Archives by month/year

Welcome to Freq in 2015

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 too.

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

Rose McDowall – Cut With The Cake Knife

Night School (Europe) / Sacred Bones (Americas)

Rose McDowall - Cut With The Cake KnifeToday we’re here to talk about the idea of perfect pop music, and in the ’80s, that decade where pop ruled the world, there was no band more perfect than Strawberry Switchblade, who burned ridiculously brightly for one lone album and then dissolved in acrimony.

> Print this

Continue reading Rose McDowall – Cut With The Cake Knife […]

Current 93 – Swastikas For Noddy / Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God

The Spheres

Current 93 - Swastikas For NoddySwastikas For Noddy was my favourite of Current 93‘s work until Thunder Perfect Mind stole its glory some years later. It’s very much a family affair, a pulling of disparate threads directed by David Tibet chasing his hallucinogenic vision of a crucified Noddy.

> Print this

Continue reading Current 93 – Swastikas For Noddy / Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God […]

Now (live at The Strongroom)

London 3 October 2015

Anyone who’s seen London stalwarts Now play live will know that they are always different, yet always reliable (as in they will always deliver). They’ve been existing in different formations for over a decade and a half now (Now!), and have collaborated with the likes of Damo Suzuki, who is basically Krautrock royalty, for those of you unfamiliar with his name.

> Print this

Continue reading Now (live at The Strongroom) […]

Trembling Bells – The Sovereign Self

Tin Angel

Trembling Bells - The Sovereign SelfIt’s harvest time and the nights draw in and we prepare for the long winter ahead. In a few weeks the warmth of long summer days will be a distant memory and we will count the days down to the sun’s warm return.

> Print this

Continue reading Trembling Bells – The Sovereign Self […]

Hard To Be A God

Arrow Films

Hard To Be A God DVD coverAleksei German‘s Hard To Be A God is sci-fi in the Tarkovsky tradition, very much a state of mind rather than flashy tech and shiny spaceship CGI. The film is based on Arkady and Boris Strugatsky‘s 1964 novel of the same name, and was completed after the director’s death by his son Aleksei German Jr.

The back story is that a group of earth scientists (although they don’t seem very scientific) have been sent to a alien world, a planet whose evolution is currently entrenched in the unprecedented filth of mediaeval squalor, their mission to help (or is it just to observe?) this fledgling civilization.

> Print this

Continue reading Hard To Be A God […]

Krautzone – The Complete Works


Krautzone - The Complete WorksKrautzone have to be one of my favourite new bands of the last couple of years. Not only are the covers of the albums (by Komet Lulu) so beautifully designed, but the music is powerful, hypnotic, trance-like and just plain out there. Here, we are treated over two CDs to the complete recorded works of the band, plus one never-before released bonus track that gives you enough stoned out vibes for you to go searching the astral plane for a whole evening. All of these releases have been on very limited vinyl editions, so this is a good way to get everything for a fraction of the price the LPs now command.

My review of the first CD Kosmische Rituale can be found elsewhere, so its best you probably read that to get a full idea of

Continue reading Krautzone – The Complete Works […]

JK Flesh – Nothing Is Free EP


JK Flesh - Nothing Is Free EPAt first listen, Justin Broadrick‘s latest outburst of noisemongering — here incarnate as JK Flesh in industrial electronic style — might just be a assumed to be a bit too content to stick to the tried and tested formula of harsh beats, dubby echo effects and the sound of a machine drum stomping on the human corpus forever (or at least for around an hour or so).

> Print this

Continue reading JK Flesh – Nothing Is Free EP […]

Thighpaulsandra – The Golden Communion

Editions Mego

Thighpaulsandra - The Golden CommunionIf one artist could embody epic, Thighpaulsandra would try to top it. Rumour has it his first solo record was so big he had to spread it across two releases and one of those was a double’s worth. Musically well travelled and mustering a mind-boggling proficiency of styles, he happily hopscotches from classical to avant electronic, proggy free jazz to full-on kraut and a whole of betweens, and he’s even personally responsible for the most catchy songs I’ve ever heard from a bastion of the experimental.

All his albums to date have been odd(ysseys), this one included, genre-jumping journeys into a sweet unknown. I’ve loved his solo stuff ever since I grabbed his Some Head EP at Coil‘s Persistence Is All gig, a breath of fresh air that was quickly followed by a proper début. An

Continue reading Thighpaulsandra – The Golden Communion […]

Cozmik Onion Express 2.91414 / Sculpture / Yuki Tsujii (live at New River Studios)

London 16 September 2015

Out on the margins of London’s more fashionable postcodes, things are brewing and ticking over quietly to themselves once again. One such night of music and more takes place in the calmer reaches of Manor House in the unhurried Bohemian environs of New River Studios’ performance space, filled for the evening with Reuben Sutherland‘s engrossing video projections. As the audience begins to trickle in, Reuben blends and stirs his various liquids into a suitably cloudlike backdrop, providing suitable echo to the deluge of autumnal rain which passed through the city earlier in the day, soaking and saturating everything in its path.

Yuki Tsuji at New River StudiosYuki Tsujii opens his solo performance with meandering guitar as recursive as the bends of the swollen New River which flows through the warehouse district where the studios have their home. He sings softly

Continue reading Cozmik Onion Express 2.91414 / Sculpture / Yuki Tsujii (live at New River Studios) […]

OZmotic and Fennesz – AirEffect

S Object/Folk Wisdom

OZmotic and Fennesz – AirEffectInspired by Chris Marker’s fragmentary post-apocalyptic time travel film La Jetée and purporting to involve a mysterious black box dating from the Anthropocene era, AirEffect seems at once an imaginary soundtrack and the illusory object of its own investigations.

Stanislao Lesnoj‘s haunting saxophone circles SmZ‘s shuffling drums and other percussion while Christian Fennesz‘s guitar and electronics scrape and shimmer. All the time a plethora of broken, cut and pasted voices and environmental sounds ebb and flicker across the soundscape, their processed jitters and occasionally eerie whispers creeping and crawling into the listener’s perceptions in a dreamlike nagging at the unfamiliar.

The dynamics that the trio deploy are often highly effective and immersively engaging. Like tuning into overlapped, glitching radio transmissions, AirEffect draws the narrative into rolling dubbed-up vistas and drawn-down claustrophobic pathways where the

Continue reading OZmotic and Fennesz – AirEffect […]


Arrow Films

Zardoz blurayIf you were to look for a definition of the term “cult movie”, you might find the huge stone face of Zardoz staring back at you from the page, bellowing “the gun is good, the penis is bad”. Because it is for this and dozens of other images of batshit unheimlich that Zardoz has earned its cult status.

> Print this

Continue reading Zardoz […]

Lloyd Cole – 1D Electronics 2012-2014

Bureau B

Lloyd Cole - 1DA companion to the album he and Hans-Joachim Roedelius recorded together, released as Selective Studies Volume One in 2013, 1D takes sketches and solo parts that Lloyd Cole created as part of the process, but that were ultimately unused for the record as a duo. Composed entirely using a modular synthesizer, and instrument that Cole was learning to use as he went along, the eleven tracks here sound satisfyingly complete, even given the knowledge that much of the music was intended for Roedelius’ parts to be overdubbed later.

Glassy chirps and tinkling sequences are largely the order of the day, Cole tweaking and adjusting the generative music, often more in the fashion of an arranger than a composer, as is so often the case with music made using modular synths. A complete absence of other instrumentation

Continue reading Lloyd Cole – 1D Electronics 2012-2014 […]

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing / Brian Damage and Crystal (live at The Barfly) / Not Your Typical Victorians

TMTWNBBFN - September 2015 -5

London 10 September 2015

Sold out, The Barfly is pretty rammed tonight with the by-now-traditional rabble of goths, rockers and punks both steam and… erm… the other kind. For tonight is the launch of The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing‘s third and latest album, Not Your Typical Victorians.

> Print this

Continue reading The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing / Brian Damage and Crystal (live at The Barfly) / Not Your Typical Victorians […]

Gum Takes Tooth – Silent Cenotaph


Gum Takes Tooth - Silent CenotaphThe live-wire pairing of drummer Thomas Fuglesang and electronic sound-mangler Jussi Brightmore have come on leaps and bounds, deservedly gathering admirers as they have done so, since their debut album, Silent Cenotaph. First released in 2011 , it’s now finally been blessed with a Tigertrap vinyl edition, wrapped up in as suitably bizarre a gatefold cover as its music deserves and Brightmore could devise.

The duo push the envelope of drums’n’FX-centred outfits with a heavy electronic bent, as exemplified by the distended visceral jolts of Lightning Bolt, the Moog-infested lurching thrills of Temperatures or the more trance-oriented Zombie Zombie. With tendrils which flow back to such luminaries as I’m Being Good and Blood Stereo, and their own joint genesis in Infants as well as primal connections to the cosmic mass caprine mania of Chrome Hoof and

Continue reading Gum Takes Tooth – Silent Cenotaph […]

Morphogenesis / Colin Potter and Jonathan Coleclough (live at Café Oto)

London 10 September 2015

Café Oto, a place that seems to be shorthand for Bobos to some people. However, tonight there were far more middle-aged music nerds than craft-ale and pulled pork enthusiasts (as there seems to be every time I’m at the venue, yet it has this reputation as being wall to wall, errr, the ‘H’ word).

First up was a duo featuring the mighty Colin Potter. Potter sat centre stage in front of an array of hardware (mixing desk, pedals, et al), whilst his accomplice Jonathan Coleclough activated various boxes taped to the walls etc throughout. At the start Potter stated that “anything could happen”, turning the mind toward catastrophe. Luckily, the man at the controls had control of the situation and we were treated to Colin’s tactile, vivid sound (his contribution to the Nurse With Wound‘s sound is undeniable).

Once underway, an icy metallic drone rose from

Continue reading Morphogenesis / Colin Potter and Jonathan Coleclough (live at Café Oto) […]