BANANAFISH MAGAZINE Issue #17 (Tedium House) mag + cd 10.98
Omigod is it THAT time again? When Bananafish rears its ugly head and starts barking nonsense, fascinating nonsense about musicians you quite possibly never heard of before? Yes it is. #17 is upon us, a glorious production: 130 pages plus compact disc. In the magazine, you'll find "information" about, among others, Jazzkammer, Lara Allen, Astro, Towne Dandies, Jason McLean, and Fake Party! (see what we mean?) and lots of stuff "reviewed". On the cd, there's "music" from the All-Star Schnauzer Band, Jazzkammer, Astro, Ragtime Germs, Paul Dutton with Jaap Blonk, Koichi Makigami, Phil Minton and David Moss, and more, including two video clips! Whoo-hoo! Either you're a Bananafish addict and have to have this, or you're gonna buy it 'cause the voices in your head want something to read and listen to. Go for it.
BANANAFISH MAGAZINE Issue #18 (Tedium House) magazine + cd 10.98
Sadly, the last ever ish (so we're told) of this long-running avantgarde music n' art magazine... And it remains entertainingly dense with confusion to the last. Obscure isn't obscure until it's been celebrated (and futher obscured) in the pages of Bananafish. This final issue leaves us with info and interviews with Jim Leftwich ("experimental writer, visual poet..."), Burning Star Core ("violin/electronics/voice iconoclast"), Nelson Gastaldi ("Argentinean psych-spatial composer"), Montract ("group of beach-blanket acidheads"), and Joe Colley ("ex-Crawl Unit noise mumbler"). There's also "surreal, interdisiplinary" comics from Mecca Normal guitarist David Lester and of course pages and pages of reviews of all kinds of noisy, fucked up music -- reviews that quite often are more interesting than the music itself, we sometimes suspect. Plus the requisite bonus cd that comes with the magazine, with stuff from all the above mentioned artists, including lots of excerpts from cassettes found by Joe Colley. Ah Bananfish, we'll miss ya.
BANNLUST/CHASM 10/9 (Fat Cat) 12" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The fifth in the series of split singles of leftfield electronica from the fabulous Fat Cat label. Bannlust (whose Digital Tension album for Sabotage last year was a stunning surprise) presents three tracks that rival Autechre with their moody and hypnotic crunch of fractured dark electro. Chasm (a.k.a. Robert Hampson of Main/Loop) pares away the isolationist guitar drones in favour of disjointed beats generated through micro processing of concrete sounds.
BARBATOS / INCRIMINATED split (Nuclear War Now! Productions) 2x5" 8.98
Got a few more of these back in, an awesome split of raw primitive blackness and an amazing musical object in its own right... Not only is this a killer split of evil black thrash, Japan's Barbatos and Finland's Incriminated, each offering up songs dealing with war and history, but it's a whole new format you've never seen before (really!), and is pretty damn out there. More on that in a second. The music first. Barbatos from Japan, are amazing evil black thrashers, with a definite punk vibe, the guitars howling, the drums crashing, the spirit of Venom, Motorhead, but supercharged and blackened. The perfect match for Incriminated from Finland, who walk in the same bloodied footsteps as Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, a black thrash, furious and raw, primitive and black. The Incriminated song is called "Blue Swastikas" but before you freak out, as the band states in their liner notes: "If you think Incriminated are nazis for dealing with historical topics, then you are nazi yourself!" Okay, so they're not Nazis and the song is about some classic WWII battle, maybe they could have come up with a different title since that stuff is a pretty sensitive subject in the black metal world, but whateverÉ Both tracks rock furiously, heavy and primitive, buzzing and brutal. But, these aren't cds, nor are they vinyl eps. Instead they are one sided plastic discs, like cds, but each disc has record grooves pressed into the plastic. Designed to be played on record players, but due to the cd sized hole in the middle, it's tough to get it centered, and as far as we know they don't yet make an adapter for that. But it looks amazing, and everyone we show it to has to hold it and touch it and look at it to try to figure out how the heck you play something like this. Fans of raw black metal, as well as weird music, and weird packaging especially will definitely want to check this out.
BARDO POND + TOM CARTER 4/23/03 (Three Lobed Recordings) 2lp 28.00
Originally released in 2004 on cd and long out of print, this killer collaboration between Charalambides guitarist Tom Carter and Philly psychedelic space rockers Bardo Pond finally gets the deluxe vinyl reissue treatment, which includes a bonus track not on the original cd version. And, as well, it now comes with a bonus cd containing a live set recorded just days after this record was recorded. The sound here is about as epic and awesome as you might expect, but what you might not expect is there are no psychedelic freakouts, each sidelong track is not a slow build to a heavy super rocking climax, instead, Carter and Bardo Pond explore a sound much more dirgey and bluesy and droney, smoldering and darkly propulsive, the music organic and alive, constantly shifting, and definitely dynamic, but more meditative and hypnotic. The first track sets the mood the multiple guitars all piling on tangles and spidery melodies, deftly woven into something much more raga-like, droney and mesmerizing, a sort of slow burn late nigh jam session vibe which suits both parties perfectly. The B side is even more murky and minimal, abstract and atmospheric, super spacey and dreamily psychedelic, lush layered drones shift and shimmer, the band drifting druggily through space, which leads right into side C, also muted and minimal, but this time laced with some awesome processed psych guitar filigree, little swoops and shards, all beneath hazy ethereal vocals (their first appearance) and fluttering flute, the sound here the most Bardo Pond-like of the bunch, with Carter sounding right at home (so much so that it's hard to tell which guitar player is which). The final side is the most hushed and laid back of the bunch, meditative and tranquil, a sort of drifty dark folk, skeletal and softly reverbed, the song just shimmers contemplatively, total late night, come down psych drone bliss for sure. The packaging is gorgeous, fancy two color silkscreened heavy jackets, included is a download coupon, and the live cd in its own sleeve with its own cover. LIMITED TO 700 COPIES!!
BARDO POND / BUCK PACO Bog / Pushed Out Into The Sun (split) (Black September Press) 12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ultra limited, LP only, space-psych match up between Philadelphia's masters of druggy space rock and Detroit's psych sludge outfit Buck Paco. Bardo Pond are on fire here, heavy and huge and super intense, a blurry, dense, buzzy, drugged out, psych-space freakout. Super distorted and dizzyingly shambolic and so utterly divine. Spiky tendrils of squirming feedback, droning buzz guitar, simple motorik drumming, all slithering and convulsing, before about halfway through everything slows down to lurching acid drenched krautrockiness, pounding and pulsing, beneath tangled squalls of freak-psych guitars. Definitely one of the 'Pond's wildest and heaviest recordings. We had never heard of Buck Paco before, but they manage to kick up quite a shitstorm. A murky and drone-y and relentless dirge, with an ultra distorted, repetitive rhythm beaneath churning rumbles and a creepy minor key guitar figure looped and repeated endlessly. The second half of Buck Paco's side (just noticed both bands start with BP, and they sound a bit similar, could Buck Paco actually BE Bardo Pond? Hmmm....) does away with the drums completely, or at the very least buries them way way back in the mix, adds a bit of sitar, and turns their drone-y sludge into some sort of free-guitar-psych / Appalachian folk hybrid, with strange distorted melodies over simple strums and mournful riffing, all smothered in layers of amp buzz, tape hiss and instrument hum. Pressed on 140 gram virgin vinyl, packaged in beautiful hand screened covers and limited to 600 copies!
BARDO POND / CARLTON MELTON split (Agitated) lp 15.98
What we said last year on list 388 when we made this a Record Of The Week: One of two splits on this week's list from local psychedelic space rockers and aQ faves Carlton Melton, both amazingly appropriate team-ups. The other one is a super limited 7" with UK space rockers Mugstar [sorry, out of print now], and then there's this, a vinyl-only split with legendary Phillie psych rockers Bardo Pond, who prove to be the perfect match for Carlton Melton slow burning laid back psychedelic drift. CM's side-long "Slow Growth" (a title by way of an early AQ Carlton Melton review by our very own Scott) definitely describes CM's sidelong jam here, easily one of their best, and most musically cohesive, finding sharp sonic focus even amidst the seemingly freeform drift, the track beginning as a soft hazy swirl, softly churning guitars over what sounds like whipping wind, the vibe tense and ominous and darkly dreamy, it takes a few minutes for the song proper to kick in, but when it does, the guitars immediately swoop in and distort, blossoming into massive crumbling swells, heaving and howling over delicate crystalline strum and simple propulsive motorik drumming. The drums eventually drop out, leaving the sound to slowly implode, growing muddier and murkier, stretched way out into muted drones, laced with shards of feedback and little fragmented melodies, all before another slow build, back into a seriously dense sonic squall, still muted and murky, but seriously black hole dense, a roiling cloud of blackened psych, which billows wildly until the drums gradually return, offering a rhythmic anchor and guiding the track to its final resting place. Bardo Pond counter with one of the best tracks we've heard from them, the sound fierce and epic and lush and SO heavy, launching immediately into a gorgeous sprawl of free form psychedelia, clouds of swirling guitars, tangled melodies, the drums loose and free and awesomely wild, but still managing to somehow hold everything together, but just barely. The vibe is blissed out and druggy, it's the sort of jam, that could go on forever, and sort of does, and is somehow simultaneously static and hypnotic, but also impossibly active and constantly shifting, a swirl of melodies and textures, the guitars unleashing some seriously kick ass leads, filling the sky with sonic contrails and swirling chordal clouds, the flute shows up late, and flutters subtly beneath the ever intensifying guitar freakouts, the vocals come in even later, and then only briefly, but add the perfect sort of gauzy / ethereal vibe to the proceedings, the song seeming to just organically wind down, leaving us to imagine that somewhere else there's a version, that does in fact go on forever. LIMITED TO 800 COPIES!!!
BARDO POND / PRE Keep Mother Split (Fire) 10" 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
BARN OWL / TOM CARTER split (Blackest Rainbow) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Latest release from Bay Area doomfolkdrone duo Barn Owl (featuring our very own Jon Porras) who team up on this limited lp only release with long time fave Tom Carter of Charalambides who for now, seems to have shed his psych folks sound for something far more, well more on that in a second... Up first, Barn Owl with three new tracks of bleak blackened dark ambience, invoking wide open spaces, moonlight glimmering on frosted fallow fields, of slow moving brackish water, and of ruined buildings and lonely dirt roads. It makes sense that these guys opened for Earth when they were here, as their sound carries the same spiritual weight. But where Earth employ twang and elements of gospel, Barn Owl go somewhere much deeper, and more dangerous, a swirling slow motion world of blacks and greys, of blurred landscapes slipping by through smudged windows, shafts of sunlight, moving glacially across the bare wooden floor, causing the dust motes to drift in little flickering flurries. Once the band build momentum, they create long flowing streams of warm whirring buzz, held together by simple percussive pulses, buried rhythmic throbs, all the while the guitars arc above like solar flares. Dark swells rise and fall, wreathed in halos of soft focus FX and smeared streaks of subtle distortion, slipping from hushed shimmery whisper, to groaning wheezing metallic buzz, drifting forever slowly around a warm glowing core, and continuously emitting an aura of mournful dark mystery. Carter approaches his side from a whole different angle, his single 16 minute track takes a slow meandering chunk of dark downtuned blues and transforms it into a coruscating wall of blown out psych buzz, rumbling chug and crunch, wailing noiseguitar freakout, heavy and buzzy and chaotic, but still warm and layered and melodic, like a rural Keiji Haino raised on avant folk and old time blues. A gorgeous ever expanding chunk of blown out heaviness and warm, slowly crumbling deconstructed blues, culminating in a beautiful almost symphonic arrangement of high end skree and warbly buzz, before slipping into a long stretch of languorous unravelling guitar shimmer. So nice. LIMITED TO 380 COPIES. Plain black jackets with a paste on front cover, printed insert, thick black inner sleeves. We got a bunch direct from the bands, and we might be able to get more from the label when we run out, but you never know. Better to grab one while you can...
BARONESS / UNPERSONS A Grey Sigh In A Flower (At A Loss) cd 13.98
Looking at some of the song titles here, you'd think these bands were French, but they're actually from the American South: Savannah, Georgia to be precise, where both Baroness and Unpersons are stalwarts of the metal/hardcore scene. Actually most AQ customers of the metallic persuasion should be familiar with recent Relapse-signees Baroness, masters of sludge metal mathy post rock prog shred, like some sort of unholy mix of Pelican, Mastodon and the Fucking Champs. Always happy doing an ep-length release, they get in two songs here -- six and twelve minutes apiece, respectively -- while Unpersons contribute four songs, 15 minutes total for their half of this split. The twisty brutality of Baroness is matched by the heavy-duty stop-start and hardcore, almost Oxbowish vox of Unpersons. Baroness as usual destroy us with their effortlessly complex mix of modern chunkiness and very classic, heavy metal guitars. Good stuff for fans of either band or sorta arty, ultra heavy metalcore in general, and it's got us really looking forward to Baroness's Relapse debut (also their first ever full-length!), entitled The Red Album, due out on September 4th.
BARONESS "Teiresias" MPEG Stream:
UNPERSONS "Black Finnegan"
BARONESS / UNPERSONS A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk (At A Loss) lp 17.98
Now on vinyl! Looking at some of the song titles here, you'd think these bands were French, but they're actually from the American South: Savannah, Georgia to be precise, where both Baroness and Unpersons are stalwarts of the metal/hardcore scene. Actually most AQ customers of the metallic persuasion should be familiar with recent Relapse-signees Baroness, masters of sludge metal mathy post rock prog shred, like some sort of unholy mix of Pelican, Mastodon and the Fucking Champs. Always happy doing an ep-length release, they get in two songs here -- six and twelve minutes apiece, respectively -- while Unpersons contribute four songs, 15 minutes total for their half of this split. The twisty brutality of Baroness is matched by the heavy-duty stop-start and hardcore, almost Oxbowish vox of Unpersons. Baroness as usual destroy us with their effortlessly complex mix of modern chunkiness and very classic, heavy metal guitars. Good stuff for fans of either band or sorta arty, ultra heavy metalcore in general...
BARONESS "Teiresias" MPEG Stream:
UNPERSONS "Black Finnegan"
BASTARD / GROUND ZERO (Pandemonium) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. GZ: One long, live track. Heavy on the sampling mayhem and turntable fuckery. B: Truly bizarre, repetitive, turntablized hypno-rock.
BATES, MARTYN / TROUM To A Child Dancing In The Wind (Transgredient) cd 14.98
For those well acquainted with the prose of Aquarius Records, the German duo Troum should be a familiar reference to any one keen on dark dronescapes; but Martyn Bates is something of an enigma to us despite being a stalwart of neo-romantic British art-rock thanks to wealth of recordings with his group Eyeless In Gaza. Blessed with the angelic voice of a classic crooner, Bates certainly fits in with the theatrically inclined singers such as David Sylvian, Scott Walker, and Gordon Sharp. Even when Eyeless In Gaza began under the banner of post-punk, Bates' impassioned delivery enveloped the anti-pop sensibilities with a majestic aura that probably repelled just as many potential fans that might be swayed by his rapturous clarion. To be completely honest, we've never been entirely convinced by Bates or Eyeless In Gaza, despite numerous attempts by lifelong fan and AQ pal Loren Chasse to convince us otherwise. In working with Troum on To A Child Dancing In The Wind, Bates has presented himself again as the occultish troubadour, but with Troum's dark elegance wrapped around his voice, we may need to reconsider. Nocturnal for sure, but hardly as overwhelmingly dark as some of the other Troum records (i.e. Tjurkurppa 2 or Sigqan); To A Child Dancing In The Wind has Troum wrapping shadowy drones and their slow motion churn of heavily processed guitar, accordion, harmonica, and bass as the tapestry for the celestial hymns scribed by Bates. For those transfixed by David Sylvian's collaborative efforts with Fennesz on Blemish, we would hazard to guess that you'll find this album equally as emotive and beautiful.
"To A Child Dancing In The Wind" MPEG Stream:
"Mad As The Mist And Snow"
BEAT HAPPENING Crashing Through (K) 7cd 52.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Kinda lost hope of ever seeing this special box set after the bazillionth time a new release date came and went. But holy hopscotch, here it is! "The final word on Beat Happening!" or so the sticker on the front proclaims. Was it really worth the wait? Well, for devoted fans of Calvin, Heather and Bret after all these years, who couldn't resist the appeal of a box set from their fearless K Punk faves all nicely compact and neatly designed? I'm sure that goes without saying, but for the rest, let's see... Music-wise, you get all five albums (heck, these should already be a part of any self-respecting Beat Happening fan's library!) all uniformly presented in digipaks: the primal beat and often atonal singing of the self-titled debut and Jamboree, the more sing-song pretty Black Candy and Dreamy and the final You Turn Me On (produced in part by former Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham). As well, you're also treated to a disc titled "Music To Climb The Apple Tree By" packed full of all the non-album previously released bells and whistles (which once again I have to say, any true blue B.H. devotee should already own!), that means all of their 7"s, compilation tracks and the 12" EP they did with the Screaming Trees. Other stuff? An exclusive cd/cd-rom collecting together music from the B.H./Vaselines split cassette and assorted early videos (including ones for "Hot Chocolate Boy" and "Pine Box Derby" as well as live footage of "Black Candy" on Olympia tv, "Cake Walk" from the International Pop Underground Convention '91 and "Cry For A Shadow" at a record store in Memphis). And for your reading enjoyment, queen of the Olympia/K Punk scene Ms Lois Maffeo has assembled a concise 92-page book filled with B.H. archives, personal recollections, grainy photos, interviews, etc. So is this the final word from the beloved Oly trio who were an immeasurable inspiration to indie kids everywhere and a d.i.y. force to be reckoned with back in the day? Who truly knows for sure? But it is without question the most comprehensive and lovingly assembled Beat Happening retrospective you'll ever find... and yes, it was worth the wait!
"Indian Summer" RealAudio clip:
"Cast A Shadow" RealAudio clip:
"Fortune Cookie Prize" RealAudio clip:
"Tiger Trap" RealAudio clip:
"Tales Of A Brave Aphrodite"
BEAT HAPPENING Music To Climb The Apple Tree By (K) cd 14.98
Calvin, Heather and Bret have always walked to the beat of their own unique drum. Often that beat has been an unsteady or a just plain sloooow one. Case in point? Their Crashing Through 8 cd retrospective that was finally released in May of last year after an absurdly lengthy wait. Nonetheless, it was plenty welcome, and brought back many a fond memory. Such is the case with this Beat Happening odds'n'ends'n'rarities compilation too. Be forewarned, this cd was included in the boxset, so you very well might already own it! For those as yet uninitiated to the true punk rock wonders of Beat Happening, this is actually a pretty good place to start. It's called Music To Climb The Apple Tree By, and that's perfectly appropriate for this one-of-a-kind band. These songs, compiled from a variety of 45s, promo 7"s and b-sides, are from as recent as 2000 ("Angel Gone" recorded by Phil Elvrum of the Microphones) and as far back as 1984 (the fabulous Heather-sung "Foggy Eyes" recorded in the KAOS radio studios). The last four tunes are from their rather obscure 1988 EP collaboration with Screaming Trees (hurrah!!!). Of course, Beat Happening fans are a particularly devoted breed who undoubtedly have already loved to death their copy of the boxset, not to mention, tracked down each and every one of these tracks individually, but in case you haven't... A wonderful frequently atonal, primal pop treat.
"Not A Care In The World " MPEG Stream:
"Tale Of Brave Aphrodite"
BEHEAD THE PROPHET NO LORD SHALL LIVE/THRONES split 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Blue Oyster Cult covers from both bands!
BEHEXEN / HORNA split (Morbid Moon) cd 14.98
BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS / ORTHRELM Paincave / Pithot 1 (Crucial Blast) cd ep 7.98
Wherein these two bands try to outdo each other (and everyone else in the world) at being absolutely the most INSANE, frenzied, complex, technical-prog-metallic-masturbatory band ever. Good thing it's so short (two tracks, a little under nine minutes total for the disc) 'cause both bands (and listeners!) would be utterly exhausted if they went on any longer. In one corner, you've got Behold The Arctopus from New York, who have wanky prog gizmo the Chapman Stick in their instrumental arsenal. In the other, from right here in San Francisco, guitarist Mick Barr's Orthrelm, and Mick don't need no stinkin' Stick. Well, get this and you can judge who is the winner. Pretty clearly, fans of either or both bands need this for sure, and will additionally be tickled pink by the cool cover artwork, by none other than Voivod drummer Away (who's got an art book coming out on Troubleman sometime soon, we hear).
ORTHRELM "Pithot 1"
BELIEVER, THE June/July 2005 Music Issue (McSweeney's) magazine + CD 8.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The Believer is always a good read, but you won't want to miss the 2005 Music issue. Plenty of good reading this time around as well: articles about Beck, the Danielson Famile, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater Kinney interviews Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a discussion between comedian Patton Oswalt and musician Aimee Mann, an interview with teenage rock combo Smoosh, an article about singing drummers and much much more. But you also get a cd jam packed with Aquarius faves, covering -other- Aquarius faves: the Decemberists cover Joanna Newsom, Spoon covers Yo La Tengo, the Constantines cover Elevator To Hell, the Espers cover Fursaxa, the Mountain Goats cover the Silver Jews, Coco Rosie cover Damien Jurado, The Shins cover Postal Service, San Serac cover Ida, Josephine Foster covers the Cherry Blossoms, Cynthia G. Mason covers Richard Buckner, and Jim Guthrie covers the Constantines. Wow!
BELLY BUTTON/RUINS/MOLECULES/ALBOTH/MUG (Pandemonium) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. R: Hyper kinetic bass/drums prog. M: Bay Area jazz prog. A: Swiss Young Gods style arty bombast. BB: Noisey post rock. M: Jazzy art brut funk rock.
BENGA & WALSH / WALSH & KROMESTAR Military / Panik Room (Hot Flush) 12" 11.98
BERROCAL, JACQUE / DOMINIQUE COSTER / ROGER FERLET Musiq Musik (Fractal) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Originally released in 1973 in France by Futura Records via their SON series (which also included the wonderful "Tacet" by Jean Guerin. Futura also released otherworldly tripped-outness from the likes of Red Noise and Mahogany Brain). Recorded between '71 and '72, "Musiq Musik" saw Berrocal's introduction of his Musik Ensemble on record, combining gamelan and free jazz splendour with restraint and droneful grace. An amalgamation of eastern instrumentation (bells, Tibetan shells as well as various percussion and wind instruments), western instrumentation (just some horns), and just plain wacky instrumentation (ropes, balloons, explosives (!)), the music itself is an imaginative, lyrical journey into the landscape of the mind.
BEST COAST / JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD Sunny Adventure / Bummer (Volcom) 7" 6.50
Another in Volcom's subscriber's singles club, this one a split (like the Flood / Wildildlife, which we still have a final few copies of) featuring big time aQ faves, sunshiney beach poppers Best Coast, who offer up another blast of hazy, girl group, fuzz pop bliss... rocking and rollicking, windows down, breeze blowing, ice cream melting, the usual boatload of reverb and warm summery harmonies, and of course hooks galore, Bethany's voice in fine form, and the band kicking up a fun fuzzed out dream pop underneath, another practically perfect chunk of washed out dreamy sunshine pop that sounds like it could have been plucked right off their full length. The big surprise here is JEFF The Brotherhood, who we sort of expected to suck, based on the goofy name, but wow were we wrong, reminding us a lot of classic Weezer or old school noise poppers Further, also SF pop geniuses Ovens, super distorted guitars, weary stoned boy vocals, sweet harmonies, killer hooks, crazy catchy, with some tripped out spacey squiggly FX, pop fanatics will be in heaven, and like us, will probably be scrambling for more from these guys. LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES. Each one hand numbered. Pressed on swirly clear pink vinyl. Comes with a download code for JUST the JTB track...
JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD "Bummer"
BESTIAL MOCKERY / FORCE OF DARKNESS Poison Of The Underground (Turanian Honour) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A little 7" blast of grim and necro, super raw, thrashing blackness. Old old old old skool brutality. As the sleeve says, Poison Of The Underground. And this is the real underground. On one side, Chilean horde Force of Darkness, on the other black thrashing Swedes Bestial Mockery. And just because this is raw and old school doesn't mean there might not be a few surprises in store. Force Of Darkness, offer up, as the insert proclaims, an "Evil South American Black Thrash Attack", all buzzing riffs and thrashing drums, but what it doesn't tell you, is that the vocals are demented! Ultra fast tongue twisting garbled shddHSshUAHsaoaosa. Like the singer is possessed and speaking in tongues. Pretty far out. Bestial Mockery counter with, again, according to the insert, their won brand of black thrash, "Unpure, Unholy, Untight!" And it is all of those things, especially untight. A wildly thrashing slab of black brutality, wrapped in an ultra necro lo-fi production with some riffs that manage to be surprisingly catchy. Cool, thick black and white sleeves, with printed inserts, complete with lyrics, skulls, bullet belts and more! LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, each sleeve hand numbered.
BETTY BOTOX Mmm, Betty! (Mule Musiq) cd 16.98
Betty Botox is none other than JD Twitch, one half of Scotish super-duo Optimo. Yes, they named themselves after the Liquid Liquid song of the same name, and you may remember them from the inimitable Kill the DJ series a few years back. The one that had beats and mashups of everything from Laibach to Arthur Russell to Sun City Girls to Ricardo Villalobos - in a DANCE mix! Huh?! Anyway, this disc compiles various re-edits and remixes completed by Ms. Botox himself. Whatever you do, don't get scared. Yes, this is music you can dance to, but it has mixes of fucking Hawkwind and that Italian industrial group Pankow. Remember them? This guy is digging pretty deep, and thanks to artists like this we still have some faith in dancing. Did we mention that there's even an edit of The Jellies "Jive Baby on a Saturday Night?" Well, listen in as Ms. Botox warps and rearranges this super weird, psychedelic disco trip-fest. Hell, we might even bust out our eye-liner if and when he decides to tackle Fini Tribe's bizarre cover of "I Want More" by Can. Yes, that really happened. Fans of fun, this is for you.
THE JELLIES " Jive Baby On a Saturday Night" MPEG Stream:
BIBLE OF THE DEVIL / BLADE OF THE RIPPER split (Scarey Records) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Chicago's formation Flying V pilots Bible Of The Devil fight in the skies on this split 7" with another band of metal maniacs, Louisville's Blade Of The Ripper (featuring one of the dudes from Nashville Pussy and The Hookers, letting his Venom fandom come to the fore). The 33 rpm Side A is BOTD's "Hot Deth", and it harks back a bit to their more Hellacopters-ish garagey rawk early stylings while staying as metal as their spelling of "deth" would suggest. On the flip (which is supposed to spin at 45, 'cause they're fucking with you or something), BOTR offer up "Cast Me In The Fire", maybe even more vicious and raw and metallically evil than the A-side, though you do have the option of speeding "Hot Deth" up to 45 if you want to hear something faster (and more ridiculous), to which "Cast Me In The Fire" can't respond unless you've got a turntable that plays at 78 too. We're big BOTD fans already, but this makes us want to check out more BOTR also. Limited edition, Italian import, we have but a fistful, if that.
BIBLE OF THE DEVIL / VALKYRIE The Auld Dirt Road / False Dreams (Heavy Birth Vinyl Records) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We listed the latest album of dual Flying V action (Flying VV?) from Chicago's metal masters Bible Of The Devil last list. Here's another, new n' exclusive, kick ass track from them, "The Auld Dirt Road", on one side of this split 7" single they share with Virginia doomsters Valkyrie, who do a song called "False Dreams". Between 'em, BOTD and Valkyrie manage to turn this 7" inch into a shrine to all that's retro, rad, & rockin', with Bible leaning towards Thin Lizzy, and Valkyrie tilting towards Pentagram... It's a limited edition release, naturally, on either red or blue colored vinyl (luck of the draw). We have but a handful.
BIG BAD LOVE (OST) (Nonesuch) cd 17.98
The soundtrack for this Debra Winger produced, Arliss Howard directed film features the weathered, soulful voices of Tom Waits, R.L. Burnside, and Steve Earle, as well as Tom Verlaine and Kronos Quartet (together), T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough, Robert Belfour, Asie Payton and Kenny Brown. Film connections aside, this album is an impressive collection of the many sounds of whiskey drenched, sun-scorched blues ranging from the gritty smoulder of R.L. Burnside to the rollick'n'holler footstomp of T-Model Ford to the slow creepin' slink guitar of Tom Verlaine "Sleepwalkin'".
R.L. BURNSIDE "Come On In (Live)" RealAudio clip:
TOM WAITS "Long Way Home" RealAudio clip:
STEVE EARLE "Goodbye"
BIOSPHERE / DEATHPROD Nordheim Transformed (Rune Grammofon) cd 16.98
Using the recently reissued electro-acoustic masterpiece "Electric" by Arne Nordheim as the sole source material, Biosphere's and Deathprod's remixes are ice-laden, mesmerizing abstractions of sweeping electronic darkness.
BIOSPHERE / DEATHPROD Nordheim Transformed (Rune Grammofon) cd 16.98
Using the recently reissued electro-acoustic masterpiece "Electric" by Arne Nordheim as the sole source material, Biosphere's and Deathprod's remixes are ice-laden, mesmerizing abstractions of sweeping electronic darkness.
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL / TARENTEL / CHARALAMBIDES Nothing Out There #5 (Nothingoutthere) 3x3"dvd-r 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We discovered this just a little too late. The first in a series of cool compilations, all insanely limited, dvd-r's with interviews and live performances, super fancy homemade packaging. But sadly out of print, a bummer considering how perfect this one seems for aQ. C'mon! Birchville Cat Motel, Tarentel and Charalambides! Limited to only TWENTY FIVE copies. Arghh. Well somehow we convinced the label to do another pressing just for aQ, so here it is, a killer triple 3" dvd-r set, gorgeously packaged, with three long time aQ faves. Up first is Charalambides, recorded live in Hasselt 2006, several songs, lovely as always, dark and funereal, ethereal, gorgeously shot, super close ups of the guitar, lips against a microphone, lit in reds and blues and purples, a dark stage, nothing but the two players... Really nice, intercut with simple abstract animations and interviews with the band. The second disc is Birchville Cat Motel, recorded live in Gent 2006, and features Campbell Kneale, aka Mr. BCM, lurking on a hellish looking stage, all red lights and dry ice fog, just Kneale's figure hunched over his instruments, mic stands like demon's claws reaching up through the mist, a huge pair of painted eyes behind him on the wall. Kneale sort of swaying back and forth in a total trance, wearing a black mask, singing and twiddling knobs, in a surprisingly tiny space, playing to about 20 people, the sound appropriately massive and thick, even mixing in a loop of Metallica (!), electronic bagpipes, and a Buddha Machine. Awesome. Also includes an interview with Kneale, talking about how nobody in NZ knows who he is, and about his very normal, run of the mill life, he's a school teacher, recording as a solitary process, and other cool stuff. Finally, the third disc features Tarentel live in Geneva and Bern 2006, interviews with the whole band, talking about the development of their sound and creating new sounds, their approach to music making, improvisation, etc. The live stuff features beautiful films drifting behind the band, who are all cloaked in shadow, the sound dark and abstract, low shimmers and abstract drones, thick and textural, fluttering horns and whirring guitars woven into thick rough expanses of muted growl and soft focused creep, laced with tripped out dubby drums. The video includes shots of the club, the bands wandering around, exterior shots, all woven into the super striking live footage. Second pressing just for the aQ faithful, LIMITED TO 30 COPIES!!! The packaging is fantastic, every single one slightly different, sizes, shapes, each one a folded up map, the mini dvd-r's affixed to little nubs on the map, liner notes and little photos affixed to other panels of the map, all folded up in a plastic pouch.
BIRDFLESH / HATEBEAK Happy Death / The Thing That Should Not Beak (Relapse) 7" 3.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Finally! The return of our favorite parrot fronted grind metal outfit, Hatebeak! And as if realizing that a bird squawking along to death metal might be a one trick pony, the band has gone and mixed things up, turning their jokey avian death metal into something way more weird and damaged and in the long run, an even better (and more musically complex) joke. It's still high concept: Waldo the parrot is lead vocalist for the band Hatebeak, a play on the band Hatebreed we can only assume. This time, the cover is some horrible creature (Cthulhu we presume) with a parrot perched on its shoulder. Titled "The Thing That Should Not Beak" coupled with the track "Hellbent For Feathers" (Metallica and Judas Priest jokes respectively for the metallically dim out there) and the Hatebeak logo is done in the style of the Relapse Records logo... it's all very funny, metal nerd inside jokes, but the thing is, as a band, Hatebeak totally shred! The two tracks are bookended by what ends up being a parrot prank call, but in between it's raging, complex, super technical grinding death metal. Another one of those bands that had they ditched the whole bird on vocals angle, could probably be huge! And this time it's not just regular old bird squawks and squeaks, Waldo's 'vocals' are bizarre, obviously overdubbed, they go from strange almost talking, to screeches, to weird guttural almost death metal vocals, all tangled up amidst insanely brutal, super stop start grinding metal mayhem. Awesome! On the B side are Swedish goof grinders Birdflesh, chosen for their monicker as much as their sound we'd assume, but sonically, they are the perfect match, a whole bunch of songs crammed onto their side, fast and furious, technical and brutal, and just a little bit goofy, like their bizarre, costumed band photos on the cover. Pressed on swirled lime green vinyl and as with most things like this, extremely limited!
BIRDS OF JAPAN (OISEAUX DU JAPON) / JAPANESE SOUNDSCAPES (OLIVIER PROU) (CEBA) cd 22.00
BITCHIN' BAJAS / FACEPLANT split (Bathetic) lp 15.98
Latest from the oddly monikered Bitchin Bajas, the solo synth project of Cooper Crain from psychedelic hypnorockers and big time aQ faves Cave, who when not contributing to Cave's rhythmic bombast, spends his time crafting drifting synth/organ soundscapes a la Tangerine Dream, Harmonia, etc., and his two tracks here, a single epic split into two movements, finds Crain doing just that, long lush tones, pulsing and percolating, drifty and near static at first, but soon the sounds begin to blossom, melodies spinning into the ether, intertwining, some serious cosmic bliss out for sure. The second movement ditches the dreamy drift for something more rhythmic and propulsive, crafting synths into a glimmery, glistening pulsing futuristic sci-fi soundscape, all frantic melodies, over lush layers, very soundtracky and cinematic. Bitchin Bajas are teamed up with another oddly named outfit, Faceplant, which is in fact Aaron Coynes, the man behind Rahdunes, and aQ faves Peaking Lights, but Faceplant has little in common with either of those groups, instead Coynes crafts pulsing soundtracky synthscapes, bloopy groovy synthy psychedelia, that like the BB stuff, definitely sounds very soundtracky, sorta dubby, with driving beats suspended amides the pulsating synths. Coynes describes the sound as "solo modular hessian noise trance", but to us it sounds more like a mutant strain of that whole John Carpenter / Goblin worship thing, although one of the tracks almost sounds more like some alien futuristic lounge music, all spacey FX, groovy minimal rhythms, and playful melodies. Either way, we're digging it a lot. Housed in a weird multi colored sort-of-pickle jacket, with a photocopied poster/insert. LIMITED TO 600 COPIES!
BITCHIN BAJAS "Consciousness 1" MPEG Stream:
FACEPLANT "Dickie Domecon"
BJORK Family Tree (Elektra) 6cd 60.00
Bountiful new, rare and previously unreleased Bjork! Six cds totalling 35 tracks in all - five mini 3" cds and one full size - stunningly packaged in a cool pink tupperware-ish box with an embossed white slipcover. The first two discs are named "Roots". They exemplify how she drew from the Icelandic cultural and natural environment. Containing five tracks each including "Cover Me" and "Joga (Strings and Vocals)". The third "Beats" features four cuts of her experiments with electronic rhythms. The fourth and fifth are grouped together as "Strings" and contain nine tracks including alternate versions of "Cover Me", "Hunter" and "Bachelorette". The sixth is her "Greatest Hits" as selected by Ms Gudmundsdottir herself - not to be confused with the concurrently released single cd "Greatest Hits" which was compiled by fan vote on Bjork.com. In the process of assembling this extensive retrospective package, Bjork spent six months revisiting works from her past. The results are remarkable, revealing her awesome artistic evolution and leaving the listener eager to discover her next pursuits.
BLACK HEART PROCESSION + SOLBAKKEN In The Fishtank 11 (Konkurrent ) cd 11.98
This new installment in the Dutch label Konkurrent's collaboratory series features more gorgeous somberness from the wonderful Black Heart Procession. In fact, if the title didn't betray the presence of the lesser known Solbakken, you'd probably never guess that this wasn't solely a BHP release. The lead-off track is a beauty graced with irresistable breathy French female vocal, and the remaining five are top-notch too. Each is heavily laden with BHP's characteristic cascading piano drops and velvety strings. An excellent follow-up to BHP's glorious Amor Del Tropico album.
"Voiture En Rouge"
BLACK MASS RISING (Black Mass Rising) dvd 36.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Before we get too far into this review, we're just gonna list all the bands involved, all of whom have contributed EXCLUSIVE tracks to this sprawling psychedelic eye popping brainmelt, a fantastically tripped out and visually sumptuous film, created by Shazzula Nebula, from the French band Aqua Nebula Oscillator, whose records sadly, we've never been able to track down for the list (but will eventually!). Anyway, prepare yourselves, aQ-ers, cuz it's as if she made the movie just for YOU. The list basically reads like a killer aQ New Arrivals list: Master Musicians Of Bukkake, The Entrance Band, Bobby Beausoleil, Makoto Kawabata, Sylvester Anfang II, Mater Suspiria Vision, Ga'an, Menace Ruine, Demonologists, Aluk Todolo, Burial Hex, Yoga, Kinit Her, Sum Of R, L'Acephale, Cultus Sabbati, Sayona, Horror Illogium (from Portal), Shazzula, In Zaire, Mourning Ring and Rose Croix. Music from all of those folks set to some of the trippiest visuals we've seen in ages. The movie is split into two parts, the first half in color, a dizzying hypercolored freakout, that slips from mirrored kaleidoscopic patterns, to super-8 shots of what looks like some strange witchy rituals, from grainy blown out shots of robed figures in sun dappled graveyards, to gothy figure studies, the music blasting a long, slipping from, rhythmic psychedelic churn, to abstract cosmic shimmer, heavy and heady one second, tribal and electronic the next. When the film shifts to black and white, the music seems to follow suit, growing darker and more ominous, dark piano chords ringing out over chanting monklike vox, rumbling drones, lumbering industrial rhythms, buzzing blackened dirges, tripped out doom folk drifts, and some seriously intense black noise and blown out psychedelic synth damage, the visuals again, perfectly complimenting the music, harrowing and high contrast, shapes and figures, mysterious patterns, jagged edits, lots of greys and whites blurred into textural swirls, the whole film, soundtrack and all definitely following an ever darkening arc, fantastic stuff, and even sans visuals, probably the best modern psych/space/noise/post-industrial/rhythmic/witch-house/doom-folk mix tape you'll ever hear. LIMITED TO 666 COPIES. The ones we got, came a little beat up from their travels overseas, so the plastic cases are not quite perfect, which means anal collector types steer clear (or put it in a new case). Each one is hand numbered, and comes with a nice printed gold metallic on black booklet and cover/insert.
BLACK TO COMM / AOSUKE split (Dekorder) lp 12.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** Whereas past BtC releases have reminded us of Oval, in their manipulated glitchery and warm underwater shimmer, this latest, a split with Aosuke, is quite different, while managing to incorporate many of the same elements we loved so much about past releases. A nearly sidelong track that begins with a wavering Goblin-y synth, that buzzes warmly and endlessly, an epic stretch of near static drone, drenched in overtones and subtly flickering variations in texture, and surrounded on all sides by distant barely audible sci fi melodies and field recordings. Eventually this synthdrone is joined by another tone, this one more grinding and distorted, that slowly builds and builds along side the first, the intensity growing and growing as well as the volume, and the various surrounding sonic events seem much more frenzied, until everything levels off in some sort of Niblock style drone, the various layers beating against one another, notes and tones shifting subtly, the sound seemingly alive, flecked with shards of melody and bits of buzz and swirling effects. It's a glorious sound that enraptures and entrances, eventually, fading out and releasing the listener from their glorious trance. The side finishes off with a brief coda of humid late night soundscaping, the sound of the moors, or the plains, some mysterious dark emptiness, droning and ominous, with creepy reverbed vocals and all sorts of night sounds tangled up in the track's undulating shimmer. The flip side features a group called Aosuke, who we weren't all that familiar with, but whose sounds are as dark and gorgeous and Black To Comm's. But where BtC focus on sound and drone, Aosuke focus on melody as much as texture, with guitar being the focal point, a blissy soft focus guitar ambience, crystalline notes drifting through clouds of space-y effects and strange processed and blurred vocals, it sounds almost like how you might imagine a Durutti Column record on Morr Music might sound. Organic melodies, natural sounds, all tangled up in strange electronic soundscapes, very meditative, a little krautrocky at times, and so so pretty.
BLACKDEATH / LEVIATHAN split (ISO666) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We were barely able to keep this in stock the first time around. And it went out of print in the blink of an eye. Some of the best material we'd heard from all time AQ black metal fave Leviathan, who teamed up on this disc with grim Russian buzz merchants Blackdeath. Pretty killer combo indeed. Well, for a limited time, this killer split is available again, in fancy new packaging. Now housed in an oversized A5 style digibook, with cool new artwork, the original cd booklet, stickers and a mini-poster. It's probably safe to assume that these won't last any longer than the original version did, so best be quick. Here's what we had to say about the music inside: Hard to know what to say about Leviathan that we haven't said already. Quite possibly the most innovative outfit in black metal today. The man behind Leviathan, Wrest, has taken traditional black metal and turned it into something new and strange and completely out there, while somehow remaining totally grim and true to the black metal tradition. Here, he is teamed up with Russian black metal outfit Blackdeath, who specialize in extremely primitive buzzy and blurry black metal a la Burzum, Darkthrone and the like. The most remarkable thing about Blackdeath besides their simple droning fuzzed out riffs, and frosty atmosphere, is the vocals, a weird raspy warble, that slips from black metal shriek to weirdly anguished falsetto, reminding us a lot of SF BM legends Weakling. And the guitars are so thick and buzzy and blown out that you almost can't hear the drums, which lends the whole thing a super hypnotic drone quality that we LOVE. As if playing off of Blackdeath's primitive grimness, Leviathan hits right back with four tracks of his own full on grim buzz, but as with everything he does, no matter how true and grim the sound is, no matter how blasting the drums or buzzing the guitars are, there is always lots of stuff going on beneath the surface, or in the arrangements, not always easy to explain, just this intangible something that makes Leviathan's sound so unique and so much creepier and intense. Minor key melodies, weird stretches of industrial ambience, strangely affected vocals, haunting drones and bizarre soundscapes, all woven into the already twisted framework of Leviathan's uniquely hellish black metal. Fucking amazing!
BLACKDEATH "Der Absolute Bose" MPEG Stream:
BLACKDEATH / LEVIATHAN split (Niessedrion) picture disc 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. While we're waiting to get restocked on the cd version of this killer split (in the next week or two!), which flew out of here after our last list, we managed to get 30 copies of the picture disc vinyl version. Unfortunately that's all we're ever gonna get, so as always, act fast! Hard to know what to say about Leviathan that we haven't said already. Quite possibly the most innovative outfit in black metal today. The man behind Leviathan, Wrest, has taken traditional black metal and turned it into something new and strange and completely out there, while somehow remaining totally grim and true to the black metal tradition. Here, he is teamed up with Russian black metal group Blackdeath, who specialize in extremely primitive buzzy and blurry black metal a la Burzum, Darkthrone and the like. The most remarkable thing about Blackdeath besides their simple droning fuzzed out riffs, and frosty atmosphere, is the vocals, a weird raspy warble, that slips from black metal shriek to weirdly anguished falsetto, reminding us a lot of SF BM legends Weakling. And the guitars are so thick and buzzy and blown out that you almost can't hear the drums, which lends the whole thing a super hypnotic drone quality that we LOVE. As if playing off of Blackdeath's primitive grimness, Leviathan hits right back with four tracks of his own full on grim buzz, but as with everything he does, no matter how true and grim the sound is, no matter how blasting the drums or buzzing the guitars are, there is always lots of stuff going on beneath the surface, or in the arrangements, not always easy to explain, just this intangible something that makes Leviathan's sound so unique and so much creepier and intense. Minor key melodies, weird stretches of industrial ambience, strangely affected vocals, haunting drones and bizarre soundscapes, all woven into the already twisted framework of Leviathan's uniquely hellish black metal. WE WERE ONLY ABLE TO GET 25 COPIES. ONCE THEY ARE GONE, THEY ARE GONE FOR GOOD!!!
BLACKDEATH "Der Absolute Bose" MPEG Stream:
BLACKNESS / HAMMER OV QLIPHOTH V.I.T.R.I.O.L. / Monotheistic Supremecy (Thou Shalt Kill! / Res Adversae Productions) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Folks may not be able to pronounce Ithdabquth Qliphoth, and probably have no idea what it means, but that most definitely didn't keep the recent IQ disc from being a runaway hit around these parts. And heck, we sort of knew it would be, being heavy, noisy, blown out raw black metal from Russia, steeped in bizarre mythologies, the sound as fractured and fucked up as it is grim black and buzzing. So in the interest of digging deeper into the Qliphoth mythos, we managed to track down a handful of these splits, not new, released back in 2006, but until now we had given up hope of ever getting them for the store. But here they are, we have about 20, not sure if there are more to be had, so if we run out (when is probably more realistic), please be patient as we try to get our hands on more, cuz needless to say, fans of freaky black metal and weirdo outsider blackness, as well as ANYONE who bought that Qliphoth disc, will most likely want (NEED!) this too. Which is not to say that it sounds anything like Ithdabquth Qliphoth, because it doesn't really. The Hammer Ov Qliphoth here is wielded by Al-La-Sht-Orr, one half of the IQ duo, and his half of this split is a mournful, midtempo, doom drenched black metal. Minor key guitars, simple circular riffing, the vocals a murky growl, the drums simple and solid, the pace a glacial crawl, sometimes slipping into a slowish midtempo plod. Super evocative and atmospheric, morose and moody, probably more for folks into depressive miserbalist doooooom than black metal, but fear not, it's harsh and grim enough to retain much of its blackness. Three tracks, the first two loping dismal dirges, surprisingly melodic, the main riffs almost punky if they were faster, but slowed down, it almost sounds like Darkthrone at 16rpm, slightly dissonant, mesmerizingly repetitive, droney, the final track might be our favorite, a super sloooooow, spaced out plod, the vocals and guitars locked into a strange sea sick slow motion rhythm, tons of space, the bursts of crushing heaviness held together by spidery guitar melodies, the whole thing suffused with buzz and hum and grit, super distorted and in-the-red, but weirdly melodic and pretty. Worth it already for sure. But the other half of the split might be even better. It's definitely weirder, and way more twisted. Blackness hail from Belarus, and are a duo, which only stops making sense once you hear them, since they sound to these ears, like one guy, a guitar and a 4 track. Ultra raw, stripped down buzzing black metal, but just guitars and vocals, no drums, no keyboards, almost like some sort of black metal Jandek. Our listening to scratch tracks from some classic old school BM record. The riffs are awesome, brittle and grim and definitely lo-fi, the vocals harsh and WAY up in the mix so they totally overpower the guitar, a surprising amount of melody though, very harsh and haunting, but really cool, odds are you've probably never heard anything like this, and hell we're dying to hear more. LIMITED TO 280 COPIES. We have about 20. Might be the last copies we can get. Packaged in one of those oversized super jewel cases, with nice full color textured inserts, and each copy hand numbered.
BLACKNESS "V.I.T.R.I.O.L." MPEG Stream:
BLACKNESS "Hierogamy WIth Kali" MPEG Stream:
HAMMER OF QLIPHOTH "Monotheistic Supremecy" MPEG Stream:
HAMMER OF QLIPHOTH "Sepher Qliphoth"
BLACKQUEEN / THE FAMILY CURSE split (Fainting Room) 7" 6.98
Limited to 250 copies, 80 gram vinyl!!
BLOC PARTY Silent Alarm Remixed (Vice) 2cd 15.98
We might as well stop denying it, we love this stuff. Maximo Park, Interpol, Kaiser Chiefs. How can you not. Modern twisted takes on stone cold classics, Gang Of Four, XTC, the Clash. Sure it's not entirely original, but so what, it sounds fan-fucking-tastic. And Bloc Party fits right in there, reanimating their own favorite postpunk corpses and getting them (and us) dancing like crazy. So a popular band, a popular record, you know what that means. The dreaded REMIX RECORD. Once in a while however, whether it's the choice of bands, the song selection, pure luck, a remix record totally and completely blows away the original record. This is most definitely one of those cases. You know, when you hear a band cover another bands song, like say a metal band covering a Cure song, and you think "Why aren't there bands that just sound like that, a metal Cure? How cool would that be?" Or "Why aren't all that band's songs this good?" Substitute any band or any song, you know what we're talking about. A totally boring band can shine like a diamond when it's taking on a killer tune. Sometimes it reflects poorly on the band, demonstrating how weak their songs actually are when held up to some 'real' songwriting. But in the case of a remix record that eclipses the original, more often, it's a case of the remix record being so much weirder and varied and all over the map, while still retaining that connective thread that is the sound of the original record. Such is the case with Silent Alarm Remixed. A couple of these tracks showed up as bonus tracks on the import version, and were SO good that it got many folks we know to shell out the extra $$ for the 2 or 3 extra tracks (and who are now kicking themselves since those tracks are included here) but here, surrounded by a whole records worth of interpretations, makes us wish that this was Bloc Party's record proper. M83 offer up a buzzy, dense wall of fuzz, with layered vocals, thick synthesizers and just a HUGE sound. Four Tet's track is a smeary, shimmery, drone-y, dreamy, cloudy drone, that eventually kicks into a more jangly reverb drenched blur. Mogwai turn Bloc Party into moody post rock, their track a churning, slow building, pulsing epic. And the rest of the record follows suit, stretching Silent Alarm into strange new shapes: Ladytron turn their track into blissy electronic pop like Postal Service or Styrofoam, Whitey give their song some strummy post pock bounce, Blackbox give their version a bit of eighties new wave sheen with some aggro, angular post punk swagger, the Engineers' turn their Bloc Party into a super murky sexy dirge. Woah. Now, if someone had given us this Bloc Party record, we would have been completely blown away thinking this was the sound of one band, but maybe that's just too much to hope for. So what? Well, we like the remix record more than the record being remixed? Makes perfect sense to us. And for those of you who found Silent Alarm to be just a tiny bit too boring and predictable, this might just do the trick.
"The Pioneers (M83 Remix)" MPEG Stream:
"Plans (Mogwai Remix)"
BLOCKS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE UNBROKEN CONTINUUM s/t (Sound 323) book+dvd 90.00
We here at Aquarius Records can be proud that we have an audience who is just as passionate and devoted as we are to a broad spectrum of musics. As much as we would like to, we just can't completely cover every amazing genre, sub-genre, regional dialect, and radical enclave of the world's musical community. We definitely try our best, but just imagine if we did somehow manage, those biweekly email lists would easily triple in size with our fingers spread even further than they already are. While it would be nice to expand our little aesthetic fiefdom, we have to admit that there are plenty of shops around the globe that fill in the gaps. One of those is London's Sound 323, whose niche market emphasizes all things dealing with academic composition, free improv, electro-acoustics, and in particular the pristine aspects of what has been dubbed the "New London Silence." In fact, one of chief protagonists of this London circle of Feldman-esque composers is Sound 323's proprietor Mark Wastell. He along with The Wire's scribe Brian Marley are the editors of a brick of a book published by Sound 323, handsomely designed as an art edition monograph and filled with articles by David Toop, Clive Bell, Brian Marley, Dan Warburton, Andy Hamilton and Will Montgomery as well as texts expounding upon the eroding distinction between improvisation and composition from the likes of Otomo Yoshihide, Bernhard Gunter, Phil Durrant, Steve Roden, Jerome Noetinger, Mattin, and many many other. The book also features a DVD of concert footage from the likes of Keith Rowe, Evan Parker, John Tilbury, Tetuzi Akiyama, Eddie Prevost, John Butcher, and more. Hmm, curious that all of the latest members of AMM make appearances, but no footage from the ensemble that pretty much started the whole push toward the decentered notion of what is composed beforehand and what is created in the moment. With sound art becoming more and more of a cultural force in the art world (perhaps that should be art with a capital 'A'), Blocks Of Consciousness And The Unbroken Continuum is bound to be one of those historically important documents, detailing one particular cultural phenomenon as it happens by those who are making it happen. At 350+ pages bound in a hefty hardcover book, this is no easy tome to digest; but is well the effort you'll put into it.
BLOOD, SWEAT + VINYL: DIY IN THE 21ST CENTURY (The Scourge Productions) 2 x dvd box + sweatband + guitar pick + stickers + patch 30.00
It's a little bit difficult to know exactly what to say about this documentary, especially considering that both Andee and Allan are interviewed in it, but for lots of regular aQ list readers this one will be a no brainer. A five years in the making documentary about three of our (and filmmaker Kenneth Thomas') favorite labels, Neurot, Hydra Head and Constellation, the premise of the film being that these three labels represent a collective DIY spirit in independent music that is STILL alive and kicking. There are interviews with, music by, and live footage of Neurosis, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Pelican, Old Man Gloom, Isis, Jesu, Cave In, Shrinebuilder, A Storm Of Light, Oxbow, Grails, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Made Out Of Babies, Evangelista, Rosetta, Thrones, and more! And, all that's interspersed with interviews with Aaron Turner from Hydra Head (and Isis), Steve Von Till (Neurosis, Harvestman), Don and Ian who run Constellation, our very own Andee and Allan, as well as various members of all of the above bands, not to mention Pete who runs Vacation Vinyl in LA, and J Bennett (who writes for Decibel and Terrorizer, as well as plays guitar in new Neurot signing Ides Of Gemini, whose demo we reviewed recently), and lots more. And more than just a bunch of cool folks from bands we dig, everyone has a lot to say about the state of independent music, and the do it yourself ethic, as well as motivations behind playing in bands, starting labels, running record stores, of everything that contributes to the sort of musical community that makes this music so special, the fact that it's so much more than the music, it's the people, and the places, the labels and the stores and the venues and the fans (and the filmmakers!), all of which are crucial to creating the sort of musical community that this film celebrates. The interviews are cool, some are serious, others are funny, and ours of course are embarrassing, the snippets of live sets kill (where else will you get to see Do Make Say Think play "Raining Blood?!), there's even footage of the late great Old Man Gloom, a long time aQ fave for sure, and it's all deftly edited into a fairly concise, fun to watch doc, that has lots to offer beyond just all the kick ass live footage. Beyond the doc itself, this deluxe version includes a whole extra DVD of still more performance footage, all of it pretty incredible, featuring more live jams from Isis, Grails, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Jesu, Do Make Say Think, Made Out Of Babies, Neurosis, Evangelista, Isis + Tim Hecker (!), Oxbow, Cave In and Pelican. Needless to say, totally and wholeheartedly recommended (and not just cuz we're in it)!! This is the deluxe boxset version, which comes in a cool printed box, inside both DVDs in black on black textured paper printed sleeves, a full color booklet with liner notes, as well as tons of pix and info on each of the band, the booklet too with a textured black on black printed cover, as well as a set of stickers, a silkscreened patch, a guitar pick and a BS+V sweatband!
BLOUSE / CRAFT SPELLS Gruesome Flowers: A Tribute To The Wake (Captured Tracks) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Second volume in Captured Tracks series of Wake tribute 7"s, released in honor of Record Store Day, and of course late great UK post punk outfit the Wake. This year, it's another two aQ faves tackling their favorite jams by the Wake, first up is Blouse, who already sounded a bit like The Wake to begin with, so if you're unfamiliar with the original, it sounds very much like it could be a proper Blouse track, gloomy and woozy, ethereal vox drifting over murky basslines and skeletal rhythms, spidery guitar melodies, lots of jangle and haze and shimmer, all floating on warm minor key synth swells. Craft Spells' cover is a bit more upbeat, a serious Style Council vibe, frenetic guitar jangle, shimmering synths, an almost disco drumbeat, wreathed in chiming melodies, crooned dramatic vocals, a fantastically washed out slab of fuzzy shoegazey new wave gloom pop. A special Record Store Day 2012 release, already sold out and out of print, we have a bunch, but once these are gone, they are gone for good!
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER Prossneck, Germany 1629 (Gnarled Forest) cassette 5.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Right now, everything released by these Northwestern dealers of doomdeathdirgedrone, is out of print, EXCEPT for these two cassettes, Prossneck, Germany 1629, and the split with fellow noisemakers Drowner. But these won't last long. These two tapes are both tour only, limited to 100 copies, we got 20 of each, and judging from past Blue Sabbath Black Cheer releases, those won't last long at all, needless to say, one per customer, and even more needless to say, if you want one of these, don't dawdle! Blink and you'll miss 'em. This one features two looooong blasts of caustic blur and buzz, murky slowed down vocals, thick waves of hiss, everything churning and roiling, heavy and noisy and brutal, heavy on the drone, built a bit like a low end Whitehouse, some strange demon with a tracheotomy proselytizing over a hellish din, soon joined in by what sounds like terrified screams, and the sound of flames on flesh. Really really creepy. The flipside is a bit more abstract, a drifting sea of crumbling distortion and blurred hiss, some grinding rumbles and buried almost-melodies, sort noise tangled up with deep black industrial dronemusic. As always, heavy and frightening and black as pitch. Once again, LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!! We have 20, that is it!!
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / DRIED UP CORPSE split (Gnarled Forest) 10" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Originally released as a super limited cassette (only 50 copies), this 10" (also way too limited at 300 copies) teams up our favorite demonic duo, with the awesomely monickered Dried Up Corpse for some deep dire noise drenched heaviness. The BSBC side is about the prettiest thing they've ever done, which means it's still vile and sick and murky and ominous and fucked up, it's just that it's not so harsh, more muted and blurred and black ambient, than some of their other outings. A sprawling deeeeeeeeep doomscape, creeping black rumbles, demonic gurgles, distant foghorn like melodies, bits of muted percussion, plenty of buzzing grit and distorted feedback, but all smeared and woozy and subterranean sounding, a darkly demonic drift, that infuses what might otherwise be warm shimmering blackened ambience, with some seriously abject miserablism and gloom. Dried Up Corpse counter BSBC's sensitive side with a caustic chunk of chaotic crunch. Beginning with some deep whirring rumbles, the track soon splinters into full on blunted white noise, skittery and fractured and totally blown out, all the while underpinned by that initial rumbling whir, eventually the noise peels back leaving a long stretch of deep softened buzz to play us out. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!! Gorgeous super thick hand screened sleeves, with nice two sided printed inserts.
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / DROWNER split (Gnarled Forest) cassette 5.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Right now, everything released by these Northwestern dealers of doomdeathdirgedrone, is out of print, EXCEPT for these two cassettes, Prossneck, Germany 1629, and the split with fellow noisemakers Drowner. But these won't last long. These two tapes are both tour only, limited to 100 copies, we got 20 of each, and judging from past Blue Sabbath Black Cheer releases, those won't last long at all, needless to say, one per customer, and even more needless to say, if you want one of these, don't dawdle! Blink and you'll miss 'em. The BSBC side is another sea of harsh his and caustic buzz, thick waves of distortion and blurred vocal damage, squealing feedback, a million amps with AM radios blasting white noise through busted speakers, strangely beautiful, but that severed limb, horrible car wreck, utter disaster sort of beautiful. A near static expanse of washed out heavy black noise, once again managing to be surprisingly listenable, at least for those who are into that sort of thing! Drowner offers his own chunk of thick corrosive heaviness, the sound much fuller and seemingly guitar based than BSBC, churning downtuned crumbling black buzz, shot through with shards of feedback, a monstrous low end sludge, peppered with strange buried melodies, bits of electronic shimmer, and various other sonic bits, but at its very black heart, this is a wall of blown out blackened heaviness, oozing glacially, and destroying everything in its path. The two groups make a pretty good match. And while we know we're gonna hear more from BSBC before too long, we definitely want to check out some more Drowner... Once again, LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!! We have 20, that is it!!
BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / GRIEFER split (Gnarled Forest) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's definitely weird to call something like this 'pretty', but what can you do? Of all the Blue Sabbath Black Cheer records we've heard, this one is definitely the prettiest. Of course it's all relative, one man's pretty, is another's harsh head caving blacknoise, and perhaps another's ear shredding doombuzz brutality, and weirdly enough, it's sort of all of those things, but in the realms of doombuzz blacknoise, this sidelong sprawl is indeed, a strange shade of tranquil, at least at first. It's BSBC so the ingredients should no doubt be familiar by now, the sound equal parts blackened crumbling, distorted buzz, and glacial hellish downtuned crawl, but here the crunchy, crumbling surface layer hides a slow shifting sonic interior, a whirling buried shimmer, soft sheets of crackle and whir, everything constantly bombarded by huge heaving industrial booms, like mortar shells, along with strange creaks and distant crashes, like some strange Wolf Eyes / Skinny Puppy hybrid, being broadcast through rusted out Soviet era loudspeakers, as the city literally crumbles all around you. Ambient but abrasive, tranquil but harrowing, a field recording of collapsing tectonic plates, rendered in 'music'. Near the end, the sound takes on a power electronics vibe, due in no small part to the creepy, bellowed guttural processed vocals, but still the sounds behind the demented caterwauling, continue to ooze and crumble and throb and crunch and creep. BSBC are teamed up with an outfit called Griefer, who use their side of the lp to offer up a strangely cinematic stretch of buzz and glitch, lots of super distorted synth fuzz, peppered with strange machinelike creaks and groans, wrapped around super processed alien vox, all draped over a continuously throbbing synth pulse. Hypnotic and almost soundtracky, Griefer slip from heaving speaker destroying crumble, to whirring spaced out synthscape to blurred electronic crunch, often all three colliding in a thick noise-drenched psychbuzz synthdrone blowout, not so much harsh and brutal as intense and evocative. Pressed on sick swirled green and brown sewage colored vinyl, housed in hand screened sleeves, with two printed, two sided cardstock inserts. LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!!