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Current 93 – Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain

Coptic Cat Current 93 - Aleph At Hallucinatory MountainWell, here it is at last, the long-awaited new full studio album from David Tibet‘s ever-shifting collective Current 93. Their first since 2006’s apocalypse opus Black Ships Ate The Sky, it’s quite a departure from that album’s panoramic folk sound. Anyone who didn’t see any of their recent shows may be in for quite a surprise, though it’s a good one. Gone are the delicate crystalline folk structures of the last few years; it would appear that, along with a lot of the more discerning musical community, Mr Tibet has been discovering (or rediscovering) the joys of doom and stoner metal. After a deceptively fragile opening, two great slabs of guitar noise let “Invocation Of Almost” lead the way for probably the

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Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous

Full Time Hobby

Malcolm Middleton - Waxing GibbousIt seems like only a few months ago that there was an ill-fated, though entirely well-intentioned, campaign on popular young people’s stalking tool Facebook for Malcolm Middleton‘s cheery doom and gloom singalong “We’re All Gonna Die” (from the album) to be the Christmas number one. Actually, it was about eighteen months ago, but in that time the lad from Falkirk’s been busy, with another album, Sleight Of Heart last summer, and already yet another, Waxing Gibbous, released now.

It’s a corker- it opens with “Red Travellin’ Socks”, a scorching piece of indie rock with a piano line that sounds like it’s been lifted from Bruce Springsteen‘s Dancing In The Dark and put to good use in a song that has all the Middleton trademarks –

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Wolves In The Throne Room – Black Cascade

Southern Lord

Wolves In The Throne Room - Black CascadeBlack Cascade, the third album from Wolves In The Throne Room, is truly epic stuff, clocking in at four superb monolithic compositions. For me it ticks all the black metal boxes: big guitar riffs, big keyboard parts, triplets galore, and tempos that run from the majestically slow to death blasts and back again. Black Cascade is symphonic, but not as furious as, say, Emperor. Nor do Wolves In The Throne Room vanish into some kind of nasty neo-pagan Tolkeinesque kitsch favoured but some modern black metal bands.

Black metal has come a long way from the good old bad old days of church burnings, inter-band killings, and one dimensional road drill death blast. Its a whole lot more accessible and,

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Wooden Shjips – DoS

Holy Mountain Wooden Shjips - DoSRestraint is not a word you usually associate with psychedelia. “Excessive”, yes, “silly”, perhaps, but “restrained”? Nonetheless Dos, Wooden Shjips’ follow-up to their 2007 self-titled album, is for the most part a very restrained psych record. On each of the album’s five expansive tracks the bass and drums are pared back to a hypnotic krautrock throb, and while the guitars enjoy a few overblown wigout moments – most notably the glorious degeneration of the 11-minute “Down By The Sea” – these are always underpinned and kept in check by the intense metronomic rhythm section.

The overall impression is one of control: lean and minimal grooves with just a sprinkling of surf shimmer and psych fuzz on top. The vocals are even less of a presence than on the

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Artridge – Butterfly Wing Theory – Part 1 (Think Tank)

Interlink Audio

Artridge - Butterfly Wing Theory - Part 1 (Think Tank)Berlin-based Artridge, self-proclaimed purveyors of post-industrial chamber music and imaginary soundtracks, are back with a new full-length CD on German label Interlink. With a four-year gap since their previous album, Artridge have developed a knack for effortless eclecticism and a talent for lush orchestration. This all-instrumental CD takes in elements of krautrock, trip-hop, metal riffing, soundscapes, jazz, gentle breakbeats, and even a touch of the blues, and binds them together with a rich and sometimes intentionally claustrophobic production style. Thankfully not an easy band to categorize, they don’t really resemble the ‘electronica’ they’re sometimes tagged with, but fit more comfortably alongside the likes of Earthmonkey or the Pink Dots/Tear Garden‘s instrumentals.

“Halo” is the most accessible

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Nadja (live at Bardens Boudoir)

NadjaNadja Bardens, London 22 March 2009

Nadja

Having missed Nadja in 2008 I was on a mission to get to Bardens in Dalston. Despite the whole of East London being inexplicably gridlocked this particular Sunday evening, I wasn’t going to miss Nadja a second time. Fighting my way through the traffic was worth it, Nadja were awesome.

Standing either side of a table of effects pedals, Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff laid down a serious wall of drone, a perfect buzzing fusion of doom and shoegaze. Nadja began fairly quietly and throughout the performance Nadjagradually became louder until they had reached

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