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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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Nadja – Touched

Consouling Sounds

Nadja - TouchedThis is a first for me, listening to Nadja. For some reason they didn’t cross my radar, but on the strength of this re-release, I have seriously been missing out. Consouling Sounds have chosen to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Alien8 release of this album by reissuing it with an extra disc containing an unreleased live studio version of the album and it is a very fine package indeed.

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A-Sun Amissa – The Gatherer / You Stood Up For Victory, We Stood Up For Less

The Gatherer

Consouling Sounds

A-Sun Amissa - The GathererA-Sun Amissa‘s The Gatherer weaves a rich cadaver of intrigue. A sombre dream horned by a raspy clarinet yarn and a trickle of hypothermic piano. A poetically pinned bleed with a lysergic slur of percussion and convulsive coils of sax, burning bright in sulphurous melodics to be cut back to a gorgeous microcosm.

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Blood Ceremony / Steak (live at The Garage)

London 14 June 2017

Blood Ceremony live June 2017‘Are you going to see Kings X?’, the guy in the pub says to me.

‘No, I’m going to see a band called Blood Ceremony at The Garage’, I reply.

‘They sound a bit weird to me, mate’; and with that he shuffles off, pint in hand.

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Strom Noir – Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové Motýle

Zoharum

Strom Noir - Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové MotýleEmil Mat’ko‘s tenth year of recording as Strom Noir is marked by the collection from Zoharum, bringing to light old and new material alike.

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Rapoon – My Life As A Ghost / Rhiz

Zoharum

Rapoon - My Life As A GhostHallucinatory and suffused with a sense of being largely abstracted from place and time as it is generally understood to exist, Rapoon‘s My Life as A Ghost seethes with fluctuations in the space-time continuum. Drenched in reverberant FX, the album is in part a product of its era

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Various – Magnetband: Experimenteller Elektronik-Underground DDR 1984-1989 / Sammlung: Elektronische Kassettenmusik Düsseldorf 1982-1989

Bureau B

Magnetband: Experimenteller Elektronik-Underground DDR 1984-1989

Various – Magnetband Experimenteller Elektronik Underground DDR 1984-1987Like Play Loud!‘s excellent Ende Vom Lied, this collection from those bastions of Germanic goodness Bureau B gives you another whistle-stop tour of the DDR’s vibrant underground tape culture. Magnetband is a fourteen-track compilation from the mid- to late Eighties salvaged from a load of brave documenters

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Jute Gyte – The Sparrow

Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records

Jute Gyte - The SparrowMetal isn’t a particularly progressive genre, in a lot of ways; for all the fluff that people throw at it, musicologically speaking, it’s rarely divested itself of fairly conventional tonalities, regular 4/4s, flattened out timbres and limited melodies. I appreciate that’s kind of “the thing” that makes metal and as someone who doesn’t really like metal it’s unfair for me to tar it with that brush

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Vidna Obmana – The Face That Must Die

Old Captain

vidnaObmana - The Face That Must DieOriginally released in 1988 on cassette (and under the name Vidna Obmana as the project was styled in those days, rather than the later vidnaObmana), The Face That Must Die is very a much a release redolent of its post-industrial musical era, but still holds an effective and occasionally gruesome fascination thirty years later.

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Crescent – Resin Pockets

Geographic Music

Crescent - Resin PocketsIt seems that quite often in my reviews I am cheering the welcome return of bands that appear to have gone missing in action and enthusing about those returns, but I am particularly thrilled to be listening to the first Crescent album in ten years.

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Don Dietrich – Dietrich / Don and Camille Dietrich – Dietrichs

Pica Disk

Don Dietrich - DietrichOriginally released on LP in 2003 on the French label Élevage De Poussière, Dietrich was the solo debut of noise rock band Borbetumagus‘s saxophone player Don Dietrich. Here it comes in remastered form on CD

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Buffalo Tom – Let Me Come Over / Live From London, ULU, 1992

Beggars Arkive

Buffalo Tom - Let Me Come OverBuffalo Tom were part of that wave of post-hardcore guitar bands that came out of Boston in the late Eighties along with the likes of Dinosaur Jr and Lemonheads. They were friendly with J Mascis and he produced their first couple of albums, and that connection dictates a little as to the sound of those two albums.

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Floating di Morel – Goal Less Play / Said My Say

Play Loud!

Goal Less Play

Floating di Morel - Goal Less PlayFloating di Morel‘s Goal Less Play LP is a sparse, spittle-mouthed wonder nuzzling into some glinting sparks of acoustika. Bursts of sonic weirdness lurk between the main feasts – brief sketches that clear the palette for the more song-oriented goods

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FaUSt – Fresh Air

Bureau B

FaUSt - Fresh AirI think the first thing that should be mentioned about this record is the press release. Breaking all form and convention, it’s readable, witty, descriptive and — get this — actually tells you some information about the record.

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The Poison Arrows – No Known Note

File 13

The Poison Arrows - No Known NoteI must confess The Poison Arrows are a new one on me, but a great discovery because they ply the kind of slinky bass-heavy American post-hardcore that the likes of Girls vs Boys (GVSB) and The Jesus Lizard put out years ago.

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Swans / Little Annie (live at Trinity Community Arts)

Bristol 26 May 2017

Little Annie live May 2017The stage may have dwarfed her stature, but Little Annie‘s cabaret queen antics were larger than life, completely over-spilling the place. Cloaked in Eastern silk, her waist a blaze of African bracelets, Annie’s hoarse vocal was something to be treasured – both warm and vibrant, bursting with wit

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