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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:
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Godspeed You! Black Emperor (live at The Coronet)

London 18 August 2016

Godspeed You! Black Emperor live August 2016 -2In a converted cinema in Elephant and Castle, protected from the outside world by the most stringent security this side of an airport, post-rock revolutionaries Godspeed You! Black Emperor are taking the stage. In darkness, of course, as is their wont.

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Momus – Pubic Intellectual: An Anthology 1986-2016

Cherry Red

Pubic Intellectual: An Anthology 1986-2016Nobody is evil, nobody is good All the guilty people have misunderstood

I have a bit of a man-crush on Momus. It goes right back to 1987, just after this retrospective begins. He can’t do any wrong (even when he does lots of things wrong) and I’m probably the wrong person to do this review…

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Scott Walker – The Childhood Of A Leader OST

4AD

Scott Walker - The Childhood of a Leader OSTThe trailers for The Childhood Of A Leader tease of a tense cinematic feast, a chilling meditation on the rise of twentieth century fascism, that like White Ribbon before, focuses on the emerging evil of the next generation, here in the form of an angelic seven-year-old boy with a terrifying talent for manipulating the puppet strings of everybody around him to devastating effect. The film’s turbulent nature certainly finds the perfect foil in Scott Walker‘s hungry sharks of string and delving sub-plots of James Bond-esque verve.

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Shit And Shine – Teardrops

Riot Season

Shit And Shine - TeardropsSo that time that the Butthole Surfers made a grindcore album — well, something closer to a “pure” grindcore album, anyway — that really happened, right? When Shit And Shine went back through a lysergic wormhole to an alternate 1989, cribbed the murky production (lack of) values and gibbering vocals, then shunted everything through as many effects as possible? That’s what this is, isn’t it? Because Teardrops sort of sounds like that. Only maybe a bit more fried.

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Asschapel – Total Destruction (1999-2006)

Southern Lord

Asschapel - Total Destruction“Goooing to the chapel and we’re… gooonna get- wait, we’re gonna get WHAT???”

Asschapel. They’re called Asschapel. Which is the best name for a band ever. And Southern Lord have just reissued their entire back catalogue. And, as befitting a band called Asschapel and a label with the rep of Southern Lord, it’s heavy as fuck.

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Rolf Trostel – Inselmusik / Der Prophet

Bureau B

Rolf Trostel – InselmusikDuring the late ’70s and early ’80s, Rolf Trostel was one of a few musicians exploring the landscape of Berlin School electronic music. At this time, most of these artists only made a handful of albums and Trostel’s legacy of work can be seen alongside artists such as Zanov and Didier Bocquet as creating this brief blip on the musical landscape.

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IX Tab and Hoofus – The Blow Volume I

Front and Follow

IX Tab and Hoofus - The Blow Volume IAt once a split release and a collaboration, the first instalment in Front and Follow‘s new series of joint releases, The Blow, finds IX Tab and Hoofus sharing the honours on this limited edition cassette and download edition.

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The Orb (live at Electric Brixton)

London 29 July 2016

The Orb live at Electric BrixtonIn 1991, I waited in anticipation outside the Brixton Fridge (as it was known then) clutching my ticket waiting to see The Orb’s first ever live show, not really knowing quite what to expect. I had bought the double album of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and had devoured every second of it, its sounds sending me off on some strange cosmic voyage not really hinted at by a band since Tangerine Dream in the 1970s.

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Phurpa – Chöd

Zoharum

Phurpa - ChödAt high volume this album is an immersive experience, throat-sung waves of wordless drone washing over you. A raspy, sinking sand that has a succulent SunnO))) depth to it. Full of rhythmic intones and surfacing undercurrents, half-formed vowels floundering in the slow friction, a slight bounce of drum skin barely detectable, a few padded percussives creeping its corners.

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Lake Ruth – Actual Entity

The Great Pop Supplement

Lake Ruth - Actual EntityFormed by members of Holy Fuck, The New Lines and The Eighteenth Day Of May, Lake Ruth offer a disarming take on psychedelic indie pop with their début album Actual Entity. It’s a charming glimpse into a world of magic and wonder, although of course not one without its own darkness. Because otherwise pop music just doesn’t tend to work, and this manifestly does.

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Rothko – Discover The Lost

Trace

Rothko - Discover The LostFrom the opening strum and distinctive twang of Mark Beazley and Michael Donnelly‘s twin bass strings, Discover The Lost sweeps up the listener in its warmly-curving arms, holds on tight and soothes the cares of the worlds outside away. This it does over the course of the next ten instrumentals with a similar ear for the simplicity found in detail, the subtleties perceived in a deft turn and an interlocking weave of crisp rhythms with overtones and drones.

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Pram – The Stars Are So Big… The Earth Is So Small / Helium

Medical

Pram - The Stars Are So Big, The Earth Is So Small ... Stay As You AreWe should all rejoice in the fact that finally the first two Pram albums proper have been given the re-issue treatment, and what a lovely job Medical Records have made of them: coloured vinyl, recent interviews amongst the sleeve notes and a clear appreciation for the magic contained therein.

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Wolves In The Throne Room – Diadem Of 12 Stars

Artemisia

Wolves In The Throne Room - Diadem Of 12 StarsLong out of print and originally put out in 2006 by small DIY label Vendlus, then emerging on Southern Lord a year later, Diadem Of 12 Stars has now been remastered and re-released on Wolves In The Throne Room‘s own Artemisia Records.

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Kleistwahr – Over Your Heads Forever

Fourth Dimension

Kleistwahr - Over Your Heads Forever

Like a woozy descent into the abyss, Gary Mundy‘s latest emission as Kleistwahr seizes control of the horizontal hold as well as the vertiginous, propelling the listener into a seemingly endless spiral of dissolution and unheimlich disturbance.

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Belly (live at O2 Academy)

Belly live in Bristol July 2016Bristol 20 July 2016

This was a hotly anticipated outing that didn’t disappoint. Belly were back for all the right reasons, including a bucket of cash the merch stall was obviously raking in.

It all kicked off on the full-on assault of “Dusted”. That gut-quaking bass, those weevil guitar curves all thrown in thunderous unison. Tanya‘s and Gail‘s vocals blasting the human flower. A beaming rainbow that had you shouting back the weirded-out lyrics about dead babies in cellars and the like. That chorus refrain carouseling your head in “Grass stains, back burns”, gyroscoped on the coloured wash of the lighting.

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