Ello

Archives by month/year

Welcome to Freq in 2016

Freq has been online in various forms since April 1998; this iteration has been around as of 2010, with an archive of older material available — see below.

Please scroll down and on for the most recent reviews; see also the archives index for 1998-2009 below while there is also an A-Z index of everything posted so far.

The bulk of the record reviews 1998-2008 are in the following pages — as time allows they are being converted to the newer, searchable format:
Continue reading …

> Print this page

Gaap Kvlt – Jinn

Zoharum

Gaap Kvlt - JiinDeep like the desert where the unchecked winds create and carry the drones, Gaap Kvlt‘s Jinn — which follows on from 2014’s Void — draws on field recordings from north Africa to evoke the baking days and cold nights of the Sahara.

> Print this

Continue reading Gaap Kvlt – Jinn […]

Van der Graaf Generator – Do Not Disturb

Esoteric

Van der Graaf Generator - Do Not DisturbIt’s always a daunting prospect to spin a new Van der Graaf Generator album for the first time: will it live up to expectations? Can the group still be vital and challenging thirteen albums and forty-eight years into their “career”? The answers are inevitably a disappointing “no”; and a second and third spin do very little to change that perception.

> Print this

Continue reading Van der Graaf Generator – Do Not Disturb […]

Urusei Yatsura – You Are My Urusei Yatsura

Rocket Girl

Urusei Yatsura - You Are My Urusei YatsuraIt might well be the case that you’ve spent the last twenty years not listening to Urusei Yatsura. Which is fine, I guess, but it does put you and I rather at odds. There’s only one band I own every release of and these are they. I have three copies of their first LP (1x clear, 1x orange, 1x blue, two with “geek rock” tattoo intact). So. Readers expecting the verisimilitude of objectivity might well look away now.

> Print this

Continue reading Urusei Yatsura – You Are My Urusei Yatsura […]

Spectralate – All Terrain Badgers

Turquoise Coal

Spectralate - All Terrain BadgersSpectralate‘s second LP finds Annie Pye and Alan Holmes (Ectogram, Parking Non-Stop, Fflaps, The Groceries, etc) embarking on a musical journey around Ynys Môn (also known as Anglesey to Anglophones), and it’s interesting to ponder briefly if the All Terrain Badgers of the title refers to beasts they encountered en route (whether real or imagined) or metaphorically to the duo themselves.

> Print this

Continue reading Spectralate – All Terrain Badgers […]

Daniel Bennett and Stephen Cornford – Fellfield Draff

Hideous Replica

Daniel Bennett And Stephen Cornford - Fellfield DraffIt’s not clear how composed this is, but there’s bits that have the quality of being like someone’s writing harmonies (ahem) while under the influence of ketamine — it’s definitely happening, but at a pace just that smidge too slow to discern quite how it’s moving. Stephen Cornford I’m less familiar with but Daniel Bennett‘s; well, he’s always been a frighteningly meticulous musician and his attention to detail is astonishing. Here, it’s not clear whose voice is whose, so the entirely gorgeous squelch of early in “Field”, just nauseous enough to be disconcerting but never outstaying it’s welcome and is really quite lovely.

Detail is probably the thing that separates the “will this do?”‘ textural wheat from the noise chaff (NB

Continue reading Daniel Bennett and Stephen Cornford – Fellfield Draff […]

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts

Reprise

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade/Living With GhostsTen years ago, the already legendary My Chemical Romance released their third studio album. Now, The Black Parade represents so much to their fans; at the time of its release, the album transformed their fanbase into what is called the MCRmy, later to be called the Killjoys, an army that would wage war upon those who would attempt to stop them from being different, from being themselves They also found opponents in those UK tabloids who would accuse MCR of being an “emo suicide cult” that caused their fans to take their own lives — when in reality the band sent out an anti-suicide message, through music that didn’t ignore depression and addiction, that encouraged keeping on

Continue reading My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade / Living With Ghosts […]

Debmaster, DJ Die Soon, oki-chu – Sammo Hung Quest II: Cursed Demons Season

Le Petit Mignon / Staalplaat

Debmaster, DJ Die Soon, oki-chu - Sammo Hung Quest IILike the ages-spanning computer game tropes that oki-chu‘s eye-popping artwork celebrates and its music soundtracks, the dayglo psychedelic sounds of Sammo Hung Quest II: Cursed Demons Season are splattered across the soundscape, mirroring the pixelated sprites from the LP labels that find themselves reflected in the half-face visor of the skull-necklaced cyborg gamer that adorns the LP’s unfolding outer sleeve.

> Print this

Continue reading Debmaster, DJ Die Soon, oki-chu – Sammo Hung Quest II: Cursed Demons Season […]

Silver Apples ‎- Clinging To A Dream

Chicken Coop

Silver Apples ‎- Clinging To A DreamIt’s a dull September afternoon, and it’s been tipping down for hours now. In contrast to this dismal weekend, Simeon Coxe‘s gentle trippy vibes are happily churning my ear, gliding the consciousness blissfully.

> Print this

Continue reading Silver Apples ‎- Clinging To A Dream […]

Dangerous Men

Drafthouse / MVD

Dangerous MenJohn Rad‘s Dangerous Men is probably, unfortunately for me, review-proof. Made on a shoestring by Rad, an Iranian who moved to America literally 24 hours before Khomeini got in and — understandably — decided not to go back, it’s a crazy slice of slam-bang crime action, and it may just be the Deadly Premonition of moves when it comes to asking “is it any good?”

> Print this

Continue reading Dangerous Men […]

Controlled Bleeding – Larva Lumps And Baby Bumps

Artoffact

Controlled Bleeding - Larva Lumps & Baby Bumps.pngThe Gregory Jacobsen cover wrapping this double album is a thing of warped beauty, but in no way prepares you for the flash flood of fret gymnastics it contains. An opener that literally takes your breath away, “Driving Through Darkness” is bloody brilliant, all hot proggy curves and carbolic rubs with a satisfying Pere Ubu-like underbelly chugging away all superconductive, combustive and ravenously hungry.

> Print this

Continue reading Controlled Bleeding – Larva Lumps And Baby Bumps […]

Of Mice And Men – Cold World

Rise

Of Mice And Men - Cold World

The world transfigures us, little by little. Every day we are little bit different: we are okay; we are numb; we are broken. But our main goal is to be all right with who we are in the present. Not always happy, not excellent, not bad, not sad; just okay. And as we go along we pick up pieces of ourselves that we have lost, or new pieces until we are okay. This is what Of Mice And Men‘s Cold World sounds like.

> Print this

Continue reading Of Mice And Men – Cold World […]

Fort Process 2016

welcome to Fort Process 2016Newhaven Fort, East Sussex 3 September 2016

It sounded like bedlam from the car park, quickly replaced by some deranged Frenchman chucking stuff around the parade ground, his shouts and clattering, laptop-captured from the fortifications and spurted back in jabbering cut-ups. Welcome to Fort Process part deux, spun off in blaring megaphone, smashed metal, Dada antics that flew close to injuring the onlookers.

> Print this

Continue reading Fort Process 2016 […]

Chivalrous Amoekons – Fanatic Voyage

Drag City

Chivalrous Amoekons - Fanatic VoyageBack in 1978, The Mekons were riding high at the forefront of the emerging post-punk movement, only to seemingly miss their chance and disappear from view like so many others from the scene. Their resurrection with a new line-up in 1984 was as unexpected as the new direction they took. In the thirty odd years since, they have developed a music that sounds terrible in theory — a mix of Americana, world music, punk, trip-hop, reggae, morris dance — allied to surrealist imagery and left wing politics that bizarrely works against all odds.

> Print this

Continue reading Chivalrous Amoekons – Fanatic Voyage […]

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

Bad Seed

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds ‎– Skeleton TreeIt will cause no great controversy if I say that Nick Cave has been writing about love and death for most of his career. If The Birthday Party were the gleeful rictus grin of the Grim Reaper, then later work with the Bad Seeds saw him embrace grief as a response, rather than savage laughter.

> Print this

Continue reading Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree […]

Kemper Norton – Toll

Front And Follow

Kemper Norton - TollRolling in on thecacophonous curls of “Yadnik”, battering the shore like the after-FX trails of the still-crashing soundwaves of Flying Saucer Attack‘s Rural Psychedelia, Kemper Norton‘s third full-length album slips in from the sea like a summer storm heavy with stories to be told.

> Print this

Continue reading Kemper Norton – Toll […]