TIMOFEEV, VIKTOR Give Health999 (Lo Bit Landscapes) lp 14.98
Got a handful of these back in stock, on the same label that released the recent Record Of The Week from Nihiti, and in fact, only just discovered that much of said record of the week, For Ostland, was co-written by this guy, which makes a whole lot of sense once you hear it... Viktor Timofeev is probably better known as a visual artist, this NYC resident hails from Latvia, and has been making a name for himself in the art world, but he also counts himself a sometime member of electro synth-wave downer poppers Nihiti, and painted the very distinctive cover of the first Nihiti, his solo record is something totally removed from Nihiti, on his own, he instead traffics in expanses of layered drones, and looped riffage, of atmospheres and ambience, but active ambience, with sounds blurred and tangled, rhythmic without actual rhythms, the label drops names like Stars Of The Lid, SUNNO))) and Godspeed, and we do definitely hear elements of all of those, it's droney and dirgey and haunting and almost classical sounding in places, but the tracks are super varied, while retaining an oblique cohesiveness, the opener is all dirgey blackened atmospherics, reminding us a little of Blackwolfgoat, looped and layered riffage, lurching and stuttering but super hypnotic, ultra lo-fi, muddy and murky, but the sort of thing we would have been into seeing fill up both sides of the record. The second track is totally different, instead it's lush and shimmery, a dreamlike dronescape laced with streaks of feedback and a haunting distorted melody that runs throughout. The final track on the A side begins with field recordings, birds and running water, all beneath a series of warped and woozy tape experiments, lush chordal swells, repetitive and mantra-like, finally transforming into an almost orchestral looped industrial outro. The flipside is separated into three tracks, but they seem to be woven into one sidelong epic, a cinematic symphonic landscape of drone and melody that almost sounds like a black metal Arvo Part, droney and dirgery and dramatic, sinister and ominous, the vibe menacing and super intense, the sort of track that broods malevolently, but is totally hypnotic and mesmerizing, the whole side is like a sonic black hole, the listener immersed in the dense deep blackness, until the last few minutes, where the track finishes off with a strange bloopy almost new wavey sounding outro. Definitely recommended for fans of dark drones and droney darkness, and for sure has us wanting to hear more sounds, and see more art from Timofeev.
"December 22nd" MPEG Stream:
"WorldWideWaterWorld" MPEG Stream:
TIN FOIL STAR Too Late Then, Too Late Now (Noise Museum) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Blankets of thick analog buzzes and hums weave around more delicate ambient tones, textures and vocals. With its repetitive keyboard melodies, at times this brought to mind a tiny, entranced, mad organist in a very large ancient cathedral. Very textural, melancholic and relaxing. A great follow-up to the Mort Aux Vaches cd on Staalplaat. For fans of Spacemen 3!
TINY HAWKS People Without End (Corleone) cd 10.98
Every once in a while, we find ourselves missing the sound of classic math rock. The sound of late nineties post rock. Oh hell, who are we kidding, we're ALWAYS missing that stuff. Slint, Rodan, Bastro, Bitch Magnet, Breadwinner, Dazzling Killmen, Hurl, Crain, heck, even Andee's old band A Minor Forest. Mathy, convoluted, serpentine, minor key, weirdly catchy, strangely structured, lots of starts and stops. As much as we're loving the new breed of metal bands gone post rock or math rock. They definitely tend to lean toward the post side of the equation, preferring to bliss out rather than math out. But for any one who finds themselves getting a little chill when reading the above list of bands, Tiny Hawks are the band to give you everything you've been missing. Tiny Hawks are a duo from Rhode Island, but don't be expecting tangled Lightning Bolt spazz, or stripped down guitar and drums duo rock, this is a huge sprawling explosion of gorgeously melodic and deftly complicated math rock. You'd never know this was a duo (the drummer plays bass on the record) as these guys create a huge sound, thick and textured, dense and dreamy. Some tracks are spastic freakouts, all chaotic drum splatter and manic riffing, others are shimmery expanses of muted strum and dreamlike shuffle. There's definitely an early nineties Dischord element to their sound as well. Intricate, erratic, experimental, bits of jazz and metal twisted into post rock shapes and then set in a dizzyingly mathy framework. Convoluted minor key workouts peppered by sudden bursts of jagged aggro crunch and pound, and plenty of loping blissed out mellowness, drifting harmonics, clanging guitars, all drifting in a jangly haze. This is ALL the shit we love about the genre, all tangled up in a hugely fresh sounding kick ass blast of super aggressive, sweetly melodic, math rock anvil to the head. So goddamn good. Like your favorite band from 1996, got in a time machine, got a practice space down the hall from yours, and invited you over to stand around a sweaty, stinky practice space, get drunk, bounce around and have your mind and ears fucking blown!
"Give It Rest" MPEG Stream:
"Eggs In Reverse" MPEG Stream:
TLAOTLON Squirt Image Flex (Trensmat) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We first heard these New Zealand psychedelic loop-noise, beat wrangling weirdos on a split 7" with Whirling Hall Of Knives released on Trensmat, and one of the tracks from that single opens up the group's debut lp, with a glorious, dizzying blast of abstract psychedelia, looped and rhythmic, rife with woozy low end synth buzz, swirling tangled melodies, a robotic rhythmic pulse, sounds swirling and beats stuttering, like we mentioned in the review of the 7", we're reminded a bit of a more electronic, slightly less noisy Our Love Will Destroy The World, or a way noisier, beat driven High Wolf. The record flits from woozy groove to almost jungly skitter, from pulsing spaced out psychedelic electro, to crunchy, churning soft focus noisiness, churning industrial dub to tripped out cosmic alien dancefloor destroying, noise drenched, house music of a sort, only house music as it has that 4 on the floor pulse, but otherwise it's some sort of cracked and freaked out avant kitchen sink home brewed weirdo electronica. "Wild Rent" is one of our favorite jams, a slow building chaos of colliding beats, and looped melody, that eventually transforms into a super tripped out minimal dub, but that dub is buried beneath a cascade of sonic swirl, "Cassini Tubs" is a good one too, a spare bit of skitter, that is soon surrounded by thick buzzing synths, gradually transforming into a sort of alien M83 slowgroove shoegaze dubstep. The record finishes off with the 10+ minute "Tropfend Platz", which starts out as the prettiest, dreamiest track on the record, all glimmering looped high end, and whirling soft focus thrum, and then the drums kick in, a super spastic sort of fucked up and fractured drill and bass, with thick squelches of low end buzz, the whole thing gradually surrounded by a hazy cloud of shoegaze-y shimmer, becoming a dense chunk of beat heavy bliss, that's as psychedelically mesmerizing as it is infuriatingly groovy. Pressed on splattery clear gold vinyl, housed in hand silkscreened red and white jackets, and includes a link to a digital download of the whole record, which includes two bonus tracks, 16+ minutes, not on the lp!
"Attitudes Blankets To Nada" MPEG Stream:
"Flayed Vert" MPEG Stream:
TMPLS Tmpls (Don't Fuck With Magic) cd-r 14.98
One of three new releases on Don't Fuck With Magic, Campbell Kneale's (he of Birchville Cat Motel and Our Love Will Destroy The World) new post Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, the others being an archival sonic blast from the now defunct BCM, and a killer collab between OLWDTW and Finnish noisemakers Tomutonttu [both now out of print, already - but these, we've still got a few, too noisy for y'all???]. We're the only source for these in the US and we have HALF the already small pressing, of which we've already sold half before even reviewing... The consonant heavy Tmpls is yet another Kneale project, and you thought his other projects were noisy, whoo boy, they ain't got nothing on Tmpls, a nearly 47 minute blast of ear shredding, head melting, speaker destroying white noise sound, a heaving wall of crumbling sound, blown out and distorted, crunchy and corrosive, on the surface, pure Merzbowian brutality, and heck even a little bit below the surface too, but in places you can definitely tell this started out as maybe something a bit more melodic, or something(s), in fact it sounds a bit like multiple Kneale jams laid on top of each other and then sent through a battery of malfunctioning distortion pedals, only to come out the other side a roiling chaotic crush. The timbre and tone constantly shifts too, from warm and warbly, with what could actually be buried melodies, to pure rhythmic crunch, as if any bits of melodies were stripped away, leaving a strange bit of glitched out garble, and elsewhere the sound is infused with undulating sheets of lowend, as if the noise component might be shed at any second, leaving a woozy warbly thrum, but it never does, it's a continuous sprawl of wild noise drenched sound, that is about the most intense and brutal thing Kneale has ever whipped up. You have been warned, only the iron eared need apply. And as mentioned above, we have a handful left, but odds are even these noisy little buggers will disappear in a flash.
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"Untitled (excerpt 2)"
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction (Colony) cd 10.98
The world needs another SUNNO))) or Earth like it needsÉ well, it doesn't. Nor does it need another Slint, or a Mogwai, or a Justice, or an Animal Collective. Every time a band blows up, suddenly a million bands are there to get sucked along in their wake. But never was this phenomenon more egregious than with the new wave of doom/drone/dirge outfits. At the risk of repeating ourselves again, it seems like every band, heavy or otherwise, that features at least one member with a "drone side project" or a "minimal doom side project", barely keeping ahead of the various people dabbling in back metal, but we digress. Like most things, it probably seems easy, but isn't. The whole leaning your guitar against the amp and letting it go, sure we joke about that in reviews, but it's way harder than that. Compare the millions of ho-hum guitardrone cd-r's to something like the last amazing record by Vulture Club (we still have some, if you haven't bought one, you should, really). It's like night and day. So we're always pretty cautious when we hear about a new guitar drone group or some doomdirge record we oughtta dig. But once in a while, a group comes along, who only just barely fit into that whole genre, skirting it, creating something totally their own, with just the merest hints of sounds more familiar, like all great bands, borrowing and stealing freely, but not just regurgitating those sounds right back at us, instead, spreading them out in some underground lab, pulling them apart, exploring how they tick, dissecting them, then attempting to put them back together again, with some of their own parts, some sounds and songs that have been fermenting in a dusty corner of said lab, the results then something new, a patchwork of sounds, that in the right hands, can be deftly woven into something beautiful, something dark and mysterious, something like this. A Semblance Of Something Appertaining to Destruction is the latest from the mysteriously monickered To Blacken The Pages, part four of an ongoing series in sound, a sprawling dirgescape that owes much to meandering post rock, downtuned slow motion sludge, drifty abstract doom, and the sort of heavy doomic countrified sludge that Earth has been exploring over the last few records. Three tracks, the shortest 11 minutes, the longest nearly 18, each a dusty, moonlit drift, simple minor key twang, slowed down space rock riffage, streaks of feedback and buzzing distant drones, swirling FX, layers of guitar fuzzy and druggy. The opener, more than Earth or SUNNO))) or any of those, sounds much more in line with Loop or Spacemen 3, a drugged out soporific riff, that lumbers a little too slow to rock, even a little too slow to constitute any sort of groove. Instead, it's a dreamy droney drift, heavy and mutedly chuggy, churning onward through a sky of whirls and swirls and rumbles, underpinned by plenty of buzz and fuzz and blur. It's like a super slowed down way more abstract Loop, which we probably don't need to explain to you is in fact a very good thing. The second track introduces drums, which do little to up the propulsion, this is still weary, dreary and delightfully spaced out. A super spare, abstract doomy lope, the sky above criss crossed with high end guitar skree, the drums supporting another blown out slow motion space rock riff, the whole track trudging across an endless expanse of shimmery buzz and swirling space-y effects. Everything muted and mumbly and lazily mesmerizing. The final, longest track, ditches the drums, returning to the lazy smoky sprawl of the opener, but this time even more abstract, the central guitar part, drifting well below the constantly shifting layers of sound, coruscating high end, over billowing deep rumbles, a glacial, stately, almost funereal anti-groove, perfect late night, drift off, trip out slow motion space rock krautdrone. Fans of Earth and Expo '70 will dig especially, as in some ways, this does sound like a strange hybrid of the two, although all of you into the slow dreamy droney heavy minimalism would do well to check this out.
"Trek In" MPEG Stream:
"A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction"
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES Crow's Nest (Colony) 12" + cd-r 8.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** The return of Irish one man guitar dronedoomdirge noisemaker, Paul McAree aka To Blacken The Pages, with his first vinyl release, and to commemorate, McAree mixes it up a bit, offering up at least one side dramatically different from what we're used to hearing on TBTP records up until now. Originally recorded for a sound exhibition in Dublin, "Crow's Nest" strips away most of the thick rumbling distorted guitars we might have been expecting, leaving a strange haunting bit of effects drenched shadowy sound in their place, the result though is quite pleasing, much more mysterious and otherworldly, lots of delay and reverb, bits of clang and crunch sent spinning into the ether, here and there long notes ring out, the overall sound is super spare and abstract, soft tangled melodies, the guitars smolder instead of roar, plenty of scrabble and scrape but smeared and blurred into solar flares of Sunroof!-ed sound, but unlike the raga-like ur-drone of Sunroof!, the sound and sounds here are way more spaced out, both figuratively AND literally. Warm washes of feedback bathe the whole track in a rich glow, and strange little flutters surface here and there, like some alien birdsong. The track on the B-side is more similar to past TBTP outings, but McAree manages to meld the old sounds, with the new sounds found on the flip, the same strange assemblage of high end crunch and scrape and squiggle, but set in a landscape much more black and buzzy, thickly layered, undulating sea of sound, blown out an streaked with feedback, the weird effected shards of melody, drifting on that thick, rumbling undercurrent. Dense and drone-y looped and hypnotic sounding here and there, but for the most part a massive organic sprawl of minimal psychedelic guitar drone dreaminess. Housed in a simple black 12" style sleeve with the middle holes cut out, a printed obi with all the artwork and liner notes, and comes with a black cd-r, packaged in its own sleeve with a proper insert, containing, both the tracks, but a WAY extended and remixed version of the B-side!
"Crows Nest" MPEG Stream:
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES None (Colony) cd 10.98
Highlighted last list, we had A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction, the most recent disc from Dublin, Ireland's To Blacken The Pages. Now we've got their prior release, None, released just a month or two earlier in 2008, which is essentially the part I to A Semblance's part II. Don't get 'em confused (and we'll try not to, too), 'cause they do look virtually identical, the same almost-black-on-black no-color scheme for the cover photo and logo. The black-on-black music is similar too, of course, but different and equally essential for anyone who loved the minimal doomdrone instrumental ambience of that other disc. And again, there's three tracks. 13:45, 16:10, and 8:06. Each stately, somnolent, fuzzed out and, this time, drumless... heavy in a restrained, spacey, spacious way. Track one, "Alien", tiptoes in, super slow, individually suspended guitar notes one at a time connecting the dots of melancholic melody over a void of silence. Then, suddenly, the needle jumps. DISTORTION. An electric crackle and buzz. The song is still super sloooooow and sparse, but each note is now planetarily weighted with rumbling vibratory effect, surely speaker shredding if it all happened at once, and at volume. An underlying howling hum begins, buried beneath but gradually filling all that empty space with its own not so silent emptiness. The next piece, "None", starts with an eerie electric wind, and some sparse Earth-style guitar strum over it, reverberant and lonely, before sheer fuzzdrone kicks in, fuzzdrone nirvana to our ears, that continues in like manner on final track of the disc, "As If Forever"... Ah, yes, so glacially good. For fans of Earth, SUNNO))), Expo '70, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Slomo, Boris, Skullflower, Nadja, etc. All at their darkest yet dreamiest. To Blacken The Pages is actually a solo project, the work of one guitar wielding, amp abusing man, Paul McAree. We're told he has a non-solo side project coming up, a band called Slaves Of War Orphan Farm (!) that is supposed to be a worthy offering of Les Rallizes Denudes worship! Can't wait to check it out...
"Alien" MPEG Stream:
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES North (Colony) cd 10.98
The third part in an ongoing series of blackened drone guitar missives from Irish one man slow and low wrecking crew To Blacken The Pages. Fans of the first two TBTP records (None and A Semblance Of Something Appertaining To Destruction) are already well versed in the bleak abstract soundworld this guy can conjure, fusing the low end explorations of groups like SUNNO))), Expo '70, Bohren, Slomo and the like, with something a bit more psychedelic and space-y. Sure, TBTP is capable of unfurling some planet crushing black hole heaviness, but also of tossing handfulls of notes into crystalline expanses of murky reverb, letting the various notes flutter and fall, before tossing out another handful. The first two tracks on North are perfect examples, "Crossing" and "I Am Screes On Her Escarpments", the first begins as a swirling almost static field of slow shifting reverb and delay, peppered with percussive thumps and creaks, sent careening into the ether, while shards of clean guitar, sounding a bit like super mellow Keiji Haino, unfurl like clouds of grey smoke, while underneath, a guitar rumbles and whirs, gradually becoming more and more rifflike, ringing out a bit chaotic and noisy, before slipping into the second which begins with the same sort of reverbed stretch of echoey thumps and creaks, before the guitar thickens into a crumbling corrosive wall of swirling chordal hum and keening feedback, a roiling blackened bit of guitar ambience, infused with melody and moodiness and shot through with strange high end streaks and swoops that are probably effected guitars, but almost sound like children's voices here and there. Quite haunting. The next few tracks take TBTP's sound in a different direction, the root again being shimmering guitars, but this time the focus is on the voice, a lazy drawled croon nestled down in the mix, that drifts along side the increasingly caustic guitar buzz resulting in a sound not unlike some strange Dead C / Roy Montgomery hybrid, a sort of sun baked noise drenched dronedirge slowcore. Dark and woozy and melancholy and way druggy and drowsy sounding. Later, "To Be Dead" introduces actual drums, and gets all propulsive, a lurching noise rock take on spaced out krautrock, but with the guitars in full on overdrive, a constantly swirling squall of feedback and psychrock freakout. And then the last two tracks are massive billowing clouds of coruscating buzz and skree, blurred into gorgeous multi hued smears of blown out guitar and a gorgeous hazy shoegazey drift, in fact the nearly 15 minute "Night Drive" might be one of the prettiest heavy guitar tracks we've heard in ages, anyone into Nadja or Jesu, will love it, it's like the slow motion metalgaze of those two outfits but stripped of drums and allowed to just sort of hover. So nice. Needless to say, the drone and dirge and doom obsessed out there probably already added this to their shopping cart (or if they didn't yet, probably should now), anyone who bought the other two records definitely NEED this too, and folks not necessarily into metal, but who still dig on dark drifty hazy heaviness might be pretty into To Blacken The Pages, North in particular...
"Crossing" MPEG Stream:
"I Am Screes On Her Escarpments" MPEG Stream:
"Give To The Sea"
TO BLACKEN THE PAGES + KORPERSCHWACHE A Way Dark (Colony) 2cd 10.98
It's been close to a year since we've heard from Irish one man doomdronedirge guitarrorist To Blacken The Pages, we've been pretty obsessed with every record we've heard so far, this being number FIVE, which is also notable for being a collaboration with Korperschwache, an Austin based Skullflower style guitar noise juggernaut, long time faves of some of us here, who somehow has never made it onto the aQ list, even with a ton of strange and limited releases over the last decade, but we'll solve that problem right... Now. Regardless of the collaboration, a new To Blacken The Pages is always cause for celebration around here, TBTP continually manages to conjure up all sorts of low end fury, from blown out shoegazey drift, to crushing SUNNO)))-like dirgery, to harrowing black ambience, to spaced out kraut drone, more often than not some dizzying mix of all of those. Korperschwache is similarly versatile, leaning toward the noisy and heavy, dipping into extreme harsh noise, but also gorgeous guitardrone ambience, UK industrial style skree, and rhythmic hypnorock riffery. So what this collaboration would actually sound like was pretty much a total mystery. What we did know, was that this would be some mysterious, dark and heavy shit, which we're happy to report is indeed the case, but there's much more to the gorgeous blackened soundworld these two sonic soundscapers have conjured up here... Thick swaths or rumbling low end fog underpin delicate fragmented shards of softly reverbed guitar, almost like some sort of SUNNO))) / Scenic mash up, a little Earth twang, a lush, ominous churning driftscape that builds to a full on doomic crush, all hazey and blown out and in the red, before drifting into more slowcore territory, a simple motorik drum machine laced stretch of hypnotic post rock, with swirling melodies and buried in the mix deep vocal croon. Big billowy sheets of black crush splinter into feedback drenched noise rock, the drum machine cranked way up, the guitars corrosive and caustic, like an ultra heavy Loop track gone haywire. The first disc finishes off with two extended tracks of guitar drone, "A New Seat In Hell", and "Shallow", the first muted and murky and minimal, the second exactly the opposite, like recent Skullflower, a speaker shredding onslaught of full on psychedelic guitargrind freakout. The second disc begins all dreamy and washed out, the drum machine set to lope and lumber, the guitars warm and gauzy, infused with tendril like melodies, the Jesu comparison is certainly apt here, hazy shoegazey and druggy, the perfect lead in to the "Inside The Mariana Trench", an even more spaced out bit of reverb drenched psychedelia, guitars spitting out blinding gouts of keening high end tones, laid over skeletal programmed drums, and a bleary eared swirl of delay and echo and smeared effects, so nice. "Absent Friends" is a haunting post industrial bit of minimal dronemusic, again peppered with bits of guitar melody, and streaks of mysterious effects, hushed vocals, simple strums, the root sound a lush layered metallic whir, which leads to the final track, the nearly 40 minute "Stranded In The Hertzsprung Crater", a sprawling spacious, abstract epic, which beings thick and distorted, but soon evolves into something much more spare, effected guitars careening over a bleak landscape of hiss and whir and hum, soft arcs of feedback, a haunting barren world of drift and shimmer, a pretty perfect way to end such an epic sonic journey. Needless to say, totally and utterly recommended, for fans of minimal guitar music, dirges and drones, dark ambience, doom, outsider metal, shoegaze, whatever, this stuff is dark and blissed out, ominous and abstract, dense and heavy and gorgeous. Will do our best to get more Korperschwache to list, and we'll of course wait patiently for the next To Blacken The Pages, but in the meantime, we'll just stay gloriously lost in the epic and sprawling soundworld of A Way Dark.
"Lovecraft" MPEG Stream:
"Sonic Kingdom" MPEG Stream:
TO KILL A PETTY BOURGEOISIE Marlone (Kranky) cd 14.98
We haven't ever heard any of the other records by this strangely monickered duo, and in some ways it's probably that name that kept us from exploring their music in the past. We know, book, cover, band name, check. But with so much stuff to listen to, it's inevitable that something like album cover or band name or label, will influence what you listen to first, or maybe even at all. But heck, it's Kranky, and the album cover is pretty cool, so two out of three ain't bad. And we have to say we're glad we did finally decide to take the plunge, cuz the world of TKAPB is a gorgeously gloomy one, a haunting and otherworldly late night drift through a world dark and ominous, and occasionally downright frightening. Think Grouper, Mazzy Star, Kuupuu, Valet, that sort of gauzy dreaminess, murky and muddy, spacey and druggy, with ethereal female vocals, barely there drum skitter, warm languid bass, the instruments less recognizable as instruments, and more as sound generating devices, each emitting long tones, or soft rhythms, the result is a slow burning jazzy drone-y drift, but TKAPB seems a bit more sinister than the rest of those bands, imbuing their hazy midnight drift, with some deep drones, some jagged shards of distorted crunch. A creepy dreamy slowcore, with hints of something darker, heavier, and noisier. Just check out "The Needle", a loping slow groove, minor key and tense, the vocals sultry and smoky, creeping and crawling, until suddenly something hellish surfaces, a squall of demonic buzz and noise, only a second or two, but it adds such menace to the track, as does a swirling sea of cymbal sizzle and what sounds like a moaning string section. Almost like some sort of doom torch song. The rest of the record is maybe not nearly so intense, but it is a very dark record, think Portishead, Grouper, Skepticism, and Bohren all wound up in a sprawling songsuite of drummachined black ballads, harrowing love songs, grim ambience and blackened downtempo electronica, with a sound so gauzy and washed out and murky and psychedelic, and yeah, occasionally menacing, that it's impossible for us not to give this our highest recommendation.
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"The Needle" MPEG Stream:
"Villain" MPEG Stream:
"I Hear You Coming, But Your Steps Are Too Loud"
TOBACCO La Uti (Anticon) 12" picture disc 15.98
Brand new remix ep (featuring a clutch of new jams as well) from Tobacco, the weirdo psychedelic synth electro hip hop side project of long time aQ faves Black Moth Super Rainbow, on which a handful of past Tobacco jams get reworked and revved up, and handed over to some of the world's weirdest and most warped MC's: Anti-Pop Consortium, Doseone, Rob Sonic, not to mention some rappers we've never heard of: Serengeti, Height, Icicle Frog, Zackey Force Funk. The new tracks kill, the old tracks sound new, a dizzying, over the top, twisted avant hip hop blowout, synths buzz and twist and get all tangled up, the beats skitter and stutter, guitars crunch and shimmer, samples are chopped up and looped and layered, sounds buzz and crunch and whir, a swirling ever shifting backdrop for some seriously out there flows. "TV All Greasy" buzzes and warbles while Anti-Pop go nuts over the top, the vocals riding on the undulating synths, "The Injury" sounds like an eighties educational film soundtrack wedded to crunchy fuzzguitar, the beats primitive, Doseone's whiny flow perfectly balancing Tobacco's shimmery vocodered croon, "Lick The Witch" is classic old school hip hop slathered in synth buzz and swirling effects, and Rob Sonic's bad ass versery, "2 Thick Scoops" is a dirgey almost metallic bit of shoegaze doompop hip hop freakiness, with some slithery flow and some woozy synth filigree, and so it goes, the rest of the record playing out in similarly blown out, synth heavy fuzz guitar drenched stumbly outsider hiphop radness. Makes us think how cool it would be if all the boring radio rappers who shell out thousands of dollars for boring beats, got Tobacco to whip up some of his weirdness instead. We can't help but imagine Jay-Z or Eminem spitting rhymes over some of this stuff. If only! Features some disturbing Tobacco style basketball headed milky cereal garish colored eye popping artwork on a 12" picture disc!
"TV All Greasy (Feat. Anti-Pop Consortium)" MPEG Stream:
"The Injury (Feat. Doseone)" MPEG Stream:
"Lick The Witch (Feat. Rob Sonic)"
TOBACCONISTS, THE Ocean Drama (Sounds From Under The Floorboards / Intransitive) cd-r 10.98
Perhaps this could be seen as a response to all of the haunted ballroom and sunken ship metaphors that The Caretaker has been producing through his reverb-soaked appropriations of old '78s, as Ocean Drama creaks and crawls with tactile, crusty sounds that give this album a waterlogged mustiness. In fact The Tobacconists' Scott Foust collected numerous recordings from a boat, which Foust and fellow Tobacconist Frans De Waard manipulated into a poetic excursion of overlapping creaks, groaning tension put upon the wooden hull, gentile lapping of the water upon the underbelly of the boat, and various clatterings of unknown origin. Upon this stream of activity, the two build a slow-moving melodic excursion, which could have originated from a particular vibration from that ship's guy-wire to the mast, or then again it could be from a guitar (as the sound does have a lovely resonant vibrato about it that isn't too far from a low-slung Morricone guitar swagger). As the guitar / tension-wire melody dissolves after about 25 minutes, the various creaks and groans move to the foreground above a glassine drone which fragments into a series of precious synth-tone melodies, only to sink into the depths of the ocean below. Both Scott Foust and Frans De Waard have been around forever, with too many projects to even begin to list (even for us!); but the two will be releasing an album as The Tobacconists through Hanson sometime in the future. The material on Ocean Drama is pretty damn amazing, and stands as some of the best work that either has done throughout their career.
TOBARI, DAISUKI Till The End Of The Dream (Poon Village) cd 13.98
TODAY IS THE DAY Sadness Will Prevail (Relapse) 2cd 16.98
Praise be! Steve Austin and co. are back, delivering another dose of their unique brand of Satanic math-metallic noise. Sprawling over two discs (labelled X and Y), these tracks are less like songs proper than sonic symptoms of Today Is The Day's aesthetic and philosophical ideas -- and, especially, their darkest emotions. With wretched rasping vokills, crushing doom riffs, maniac outbursts, and scary, atmospheric sample-littered soundscapes (normally we frown on samples we can recognize, but it *was* neat to hear the bit from Coven, y'know, from American Movie), Today Is The Day convey some dark feelings indeed. The metal parts are quite devastating, but it's perhaps the moodier elements that make this album so striking and creepy. Bass rumble and glitchy electronic synth noise are paired with sad piano tinklings, acoustic guitars are strummed in a backwoods night-time ritual, and there's even some honest-to-god melodic singing (as on the deathly-piano-ballad "Death Requiem" or the great Alice Cooper/Devil Doll styled track "Invincible", reprised from TITD's split cd with 16). Several of us here at AQ have been TITD fans for a long time, all the way back to their sadly out-of-print "Supernova" debut on the Amphetamine Reptile label. Their rebirth on Relapse (three albums ago) moved them in a decidedly heavier, brutal direction, but, as made plain on "Sadness Will Prevail", their experimental, artistic impulses remain strong. In some ways, the closest thing we can compare this to is the mighty Oxbow, colliding with the likes of Coalesce and Old Man Gloom perhaps. Easily a contender for "metal" (but not at all entirely metal) record of the year. There's certainly a lot here to like. Some of the production is more lo-fi than we'd expect from Mr. Austin (a well-known producer outside of this TITD career) but still manages to dangle us dangerously at the gaping mouth of hell! And wait for the hidden track at the end of disc two, wherein Austin fucks with some brutal black metal, which just happens to be from the upcoming Leviathan album on Andee's tUMULt label!
"Crooked" RealAudio clip:
"Distortion Of Nature" RealAudio clip:
"The Descent" RealAudio clip:
"Death Requiem" RealAudio clip:
"Spaceship" RealAudio clip:
"Flowers Made of Flesh" RealAudio clip:
"Sadness Will Prevail Theme"
TOIL Lullabies For Insects (Rusty Axe / Graveless Slumber) cd ep 7.98
We've been digging this band for a while, but weirdly enough this is the first record of theirs we've reviewed. When we first heard about Toil, they were described to us as a band that sounded "exactly like the Cure, only with harsh black metal vocals," which sounded pretty good to us, gloomy gothic, new wave indie rock with black metal vocals? Awesome. And it was! Things have changed a bit on Lullabies For Insects, the Cure vibe is still there (they do a Cure cover after all, more on that in a second), but the sound is more metal, more rocking, and if anything, Toil sound quite a bit like Lifelover, the same sort of strange juxtaposition of howling harsh vox and melodic almost indie sounding black metal. In fact, opener "Moth With Fractured Wings" is a dead ringer for Lifelover, which is not at all a bad thing, c'mon, there are a million bands who sound like Darkthrone, and more keep popping up every day, we're pretty psyched on all these bands exploring their poppier side. After a cool 5 minute noisdrone piece, the band launch into a depressive dirge, that musically reminds us of Urfaust, or Hypothermia, lilting, loping, the vocals still frayed and maniacal, but the music, so warm and melodic, with some cool breaks with clean guitar and drums. And then finally, the Cure cover, a pretty straight version of "Love Song", except for the vocals, which are insanely over the top, a shrieky demonic falsetto, totally at odds with the music, which is what makes it so ridiculous and so awesome! Cool packaging, one of those 3" cd's embedded in a normal cd sized plastic disc, with the artwork printed over the whole thing!
"Moth With Fractured Wings" MPEG Stream:
TOLL Christ Knows (Cold Spring) cd 15.98
BACK IN STOCK!!! Long lost legendary slab of classic British industrial music, originally released in 1986 on the amazing Broken Flag label. The most noteworthy thing about Toll, besides it being a killer record, is the fact that it just so happens to feature a pre-Stereolab Tim Gane (!) as well as Paul Lemos from Controlled Bleeding. But Stereolab fans won't necessarily dig this, Toll is grim stuff. Cold and harsh, lots of metallic percussion, looped rhythms, skipping records, bits of shortwave radio, disembodied voices, plenty of metal on metal clang, thick distorted drones, all held together by huge lurching basslines, that give the whole thing a definite depressive miserablist vibe, like a seriously industrial Joy Division. At their most musical, like on the loping mantra like "Broken Frame", they do sound quite a bit like the darkest of Factory bands, with simple plodding percussion, and hypnotic low end throbs, all beneath a dramatically crooned vocal line. Imagine any of the current crop of new wave revivalists, Interpol for example, slowed waaaaaaaaaaaaay down and wrapped in plenty of rumble and clang, and you'll get an idea of the sound of Toll. But that's only one element of their sound, the other being much more abstract, epic, wide open expanses of industrial crunch and shimmering drone, mournful melodies drifting in and out of machinelike rhythms, and crumbling landscapes of sound, wheezing hisses and keening feedback, jagged shards of buzzing electronics, all sorts of strange vocals, dripping with reverb and delay, grinding whirs and thick moaning low end, very dark and dreary and very prescient of the whole modern Wolf Eyes and friends noise scene. In addition to the entire Christ Knows LP, the cd includes 3 bonus tracks, two that sound like they could be lost Wire jams, all blown out and relentlessly throbbing, with wild squalls of feedback and buzzing guitars over bouncy bass lines and simple propulsive rhythms, while the other is an epic drone-y crawl, thick with layered voices, pulsing bass lines, muted percussive thumps and shuffles and tangled guitar scribbles, all swirled into a dense cloud of slow shifting sound. So awesome. Fans of old school industrial (Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, Nurse With Wound), classic post punk / new wave (Wire, Joy Division, the recently reviewed Arkansaw Man, etc) as well as mode modern outfits like Skullflower, Wolf Eyes, Dead C and the like, will seriously dig!
"Broken Frame" MPEG Stream:
"As We Live And Breathe" MPEG Stream:
TOMASIN, MIGUEL Wallmiyefterr (Freedom From) cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Allan has long claimed that Miguel from Reynols sounds a lot like Brak from Space Ghost Coast To Coast (also the star of the cd "Brak Presents: The Brak Album Starring Brak"). Of course, Allan does not in any way mean for this to be an insult as he loves Reynols -and- Brak. Yet, never has such a comparison been more justified, as here Tomasin sounds more like Brak than on any of the Reynols albums. With just Tomasin rhythmically reciting his lyrics (all in Spanish, or I think they're all in Spanish) and his most confident percussion, there isn't all that much to this album, and leaves the same odd impression as the recent Jandek a capella records: they're certainly interesting artifacts of outsider art, but may not neccesarily command extended listens.
TOMBI Black Humid Mist (Students Of Decay) cd-r 7.98
Tombi may be no more, or at the very least, he's keeping a crazy low profile. We carried a Tombi tape years ago that we absolutely loved, and Black HumidMist is more of the same, thick glacial drones constructed from electronics and old synths, a heady mix of soft shimmery and corrosive crunch. The first track here is a brief four minutes of glistening sympathetic tones, beneath a strange oscillating low end whir, quite tranquil and spaced out, before slipping into the 29 minute second track, which begins with a super hushed distant tone, soft focus and warmly woozy, before the low end surfaces, and the track is dramatically transformed into a thick wall of corrosive crumbling synth damage... The cool thing though is that beneath the blackened smoldering surface, major key melodies spiral out, long tones overlapping and intertwining into warm rich chordal shimmer, turning white noise into a thick wash of prismatic noise drenched mystery. Partway through, the noise component falls away, leaving a warm, rich rumble, but gradually, the edges begin to fray, and the sound explodes once again, going through various stages eventually arriving at a state of total grinding black bliss. Definitely noisy, but really quite pretty, worht getting lost in Tombi's corrosive din, to discover the blackened gem lurking inside. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, loooong out of print, we have barely ten of these, so once these are gone, they are gone forever...
TOMBI Cavern Tapes Volume 2 (Twonicorn) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Mysterious purveyors of grungy sludgy subterranean murk, take a slow motion creepy crawl through slime encrusted caves, and black pits filled with bones and rotting flesh. Huge static walls of guitar fuzz smear into Sunroof! like ambience, melodies drift and shimmer, pinned to the moist ground by the oppressive cloak of suffocating guitars and dense swirls of subterranean sound. The finest moment comes when Tombi channel that one break, in "Shoot Me A Deer" by Bastro, where the guitar sort of distorts, blows out, a sort of rhythmic riffing that just goes haywire, it's like THAT part timestretched into infinity and then roughed up a bit. before blissing out into more guitar buzz serene drift. Awesome. 2ND EDITION, LIMITED TO 25 COPIES!!!
"Future Skull Prayers" MPEG Stream:
TOMES The Dreadful Gift (Jewelled Antler) 3" cd-r 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Volume two in the planned monthly twelve volume Jewelled Antler "Library" series of 3" cd-rs (a format for which we are suckers -- they're just so cute, darn it) is the debut recording from a group called Tomes, who are, as it turns out, basically Jewelled Antler flagship group Thuja (Rob Reger, Loren Chasse, Glenn Donaldson, absent Steven R. Smith), letting themselves get a little bit louder and noiser than they usually do in Thuja, harking back a bit to precursor band Mirza in fact. Probably the main reason this wasn't put out as a Thuja release is because Tomes' title and artwork are in fact the Jewelled Antler collective's knowing nod to a black metal aesthetic (which has fascinated Glenn particularily of late). But while intended as a tribute of sorts to black metal, the psychedelic drone music found here only holds subtle echoes of dark Nordic woodlands and burning churches. The twenty minutes of abstract heavy improv of "The Dreadful Gift (parts 1 and 2)" is darn good stuff regardless of the tangential conceptual framework. With noisy phantoms clanking chains, groaning drones, tell-tale heartbeats and and distorted freeform guitar feedback, this does achieve a dark n' dirgey but beautiful atmosphere. Too beautiful perhaps to leave the black metal hordes quaking in their corpsepaint, it still could be a Jewelled Antler Halloween soundtrack of sorts -- I wonder why didn't they wait 'til the October Library installment for this? Definitely recommended.
"Dreadful Gift 1" MPEG Stream:
"Dreadful Gift 2"
TOMO s/t (Daftalliance) cd 14.98
This reserved young Japanese fellow can also be seen and heard in a number of local bands (two that spring to mind are the raucous postpunkish The Boy Explodes and Willpower, the new wave-y side project of Imperial Teen's vocalist Will Schwartz). This is his first solo release, and it sounds like neither of the above. No, it's a playful array of electronic, sample-laden tracks -- sometimes light and ticklish, sometimes stuttery drum'n'bass-y, sometimes downright funky, sometimes chiming and musicbox-y. The latter forms the basis for one of the album's brightest points, the giddy fifth track "Ritual Of Bubble" which incorporates some very Cornelius-esque chopped up vocal samples. Tomo's music bears a striking resemblance to a slumber party / wrestling match between a bunch of tipsy arcade games. Absolutely delightful!
"Ritual Of Bubble" MPEG Stream:
"Yellow Flowery Thing"
TOMUTONTTU (Beta-Lactam Ring) 7" 9.98
Originally intended to be released with a super limited version of the recently listed vinyl of Kemialliset Ytsavat's all time AQ favorite Alkuharka. We missed out on the limited version, but managed to get a handful of the 7" from the label, but once these are gone they are gone for good. The strange thing is it's not actually a Kemialliset single, but rather a Tomutonttu record, which is in fact the solo project of kemialliset mainman Jan Anderzen (whose recently reviewed lp we still have a few copies of). The sound is similar though and this 7" is a doozy, in fact, the A side might be one of our favorite tracks from these Finns EVER. Strange percussive acoustic guitar, all sprawled out and spidery, wrapped in lots of grit and grime and crackle, with distant keening feedback and bizarre percussion that sort of sounds like a rubber ball in a tin can, but the two woven deftly together produces the most divine results. All manner of buzz and rattle wrapped warmly in a shimmery, soft focus ambience. The B side is a bit more far out, but still pretty bad ass, clouds of buzzing and glitched out electronics hover over mournful plinking piano, which gives way to a weird looped rhythm, some backwards melodic buzz, simple drumming and weird disembodied vocals. And then it gets weird, tooting horns, raspy growls, all sort of tribal and spacey, when suddenly it launches into a brief spate of turntable abuse, finally finishing off with a blown out crumbling ultra distorted coda. Phew. Weird, but so nice. Thick vinyl in a full color eye popping sleeve...
TOMUTONTTU s/t (Fonal) cd 17.98
Originally released on vinyl back in 2007, now finally available on cd! Tomutonttu is Jan Anderzen, member of Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus, Anaksimandros, and who knows how many other Finnish free folk outfits. He's one of the kings of that scene. His hand (and gnarled guitar, and wheezing keyboard...) have been in tons of our favorite records and projects. This however is the first chance we've had to hear Anderzen on his own as Tomutonttu, seeing as the first Tomutonttu was so limited it disappeared before we were able to get even a single copy. Needless to say, fans of all things folky and Finnish will love this, it fits perfectly amidst the Avarus and Kemialliset releases, but it stands on it's own too, strange in its own right, personal, and lovely, but also spacey and kind of freaked out. But then why would we expect anything else? The record begins with the calls of whippoorwills, soon joined by the calls of yet more birds, all whipping wildly above a thrumming drone made up of buzzing kazoo vocals, moaning muted strings, and some mysterious pulsing minimal throb. Sounding almost like a super lo-fi "Symphony Of The Birds" all tangled up with some chunk of freaky forest folk. Ends up those aren't real birds, as their calls slow down and get all twisted up, it becomes evident it's a record of birds being slowly manipulated, becoming more and more abstract, the bird calls transforming into weird rumbles and flurries of high pitched squiggles, all over the growing buzz of a shimmery space guitar and more of that strange buzzy kazoo like moaning, peppered with deep rich sonic swells, very dreamy and alien, like some sort of otherworldly nature recording. The next track hews closer to the Finnish folk sound, sort of medieval sounding with drifting high end keyboard melodies draped over muted rhythmic clang and sweet swoonsome swirls of soft sound. The last track on side A sounds like some strange Bollywood Western, minor key and very Eastern sounding, processed guitar and blown out keyboards all tangled up into a gorgeously lilting melody, dreamy and sparkly and super playful. Side B begins with more playfulness, this time the percussion, all drenched in reverb and echo, like some sort of wind chime garden, muted into strange melodies, droning keyboards beneath, very haunting and otherworldly, it almost sounds African, like likembes, sometimes there are hints of gamelan too, at least in the timbre and the melodies, but all warm and distorted and dreamily blown out. The next track is a brief snatch of what sounds like some unearthed old time recording, all fuzzy warble and a softly keening melancholy melody. And finally, the lengthy final track is a reprise of the opener, all tinkling chimes, distant moaned vocals, and soft clouds of constantly shifting and swirling bird calls, dizzying but also strangely soothing. Definitely one of the nicest records we've heard from the Avarus/Anaksimandros/Kemialliset Finnish freakfolk axis... Packaged in an amazing sleeve with the same eye popping artwork as the original lp.
"Tteema" MPEG Stream:
"Kohtublues" MPEG Stream:
"Live In EU 1"
TOMUTONTTU s/t (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Tomutonttu is Jan Anderzen, member of Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus, Anaksimandros, and who knows how many other Finnish free folk outfits. He's one of the kings of that scene. His hand (and gnarled guitar, and wheezing keyboard...) have been in tons of our favorite records and projects. This however is the first chance we've had to hear Anderzen on his own as Tomutonttu, seeing as the first Tomutonttu was so limited it disappeared before we were able to get even a single copy. Needless to say, fans of all things folky and Finnish will love this, it fits perfectly amidst the Avarus and Kemialliset releases, but it stands on it's own too, strange in its own right, personal, and lovely, but also spacey and kind of freaked out. But then why would we expect anything else? The record begins with the calls of whippoorwills, soon joined by the calls of yet more birds, all whipping wildly above a thrumming drone made up of buzzing kazoo vocals, moaning muted strings, and some mysterious pulsing minimal throb. Sounding almost like a super lo-fi "Symphony Of The Birds" all tangled up with some chunk of freaky forest folk. Ends up those aren't real birds, as their calls slow down and get all twisted up, it becomes evident it's a record of birds being slowly manipulated, becoming more and more abstract, the bird calls transforming into weird rumbles and flurries of high pitched squiggles, all over the growing buzz of a shimmery space guitar and more of that strange buzzy kazoo like moaning, peppered with deep rich sonic swells, very dreamy and alien, like some sort of otherworldly nature recording. The next track hews closer to the Finnish folk sound, sort of medieval sounding with drifting high end keyboard melodies draped over muted rhythmic clang and sweet swoonsome swirls of soft sound. The last track on side A sounds like some strange Bollywood Western, minor key and very Eastern sounding, processed guitar and blown out keyboards all tangled up into a gorgeously lilting melody, dreamy and sparkly and super playful. Side B begins with more playfulness, this time the percussion, all drenched in reverb and echo, like some sort of wind chime garden, muted into strange melodies, droning keyboards beneath, very haunting and otherworldly, it almost sounds African, like likembes, sometimes there are hints of gamelan too, at least in the timbre and the melodies, but all warm and distorted and dreamily blown out. The next track is a brief snatch of what sounds like some unearthed old time recording, all fuzzy warble and a softly keening melancholy melody. And finally, the lengthy final track is a reprise of the opener, all tinkling chimes, distant moaned vocals, and soft clouds of constantly shifting and swirling bird calls, dizzying but also strangely soothing. Definitely one of the nicest records we've heard from the Avarus/Anaksimandros/Kemialliset Finnish freakfolk axis... LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!! Pressed on 220 gram vinyl, packaged in amazing jackets with eye popping artwork and printed full color inner sleeves. These are gonna go fast and once these are gone they are GONE.
TOMUTONTTU Tomutonto (Fonal) cd 17.98
Another reissue from Finland's Tomutonttu, the solo guise of Jan Anderzen, better know as a member of Avarus, Anaksimandros, Kemialliset Ystavat and about a million others. Tomutonto (notice the slight difference) as originally released as a super limited lp on Ultra Eczema back in 2006, and is now available on cd for the first time. Anderzen explores all sorts of sonic space as Tomutonttu, on the recently listed self titled cd, another reissue, the sounds was a kaleidoscopic tripped out primitivism, a stumbling forest folk, ritualistic and abstract, and while this disc offers up some similar sounding jams, it's much more out there, much more unhinged and experimental. What songs there are, end up fragmented and all tangled up in a squirming heap, droned out organ tones, squeaks and creaks and thumps and clangs, muted percussion, processed vocals, hiccupping loops, bursts of distorted voices, damaged effects, malfunctioning electronics, fractured loops, swirling filed of spaced out buzz and birdcall like flitter, chant like vocals over Spanish sounding guitars, all wrapped in weird murk, reverb drenched operatic howls and moans, over distant creaking, and warm riffy humming, sped up strings, rhythmic clickings, all twisted and tweaked and warped and warbly. Definitely on the TRIPPY end of the Finnish free rock underground foresty freak folk spectrum, but anyone into the rest of the Fonal catalog, and other Finnish weirdness should for sure check it out, give the sound samples a listen, that should decide it or you lickety split.
"1" MPEG Stream:
"2" MPEG Stream:
TONE LANGUAGE Patience Is The Key (Korm Plastics / Staalplaat) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Tone Language is the collaboration between Lee Norris, Ichiro Taniguchi, and Kenji Taniguchi. Norris has made a number of electronica genre-jumping albums as Metamatics and as Nacht Plank, while the Taniguchis have recorded as the drum & bass duo Reflection. With a trio of laptops streaming a blurred clatter of warm glitchpopmuzik, Tone Language exactly replicates the sound of Oval from the seductive ambient salves to the nebula bass pulses. Pretty shocking how much this sounds like "Szenariodisc."
TONE, YASUNAO & HECKER Palimpsest (Mego) cd 16.98
TONETTA 777 (Black Tent) lp+cd 28.00
Wow, is this record ever bizarre, not at all what you might expect from the same label that released the record of Pajo Misfits covers or Paz Lenchatin's gorgeous country drone folk record, but like those records, Tonetta's 777 is truly unique and weird and to some ears perhaps also wonderful. Incredibly strange music for sure... Some folks might recognize the name Tonetta (or Tonetta 777) from his various videos on YouTube, and no doubt some of you were probably forwarded them as they are truly truly odd and were becoming a sort of sensation. So we were trying to find a simple succinct way of describing Tonetta, and decided to turn to the online source for all things freaky, Freakipedia (oddly enough there was no entry for Tonetta on Wikipedia) where Tonetta's entry described him as "an incredibly gay older man on YouTube who dances half naked to songs he pre-recorded. While most of the music sounds the same in his videos, his lyrics largely differ dealing with sexual fetishes such as pissing and pooping, larger women and men, and ass to mouth." Which does pretty much sum it up. Tonetta dresses in strange ripped Flashdance style outfits, g-strings, torn sweatshirts, bustiers, weird masks, sometimes pantyhose over his head, wigs, dresses, whatever, sometimes he's practically nude, he shimmies and shakes, in a diamond shaped frame surrounded by trippy colors, in front of a backdrop that looks like it's probably in his basement, white curtains, a black sheet hung on the wall, a bunch of balloons, and we haven't even gotten to the music yet, simple primitive drum machines, looped disco basslines, blown out guitars, everything in the red and blown out and distorted, the vocals either a deep croon, or a weird almost falsetto trill, the sound warped and warbly alternatingly funky, groovy, and/or psychedelic, sometimes the music sounds like some underground post punk lo-fi disco, other times it sounds almost like Ariel Pink or John Maus, and then there's the song tiles and lyrics, which as the Freakipedia entry alludes to, are subversive and sexual and bizarre and problematic and pretty goddamn funny: "My Bro", "Still A Slave", "A Really Big Cock", "Toronto Is Starting To Stink", "Metal Man", "Peeping Tom", "Drugs Drugs Drugs", "God Treats You Right", "I'm Gonna Marry A Prostitute", and on and on. Fucked up and freaky, but weirdly addictive, and as skeptical as we may have been about a whole album of this stuff, after seeing a bunch of his videos, we find ourselves digging this a whole lot, and listening to it more than we ever thought we would, which pretty much says it all! LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, pressed on 140 gram vinyl, housed in a super nice thick cover, adorned with a 2 color serigraph, and comes with a cd version of the record as well.
"John And Yoko" MPEG Stream:
"My Bro" MPEG Stream:
"Still A Slave" MPEG Stream:
"A Really Big Cock"
TONGUES OF MOUNT MERU, THE The Delight Of Assembly (The Tapeworm) cassette 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The second of two new mysterious sonic missives from UK tape label The Tapeworm, this one comes from the strangely monikered Tongues Of Mount Meru, who might be more familiar to people by their given names, noisemaker Lasse Marhaug (of Jazzkamer), and Jon Wesseltoft, a member of black metal legends Thorns. Seems like a strange combination for sure. And the strangeness is further heightened by the fact that you won't find any crunchy noise, Merzbowian blur or blackened blasts here, instead, we're treated to extended mantra-like Niblockian drones, layered and hypnotic, pulsing and ever shifting, fuzzy and buzzy and dense, recorded live, the sound is rich and intense, the edges rough and prickly, within the core drone, drift all sorts of buried melodies, and prismatic overtones, strange little electronic shimmers seems to surface here and there, occasionally, the layers blend perfectly into haunting harmonies, only to slowly drift apart once again. Hard to tell what the sound sources are, but at one point it sounds like an accordion or harmonium, that lush, rich, organic wheeze, all warm and ever-changing. Two sidelong drones, the first side is more aggressive, more intense and almost abrasive, the second much more swirly and moody, but both similarly dreamy and mesmeric. Total longform hypnodrift drone bliss. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, with badass cover art from Savage Pencil!
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO Epigenesi (self-released) lp 17.98
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO La Mutazione (Klanggalerie) cd 21.00
Giancarlo Toniutti has certainly increased his activity around the turn of 2009, having released two new compositions after going almost a decade between records; and now, he's authorized a hefty overview of his early work, with a forthcoming boxset on Vinyl-On-Demand and this cd reissue of La Mutazione, originally released on Broken Flag back in 1985. Toniutti is earnestly long-winded in his academic defense of his work, speaking in highly technical terms and with willfully obscure references (i.e. the semio-cosmologist Rene Thom and the idiosyncrasies of the Athabascan dialect, seriously); and cd booklet of La Mutazione comes with a signature essay from the man on how this work came to be and what theoretical ideas revolve around these sounds. The three tracks on this disc (the two original cuts on the LP and a unreleased bonus track) harken to the early '80s as Toniutti darkened of cosmic electronics from the likes of Cluster, Tangerine Dream, and Conrad Schnitzler through the lens of Whitehouse, Nurse With Wound, and Throbbing Gristle. At the time, Toniutti had just matriculated from the Conservatory of Venice with a heady amount of education in Stockhausen, Schaefer, etc. These three musical poles come together in this dark, dark, dark construction of layered static, analog synth explorations, and even some field recording. The totemically named track "The Tree" situates upon an oppressive drone of low frequencies scraped by waves of radio static, which parallels the early work of John Duncan in many ways. Throughout "The Tree," Toniutti injects a lugubrious bubbling of synthetic notes with similarities to the untrained atonalism that Maurizio Bianchi had grafted to the cancerous power electronics of Regel and Das Testament from the early '80s. Those same synth notes snap into a morose two note melody on the aptly named "Nekrose," which is even darker in atmosphere and creepy intensity than the first. The bonus track "Apoplettica" is a darkened delay exploration with clanking loops and unsettled harmonic drones that foreshadows the guttural psychedelic blackening that Mark McGuire alludes to in Emeralds. A triumph back then, and a triumph now.
"The Tree" MPEG Stream:
"Nekrose" MPEG Stream:
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO Qwalsamtimutkw?italuc'ik (Alluvial Recordings) cd 12.98
BACK IN STOCK!!! And, it's about fucking time! During the past two and half decades, this uncompromising Italian sound artist released only two solo records and a handful of noteworthy collaborations, all of which earned him a reputation for incredible compositions nestled within an intellectual framework dealing with semiotics, esoteric languages, psychogeography, cosmology, and plenty of other topics that are way above the heads of 99 percent of everybody else. For all of Toniutti's highfalutin' ideas, his sound design isn't nearly as obtuse as you might think. There is an expressionism to Toniutti's work that you might also find in Xenakis' electronic works or Chris Watson's high quality field recordings, although Toniutti's idiosyncrasies make it difficult to draw apt comparisons. So with the release of Qwalsamtimutkw?italuc'ik, Toniutti has finally issued something new. Almost 19 years after the last proper full length album, and 11 years since the last major collaborative project. There have been entire careers that have risen and then fallen during that span of time, and Giancarlo quietly toiled away with his research into dying languages and an occasional flurry of recording which only now has been resolved. The title itself translates from Nuxalk, an indigenous Canadian language. As for music, Toniutti built an instrument which he calls a 'rattle-harp' out of a large piece of found metal, several long thin pieces of wire, and some bones. The sounds that emanate from this instrument are haunted drones and rattles which create an unsettled ground of activity that is anything but static. Sure, the surfaces of these shadowy subharmonic hums and oceanic tone bursts could fall into the darkened ambient category that we love so much; but as Toniutti slips the layers against each other, unnerving ruptures in frequency provide a woozy feel to these occluded drones. Even at low volumes, these tectonic rumblings can be very potent.
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO Ura Itam Taala' Momojmuj Lowajamuj Cooconaja (Ferns) 3" cd 9.98
No one will ever accuse Giancarlo Toniutti of releasing too much music into the world. It has literally been ten years since Toniutti has released any recordings outside of a very rare compilation track here or there. That said, Toniutti is an undeniably intriguing sound artist, who has deeply immersed himself into obscure forms of ethnomusicology and linguistic study, all the while keeping a finely tuned ear to the habits of vangarde composition. His earliest recordings emerged out of the Italian power electronics community of the early '80s whose most well known practitioner was Maurizio Bianchi. Like Bianchi, Toniutti put out a handful of recordings on the seminal British noise label Broken Flag. While bracing, complex, and adventurous in its crunched tape manipulations and sinister synthesis, Toniutti's work stood apart from the signature Broken Flag arc of transgressive noise, due to Toniutti's intellectual rigor. It was this rigor that brought Toniutti to pursue his collaborations with Andrew Chalk and Conrad Schnitzler, and it was probably this rigor that caused the prolonged length between recordings over the past decade. So, the 20 minute composition that Toniutti produced for Ferns impressive series of 3" discs has been granted a Hopi Indian title based on an ancient song dealing with cunnilingus and bedbugs. I'm sure that Giancarlo has a very particular reason for placing such a text alongside this warbling set of mutated field recordings; but as of yet, it remains something of a mystery. This composition does enjoy a hermetic quality, in spite of Toniutti's explanation that he derived all of the sounds from a field recording he made in Italy involving a mountain, a 10ft tall cross, a metal pylon, and a temple bell. Out of that environment and those objects, Toniutti arrives at a record that might appear somewhat meditative at first, with its constant wash of low frequencies; but upon deeper investigations into the piece, he reveals queasy, off-kilter tonalities which gently vibrate against each other, bristling with quiet textures. His is a pretty unique sound, somewhat like the early electronic work of Xenakis with the diminutive sensibilities of early Bernhard Gunter. Highly recommended!
"Ura Itam Taala' Momojmuj Lowajamuj Cooconaja"
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO & ANDREW CHALK Tahta Tarla (Pans'urlo Panseri) lp 25.00
BACK IN STOCK FOR THE FINAL TIME! We had this very rare record many moons ago; and we've managed to get a handful back in stock. Here's what we had to say about it way back when... The specialization of language offers the ability for those acquainted with certain phrases, words, and even verbal inflections to communicate with a greater efficiency. Here at Aquarius, we've coined such neologisms as "dronology" and "fuckery," simply because we hope that such words offer enough connotation even without a lot of context. Sure, we make references to obscure movies, books nobody read, and composers that never really got heard outside of some tiny state-funded electronic music institution, but hopefully we explain things in a language that can be understood. On the other hand, Italian composer / musicologist Giancarlo Toniutti communicates in nothing even close to a common vernacular; instead, his writings are a confounding display of specialized academic language and are composed within extended run-on sentences that make Aquarius look like the saints of brevity in comparison. There may have been a time when we had the patience to read Derrida, but not anymore. Given that ridiculous prologue, we have to say that the collaboration between Toniutti and Andrew Chalk (who in contrast to Toniuitti has always been painfully quiet about his work) is truly fantastic. As the language in the massive liner notes is too convoluted to decipher with any certainty, we're guessing that the two artists collaborated upon long thin wires which they set up in natural settings. They then took these recordings of windswept scrapes, amplified creeks, and bowed metals to ICR Studios where Colin Potter helped them mix their recordings into that eerily angelic drone which emanates from all Andrew Chalk recordings. As Chalk doesn't entirely dominate the proceedings, Toniutti's penchant for gritty textural striations does add an important aural characteristic to the recordings. In spite of the difficult-to-impossible liner notes, the music which it attempts to describe is transcendentally beautiful.
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO / CONRAD SCHNITZLER Camma (self-released) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
TONIUTTI, GIANCARLO WITH SIEGMAR FRICKE *KO/USK- (self-published) book & cd 42.00
TONSTARTSSBANDHT Midnite Cobras (Psychic Handshake) 7" 8.98
Everybody went crazy for Tonstartssbandht band's recent cassette, titled Parson Sounds, which was in fact covers of legendary Swedish psychfolk jams from Parson Sounds, Harvester and International Harvester, it was the first we had heard from these guys, but it's tough to go wrong, covering stone cold classics like that. Of course when we got this 7" in, we realized that because that first tape was all covers, and pretty faithful ones at that, we didn't actually know what these guys sounded like. And the weird thing was, we didn't actually imagine they'd sound like THIS, but we're digging it anyway, big time. A bit of that Swedish psychfolk from the tape makes its way onto this here 7", but it's woven into a sort of heavy blown out psych pop, big booming drums, echo drenched vocals, thick, muddy, murky riffs, super catchy and still pretty psychedelic, totally ramshackle, super distorted, fuzzy, warped and lysergic, big hooky choruses, a little bit Animal Collective, a little bit Japandroids, a little bit Lightning Bolt (especially in the frantic tangled bass harmony breakdowns) all tangled up into a heavy, hooky freaked out blast of in-the-red mini noise pop gems, the sort of stuff that sounds like it would be amazing live, a heaving sweaty crowd spilling onto the stage, the band loose and on the edge of collapse, loud as fuck and totally on fire. And the 7" does a pretty great job of capturing that normally-quite-difficult-to-capture rock energy!
TORAL, RAFAEL Cyclorama Lift 3 (Tomlab) cd 11.98
"Cyclorama Lift 3" is a 21 minute out-take from the same sessions that warranted the "Aeriola Frequency" album for Perdition Plastics. These recordings marked Toral's first exploration beyond the guitar based approach to the Phil Niblock drone minimalism. Here, he has used an open circuit on an empty circuit on a mixing board with two 8 second delay pedals and a 4-band parametric equalizer patched into the feedback loop. The aesthetics for aerated tonalities which Toral brought to the guitar are also found within this incredibly simple, yet effective means of creating a resonance.
TORAL, RAFAEL Engine 03_04_02 (Touch) cd-r 12.98
The fourth in series of live performances, published by Touch although lacking Jon Wozencroft's elegant design touches, "Engine 03_04_03" was taken from Rafael Toral's performance at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Continuing his experiments with the guitar as a complex dronemaking device, the Portuguese sound artists overlaps slow moving glissandos and sinewave modulations from "two guitars, one bass, twin modulated feedback circuits, motorized strings, analogue modular system, routing audio mixer, and several other devices." Similarities run rampant to Phill Niblock, Steve Reich, and Jim O'Rourke.
TORAL, RAFAEL Harmonic Series (Table Of The Elements) 12" 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. On his entry in Table Of The Elements Lanthanides 12" series, Portuguese experimental guitarist Rafel Toral uses his guitar like a simple sound generator, coaxing forth warm and sonorous, gossamer strands of crystalline low end drone, nestled in equally diaphanous tendrils of analog electronics and computer generated sinewaves. Truly sublime. On clear aquatic blue vinyl, with an ancient sea map silkscreened in metallic ink.
TORAL, RAFAEL Harmonic Series 2 (Headz) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Recorded live in Japan in 2003, this 40 plus minute single piece is a slowly building exploration of harmonics, using just a sinewave generator, custom software, random electronics and just to keep things slightly analog, a good old guitar. None of those parts are easily discernable though, as Harmonic Series 2 is one epic gentle, slowly shifting tone, working its way through various abstract melodies, and gently rolling tonalities. Really quite beautiful and soothing.
"Harmonic Series 2"
TORAL, RAFAEL Sound Mind Sound Body (Moikai) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Rafael Toral is a Portuguese experimental guitarist given much critical acclaim by the likes of Lee Ranaldo and Jim O'Rourke (who ended up reissuing this early 90s album). Lush ambient guitar drones with gossamer avant-pluckings cross the likes of My Bloody Valentine's glide guitar sound, Eno's embryonic ambient, and John Fahey's more sedate meanderings.
TORAL, RAFAEL Space (Staubgold) cd 15.98
TORAL, RAFAEL Space Solo 1 (Quecksilber) cd 15.98
Rafael Toral has adopted the persona of Keith Rowe (minus the guitar this time) in crafting a series of improvisations for home built electronics that squiggle, bleep, and fizz. There's absolutely no processing to these expressionist burblings, and the whole thing comes off as something similar to early computer music with a freewheeling scribble crafting the sounds instead of algorithmic functions.
"Portable Amplifier" MPEG Stream:
TORAL, RAFAEL Violence Of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance (Touch) cd 15.98
This acclaimed Lisbon-based experimental musician-producer-academic continues to create lush ambient soundscapes using electric guitar and effects (as well as some "silence" recorded from a space shuttle mission). Very beautiful. Recommended.
"Measurement of Noise"
TORAL, RAFAEL Violence Of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance (Touch) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Now on vinyl. This acclaimed Lisbon-based experimental musician-producer-academic continues to create lush ambient soundscapes using electric guitar and effects (as well as some "silence" recorded from a space shuttle mission). Very beautiful. Recommended.
"Measurement of Noise"
TORLESSE SUPER GROUP s/t (Rebis) cd 10.98
We've long been fans of New Zealand guitarist Roy Montgomery, his guitar sound so distinctive, able to conjure up whole other worlds with his music, having cut his teeth in legendary groups like Dadamah and Dissolve, it was really as a solo artist where Montgomery finally unleashed his full potential. A sort of reverbed minimalism writ large, Montgomery takes simple melodic phrases, fragments, riffs, even just a few notes, and transforms them into mesmerizing landscapes of sound, hazy and spacey, multitracked expanses of melodic mesmer, his playing fluid and lyrical, all of the edges smoothed out by a battery of deftly employed effects, transforming the guitar into some sort of alien psychedelic sound generator, able to fashion strangely inviting sonic worlds for the listener to explore, and get lost in. So we were curious to hear this, the oddly named Torlesse Super Group (a reference to some NZ geology apparently), which is (or was, this was actually recorded back in 2004-2007), Montgomery's new group, or duo to be more precise, and finds Montgomery teaming up with Nick Guy, who we had never heard of before, for a strangely haunting, and surprisingly rhythmic bit of hazy, psychedelic, post industrial, dreamlike guitarscapery. The record opens with the three part, 16 plus minute "Erewhon Sentinel", the first part of which is a super abstract stretch of looped skeletal rhythm, a barely there bit of staggered static, distant melodic swells, twisted flecks of glitchy electronics, eventually a deep low end thrum surfaces, as well as some creepy soundtracky chimes, not to mention some ven creepier bits of distorted crunch, the low end beginning to pulse, all cinematic and a little bit ominous, honestly we would have been happy if this was ALL the record did, but then we would have missed out on part two, which might be our favorite new jam, beginning with more rumbling low end, laced with some cool super distorted melody, the result is very ghostly and otherworldly, and then a beat comes in, a slow, slithery, downtempo skitter, and suddenly this sounds like some post Portishead, post Bowery Electric sort of electronic ambient creep, now THIS definitely could have continued for the rest of the record, hypnotic and low slung, woozy and warped, a sort of subterranean underwater lope, very soundtracky, evokes all sorts of super striking images, rain slicked streets, dark abandoned cities, low lit late night speakeasies. The sound continues to develop, additional melodies, more layers, harmonies, distant lo fi chimes, looped electronic high end squiggles, all drifting on that low thrum and hypnotic shuffle. Part three is something else entirely, sounding like a lo-fi melding of Autechre and Seefeel, a little bit glitchy, but warm and organic, swoonsome and woozy and dreamily looped, wound around some serpentine melodies, and plenty of fuzz and thrum. Definitely a surprise, if Montgomery is playing guitar over all this, then he's even more of an alchemist than we already thought, cuz nothing here sounds distinctly guitar-like, at least in this opening salvo, all textural and ever shifting timbres, and layered loops, and swirling atmospheres, and propulsive rhythms and dark sonic swirl. It's not until the fourth track, where the guitar finally makes its presence obvious, with Montgomery unfurling a looped bit of repetitive riffage, eventually joined by a super skeletal beat, and then an avalanche of guitars, all buzzy and psychedelic, warm and washed out, creating a heady, hazy sprawl of mesmerizing drone rock shimmer, definitely more reminiscent of past recordings. The rest of the record plays out in a similar fashion, with Montgomery laying down some spare, sparse guitar, sometimes lacing it with muted feedback, or woozy folky strum, while his partner (we presume) wraps these delicate bits of melody with streaks of glitch, fragmented rhythms, even seeming to add some dub to the sound, letting various elements careen and drift before settling back into their original druggy drift, the sound is super hypnotic, fantastically lysergic and dreamy, the sounds tapping into a psychedelia akin to Spacemen 3, repetitive, cyclical, a core droned out loop, but surrounded by crumbling distortion, sonar like pings, but with Montgomery's melodic reverby strum at its core. The final track in fact begins with that reverby strum, hear letting a single strum repeat, ring out into the ether, before gradually, various other sounds creep in from the periphery, streaks of pulsing buzz, hushed shimmery swells, it's almost like the dreamiest, prettiest, softest doom ever, which weirdly enough is more like the Montgomery of old than anything else here, it's late night drift off dreamdrone psychedelia, strummy and shimmery, it's not really until about 9 minutes in that some crunch and heft are added to the mix, but subtly, so they don't overwhelm, instead, they just add density, and Montgomery's strummy grows more urgent as well, and added layers of melodic counterpoint and guitar harmonies, only make the sound blossom into something both lush and lovely, crunchy and a little bit dark, before finally fading out into a sweetly melancholic softly psychedelic haze. Gorgeous!
"Erewhon Sentinel Number 1" MPEG Stream:
"Erewhon Sentinel Number 2" MPEG Stream:
"Erewhon Sentinel Number 3" MPEG Stream:
TOROIDH European Trilogy (War Office Propaganda) 3cd box 42.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. As we've mentioned many times in the past, we're practically obsessed with the music of Mr. Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk. From the blackened drone of his old church burning corpsepainted ambient horde MZ 412, to the industrial noisefolk of Folkstorm, the full on noise assault of his collaboration with Goat, the rhythmic noise experiments of his collaboration with Merzbow, the bleak drone drenched dark ambience of his projects with former partner in MZ412 Drakh (including an upcoming release on tUMULt!), he also plays in a couple black metal bands, has a noise group, and of course there's the haunting militaristic ambient drone folk of Toroidh. When does this man find time to sleep?! As much as we love everything he's done, we have a particular soft spot for the music of Toroidh. It's just so evocative, so dark and creepy, beautiful, but incredibly ominous, haunting and downright frightening at times. We had never been able to get any Toroidh records for the store, so we were super ecstatic to discover that the first three Toroidh records were being remastered and re-released as a box set!! It's hard to put into words just how massive and breathtaking these records are, how huge in scope. Epic explorations of history through sound. The three records are definitely distinct and unique, but they work together perfectly as a trilogy, their sound, themes and structures perfectly compliment each other. A long strange dark and soulful journey through sound. Haunting looped military marches, snippets of speeches and rallies, lilting waltzes with moaning horns give way to militaristic drums, over slow soft swells of murky gloomy shimmer, peppered with more snippets of speeches. Thick church organ drones wrap themselves around deep densely reverbed operatic vocals, throughout muted percussive thumps and throbs pulse rhythmically, everything swirled into woozy Skepticism like dirges. Warm swells of brass moan in the distance, beneath mesmerizing male chanting. Huge expanses of abstract drone, slowed down mournful murmurs wash over forlorn minor key melodies, spread out into murky whorls of sonic sorrow, dizzying swirls of 16rpm warble and deep droning drift. Crunchy industrial marches wrapped in smoky blackness underpin simple propulsive rhythms. Minor key acoustic guitar strum floats on thick beds of soaring strings. Each record manages a seemingly impossible balancing act, situating itself somewhere between cold martial pound, and super emotional melodicism. European Trilogy is a completely mesmerizing, and ever shifting sonic expanse, the listener is sent into battle to wander cold and alone, lonely and afraid, allowed to wander along the streets of some unnamed village, observing some unnamed war, watching the people, the buildings, the destruction, the devastation, but most specifically the sounds. From hypnotic propulsive militaristic marches to strange processed field recordings and bits of historical sound to deep dark cavernous drones. An absolutely astonishing piece of sonic beauty! Gorgeous, super deluxe, over the top packaging. A black matte rubberized box with the title debossed, a super striking black on black, inside each disc is in its own thick textured paper sleeve, embossed with the band name and disc number (in Roman numerals of course), and a booklet on super thick glossy paper, with track listings and credits, everything appropriately spare and striking, very simple and streamlined and Teutonic. WOW!
"Those Who Do Not Remember The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It I" MPEG Stream:
"Those Who Do Not Remember The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It II" MPEG Stream:
"Those Who Do Not Remember The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It III" MPEG Stream:
"Europe Is Dead I" MPEG Stream:
"Europe Is Dead II"
TOROIDH The Final Testament (Eternal Pride) cd 15.98
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with the many sides of Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk. He may be perhaps best known for his blackened ambient combo MZ412, but that's just the beginning. He's released tons of stuff under his own name, sometimes collaborating with his former MZ412 partner-in-noise Drakh for a few records (including the recent Betrayal Of Light album on tUMULt). Then there's his militaristic folk combo Folkstorm, his damaged blackened noise outfit Goatvargr, his blacknoize black metal band Vargr (see elsewhere on this list) his full on noise group Hydra Head 13, and of course, quite possibly our favorite side of this sonic Renaissance man, the epic historical ambience of Toroidh. A sonic trip through the history of the world, told through its wars and atrocities. Some heavy stuff for sure, but the music is suitably powerful, so much so that much of Toroidh plays out like some PBS documentary set to music, heart wrenching at moments, dark and ominous at others, but always completely enthralling. Testament was originally released on Nordvargr's own 205 Recordings label back in 2003, but has been resurrected here with two bonus tracks as The Final Testament. Split into two lengthy movements, Testament is sweeping and epic, haunting and mysterious, dense and multilayered. Militaristic marches, fanfares and anthems, woven into long stretches of rumbling drone, strident neo folk, strummed acoustic guitars, and swooning synths, Teutonic industrial pummel, ominous martial drumming, thick swaths of black ambience, snippets of operas, soaring super dramatic strings, tolling bells, murky expanses of low end whir, soaring strings and soundtrack like mood music, chanting monk-like vocals, all woven around bits of speeches, radio broadcasts and other wartime soundbites, the whole thing buried beneath a black sonic pall, like thick smoke over a burning city. The bonus tracks are brief, and are more like a sort of sonic addendum, the first track "The Final Testament", is a propulsive industrial dirge, all tribal drums and thick serpentine synths, deep rumbling low end and tinkling percussion, very neo-folk martial industrial, while the final track, "Hail Wermland II", is a recording of an old scratchy dusty '78, a mournful lament, proud, deep, crooned vocals, and simple minor key melodies, all wrapped in staticky crackle and pop, bookended by brief smears of smoldering drone. So good. Remastered, and with all new artwork, an eight page booklet with liner notes and lots of appropriately teutonic images.
"Part I" MPEG Stream: