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The Doomed Bird of Providence – Blind Mouths Eat

Front & Follow

The Doomed Bird of Providence – Blind Mouths EatBefore I knew anything about them (I still don’t know much about them), I heard The Doomed Bird Of Providence (on the excellent Collision/Detection compilation of EPs) and assumed they were Eastern European Death Marchers. They seemed a little like the mini-tradition clustered around A Hawk and a Hacksaw with, perhaps, a sideswipe of Dirty Three (yes, I know how utterly dismissive that sounds); seesawing violins, heaving accordions, breathless amateur tap-dancing like the guys in Neubauten’s “Ein Stuhl In Der Hölle.” Well, I even got the continent wrong.

This album sounds different. Those sounds are still there but they are blackier and bloodier. Tap-dancing on broken nubs of flesh and bone. It’s themed around the

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Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came


Jesu - Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I CameAs I write this, Lou Reed is freshly dead and the streets are littered with fallen branches from a storm widely tipped before its appearance to herald the Apocalypse. (Spoiler – it didn’t). What is called for is something elemental, something riddled with loss and sorrow, but also something that fucking kicks ass. What is called for, essentially, is Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came, the new album by Jesu, Justin Broadrick‘s ultra-heavy shoegaze outfit. And it’s a fucking killer.

A quarter of a century ago, Broadrick was already taking relentlessness to the limit with Godflesh. You’d think that had to be the end point, really. As Nigel Tufnell said

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G*Park – Sub


G*Park -SubThis is like being trapped in the bubbling workings of a psychotic mind, reason lost in a fevered turmoil of carrion flies waltzing with the concrete scrape of the speakers. Feels like your head’s being invaded (especially on headphones) – neurons, a rutted dirt track between left and right hemispheres, full of scythed MRI slices and quaking vellum, scuttling insects and the odd snorting beast. Disembodied electro-acoustics that disconcert, shunt, scamper, effectively break through that brittle listener/musician divide.

The hairy, diseased colouration of the cover sets the scene, like a petri dish pixilation of an autopsy. An autopsy of sound; a trickle of psychological uncertainties that play brilliantly with your imagination. Feels like something coming through the wall at you, as if the dust has been magnified or

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Richard Youngs – Summer Through My Mind/Regions of the Old School/Calmont Breakdown

Richard YoungsMr Youngs is an incredible tour de force; a musical maverick, who shares a striking resemblance to Blue Peter presenter John Noakes (or is that just me?), both of whom coincidentally have an amazing capacity to make something out of virtually nothing. I’ve witnessed Richard Youngs totally captivating an audience for 40 minutes with little more than a penny whistle, and still have vivid memories of the spittle launching itself out of the metallic tube, splatting the concrete between breaths; something he incorporated seamlessly into the show.

You simply have no idea where he’s going to take you, and that’s the attraction. His mojo seems to be everywhere, anywhere, spinning a multitude of faces, sometimes simultaneously jumbled at other times Plain Janed into disbelief. Delivering both experimental

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Cave – Threace

Drag City

Cave - ThreaceListening to Cave is a motorik clockwork trance. Visions of huge gleaming chrome puzzle pieces in the sky twist and churn like some angelic Mecha.

Cave are clearly obsessed with minimalist German psychedelic music from the ’70s, as Threace is chock full of pulsing krautgrooves, but this time the band expand their bag of tricks to include other underground sounds of the decade. Threace veers between straight-up Can worship, to deep-fried ’70s rock, to stone-cold fusion. There’s jazzenflute and blatting Ethiopiques saxophone, smooth Fender Rhodes riding on the storm. It sometimes gives the sensation of listening to two records at the same time, stitched together like some unholy Homunculus, or a cyberpunk Chimera materialized out of thin air.

Cave blends all of these retrofixations with a

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International Rhythm Stars – Add Rhythm Sampler


International Rhythm Stars - Add Rhythm SamplerBack in the day, there was tape-trading. Conducted by post, y’know, when there was a postal service rather than a mausoleum of “a good idea we used to have”. I used to do a fair amount of it. It was a great way to find out about stuff you didn’t know about. Someone would put together a selection of stuff they liked, and you’d do one in exchange. There was also the thing of finding out about a load of the weirder side of things — it’s how I found folk like Merzbow and Masonna, but (perhaps more crucially), all those groups no-one remembers (Botanaphobia, anyone?). Then the internet came along and it was much less of a pain in the

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Acid Mothers Temple (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Corsica Studios, LondonAcid Mothers Temple Corsica Studios October 2013 15 October 2013

Corsica Studios was once again filled to bursting for the return of Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. for what seems to be their London home (alongside Café OTO). The crowd’s anticipation at seeing the Japanese psych legends was at a high, but unfortunately we would all have to wait.

The support band was running over time, this was compounded by the fact for a three piece band they had a large amount of equipment to shift. Two amps, two drum kits, a synth, bass guitar, electric guitar, and a board filled with effects and devices as well as several microphones. AMT’s roadie was looking worried as their set went on knowing it was going to

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Thought Forms/Esben and the Witch/Teeth of the Sea/Dylan Carlson (live at The Exchange)

Thought Forms at The Exchange October 2013Bristol 14 October 2013

Motorway delays meant totally missing most of Teeth of the Sea‘s set… I’ve been loving their latest Kraut-infused offering Master for some time now and was eager to get that all-important live perspective, but only ended up catching the trumpet soaked finale. A Miles Davis-shadowing sundowner of a track on anti-phonic wings; parabolic, infectious…the briefest of taste that left me floundering in the disappointment that I didn’t catch the whole caboodle.

Next up were Esben and the Witch, who started in a storm of tribal energies, siren soarings and rebounding double positives. A sound that periodically fell back into splints of eddying chord and uneasy reflection, and a lush, sultry vox that had me wanting to use the G-word, but

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Laibach – S EP


Laibach - S EPReleased as a taster for the forthcoming Spectre album, the S EP finds Laibach in slower, reflective mood on the opening “Eurovision,” the track unfolding with almost trip-hop intent in a fashion which harks back in tone to 1992’s Kapital. Of course they can’t help but get epic on the refrain “Europe is falling apart” – but even then the bombast is held back, and instead there’s a mournful tone to the whole track, summed up when Milan Fras intones gruffly “In the absence of war we are questioning peace/In the absence of God we will pray to police.” As with Kapital, it seems that Spectre will see that most politically controversial of bands making some of their opinions more (or less) obvious.

Similarly, “No History” is

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Pat Collins – Silence

New Wave Films

Silence filmIrish film maker Pat Collins, largely known for his documentary work, has successfully merged genres here. The star, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride plays a sound recordist of the same name and it just so happens that Bhride is a sound recordist in real life. Seemingly not a natural actor, the scenes have this extended reality to them, which transcend the boundaries of fictional cinema and leave you asking questions of how the film-makers managed to capture such subtlety.

Collins has rounded up a team of location sound recordists, including the prolific Chris Watson, that together with some clever mixing by Ken Galvin engulf your ears with a sea of sounds that seem so familiar to us in our waking life. Familiar, yet these are

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Magma – Epok 5: Mythes & Legendes


Magma - Epok 5: Mythes & LegendesFive DVDs into Magma‘s series of live sessions at Le Triton,we find the pioneers of Zeuhl way out there beyond the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy and exploring some of the stranger byways of their œuvre along with some dazzling new material. The entire programme runs to about two hours. There are a few interludes during which audience members, including Steve Davis, are interviewed about their relationship to the Magma legend, but mostly what you get is an all you can eat feast of pitch-perfect Magma.

There are two numbers from 1978’s Attahk album, “Dondai” and Maahnt,” as well as an opener entitled “Attahk (Retrovision)” which was not actually part of that album but is a composition from the same period. Digging further back there is “Rïah Sahïltaahk” from the 1001° Centigrade album from 1971, and

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Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O./Anthroprophh – (live at The Exchange)

Acid Mothers Temple The Exchange October 2013Bristol 8 October 2013

Anthroprophh The Exchange October 2013The Exchange was rammed… Anthroprophh (Big Naturals and Paul Allen) were sprawled in front of the stage, their kit eating away at the room’s capacity. Sounded even better than when I saw them back in February, but tucked into the back corner of the venue, I couldn’t see a blinking thing!

After squeezing through the sardined bodies I managed to catch their blistering finale. A frenzy of double drums, greedily sucking at your skull in pure muscle with overdriven key tones and squealing knives of guitar-groping, hallowed eyes. A totally epic, unstoppable beast; like Test Department

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – The Gin Song / Third Class Coffin

Leather Apron

TMTWNBBFN - The Gin Song - Third Class CoffinHi there. I have some shocking news for you. You ready? Hogarth was wrong. HOGARTH. WAS. MOTHERFUCKIN’. WRONG. Yup. You heard right. Hogarth, with his celebrated piece of anti-gin propaganda, Gin Lane, was utterly wrong. (He was, however, right when it came to its companion piece, the pro-beer Beer Street, but that’s not really relevant here. I’m all about the Hogarthian WRONG). Gin, far from being a terrible scourge on health and society, is in fact a rather lovely scourge on health and society. Also, nobody in Gin Lane is wearing a Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing T-shirt. Which they really should be. For “gin”, as The Men tell us on their new single, “is the tonic

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Roedelius & Schneider – Tiden

Bureau B

Roedelius & Schneider - TidenRemember that brief, optimistic period in the late ’90s when it seemed that every style of music could be bettered by adding electronics? Like William Orbit‘s Pieces In A Modern Style or Tortoise‘s dub-infused exotica, we were hell bent on improving the past and stitching it to the present. That mission has been re-instated on Tiden, the second collaboration from legendary future classicist Hans-Joachim Roedelius, best known for his work in the ’70s with Harmonia and Cluster, and Stefan Schneider, of To Rococo Rot, Kreidler, and Mapstation.

Roedelius and Schneider have claimed mutual admiration for two giants of ambient music, (if such a term can be used for such slight, subtle musicians): Erik Satie and Brian Eno. Tiden does function

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Xylitol – Kunst Ist Tot

Peripheral Conserve

Xylitol - Kunst Ist TotA few predictions: you like sleeves by Babs Santini. If you’re my age you’ll have spent a fair amount of time in obscure record stores and fairs staring at Nurse With Wound covers and wondering if it’s worth the 25 – 100 quid they were asking for the original vinyl. You’ll have grown to love those sleeves even if you didn’t shell out at the time. They’ll have stuck with you, like a berry rash. You’ll probably also like Peter Strickland who directed films that you’ll like called things like Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Varga. Even if you haven’t seen those films you’ve probably already figured out that you’re bound to like them. Even if you don’t like them you’ll have

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