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Kawabata Makoto/Kathy Hinde/Hacker Farm/H (live at Club Quiet)

Club QuietThe Island, Bristol 21 February 2014

Second time round, The Island seemed less foreboding, with its seats, circular bar and rather cosy with a choice of off-kilter ambience leaking through the speakers from Bizaare Rituals.

H live at Club QuietH, AKA Heloise of the excellent ZamZam label, kicked off the proceedings in contacted cymbal loop-caught metal overlaid in temples of spinning pennies, cross-stitched, pollinated in drifting drones, cross-cut with mythological teeth and kicked in scatter-cushioned primals. A whirring cascade that literally sucked you into its unfolding dramas, those shape-shifting horizons adance with cave-painted beasts.

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Laibach – Spectre

Mute

Laibach - SpectreApproaching this new album by Laibach – their first proper in six or seven years – seems an awesomely intimidating task. I feel like the hominid leader Moonwatcher confronted by the sudden appearance of the Monolith in the opening ‘Dawn of Man’ sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – approaching it nervously, touching it briefly and then scurrying away quickly to a safe distance in order to work up the courage to do it again.

Where the Hell do you begin? There seems to be so much to get through, so much context to be chewed over and examined: the famed ‘radical ambiguity’ of their politics and Laibach Kunst aesthetic presentation, their wilful subversion of genres and of other artists’ songs, the abstruse

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Quttinirpaaq – Let’s Hang Out

Rural Isolation Project

Quttinirpaaq – Let’s Hang OutOne of the great things about writing for Freq sometimes is that you get to hear some artists or albums you may not have stumbled across before. Quttinirpaaq is one of those artists. This LP comes on beautiful limited-edition coloured vinyl and is housed in a remarkable witch house-looking sleeve with an insert that hints of industrial music of old. It’s a feast for the eyes and I haven’t even given the thing a spin yet.

Side one opens with “Diary of a Pig Keeper’s Wife,” a heavy guitar drone interspersed with what sounds like chiming percussion but could also be electronics. Haunting voices from beyond the grave are buried beneath this aural assault. It seems to remind me

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Un Festín Sagital – Deimos/Etna

Black Horizons/Self-released

Un Féstin Sagital - DeimosUn Festín Sagital‘s Deimos has just four tracks over its twenty-three minutes and appears both as a cassette on Black Horizons as well as digitally, but makes its presence felt forcefully via whatever medium. There’s more than a slight affinity for the murky avant-garde sounds of a previous cassette era, with “La Ofrenda Danzante del Cuerpo Enamorado” emerging and folding into electronic static while scrawls scuttle malevolently over a drum-machine rhythm. Lurching like some of the now-legendary participants in the famed Eighties industrial tape culture Elephant Table Album compilation, the song embarks on a crawl through the digital margins of music as the vocals are barked militantly like a protest chant. The title track is a winding drone and tone

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Dolly Dolly – Antimacassar

Exotic Pylon

Dolly Dolly - AntimacassarAntimacassar, the debut LP from Dolly Dolly (the alter-ego of David Yates) explores the three -realisms of the 20th Century – surrealism, irrealism and magickal realism – with a combination of spoken word, sci-fi electronics, sound collage and avant-classicism. The result is punker than punk, heavier than heavy metal and manages to creep-out, illuminate and inspire; and thus subvert normalcy. Antimacassar also features some of the current electronic scene’s blackest lights, with contributions from Ekoplekz, Moon Wiring Club, Position Normal, Time Attendant and more.

An antimacassar is a lace doily, placed over the back of armchair in Victorian drawing rooms. Dolly Dolly uses this image of antiquated British life as a symbol by which to dissect Englishness. It starts off with “Wattle & Daub (with Position Normal)”, a not-entirely flattering homage:

England my

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Current 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel)

Macgillivary - live at The Union ChapelLondon 8 February 2014

Macgillivary started proceedings with some rather spooky vocals, multiple choirs caught in the looper’s long corridors, trapped trajectories, cloister curving, quickly followed by a souped-up electric zither accompaniment, as her sorrowful voice continued to work its magic through the vastness of the chapel. She pulled out some nice feedback too, and those ‘white horse’ piano tides were superb, reminded me so much of Galás‘ dark inroads or a more shadow-cast Enya. She concluded her set by walking into the wings, leaving the looper to stretch her vocals ad infinitum, the audience left to clap an empty stage.

Shirley Collins - live at The Union ChapelCurrent 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel) […]

SunnO))) and Ulver – Terrestrials

Southern Lord

Sunn O))) and Ulver - TerrestrialsOn Terrestrials, drone metal pioneers SunnO))) join with black metal genrefuckers Ulver. Here, SunnO)))’s signature basalt bass sculptures are adorned with electronic flourishes and orchestral elegance to create a sprawling desert landscape. Ra’s priests worship the sun with burnished brass, while poor benighted pilgrims wander through blighted, mosquito-ridden swamps.

Terrestrials picks up where 2009’s Monoliths & Dimensions track “Alice” left off, drawing previously unheard connections between heavy metal minimalism and euphoric Spiritual Jazz, in homage to the late free-jazz pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane. Monoliths & Dimensions also featured former Sun Ra Arkestra trombonist Julian Priester, as well as church organs, choirs and a string section, showing that the band was already concerned with expanding the peripheries of heavy, slow, repetitive

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Kawabata Makoto/Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO/À Qui Avec Gabriel & Kawabata Makoto – Bam Balam round up

Bam Balam

bambalamAcid Mothers Temple supremo Kawabata Makoto, arch dude of the stratospheric guitar, harbours his more reflective side on most of these discs for French label Bam Balam, transmissions from the mellower drone-loving universe that we occasional glimpse between projects.

Kawabata Makoto – We’re one-sided lovers each other

Kawabata Makoto - We're One-sided Lovers to Each OtherFirst up, We’re one-sided lovers each other captures Makoto at his LaMonte Young best. A two-tracker, with the title track (dedicated to the mysterious O) taking up the majority of the recording. It’s a gloriously sustained affair, forty minutes filled with drifting guitar æthers and tiny shape-shifting tonalities that religiously hook your head like some Arvo Pärt

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