica’s way, just as ambivalent and inconclusive as the one that goes on in my head.

Anyway, here’s the list.

  1. ABC Mutes: Studio Stuff
  2. Ab Ovo: Empreintes
  3. Architects Office: 1987: Live
  4. Architects Office: 9th Year Gala Performance
  5. Area: Arbeit Macht Frei
  6. Art & Technique: Diabolus In Mecanica
  7. Au Revoir Simone: The Bird of Music
  8. Ballet Mécanique: The Icecold Waters of Egocentric Calculation
  9. Sir Richard Bishop: While My Guitar Violently Bleeds
  10. ビジリバ: ビジリバ
  11. Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath [box set remaster]
  12. Black Sabbath: Paranoid [box set remaster]
  13. Black Sabbath: Master of Reality [box set remaster]
  14. Black Sabbath: Vol 4 [box set remaster]
  15. Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath [box set remaster]
  16. Black Sabbath: Sabotage [box set remaster]
  17. Black Sabbath: Technical Ecstasy [box set remaster]
  18. Black Sabbath: Never Say Die! [box set remaster]
  19. Blue Mathue: Perfect Pictures
  20. Bogart & S·Core: Pilgrim
  21. Boys Noize: Oi Oi Oi
  22. The Breeders: Mountain Battles
  23. Monte Cazazza: The Worst of Monte Cazazza
  24. CEDS: Xandosis
  25. CINdYTALK: Camouflage Heart
  26. CINdYTALK: In This World
  27. CINdYTALK: Secrets and Falling
  28. CINdYTALK: The Wind is Strong
  29. CINdYTALK: Transgender Warrior
  30. CINdYTALK: Wappinschaw
  31. Cardboard Village: Sea Change
  32. Coil: The New Backwards
  33. Combo FH: Véci
  34. Commando M Pigg: s/t
  35. Confetti: Retrospective
  36. Crawling Chaos: The Gas Chair
  37. Crawling With Tarts: Operas
  38. Crevice: Crevice 1
  39. Crevice: Think of Pleasant Things
  40. Curlew: s/t
  41. De Fabriek & Telepherique: PWZ
  42. Death in June: The Guilty Have No Past
  43. Death in June: Burial
  44. Death in June: Nada!
  45. Death in June: The World That Summer
  46. Death in June: Brown Book
  47. Death in June: 93 Dead Sunwheels
  48. Death in June: The Wall of Sacrifice
  49. Death in June: The Cathedral of Tears
  50. Death in June: Oh How We Laughed
  51. Death in June: The Corn Years
  52. Devo: Recombo DNA
  53. Disrupt: Jah Bit Invasion
  54. Dom: Fackeln Im Sturm
  55. Frank Domert: Kiefermusik
  56. Dorothy: I Confess
  57. Drahomira Song Orchestra: The Return of 120 Magicians
  58. Iancu Dumitrescu / David Prescott: split
  59. Alec Empire: The Golden Foretaste of Heaven
  60. Enduser: Form Without Function
  61. Eva-Tone: She’s-A-Wild
  62. Flipper: Love Canal / Ha Ha Ha
  63. The Flying Lizards: s/t
  64. The Flying Lizards: Fourth Wall
  65. The Flying Lizards: Top Ten
  66. Folkdove: s/t
  67. Francisco: Cosmic Beam Experience
  68. Frequency.m: Fm043
  69. Genghis Tron: Board Up the House
  70. Gorilla Aktiv: Umsonst Ohne Risiko
  71. The Hafler Trio: Ignotum Per Ignotus
  72. Hajsch: Nagual (für Silvio Manuel)
  73. Hands To / Eric Lunde: split
  74. Kevin Harrison: Inscrutably Obvious
  75. Hula: Black Pop Workout
  76. Hula: Cut From Inside
  77. Hula: Fever Car
  78. Hula: Murmur
  79. Hula: Freeze Out
  80. Hula: Get the Habit
  81. Hula: Black Wall Blue
  82. Hula: Poison
  83. Hula: Cut Me Loose
  84. Hula: VC1
  85. Indoor Life: s/t
  86. Linton Kwesi Johnson: A Cappella Live
  87. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Bass Culture
  88. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Dread Beat an’ Blood
  89. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Making History
  90. Kiss the Blade: The Party’s Begun
  91. Kiss the Blade: Young Soldier
  92. Hassisen Kone: Harsoinen Teräs
  93. Korean Buddhist God: Magnum You
  94. Korpses Katatonik: Sensitive Liberated Autistiks
  95. Joachim Kuhn: Cinemascope
  96. Der Künftige Musikan: Veitstanz
  97. LAShTAL: Thoum Aesh Neith
  98. Laddio Bolocko: Strange Warnings of Laddio Bolocko
  99. Laddio Bolocko: The Life & Times of Laddio Bolocko
  100. Leviathan: Massive Conspiracy Against All Life
  101. Liquid Visions: Endless Plasmatic Childhood
  102. Eric Lunde: V215
  103. Eric Lunde: Witness to Disaster
  104. M83: Saturdays = Youth
  105. Magma: Trilogie Theusz Hamtaahk Live
  106. The Master Musicians of Joujouka: recorded live in France
  107. Merzbow & John Hudak: The Time Stream
  108. Merzbow: Batzoutai With Material Gadgets
  109. Merzbow: Lowest Music 2
  110. Mesh: Claustrophobia
  111. Meshuggah: obZen
  112. Jeff Mills: Gamma Player, Volume 1: The Universe by Night
  113. Misson of Burma: Signals, Calls, and Marches [2008 Matador reissue]
  114. Mnemonists: Gyromancy
  115. Mnemonists: Roto-Limbs
  116. Mnemonists: Some Attributes of a Living System
  117. Monos: Everyday Soundtracks
  118. Monos: Generators
  119. Monos: Window
  120. Monoton: Monotonprodukt 02
  121. Monoton: Monotonprodukt 07
  122. Mr. Partridge: Take Away / The Lure of Salvage
  123. Nailsleeper: Marching Dynamics
  124. Neung Phak: Neung Phak (Mono Pause)
  125. Kaiser Nietzsche: Non Plus Ultra
  126. Hermann Nitsch: Klaviersonate für Arnulf Rainer
  127. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army: Replicas Redux
  128. Nurse With Wound: Steel Dream March of the Metal Men
  129. OAD: Daytona
  130. The Ocean: Precambrian
  131. Ora: After Rainfall
  132. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Dazzle Ships [2008 Telegraph remaster]
  133. Jürgen Paape: Nord Nord-West
  134. PBK: Shadows of Prophecy / In His Throes
  135. Pearls Before Swine: The Complete ESP-Disk’ Recordings
  136. Bob Pegg: Ancient Maps
  137. Bob Pegg & Nick Strutt: The Ship Builder
  138. Pekka Streng & Tasavalla Presidentti: Magneettimiehen Kuolema
  139. PFN: Akasa / Für Cleo
  140. Phallus Dei: Pontifex Maximus
  141. Poison the Well: Versions
  142. Portion Control: Simulate Sensual
  143. Prag Vec: No Cowboys
  144. Princess Tinymeat: Herstory: 1984-1986
  145. Qua: Forgetabout
  146. Qua: Painting Monsters on Clouds
  147. The Raincoats: s/t
  148. Jay Reatard: Blood Visions
  149. Reyvision: The Sound Cage
  150. Chas Rose: Child of the Universe
  151. Jack Rose: Dr. Ragtime & Pals / Jack Rose
  152. Rosetta: Wake / Lift
  153. S·Core: A Great Lump
  154. S·Core: A Jest of Nature
  155. S·Core: Dross
  156. S·Core: Dysphonia
  157. S·Core: Finger Mark
  158. S·Core: Morbid Moppets
  159. S·Core: Shedder
  160. S·Core: Tarnish
  161. S·Core: Undersong
  162. Rolf Schulz: Tambora
  163. Adrian Sherwood: Becoming a Cliché / Dub Cliché
  164. Sigillum S: Abstraction
  165. Sigillum S: Dispersion: Sliced Carrions & Pixel Handcuffs
  166. Sigillum S: Es Database Chronology
  167. Sigillum S: Mutilated Terrorism
  168. Sigillum S: Terror-Auto Obstetrics
  169. Soap-Jo Henshi: s/t
  170. Social Climbers: s/t
  171. Somatic Responses: Augmented Lines
  172. Somatic Responses: Circumflex
  173. Somatic Responses: Pounded Mass
  174. Somatic Responses: Touching the Void
  175. La Sonorite Jaun: Heliae
  176. La Sonorite Jaune & The Haters: The Interstellar Destroyed Music Mail Project
  177. SPK: Dekompositiones
  178. SPK: Live 7 June 1987 Theaterfabrik Manege, München
  179. SPK: Oceania: In Performance 1987
  180. Stars & Stips: Nevergreens
  181. Suburban Lawns: Baby
  182. Suburban Lawns: Gidget Goes to Hell
  183. Supersister: Present From Nancy
  184. Supersister: Spiral Staircase
  185. Teddy & the Frat Girls: Audio Suicide
  186. Test Dept. / Brith Gof: Gododdin
  187. Steve Thomsen: Retrospective II
  188. Steve Thomsen: Retrospective III
  189. Throbbing Gristle: Discipline
  190. Throbbing Gristle: Mission of Dead Souls: The Last Live Performance of TG
  191. Throbbing Gristle: Subhuman
  192. Throbbing Gristle: The First Annual Report
  193. Throbbing Gristle: Throbbing Gristle Live: Volume 1 (1976-1978)
  194. Throbbing Gristle: Throbbing Gristle Live: Volume 2 (1977-1978)
  195. Throbbing Gristle: Throbbing Gristle Live: Volume 3 (1978-1979)
  196. Throbbing Gristle: Throbbing Gristle Live: Volume 4 (1979-1980)
  197. Torche: Torche [2005 original version]
  198. Torche: Torche [2007 re-recorded version]
  199. Torche: Meanderthal
  200. The Vaselines: The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History
  201. Vazz: Your Lungs and Your Tongue
  202. Vendino Pact: s/t
  203. Virgin Prunes: A New Form of Beauty
  204. Virgin Prunes: Over the Rainbow
  205. Virgin Prunes: …If I Die, I Die
  206. Voigt/465: One Faint Deluded Smile
  207. Vox Populi!: Half Dead Ganja Music
  208. Warning: s/t
  209. Trevor Wishart: Journey Into Space
  210. Trevor Wishart: Red Bird / Anticredos
  211. Xanopticon: Liminal Space
  212. Yeast Culture: IYS
  213. Yeast Culture: Rena Leica: The Exposition of Nothing
  214. Yelle: Pop Up
  215. Zanov: Green Ray
  216. Zanov: In Course of Time
  217. Zanov: Moebius
  218. v/a: Alchemy
  219. v/a: Angelica 91
  220. v/a: Angelica 92
  221. v/a: Anthology 1: Come Organisation Archives 1979-1981
  222. v/a: Bogata, Luca & Richman: The Devil’s Trill
  223. v/a: Dry Lungs
  224. v/a: Dry Lungs II
  225. v/a: Dry Lungs V
  226. v/a: Freedom in a Vacuum
  227. v/a: Fridge Freezer
  228. v/a: Hands 2/3
  229. v/a: La Mort Heureuse
  230. v/a: Mutant Sounds Whacked-Out Singles: Volume 7
  231. v/a: No Big Business
  232. v/a: No Big Business 2
  233. v/a: PS1 Volume: Bed of Sound
  234. v/a: Project One
  235. v/a: Trumpett Sounds

lost Youth

Posted by othiym23 Tue, 18 Mar 2008 04:50:43 GMT

Once upon a time there was Option magazine. It covered a broad – yet oddly narrowly defined – cross-section of music that was too weird for the mainstream, but maybe not all the way underground. Each issue would feature quarter-page ads for ReR and Cuneiform Records, and generally there was one or more ads for The Bevis Frond. It had features of varying quality (one article on Swans featured the memorable observation by Jarboe that working in the studio with Michael Gira was much like what working with Paganini was said to be like: “like standing in vats of boiling oil, lancing each other with razor blades”), but the real draw for the magazine were the 30-40 pages of concise reviews, typeset in 4 columns of agate type. It took a couple days to work through them all, but doing so always left me with a feeling like I had a pretty good idea what was going on. They covered cassette-only DiY industrial releases as much as they did more established stalwarts of new and experimental music (Fred Frith, Eugene Chadborne, Zeena Parkins, John Zorn – the Knitting Factory crowd).

Option crapped out 10 years ago. It had lost its purpose, crowded on one side by the alternative-izing of Spin and Rolling Stone in the wake of the grunge explosion-implosion, and on the other by the explosion of subgenres and new bands that characterized the 90s. It’s impossible to imagine a magazine with Option’s broad remit succeeding today. There’s way too much music to cover, and the print magazines that do survive (in Pitchfork’s shadow) tend to be more narrowly focused and relatively conservative. Even The Wire, the most self-consciously hip’n’edgy music magazine out there, is much more predictable than Option was in the early 90s.

Even so, I did inductively identify an Option sound after reading it for a couple years, a kind of post-college rock / intellectual psychedelia that lived somewhere in the interstices between Galaxie 500, Robyn Hitchcock, Half Japanese and the aforementioned twisted guitar genii Chadborne and Frith. It was like art-hippy weirdoes Henry Cow tamed for a larger audience, or REM with more unpredictability.

I provide you with all this prolog because Damien Youth fits the old Option template perfectly. Having never heard him before, listening to his The Man Who Invented God filled me with a rush of nostalgia for high school, when my friends and I would swap REM and Let’s Active and Big Star tapes. Youth was contemporary with those bands, even though he never had their success, and he was clearly mining the same vein of intellectual, introspective folky psychedelia. The Man Who Invented God has the insular quality I associate with late-80s home studio recordings, and Youth practically ought to be paying Michael Stipe royalties, but there’s a free-flowing ease to the songs that makes the rough edges and stylistic debts less important. There’s also some eyeliner and goth poetry going on, which you can interpret as charming or grating as you see fit.

This is yet another of the trove of old recordings I got from Mutant Sounds, and it’s worth the download time and Rapidshare hassle to check out if you like gothic psychedelia. Youth outlasted Option and is still going, almost 25 years after he started, and he’s got a bewildering array of other projects he’s participated in. I might have to check some of them out.

Death in June are or are not Nazis

Posted by othiym23 Fri, 14 Mar 2008 06:07:52 GMT

…but one thing is for sure: when I start wading through the thickets of accusations and counteraccusations, rumor-mongering, sectarian and factional grudge-slinging and post-Situationist po-faced “pranksterism” around the neo-folk / neo-pagan scene, I get the exact same headache I used to get when I was a teenager trying to figure out the American Communist left by reading RCP and SWP newspapers (if you don’t know those acronyms, good for you – all you need to know is that they were / are both claiming the True Marxist mantle for themselves, and they loathe each other).

Out on the fringes of politics and ideology there lies a sticky morass of extremism and paranoia that manifests itself in seemingly incomprehensible shifts in belief, where people will go from hard, statist left to hard, individualist right, without stopping at any point in between. It’s the same phenomenon that produces former-Trotskyite neocons like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, only with much less disastrous consequences (Douglas P may be a jerk, but he hasn’t (successfully) started any land wars in Asia lately). In the case of neo-folk, though, art is involved, and art necessarily involves ambiguity. The problem of figuring out who actually believes what and who is a lying sack of shit becomes completely intractable, so there’s this peculiar Schrödinger’s box, within which a group like Sol Invictus is either a bunch of neo-Nazi meat puppets or kindly, misunderstood friends to Jew and puppy alike, or Death In June are either in hock to Croatian war criminals or bemused visitors to the region who donated money to innocent victims of the Balkan war. If you care about not giving your time and money to people whose principles you abhor, sorting through these messes can be troubling and maddening in equal measure.

To get a flavor for the complete vacuum of truth this sort of churning strife engenders, first read this hatchet job on Sol Invictus by Stewart Home (his Wikipedia talk page is more germane than the Wikipedia entry itself), and then read this confused atttempt to grapple with it on the blog of some innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. To me, it seems inescapable that the neo-pagan crowd has an awful lot invested in keeping their politics as amorphous as possible (mostly to keep their audiences from devouring themselves in an orgy of mutual loathing – fans of neo-folk run across the political spectrum. Black shirts and jackboots for some, tiny pagan flags for others!); it’s more telling to me if (IF!) Albin Julius of Der Blutharsch is an admirer of Jörg Haider than if he’s gone out of his way to make friends with SOME Israelis (as my good buddy Joel forcefully pointed out to me recently, it’s possible to find Israelis who are fans of just about anything, which means that you can’t exactly treat Der Blutharsch having Israeli fans as being equivalent to them getting [K] stamped on their asses by the Rabbinate of Jerusalem).

More materially, Home wrote a foreword for a booklet of Sol Invictus lyrics in the 90s. If he thinks Tony Wakeford is a tubby sack of Nazi shit (he seems to be very fond of calling Tony Wakeford a fat man), what’s that all about? And then there’s the Green Anarchism controversy (search for “stewart home” down the page)… it’s all a big fucking mess, and I’m thankful I don’t have to care.

The thing to take away from this is the disorienting sensation that you have fallen completely through the rabbit hole into a world where nobody ever tells the truth if they can wrap it up in a few layers of obfuscatory ideological nonsense first. I’m no closer to determining whether or not Death In June, Sixth Comm, Sol Invictus and a bunch of the other World Serpent neo-folk bands are closet servants of Space Hitler. For now, the fact that nothing conclusive presents itself is probably good enough; I can’t plausibly be a fan of black metal and own records featuring participation by convicted hate criminals and object too strenuously to artists who at least attempt to keep their politics private. (To completely muddy the waters, the most entertaining English-language source on the violent origins of Scandinavian black metal is Lords of Chaos, written by Michael Moynihan, member of Blood Axis and himself despised as a fascist neo-pagan by much of the far left.)

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that my whole train of thought initially started from investigating Death In June’s use of the totenkopf as part of their visual identity – a symbol, paradoxically, that is much more loaded when it is adopted by an English musician than by a German of any stripe, even though its use is illegal in modern Germany. For good and for ill, the totenkopf is part of German cultural heritage, and is much more plausibly adopted as an ambiguous / problematic / “reclaimed” symbol by someone who inherits from that culture than a self-styled “history student” from outside the context – particularly when that same person, like Douglas P, carries around a four-foot-tall metallized version of the logo on a banner he carries with him when he plays live to this day.

Which illustrates, finally, a point that is obvious to me now but wasn’t when I got into the spooky stuff as a curious and alienated teenager, which is that one of the risks of being a fan of dark, marginal and extreme art is that it is easy to fall prey to mental contamination. For every romantic who finds passion in extremity, there is someone much colder seeking to speak to the darkness in others and manipulate it for their own ends. Some dark art is beautiful and much of it is compelling, but it requires confrontation and self-analysis if you’re to avoid succumbing to the bullshit that comes along with it. Just appreciating it for what it is and not paying attention to the context isn’t enough, if you want to keep your hands clean.

*brrgblglabblgrrbl* *GASP* *brrglblrg*

Posted by othiym23 Tue, 04 Mar 2008 09:38:11 GMT

The problem with drinking from a firehose is that sometimes you asplode. This just happened to me, and I’m trying to deal with it by sharing my total insanity with you, the semi-random passersby on the internet.

As I’ve mentioned several times, I recently discovered the awe-inspiring zombie amusement park that is Blogspot’s coterie of MP3 blogs. I’d never really paid them much attention before, because most of my exposure to MP3 blogs had been through dodgy Eastern European metal blogs that were dedicated to scene rips of upcoming releases, and I’m really not all that into pissing all over the people who make my favorite music, which is basically what these blogs are all about (somebody has to pay for music, somehow, if it’s going to continue to be made).

However, Mutant Sounds and its brethren opened my eyes to the vast amount of music that exists in a twilit state with respect to copyright; thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act™, most of the recordings shared via these blogs won’t be public domain until the end of this century – if ever – yet the vast majority of this material can be had neither via love, money, nor diligent browsing of GEMM. Most of the artists involved really don’t seem to care, as the bloggers are all pretty careful to avoid posting material that is readily available, and in some cases the creators send the blog owners better-quality recordings of their own material to replace inferior rips.

It didn’t help that one of the first of these blogs I discovered, dualtrack, has posted nearly every record I deeply coveted between 1989 and 1992. I sometimes forget that I got my start as a major music nerd through RE/Search’s Industrial Culture Handbook, but when I was learning about this stuff, I was also your average broke college kid and therefore could only read about these records in The Ooze’s monthly new-releases newsletter, saving up for stuff I really, really wanted, like :zoviet*france: reissues on CD or the occasional bizarre overindulgence. Now that I’m all grown up, most of those records, CDs and cassettes are beyond gone, appearing only in Amoeba’s used bins or on eBay (sometimes for plainly hurtful prices). It was with delight bordering on awe that I discovered that almost all of these records I’d been searching for for many, many years were freely available, generally with high-quality scans of the included artwork.

So, armed with a not entirely flimsy rationalization, a sense of burning need, and a month’s Premium subscription to Rapidshare, I went completely bonkers. Most of the stuff on this list came from either dualtrack, The Thing on the Doorstep, No Longer Forgotten Music, Rusted Noise, Mutant Sounds, Phoenix Hairpins, Boomkat, Amoeba and Other Music Digital. (NOTE TO RECORD LABEL FOLK: My copy of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is on a shiny aluminized plastic platter purchased new from Amoeba Records, with the latest lame cover art you have chosen for it. The original cover art was much nicer. Thank you for your attention.) A lot of it I even bought, as I took this opportunity to fill in long-standing gaps in my collection. As you can see, it would take me a very long time to even summarize what’s here, so I’m going to leave that to other postings. Suffice it to say that just about every weird kind of music you can imagine, and some you probably can’t (the Masstishaddhu record, in particular, defies description to anyone who hasn’t already heard it).

It’s going to take me weeks to listen to all this stuff, much less comprehend it. There’s a lot of amazing, weird and profound music in here.

  1. ABGS: Werkbeschallung: Live
  2. Abwärts: Amok Koma
  3. Gunter Adler: Minute Music
  4. Gunter Adler: Polysyntetica
  5. Gunter Adler: The Silver Book
  6. Ain Soph: Kshatriya
  7. Alpha Omega: Electronic Mind Project
  8. Au Revoir Simone: The Bird of Music
  9. Autonomic Computing: Mutantextures
  10. Henry Badowski: Life is a Grand
  11. Erykah Badu: New Amerykah, Part 1: 4th World War
  12. Biochemical Dread: Bush Doctrine
  13. Biota: Rackabones / Vagabones
  14. Bipol: Ritual
  15. Black Sun Ensemble: Black Sun Ensemble
  16. Blacworld: Subduing Demons (In South Yorkshire)
  17. Burning Witch: Crippled Lucifer
  18. Monte Cazazza: To Mom on Mother’s Day / Candy Man
  19. C-Schulz: 7. Party Disco
  20. C-Schulz: 10. Hose Horn
  21. Chrome: Alien Soundtracks
  22. Chrome: Half Machine Lip Moves
  23. Chrome: 3rd from the Sun
  24. Chrystal Belle Scrodd: The Inevitable Chrystal Belle Scrodd Record
  25. Coil / Zos Kia: Transparent
  26. Cold Sun: Dark Shadows
  27. Cosey Fanni Tutti: Time to Tell
  28. Cranioclast: A Con Cristal
  29. Cranioclast: Koitlaransk / Ration Skalk
  30. Crash Worship: This
  31. Crawling Chaos: Sex Machine / Berlin
  32. Helios Creed: X-Rated Fairy Tales / Superior Catholic Finger
  33. Crispy Ambulance: From the Cradle to the Grave
  34. Crispy Ambulance: Live on a Hot August Night
  35. Crispy Ambulance: Sexus
  36. Crispy Ambulance: The Plateau Phase
  37. Crispy Ambulance: Unsightly and Serene
  38. Crispy Ambulance: Live at the ICA
  39. Current 93 & HÖH: Crowleymass
  40. Current 93 / Nurse With Wound: Mi-Mort
  41. Daft Punk: Alive 2007
  42. Danava: UnonoU
  43. Danielle Dax: Pop-Eyes
  44. Danielle Dax: Jesus Egg That Wept
  45. Danielle Dax: Inky Bloaters
  46. Danielle Dax: The Janice Long Session
  47. Danielle Dax: Comatose Non Reaction: The Thwarted Pop Career
  48. Amy Denio: No Bones
  49. Dead Meadow: Old Growth
  50. Dethklok: The Dethalbum
  51. Die Form / Asmus Tietchens: Face to Face, Volume 1
  52. Die Form: Duality
  53. DF Sadist School: Les Cent Vingt Journées de Sodome
  54. Doxa Sinistra: Via del Latte
  55. Drowning Craze: Trance / I Love the Fjords
  56. Frankie Dymon, Jr.: Let It Out
  57. Earth: The Bee Made Honey In The Lions Skull
  58. Einstürzende Neubauten: Kollaps
  59. Einstürzende Neubauten: Zeichnungen des Patienten OT
  60. Elohim: A L’Aube Du Verseau
  61. Erste Weibliche Fleischergesellin Nach 1945: Ferien Auf Dem Lande
  62. Étant Donnés: Aurore
  63. Étant Donnés: L’eclipse
  64. Étant Donnés: Re-Up
  65. Etat Brut: Mutations et Protheses
  66. Exterminator: Anna Blume
  67. Factrix: Empire of Passion
  68. Factrix: Scheintot
  69. Fanzine: 1980
  70. Fanzine: 1981
  71. Fanzine: 1982
  72. File Under Pop: Heathrow
  73. Brigitte Fontaine & Areski: L’incendie
  74. Brigitte Fontaine & Art Ensemble of Chicago: Comme à la Radio
  75. Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle: Telinehmende Beobachtung
  76. The Fugs: First Album
  77. The Fugs: Second Album
  78. BC Gilbert & G Lewis: Ends With the Sea
  79. The Gothic Archies: The Tragic Treasury: Songs from “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
  80. Bruce Haack: Electric Lucifer: Book 2
  81. Bruce Haack: The Electric Lucifer
  82. Hanadensha: Acoustic Mothership
  83. Hanadensha: Astral Pigmy Wave
  84. Hanadensha: Doobie Shining Love
  85. Hip Hop Pantsula: YBA 2 NW
  86. Lars Hollmer: Fran Natt Idag
  87. Lars Hollmer: Vill Du Höra Mer
  88. Lars Hollmer: XII Sibirska Cyklar
  89. Hoola Bandoola Band: Fri Information
  90. Hoola Bandoola Band: Garanterate Individuell
  91. Hoola Bandoola Band: På Väg
  92. Hoola Bandoola Band: Vem Kan Man Lita På?
  93. The Horrorist: Attack Decay
  94. The Human League: Being Boiled
  95. The Human League: The Dignity of Labour
  96. Hunting Lodge: Tribal Warning Shot
  97. In the Woods…: Three by Seven on a Pilgrimage
  98. Islaja: Meritie
  99. Kallabris: Considération sur / sous lé café
  100. Richard H Kirk: Darkness at Noon
  101. Richard H Kirk: Disposable Half-Truths
  102. Kotazo: Papy Mbavu / Papa Komanda
  103. Korpiklaani: Korven Kuningas
  104. Korpiklaani: Spirit of the Forest
  105. Korpiklaani: Voice of Wilderness
  106. Lava: Tears Are Goin’ Home
  107. Thomas Leer & Robert Rental: The Bridge
  108. Lemon Kittens: Spoonfed and Writhing
  109. Lemon Kittens: The Big Dentist
  110. Lemon Kittens: We Buy a Hammer for Daddy
  111. Lesbian: Power Hor
  112. Liquid Sound Company: Exploring the Psychedelic
  113. Machinic Indices: Untitled Kompositions
  114. Malombra: Malombra
  115. Masstishaddhu: Shekinah
  116. Men/Eject: Men/Eject
  117. Metabolist: Drömm
  118. Metabolist: Hansten Klork
  119. Metabolist: Identify
  120. The Metronomes: Regular Guys
  121. Mimir: Mimir
  122. Mimir: Mimyriad
  123. Mnemonists: Biota
  124. Mnemonists: Horde
  125. Moctan: Suspect
  126. Morphogenesis: Prochronisms
  127. Mysticum: In the Streams of Inferno
  128. nEGAPADRÉS.3.3: nEGAPADRÉS.3.3
  129. Joanna Newsom: Walnut Whales
  130. Joanna Newsom: Yarn and Glue
  131. Nocturnal Emissions: Spiritflesh
  132. Non: Mode of Infection / Knife Ladder
  133. Nurse With Wound / Spasm: Creakiness / Firemoon
  134. Nurse With Wound / Termite Queen: Nurse With Wound / Termite Queen
  135. Nurse With Wound / Organum: A Missing Sense / Rasa
  136. Nurse With Wound: A Sucked Orange
  137. Nurse With Wound: Brained by Falling Masonry
  138. Nurse With Wound: Crocodile Krazy Glue
  139. Nurse With Wound: The Musty Odour of Pierced Rectums
  140. Opal: Early Recordings 2
  141. Orchestra Terrestrial: Here and Elsewhere
  142. Organum: Horii
  143. Organum: Ikon
  144. Organum: Sphyx
  145. Organum: Tower of Silence
  146. Michael O’Shea: Michael O’Shea
  147. La Otracina: Fauna & Animated Floral Arrangements
  148. P16.D4: Distruct
  149. P16.D4: Kühe in 1/2 Trauer
  150. Penumbra: Skandinavien
  151. Permutative Distorsion: Brückenkopf im Niemandsland
  152. Pitch Black Afro: Split Endz
  153. Eddie Prévost / Organum: Flayed / Crux
  154. Problemist: 9 Times Sanity
  155. Project 197: IP001
  156. Pseudo Code: Europa
  157. Psychic TV: Allegory & Self
  158. Psychic TV: Dreams Less Sweet
  159. Psychic TV: Force Thee Hand ov Chance / Blinded Eye in Thee Pyramid
  160. Psychic TV: Mouth of the Night
  161. Psychic TV: NY Scum
  162. Punch Inc.: Fightclub
  163. The Raveonettes: Lust Lust Lust
  164. Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
  165. Steve Reich: Tehellim & The Desert Music
  166. Steve Reich: Triple Quartet
  167. Steve Reich: You Are (Variations) / Cello Counterpoint
  168. Robert Rental: On Location / Double Heart
  169. The Residents: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  170. The Residents: Commercial Single
  171. Graeme Revell: The Insect Musicians
  172. The Revolving Paint Dream: Flowers in the Sky: The Enigma of the Revolving Paint Dream
  173. Boyd Rice and Friends: Music, Martinis & Misanthropy
  174. Salon Music: La Paloma Show
  175. Sandoz: In Dub: Chapter Two / Extra Time (Under the Stones)
  176. Shock Headed Peters: I, Bloodbrother Be
  177. Shock Headed Peters: The Kissing of Gods
  178. Sielwolf: IV
  179. Sielwolf: Nachtstrom
  180. Sielwolf: V - Remixes
  181. Sigillum S: 23|20
  182. Sigillum S: Bardo Thos-Grol
  183. Sigillum S: Studs and Divinity
  184. Sixth Comm: Grey Years
  185. Smegma: 33 1/3
  186. SPK: Slogun / Meccano
  187. SPK: Live At Garibaldi’s, 1979
  188. SPK: Information Overload Unit
  189. SPK: Auto Da Fe
  190. SPK: Leichenschrei
  191. SPK: Angst Pop: Live
  192. SPK: From Science to Ritual
  193. SPK: Human Post Mortem (Despair OST)
  194. SPK: Live at Pandora’s Music Box
  195. SPK: Live at the Crypt
  196. SPK: No More
  197. SPK: Off the Deep End
  198. SPK: See-Saw / Chamber Musik
  199. SPK: The Last Attempt at Paradise: Live in Lawrence, Kansas
  200. SPK: Wars of Islam: Live in Rome
  201. SPK: Machine Age Voodoo
  202. SPK: Metal Dance / Will to Power
  203. SPK: In Flagrante Delicto
  204. SPK: Zamia Lehmanni
  205. SPK: Gold & Poison
  206. SPK: Compilation Tracks (2nd version)
  207. Snakefinger: Manual of Errors
  208. Snakefinger: Chewing Hides the Sound
  209. Snakefinger: Greener Posters
  210. Sol Invictus: Lex Talionis
  211. Somatic Responses: Digital Darkness
  212. Spektr: Mescalyne
  213. Sun Ra: HelioCentric Worlds, Volumes 1 & 2
  214. Sweet Exorcist: Spirit Guide to Low Tech
  215. Symphonique Elegance: Act One
  216. Syrup Girls vs Sick Girls: Shotgun Wedding, Volume 8
  217. Teenage Jesus & The Jerks: Orphans / Less of Me
  218. Thick Pigeon: Thick Pigeon
  219. Throbbing Gristle: AR-TT-010
  220. Throbbing Gristle: United
  221. Throbbing Gristle: DOA: The Third and Final Report
  222. Throbbing Gristle: Adrenaline
  223. Throbbing Gristle: 20 Jazz Funk Greats
  224. Throbbing Gristle: Nothing Short of a Total War
  225. Throbbing Gristle: Rafters
  226. Throbbing Gristle: CD1
  227. Tools You Can Trust: Again Again Again
  228. Tools You Can Trust: Say It Low
  229. Tools You Can Trust: Sharpen the Tools
  230. Trop Tard: Ils etaient 9 dans L’obscurite
  231. Tuxedomoon: Dark Companion / 59 To 1 Remix
  232. Tuxedomoon: Desire / No Tears
  233. Tuxedomoon: What Use? / Crash
  234. Tuxedomoon: Joe Boy The Electric Ghost / Pinheads on the Move
  235. Tuxedomoon: Une Nuit au Fond de la Frayére / Egypt
  236. Tuxedomoon: Scream with a View
  237. Tuxedomoon: Half-Mute / Scream With a View
  238. Tuxedomoon: Ship of Fools
  239. Tuxedomoon: The Ghost Sonata
  240. Týr: Ragnarok
  241. Ultravox: Slow Motion
  242. Vas Deferens Organization: Zyzzybaloubah
  243. Verhören: Death is Safe
  244. Vidna Obmana: Noise / Drone Anthology 1984-1989
  245. Virgin Prunes: Heresie
  246. Von Zamla: No Make Up!
  247. Vox Populi! / HNAS: Face to Face, Volume 2
  248. Amy Winehouse: Back to Black
  249. Xasthur: A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors
  250. Damien Youth: Festival of Death
  251. Damien Youth: Fluttering Briar
  252. Damien Youth: The Man Who Invented God
  253. Z’ev: Elemental Music
  254. Z’ev: Salts of Heavy Metals
  255. Stefan Weisser: Poextensions
  256. Zahgurim: Moral Rearmament
  257. Zero Kama: The Secret Eye of L.A.Y.L.A.H.
  258. Zos Kia Meets Sugardog: That’s Heavy Baby
  259. v/a: 2005 Hands
  260. v/a: 4 in 1
  261. v/a: Ach Hanover
  262. v/a: Angst in My Pants
  263. Alban Berg / Anton Webern / Arnold Schoenberg / James Levine / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Orchestral Pieces
  264. v/a: Can You Hear Me? Music from The Deaf Club
  265. v/a: Colorado
  266. v/a: Dada > Antidada > Merz
  267. v/a: Devastate to Liberate
  268. v/a: Dokument: Ten Highlights in the History Of Popular Music, 1982-1983
  269. v/a: Earthly Delights
  270. v/a: The Elephant Table Album
  271. v/a: Er Ist Tief Und Dein Wasser Ist Dunkel
  272. v/a: Feature Mist
  273. v/a: Fluxus Anthology
  274. v/a: Für Ilse Koch
  275. v/a: A Gnomean Haigonaimean: A Compilation of Fantasies Intoxication Concepts
  276. v/a: Gut Level One
  277. v/a: Hare / Hunter / Field
  278. v/a: Harmony of the Spheres
  279. v/a: Hate’s Our Belief
  280. v/a: Iberico
  281. v/a: Internationalism
  282. v/a: The Last Supper
  283. v/a: Machines
  284. v/a: Masse Mensch
  285. v/a: Palatine: The Factory Story
  286. v/a: Passage du Trou Marin
  287. v/a: Perpetual State of Oracular Dream
  288. v/a: Riposte
  289. v/a: A Selection
  290. v/a: Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus
  291. v/a: The Virus Has Been Spread: A D-Trash Records Tribute To Atari Teenage Riot

2008/01/27

Posted by othiym23 Wed, 27 Feb 2008 23:00:46 GMT

Cold Sun’s Dark Shadows does not do what it says on the box. The band and album names suggest some kind of kohl-eyed coldwave from the late 80s, not an amalgam of the Grateful Dead, Pavement and Built to Spill, full of sinuous, meandering guitar lines and aggressively Aquarian lyrics drawn from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It was apparently recorded in 1969 but not released until 1989, and even then on a tiny little label. It’s not precisely an overlooked gem, because it’s definitely a creature of its moment, with the stilted vocal delivery (which really does seem like an awkward hybrid of Jerry Garcia and Stephen Malkmus’s styles) and the somewhat overfamiliar psychedelic doodles draped all over the songs, but there’s something about its aggressive oddity and potentially laughable earnestness that got it deeply enough wedged in my head that I woke up this morning humming it.

And you can check it out for free, so if that sounds like your sort of thing, you should check it out.

Dax't 2

Posted by othiym23 Mon, 25 Feb 2008 01:33:15 GMT

I think most serious music fans and collectors have private creation myths: little stories they can tell about how they came to be the way they are. Either it’s a friend or a sibling who passed them some ear-opening tapes, or a family that was filled with musicians, or a glancing exposure to something that sunk its hooks deeply into their brains and took them over for life. Or, in many cases, a combination of all of the above, which is how it was for me. Here’s a little piece of my own story.

When I was a junior in high school, I spent one night babysitting some friends who were tripping (this was before we all figured out that mixing the high and the non-high is generally frustrating for everyone involved). They spent that trip mostly playing an already ancient version of Space War on one dude’s PC. I was mostly relieved to be left alone for a while, having spent most of the day feeling like a tool for not wanting to get high myself, and spent the time flipping through channels on cable, something I didn’t have at home.

This was shortly after the introduction of VH-1 but before the introduction of 120 Minutes, and Viacom had unceremoniously dumped a bunch of semi-alternative music videos on an unnamed show late on VH-1, which I happened to catch. The three videos I saw were by Helios Creed, Front 242 and Danielle Dax, and it’s safe to say they changed my life. The Helios Creed video was sleazy and struck me at the time as a not-so-veiled paean to heroin, the Front 242 video was for “Headhunter” and made me desperately nostalgic for Brussels (which I’d visited for all of three hours 8 months previously), and the Danielle Dax video was for “Cat-House”, and was by far the most surreal of the bunch – which was saying something.

“Cat-House” is a weird song, mostly because of the way it plays Dax’s girl-group-gone-feral singing against what seems like more or less straightforward industrialized rock and roll. It sort of sounds like the Sisters of Mercy got a less wildly demonstrative Diamanda Galás to sing for them, and it’s a song that starts out seeming pedestrian, only to get weirder and weirder the more you hear both it and the rest of Dax’s painfully eclectic catalog. The video is basically Dax miming the song run through a battery of cheap video effects (which are done absolutely no favors by YouTube), but it has a hyperdelic intensity that hit me just right, maybe due to spending the day around people who were capable of watching a stalk of grass for 15 minutes without moving.

Dax has been around long enough that most people have forgotten her altogether, but I’ve been listening to her US best-of anthology, Dark Adapted Eye, a couple times a year ever since I picked it up (on cassette!) in 1989. She got her start in the incredibly weird Lemon Kittens, and her music has stayed hard to pigeonhole ever since, borrowing elements of Orientalism, perverse morbidity, cryptic metaphysical references, and a generally goth patina without ever having a fixed sound. She gave up on the music business back in 1995 in a fairly flamboyant fashion, issuing another best-of and obscurities collection with the pithily summarizing title of Comatose Non Reaction: The Thwarted Pop Career. At least she kept her sense of humor.

After recently discovering the bonanza of music to be found on the MP3 Blogs of Blogspotistan, I found Devastate to Liberate. It’s not an album you’re likely to have heard of unless you’re a fan of some of the bands on it (or an old-school member of PETA), but in its way it’s a Rosetta Stone of mid-80s weirdo music, with songs by Nurse With Wound, Legendary Pink Dots, Crass, Coil and a variety of other (talented yet obscure) industrial and anarcho-punk acts. It’s also, I think, the first militant animal-rights benefit album, being released to raise funds for the Animal Liberation Front.

Perhaps my favorite track on the album is one by a band I’d never heard before: the Shock Headed Peters. “Blue Rosebuds” is an unhinged five minutes of feedbacked scree and post-Sabbath guitar histrionics that neatly bridges the gap between heavy metal and the noise attack of Skullflower. It’s not metal, it’s not industrial, and it’s not rock and roll, but it’s definitely crazed and loud and I love it.

Shock Headed Peters were a project of Karl Blake, who was the other member of Lemon Kittens with Danielle Dax, and hearing this track prompted me to finally find the Lemon Kittens’ albums. The least obscure album Lemon Kittens put out was released on Steven Stapleton’s United Dairies, and whether or not you have the faintest inkling what United Dairies is, that should give you some idea how obscure the Lemon Kittens were. Their entire catalog is seemingly irretrievably out of print, and it’s hard to identify why, because their music is not unapproachable; it’s strange and amateurish (Dax didn’t know anything about music when she joined the band), but in the best spirit of post punk experimentalism, ideas are king, and a lot of the songs click after two or three listens. For now, you’ll just have to find one of the internet rips and download those, unless Blake or Dax decides to chance their luck with a label or distributor again (they both have fairly dyspeptic Myspace blogs).

Dax’s kiss-off to the music industry contained a couple songs she did in collaboration with Blake, one of which is an absolutely fabulous reinterpretation of a Shock Headed Peters song, “Hate on Sight”, which is turned from an acidic post-punk tune into something not unlike Curve playing doom metal. It’s enough to make tracking down a copy of Comatose Non Reaction all on its own, because it’s a great song.

All of this has filled me with a burning urge to hear more Shock Headed Peters, but their stuff is also incredibly hard to find (I found this, but I’d like legit copies of this stuff without having to pay extortionate eBay prices). It’s too bad, because Karl Blake plays guitar like a gifted demon (much like Helios Creed, to bring this story back to its beginning). No matter how much music I find, I always seem to find myself wanting more. It’s a pleasant problem to have, especially because I still like the old stuff – I’ve been listening to Danielle Dax’s music a bunch over the last few days and, if anything, I find her outsider take on goth music more charming now than I did when I first heard it 20 years ago.

better late than never 2

Posted by othiym23 Wed, 23 Jan 2008 07:47:33 GMT

Swervedriver were a terrific band. They released four albums that managed to mine just about every great rock and roll tradition of the preceding 30 years without ever sounding like anything other than Swervedriver. They were better on stage than on record, even though classic songs like “Last Train to Satansville” were minor masterpieces of invisible soundtrack work and they were clearly consummate craftsmen. Their songs have a transparent clarity that glows brighter the more attention you give them. They were, in short, a great British rock band, and these days almost entirely unknown.

The biggest reason for their relative obscurity is due to factors beyond their control; their first records were released by Creation at the height of shoegazermania, and while they had some brilliant dreampop moments (“Sunset” off their debut is my favorite along those lines), they were both more muscular and more traditional than most of their peers. I saw them open for Soundgarden in the spring of 1992, and I went from thinking they were also-rans to being a fan in about 10 minutes. They rocked hard, and played far more confidently than you’d expect from an opening act who were almost completely unknown in the US at the time. My favorite album by them, Mezcal Head, is a straight up rock and roll masterpiece – nothing “alternative” about it – and owes much to the Rolling Stones, Lee Hazelwood and The Byrds.

I picked up their third album, Ejector Seat Reservation, shortly after it came out in 1996. It was hard to find (it didn’t get released outside the UK until 2003) and so I was a little disappointed that it seemed so featureless and dry next to the effortless pyrotechnics of Mezcal Head. That feeling persisted until just a couple months ago, when I ripped all my Swervedriver and put it on my iPod. Having the opportunity to hear Ejector Seat Reservation while I was out and about allowed me to get to know it at a more leisurely pace, and I slowly realized that it is at least as classic a set of songs as anything else Swervedriver ever released. I use the word “classic” consciously; Swervedriver’s debts are more obvious than ever, but so is the care and conscientiousness of their songcraft.

This album really deserves to be in the same category as the best records by Blur, Ride or Pulp, and easily outclasses anything made by the odious Oasis (the Gallagher brothers are jerks, their records sound like overcompressed crap, and they had one great song they kept permuting over and over). It’s hard to say what Swervedriver could have done to get more noticed, but it’s a shame they weren’t.

Conservatory (San Sebastiano)

Posted by othiym23 Mon, 14 Jan 2008 01:54:00 GMT

I’m only hearing it for the first time, so I can’t really comment on the recording yet, but the notes and exhibition catalog for John Duncan’s soundscape for Paolo Parisi’s “Conservatory” installation is very pretty, and has the kind of measured curatorial insight that European art seems to attract by default and that are so very, very rare in the United States. I wish I could have visited the installation.