FATHER YOD AND THE SPIRIT OF '76 Contraction lp 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Also given limited vinyl reissue treatment, here's the 2nd album from the Ya Ho Wha collective... Contraction dates from 1974 (like most of the Yod LPs, including their ultimate masterpieces Penetration and I'm Gonna Take You Home), and of course originals are hopelessly rare. So...does groovy loungey hippy jams, doing the choo-choo train build up, but never really totally freaking out, with flutes and organ and guitar, and most significantly the wacked-out weird wisdom of Father Yod rappin' o'er top, sound good to you? Half-spoken, half sung, kinda drunken sounding. Here's a transcript of a portion of one of his raps here, to give you a bit of the flavor: "Let it all out and take it all back. But take it all back with conciousness. Desire, man. Desire's a trick. That's the trick. That'll bring old Saint Nick. Here he comes, see him there. All those goodies on his back. And he ain't got no prayer. He just wants to give to you, energy. The greatest gift of all, you'll soon see. That's it. Give it with a beat. Come on. Give it..." Hmm. The Father Yod-Santa Claus connection made explict by the man himself! One 24 minute, 41 second track over two sides. But you know what, that's quite a dose...
FAUST (Polydor Japan) cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Import-only cd of the first Faust album from 1971. A landmark of krautrock, words cannot express, etc...
FAUST Kleine Welt (Live) (Ektro) cd 14.98
Forget for a second that this is a Faust album. What if it was just some unknown new band, some cd-r we got in the mail, some limited edition cassette release? Heck we've tried that thought experiment, and we'd be all over it! Telling you that it's a mysteriously murky, throbbing psychedelic freak-scene, fraught with krautrocky rhythms and tense textures. Sorta reminds us of a mix of Blues Control and Wooden Shjips... or White Hills and Expo '70... there's a druggy '60s garage vibe, industrial electronic atmosphere, blissful moodiness, and clockwork Circle-like propulsivity, all crammed into one crazy counter-intuitive whole, raw and live! Everything in the way of organ drones, harmonica blurt, echoing voices, shuffling drums, and serious dosage of searing psych-rock geetar found here were all taken from various European performances in 2006, later mixed and edited at fauststudio. We'd assume most of the tracks are pretty much unique to this disc... Yeah, we'd be pretty into it if it was some new group! Does the fact it's a new disc by krautrock legends Faust, released by Circle's Ektro label, make it any cooler? It doesn't need to. Though if that's what it takes to get you to check it out, that's ok. Conversely, if you were like, oh just another umpteenth Faust reunion album, don't be like that. First off, Faust rule. Even today. Sure, this isn't the original line up. In fact, it's not even the ONLY current line up! Apparently, in the grand tradition of, uh, Saxon and others, there's now more than one version of Faust, each featuring different original band members, going around touring under the name. Weird. Not sure if this fractured factioning is an agreed-upon thing (to cover more ground?) or if they're in competition. Hopefully the former! It would be sad to hear that there's litigation pending. So anyway, THIS Faust consists of Jan Wolbrandt on drums, Michael Stoll on bass (and flute), Lars Paukstat on percussion and vocals, Steven Wray Lobdell on guitar, and Hans Joachim Irmler on organ, keyboards and vocals. That's a good line up all right, they've got Lobdell in the band after all! Hence the dosage of searing psych-rock geetar previously mentioned... Recommended, as one of the two very different and very cool live albums newly issued by Ektro that we're reviewing this list (the other one is by '80s strong-man metaller Thor, believe it or not!). Hmmm. Faust + Thor, does that sort of = Circle?? (And note, there's another new live Faust 2cd that we have in stock and hope to review soon, Od Serca Do Duszy, that's the work of the OTHER active Faust unit, featuring Jean-Herve Peron, Zappi Diermaier, and Amaury Cambuzat.)
"Foam Of War" MPEG Stream:
"Crawling Wax" MPEG Stream:
FAUST Live In Edinburgh (Klangbad) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Wow, two new Faust titles, both in handsome cardboard sleeves... Nosferatu is a soundtrack of sorts to the classic silent film, Live documents the explosive (literally) Faust performance at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The "pop" aspects of Faust past may have been abandoned by the reunited band, but the psych-guitar and industrial smasheroo quotient is way up. Both discs are fine nightmare soundscapes.
FAUST Nosferatu (Klangbad) cd 15.98
FAUST Ravvivando (Klangbad) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. More so than Aphex Twin's score to a Bank of America commercial or Oval's contribution to one for Calvin Klein, Faust's appearance on a commercial for Nike has clearly been the oddest commodification of experimental music. Fortunately, the "success" of the venture has not gone to Faust's collective head... Their highly-anticipated new album Ravvivando succeeds where previous '90s ventures You Know Faust and Rien (which could be argued was more of a Jim O'Rourke album) perhaps did not. On this album, the hypnosis induced by the constant churning of percussive blasts and springy basslines is complemented by washed out drones dissolving to reveal their construction from swells of organ and guitar. It should be noted that the resurrection of Faust about five years ago did bring a drastic change to their Krautrock mutations of pop, noise, carnival music, jazz, and general experimentation which characterized their seminal '70s records such as Faust IV or So Far. One cannot expect that a musical hibernation of 20 years would not affect the artistic process. But rather than making contextual comparisons to Faust's work from the '70s, we proclaim that Ravvivando is their best record of the '90s. So there. The new Faust is a great band, on their own merits.
FAUST Rein (Table of the Elements) cd 15.98
Need we say any more than to announce that this is finally available?! Well, okay, here's the obi blurb: "These are the first studio recordings from German group Faust in over 20 years. An aggressive collision of electronic pastiche musique concret, power tools and group improvisation results in an extraordinary return by one of the seminal experimental ensembles of all time."
FAUST The Wumme Years 1970-73 (Recommended) 5cd box+book 82.00
A 5cd box set devoted to krautrock legends Faust? We were salivating from the moment we heard about it! The output of the band from 1970-73 is truly remarkable, and their work can hardly be compared to any of their contemporaries. They transcend both psych and prog, they influenced countless acts and anticipated many musical trends, from This Heat to Nurse With Wound, New Wave and No Wave, Industrial and "Post-Rock", the Boredoms old stuff to the Boredoms new stuff. Seminal musical genius that everyone should hear. And this is both a good place to start for newcomers (I envy anyone hearing Faust for the first time!) and a necessary collection for fans. The nitty gritty details, for those who wanna know it all: Wumme refers to the schoolhouse-turned-studio that Faust producer Uwe Nettelbeck rented out at Polydor's expense (he also managed to get Polydor to buy the band all the recording gear they needed and pay for a 24-hour a day, live-in engineer.) It was under these ideal conditions that Faust recorded almost all of the material on this box set, which includes (get ready!): Faust's self-titled debut, their second album "So Far" (both of those terribly hard to find on cd, with the Japanese edition of "So Far" having been out of print for years now), the ever-popular "The Faust Tapes" (now with a track listing and indexing!) and "71 Minutes of Faust" (collecting both the "The Last LP" and "Munic and Elsewhere" LPs). And, also included in this set is an amazing disc of unreleased material, some recorded live at the BBC in 1973, plus some recently discovered & never before listened to tapes as well as the track "We Are the Hallo Men" which was originally on "Munic & Elsewhere" (though curiously credited here as having been on "The Last LP"), but previously left off of ReR's previous version of "71 Minutes of Faust". For this disc alone the set is worth the money to Faust aficionados! Then add in the 40 page booklet, illustrated with rare color photos (of them playing darts outdoors in the nude! THE NUDE!) and Super 8 stills, that features essays/memories from Faust friends/fans Chris Cutler and Peter Blegvad, and interviews with several band members as well as with their producer (the reclusive Nettelbeck) and, for the first time ever, with sound engineer Kurt Graupner! Of course, the individual discs may be issued separately at some time (or not? all we've heard is that the BBC sessions will come out individually) but then again with those first two Faust cds being so hard to come by, and so essential, there's got to be lots of you out there you not only will want this whole box, but NEED this box. Nicely presented, clearly a labor of love, with the cds in not-fancy-but-serviceable individual digipacks (and don't worry, the paintings from "So Far" are included in a color booklet with that disc).
"J'ai Mal Aux Dents" RealAudio clip:
FAUST / NURSE WITH WOUND Disconnected (Art-Errorist) cd 22.00
The quintessential Krautrock projects -- Faust, Can, Guru Guru, Amon Duul, and all things vaguely associated with Conny Plank -- had been huge influences on Nurse With Wound's catalogue. So it goes without saying that when Steven Stapleton got the call that Faust wanted him to produce a record of theirs, he enthusiastically leapt at the chance. What he didn't expect was that Faust only passed on a series of sloppy studio improvisations to Stapleton with the instructions to make a Faust album out of them. We can imagine that Jim O'Rourke had been given a similarly loose framework when he was granted the opportunity to produce Rein back in 1995. Just as O'Rourke took those sounds and sculpted an album which was remarkable in its similarity to classic '70s era Faust (e.g. Faust Tapes, Faust IV, So Far, etc.), Stapleton with his trustworthy cohort Colin Potter at his side has crafted an excellent pastiche of that obtuse Faust sound of mutant psychedelia which guided the more experimental proponents of prog rock, industrial, post-punk, and post-rock. Disconnected is filled with dynamic tumbling percussive riffs, rolling acoustic guitar nestled into clouds of vibrating distortion, unsettled sweeping driftwork, and stoned basslines. In other words, Disconnected sounds like a fucking great Faust album. Unfortunately, this has been very difficult for us to get a hold of; so don't expect it to stick around for very long. We should also let you know that this is the regular edition of Disconnected. The special edition (which we didn't get) does feature two 'bonus' tracks, the first of which is called "Silence" and features just silence (some bonus!); and the second is a live track without the presence of Nurse With Wound. Nope, those ain't here; but honestly we really don't think purchasers of this regular version are missing too much.
"Lach Miss" MPEG Stream:
"Disconnected" MPEG Stream:
FAUST / NURSE WITH WOUND Disconnected (Dirter) 2lp 42.00
Now on vinyl! The quintessential Krautrock projects - Faust, Can, Guru Guru, Amon Duul, and all things vaguely associated with Conny Plank - had been huge influences on Nurse With Wound's catalogue. So it goes without saying that when Steven Stapleton got the call that Faust wanted him to produce a record of theirs, he enthusiastically leapt at the chance. What he didn't expect was that Faust only passed on a series of sloppy studio improvisations to Stapleton with the instructions to make a Faust album out of them. We can imagine that Jim O'Rourke had been given a similarly loose framework when he was granted the opportunity to produce Rein back in 1995. Just as O'Rourke took those sounds and sculpted an album which was remarkable in its similarity to classic '70s era Faust (e.g. Faust Tapes, Faust IV, So Far, etc.), Stapleton with his trustworthy cohort Colin Potter at his side has crafted an excellent pastiche of that obtuse Faust sound of mutant psychedelia which guided the more experimental proponents of prog rock, industrial, post-punk, and post-rock. Disconnected is filled with dynamic tumbling percussive riffs, rolling acoustic guitar nestled into clouds of vibrating distortion, unsettled sweeping driftwork, and stoned basslines. In other words, Disconnected sounds like a fucking great Faust album.
"Lach Miss" MPEG Stream:
"Disconnected" MPEG Stream:
FAZZINI, TOM Neck to Neck (Locust) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Incredible reissue of this totally cracked, acid fried slab of downer synth pop outsider genius. Originally released in the early eighties, Tom Fazzini was carving out a sound that must have freaked people the fuck out back then. Even by today's standards, this stuff is out there: minimal, lo-fi, dark and druggy, psychedelic and a little bit new wave. Keyboards warble and wheeze, drum machines skitter and thump, and Fazzini's vocals, howl and croon and mewl, occasionally grunting, squealing, growling, dripping with reverb, often a volatile angry counterpoint to the warm new wave-y drift of the music underneath. Much of Neck To Neck gets all industrial and doomy, lots of space, the synth and mechanical drums meting out a spare, abstract pound, that would almost sound right at home on a Wolf Eyes record, or even some unreleased Suicide jam. The record slips into some truly creepy dark ambience, the vocals occasionally erupt into squalls of howling-in-tongues, FX overload madness, but for the most part, Neck to Neck is dark and mysterious, a bit damaged and lysergic. The B-side especially spends much of its time creeping and crawling, lots of buzzing low end synth, the vocals paranoid and frantic, bloopy basslines, lots of hushed shimmer, and abstract drift, that is until the record explodes into a twisted sing songy jingle, bouncy and bizarre, with what sounds like kazoos, sixties housewife background vocals, almost growly scary singing, over a monotonous rhythm, everything evolving into what sounds like a fucked up Neanderthal birthday party gone wrong, before slipping back into that incessant jazz jingle looped weirdness, only to finish the record with some gorgeous, stripped down elegiac minor key guitarscapery, depressive and downer-y, laced with slow motion circus calliope melodies and warm swells of chordal whirr. Schizophrenic, otherworldly, damaged, demented and so goddamn great. Sounds like Ariel Pink's creepy drugged out older brother. If Fazzini was a twenty something making music today, with a bunch of limited cd-r releases under his belt, he would be the toast of the current lo-fi / warped pop / cold wave underground, as it is, all those whippersnappers mining the past best bow down, considering that the stuff they're doing now, already existed 25 years ago, and was way weirder!
FE-MAIL AND CARLOS GIFFONI Northern Stains (Important) cd 14.98
FEAR DROP No. 14 (Featuring Nadja, Troum, Dirge, Savage Republic and more) magazine + cd 14.98
We all love the Cure, their music informs so many of the sounds we love these days, from gloom pop to doom metal, the music of the Cure is so evocative, so dark and textured and epic, while remaining incredibly catchy and poppy. Elsewhere on this list you'll find a 2cd tribute to the Cure, which is worth buying ONLY for the Jesu track, but if you're looking for some serious Cure love and obsession, not to mention some killer covers, then the latest issue of Fear Drop will definitely hit the spot. A whole magazine dedicated to the Cure's Pornography, a short study of the music, the band, the songs, the sound. Extensive and well researched, in both English and French, but even if you're not crazy obsessed with the Cure, you still might be pretty excited by the accompanying cd, all the songs from Pornography, covered by groups like Nadja, Troum, Dirge, Savage Republic, Year Of No Light, Contagious Orgasm, Kill The Thrill and Wild Shores. The Nadja version of "One Hundred Years" is awesome, a loping fuzz drenched dirge, weary vocals, thick crumbling guitars, sweeping and epic. Troum tackle "Cold" and create a thick sprawling smear of warm ambient dronemusic, thick and layered, the vocals an ominous whisper, cinematic, creepy, and hauntingly beautiful. Probably worth it for the mag and those two track, but thankfully, the rest of the tracks are pretty excellent as well, ranging from Neurosis-y metallic doom dirge (Dirge doing "A Short Term Effect"), to blissed out shoe gazey new wavey blur (Kill The Thrill doing "A Strange Day"), to buzzing brooding industrial folk, rife with militaristic drums, dramatic strings, squiggly radio interference, and moaning melodies (Contagious Orgasm doing "Pornography"), to sweeping washed out post rock swirl (Year Of No Light doing "The Figurehead") and on and on. Essential for obsessive Cure fans, but the disc is rife with dark, gloomy, buzz drenched heaviness, that would no doubt make the Cure proud.
NADJA "One Hundred Years" MPEG Stream:
FEAR FALLS BURNING First By A Whisper, Then By A Storm (Special Edition) (Tonefloat / Ikon) lp+cd 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We only got TEN copies of this, and even that was a stroke of luck as these are already out of print. This is not brand new, but we missed it when it first came out, and Mr. Fear Falls Burning himself graciously let us have his remaining copies. Another absolutely gorgeous collection of abstract guitar experimentation, but that makes it sound too clinical, these are experimental, but they are also warm and melodic, thick and textured, like all the FFB releases, the sounds hover somewhere between the corrosive slow motion sludge of bands like SUNNO))) and Boris, and the glistening abstract shimmer of folks like Jonathan Coleclough or Andrew Chalk, the difference being that this is ALL guitar. The copies we got are the super limited tour edition, so not only do they have the lp, but also a bonus tour cd. The lp is three long track, the first a swirl of thick humid clouds of guitar whir, rich streaks of buzz and throb, that warp around each other, creating subtle melodies and delicate overtones. The second track sounds almost like a harpsichord, the guitars unfurling lustrous metallic reverberations, a strange symphony of sympathetic vibrations and singing metals. The final track is dark and meditative, drifting melancholy melodies over a slow shifting sea of low end rumbles and distant pulses, finishing off with a dreamy delicate soft guitar coda. The bonus disc is much more chordal and riff based, not nearly as abstract, but just as lovely. The songs drift from Spacemen 3 like mesmer, to Galaxie 500 like soft focus drift, to epic orchestra-tuning swells, to dreamy minimal blurs, to shimmery subtle swells to Loren Connors like reverbed strum. All subtle and dark and so lovely. Gorgeously packaged as always. Thick black cardboard innersleeve wrapped in a textured paper outer sleeve, with a red wax seal on the front, inside, the cd is affixed to a nub on the sleeve, and inside also is a vellum envelope, containing the liner notes, black ink on thick textured black paper. So nice.
FEAR FALLS BURNING Frenzy Of The Absolute (Conspiracy) cd 14.98
Drums are maybe the last thing you might expect to hear on a Fear Falls Burning record, which makes the opening of the new FFB, Frenzy Of The Absolute, all the more fascinating, since it opens with JUST drums, a huge crash, a doomy drum plod all spread out, spacious and spare. But eventually guitars enter the mix, and slowly take over. Fear Falls Burning is the one man guitardrone project of axeman Dirk Serries, and over the last year has released numerous cds and lps, each filled with his unique take on the otherwise played out doomdronedirge sound. Fear Falls Burning is a much more musical take, no less thick or corrosive or caustic or heavy, but Serries makes his walls of downtuned drone, and whirring buzz, glisten and shimmer, shot through with melody and unlikely texture, about as poppy as a music this un-poppy can get. And it's no different here. Well minus the HUGE difference of having a drummer. Or should we say drummerS! Serries is joined by a series of guests on Frenzy, most notable the drummers from Swedish post-metallers Switchblade and Cult Of Luna. At first we were worried that adding drums would just turn FFB's ethereal doomic drift into something much more generic and run of the mill, but just the opposite is true. Serries and his guests subtly transform the sound of FFB into something wholly different, the opening track says it all. That sprawling simple, spread out drumming, continues on throughout the first three quarters of the track, pounding away, not pummeling, but pounding, almost delicately if that were even possible, while Serries introduces soft shimmery delicate melodies, that drift dreamily in the background, the whole thing underpinned by a thick, gradually building Niblock like static guitar drone. But that little lullaby like melody, keeps the track from becoming pure dirge. There's way too much space. It's almost like a seriously metallicized and doomed up slowcore band. This is Low covering SUNNO))), a dreamy droney soporific downtuned dreamlike creep. The guitars thicken, the ambience grows ever more woozy and buzzy, the various swells of distorted buzz, wash in and out, various melodies surface and then drift off, the song slowly transforming into something much blackened and sinister. Until with about 5 minutes left, the track switches gears and becomes a roiling blur of washed out industrial buzz, muted picked apart riffage, processed percussion, the drums slowly surfacing from below, creeping into earshot, like some black beast clawing its way up from the abyss, creating a dirgey sort of Godflesh / Jesu jam, but way more muddy and murky blown out, blurred and soft focused, and somehow still weirdly pretty. The second track is way more in line with past FFB recordings, huge heaving slabs of buzzing low end, a vast expanse of fluttering, reverberating guitar growl, slow motion swells of whir, peppered with clouds of cymbal shimmer, shooting star streaks of high end, all blearily blurred into one fluid, constantly shifting dronescape. This track too grows in intensity, becoming more cacophonous, more ominous and atonal, a deep black hole of swirling black melody and thick textured guitarscapery. Like a dreamier, blissier Wolf Eyes. The final track begins like some super charged Spacemen 3 jam, a crumbling distorted space rock riff, doused in delay, the last note allowed to pulse and skitter off into the ether, before the riff re-engages. Over the top, in swoop more layers of guitar buzz, synth sounding whir and warble, all very trancelike and mesmerizing, the drums don't even kick in until near the end, and even then, they just offer up a huge pulse like pound, a skeletal framework for the swirling buzzing blissy blackness above, the drums finally exploding into an actual rhythm with about 2 minutes to go, the guitars soaring into a serious frenzy, suddenly it sounds like the climax of an Explosions In The Sky song AND the finale of a Godspeed song all woven together into one explosive blown out finish. As much as we love pretty much everything Fear Falls Burning, this record has us hoping this drum thing is not just a one off, but even if it is, we'll dig it while we can.
"Frenzy Of The Absolute" MPEG Stream:
"He Contemplates The Sign"
FEAR FALLS BURNING Frenzy Of The Absolute (Conspiracy) 2lp 36.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Finally in on vinyl, and with one extra track, and one hidden track. That's two more than on the cd, described below: Drums are maybe the last thing you might expect to hear on a Fear Falls Burning record, which makes the opening of the new FFB, Frenzy Of The Absolute all the more fascinating, since it opens with JUST drums, a huge crash, a doomy drum plod all spread out, spacious and spare. But eventually guitars enter the mix, and slowly take over. Fear Falls Burning is the one man guitardrone project of axeman Dirk Serries, and over the last year has releases numerous cds and lps, each filled with his unique take on the otherwise played out doomdronedirge sound. Fear Falls Burning is a much more musical take, no less thick or corrosive or caustic or heavy, but Serries makes his walls of downtuned drone, and whirring buzz, glisten and shimmer, shot through with melody and unlikely texture, about as poppy as a music this un-poppy can get. And it's no different here. Well minus the HUGE difference of having a drummer. Or should we say drummerS! Serries is joined by a series of guests on Frenzy, most notable the drummers from Switchblade and Cult Of Luna. At first we were worried that adding drums would just turn FFB's ethereal doomic drift into something much more generic and run of the mill, but just the opposite is true. Serries and his guests subtly transform the sound of FFB into something wholly different, the opening track says it all. That sprawling simple, spread out drumming, continues on throughout the first three quarters of the track, pounding away, not pummeling, but pounding, almost delicately if that were even possible, while Serries introduces soft shimmery delicate melodies, that drift dreamily in the background, the whole thing underpinned by a thick, gradually building Niblock like static guitar drone. But that little lullaby like melody, keeps the track from becoming pure dirge. There's way too much space. It's almost like a seriously metalicized and doomed up slowcore band. This is Low covering Sunn 0))), a dreamy droney soporific downtuned dreamlike creep. The guitars thicken, the ambience grows ever more woozy and buzzy, the various swells of distorted buzz, wash in and out, various melodies surface and then drift off, the song slowly transforming into something much blackened and sinister. Until with about 5 minutes left, the track switches gears and becomes a roiling blur of washed out industrial buzz, muted picked apart riffage, processed percussion, the drums slowly surfacing from below, creeping into earshot, like some black beast clawing its way up from the abyss, creating a dirgey sort of Godflesh / Jesu jam, but way more muddy and murky blown out, blurred and soft focused, and somehow still weirdly pretty. The second track is way more in line with past FFB recordings, huge heaving slabs of buzzing low end, a vast expanse of fluttering, reverberating guitar growl, slow motion swells of whir, peppered with clouds of cymbal shimmer, shooting star streaks of high end, all blearily blurred into one fluid, constantly shifting dronescape. This track too grows in intensity, becoming more cacophonous, more ominous and atonal, a deep black hole of swirling black melody and thick textured guitarscapery. Like a dreamier blissier Wolf Eyes. The final track begins like some super charged Spacemen 3 jam, a crumbling distorted space rock riff, doused in delay, the last note allowed to pulse and skitter off into the ether, before the riff re-engages. Over the top, in swoop more layers of guitar buzz, synth sounding whir and warble, all very trancelike and mesmerizing, the drums don't even kick in until near the end, and even then, they just offer up a huge pulse like pound, a skeletal framework for the swirling buzzing blissy blackness above, the drums finally exploding into an actual rhythm with about 2 minutes to go, the guitars soaring into a serious frenzy, suddenly it sounds like the climax of an Explosions In The Sky song AND the finale of a Godspeed song all woven together into one explosive blown out finish. As much as we love pretty much everything Fear Falls Burning, this record has us hoping this drum thing is not just a one off, but even if it is, we'll dig it while we can. Pressed on 180 gram vinyl and again, includes an extra track AND a hidden bonus track!
"Frenzy Of The Absolute" MPEG Stream:
"He Contemplates The Sign"
FEAR FALLS BURNING I'm One Of Those Monsters Numb With Grace (Equation) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Fear Falls Burning is quickly becoming one of our favorites artists in the suddenly way-too-crowded scene/genre/movement of guitar-doom-drone-sludge-whatever. A lot of it has to do with that while yes, FFB is one man, a very large amp, and a whole mess of effects pedals, he is much more concerned with mood and texture, structure and timbre, than just mass or heaviness. And somehow, as is often the case, the music that strives the least to sound heavy, is the music that ends up actually sounding the heaviest. Although heavy in its own peculiar way. I'm One Of Those Monsters Numb With Grace (great title!) consists of two side long epics, the first, begins as a crumbling rock riff, looped into oblivion, repeating and repeating as it gets less and less distinct, beneath a sky filled with gauzy high end streaks of soft melodic shimmer. The track builds and builds, but not into the seemingly requisite huge explosively sludgy 'chorus', more of a glistening thick drone, a dense assemblage of layer upon layer of guitar, multiple melodies all tangled up, everything churning and squirming and growing in density and intensity more than volume. The second side opens up with a soft minimal shimmer, tranquil and so dreamy, eventually working itself up into a completely (and impossibly) catchy hiccuping stutter, a sort of Spacemen 3 style minimal psych rock jam, but with a main riff that could almost be nothing more than a skipping cd player. It actually sounds like our favorite part of our favorite Teenage Filmstars song ("Teenage Graffiti") with it's fucked up skipping backwards production stretched out into a whole song. So amazing!!! This is a super limited vinyl only release, LIMITED TO 399 COPIES! Packaged in a breathtakingly designed, super heavy gatefold jacket, printed with a super close up image of the bridge of a guitar, housed in a printed inner sleeve, and pressed on ultra heavy 180 gram vinyl.
FEAR FALLS BURNING Infinite Sea Of Sustain (Soleilmoon) dvd 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Fear Falls Burning is the work of one Dirk Serries, who is probably better know for his work as VidnaObmana. FFB was started a little over a year ago to allow Serries to explore the world of post rock and lo-fi drone music. This dvd-audio disc contains over 4 1/2 hours of recordings from a series of live shows in Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium and are all lengthy slow burn improvisations for thick, slithering distorted drone guitar. If you can imagine a way less metal SUNNO))) or maybe a super distorted big amped version of Loren Mazzacane Connors you might get an idea of FFB's sound. It's spare and spacious, but thick and textured, the guitar more like some droning noisemaker than an actual guitar, letting wispy tendrils of warm shimmery fuzz unfurl, and twist and drift, often becoming more and more tangled into thick dirge like walls of slow motion riffing. Ghostly abstract melodies rendered in downtuned chiaroscuro, grinding string scrape smeared into layered swirls of buzz, twinkling harmonics drift like little clouds of glitter, the throb and pulse create abstract rumbling rhythms while in the distance all sorts of soft focus colors fade and blur. Perfect late night, spaced out, free drift, dreampsych guitar drone bliss. Fans of Growing, Main, Spacemen 3, SUNNO))), Chalk, Coleclough and all practitioners of the droney drift will be in absolute heaven. Amazing oversized 6 panel textured and stained thick woodgrain paper sleeve manufactured exclusively for this release by Shantilal & Sons of Bombay, India, a built in pocket, three oversized postcards printed with cool blurry live shots, and an elaborate folded set of liner notes printed in metallic gold ink on beautiful paper embedded with bits of glitter and tiny little colored cloth fragments. Around the outside is wrapped an obi printed in the same ink on the same lovely paper. One of the nicest packages we've seen! LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
FEAR FALLS BURNING Once We All Walk Through Solid Objects (Tonefloat) 5lp box 88.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This one has been a long time coming. Especially for us. The long rumored, even longer in the works 5lp Fear Falls Burning collaborative remix collection came out a while back, but when our box arrived from overseas, the box was smashed, and while the lps were all in perfect condition, the outer sleeves were not, so we had to wait patiently for them to make more sleeves, specifically for us, and then pray that the box of new sleeves showed up without also being crushed by the Postal Service. Well, finally, the box arrived and the new sleeves were as close to perfect as we could hope. And thus we can finally list this ambient guitar drone masterpiece. One of our favorite purveyors of blissed out guitar doomdirgedrone, remixed, reworked and reinterpreted by a bunch of bands that couldn't be more kick ass if we had picked them ourselves!!! And gorgeously packaged to boot! Let's start with the music. Five lps, twenty minutes a side, over three hours, one band to a side, the source material for each side original recordings by Fear Falls Burning, each artist, adding, removing, remixing, or reimagining the sounds given to them by FFB, the results uniformly gorgeous. The first side is Bass Communion, who turn FFB's droning guitars into chiming choral blissy bell like tones, which eventually build into thick buzzing Spacemen 3 like drones, but which near the end slip back into whirling soft focus ambient drift. The flip side features Final, the solo guitar project of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, etc.). Broadrick takes his FFB material and stretches it out into a moody meandering soundscape of layered distorted strum and thick crumbling swells, a lovely slowcore guitar drone, peppered with bits of melancholy melody and subtle harmonies. The second disc starts off with Freiband, aka Frans De Waard, the most minimal of the bunch, a glistening dark ambience, a slow trawl through fields of ephemeral sonic sparkle and soft drones rumbling way off in the distance. The B side of disc 2 is Harvestman, the solo project of Neurosis' Steve Von Till, and his take on FFB is a haunting dark psychedelia, thick slabs of reverbed guitar allowed to drift through the ether, chunks of almost metallic riffing surface throughout, but are suffused with muted shimmer and soft whispered whirring. The A side of disc 3 is Campbell Kneale's Birchville Cat Motel, and his FFB source material is transformed into a glorious keening ur-drone, all upper register buzz over a wash of shifting overtones and blurred chordal resonance, like drifting on some ominous black sonic sea, haunting and subtly ominous. The flipside is Byla, featuring one of the guys from Behold The Arctopus, but don't be expecting any weirdo tech metal, nope, the do Fear Falls Burning proud with a wall of grinding feedback that is smeared into a weirdly soothing high end drone, while downtuned guitars warble and pulse, shimmer and drift, abstract melodies floating atop the rumbling low end, like some disembodied Appalachia. Disc 4's A side is occupied by perennial AQ fave Aidan Baker (Nadja), one of the only collaborators here who added nothing, no extra instruments, used only the original tracks given to him, but the results are just as unique, a mysterious landscape of ghostly echoes and whispered guitars, long stretches of blisssy drift and dark washes of distorted hiss. The B Side is occupied by Johannes Persson, whose track is a sea of big billowy downtuned riffs, reverberating and fading out above buzzy angular riffs, everything washed out and blurred beneath layers of fuzzy rumble, a strangely active ambience, with a bit of twang ala more modern Earth, eventually building to a gorgeous Godspeed like crescendo. The A side of the final disc features another long time AQ fave, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma of local space drone alchemists Tarentel, who creates a dark murky dronescape rife with subtle glitches, and grinding distorted guitar smeared into smooth swells, a constant droning buzz running throughout, everything effulgent and haloed in glistening otherworldly glimmers, weirdly enough the darkest and most ominous of the bunch. And finally, finishing things off, is 3/4hadbeeneliminated's Stefano Pilia, who unfurls a warm folky drift, with occasional distorted drones surfacing here and there, all washed out sun dappled and so serene, finally building to an epic and intense soft shimmery crescendo. Needless to say, if you're a fan of Fear Falls Burning, any of the collaborators, or experimental guitar ambience and dark droning drift, this is totally essential. The packaging is pretty dang deluxe too. Each lp is pressed on ultra thick 180 gram crystal clear vinyl, the liner notes printed on the lp labels, each lp housed in it's own printed PVC sleeve, blue metallic ink, allowing the clear lp to be visible through the blurry blue images and text, all housed in a library / analogue tape style cardboard outer sleeve, printed in full color. So gorgeous. A note to vinyl obsessives. These are not sealed in plastic. The design is such that the outer sleeve bends and gets damaged easily, so we removed the outer plastic wrap, and inserted a 12" cardboard flat inside the box alongside the lp sleeves, which protect the lps, and keep the outer sleeve from being damaged. And when shipped these will be extra carefully packaged for their arduous journey to your doorstep. Already sold out and out of print. We have a bunch, but as always, these probably won't be around for long...
FEAR FALLS BURNING The Amplifier Drone (Ikon / Tonefloat) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've had some Fear Falls Burning cds in the past, but this is the first release we've been able to get enough of to list, and it is quite simply amazing. Utilizing several guitars as well as an ensemble of Crate, Bahringer, Peavey, Laney and of course Marshall amplifiers, FFB have captured their own take on the glacial dirge. And it's quite unlike the majority of practitioners, in that it is strangely melodic and dreamlike. Very reminiscent of past record of the week Hjarnidaudi, in its ability to drip sunlight and warmth on a sound both dark and dreary. But unlike the band arrangements of Hjarnidaudi, FFB is nothing but guitars, amps, and effects, all deftly woven into a washed out deep ambient whole. Imagine Earth 2 or Sunn 0))) but lighter, and dreamier, less caustic and more soft and billowy. A soft bed of crumbling distortion, a swirl of grit and grrrr, but over the top lie sweet swoons of glistening feedback and thick swells of melody. It sounds almost like one guitarist playing soft and sweet through the biggest loudest most distorted amp ever, while another guitarist plays harsh buzzing drone, but through the tiniest, lowest wattage amp ever. the two mixed together create the perfect dreamlike heaviness. From huge walls of sound to soft humming shimmery buzz, My Bloody Valentine-ish blown out bliss to raga like buzz, this is absolutely gorgeous. A truly unique and surprisingly melodic take on doom and drone. Amazingly packaged on gorgeous thick sparkly blue sleeve, with an actual photo of one of the amps used to make the record affixed to the front. Pressed on 180 gram white vinyl. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES. ONCE THESE ARE GONE THEY ARE GONE FOREVER!
FEAR FALLS BURNING The Rainbow Mirrors A Burning Heart (Aufabwegen) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another gorgeous installment in Dirk Serries' exploration of the electric guitar, the amplifier, and just how far both can be taken with as little interference from human hands. As we've mentioned before, a quick listen might have you lumping Serries and his Fear Falls Burning in with his sludgier compatriots, Earth, SUNNO))), etc... but FFB is not about sludge and pummel, it's about drift and shimmer, finding much more in common with outfits like Nadja or the Angelic Process or Hjarnidaudi. But unlike those groups, FFB is just guitar and amp, allowed to feed off each other and slowly unfurl, huge sonic tapestries, lush with subtle overtones and muted melodies, a massive massive minimalism, that continues to rub us exactly the right way. These two tracks, recorded live, demonstrate again the breadth of Serries' delicate mastery of the amplified guitar. Soft sonic shimmers slowly fluctuate, sounding more like Niblock than anything, overtones shifting and intertwining, steel strings reverberating and stirring up microscopic whirs which all smear together into one living breathing sonic drift. The overtones become more pronounced, taking on melodic shapes, and sounding almost choral, little angelic events, subtly reminding us of Arvo Part. So lovely. Side two seems to continue on from the very same point side one left off, a delicate serene shimmer, that slowly transforms into an undulating low end crumble, but far from sounding sludgey or even doomy, this is some sort of mystical glistening and sparkling Ur-drone, taking the thuggish caveman throb of the more well know sludgelords, and transforming it into absolute beauty, powerful, physical and surprisingly musical. Awesome. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, each copy hand numbered.
FEAR FALLS BURNING We Slowly Lift Ourselves From Dust (A Silent Place) 10" picture disc 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another amazing sonic document from the one man guitar outfit known as Fear Falls Burning, and much like the 7" reviewed elsewhere on this list, Fear Falls Burning, aka Dirk Serries is proving himself to be a modern master of metallic minimalism, not so much SUNNO))) or Earth as maybe Morton Feldman. His compositions display a similar emotional warmth while retaining quite a bit of musical restraint. Less is more, resulting in way way more. This 10" begins sounding like Earth 2 on 45, a buzzing alien low end melody, tangled and slowly unfurling amidst an expansive backdrop of oozing low end rumble and layer after layer of buzz and whir. The whole of side A ends up sounding like some sort of string section, albeit with strings that just so happen to be downtuned and distorted. Side B jettisons side A's melody almost completely, leaving in its place a ghostly afterimage, transparent swirls of abstract glimmer, guitars that sparkle, dreamy and sun dappled, melodies exist, but they are barely visible traces and streaks in an already blindingly effervescent soundscape, like a super mellowed out Sunroof!, so nice. A gorgeous picture disc on nice thick vinyl, both sides close up images of the bridge of an electric guitar, packaged in a thick plastic sleeve with a printed color sticker (complete with liner notes) sealing the sleeve shut. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
FEAR FALLS BURNING Woes Of The Desolate Mourner (Tonefloat) 7" 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It was definitely tempting to toss Fear Falls Burning into the pit with all the other guy-with-a-guitar amp-on-ten-slow-sludge-drone outfits that have been popping up like crazy in the wake of the SUNNO))) / Earth dirgedronedoom explosion. But the more we hear, the more we realize the music of Fear Falls Burning, while sharing some sonic similarities with his downtuned dirge brethren is actually exploring completely different territory. This is not just amp against the amp feedback, or heavy metal riffs played as slow as humanly possible, instead this is an exploration of the electric guitar, of the amplifier, of distortion and feedback as tools of modern minimalism. So much so, that much of the time, Fear Falls Burning almost sounds like Morton Feldman composed for electric guitar. On the two tracks on this 7", recorded live in 2006, FFB crafts two chunks of modern minimalism, from thick sheets of guitar, and a rumbling low end, managing to deftly arrange each into whispers and shimmers more than any sort of metallic crunch and pummel. Side A is delicate and abstract, glistening peals of high end, warm swells that expand like some slow motion super nova, underpinned by the thick rumble of controlled amp buzz, a dense and thick whir spread out beneath a sky of shooting stars. Side B, is similar, but much more lyrical, haunting melodies, played out amidst and within huge swirls of abstract guitar texture and slow, floating steel string abstractions. So gorgeous. Packaged in beautiful, textured paper sleeves, printed in a barely visible gloss ink, and pressed on thick clear vinyl! And of course, super limited, only 500 COPIES!
FEAR FALLS BURNING & BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL s/t (Conspiracy) cd 14.98
Here's another matchup that had to happen eventually. And it's the rare one of those that actually sounds as good as one might hope. Like all great collaborations, it's not just so much jamming together, as it is getting each contributor to not only give their all but to push the other collaborator to do the same. It's not a competition, but the spirit is similar, with both parties trying to get into the head of their counterpart, a push and pull, that can sometimes result in the players going places they don't normally on their own. The long drawn out guitarscapes of Fear Falls Burning are the perfect foil to the more incendiary ambience of Campbell Kneale and his Birchville Cat Motel. Both are capable of face melting heaviness, but both are also quite comfortable crafting intimate worlds of soft sound and distant shimmer. This 49 minute single piece tends to fall more toward the latter at least in the beginning, with the incipient heaviness relegated to smoldering in the distance, while the foreground is a deliriously drifting set of abstract strums, folky fragments allowed to ring out and float freely amidst an almost Wolf Eyesian backdrop of keening feedback, grinding black whirs, and huge resonant swells. The sound is intense, humid, and very cinematic. Eventually the sounds build, layers upon layers, erupting into a blinding heart-of-the-sun nearly static raga, what sounds like a million guitars all left to drone endlessly amidst a cloud of tinkling glimmering sparkles. The last twenty minutes or so, finds all the high end swallowed by the low, the guitars begin to grind and rumble, pulse and throb, until the sound becomes a dark viscous river of crumbling distortion, growing less and less distorted, until finally, all that's left is a warm, minimal whir, that gently shifts and drifts until it fades out completely. Most folks (like us) see FFB and BCM and already know this is a must buy, but this is indeed pretty fantastic, even amidst the seemingly neverending (let's hope!) avalanche of amazing releases by both of these prolific noisemakers.
FEAR FALLS BURNING & NADJA s/t (Conspiracy) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. As a music obsessive, it's inevitable that you spend some time fantasizing about the perfect musical match ups. Most of them could never happen, or maybe should never happen, others wouldn't sound as good as one might hope, but some have in fact taken place (SUNNO))) and Boris) and far surpassed our expectations. Which brings us to this, a collaboration between Canadian dream doom duo Nadja, and Dutch one man guitarmy Dirk Serries. These two powerhouses have met up once before, as part of that super limited Conspiracy Records anniversary series, and the sound here is quite similar, hovering somewhere between the colossal crush we know both are capable of, and a surprisingly dreamy drift. Four lengthy tracks, each more sound than song, but that's exactly as it should be. The opener takes the blown out vacuum cleaner buzz of Total or Skullflower and smears it into soft edged swells, an almost static, barely undulating wall of whirring warmth, which quickly dissipates, leaving just a muted minimal shimmer. The second track is more of the same, a massive pulsing rumble smeared with wispy swaths of fuzzy distortion, but with a bit of percussion added, an industrial clang and thump buried way down in the mix, while above the roiling guitars are draped spidery streaks of coruscating feedback, a sort of Skullflower / SUNNO))) style mashup. Blissful and blown out, but at the same time dark and strangely ominous. Track three is the anomaly here, the 'quiet' number, a sort of spacious drift, with tons of room sound, simple drumming way down in the mix all Dead C style, some ghostly melodies, and haunting snippets of clean guitar surfacing here and there and what sounds like seasick organs warbly and wavering. So haunting and pretty. And finally, the closer, which begins with some slightly atonal Nitsch style drones, a wash of what sounds like moaning horns but must be guitars, tense and intense, drawn out for what seems like forever, when suddenly a wall of crumbling distorted guitars drop from the sky like it's raining anvils, a plodding drum beat underpinning the now suddenly caustic riffage, a gorgeously blown out slab of impossibly heavy, and simultaneously strangely lovely, ultra dooooooooom.
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FEAR KONSTRUKTOR Ball Metall (Black Horizons) cassette 8.98
The Russian noise-artist Nikita Evsuk has adopted the apt moniker Fear Konstruktor; and at least for the couple of cassettes we've heard from him, he lives up to the name. Ball Metall, released through the impressive Black Horizons imprint, is an appropriately grim offering of abject ambience and post-industrial bleakness. It's a very murky sound that Evsuk generates, with the desolate melodies from what might be a synth, might be a guitar, might be a voice, all treated with FX to sound as if dripping with tar, soot, and moldering soil. He stitches in burbling electronics and creaking loops of disarming textures that could be the sounds of stretched ligaments and disembodied sinews. Bowed metals and bashed steel resonance also litter the soundscape, giving everything a very cold, post-Neubauten feel. All of the tones and drones which ooze from the cassette crumble and fall apart into a morass of gray production murkiness. As a whole, it seems that the Russian industrialists (Fear Konstuktror included) seem to fully embody an existential bleakness that their German counterparts certainly achieved, but never sustained. More swanky packaging from Black Horizons with sparkly card-stock, marbled art-mini booklet, and gold offset printing. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!
FEARTHAINNE s/t (Glass Throat) 2cd 14.98
Much black metal has been coming out of Cascadia lately, Wolves In The Throne Room, Fauna, Echtra, but not all is grim and frosty and cold and buzzy and black in the Pacific Northwest. Fearthainne is the work of the two players who make up Fauna, whose Rain record we raved about a while back. But in Fearthainne, all of the buzz and bluster have been replaced by delicate crystalline guitar, gruff emotive vocals, deep ominous drones, all woven into a slow, drifting, meditative mountain folk. On the same label that in the past has brought us mysterious sounds from At The Head Of The Woods, The Elemental Chrysalis, Ruhr Hunter, Alethese and Beneath The Lake, Fearthainne sound right at home, blending dense whirring minimal soundscapes, with gentle meditative folk rituals. Long long tracks that slowly blossom, smoldering, clouded in warm browns and cool greys, strings weep and moan, effects gently cradle the various elements, adding texture more than changing the sound. Mesmerizing, trancelike ruminations on nature, on death, on the beyond. Simple percussion demarcates sprawling folk strum and fields of lilting shimmer and and delicate flutter. The vocals are a strange contrast, almost atonal, moaned more than sung, reminding us of solo records by either of the Neurosis frontmen, giving the proceedings a much more ominous vibe, ritualistic and hauntingly spiritual. Gorgeous in its simplicity, mysterious in its minimalism, Fearthainne is the soundtrack to a land outside of time, of trees towering over a world unspoilt, clouds drifting across empty skies, night turning into day, the cycle of life continuing on, the world and the universe around it gradually moving into a new, more magical existence. Beautifully sublime. Incredible packaging, full color 6 panel oversized sleeve, amazing images of ancient forests, late night rituals, and the band gathered beneath a mighty tree, cradling a baby, dressed like witches, and looking like a band of bearded forest dwellers (which they may very well be!).
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FEASTER, PATRICK (AND VARIOUS ARTISTS) Pictures Of Sound - One Thousand Years Of Educed Audio: 980-1980 (Dust-To-Digital) cd+book 50.00
Dust-To-Digital are known for their excellent reissue work, unearthing and preserving music from scratchy old shellac 78 rpm recordings and the like. Bringing us vintage blues, gospel, Tuvan throat singing, and more, all with elaborate packaging and incredible attention to detail. They've been responsible for a host of fine cds, boxsets, and books, among 'em Victrola Favorites, Opika Pende, Steve Roden's I Listen To The Wind That Obliterates My Traces, and Goodbye, Babylon. But THIS handsome book + cd set may be their most remarkable release yet, at least in terms of radical sound-conservation technique. It's certainly their most unusual. For example: one of the tracks here is an excerpt of an after-dinner speech given by late-19th century American orator and politician Chauncy M. Depew. You can listen to it on the cd, and distinctly make out the speaker's words, voice, and phrasing, amid a thick patina of hiss, hum, and distortion. Sounds like a poorly-preserved old gramophone disc. But, that sound isn't coming from the disc itself being played (and re-recorded for release on the cd). It's actually derived from a PICTURE of that disc, reduced by 2/3rds original size, that appeared in a 1898 magazine advertisement. The spiraling grooves on the record were pictured clearly enough that with creative use of off-the-shelf computer software, author Patrick Feaster was able to "play" a fairly accurate semblance of the sounds originally encoded on the gramophone record being advertised!!! Ok, that's pretty cool! Talk about DUST-to-Digital. And it's but one example of the MANY different, quite intriguing excercises and investigations in "playing back" sound from such antique and/or unusual "recordings" that Feaster and his colleagues at the First Sounds initiative have come up with, presented in fascinating detail in this fancy (gold gilt edges!), hardback 144-page book and accompanying 28-track compact disc. Of course, one can argue, just what IS a "sound recording" anyway? In large part, that's what this is about; in fact, Feaster's introduction is devoted to that very question, which turns out to be both a philosophical one, as well as a technical one. Even in Feaster's expansive notion of the term, the idea that "sound recordings" exist from as far back as the year 980AD is perhaps a fanciful one, as he will admit, but still fruitful to consider. Because, what this book is also about, more generally, is how human beings have sought to understand sound phenomena (from nature, voice, and music), through the ages, how sound has been "captured" and put on paper in graphical form to be perceived and studied visually. These visual representations of sound, are essentially all in the form of graphs of frequency, or amplitude, over time: sound spectrograms, sound oscillograms, phonoautograms, melographic inscriptions, manometric flame sketches, and many more. Various techniques, applied to various subjects. Found in these chapters and tracks, there's FBI voice-recognition studies from the '70s, phonophotographs of Negro spirituals from the '20s, and examples of Athansius Kircher's "Magia Phonotatica" circa 1650 (works which bring to mind Conlon Nancarrow's Studies For Player Piano), among others. So, this is all very historically & scientifically interesting. Also, completely compelling just for the beauty of these images alone, which may or may not directly reflect the beauty of the sounds they represent - this is a lavishly illustrated book, with full-color reproductions of these various "sound recordings" to accompany the insightful text explaining it all. And the magic really happens, when you experience the book and cd in tandem, as each track on the cd, even the briefest, has an entire several-page chapter in the book devoted to it, and it really helps to read about and look at the visual sound source, while listening. Some tracks sound like antique recordings we're used to from wax cylinders and 78s, complete with the surface static we love so much; others like strange field recordings or ghostly experimental drones or balloons being rubbed together; still others like music boxes or similar devicesÉ This is the sort of unusual sound document to file with such aQ faves as the mysterious Ghost Orchid EVP recordings, the VLF recordings of Stephen McGreevy, or even the famed Conet Project (soon to be available again, with a bonus 5th disc!). In fact, one of the exhibits here, an 1890 phonoautogram by Emile Berliner, kind of reminds us of a Conet "numbers station" track, being a spoken series of numbers and letters recorded at varying speeds. All in all, an astonishing, thought-provoking, and simply gorgeous book and cd, recommended to anyone interested in sound, science, OR art; meaning, probably everybody reading this!
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FEATHERS s/t (Gnomonsong) cd 13.98
Originally released on lp by the band, now available on cd via the Gnomonsong label run by Devendra Banhart and Andy Cabic of Vetiver. A customer turned us on to this Vermont-based group who have quietly been making their own brand of druggy hippy psych folk, releasing loads of cd-r's and this here s/t album, and it seems like only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on and they'll be psych-folk household names like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. Simple strummed guitars, sweet sweet harmonies, banjo and occasional acid fried guitars, simple and insistent tribal drumming, very reminiscent of seventies British folk a la Incredible String Band, Shirley Collins, even Comus (but not nearly as psychotic). However, they do occasionally wander down a darker path, exploring moody and minor key acoustic dirges, each one curiously ominous folky swirl beneath a brooding strum and thump. There's also an old timey element to Feathers, the tracks sound so old, but timeless at the same time, almost otherworldly (assuming the other world had banjos and folk music and record players) sounding a lot like sitting in a dusty room listening to old 78's. So so nice. Includes a big booklet with lyrics, and lots of photos of the band all fringed and tassled and feathered up, frolicking in the forest. We loved this already, when that LP first showed up, but now we're even more fascinated by Feathers in light of how amazing (and different from this, being soooo heavy) that Witch album featuring two Feathers members is!
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"To Each His Own"
FEATHERS s/t (Feathers Family) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A customer turned us on to this Vermont-based group who have quietly been making their own brand of druggy hippy psych folk, releasing loads of cd-r's and this here lp, and it seems like only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on and they'll be psych-folk household names like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. Simple strummed guitars, sweet sweet harmonies, banjo and occasional acid fried guitars, simple and insistent tribal drumming, very reminiscent of seventies British folk a la Incredible String Band, Shirley Collins, even Comus (but not nearly as psychotic). However, they do occasionally wander down a darker path, exploring moody and minor key acoustic dirges, each one curiously ominous folky swirl beneath a brooding strum and thump. There's also an old timey element to Feathers, the tracks sound so old, but timeless at the same time, almost otherworldly (assuming the other world had banjos and folk music and record players) sounding a lot like sitting in a dusty room listening to old 78's. Comes with a big poster of the band all painted up and luxuriating in the tall green grass.
FEATHERS Tour Paint (self-released) 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. Folks who witnessed Feathers opening for Vetiver and Espers a few weeks back, mentioned that they were one of the quietest bands that had heard. So much so, that a rock venue was hardly the best venue to witness their delicate beauty. While the band was here we managed to snag the last of this tour-only ep, a gorgeous self released, hand sewn and packged glimpse into their ethereal dark folk world. The first track is so quiet, it's like Feathers are whispering in your ear, the candlelight flickering, their warm breaths as loud as he barely strummed guitars. So lovely. The next two tracks are much more rambunctious, some seventies British style pagan folk, with Syd Barret like vocals and lots of druggy psychedelic filligree. The final track returns to the hushed beauty of the opening song, a dark dolorous minor key lament, with angelic vocals and haunting steel string guitars. Packaged in a hand screened paper sleeve, sewn together with colored thread. Each and every one is unique. THESE ARE THE LAST 30 COPIES. ONCE THEY ARE GONE THEY ARE GONE FOR GOOD!
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"Angel In The Sky"
FEELINGS IN AMERICA (PETE SWANSON) s/t (Root Strata) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
FEENEY, TIM & MATT SAMOLIS Monument (lildiscs) 3"cd-r 5.98
Fifth in this series of ULTRA LIMITED hand made drone / ambient cd-r's from boutique label lildiscs, who specialize in short form 3" cd-r's of dark drone drenched ambiance. This installment comes from the percussion duo of Tim Feeney and Matt Samolis, this 20+ minute piece is all percussion and is the soundtrack to a short film, documenting the destruction of a television set, from the perspective of the TV, and manages to be clattery and chaotic while at the same time being dreamy and hypnotic. A multilayered soundscape, in the foreground, a dense filed of clang and clatter, like someone rifling through a silverware drawer, or someone digging through a bucket filled with pottery shards, a jagged bit of crunching and crashing, that manages to be sort of nice to listen to, as the track progresses, it sounds more like someone bending metal, creaking and grinding, the sound of rubber stretching, rubbing against steel, sort of industrial but also sort of creepy. In the background, bits of metal moan and groan, like distant foghorns, slow, whale call like tones, drifting across the sound field all wrapped up in reverb. Later on the creaking and groaning bits of metal, get louder, more insistent, sheets of metal boom out like thunder, bits of metallic high end scream like feeding back guitars, a muted cacophony, as weirdly lovely as it is creepy and abrasive. Painstakingly hand assembled. Tiny 3" pale green fold over sleeves, with a glossy sepia toned image affixed to the front, sealed at the bottom with two rivets, tied with a ribbon, with a little circular badge. Inside the disc nestles between two sheets of gorgeously textured paper, hand printed and so lovely.
"Monument (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Monument (excerpt 2)"
FELDMAN, MARK Music for the Violin Alone (Tzadik) cd only 15.98
Does anyone know what other outfits he's played with? This is a manic and intense violin freakout.
FELL, MARK Multistability (Raster-Noton) cd 17.98
A couple of lists back, we highlighted the Editions Mego disc UL8 by minimal techno artist Mark Fell. It was one of two solo albums from snd member Fell that were recently released more or less simultaneously. So here's the other one, via the Raster-Noton label quite appropriately, and it's another intense, experimental exercise in the controlled chaos of (ir)rhythmic variations. 17 tracks, 64 minutes of glitched out, Geiger-countery goodness. If you liked the complex, computery patterns of UL8, you'll like this too! Repetitive, seizure-threatening stuff here, a seemingly endless array of stunning, stuttering clicks, claps, ticks and kicks... it's like the distorted, digitally bent creakings of teetering, tweaked electronic architecture built by Fell from precise blueprints for perverse purposes. His constructions are varied enough, exploring both skittering texture and shuffling groove, to hold earphone interest for the duration. At times it sounds kinda like club music composed by Conlon Nancarrow for synth and typewriter. Any fan of Alva Noto, Ryoji Ikeda, etc. ought to investigate this and UL8 too if you haven't already.
"Multistability 3" MPEG Stream:
"Multistability 10-A,11" MPEG Stream:
FELL, MARK UL8 (Editons Mego) cd 16.98
Some will be curious about this simply on account of how it's an Editions Mego release, by Mark Fell who is one half of snd, the UK glitch-house duo that used to record for Mille Plateaux. For us, it was more that the bright orange digipak cover with shiny metallic silver artwork caught our eye, and then we read the text on the back that includes such sentences as "Using 32 operator frequency modulation synthesis configured in 16 pairs of operator and modulator, panned at equal positions around the circumference of a circle using high order ambisonics." And: "With 2, 4, and 8 channel rectangular waveshapes with variable pulse width subject to frequency modulation from synchronised sine functions with variable phase offsets." Intriguing, no? What it it all boils down to is minimal techno electronics: clinical, precise, and purely rhythmic. Only the relatively blissed-out final track, "Death Of A Loved One", brings in much melodic coloration at all. Otherwise, Fell's music sounds a bit like a malfunctioning Geiger counter (especially the five track opening sequence "The Occultation of 3C 273"), with some pieces (the seven part "Vortex Studies") shuffling in buzzing, fizzing, distorted textures as well, and others (the "Acids In The Style Of Rian Treanor" series) incorporating sizzling synth squiggle. It's all very mesmeric (to some, maybe maddening to others), often energetically urgent, a dense, complex, pitter patter patterning of clicks, claps, and kicks, ratcheting up and down, constructed with conceptual, architectural logic... Definitely for fans of Alva Noto, Ryoji Ikeda, Senking, Mika Vanio, and Kazunao Nagata (Zero Gravity). Fell also has another new, simultaneously released cd out on Raster-Noton, we'll have to get that one reviewed soon too!
"The Occultation of 3C 273 (I)" MPEG Stream:
"The Occultation of 3C 273 (V)" MPEG Stream:
"Vortex Studies (I)"
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Bill Cosby Talks To Kids About Drugs (self-released) cd-r 7.98
Local DJ / turntablist / sonic collagist / audio alchemist DJ Female Convict Scorpion (aka Josh Pollock of aQ beloved local psychedelic space rockers 3 Leafs) returns with another twisted slab of mutant fuzz funk, outsider psychedelia, tripped out cosmic prog, and whatever else he has in his record bag, but as always employed in such a way that the original track blur into one twisted single sonic miasma, from which Pollock pulls some seriously twisted musical madness. This time, the framework is Bill Cosby's iconic Talks To Kids About Drugs record, with DJ Female Convict Scorpion, actually showing the kids what being on drugs sounds like, and even to those of us here who don't partake, it sounds pretty goddamn good. Warped and wild, a super psychedelic dance party that sounds a bit like a more lo-fi Andy Votel, with much of this sounding like it could be some obscure Finders Keepers mix/comp. The opener begins with Cosby explaining the purpose of the record, to talk to kids about drugs, and then DJFCS takes over, with a blast of grinding distorted psychedelic skree, bellowed slowed down monster vox, wild tangles of psych guitar freakout, before settling into a serious groove, wreathed in sci-fi FX squiggles, and woozy sonic swells, a swirl of Jeck-like turntable manipulations, some funky wah guitar, deep ominous drones, fluttering flutes, fragments of sixties pop songs, vocal harmonies surfacing then fading away, seriously trippy for sure. And the rest of the record follows suit, with each track incorporating the original, whether as an intro, or slowing it down, so those wise words of wisdom, become a scary demonic invocation, and what follows, is all over the map, one track slips into a sprawl of record crackle and distant shimmer, over which is laid some seventies acid folk vocals, hand claps, and strange alien sound effects, the result is a stunning stretch of alien seventies freak folk (listen close and you'll even hear the Star Trek warning klaxon!), another starts off slow and contemplative, before exploding into some seriously heavy psych rock crunch, made even more freaky when the track begins to skip and locks into a woozy loop, over which DJFCS adds all sorts of warped sound effects, bleating trumpets, the looped bassline transformed into a throbbing droned out thrum, and yet another dissolves into a cloud of swirling druggy murk, before an old spiritual surfaces through the swirl, again the juxtaposition so deftly engineered, that the resulting combination is strangely moving and haunting. And there's so so much more. Like all DJ Female Convict Scorpion mixes, there's much to discover, sonic subtleties that only surface on repeated listens, and even music nerds like us find ourselves constantly trumped by the sources, crazy obscure, we're barely able to pick out any of them, which has a lot to do of course with DJFCS's mastery of weaving all of these disparate sounds and sonic fragments into one, dizzying, seriously psychedelic whole!
"Downers & Uppers" MPEG Stream:
"Questions And Answers" MPEG Stream:
"Bill Talks About Hard Drugs" MPEG Stream:
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Clash-Ups 1 (self-released) cd-r 6.98
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Clash-Ups 2 (self-released) cd-r 6.98
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Clash-Ups 3 (self-released) cd-r 6.98
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Clash-Ups IV (self-released) cd-r 6.98
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Constance Towers (self-released) cd-r 9.98
We love the mix tape. Or maybe now it's the mix cd. Regardless, it's hard to beat a killer mix of obscure sonic weirdness, the best mixes being the ones where the various tracks and elements blend into a new musical experience entirely. With the occasional glimpse of a recognizable tune, melody or sonic snippet surfacing here and there, the sort of collection that rewards close listening, but sounds just as good in a background music capacity. Such is the case with the latest disc from local DJ / turntablist DJ Female Convict Scorpion (who also manages whistle, sampler and theremin!). Anyone who names themselves after Shunya Ito's classic series of Japanese woman in prison / revenge flicks is definitely on the right wavelength. Constance Towers is more mix than turntable experiment, but there are plenty of subtle sonic mysteries lurking beneath the excellent song choice and deft mixing. Beginning all soulful and jazzy, groovy and laid back, a slowed down funk work out, sun baked and washed out, peppered with subtle effects and bits of dialogue, the disc soon morphs into blessed out dub, transforming quickly into some haunting soundtrack, all swooning strings and drawn out drones, before exploding into some super kick ass blown out 70's cop show funk, with buzzing synths and fuzzy guitar. And that's just the first few tracks, the rest of the disc veers wildly all over the map, somehow managing to sound perfectly cohesive. Freaked out percussion jams, creepy exotica, propulsive krautrock, wild afrojazz, super distorted post punk jams, honkey tonk country, but all tangled and woven into each other, shifting speeds and tempos, drifting voices and effects, multiple tracks piled on one another, a gorgeous, hypnotic, sonic trip. Funky and groovy enough to jam at your next dance party, but dark and varied and mysterious enough for headphone deep listeningÉ
"12:00 am - Prologue / Mozart And The Dolomites" MPEG Stream:
"1:00 am - Constance Towers" MPEG Stream:
"2:00 am - Emergeth... Borts Minorts"
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Frosoblomster (self-released) cd-r 10.98
Mix number two from mysterious local turntablist and DJ, the brilliantly monickered DJ Female Convict Scorpion, whose mixes are less DJ mash-ups and more haunting artistic assemblages, incorporating free jazz, fuzzy funk, found sounds, bits of dialogue, sampled instruments, stripped down beats, pretty much no genre is off limits, but those genres are basically meaningless once everything is mixed together. From the opening track, with its ominous chiming bells beneath Tom Waits' gravelly voice spinning a yarn, the mix slips smoothly, into a deep laid back minimal grooves, surrounded by swirling sheets of soft focus effects, before the mix shifts, and wailing female vox are draped over a thumping beat, a sea of record crackle, bits of hum and distant whir, Shadow wouldn't be all that far off as a reference, but imagine if Shadow was raised on prog and punk rock and art films and free jazz, then how would a mix of his sound? A bit like this perhaps. The tracks veer wildly from super rhythmic workouts, to drifting minimal soundscapes, strange electronics drift in and out, mournful horns, spidery guitars, strings are bowed and plucked, deep rumbles surface from below, tribal drumming is laid beneath tangled world music voices, creating gorgeous and unintended harmonies, dense clouds of blooping bleeping effects over skittery free jazz skronk, dark reverbed noir-ish guitars shimmering beneath subtle percussion, breathless vocalizing and steel string scrape, deep ritualistic chanting drifting over the sound of sirens, funky drumming and subtle barely there dronemusic in the distance, Really good stuff. Made even better by the fact that we weren't able to identify a single source for any of the sounds within!! Beautiful packaging. Full color printing on thick matte paper, super haunting and tripped out imagery, pressed on black cd-r's each with an actual postage from some other country affixed to the face.
"Dum Sechs Unt Glum eine Rum" MPEG Stream:
"Floorshow At The Top OF The World" MPEG Stream:
"The Peaches 'n' Herb Of Freak Folk"
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ INRI (self-released) cd-r 9.98
Latest mix from this aQ beloved audio alchemist, who when he's not whipping up these murky mixes and strange sonic concoctions is playing guitar in local druggy space rockers 3 Leafs, or touring with Acid Mothers Gong or performing in a play, or even lending his voice to some video game. But in his guise of DJ Female Convict Scorpion (yep, named for that Japanese series of women in prison flicks), his main concern is taking cool records, and melting them down into something totally new, a blurred otherworldly soundscape melding obscure jazz to lost krautrock, twisted grooves to mysterious ambience, shimmery washed out drifts wrapped around spaced out riffs and everything wreathed in old record crackle and pop. This is the sort of dark and downer DJ we want spinning records when we go out. But then listening to this stuff we imagine going out to some dark, dank, stone-walled cave-like dive, populated with all manner of shadow figures, everything lit by candlelight and firelight, the threat of violence heavy in the air... This latest mix was presented to us as 'perfect for aQ' and then with the added descriptor 'the most evil and dark mix yet', indeed. Right down to the cover, an upside down, upside down cross (meaning rightside up) superimposed on a proper pentagram, the evil version rotated 180 degrees. And sonically, right out of the gate, some sort of black mass incantation, draped over a murky muted krautrock rhythm, laced with squalls of church organ, swirls of whipping wind, until finally, the beat kicks in, and we're off, wild psychedelic drumming, sampled fist fights, swoonsome woozy basslines, shimmery strings, strange effects and backwards loops, the various records shifting pitch, making everything warbly and trippy, and that's just the first track! And it only gets better from there, long stretches of shimmery star field effects, some super cool rhythms, lots of slinky slithery grooves, bleating horns, field recordings, soulful vox, plenty of low slung slo-mo grooves, some killer mash ups of blackened creep and sweet soul, but also some full on horror movie soundtrack music, and so it goes slipping easily from bass heavy thrum to blissed out ethereal drift, psychedelic spaced out chaos to brooding cinematic swirl, all seemingly underpinned by a haunting sinister vibe, sometimes it's thick undulating bass buzz, othertimes it's less the sound and more just the arrangement, DJ FCS deftly conjuring up some serious audial evil. Awesome.
"Benedictus Satanas" MPEG Stream:
"Endful Summer" MPEG Stream:
"Dante's Towering Inferno"
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ Wizards (self-released) cd-r 9.98
The latest tripped out DJ mix from DJ Female Convict Scorpion aka Josh Pollock from local psychedelic space rockers 3 Leafs, and like the three before it, on Wizards (named for the genius Ralph Bakshi movie, and featuring a drawing of the movie poster done by a young Josh way back when), Pollack once again displays not just a knack for digging up insanely obscure jams, but for weaving disparate sounds together into utterly unrecognizable but totally mesmerizing sonic tableaus. Just check out the opener, "5 Terrorists", which drapes some strange buzzing percussive Asian stringed instrument, some fluttering flute, and some echo drenched vocals, over some spaced out progged out jamming, pretty impossible to tell which parts Pollack mixed, and how much of the song was already the song, which again is the magic of these DJFCS mixes, and when that first track gradually switches gears, and disappears in a field of ominous buzz, and seems to transform into a drum heavy krautprog groove, it KILLS. And so it goes, low slung slithery funk, strange movie samples, spaced out psychedelia, stuttery old school hip hop, DJ Shadow like moodiness, primitive (but effective turntable manipulation, again hard to say which is part of the music and which is Pollack), strange crooning, weird psych folk, draped over thick sinister chordal swell, shimmery dreamlike ambience drifting into fierce driving fuzzfunk, all manner of backward swoops and swirls, moaning strings, disembodied voices, glistening strings, some of the combinations more moving and intense than the originals, lots of a capellas wedded to unlikely instrumental accompaniment, everything wreathed in echo and reverb and loads of warm record crackle, and just some downright bad ass jams and grooves, not to mention the easy listening Sabbath that finishes things off. Essential listening. And most definitely the DJ you want at your wedding, assuming your goal is to alienate or downright freak out 90 percent of the guests. But that other ten percent, including us (we're invited, right?), will be in whatthefuck weirdo music HEAVEN!
"5 Terrorists" MPEG Stream:
"Righteousness Prevails (White Sabbath)" MPEG Stream:
"You Know Nothing, In Fact You Know Less Than Nothing" MPEG Stream:
FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION, DJ WWZ (self-released) lp 14.98
Record number three, and the first actual lp release, from this local turntablist / mixologist / soundsculptor, who some of you may know as a member of various local rock units Three Leafs, Citay, the Auricle and others but as DJ Female Convict Scorpion, this mystery man weaves a sprawling web of sound, that is probably more aQ worthy than most DJ's we can think of, krautrock, to funk, to soundtrack, to psych rock, to space rock to drone, manipulated lps, but also effects and various insturments, a dizzying sonic overload, skittery rhythms, soulful horns, mysterious disembodied voices, lots of turntable warble, dragged vinyl rumble, spaced out reverby shimmer, pusling new age drift, skeletal grooves wrapped around glistening barely there melodies, warped old jazz records, plenty of crackle and pop, backwards beats, field recordings, haunting cinematic ambience gives way to electronic squiggle which in turn gives way to clattery free rock stumble, subsumed by a thick swell of speaker rattling low end rumble, detuned guitar, purloined preacher ranting, big pounding drums, free jazz skronk. Fluttery flutes flit over a field of hum and shimmer, pepperd with electronic glitches and distorted intercepted boradcasts, mournful folk draped over, thick crunch and thrum, slowly melting into a sprawl of hushed blackened buzz, which dissipates leaving a funky drummer groove, which finally peters out into a barren expanse of twisted squelch and distant twang, more displaced voices, wrapped in an undulating slab of distorted bass throb, a twisted woozy rhythm, that drones on and on beneath swirling FX, Eastern percussive skitter, warbly horns, a washed out laid back coda to a long strange sonic trip. Cool packaging too, each lp housed in it's own hand made duct taped sleeve, created from recycled zombie movie soundtracks!
"1" MPEG Stream:
"2" MPEG Stream:
FENN O'BERG In Stereo (Editions Mego) cd 17.98
Fenn O'Berg is the on-again / off-again collaborative project between Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke, and Peter Rehberg, who had made their last splash into the realm of glitched-out electronics back in 2002. All three of these artists have involved themselves in various laptop improvisational ensembles with sporadic success (certainly nothing as wondrous as their individual solo recordings), and the previous two Fenn'O'Berg albums were simply spliced collages of live presentations. In Stereo was recorded in Japan over a couple weeks, entirely in the studio. There's a bit more of a structured sentiment emerging from the perpetual motion of digital effects and obliterated samples, setting it apart from the earlier albums. There's plenty of Rehberg's wracked digitality, splattered through ring-modulated, time-stretched deconstructions and digital cluster bombs of pixilation; there's episodes of those amniotic, post-guitar washes that Fennesz has gracefully produced for years; and Jim O'Rourke ever the chameleon fits his multi-tasking production well within the poles of his collaborators. Amidst the pantheon of digital effects, the trio are not averse to working in analog tones, repetitions, and sweeps. The fourth track on the album (titled "Part I") begins with an interesting set of cylon drones before the trio unleashes a percussive frenzy of glistening piano and tumbling drums that could almost have come from an Alice Coltrane composition. Outside of this expressive outburst, In Stereo for the most part comes across as something of a kosmiche-digital-psychedelic hybrid that might fit between Klaus Schulze and Oval. NB: The vinyl is out of print on this release (oh so quick!), but we might have one or two copies kicking around. Just ask, you might get lucky!
"Part III" MPEG Stream:
"Part V" MPEG Stream:
FENN O'BERG In Stereo (Editions Mego) lp 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Fenn'O'Berg is the on-again / off-again collaborative project between Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke, and Peter Rehberg, who had made their last splash into the realm of glitched-out electronics back in 2002. All three of these artists have involved themselves in various laptop improvisational ensembles to sporadic success (certainly nothing as wonderous as their individual solo recordings), and the previous two Fenn'O'Berg albums had been spliced collages of live presentations. In Stereo was recorded in Japan over a couple weeks entirely in the studio. There's a bit more of a structured sentiment emerging from the perpetual motion of digital effects and obliterated samples, setting it apart from the earlier albums. There's plenty of Rehberg's wracked digitality, splattered through ring-modulated, time-stretched deconstructions and digital cluster bombs of pixelation; there's episodes of those amniotic, post-guitar washes that Fennesz has gracefully produced for years; and Jim O'Rourke ever the chameleon fits his multi-tasking production well within the poles of his collaborators. Amidst the pantheon of digital effects, the trio are not averse to working in analogue tones, repetitions, and sweeps. "Part IV" begins with an interesting set of cylon droning before the trio unleashes a percussive frenzy of glistening piano and tumbling drums that could almost harken from an Alice Coltrane composition. Outside of this expressive outburst, In Stereo for the most part comes across as something of a kosmiche-digital-psychedelic hybrid that might fit between Klaus Schulze and Oval.
FENN O'BERG Live In Japan Part One (Editions Mego) lp 21.00
FENN O'BERG Live In Japan Part Two (Editions Mego) lp 21.00