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Archives by month/year

Welcome to Freq in 2017

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:
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Godflesh – Post Self

Avalanche (LP, CD, digital) / Hospital Productions (cassette)

FroGodflesh - Post Selfm the opening blasts and drum machine hurl of Post Self, it’s clear that Godflesh are in a very different musical space to 2014’s A World Lit Only by Fire. It’s not that the ire and scorn for seemingly pretty much everything humans do to themselves, each other and their home planet has dissipated — far, far from it

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Raison D’etre and Troum – Xibipho: In and Out of Experience

Transgredient

Raison D'etre and Troum - XibiphoStretching from the Maeror Tri cassette years to the present day Troum incarnation, Drone Records founder Baraka[H] and Glit[S]ch have created some of the best drone work on the planet. First experienced their taste for the infinite through the excellent Tjukurrpa trilogy and have been partial to their wares ever since. Here dark ambienteers Raison D’etre have joined forces with the German duo for their follow up to 2015’s album of orchestral otherworldliness De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu

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Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard

Witchfinder / Spinefarm

Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody WizardElectric Wizard like Black Sabbath a lot, as do all right-thinking people, though I very much doubt the Wizard would like to be thought of as “right-thinking”. Calling your album Wizard Bloody Wizard is possibly the most blatant act of Sabbath-worship in an album title since The Rollins Band released Vol 4.

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The Body and Full Of Hell – Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy Light

Thrill Jockey

The Body and Full Of Hell - Ascending A Mountain Of Heavy LightTheir second collaborative album finds The Body and Full Of Hell colliding into a molten lava field of brutality and raw emotional outpourings the like of which pulls teeth and punches metaphorical guts with nihilistic abandon.

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Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ‎- The Vietnam War OST

The Null Corporation / Universal

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross ‎- The Vietnam War OSTIf you have been watching, or have already watched, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick‘s brilliant and harrowing documentary series The Vietnam War, you can’t have failed to notice its masterful use of music. Famously the first war to have its own soundtrack, they’ve used the music of the time to devastating effect, juxtaposing classic tracks with scenes of brutality and hopelessness.

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Ω▽ – Conduit

Imaginator Ω▽ - ConduitAfter many years beavering away with King Missile, Bradford Reed‘s personal experiments feeding percussion through modular synths and playing around with the results has paid dividends on the release of the album Conduit by Ω▽ (pronounced Ohmslice), a band formed for this purpose.

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Throbbing Gristle – The Second Annual Report / 20 Jazz Funk Greats / A Taste Of TG

Mute

Marking four decades since Throbbing Gristle gave the world industrial music and a sharp shock to the system that made the punk rock scene exploding around them seem tame and backwards-looking by comparison, Mute are releasing anniversary editions of the band’s key albums.

The Second Annual Report

Throbbing Gristle - The Second Annual ReportThat splash of cover’s corporate blandness gives you little idea of the dirty pearls actively seeking your disapproval inside. 1977 wasn’t really ready for the lo-fi pleasures this had to offer – “Slugbait”, “Maggot Death, “Cease To Exist” – this wasn’t about peddling rosy futures, but seeding the capitalist utopia with unsettling truths.

Forty years on it still manages to get under your skin. The blank accelerations of the opener, that alienating tonal drag

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Burnt Friedman and Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – Yek

Nonplace

Burnt Friedman and Mohammad Reza Mortazavi - YekMerging Burnt Friedman‘s distinctive electronic swirl with Mohammed Reza Mortazavi‘s deftly-played tombak rhythms, the Yek EP finds the Berlin-based duo in playful mode as they bounce musical sparks off each other.

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Steve Bicknell – Awakening The Past

6dimensions

Steve Bicknell - Awakening The Past

Sometimes, as Mick Jagger‘s character Turner observed in Nic Roeg‘s Performance, when going too far, it’s necessary to go further back and faster. This Steve Bicknell does on Awakening The Past by revisiting three tracks from his Lost Recordings days and concocting a fresh one for good measure to see if the old ways are still worth it.

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Heartless – Impulse Model

6dimensions

Heartless - Impulse ModelImpulse Model is Bobby James Pike‘s first release as Heartless, appearing on techno doyen Steve Bicknell‘s 6dimension label as a deeply delirious slice of modular groove. Bloopy and bleepy it may be, but it’s also full of twisting dancefloor passions that writhe as if alive

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Charlemagne Palestine and The Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra – Omminggg and Schlomminggg

Important

Charlemagne Palestine and The Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra - Omminggg and SchlommingggFor the second collaborative release between the wonderfully wonky minimalist composer and toy lover Charlemagne Palestine and our very own Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra, they have chosen to spread a 2016 live show at the Copenhagen Jazzhouse across three sides of beautiful aqua vinyl housed in a suitably mysterious and oily gatefold cover

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Bass Communion – Sisters Oregon

Substantia Innominata

Bass Communion - Sisters OregonDeeply droney and rumbling, the mysterious tones of Sisters Oregon finds its source material at least in part drawn from recordings by Steven Wilson (of No-Man, Porcupine Tree and more) of a boy’s choir, though this is rarely made obvious. Other sound origins are even less identifiable, so perhaps its best to simply leave it as the latest exercise in Bass Communion‘s explorations of the wonderful world of elevated audio atmosphere.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor / Bardo Pond (live at Motion)

Bristol 30 October 2017

Motion in Bristol was home to two giants of the alternative music scene on the day before Halloween this year. The weather was clement, the venue opened on time and the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor had brought along friends and fellow sonic travellers Bardo Pond, so we knew we were in for a full on evening’s treat.

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EP/64 – XI-IX-MMXVI

Aphelion Editions

EP/64 - XI-IX-MMXVIEP/64 is the band, a threesome of drums, electronics and vocal abstracts from Nick Janaway, Dan Johnson and Dali De Saint Paul. This tasty artefact documents some mighty fine live action, the date of which is betrayed by the Roman numerals of the title.

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Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven

Artemisia

Wolves In The Throne Room - Thrice WovenBlack metal has traditionally been the preserve of Satan, and the occasional Nazi; its blastbeats and shrieking were never going to be suited to tender love songs, after all. But in the quarter of a century since the infamous Norwegian black metal murders and church burnings, it has evolved and enhanced itself. Obviously Old Nick’s still a popular subject (and there are still Nazis, sadly), but Wolves In The Throne Room have taken black metal’s love of nature and ancient things and ditched The Dark Lord entirely.

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