Archives by month/year

Francisco López/Luca Sigurtà – Erm


Francisco López/Luca Sigurtà - ERMSome apocalyptic but imaginative futurists have posited that mankind will morph into a species of boneless jellyfish, once we leave the protective epidermis of Earth’s gravity well. Artists, musicians and sound designers face a similar dilemma, with a nearly infinite amount of possibilities available to even the cheapest project studio. Therefore the challenge presented to the would-be sound sculptor is one of limitation and self-control.

On Erm, a split between renowned maximalist Francisco López and Italian noisenik Luca Sigurtà, the two electronic improvisors surmount this challenge by using the same samples, yielding dissimilar but recognizable results. López’s side is way more subtle and spacious, frequently blending in with the environment, while Sigurtà’s take is of the power/bliss/drone/noise variety, pouring out like the molten

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Marek X. Marchoff & Droin – Source of Vectors


Marchoff & Droin - Source Of VectorsIt’s always good to come across a record which is packaged differently. In the case of Source of Vectors, Zoharum have made the effort to do something different, if not outrageously so – there’s a pleasingly hand-produced quality to the thick fold-out card sleeve, which also bears no particular relation to the size of the CD contained inside. Released as Chapter VIII of the Into Your Hands Hearts Hallucinations series, the album is dedicated to the late Peter Christopherson of Coil (which is nice), and uses suitable electrical symbols to represent each track title.

So to the recordings themselves, and Droin (AKA Tomasz Kretowski) and Marchoff set off on six excursions into abstract sound arrangements using digital and analogue instruments to build textural landscapes thoroughly rooted in the rumbling and brain-scraping schools of electronic

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Norbert Möslang – Killer_kipper


Norbert Möslang - Killer_kipperRecorded live in Switzerland in September 2011, Killer_kipper‘s wheezing blend of electronic loops and musique concrète reveals Norbert Möslang at his most single-minded and oppressive. Juddering bass offers little in the way of an ordinary rhythmic foothold, and the scraping, grinding sounds of whatever he’s making scribble like a particularly grating shard of broken glass on the face of what could be metal, might be circuits (bent or otherwise), is enough to set teeth grinding in response. The sounds on offer here are actually all be electronic in origin – Möslang is credited solely with “cracked everyday electronics” – but the whirrs and crunches often have a real-world timbre to their brittleness.

This is how Möslang describes his method:

All of life consists of vibrations, and all of these relate to particular resonances. There

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Der Plan – Die Letze Rache/Japlan

Bureau B

Der Plan - Die Letzte Rache

Serious fun to be had here, sock puppets and all. Der Plan’s slick cabaret of strangeness is all over the place, eerie cinematics jutting up against cheesy trips to the German equivalent of Blackpool amusements. Take an eyeful of that gaudy cover for Die Letzte Rache and you instantly know boredom is gonna be in short supply – that plasticined comicbook aesthetic, the singing eels. Yep, this is caps lock fun all the way, given a Jamie Reid ransom style make over. Symptomatic of the time (a definite golden age in my ears), ’80s post-punk Deutschland seemed to be falling over itself with this sort of shenanigans , almost as if the Soviets were popping something into the

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The Rolling Stones (live in Hyde Park)

London 13 July 2013

It’s only Rock’n’Roll, but I like it. And judging by the tens of thousands of other people prepared to ram themselves into Hyde Park and spend this July afternoon cooking slowly like rotisserie chickens under the blazing summer sun (ha ha, how I’ve longed say that these past years!), I’m not the only one that feels that way.

Last summer, the incredible success of the London Olympics surprised many a nay-sayer and doom-monger with the sheer intensity of the passion and conviviality that characterised it. Whilst the George Monbiots of the world wrung their hands with worry over CO2 emissions and ‘social cleansing’ – as if we needed the Olympic Games as a fig-leaf for displacing the marginalised from London, haven’t you noticed what they’ve been doing to social housing for decades? – everyone else just said “Fuck it”, looked on it as a wild, carefree

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The Pet Shop Boys – Electric


Pet Shop Boys - ElectricListen 1:

Wahey, new Pet Shop Boys!

[listens a bit]

Wahey! Pet Shop Boys!


Wahey. Hmm.

[more scratching, rolls fag]

Is this… uh… well, albums aren’t necessarily the best format for pop.

[wanders off]

Popjustice.com – probably the only place that talks about pop seriously without going all Paul Morley/ “I’ve got a crit theory degree but no actual liking for women/ gay folk” – has this idea about it taking 28 listens to get to grips with a pop song. Here, for instance. Which is probably about right – after the initial AAHHHH THIS IS EXCITING bit it’ll take a while to decide whether it’s any cop. I think things are a bit different on the Freq side of the fence – for me, certainly,

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Electric Moon – You Can See The Sound Of…


You Can See The Sound Of Electric MoonElectric Moon’s new release is a 10” white vinyl-only EP. These will only be available at shows, so you lucky people who not only get to see them play live can also snap up this wonderful piece at the same time.

Side A begins with “The Inner Part.” Lush synth bass notes hover serenely under some Steve Hillage-style gliss guitar before the drums hit in and we are off on a full-on Krautrock style motorik in a Neu! vein. Vocals hover eerily amidst the planetary unfolding riff. But this is not cold outer space, this is the warmth of space sifted through a Hawkwind veil. It travels through multi-coloured gaseous clouds and as the track stutters to an

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Acid King/Wizard Fight/Lumberjack Feedback (live at The Underworld)

Acid King live at The Underworld 2013London 14 July 2013

London’s second night of stoner psychedelic rock was hotly anticipated as this was going to be the only UK date for headliners Acid King on their European tour. Unfortunately there was already a glitch before the show even started. One of the support act for the show, the wonderful Gates of Slumber had pulled out/cancelled the show, which left rather a gap to fill. The Gates would have made the perfect support for this show with their brand of Conan-inspired doom which I have seen light up The Underworld a few times and was excited to see again.

Support slots from Lumberjack Feedback and Wizard Fight tried admirably to fill this void with some prime stoner sludge doom that

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Earthless/Atomic Bitchwax (live at The Garage)

London 13 July 2013

It’s the middle of summer and London burns in plus 30 degree heat, and whilst some spent a sweltering day in parks at bars or on beaches some of us spent the time preparing for a whole weekend of psychedelic, doom-laden stoner rock. As it was so hot outside The Garage in all its wisdom decided to keep the air con on minimum (raising the temperature in the venue by quite a few degrees) and only put on four bar staff – so at times it was six people deep at the bar. But the bearded masses were not about to let boiling temperatures and dehydration stop them from enjoying an evening of great rock and roll.

I had not seen Atomic Bitchwax before and was rather pleasantly surprised as they kicked out the jams and got the audience rocking. They were a band on fire,

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Nazoranai+Flower/ Corsano Duo (live at The Scala)

Keiji Haino of Nazoranai live at The ScalaLondon 11 July 2013

So the first problem is always going to be that, writing after the fact, things get a bit distorted. Nazoranai were utterly amazing. To the extent that what, on any other night, would’ve been a totally formidable set from the Flower/Corsano Duo ended up falling flat in my retroactive estimations. That sounds a bit “damning with convoluted praise,” but it’s not meant as such.

Dues to the duo: starts off with Michael Flower very carefully pulling out a two or three note melody, steadily stretching it out but never veering too far away from his tonic. Modally, Flower’s definitely playing it steady for most of the set – there’s a tonic and it’s not moved away from

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RLW (Ralf Wehowsky) – Fall Seliger Geister

Dirter Promotions

RLW ‎- Fall Seliger GeisterThis oozes intelligence, and to be honest, there’s always been plenty behind everything Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) puts his hand to, even if it’s often accompanied with lots of head scratching for his listeners. Whether you think he’s poking the fun or stroking its beard with satisfied rigour, he’s there, being significant, a seeker, never fully satisfied, fraying that strait jacket of Western music with an alternative vocab. Constantly finding his mojo in the details, differences, corresponding dissidence, the groundwork of which was set up over 22 years ago with his previous group P16 D4. A inquisitive heritage that still pulsates with energy and freshness even today.

His brand of concrète is often pure atmosphere; the soul of the moment put on the rack

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Various Artists – 70 Years Of Sunshine


70 Years Of SunshineOkay. Let’s get the press over with; as a press release, this is actually pretty sweet:

Given the bleak times we find ourselves in today, Cascone felt that another (he’s referencing the 50 years of Sunshine DBL on Silent) tribute to Herr Hofmann was in order. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first LSD trip, a batch of etheric lysergic soundscapes were contributed to this project by Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mother’s Temple, Robert Wheeler of Pere Ubu, Legendary Pink Dots, Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound), Andy Rantzen (Pelican Daughters), various artists from the Silent label and some newer sound artists as well. Consider 70 Years of Sunshine to be a much anticipated software update. One that will hopefully make your auditory operating system run smoother and more

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COH – RETRO-2038

Editions Mego

COH - RETRO-2038COH intrigues because he seems to go elsewhere into the light. Most elsewheres are darkness-bound, content to continue stirring the ambient-stew given to them by their industrial ancestors (so many have made a cuckold of Lustmord) but COH’s music turns away from the darkness and pulls you into the light. This release is perhaps the most beautiful yet and works like a prettier, more sophisticated cousin of Rustie; both make music from cut class, COH’s shapes are simply more finely tuned, less bombastic. You can’t imagine COH listening to Bentley Rhythm Ace.

To be honest, COH doesn’t particularly evoke any sonic signatures; the music is minimal, but it has only a very passing resemblance to Alva Noto and sounds nothing like the Basic Channel

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L’Orchestre D’Hommes-Orchestres Joue à Tom Waits (live at the Purcell Room)

The South Bank Centre, London 2 July 2013

“Bonjour messieurs.” “Bonjour David.” “Est-ce un rêve ?” “Non, vous êtes vraiment voir cela. Et aussi l’entendre.” “Oh, c’est bon. Pendant un moment j’ai pensé que j’étais d’imagerie un groupe de fou Quebecoise, jouer de la musique de Tom Waits. Je suis heureux qu’il n’est pas une illusion.” “Oui, il peut être un peu désorientant. On l’aime comme ça.” “Puis nous commençons.”

Les New Cackle Sisters at the Purcell RoomSet Dressing for the Evening

Boots, Banjos; Fruit; Flowers; Prams; Whiskey bottles; Stepladders; Old television sets; Gramophones; Dolls; Crash helmets; Cups and saucers; Cones; Barrels; Suitcases; Euphoniums; Accordions; Washing line.

My ticket says ‘E20’, but I seem to be sitting inside Jeunet and Caro’s Delicatessen. I’m looking

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Black Dice/Dominic Butler (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Dominic Butler at Corsica StudiosCorsica Studios, London 24 June 2013

The last time I saw Black Dice was in 2009 at the Tufnell Park Dome when they were joined by fellow uplifting souls Experimental Dental School amongst others. The evening had been a reasonably enjoyable listen of eclectic sounds and rhythms up until the point that the three members of Black Dice took to the stage. From then on in it was absolute deafening chaos of the most enjoyable kind. I was lucky enough to catch the shock, horror and outright disgust on the faces of the north London bar staff as they frantically reached for the nearest set of earplugs to abate the sonic terror being unleashed from that small stage.

It is with quite a bit of

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