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Jazkamer – Solitary Nail

Pica Disk

Solitary Nail sleeveThis release is the first in the Jazkamer 2010 Monthly Series. A card accompanying the CD states: “One new Jazkamer album on Pica Disk every month of 2010. One year of music and anti-music.”

Perfomed by the two founders and regular members Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre, plus Jean-Philippe Gross, who also edited and mixed this CD very interestingly, Solitary Nail is one 30 minute track, although it feels like many tracks. It is a cut and paste of multifrequent parts combined with more one-dimensional sounds. Recordings range from guitar feedback explorations and movement of gadgets wired up with contact-microphone and very low (also volume) bass frequencies to massive full on distortion and harsh noise. At around 13:30 though, the track turns around to explore a more simple tone or feedback of very high pitch. This

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SunnO))) (live at Koko)

Koko, London 14 December 2009

The cavernous space of Koko, once known better in the days of music hall and indie rock dance club as the Camden Palace, turns out to be eminently suitable for hosting bands whose raison d’etre is shifting air pressure through the application of low end to the somewhat notoriously loud speakers of the PA. Koko may not exactly have the acoustics of a cathedral (or even the natural reverb of the Norwegian church which hosted SunnO)))‘s excellently immense live double LP Dømskirke), but the tiers of balconies also provide plentiful vantage points for the audience to get a full view – and earful – of the proceedings.

SunnO))) (live at Koko) […]

SunnO)))/BJ Nilsen (live)

Islington Mill, Salford 8 December 2009

Ever vampiric, the avant-guard periodically replenishes itself on fresh blood in pastures new. Jazz, psych, prog, industrial and Dance have all fallen prey during the past half century, and now it’s the turn of that seemingly most reactionary of genres, metal. The signs had been there as far back as the early 90s, with the Melvins, Sleep and Earth all forging new routes away from rock clichédom without forsaking the initial visceral appeal of the genre, but SunnO))) have taken up the baton with a renewed sense of purpose. Guitarist Stephen O’Malley’s MySpace page reveals his musical influences to include Sun Ra, Iancu Dumitrescu, Mika Vainio, Keiji Haino, Steven Stapleton and Andrei Tarkovsky – this is most surely what we want from our rock gods.

After a decade of increasingly good albums, 2009 saw Sunn O))) release the astonishing Monoliths and Dimensions, an album

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Nadja/Kodiak – (split album)

Denovali

Available on both heavyweight vinyl as a proper double-sided split LP and the more prosaic, though no less lovingly-packaged CD edition, this record serves partly as yet another waypoint on Nadja‘s seemingly unstoppable mission to collaborate with every possible combination of drone/doom-mongers across the known and occasionally unknown world.

It also contains Kodiak‘s “MCCCXLIX The Rising End,” a piece which starts off in a slow accretion of guitar-bridge feedback and cymbal-bowed disharmonies, before the rising swell of harmonics explodes into a slow doom-laden grind worthy of Corrupted. The clang of guitars is drowned comprehensively in effect-pedal sussurus, smothering and intense, the drums providing a intermittent markers on the way to riffs of such sporadic heaviness that would make Earth proud before a time-stealing descent into isolated piano strokes

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