English Heretic is an on-going multimedia exploration of various occult threads of British lore — everything from the polished chrome dystopias of JG Ballard to pagan pageantry, all corn rigs and jigs. He draws in tendrils of Crowley‘s 93rd current, mixing with Patrick Keiller‘s situationism and Julian Cope‘s wide-eyed megalith worship.
On The Underworld Service, English Heretic unearths the zombified corpse of 1969 into 1970 — the threshold, the death throes of sunshine idealism and the birth of the post-apocalyptic uncertainty of the ’70s. He throws damning shadows on the rosy retrospection of the myth of the ’60s – with “black wax from candles taken from backstage at Altamont” (“Peregrine”), the continued youth rebellion of GIs gone wild in the wilds
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The Sound Of Absence
“If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound?” – George Berkeley
Have you ever wondered what happens when you’re not around? What Somewhere Else might look like? To look through someone else’s eyes? The limits of knowledge is one of the most frustrating things about being alive – the fact that we are confined to our senses, and cannot help but greatly filter and effect the world around us, with our very presence. Yet as times go on, as we come to integrate with our machines, and explore the depths of their potential and implications, it does seem that we are finally getting a bird’s
Continue reading Andrew Heath – The Silent Cartographer […]
On this beguiling collaboration between Craig Tattersall, of The Boats/Remote Viewer and Thomas Shrubsole (Sub Loam, Jesus On Mars), the pair rouse the question what it means to be free. In doing so, they show us that this freedom is alive and well in the musical underground.
For much of music’s recorded history, i.e. the history of western civilization, the tendency has been to further the musical vocabulary — introducing strange dissonances and alien harmonies, to create a vast and intricate emotional language — and to break down the rules of the generations that came before. This was all towards the goal of total expression and honesty, freed from the constraints of polite society and their expectations, dismantling conventions and formulae.
Continue reading C Tattersall & T Shrubsole – untitled […]
Frank Benkho takes us on a voyage down starry rivers and beneath obsidian deserts, using a daisy chain of synths and sequencers on this gem from Clang.
For the longest time, it seemed like electronic music and improvisation were mutually exclusive. This was the day of the push-button performance, where electronic artists were basically just playing their records off of stored patterns on their machines or DJs concocted carefully constructed breezeblocks, with every transition being staged and perfectly polished. The very act of building music out of samples meant your sonic palette was limited; some improvisation was possible, but it was more akin to shuffling Lego blocks around, trying to create replica masterpieces with a few basic shapes and hues.
Continue reading Frank Benkho – The Revelation According To Frank Benkho […]
More Than Human
Board a hovercraft to ride the autobahn of yr dreams on this lovely fissure from Ekoplekz, via the good sonic alchemists at More Than Human Records.
2014 has been a big year for Bristol’s Nick Edwards, following two of his highest-profile — and highest production value — releases on the braindance juggernaut Planet Mu. Mike Paradinas, AKA µ-Ziq, worked head-to-head with Edwards in sequencing the material, then presenting the material with a nice lustrous sheen of a mastering job and coating each in saliva-inducing artwork. It was Ekoplekz at his glossiest and most accessible, although the sounds in the grooves were still signature.
On the Influkz EP it seems that Ekoplekz is getting back to his roots; back to the
Continue reading Ekoplekz – Influkz EP […]
The Dark Is Rising
When it comes to art that is inspired by the horror genre, it can fall into two camps:
1. Art that references horror tropes and classic works of that genre, or. 2. Art that seeks to recreate the sensation of watching, reading, or listening to those works.
With Carmilla (Marcilla)/Spectral Visions, from purveyors of classic British doom, Moss, the band goes more for the former, setting classic Gothic Victoriana to crushing, distorted guitar riffs and monolithic drumming. If Moss’ masterpiece Cthonic Rites was the sound of crawling through a darkened thicket to arrive at some blasted hilltop surrounded by sacrificial megaliths, this EP might be seen as a filmic version of the same events. While it might not be
Continue reading Moss – Carmilla / Spectral Visions […]
Front & Follow
Folk (and folk-influenced) art seems to inherently conjure ideas of both memories and a specific place, like the way that American hillbilly music calls up an image of the smoky green mountains of Tennessee, or the Delta blues recalls swamps, alligators, crossroads and dark deeds. Traditional music, whatever its origins, seems attached to earthy, tactile associations as well as personal memories, if one has attachments to that culture. When people begin to play with the formula, weaving folk music through with bolts of electronics, modern experimental music and other disparate musical rhizomes, the earth shakes, ideas go soft and runny around the edges — the aural equivalent of a psychotropic folk horror film from the early ’70s, with megalithic outcroppings filmed in
Continue reading Lutine – White Flowers […]
Rhythm is probably the earliest organizing factor of music, going back to when humanity were beating on rocks and picking up sticks. The rhythm defines what kind of music something is, whether it’s a romantic rockabilly ballad or a classical scherzo; or an aimless ambient drift in its absence. Rhythm is the pulse, the breath of life, the beating heart of a piece.
With the proliferation of digital recording and the prevalence of pre-recorded loops, there is a danger of losing millions of beats as rhythms are shoehorned into the confines of the rigid 4/4 grid favoured by recording software. Basically, heavily syncopated beats and odd time signatures are difficult to loop, layer, and programme. The danger is that loose,
Continue reading Gum Takes Tooth – Mirrors Fold […]
On Celestite, the fifth LP from Olympia, Washington’s atavistic warriors Wolves In The Throne Room, the Weaver brothers have done probably the least black metal thing imaginable, and released a record of modular synth soundscapes. And while the keepers of the trve kvlt flame are undoubtedly at home, sharpening their battle axes and planning a jihad, Celestite points out some interesting layers of the modern musical milieu, as well as simply being good music.
Since the very beginning, Wolves In The Throne Room have been accused of being hipster metal — solely responsible for getting a generation of skinny jeans emo vegans into the blasphemous glory of black metal. For the grim hordes this is, of course, unforgivable, but it’s not
Continue reading Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestite […]
Ekoplekz‘s Four Track Mind isn’t necessarily Unfidelity‘s evil twin – more like its astral double that departs the flesh for regions unknown. And since Unfidelity was already well beyond the Oort Cloud, that’s pretty far out indeed.
The music was culled from the same process that yielded Unfidelity, released in March of this year, which means two double LPs in less than 12 months for the illustrious Planet Mu. For those eagerly tracing the lineage of Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson, King Tubby and Bristolian bassweight, we are living in a new alchemical age.
Nick Edwards‘ career could serve as a road map for the cultural alarmists and doomsayers crying “the death of this and that.” He has weathered every storm
Continue reading Ekoplekz – Four Track Mind […]
Front & Follow
Martin Jenkins is a force of nature, releasing mountains of cassettes, EPs, 12″s, and free downloads since the inception of the Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services moniker in 2010. He’s the closest thing we have to a poster boy for the current state of the hauntological current, giving us an insight into its present, and a possible trajectory for the future.
This slight EP from Front & Follow is an elaboration on PCA’s track for their much-lauded The Outer Church compilation, which could be seen as a hauntological state-of-the-union address. For those that missed that essential transmission, here’s a chance to hear your favorite technician’s contribution in an elaborated form, packed with two essential addendums, the
Continue reading Pye Corner Audio – The Black Mist EP […]
The era of the late ’60s/early ’70s has been whitewashed through the rosy lenses of hindsight. Baby boomers waste no time in reminding us theirs was the greatest generation, with the best music. The era where everything was being invented, the future was being ushered in. It was all happening, man. This perspective distorts the fact that for much of his life, Jimi Hendrix was playing small clubs, like any indie band working today, and the only people who were flying the flag for the Black Sabbath and Velvet Underground and The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart early were a handful of wide-eyed, speed-induced maniacs of dubious sanity.
On Qa’a‘s Sang, the Catalan collective take the brown acid back to Woodstock. They
Continue reading Qa’a – Sang […]
Bloodhounds is folk poetry. Paul Snowdon is reclaiming the machines of technology from the cultural elite, the bright and polished megastar DJs and superslick mnml producers, ensconced in their citadels of expensive outboard effects, to create a rural ritual evocation of a youth spent in northern England.
Let’s look at that word: folk. As in, of the people. As in, opposed to academic or art-house music. It’s the things that you hear around you; your actual life and environment. Folk songs are routinely associated with a particularly region, a dialect, a strain of people and their daily lives. Still, when most people think about it, they think about heritage festivals and “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore”, disassociating from their own lives, their own
Continue reading Time Attendant – Bloodhounds […]
In a world inundated with live recordings and DJ mixes, what makes a release stand apart from the barbarous hordes?
The fact alone that this is mnml mastermind Richie Hawtin‘s first record under his Plastikman guise in a decade, since 2003’s Closer, means that people will be paying attention, no matter what. The question is, does this record stand on its own merit, or does it flourish in the shadow of Plastikman’s famous stick figure? Right off the bat, let me say: this is probably not the new Plastikman record yr waiting for, although it is comprised of all-new material. Hawtin was invited to perform at an international gala at the Guggenheim Museum last year, and ambitiously decided to cobble together a set
Continue reading Plastikman – Ex […]
Oblique (vinyl)/Daymare (CD)
Given how the ubiquitous comparisons to the American desert-scape were for Earth‘s classic Hex: Or Printing The Infernal Method, it’s a minor miracle that this is the first soundtrack for Earth’s main man, Dylan Carlson. Fittingly, it is a Western soundtrack for the movie Gold, released in 2013. Gold focuses on German prospectors that travel to the Yukon in 1898, at the height of the gold rush. Carlson paints the wide-open expanses with sparse brushstrokes of solo electric guitar in a series of short numbered vignettes, titled simply “Gold 1 – 24”.
While Carlson may be a no-brainer to be tagged for an epic, existentialist Western film, what IS surprising is the Gold soundtrack is not an Earth record. Rather, it
Continue reading DRCARLSONALBION – Gold OST […]