poniedziałek, 30 listopada 2009

FEVER RAY - LIVE IN LULEÅ [2009]



"Fever Ray is the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is one half of the Swedish electro act The Knife (the other half is her brother Olof Dreijer). Andersson was also the lead singer and guitarist for the defunct indie pop group Honey is Cool.
The first, self-titled Fever Ray record was released digitally on January 13, 2009 and its first single “If I Had A Heart” was released on December 15, 2008.
Born in Gothenburg, Sweden on 7 April 1975, Andersson currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden.
What would you do if one decade into your career you suddenly saw one of your songs turned into a worldwide hit, won six Grammis in your native Sweden and your latest release was declared album of the year by one of the world’s most influential music websites? If you’re Karin Dreijer Andersson, formerly singer with ‘90s pop hopes Honey is Cool and now one half of The Knife, the answer is to take a couple of years off and return as a solo artist under a new name: Fever Ray.
In Karin’s own words, “I had so many songs to record that I just had to make an album. I thought I was going to have a longer break but I guess it will never happen. I can’t stop working. My aim was to finish the album and now that it’s done I’m a bit restless (good that The Knife has an opera to write then.) During the last years I discovered that I like to sing too, so I hope that my newly found live band will make it to the stages next year. We are rehearsing and building something beautiful and brilliant.” LAST.FM

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MP3@192KBPS

SOULSAVERS - BROKEN [2009]



"When Soulsavers recorded 2007's It's Not How Far You Fall, It's How You Land they were out of contract, scraping by on credit cards and had just begun working with Mark Lanegan; not known for his frivolity. Unsurprisingly, it emerged as dark and depressed. Two years, a major label record deal and mountains of ecstatic reviews later, and the duo's prospects have brightened considerably, though their sound – as their fans will be relieved to hear – has not.
Like its predecessor, Broken fuses delta blues, grizzled gospel and comedown electronica to create an atmosphere that is both grand and bleak. In fact, on initial listens the mood is so downbeat that songs blur oppressively into each other, not helped by a hoary blues vocabulary where blood is always ''cursed'', wounds ''never heal'' and bones are always ''weary.''
Understandably, many will lack the appetite for second helpings. But for those who persevere, there are enough gleams of light poking through the cloud cover, and enough slowly revealed surprises to make the effort worthwhile. So while Death Bells is too dourly self-regarding to truly love, and the long, creaky Gene Clark cover Some Misunderstanding sounds distressingly like Chris Rea, other songs see Soulsavers live up to their considerable reputation.
One is Unbalanced Pieces, where the solemnity of Lanegan's central melody is lifted by a skulking, hypnotic bass and one of the album's few big, hummable choruses. You’ll Miss Me When I Burn is far starker, based around little more than a mournful, circling piano, but is all the more moving for its simplicity.
Unusually, the album saves its best surprises for the end, when Red Ghost makes a late, strangely uplifting appearance. On the sweet, sad-eyed lullaby of Praying Ground, the Australian sings with an authority and assurance remarkable in a newcomer. Even more boldly, she more than holds her own on her duet with Lanegan, Rolling Sky, which is as menacing and unpredictable as an approaching storm.
Broken is probably too stubborn and idiosyncratic to win over many who haven't already acquired a taste for either Soulsavers or Lanegan. But those who have are likely to love it deeply and fiercely. " BBC.CO.UK

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niedziela, 29 listopada 2009

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - WHO KILLED SGT. PEPPER? [2009]



"The Brian Jonestown Massacre was formed in San Francisco in 1990. The band has had over 40 members since then, but its driving force and main songwriter is Anton Newcombe. Prominent ex-members included Matt Hollywood, Dean Taylor, Jeff Davies, Brian Glaze, and Joel Gion. Their sound is heavily influenced by the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s, but also carries influences from shoegaze, jangle pop, garage rock, and lo-fi sonorities. The band is probably most famous from their mid-90s friendship/rivalry with The Dandy Warhols, and ensuing documentary, DiG!.
Over its decade-long history, the band has undergone a large number of personnel changes. Multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter Anton Newcombe is the only member who has stayed with the Brian Jonestown Massacre since its beginning, when it was founded by Newcombe, tambourine player Joel Gion (who stayed with him the longest), and guitarist/bassist/vocalist Matt Hollywood. There are at least two dozen musicians who have been in the BJM at one point or another.
Ex-members include: guitarist Jeff Davies; Matt Hollywood, a founding member of Portland band The Out Crowd; Peter Hayes, founding member of San Francisco rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; Joel Gion, a founding member of San Francisco band, The Dilettantes; Rob Campanella, a Los Angeles producer and engineer who has worked with The Tyde, Beachwood Sparks, Dead Meadow, Mia Doi Todd, Frausdots, Scarling., and his band The Quarter After; Bobby Hecksher, founding member of Los Angeles band The Warlocks; solo recording artist Miranda Lee Richards; Matt Tow, founding member of the Australian band The Lovetones." LAST.FM

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THE RESIDENTS - THE UGHS! [2009]



"The Residents are an avant-garde/experimental music and visual arts group largely shrouded in mystery and myth. The Residents began recording in 1969, although many of these recordings from their early years have still gone unreleased to this day. The earliest material from The Residents, traded among bootlegs, was recorded in 1971. The Residents’ first official release, Santa Dog, was released in 1972.
Allmusic had this to say about the Residents: “Over the course of a recording career spanning several decades, the Residents remained a riddle of Sphinx-like proportions; cloaking their lives and music in a haze of willful obscurity, the band’s members never identified themselves by name, always appearing in public in disguise — usually tuxedos, top hats and giant eyeball masks — and refusing to grant media interviews. Drawing inspiration from the likes of fellow innovators including Harry Partch, Sun Ra, and Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, the Residents channelled the breadth of American music into their idiosyncratic, satiric vision, their mercurial blend of electronics, distortion, avant-jazz, classical symphonies and gratingly nasal vocals reinterpreting everyone from John Philip Sousa to James Brown while simultaneously expanding the boundaries of theatrical performance and multimedia interaction" LAST.FM

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TAINT - ALL BEES TO THE SEA [2009]



"Taint of South Wales are something of an enigma. Many have striven to place their sound within a handy genre definition, only to find themselves wondering whether a band so dynamic and full of surprises can really be called ‘sludge’, or whether music so antithetical to boredom can justifiably be termed ‘post-hardcore’. Taint’s 2005 full-length debut for Rise Above, ‘The Ruin Of Nova Roma’ was a crafty beast that revelled in constructing such riddles for the listener and, of course, the critic. Pigeonholes are for pigeons, after all. It’s the purpose of great rock groups to not quite fit in.
Formed as teenagers in 1994 amid the South Wales DIY punk/metal scene, Taint released a few demo cassettes of epic Helmet-influenced riffology which landed them with a stoner/doom tag that would, eventually, become superfluous. In 2000 the ‘Die Die Truthspeaker’ mini-album was released on London’s Household Name Records and national shows were played with the likes of Acrimony, Canvas, Capdown, Cathedral, Consumed, Converge, Clutch, Earth Crisis, Hard To Swallow, Iron Monkey, Stampin’ Ground, Spirit Caravan and Will Haven. Where many of those bands have disbanded or changed beyond all recognition, Taint are still here, following their own path with determination and purpose, their recent UK tour with Clutch leaving many jaws dangling open at the sheer intensity and fervour the band are able to generate live. Which brings us to their second full-length album release, ‘Secrets And Lies’." LAST.FM

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czwartek, 26 listopada 2009

DNA - DNA ON DNA [2004]



"DNA were formed in 1978 by guitarist Arto Lindsay and keyboardist Robin Crutchfield. Rather than playing their instruments in a traditional manner, they instead focused on making unique and unusual sounds. Their music was described as spare, noisy, and angular and was compared to some of Captain Beefheart’s output and even to Anton Webern.
DNA originally consisted of Lindsay, Crutchfield, Gordon Stevenson, and Mirielle Cervenka, and took their name from a song by another no wave band, Mars. Stevenson went on to play bass for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks; Cervenka was the younger sister of Exene Cervenka of X. This incarnation of the band was very brief, not playing even one concert. After the rapid departure of Stevenson and Cervenka, Lindsay and Crutchfield hastily recruited Ikue Mori — a Japanese woman with little command of English and no drum set — to be DNA’s drummer.
THis lineup of DNA played occasionally at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City and recorded one 7” single. Within their first year, they had cemented their reputation as a paradigmatic No Wave band when Brian Eno selected them as one of the four groups documented on the No New York LP, the first recording to expose No Wave groups to an audience outside of lower Manhattan. The other three bands appearing on this album were The Contortions, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, and Mars. No Wave was, of course, a movement against new wave." LAST.FM

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VBR@~240KBPS

GRIDLOCK - FORMLESS [2003]



"Gridlock was an experimental electronic band originally created by Mike Wells in 1994. A year later, Mike Cadoo joined up, and the duo released their first two demos, Sickness and Frozen, and soon signed to Pendragon Records in 1997. Their style was originally akin to the sound of early Skinny Puppy with less vocals and an ambient aspect not normally found in industrial. Eventually, they took on a more epic soundscape; slowly removing their traditional industrial influence and cultivating an experimental sound, combining elements of ambient, drum and bass, idm/glitch, and noise. Today, they could better be compared to Autechre due to their IDM sound, and to Panacea for their drum and bass experimentation.
On March 24, 2005, the band announced its dissolution on its website, but promised to continue making music under Wells’ and Cadoo’s respective side projects.
Mike Wells will continue the Gridlock ideology through o2, doing remixes for other artists, as well as a new O2 release. He also runs a mastering studio, Mike Wells Mastering.
Mike Cadoo works under the aliases Dryft and Bitcrush. He also runs the record label n5MD and the MP3 label en:peg digital." LAST.FM

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MP3@256KBPS

DEATH IN JUNE - BUT, WHAT ENDS WHEN THE SYMBOLS SHATTER? [1992]



"Death in June are led by UK musician Douglas Pearce, and credited with the initial development of neofolk music along with Current 93 and Sol Invictus.
Death in June emerged in 1981 from the remnants of the punk unit Crisis, reuniting singer/multi-instrumentalist Douglas P. and bassist Tony Wakeford; drummer Patrick Leagas completed the original lineup, which made its live debut late the following year with an opening slot for The Birthday Party.
The 12-inch Heaven Street soon followed, and in 1983 Death in June issued their first full-length effort, The Guilty Have No Pride. From the outset, the group was criticized for its adoption of fascist imagery, and charges of Nazism dogged Pearce throughout his career. However, Pearce is openly homosexual and has also collaborated with various ethnic Jews throughout his discography; the official Death in June web site used to sport an Israeli flag, and Death in June played live in Israel on June 18, 2004 for a predominantly Jewish audience.
Upon completing the Burial LP, Wakeford left the lineup to form Sol Invictus. Following the release of 1985’s Nada!, only Pearce remained, with Leagas exiting to form his own project, Sixth Comm.
Beginning with the 1986 double album The World That Summer, Pearce continued Death in June primarily as a solo concern, aided by a revolving group of collaborators including Current 93’s David Tibet, Boyd Rice and Coil’s John Balance." LAST.FM

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MP3@320KBPS

KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN - PLAYTHROUGHS [2002]



"The first full album that prolific, multifaceted electronic composer Keith Fullerton Whitman released under his birth name (following 2001's 21:30 for Acoustic Guitar, but also several releases by his breakcore/drill'n'bass alias Hrvåtski, among others) contains five similar-sounding, decidedly minimal extended drone pieces. The entire album consists of nothing but processed guitar tone, though since the guitar is all but imperceptible as a point of origin for this music, the emphasis is squarely on "process" and "tone." The process, which involves running a guitar-generated signal (not the actual guitar sound) through a carefully arranged sequence of programmed Max/MSP modules, effects pedals, and other signal processors, is described in loving detail by Whitman, at heart a true academic, on his website. For the vast majority of potential listeners, of course, the explanation is just that -- academic -- but, unlikely though it may seem, this is an album that richly deserves many listeners, because the tones it contains are nothing short of breathtaking in their beauty and simplicity. There's not a whole lot on the surface to differentiate these five pieces, but each eventually reveals a discernible identity. Opener "track3a (2waynice)," the shortest and simplest, sets the tone with a glacial, gradually mutating collection of warm, lucid, harmonious drones. "Feedback zwei" introduces slightly more movement and progression with a subtle, cyclical pulsation, occasional points of feedback, and a slowly building field of muted, engulfing static. "ACGTR SVP" stands out as perhaps the most distinct, with its dense accumulation of tones and slightly buzzy, organ-like texture, while both "fib01a" and "modena" return to the placid drones of the opener, embellishing their steady hum with gentle, burbling, vaguely aqueous fluctuations. It's difficult to qualitatively distinguish Playthroughs from much of the ambient, drone-based music that's out there, although it does have a conspicuously unpretentious and inviting quality -- a sense of openness that must be ascribed to the unabashed consonance it retains (there are strikingly few instances of true dissonance to be found here) in spite of its constantly shifting harmonic content, which creates the sense of a continual unfolding or blossoming. It's equally hard to comprehend the evocative and emotional effect of this music, and harder still to describe it: it seems to function on a fundamentally different, precognitive level. But simply put: this is some of the most soothing, stimulating, and spellbinding sound that has ever been put to plastic. Without doubt, a masterpiece of modern minimalism. Emphatically recommended." AMG

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MP3@320KBPS

YOUNG WIDOWS - SETTLE DOWN CITY [2006]



"Young Widows are pretty much former Jade Tree band Breather Resist without the vocalist, but you can barely tell. Are they still indebted to the Jesus Lizard? Sure. Just listen to the queasy, seasick guitar lines in the title track or "Glad He Ate Her" (see what they did there?) to find that same oppressive head-bob rhythm between galloping drums and sludgy bass. But they've learned a whole lot of patience and found at least a couple other bands to rip off, making Settle Down City a thoughtful and more original record-- if a little less manic-- with far more potential than their former band. Don't sleep on this late-2006 album like I nearly did; the halls of nu-pigfuck are beset with obstacles, and it might be only these three penitent men who pass.
For one, the vocals of Evan Patterson are much calmer, recalling the flat, ominous delivery of early June of 44. That's exactly who they remind me of-- albeit a nastier version-- on the opening title track, when after a few bars of pounding the downbeat with Neanderthal drumming and a bass tone that hits like a bowling ball dropped in mud, everything recedes for guitar plinking and some idle warnings from the singer ("Why'd you come around, the city left you/ Should have settled down..."), just before more furious grinding.
The production is dry, truer to those mid-1990s grails, and rather than the middling distortion tone of Breather Resist, the guitars have more of a free-floating echo above the din, crunchy but clear. Songs like "Small Talk" are less riffing and more incidental noise, punching in and out of the verses with an almost dub-like abruptness and ghostly reverb. Meanwhile, that starkness gives room for drummer Geoff Paton to stomp like a fuming animal over tracks like "Formererer" and makes moments like the staccato full-band thwack at the finale of "Bruised Knees" that much scarier.
While the tempo and tone get pretty homogenous, save for some backing vocals on "Mirrorfucker", Settle Down City is consistently dynamic and surprising, from the title track's twists and turns to the many change-ups and fake-outs of tracks like "Glad He Ate Her" and "Formererer". Young Widows borrow from a narrow selection of influences, but it's forced them to come up with a stronger-- and uglier-- result. It may not step too far out of the shadow of its heroes, but it is taking a step. Either way, it's a worthy entry to an undermined corner of the underground." PITCHFORK

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VBR@~210KBPS

THE VAN PELT - SULTANS OF SENTIMENT [1997]



"The second and final full-length release from the Van Pelt is really so good that it makes their breakup one of the most painful aspects of listening to the record. Their formula works brilliantly on this ten-track CD, with Chris Leo's grueling spoken vocals clearly paving the way for the evocative rock the rest of the band contributes. Over climaxing guitars and airy build-ups, Leo's abstract musings brim with emotion and, on tracks like "We Are the Heathens" and "Let's Make a List," his creative wording gives amazing credibility to his thoughts on social outsiders and the business of teaching. The arrangements are still pretty heavy on this record, unlike some of the more arty restrained rock on his later releases with the Lapse, and the band is as unafraid to rock out as Leo is to bring himself to the sort of unrestrained and slightly unmusical screams that give true feeling to "Don't Make Me Walk My Own Log." The Van Pelt aren't for everyone, and Leo certainly has the ability to drive some listeners crazy with his often monotonic mumbles, but the odd combination of subtle oddities are enough to make this a standout record from a standout band. No matter where you stand on the nuances of their craft, there's no denying that they do what they do in a smart and original way."

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VBR@~240KBPS

TAINT - THE RUIN OF NOVÁ ROMA [2005]



"When it came to recording a full-length album, Taint was definitely a late bloomer. The Welsh trio was formed in 1994, but it wasn't until 2004 that Taint finally recorded their first full-length album, The Ruin of Nová Roma (although they were heard on various EPs, split CDs, and demos along the way). Stylistically, this excellent CD isn't easy to pin down. Taint plays metal -- that much is obvious -- but what kind of metal? Their sound is quite sludgy -- sludgy as in doom metal and stoner rock, sludgy as in grunge-influenced -- and there are parallels between Taint and bands like Fu Manchu, Orange Goblin, Eyehategod, and the Melvins. But it would be a mistake to think of this album as strictly a by-the-book doom/stoner/sludge outing. Doom and stoner bands are often Black Sabbath-obsessed, and the abundance of slow, plodding riffs that have come from doom metal and stoner rock clearly worship at the altar of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. But Taint, instead of going out of their way to emulate Sabbath, also gets plenty of inspiration from the speed and velocity of punk, thrash, and hardcore; they know how to be both sludgy and thrashy at the same time, which isn't to say that the CD doesn't have its share of slow-tempo material as well. Throw in some twangy Southern alt-metal influence (of the Alabama Thunderpussy variety) and a bit of Neurosis' atmospherics, and you have a band that is clearly striving for originality -- a band that is definitely relevant to the doom/stoner/sludge field but also has its share of punk, thrash, hardcore, and alternative metal appeal. And never let it be said that Taint lacks a sense of humor; "I'm Going to Kill Henry Ford" and "Drunken Marksman" are among the song titles on this promising, memorable release." AMG

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VBR@~250KBPS

SWARM OF THE LOTUS - THE SIRENS OF SILENCE [2005]



"Explosive. Mammoth. Mayhem. The absolutely crushing wall of sound that is SWARM OF THE LOTUS is a force to be reckoned with. Coupled with the band’s fiery determination and passion to pursue their art, they can only move forward in a positive direction and have no other plans but to do just that. Since the band’s inception in the city of Baltimore in the Fall of 1998, SOTL has come a long way and is still only at the beginning of their budding career. With unbridled potential and so much support behind them, the band is destined to leave their mark very permanently on the metal/rock community. And in fact, has started to already. With the release of their debut album, “When White Becomes Black”(At A Loss Recordings) in January of 2004, followed very soon after in the Spring with a 7” Picture Disc Single(Reptilian Records) featuring artwork by Carlos Batts and 3 exclusive tracks, the band received critical acclaim and has been featured in many different publications as a result. Most notably Metal Maniacs, in which their album was included in the top 10 albums of last year, Terrorizer, BW & BK, Rocksound, and most recently Hit Parader and an article in Revolver magazine, as well as a ton of positive feedback from many other online zines and such. The album also saw praise at the CMJ Music Festival last year in which it debuted in the Top 20 of their Loud Rock/Metal Catergory.
The controlled chaos that is the band’s sound has been sculpted over the band’s 7 year existence." LAST.FM

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VBR@~250KBPS

THE TERMINALS - TOUCH [1992]



"The original Terminals are a moody, swampy, dark rock band from New Zealand. Working from memory, the Terminals have shared members with Dadamah, Flies Inside The Sun, Victor Dimisich Band, the Renderers, and others of the Xpressway/Flying Nun universe. The early Terminals releases are fairly poppy (e.g. “Frozen Car”), though the darkness begins to emerge with “Disconnect” and then dominates subsequent releases on Xpressway, Raffmond, and Siltbreeze. Standout songs include “Native Waiter,” “Deadly Tango,” and a cover of Roxy Music’s “Both Ends Burning.” All the “similar artists” references on Last.FM are to this version of the Terminals.
There is apparently another, newer Terminals — a punk rock band from Lincoln, Nebraska, signed to Boomchick Records, and consisting of: Dave G- Vox, Guitar, Drums, Keys/Organ. LizHitt - Vox, Guitar, Drums, Keys/Organ. Brooks - Vox, Guitar, Drums. One commenter suggests “they will surely rock your face off.”

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VBR@~170KBPS

ENABLERS - TUNDRA [2008]



"Fitting to its name, the San Francisco quartet Enablers writes songs that are equally manipulative and encouraging to our darkest desires. The band made up of journeyman veterans of Swans, Tarnation, Nice Strong Arm and Toiling Midgets merges dramatic and flowing melodic soundscapes — of which SF Gate calls “possibly the world’s best power trio” — with the visceral spoken narratives of underground literary veteran Pete Simonelli. It’s almost as though the band’s fluid and often soothing music exists to distract our better instincts while Simonelli whispers above it all, urging and lulling us into the dark, decrepit world of his words.
Guitarist and recording engineer Joe Goldring has collaborated with Swans, Toiling Midgets, and Doug Scharin of June of ’44 under the moniker Out in Worship, as well as with Neurosis’ Steve Von Till’s solo projects.
Guitarist/bassist Kevin Thomson, veteran of Timco and Nice Strong Arm, has been playing and touring for twenty years and with his own projects and has been a writing partner with Goldring for ten of those years collaborating on Morning Champ, Touched by a Janitor, and now Enablers.
Drummer Yuma Joe Byrnes has lent his unique take on the trapset to Tarnation, Broken Horse and others.
Pete Simonelli has been continually writing and publishing his efforts in underground literary journals for years and now brings his poems to the table for Enablers." LAST.FM

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MP3@320KBPS

TRENTMØLLER - THE LAST RESORT [2006]



"Anders Trentemøller is a Danish electronic musician from Copenhagen.
Trentemøller made his debut in 1997 together with DJ T.O.M. when they formed the first live-house act in Denmark, Trigbag, and started playing concerts all over the globe. Trigbag’s single “Showtime” was played by international DJs such as Alex Gopher, Laurent Garnier and Etienne de Crécy. Trigbag dissolved in 2000.
Trentemøller returned on Naked Music in 2003 with his The Trentemøller EP including the tracks “Le Champagne” and “Work in Progress”. Trentemøller received the award “Up Front Release of the Year” at the Danish DJ Awards in February 2004 for the Track “Le Champagne”.
In late 2004 he and his friend and partner, DJ Buda, issued a white label remix of Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker”, under the name “Run Jeremy”. Together they’ve also made other great tracks such as “Gamma” and “25 Timer”. Furthermore, Trentemøller has worked together with DJ Buda and DJ T.O.M. on another track on the upcoming and much anticipated Lulu Rouge album entitled “Bless You” which will be released in May 2008.
In February 2005 Steve Bug released the renowned Trentemøller EP “Physical Fraction” on his label Audiomatique. This release put Trentemøller on the map of internationally successful producers, and was followed by three releases on Bug’s main label Poker Flat: Polar Shift, Sunstroke and the Nam Nam EP. Many reader polls awarded him as the Best Newcomer of the year 2005." LAST.FM

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MP3@320KBPS

WILLIAM BASINSKI - THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS I-IV [2001, 2003]



"William Basinski (Houston, 1958), a New York-based classically-trained clarinetist and saxophonist, specializes in compositions for loops and drones. He began experimenting with compositions for piano and tape that created a melancholy ambience via looped and overdubbed melodies with Variations - A Movement in Chrome Primitive (1980), released on Variations - A Movement in Chrome Primitive (Durtro, 2002 - Die Stadt, 2004), and A Red Score in Tile (1979), released on A Red Score in Tile (3 Poplars, 2003).
Shortwave Music (1982), some of which appear on Shortwave Music (Noton, 1998), processed and assembled snippets of radio broadcasts to produce atmospheres at the border between musique concrete and ambient music. The River (1983), collected on the double-disc The River (Noton, december 2002), was the most mature expression of “shortwave music”.
Melancholia (Durtro, 2003 - 2062, 2005) collects more loop-based vignettes from the 1980s, closer in feeling and scope to Erik Satie and Brian Eno.
During the 1980s, Basinski often played saxophone during multimedia performances, and was a member of the Gretchen Langheld Ensemble, which later evolved into House Afire. In 1989 he opened his own loft for the creative arts, nicknamed “Arcadia”. Throughout the 1990s he refined his song-cycle Hymns of Oblivion. In 1997, Basinski launched his performance-art act Beautifying America. He also formed the electronic ensemble Life on Mars. Basinski has also created videos and films, notably the “ambient film” Fountain (2000)." LAST.FM

THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS I
THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS II
THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS III
THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS IV

MP3@320KBPS

poniedziałek, 23 listopada 2009

PONTIAK - SEA VOIDS [2009]



"Baltimore/Virginia-based trio Pontiak is comprised of multi-instrumentalist brothers Van (guitar, vocals), Jennings (bass, keyboards, vocals), and Lain (drums, vocals) Carney. To date, the prolific Pontiak’s releases - two EPs, two full lengths (“Valley of Cats” and “Maker”) and a mini-LP, “Sun on Sun” have been self-produced, moody slabs of guitar-based rock. The band has grown heavier with each record; “Sun on Sun” can fairly be called a hybrid of classic- and stoner-rock, with songs running into 10-minute territory and extended instrumental breaks. 2009’s “Maker” is even heavier, noisier, and packs a Texas-sized wallop. Both of the band’s more widely-distributed records, “Sun on Sun” and “Maker,” have been critically well-received." LAST.FM

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NAAM - KINGDOM [2009]



"One of the newest signings to Tee Pee, Naam is a three-piece band from Brooklyn whose blissed-out jam-heavy pyschedella is spot lighted on the 11 minute “Kingdom”. For fans of Dead Meadow, Grails, Sleep." LAST.FM

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APSE - CLIMB UP [2009]



"Apse was formed in 1999 in Newtown, Connecticut as a three-piece while the members were still in high school. The group made purely instrumental ambient rock until about 2003, when reverberant lead vocals by Bobby became a regular part of the band’s songs.
The lineup expanded over the years and by 2005, Apse was signed to Spain’s Acuarela Discos to record and release its culminating self-titled EP.
Amidst a shifting lineup, the group moved away from the trappings of “post-rock” territory to write and record its debut full-length album – the tribal, atmospheric Spirit, released in 2006. Extensive touring (exclusively in Europe) and further lineup changes took place over the course of the next two years, during which time the band signed to ATP Recordings, which gave Spirit a wider re-release in 2008.
A limited edition vinyl LP titled Eras, which signaled the start of a shift in sound for the group, also was released in late 2008, very much under the radar.
Apse is now made up of Bobby, Michael Gundlach, John Mordecai, Jed Armour and Brandon Collins. 2009’s Climb Up sheds much of the gloom, tribal rhythms and esoteric lyrics of Spirit for more eclectic moods across its 12 tracks, coupled with more concrete lyrics exploring the many sides of relationships between people."

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czwartek, 19 listopada 2009

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - FALL BE KIND [EP] [2009]



"Animal Collective is a New York City/Washington, D.C/Lisbon based music collective of avant-garde musicians from Baltimore, Maryland. Animal Collective consists of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz). Records released under the name Animal Collective may include contributions from any or all of these members; the lineup is not uniform. The band members met in school and started recording together in various forms of collaboration from a young age. Although the band is often classified as psych folk or noise rock, it is hard to define the Animal Collective sound as they often experiment with diverse styles and ideas from album to album. The group also runs the record label Paw Tracks on which they have released their own material as well as material by artists such as Ariel Pink, Terrestrial Tones, and The Peppermints. Paw Tracks’ latest signee is Tickley Feather, with whom the band recently toured.ę LAST.FM

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PREFUSE 73 - MEDITATION UPON MEDITATIONS (THE JAPANESE DIARIES) [2009]



"Prefuse 73 (Guillermo Scott Herren), is a hip-hop and electronic producer/artist, currently based out of Barcelona and signed to Warp Records.
Herren releases his music under various aliases, most notably Prefuse 73, Delarosa and Asora, Piano Overlord and Ahmad Szabo. He also performs with Eva Puyuelo Muns in a duo known as Savath & Savalas.
He began his career DJing at MJQ, a small night club in Atlanta, and then began working in commercial studios but soon branched out into his own music. Herren’s first major release was under the “Delarosa and Asora” moniker in 1997 with “Sleep Method Suite”, with his latest work currently being the Prefuse 73 full-length album, “Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian”.
In 2000, Herren released a CD/LP on Hefty Records/Warp Records titled “Folk Songs For Trains, Trees, And Honey”. This was followed by a 2001 exclusive limited pressing (700 copies) of “Immediate Action #1 LP” on Hefty.
Herren first released music under the “Prefuse 73” moniker with 2001’s commercially and critically successful “Vocal Studies & Uprock Narratives”. In 2002 the 4-track EP “The 92 Vs. 02 Collection” was released, but this merely bridged the gap between his debut and the 2003 release - another full-length album, “One Word Extinguisher”. A collection of outtakes, “Extinguished” was released after “One Word Extinguisher” showing off some of the production that was omitted from the initial full-length." LAST.FM

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wtorek, 17 listopada 2009

ASOBI SEKSU - REWOLF [2009]



"Asobi Seksu is an indie rock/dream pop band which formed in 2004 in New York City, New York, United States. The band consists of Yuki Chikudate (vocals, keyboards), James Hanna (guitar, vocals), William Pavone (bass) and Larry Pavone (drums). The band’s name in Japanese consists of two words, “asobi” meaning “play” or “for fun”, and “sekkusu” the Japanese imported word for”sex” .
Their sound has been said to draw influence from the shoegazing movement of the late 1980s to early 1990s, which was coined to describe the textured and effects-heavy sound of alternative rock in that era.
Asobi Seksu released their eponymous debut album in 2004. The band regrouped with a new rhythm section for their second album, Citrus, which was recorded in Gigantic Studios, New York City with producer Chris Zane.
One Little Indian Records re-released the band’s first album Asobi Seksu and the follow-up Citrus in 2006.
The band changed its name to Asobi Seksu from the previous name, sportf*ck, when they signed to their current label.
According to the band’s official website “James and Yuki have almost completed writing songs for the new record and will be hitting the studio, once again with producer Chris Zane, this summer (2008). The new album will be released on Polyvinyl Record Co., the band’s new US label.” LAST.FM

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SHPONGLE - INEFFABLE MYSTERIES FROM SHPONGLELAND [2009]



"The core members of Shpongle are Simon Posford and Raja Ram from United Kingdom, along with many collaborators and guest musicians. Ott is also credited on all albums.
Their Shpongle sound is a mix of mainly eastern ethnic samples and western contemporary psychedelic synth music. Posford is responsible for the synth and studio work while Raja Ram contributes with flute arrangements. They are both responsible for the visionary input. According to one interview, they commonly visualize the music together before and during the creation process.
Shpongle’s first tune, Vapour Rumors, was released on TIP Records’ Infinite Excursions compilation in 1996. Their debut album, Are You Shpongled?, was released 1998 on Twisted Records. The high sound quality, successful mix of samples, instruments and synths along with the story and progress of the music through the album made it one of the most cutting edge releases of that time. Are You Shpongled? and Twisted Records’ first downtempo compilation, Eclipse, made a huge impact on the psychedelic trance scene in 1998.
Simon Posford is also known for his solo productions as Hallucinogen and as driving force of the label Twisted Records UK. He is also part of Dub Trees (with Youth and ubsahara), Celtic Cross (with Youth) and Younger Brother (with Prometheus).
Raja Ram is also a member of 1200 Micrograms (with GMS) and The Infinity Project (with Graham Wood, Anjee Sian and other contributors/collaborators). He was also founder of the indo-prog/raga rock group of the 60’s/70’s Quintessence." LAST.FM

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YEARS - YEARS [2009]



"Years is a project from Ohad Benchetrit of Sphyr, Do Make Say Think and Broken Social Scene. Despite being a mostly one man's effort and lacking the grotesque of a full fledged orchestra, Years is still somehow managing to sound like a simplified version of a good 90's post-rock band."

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BOAT - SETTING THE PACES [2009]



"BOAT's third album, Setting the Paces, sticks to the formula the band had previously utilized. Short, snappy tunes with rambunctious vocals and humorous lyrical content, with debts owed to Pavement, Television Personalities, and the Banana Splits, and with a bouncy energy that makes the album very easy to like, even when the words stray over the line from clever to silly. This time out, the band has tightened up the sound; the guitars have more bite, the beats are more propulsive, and the overall feel is more rock than pop. [..] If you are inclined to find songs about stalled minivans, muscular friends, and math skills kind of ridiculous, you may have trouble getting into the album. Anyone else will find the lyrics to be refreshingly off-kilter and occasionally moving in an odd sort of way. It's not easy to pull off this kind of humorous indie rock, but on Setting the Paces, BOAT come through like champs." AMG

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FINAL - INFINITE GUITAR 3 / GUITAR AND BASS IMPROVISATIONS 3 [2009]



"FINAL serves as an undefinable and experimental interpretation of Justin Broadricks more recognised music ; encompassing the brutal and the dark to the beautiful and the melodic, the term ‘ambient’ is often used to describe the sound of FINAL, but the music is not at all intended to function purely as background as the term ‘ambient’ generally implies…
Before Justin Broadrick was in Napalm Death and way before his Jesu,Godflesh and Techno Animal projects , he had FINAL, this was the first music that he made and the first concerts he ever performed ; initiated at the tender age of 13, inspired by the true old industrial music of Whitehouse, Throbbing Gristle, Ramleh and Maurizio Bianchi etc, Justin used his step fathers primitive musical equipment to forge his own sound influenced by the aforementioned artists and attempt with like minded individuals and friends to establish his own sound and vision. Basic recordings were made and this led Justin to form a cassette label in early 1984 (Post Mortem Rekordings) releasing his own cassettes and eventually other artists too, this tape only label lasted from early 1984-86, releasing over 50 cassettes of confrontational hate noise/power electronics and Throbbing Gristle inspired electronic psychedelia." LAST.FM

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THOMAS KÖNER - LA BARCA [2009]



"Glacial soundscaping, glorious arctic ambience, heavy bass. best heard on headphones or a gigantic sound system. or in a cave.
Thomas Köner, born 1965, attended the music college in Dortmund and studied electronic music at the CEM-Studio in Arnhem. Until 1994 he worked with film sound as sound engineer. He extended his concept of sound colour to moving images, resulting in video installations and film works. 2000 the Montreal International Festival New Cinema New Media awarded him the “New Media Prize”. 2004 the Prix Ars Electronica awarded him the “Golden Nica”, and he was awarded the “Produktionspreis WDR / Deutscher Klangkunst-Preis” (german sound art award). His media installation “Suburbs Of The Void” received the Transmediale 2005 award in Berlin and was presented at La Biennale di Venezia, Teatro La Fenice as a live performance in the same year. Köners video “Nuuk” received the Tiger Cub Award (best short film) during the International Filmfestival Rotterdam 2005.
While studying, he dedicated himself to intensive sound research in the recording studio. His first impulse consisted in avoiding rhythm and melody and focusing instead on the phenomenon of sound colour. To intensify the experience of sound, he decided to work with other media, resulting at first in the collaboration with film artist Jürgen Reble and the live performance Alchemie (1992). Following this, he started to compose film soundtracks and electronic live music to accompany old silent films for the Louvre Museum and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris." LAST.FM

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IMMANU EL - MOEN [2009]



"Immanu El is a young Swedish band with a unique sound: dynamic guitar and keyboard soundscapes, captive singing and with somewhat of a moving Nordic mood. The music is focused at varying dynamics and a wide spectrum of harmonic expressions and sounds that can move between presence and ambience. Originally the band was inspired by early post-rock and experimental bands and sounds, which combined with pop influences made Immanu El create a sound of their own based on atmospheric soundscapes that became the fundament for their debut album.
The core in the Immanu El sound has ever since the first songs were written in their mid-teens been to create something heartrendingly beautiful and moving, but the performance to create it has changed. As the band members have grown older and turned from teens into young men, the music as well has got a lot more mature and even more specifically unique. The core of beauty is still there, but what we can hear from today’s Immanu El is a rock band with confidence, profession and quality in their own sound. Atmospheric surroundings has yielded for a more down to earth, present and forcing kind of music, and the result is something rarely seen or heard before – a sound more touching and beautiful than in the rock quarters, but with more attitude and presence than in the soundscapes of post-rock." LAST.FM

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HORSEBACK - THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN [2009]



"Jenks Miller’s psychedelic/drone project, Horseback, produced an avant-garde sleeper-hit with 2007’s Impale Golden Horn (Burly Time Records/Holidays for Quince Records). That record, which Aquarius Records’ review staff tentatively described as “the best drone record of the year” upon its release, boasted four lengthy tracks, each one a vibrant, kaleidoscopic journey toward a manic, inevitable nirvana. More melodic and accessible than most noise records and noisier than most dream-pop records, Horseback’s debut carved itself a niche somewhere between Merzbow and Stars of the Lid, offering a refreshing sound to fans across many sub-genres of psychedelic music.
Horseback toured in the fall of 2007 with Meisha/Arco Flute Foundation/New American Folk Hero visionary Mike Tamburo, including a stop at the fourth-annual Arthur Magazine-curated Million Tongues Festival in Chicago."

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piątek, 13 listopada 2009

THE MERCURY PROGRAM - CHEZ VIKING [2009]



"Formed in the summer of 1997, The Mercury Program started as a three-piece consisting of Dave LeBleu, Sander Travisano, and Tom Reno. After releasing 2 self-recorded 7”s on Boxcar Records, their self-titled full-length was released in 1999, also on Boxcar. In late 1999, The Mercury Program signed to the New York City-based indie startup Tiger Style Records. During this time, they added an additional member, Whitney Travisano, and turned the trio into a more dynamic quartet. The sound of the band changed dramatically with the addition of a fourth member as the vibraphone and Rhodes piano began to play a more significant role in the song writing.
In early 2000, the new line-up hit the studio with Andy Baker. The result was their sophomore effort, From the Vapor of Gasoline, which was released by Tiger Style Records later that Spring. The record received a tremendous amount of positive press, including the first national exposure for the band with an 8 out of 10 rating in Spin Magazine. From the Vapor of Gasoline was quickly followed up in 2001 by the All the Suits Began to Fall Off EP, which demonstrated the band’s maturation and comfort as a quartet. Unlike previous releases, this EP doesn’t include any of the usual sparse bits of vocals; instead, All the Suits Began to Fall Off marks the band’s departure into a new all-instrumental direction." LAST.FM

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MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO. - JOSEPHINE [2009]



"Jason Molina used to wail. In a review of the Songs: Ohia album that gave Molina's Magnolia Electric Co. it's name, Eric Carr chastised a guest singer with, "[H]e's not Molina, whose voice you paid to hear." Another Forker, William Bowers, once referred to Molina's voice as an "occasionally erect vibrato." Like chalking a pool cue, Molina's distinctive bleat was a hedge against flaws, and even his best, most interesting albums feature many. You know where this is going. That final Songs: Ohia marked not just a stylistic shift for Molina, from doom-folker to classic rocker, but a vocal one as well: The man fell in love with his croon, an even, spread-able tenor, and one that has smoothed the edges of Molina's full-band works with Magnolia Electric Co.
Billed as a comparatively sparse counterpoint to Magnolia's recent classic-rock material, Josephine offered real stimulus for change: a three-year studio-album hiatus, the longest of his career; a move to London for a famous Midwesterner; one more turn with frequent engineer Steve Albini; the December 2007 passing of touring bassist Evan Farrell.
But no. Look no further than "Whip-poor-will", which, if you're keeping score at home (Molina's fondness for baseball and for numbers suggests he hopes you are), was the finest of a fine set of outtakes for the aforementioned Magnolia Electric Co. album. Molina's vocals, aided by slight pedal-steel, smooth over one of his finest lyrics to the point of inscrutability. "Shiloh", from 2007's Sojourner box set, also receives a new treatment, this one an improvement, but the rehashing is a curious decision for an artist who claims to have recorded six albums since Sojourner. More distressing is that "Shiloh" and "Whip-poor-will" stand as the best, most resplendent songs on Josephine, the latter's strong-willed confession and subsequent plea to heaven putting to shame Molina's unspecific ramblings about horizons and "when the fire didn't answer to the flame" elsewhere.
Molina has cautioned us from reading Josephine as an epitaph for Farrell, and it's just as well: Separating mourning from Molina's usual wistfulness is like trying to parse black and beige grains of sand. The one change Josephine offers is trading Fading Trails' penchant for bombastic guitar for a more varied set of arrangements. "Little Sad Eyes" marries Molina's early-years amelodicism to a peppery Hammond organ. Too-short closer "An Arrow in the Gale" invites, finally, Molina's bandmates onto a chorus, and they implore the title character (don't go searching hard for a narrative) to "run run run." "The Rock of Ages" is awkward and a bit hard to take, but it's Molina's first real stab at incorporating 1950s vocal-pop into his songwriting, that era's fascination with teenage tragedy and heartbreak a natural fit for Molina's mythmaking.
So the croon remains, but please don't read this as a love letter to an artist's younger, now-gone days. Josephine is the first Molina album to suggest that he's learned anything more than bombast from those classic rock albums he's been accused of aping. There are real, new stylistic portents here. But Josephine mostly suggests new directions rather than moving in them, and the traceless ache of its muddy middle-third ("Hope Dies Last", "The Handing Down", "Map of the Falling Sky") is burdensome. So we wait, still, but judging by those six albums on the docket, we won't wait long." PICHFORK


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czwartek, 12 listopada 2009

TIME TO BURN - STARTING POINT [2005]



"Motivated and characterized by an uncritical devotion to the most extreme sounds. A wild-eyed, unbalanced and obsessive familiarity with post noise hardcore and melancholic mammoth soundscapes impregnated with the saddest melodies." LAST.FM



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MP3@224KBPS

BELONG - OCTOBER LANGUAGE [2006]



"Very much in the vein of Fennesz and others carrying the torch of guitar experimentation from Kevin Shields, Belong's debut record isn't a series of recordings made to be played piece by piece at random intervals. October Language is very much an album designed to be listened to from start to finish; slowly evolving and unraveling one sheet of distorted guitar textures over another until there's simply no room left to cram in much more. But what sets Belong apart from the rest of their classmates in the school of Shields is their attention to detail. Distinct but melodic passages swell up from out of nowhere and then gradually fade into the static and whirls of feedback and sound; small fragments that appear early on in the lineup make returns later on (with close and active listening). And while fans can pine away and wait for that next My Bloody Valentine release (if there ever is one), there are thankfully instances like October Language that make the prolonged wait immensely more enjoyable. " AMG

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TIM HECKER - AN IMAGINARY COUNTRY [2009]



"Tim Hecker's elegantly inventive way around sound art moved into a full decade of released work with An Imaginary Country, one of his most serene and, from its striking start "100 Years Ago" forward, uplifting albums. The power of feedback as exultant swell has had many iterations over the years and it would be understandable to call its use here shoegaze or something similar -- combined with the electronics on the appropriately named "Sea of Pulses" or "Where Shadows Make Shadows," the striking penultimate track, any number of superficial connections could be drawn to artists such as Fennesz and Ulrich Schnauss. But each of those performers has his own approaches, as does Hecker himself, and the breathless extended surge of the album as a whole takes the slow-rising-dawn power of such work down his chosen road, perhaps best summed up by the song title "Currents of Electrostasy," with piano and feedback turned into a blissful but still mournful whole. Hecker's ear for appropriate names for his songs crops up throughout -- the chilled emptiness of "Borderlands," chimes echoing off into an unguessed distance, may be the warmest dark ambient song released in 2009, though "Paragon Point" comes close for both steady looming power and an enveloping sense of atmosphere." AMG

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TIM HECKER - HARMONY IN ULTRAVIOLET [2006]



"Canadian Tim Hecker has been a respected force on the electronica scene since his debut Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again, came out in 2001 (in addition to his work as Jetone). Since then, he has consistently released experimental ambient music that broadens standard compositional barriers while still remaining accessible, and such is the case with Harmony in Ultraviolet, Hecker's fourth full-length. Though most of the tracks on the album are separate entities -- including each part of "Harmony in Blue" -- they work together to form an idea that's greater than its individual elements: a sense of exploration and sadness and understanding of the infiniteness and uncertainty and expanse of the world. Themes are introduced -- a looped arpeggio, a distorted guitar riff, lone keyboard notes -- but nothing is ever fully developed, nothing ever completely exposes itself. Instead, there's a suggestion that's built-up and expounded upon but never quite resolved, long notes that pull themselves in and out of focus are favored over melodies, leaving a kind of agitation in the listener like the dark restlessness of an industrial city. Three notes make a chord but somehow Hecker's don't, they're so different in texture and scope; in fact, they seem almost peacefully at odds with one another, aware of the others' existences but content to ignore them. It's the music of a gray urban skyline, of the kind of loneliness that comes from being around too many other people, of rusted fences and cold empty windows and distance, music that swells and crescendos, sets itself up for the denouement but never arrives at the climax; it's endlessly patient yet eager to move on. Wet bass notes and emaciated electric guitars, awash with distortion, crush together with programmed noise and drones, sounds erupt and are then dismissed, fifty minutes of questions and intimations, of resignation and acceptance, but not -- definitely not -- of answers. We'll have to find those ourselves." AMG

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TIM HECKER - MIRAGES [2004]



"At the height of their powers, white-noise godheads My Bloody Valentine would be known to leave their guitars alone on-stage at the end of a performance, feeding back for up to 30 minutes while the audience was left awash in the sound of static running on static. Imagining that effect not as an end, but as a beginning, Canadian Tim Hecker offers his third album of dark grey fog (his sixth album if you count his techno background as Jetone). Starting with "Acephale," Hecker takes control of the effluvial hiss and slowly melts it down, making it into clear angelic tones on "Neither More Nor Less," fluttering waves on "Celestina," and even rounded pulses on "Kaito." But like a gentle master, Hecker eventually breaks his smoke bubbles, allowing the gas to float free on the generously long closer, "Incurably Optimistic!" Yet low and behold, the vapors continue to hold the shapes in which they were once held, drifting not up and away, but moving in paths around an undeterminable axis until they finally disappear without the least bit of a whimper. But like matter, sound is a finite yet never depleting thing, transferring from electrical buzz to moving air to cerebral stimulation. Potential energy waiting, just waiting to go kinetic again." AMG

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MP3@256KBPS

TIM HECKER - RADIO AMOR [2003]



"Tim Hecker's first album for Mille Plateaux, Radio Amor, follows two excellent efforts for the relatively smaller yet similarly prestigious Substractif label, and accordingly consolidates that pair into his most inclusive and presentable recording yet. It merges the haunting majesty of his debut full-length, Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again (2001), with the loose conceptual framework of his follow-up EP, My Love Is Rotten to the Core (2002), and does so without being quite as overbearing as those two releases may have felt to listeners interested in simply engaging music rather than far-fetched conception. There are thus two primary sides to Radio Amor: its sounds and concepts. The sonic palette Hecker draws from here is strikingly reminiscent of his previous work. Heavily manipulated waves of drone again clash and splash against one another, often doing so with near yet subtly off synchronicity in the right and left channels. The effect is slightly disorienting, and that's precisely the point, as Hecker's overall aesthetic seems centered upon an otherworldly style of sound manipulation meant to baffle even the most seasoned digital-music listeners. The conceptual framework he builds upon is likewise hazily vague, and no doubt purposefully so. The track titles don't allude to much on their own, yet when coupled with the album's remarkable packaging, a whispered narrative begins to shape, one involving remote seafaring, faint transmissions, compass guidance, and a third-world locale. It's perhaps fitting then that the album's climax, its most deliciously harrowing seasick moment, "Azure Azure," comes late in the album, following "The Star Compass" and preceding "Trade Winds, White Heat." By that point, Hecker has once again swept you away with a seamless album that demands beginning-to-end listening, and this time he does so with the timeless grandeur and universal appeal of a Hemingway-esque lost-at-sea novel narrated from the omniscient perspective. This is far, far from your ordinary ambient album -- if you're willing to dive into its depth rather than merely skim its surface, that is." AMG

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VBR@~260KBPS

TIM HECKER - HAUNT ME, HAUNT ME DO IT AGAIN [2001]



"On Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again, Tim Hecker downshifts from his minimal techno alias, Jetone, to create rich, textured ambient music of the highest order. Despite the infusion of glitch elements like static and electronic interference, Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again sounds deep and wide, like it was meant to bounce around a cathedral, or as an accompaniment to a planetarium show. There are nine titled pieces here spread across 20 tracks and one bleeds into the next, lending an unusual sense of continuity for an experimental electronic release of this length. Glistening drones are threaded with deliberate hiss and ghostly voices and the occasional treated piano and percussive elements crop up here and there as accents. While the tracks vary in approach and character, the overall mood is consistently one of contemplation, wonder, and awe, with vague hints of dread and violence appearing in the periphery. Picking out individual highlights is difficult because the album is so consistent, unified, and whole; suffice to say that Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again is a brilliant album of subtle, evocative mood music. " AMG

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CORRUPTED - EL MUNDO FRIO [2005]



"When doom titans Sleep recorded the seminal, one-hour-long song, Dopesmoker (aka Jerusalem), they created a stone cold classic; they also created a monster. Although hardly the first album-length "song" by any stretch (artists as diverse as Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield and Green Carnation had already tried their hands at similar projects beforehand) Dopesmoker probably introduced the concept to a ready and willing "why didn't I think of that before" doomster scene, paving the way for several subsequent attempts both worthy and, well, unworthy. So, without even trying to pronounce said verdict just yet, never mind opening the can of worms defining what exactly constitutes a big-ass song versus a bunch of different ones strung together, the "attempt" which concerns us here is Corrupted's El Mundo Frio -- a 71-minute colossus whose existence, when you stop and think about it, is really no more preposterous than that of a Japanese band that insists on writing lyrics in Spanish. Breaking it all down: El Mundo Frio starts off with about ten minutes of slowly (make that s-l-o-w-l-y) escalating bass hums, piano chimes, soft-picked guitar notes, and oh-so-gentle, unhurried percussion; bursts into ten more minutes comprising city block-leveling groan chords; proceeds into 12 minutes of funeral doom with actual vocals of the Cookie Monster variety; settles into 15 minutes of mellow keyboard patterns and plucked acoustic guitar melodies; followed by 11 more minutes of funeral death/doom metal; and finally decays into a closing 12 minutes of barely audible chimes, echoing forlornly in the agoraphobic ether. The album's long-awaited verdict at last: is it diverse? Yes; Intriguing? Sure thing; Suitable as background music? Why not; Ambitious? Most certainly; Classic? Not really. A classic wouldn't leave one wondering what the whole darn thing might sound like if it were sped up to wrap in under ten minutes, and as long as El Mundo Frio's different sections take to actually resolve themselves, this question becomes almost inevitable. Ultimately, with over a decade's work and countless releases under their belts, there's no doubt that Corrupted have a well-established (if peculiar) M.O. and really know their way around a doom/drone epic; but perhaps they'd be better served leaving the album-length concoctions alone." AMG

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CORRUPTED - SE HACE POR LOS SUENOS ASESINOS [2004]



"One of Japan's most interesting bands is the sickening Sludge/Doom ensemble Corrupted. Being completely averse to any form of promotion, they do not do interviews, but instead decided to let their music represent them. And with a stunning total of 13 splits, 7 ep's and four full-lengths (at the moment), they could not ask for a better spokesperson.
Se Hace Por Los Suenos Asesinos", their third full-length, was the first album that came across my path in physical shape. As I was familiar with the name, and acquaintances had made a lot of promises about the band, I had no choice but to pick it up. At that time, little did I know it would turn out to be one of the most bewildering and obsessing experiences in ages.
Opening up with a warm and comforting acoustic strumming, my expectations rose higher and higher. Sure, it is always a good idea to cheat the listener with a calm intro, to ensure maximum effect when hell finally breaks loose. When the first few minutes passed, my patience become more and more troubled to maintain itself. An appalling feeling stealthily took a hold of me. When the slideguitar kicked in after more than five minutes, I panicked. Was this a mistake? Some kind of sick joke? Finally, I had a chance to get Corrupted on some cd, and someone accidentily gave me the wrong disc. But hadn't the cd itself had "Corrupted" printed on it, bright and clear? I settled down again. Perhaps I had just picked their only acoustic cd. What also worked soothingly was the immense quality of the music, which I only noticed at that point.
The tender, gentle and warm guitars are an absolutely delight to the shattered, blood-stained eardrums of every seasoned metalhead out there. The powerful, sonorous bass of vocalist Hevi works better than the best herb out there to reach utter relaxation. His unintelligible lyrics allow the listener to release focus and slowly drone away. The full seventeen minutes that this song lasts, are an absolute oasis of peace.
But then. Of course, in the unholy land of Heavy Metal, such a comfortable state of mind can never sustain itself long. As soon as "Gekkou No Daichi" ends, the second song "Rato Triste" violently crushes every bit of peacefulnes around you. With its squeeling guitars, monstrous bass and hellish old school death growls it morphs every listener into a mindless zombie, with only one thought in mind: SLUDGE. DOOM. DEATH. In the third song, they pick up the pace a bit, resulting in a song with the rampaging force equal to a horde of wild bulls. Corrupted are out to destroy, with their unholy mix of old school Death, Doom, Sludge, Drone and a lot of feedback. Nasty shit.
The latter two songs add up to around seventeen minutes as well, so this album is nicely balanced. Tender subtly versus frantic force. A full-out war between heaven and hell, no compromises. Abandon all sanity and become C o r r u p t e d." metalstorm.ee

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DEATHPROD - MORALS AND DOGMA [2004]



"Morals and Dogma is Deathprod's first solo effort in eight years -- his activities as a sound engineer and his participation in the improv quartet Supersilent have kept him very busy in the meantime. But despite a lot of water having run under the bridge, the album doesn't present a rupture or even a significant change in direction from its predecessors (especially Treetop Drive). There's a simple explanation to this: the album's magnum opus, "Dead People's Things," was recorded sometime in 1994, at the time Treetop Drive was going through its final stages of production. "Orgone Donor" is from 1996; the two remaining tracks were recorded in the fall of 2000 for a dance performance by the Kreutzer Kompani. Then again, Deathprod's music creates its own space out of time, so the chronological aspect (or the "newness" of the music presented here) has little relevance. What does matter, though, is the quality, and on that count Morals and Dogma features some of Deathprod's finest, most moving music. Presented as the stark accompanying soundtrack to the rituals of a secret society (hence the black-on-black design), the album consists of four engulfing drones. Hans Magnus Ryan and Ole Henrik Moe, faithful collaborators since Helge Sten's earliest experiments, provide once again the musical body in which Sten works what he calls his "audio virus." "Tron" and "Cloudchamber," the two dance pieces, offer the darkest landscapes. The latter's infrabass frequencies and soft bow scratches create a gripping post-apocalyptic atmosphere. But the 20-minute "Dead People's Things" steals the show. The piece is dominated by Ryan's whiny violin and Sten's test oscillator, which he plays like a theremin, sketching the saddest melody. Highly recommended to fans of atmospheric experimental music." AMG

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CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - A LOVE OF SHARED DISASTERS [2007]



"With a full baker's dozen's worth of musicians listed, the debut album by the U.K.'s Crippled Black Phoenix is part of the whole post-Broken Social Scene concept of band as endlessly mutating collective, but A Love of Shared Disasters is considerably more mutant than most. The driving force behind the band is Justin Greaves, former drummer for sludgy art-stoner metal acts Iron Monkey and Electric Wizard, but the heaviness sporadically on display here owes more to Mogwai (whose bassist Dominic Aitchison is a key participant) and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, an obvious touchstone for the epic centerpiece "Long Cold Summer." Elsewhere, there are twisted fragments of Neutral Milk Hotel's lo-fi emo-psych, traditional British folk-rock in the Steeleye Span mold (complete with harmonium parts straight out of the Shirley & Dolly Collins songbook), tunes reminiscent of old sea shanties warped within an inch of their life (see the opening "The Lament of the Nithered Mercenary" and the vintage Fairport Convention gone doom metal feel of "The Northern Cobbler"), and unexpected hits of straight-up Sigur Rós ethereality. It shouldn't make a bit of sense, and it doesn't in any sort of logical way, but there's an underlying vision to A Love of Shared Disasters, a cracked singularity that keeps it from being just a random bunch of acid-fried weird ideas glued together higgledy piggledy." AMG

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ANCESTORS - OF SOUND MIND [2009]



"Los Angeles-based heavy-psych quartet Ancestors have, as their name suggests, thoroughly absorbed the work of their late-'60s and early-'70s forebears. They tend to go for a doomy, psychedelic sound reminiscent of Deep Purple, Meddle-era Pink Floyd and Uriah Heep rather than the amped-up stomp of Grand Funk Railroad or Hawkwind's spacy explorations. Their first release, Neptune with Fire, contained only two songs in just under 40 minutes, and was more about mood than aggressive forward movement. This follow-up, quite clearly designed to be heard on double-vinyl as it includes four lengthy pieces, features as much organ as guitar, and the vocals are sometimes a hoarse roar and other times are delivered in a group singalong style that recalls rock bands affiliated with cults, like Ya Ho Wha 13. The drums even have that early-'70s cardboard-box sound. The long tracks are bracketed by short fragments: "Not the Last Return" is 90 seconds of aimless piano, while "A Friend" offers three minutes of synth squiggles and drones leading into the nearly 18-minute "The Trial," which starts off a Floydian guitar jam and becomes almost Mastodon-heavy toward the end. Another piano piece, this one over six minutes long, introduces the album's final cut, the aggressive "The Ambrose Law," a very Uriah Heep-like rave-up that takes the disc out on a high note. Though there are no new ideas here, Ancestors have cherry-picked the best ones from 35 years ago, and longhairs who think rock music's been on a downward slide since 1975 will love this album." AMG

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BRAINBOMBS - FUCKING MESS [2008]



"Brainbombs are a noise rock group from Hudiksvall, Sweden formed around 1986. The band consists of Dan Råberg, Peter Råberg, Jonas Tiljander, Drajan Bryngelsson and Lanchy Orre. Drajan and Lanchy also play in the punk band Totalitär. In 1986 Brainbombs appeared on two underground compilation albums, “Unveiled” on Mechanik Cassettes and “In the Shadow of Death” on Cold Meat Industries. Soon after they released their first single “Jack the Ripper Lover”. Between 1986 and 1992 they had a few more singles and compilation appearances before releasing their first full-length album “Burning Hell” on Big Ball Records. Throughout the 90s they released three more albums: “Obey”, “Genius and Brutality… Taste and Power” and “Urge to Kill”, as well as some more singles and EPs. In the 2000s they continued releasing singles but didn’t release another full-length record until 2008’s “Fucking Mess”. Most recently they have released another single titled “Substitute for Flesh”. Brainbombs have been infamous not only for their abrasive music but their extremely explicit lyrics, depicting rape, murder and child molestation among other things. Despite only being able to produce limited releases and do small tours, Brainbombs have been continuously active since their formation in 1986" LAST.FM

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PAAVOHARJU - YHA HAMARAA [2005]



"Paavoharju is a ‘freak folk’ band from Finland. They have released the Laulu laakson kukista (Fonal) CD in 2008, the Yhä hämärää (Fonal) CD in 2005 and Tuote-akatemia (Miasmah) MP3 EP in 2006.
Paavoharju’s sound is a precise combination of broken chords, acoustic guitars, spiritual choral vocals and digital filters.
Band members include Olli & Lauri Ainala and Jenni Koivistoinen, Toni Kähkönen, Joose Keskitalo, Johannes Pitkänen, Emmi Uimonen, Antti Lind, Lari Latti, Gabriel Ainala." LAST.FM

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GROUPER - DRAGGING A DEAD DEER UP A HILL [2008]



"Liz Harris' first two Grouper albums, Way Their Crept and Wide, consisted mostly of layers of her pristine vocals blanketed in drones, reverb, and distortion until they blurred into a blissful, and sometimes eerie, haze. That haze lifts ever so slightly on Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, letting more melody, more structured songs, and even a few phrases emerge from the ether. Fragile acoustic and electric guitars and the occasional keyboard also bring this album more down to earth than Grouper's earlier work, but the music never feels stifled or limited -- if anything, the added structure lets these songs take flight and reach peaks of beauty that Wide and Way Their Crept only glimpsed. Harris' voice is especially spine-tingling on "Stuck," where her gorgeous harmonies only need gentle strumming to support their ebb and flow. Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill's soft, intricate layers have their roots in late-'80s/early-'90s dream pop (and the work of the Cocteau Twins and early His Name Is Alive in particular -- Home Is in Your Head could be this album's great-great-grandmother), but Grouper's take is looser and more organic; there's a reason many of the song titles feature nature imagery ("Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping," "Traveling Through a Sea"). Dragging a Dead Deer also shows more musical range than Harris' previous work: "Disengaged," which introduces the album with blasts of static that suggest wind and waves, and the wistful "Invisible" fall closest to Wide and Way Their Crept's drifting approach, while "Fishing Bird (Empty Jutted in the Evening Breeze)" and "A Cover Over" boast distinct verses and choruses as well as the rest of the album's otherworldly atmosphere. This is also Grouper's most emotionally wide-ranging work, covering the electric lullaby "When We Fall" to the slightly ominous shimmer of the title track. Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill offers moments that are just as memorable as the entire album, and all of them are subtly, but stunningly, beautiful. " AMG

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KHANATE - CAPTURE & RELEASE [EP] [2009]



"Khanate is the sound of true doom metal -- where the songs are torturously slow and excruciatingly drawn out (their albums only feature a handful of songs, due to each one's extended length). On their first release for the Hydra Head label (and third full-length overall), 2005's Capture and Release, Khanate has somehow managed to outdo themselves, by issuing a single album comprised of only a pair of tracks that clocks in at nearly 45 minutes -- something Yes didn't even accomplish back in their heyday. In fact, Khanate has more in common with free-form jazz improvisers from yesteryear, as it appears as though the quartet focuses more on feeding off each other more than following any set song structure. And as evidenced by both tracks, "Capture" and "Release," Khanate likes to stick to the original game plan from start to finish -- indecipherable/screamed vocals and sludgy, single-note guitar drones are the group's obsession." AMG

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