ORCUSTUS s/t (Southern Lord) cd 14.98
People give us a lot of shit for overusing the word 'buzz', but when you're describing black metal, very few words truly represent just exactly what it is about black metal that MAKES black metal what it is, yeah, it's riffs and blast beats and voKILLS, sure, but c'mon, without the buzz it would be, well, something else entirely. Plus you try and write almost 3000 reviews every year and see how many other words for buzz you can come up with. Anyway, this is the first proper full length from this already legendary third wave black metal super group, now a duo featuring the mighty Dirge Rep on drums (he of Gehenna, Gorgoroth, Enslaved, Aura Noir among others) and Taipan (from Norwegian thrashers Amok), but having previously included members of Gaahlskagg, Borknagar, Carpathian Forest, Krypt, Deep-pression, Desekrator, 1349 and others. This current duo offer up some seriously TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL, if those words get you going, then stop right there and add this to your cart, love Gorgoroth and old Emperor and Darkthrone and that sort of thing, not blasting or furiously fast, nothing especially fucked up or far out, more just pounding and thrashing and buzzing, black black black metal. Some killer riffing, awesome epic melodies and creeped out ambient bits, frantic chaotic drumming, classic sounding old school black metal vox, harsh and raspy, all wound around total vintage sounding classic Scandinavian blackness. Lots of hooks buried beneath the layers of buzz, and as mentioned some CLASSIC black riffs, every listen we dig this more and more, But then it's a sound that we, and we're pretty sure lots of you, are total suckers for. So if you're in the mood for some pure grim frosty kvlt old school black metal, this is definitely it. Incredible cover art, haunting and artful and a bit garish, with a thick booklet, mysterious artwork and lyrics. Cool.
"Coil" MPEG Stream:
"Of Sophistry, Obsession And Paranoia"
ORCUSTUS Wrathrash b/w Grin Of Deceit (Southern Lord) 7" 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another brief blast of hate fueled fury from Norwegian black metal horde Orcustus (which just so happens to feature folks from Gorgoroth and Enslaved!). This is grim "anti human, anti life, true Norwegian black metal". Old school, buzzing squirming blackened thrash a la Sarcophago, Possessed and all that sort of stuff. Heavy and hateful, fuzzed out and fast as fuck. We only got a handful of these, limited to 1500 worldwide, on Southern Lord, you know the drill -- once these are gone, they're most likely gone for good, so act fast!
ORCUTT, BILL A New Way to Pay Old Debts (Editions Mego) cd 16.98
Finally available on cd, the previously vinyl-only debut lp from former Harry Pussy guitarist Bill Orcutt. And as we mentioned in our review of the lp, don't be expecting a blown out noise record, instead, this is solo guitar, Orcutt's take on Fahey, although his take is decidedly more twisted and chaotic and idiosyncratic and NOISY. The cd version features a bunch of bonus tracks not on the original vinyl (but more on those later)... When we first got the lp in, we couldn't keep it in stock, we kept having to postpone reviewing it in fact, 'cause every time a new list Friday would roll around, we'd discover that we had sold out again and would have to wait for Orcutt to drop off more records, when the same thing would happen again. We finally got enough to list and review and they blew out of here, and again, we'd sell 'em as fast as we could get 'em in, until finally there were no more to be had. Thankfully the cd version is less limited and should ne a wee bit more available. But now you're probably asking yourself, what's so great about this, why have they been flying out of here? Maybe it's 'cause this was picked by the editors of The Wire as number 3 in their top 50 albums of 2009. Or maybe 'cause so many AQ customers have an unhealthy obsession with the seminal underground '90s no wavey noise rock outfit that Orcutt used to abuse his guitar in, the notorious Harry Pussy. But this is pretty far from the skronk and spazz of HP. Well, it's still noisy in its way, but what Orcutt is playing here on this solo guitar album is "the blues". In an "American (very) Primitive" style. That's right, it's kinda the Harry Pussy version of John Fahey or something. Totally tangled, out there improvs from a guy who's really really feeling it, you can tell. His steel string acoustic guitar is only strung with four strings (missing the two in the middle, apparently, who needs 'em) and it's recorded up close and personal, played in a choppily percussive, and definitely emotive way. Appalachian angst that's sometimes stark, the background hum or tape hiss somehow somber, but mostly crowded with energetic bluesy bursts of notes spilling all over themselves, punctuated by occasional yelps and hollers as the spirit moves him. Imagine an agitated, ADD old timey outsider artist on Mississippi, also part Tetuzi Akiyama, part Jandek... Sure, there's some folks who might bring out the hoary old argument that "I could play like that too". But they didn't, and Orcutt did, and we're digging it! Definitely for fans of avant electric guitar freakouts - even though this is all-acoustic! The cd version tacks on six bonus tracks, two from a 7" single we never even saw (or heard) and 4 unreleased tracks exclusive to this release, and if anything, the extra tracks are alternatingly more melodic and pretty, more intense and frenzied, but they all sound cut from the same fucked up, outsider psychedelic guitar freakout cloth. So awesome!
"Lip Rich" MPEG Stream:
"My Reckless Parts"
ORCUTT, BILL A New Way to Pay Old Debts (Palilalia Records) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Holy moly, we've already sold a TON of these before even listing it! In fact, we meant to review it on list #336, and then on #337, but we kept running out of 'em before list day so we couldn't. Well, now or never, we just got our last batch of these records direct from Mr. Orcutt himself, 20 copies and he says that's it, he's not going to repress it again. So, you ask, what's so great about this, why have they been flying out of here? Maybe it's 'cause this was picked by the editors of The Wire as number 3 in their top 50 albums of 2009. Or maybe 'cause so many AQ customers have an unhealthy obsession with the seminal underground '90s no wavey noise rock outfit that Orcutt used to abuse his guitar in, the notorious Harry Pussy. But this is pretty far from the skronk and spazz of HP. Well, it's still noisy in its way, but what Orcutt is playing here on this solo guitar album is "the blues". In an "American (very) Primitive" style. That's right, it's kinda the Harry Pussy version of John Fahey or something. Totally tangled, out there improvs from a guy who's really really feeling it, you can tell. His steel string acoustic guitar is only strung with four strings (missing the two in the middle, apparently, who needs 'em) and it's recorded up close and personal, played in a choppily percussive, and definitely emotive way. Appalachian angst that's sometimes stark, the background hum or tape hiss somehow somber, but mostly crowded with energetic bluesy bursts of notes spilling all over themselves, punctuated by occasional yelps and hollers as the spirit moves him. Imagine an agitated, ADD old timey outsider artist on Mississippi, also part Tetuzi Akiyama, part Jandek... Sure, there's some folks who might bring out the hoary old argument that "I could play like that too". But they didn't, and Orcutt did, and we're digging it! Definitely for fans of avant electric guitar freakouts - even though this is all-acoustic! Grab it while you can if it sounds good to you (it does to us).
"Lip Rich" MPEG Stream:
"My Reckless Parts"
ORCUTT, BILL How The Thing Sings (Editions Mego) cd 16.98
NOW ON CD! We listed the vinyl version of this last time, and said the following: Huzzah! The former guitarist for '90s underground noiseniks Harry Pussy is back with a 2nd full length solo lp, his guitar strings once again all in a tangle - maybe six of 'em, but probably less, last we checked he had dispensed with the A and D strings, 'cause he plays a (repaired) broken-necked vintage acoustic that couldn't take the strain. Of course, the way he plays it, we'd think it wouldn't be safe with even one string... 2009's critically acclaimed A New Way To Pay Old Debts was crazy popular, a proverbial hotcake of a seller here, and fans of that record won't be disappointed with this equally emotive follow-up. Wild Bill brings the urgent, alien Appalachia, this album a noisy-as-acoustic-can-be "blues" freakout that's, as we've said before, both frantic -and- focused. Chaotic, tumbling, yet trance-inducing in its intricate intensity. There's also some calmer respites from his sturm-und-drang (strum-and-dang?), like the stark, hushed "Heaven Is Closed To Me Now". Orcutt throws in some wordless vocalizations here and there, getting properly glossolalic at times, which only adds to the "outsidery-ness" of the proceedings - and also conveys even more authentic feeling. This is one dramatic, raw, real record; while this might be what we like to call "fuckery", he's not fucking around. Fans of such folks as Japan's Kan Mikami and Tetuzi Akiyama, Jandek, and of course spiritual "American Primitive" mentor John Fahey (imagine John Fahey meets Derek Bailey!) should find this speaks to them in a language that can't be faked. And non-fans, or not-yet-fans? Well at first blanch you might find this tough going, but stick with it and see if it doesn't stir something in your soul. Currently gatefold vinyl-only, compact disc version to follow in a few weeks. And by the way, nice Stevie Ray Vaughan pick collection on the cover! Rolling in his grave, no doubt...
"The Visible Bosom" MPEG Stream:
"How The Thing Sings" MPEG Stream:
"Til I Get Satisfied"
ORCUTT, BILL How The Thing Sings (Editions Mego) lp 19.98
Huzzah! The former guitarist for '90s underground noiseniks Harry Pussy is back with a 2nd full length solo lp, his guitar strings once again all in a tangle - maybe six of 'em, but probably less, last we checked he had dispensed with the A and D strings, 'cause he plays a (repaired) broken-necked vintage acoustic that couldn't take the strain. Of course, the way he plays it, we'd think it wouldn't be safe with even one string... 2009's critically acclaimed A New Way To Pay Old Debts was crazy popular, a proverbial hotcake of a seller here, and fans of that record won't be disappointed with this equally emotive follow-up. Wild Bill brings the urgent, alien Appalachia, this album a noisy-as-acoustic-can-be "blues" freakout that's, as we've said before, both frantic -and- focused. Chaotic, tumbling, yet trance-inducing in its intricate intensity. There's also some calmer respites from his sturm-und-drang (strum-and-dang?), like the stark, hushed "Heaven Is Closed To Me Now". Orcutt throws in some wordless vocalizations here and there, getting properly glossolalic at times, which only adds to the "outsidery-ness" of the proceedings - and also conveys even more authentic feeling. This is one dramatic, raw, real record; while this might be what we like to call "fuckery", he's not fucking around. Fans of such folks as Japan's Kan Mikami and Tetuzi Akiyama, Jandek, and of course spiritual "American Primitive" mentor John Fahey (imagine John Fahey meets Derek Bailey!) should find this speaks to them in a language that can't be faked. And non-fans, or not-yet-fans? Well at first blanch you might find this tough going, but stick with it and see if it doesn't stir something in your soul. Currently gatefold vinyl-only, compact disc version to follow in a few weeks. And by the way, nice Stevie Ray Vaughan pick collection on the cover! Rolling in his grave, no doubt...
"The Visible Bosom" MPEG Stream:
"How The Thing Sings" MPEG Stream:
"Til I Get Satisfied"
ORCUTT, BILL Solo CD (Audible Hiss) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Harry Pussy guitarist Orcutt takes a stroll on his own. Fans of that band's punk-skronk sound will approve.
ORCUTT, BILL Tour Single Pack (All Tongues / Tic Fit / A King or Something) (self-released) 3 x 7" 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
ORCUTT, BILL Way Down South (Palilalia Records) 12" 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Avant guitar slinger Bill Orcutt, formerly of legendary noise terrorists Harry Pussy, returns with another lp-only offering, a starkly handsome one sided, one song record on crystal clear vinyl, documenting a performance from his recent tour of New Zealand. Anyone who heard Orcutt's limited (and sadly out of print) A New Way to Pay Old Debts lp can look forward to another slab of atonal neo blues performed in a frantic but highly focused way on a battered old acoustic with only 4 strings. Orcutt's runs up the fretboard also come off a bit like strange ragas as the strings resonate and sustain almost like a sitar at times. Though performed in front of an audience, there is a spaciousness to the recording that takes on almost cosmic proportions and works perfectly with Orcutt's guitar work, which sounds huge and menacing but also strangely melodic. Way Down South takes on a weird trancey quality, and one can only assume that Orcutt was definitely "in the moment" here. But unlike so many bands and solo artists now, who rely extensively on loops, pedals, and all kinds of electronic fuckery, this shit is stripped to its essentials - I mean, can you really get more basic than an acoustic guitar? - and ably performed by a guy who can simply shred balls. Way recommended, and not surprisingly, limited to 300 copies!
ORDO EQUILIBRIO Reaping The Fallen... The First Harvest (Cold Meat Industry) cd 16.98
An exceptional album from this Swedish dark ambient outfit (featuring Tomas from Archon Satani) whose thematic usage of bondage and religious / occult imagery is done much better than the run of the mill Goth-with-a-sampler ensemble. Ritual chants, Sol Invictus-inspired angst-filled guitar strum, and monstrous washes of darkness invoked from the abyss.
ORDO INFANDORUM RITUUM OCCULTUS / WACHT split (Bergstolz) 7" 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** Brand new 7" of grim buzz from two mysterious Swiss black metal bands, neither of which had we ever heard of, and neither of which feature members of any other notable bands. Switzerland is of course the home of Paysage D'Hiver and Darkspace and Enoid among others, so we had high hopes for these two hordes. Wacht begin the proceedings with what almost sounds like a metal Star Spangled Banner, a sort of twisted guitar intro that soon gives way to a furious murky raw buzz, the drums and bass (if there is any) lost in a storm of relentless riffing and howled anguished vokills. Some killer riffs lurking in that roiling blackness, and the drums do leap out here and there, but for the most part it's like a heaving black cloud of sound, dense and hypnotic. The much less simply monickered Ordo Infandorum Rituum Occultus (or OIRO for short), offer up their own bit of frosty grimness, a much more stripped down buzzing blast, pounding almost D-beat style rhythm, grunted vocals, raw and old school, but with some strange stuff lurking in the details, maniacal screams, some cool gnarled riffage, layered guitars, that seem to drop in and out, giving the track a sort of dizzying vibe, at times almost like a more stripped down straight ahead Deathspell Omega. Definitely laves us dying for more from both bands, and as is always a good sing with a single, we've found ourselves flipping this over constantly and listening to both sides over and over again...
ORDO OBSIDIUM Orbis Tertius (Eisenwald) cd 11.98
Debut blast of doom-ed orthodox blackness from this SF horde, a furious, and epic squall of frenzied guitars and furiously blasting drums, of demonic vokills, soaring melodies and grim ambience. This is another one of those records that ditches all of the experimentalism and avant-this and post-that of much of the metal we dig, and still pushes all of our buttons, offering up something true and pure, something beholden to the classics for sure, but with a sound that takes those varied influences and melds them into something pretty fantastic, moody and emotive, passionate and majestic, the sort of creeping blackened doom and depressive black buzz that we never get sick off, the songs slipping easily from frantic and furious, to lumbering and anguished, usually in the same song. Plaintive mournful melodies, draped over doomic dirges, drift right into explosive blasts of black buzz, inexorably linking the two. The fact that these guys are equally adept at both, only helps seal the deal. The sound too is a big part of it, managing to sound both raw and primitive, lush and expansive, infusing the brittle buzz of black metal with some serious doomic heft, and shading that melancholic doom with swaths of dark black miserablism. And beyond that, these guys can actually write a song, with many of the melodies here, the sort that end up stuck in your head for days. All of the songs here are pretty great, but the closer, the epic 12+ minute "By His Unflinching Hand", might be the best of the bunch, certainly the most unique, ditching much of the blackness in exchange for something moodier and more epic, the song lopes and meanders, the guitars unfurling darkly, the melodies mournful and melancholy, strip away the vocals and you'd be in serious Neurosis / Isis / Godspeed territory, a smoldering slowbuild epic of the highest order, one that creeps and lumbers, offers up some blackened skitter, before a cool super dynamic, stop/start passage, that we wish would have gone on WAY longer, and which leads into the haunting coda, all whipping winds and acoustic guitar, bleak and somber and the perfect finish to a pretty fantastic record.
"Nequaquam Vacuum" MPEG Stream:
"Into The Gates Of Madness"
ORDO ROSARIUS EQUILIBRIO Make Love, And War: The Wedlock Of Roses (Cold Meat Industry) cd 16.98
OREGON BIKE TRAILS High School Lover (Father / Daughter Records) 7" 8.98
OREGON PAINTING SOCIETY, THE Cruisn' (OPS) cassette 6.98
The Oregon Painting Society is a collective from Portland which features Matt Carlson of Golden Retriever, Birch Cooper and Barbara Kinzle (both of The Slaves and The Greys), filmmaker Brenna Murphy, and Jason Traeger. During a frenzied three year period, OPS presented peculiar happenings through elaborate installations of discarded materials reconfigured into weird electronic instruments. The images of Cruisn' - an installation / performance at the Appendix Project Space in 2010 - shows the five members wielding very strange objects, including a couple of black corncobs with connected to a salvaged folding table by way of guitar cables lending to the impression that these corncobs might be acting as some sort of theremin. Then there's a small wood-panelled platform covered in light switches and dimmers that one of the members is flipping off and on; and there's also a loom which seems to be grinding a large stick; and somebody wearing a low-rent Stellarc cybernetic suit whilst balancing on a bale of hay. The imagery is weird yet compelling in the deliberate low-rent / high-tech approach to hand-crafted instrumentation, and this tape is a documentation of the five performing on these objects. So what does it all sound like? Circuit-bent boards, broken consumer electronics, malfunctioning amplifiers, and electronic-sound-kits all rewired into a huge tangle of spluttering noise, sick-tone, and static. Think David Tudor trying to work out what he did with all of the janky gear that Nautical Almanac scraped together from thrift stores and the basements of antiquated electronic stores. All of the blistering, scabrous, polydactyl blurts of 4-bit electronics are improvised into grotesque swarms that aren't all that far from the later Matthew Bower explorations of free-noise through Sunroof! Wild and wooly for sure, and you bet this is limited!
ORENDA Back In The Grave (No Colours) cd 16.98
This blast of glorious blackness back in stock!! According to Metal Archives, one of our favorite go to sites for metal info, there are at least 150 metal bands from Bulgaria!! Which is pretty amazing considering that Orenda are, as far as we know, the first Bulgarian metal band we've ever heard. Anyway, they may be from Bulgaria, but they sound Norwegian, or maybe Polish. On the surface this is furious buzzing black metal, not midtempo, but not really blasting either, just a super fast sort of harsh buzz. Relentlessly pounding drums, droning buzzy riffs, harsh vocals, but beneath the layers of buzz in each song, lurk all manner of strange melody and fucked up sonic weirdness. It's hard to explain exactly what it is that makes these songs stand out, it's pretty subtle, whether it's some cool seasick guitar melodies weaving back and forth beneath the surface, or some sort of bell chiming in the distance, or a stretch of feedback that sounds like the warning beep of a backing up truck, or mewing cat-like vocals, but more often than not it's just the structure of the song, the interaction between the main riff and the second guitar part, that allow unlikely harmonies to surface, giving the songs a strange emotional resonance that isn't immediately noticeable. Plus it helps that the riffs are killer, wrapped in a thick buzzy production, the relentless buzzing blackness peppered with blazing bursts of double kick drum, some super sludgy stretches of black doom, even some unlikely poppiness. Definitely recommended!
"Kargan Devastation" MPEG Stream:
ORENDA The Funeral (No Colours) cd 16.98
The welcome return of these Bulgarian black lords, after their Back In The Grave debut from last year. And of course, after Back In The Grave comes The Funeral, an equally bleak and buzzy masterpiece channeling the sound and spirit of classic Norwegian and Polish BM into a swirling, droning black mass, a funereal hymn as furious and fuzzy as it is relentless and harsh. Four long tracks, two black blasts, bookended by two midtempo buzzscapes, and as with Back In The Grave, the sounds on The Funeral are super dense and thick, the guitars a weird lush, lustrous shade of black, churning out a cursed lament, while above the fray, vocals gnash and howl, a cracked hellish croak, way up in the mix, like some monstrous beast soaring above the roiling blackness below. But this is not just raw kvlt black metal, the riffs here are strangely fluid and warm, emotional and intense, with an almost sort of gothy vibe, like a way more buzzy and blackened Khold. And within Orenda's black forest of buzz, cool melancholy melodies lurk everywhere, haunting arpeggiated guitars, and strangest of all, super dramatic, almost cinematic sonic swells, sounding a lot like some black metal Morricone. Even when the band is blasting at a furious clip, the chords are ultra complex and the various strands of melody tangle and intertwine in strange and unlikely ways, with the band often slipping back into a completely mesmerizing, seasick lurching black lope, but always lacing their blurry blackness with stretches of haunting ambience draped gauzelike over the black blasts and complex post rockisms buried within.
"A Dead Colours" MPEG Stream:
ORGAN EYE s/t (Staubgold) cd 15.98
"Tema #1 (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Tema #1 (excerpt 2)"
ORGAN, THE Grab That Gun (Mint / 604) cd 14.98
These Young Canadian gals are hitting that '80s wonderfully dour British rock pop sound (The Smiths, The Cure and The Church... oops, they're Australian) right on the mark. And we totally love it! No, it's probably not anything you haven't heard before, but it is very very good... particularly notable and impressive when you find out that the five gals are only in their early twenties. Yes, they do indeed have a big ol' Hammond organ as one of their instruments, however the guitars and vocals are what defines the band's retro sound. Lead vocalist Katie Sketch possesses a depth of expression that's much broader, seeming much older, wiser and world-wearier than her years. So strong and emotive, think a young female Morrissey. And as a fitting counterpart, Debora Cohen's lanky guitar tone is straight-up Johnny Marr. Hindered only by some rather stiff drumming (unfortunately not quite on par with the rest of the band's level of composure), Grab The Sun is packed with moody, yet super infectious songs like the lead-off track "Brother" with its punchy, youthful girl gang sing-a-long chorus, "Sinking Hearts", the very Smiths-y "A Sudden Death" and the great album-closer "Memorize The City". Oh yeah, and FYI: If this band already seems familiar to you (apart from their decidedly retro sound), it might be because you saw them a couple of years ago opening for their Mint Records labelmates New Pornographers.
"Brother" MPEG Stream:
"Memorize The City"
ORGAN, THE Thieves (Mint) cd ep 9.98
After Vancouver's dourest rainy day pop darlings The Organ decided to call it quits a couple of years ago - much to the chagrin of retro Brit swagger lovin' melancholics everywhere - the gals got back together for one final recording session before going their separate ways. The results are the half dozen songs that make up this posthumous release. As with their highly lauded and beloved debut album 2004's Grab That Gun, Thieves captures the still fresh-faced quartet's sullenly brooding, distinctively Smiths-leaning, catchy melodies. By the way, yes, this was released late last year, but it took a little while to get a hold of them. better late than never, we think they're well worth the wait! A wistfully downcast, bittersweet treat.
"Even In The Night" MPEG Stream:
"Let The Bells Ring"
ORGANISATION, THE Tone Float lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Pre-Kraftwerk cosmic hippy krautrock classic now re-issued on (probably quite limited) vinyl.
ORGANORGANORGANORGAN s/t (Seedy R! / Pseudo Arcana) cd-r 8.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** We just got a batch of new cd-r's from a new label called Seedy R!, a sub label of the already kick ass PsuedoArcana label run by Antony Milton. The Van The Van, reviewed elsewhere on this list, and this curiously titled disc. Organorganorganorgan is exactly what you might imagine, 4 organs. Played by Sam Hamilton, Stefan Neville, Campbell Kneale and Antony Milton. Recorded live at a NZ art gallery, these chaps plugged in their fan driven chord organs, and proceeded to unfurl an expansive tapestry of whirs and warbles and wheezes, rich and dense. Slow shifting layers of epic warm sound. A half hour of thick slithery shimmery drone, wreathed in a cloud of subtle overtones and muted melody. So nice. Palestine, Sunroof!, Nitsch, Gurdjieff, and other masters of the extended organ drone... you get the idea. Packaged in a brown paper sleeve, with a hand stamped 'R' on one side, and a killer psychedelic illustration of four madmen wildly abusing their .. ahem.. organs, on the other.
ORGANUM Amen (Die Stadt) cd 24.00
Amen is the second in a trilogy of works from Organum, the ongoing project of arcane drones from British artist David Jackman. While Jackman's previous work with Organum has focused upon extended glissandos from bowed cymbals swarming into huge choruses of acoustic cacophony to amazing affect, this trilogy has more in common with the minimalist agendas of Philip Glass and Brian Eno. The structure of the piece is a simple drone from a Hammond organ gaping towards infinity, furthered by repeating a sample of a monastic chant whose cathedral reverb renders any actual words indecipherable. Solitary strikes upon a tower bell and sparse chords from a piano also make their mark upon the plastic ambience. As with the first installment to this trilogy, Jackman offers two almost identical variations of the same score to flush out the 40 minutes of sound on this album. While clocking in at a considerably greater length than most Organum recordings, this trilogy pales in comparison to the strongest Organum work, best experienced in Volume One and Volume Two, both released on Robot. Quite limited, we warn you -- we were only able to get a dozen...
ORGANUM Birds' Wings Were Glued To Their Bodies and Their Feet Froze To The Ground (Die Stadt) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The dense acoustic scrapes & drones recorded in richly sonorous environments (cavernous warehouses, freeway overpasses, waterducts, etc.) appear much more orchestrated here on 'Birds' Wings...' than on the previous Organum records. Solid fragments of bowed cymbals and clattering metal have been mapped out strategically against the hypnotic austerity of droning quitars and bowed steel wires. Along with the mastermind of the project David Jackman, Organum's line up includes Robert Hampson (Main / Loop), Michael Prime (Morphogenesis), Emma O'Bong, and Mat Fox. Both Jim and Byram give the thumbs up on this one!
ORGANUM Die Hennen Zahne (Die Stadt) 3" cd 14.98
Despite his development as an artist within the heyday of the British post-industrial community of Nurse With Wound, Whitehouse, and The New Blockaders, David Jackman's musical beginnings date back much earlier to the nascent stages of British improv. In fact, Jackman's earliest recordings were made within Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra and a couple of late '60s projects spearheaded by Eddie Prevost of AMM; but it wasn't until much later that he actually released anything he conceptualized. Up until about five years ago, it was pretty safe to say that most everything Jackman touched turned to sonic gold. The signature Organum sound is an aggressively droning acoustic screech, typically created by bowing cymbols and multi-tracking the results with little or no processing. Nowadays, artists like Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof, and Birchville Cat Motel owe their entire sound to Organum; and it's hard to find instances when the students have outclassed the teacher. The main problem with Organum and Jackman is his insistance upon very short programs... such as this 18 minute 3". It's fucking beautiful; but would it really damage Jackman's curmudgeonly mystique to actually compile a full 70 minute album? Anyway, the four tracks found on Die Hennen Zahne date back to the early '80s, with the first cut "Die Kralle" pre-dating the earliest Organum work, when Jackman was multi-tracking metallic hammerings and primative sampled loops of scraping noise. The title track explodes with a constant tumble of crashing glass and Tibetan horn blurts. At merely four minutes long, Jackman's controlled fury is no match for those epic blasts of cacophony heard on Sub Rosa's amazing collection of Tibetan Buddhist rites, but it is nice to actually hear a rare influence intrude into the Organum repertoire. "Maus" is the centerpiece of the album, beautifully encapsulating everything that Jackman does so well. Bowed cymbols set in a complex polyphony of static reverberation and shimmering metallic vibrato. Excellent! The final track is a quieter bit of 'pipe fighting' between Jackman, Michael Prime, and Emma O'Bong, much like the Organum curiousity Vacant Lights. Even if it is a bit short, Die Hennen Zahne is well worth diving into.
"Die Hennen Zahne" MPEG Stream:
ORGANUM Die Letzte Musik Vor Dem Krieg (Die Stadt) 7" 13.98
Justifying the price of $13.98 for a seven inch with 8 minutes of music can be difficult. David Jackman continues to release tiny editions of his music in bite sized portions. Obviously, he's banking on the fact that both his solo work and his project Organum is fascinating enough to entice his loyal customer base to gobble up anything that he releases. "Die Letzte Musik Vor Dem Krieg" is the latest from Organum, a project that specializes in the timbres and drones from bowed and scraped metals. Jackman, who appears to be the only member of this permutation of Organum, has always been a master of this artform, collaging multiple layers of these sounds on top of each other to create a swarming minimalism that's almost always better than anything that Tony Conrad or LaMonte Young could muster. Jackman mixes things up a bit, by throwing in a couple of solemn piano notes on one track, and mournful Tibetan horns on the other. Being pressed at 45 rpm, this single sounds great at slower speeds, thus balancing out the dollars per minute ratio a bit more. Be warned, we only have 5 copies of this, and these will be gone soon. Don't delay, or you may end up spending $25.00 on Ebay for a copy. And you know what, it's probably worth it!
ORGANUM Ein Schwarzeres Schwarz (Die Stadt) 7" 13.98
The 2 three and a half minute tracks on Ein Schwarzeres Schwarz represent the source material that Z'ev used to mix the exquisite collaborative record Tinnitus VU. Jackman offers a stately cluster of piano chords which he repeats every 30 seconds or so with the sustain pedal firmly depressed. Behind this arrangement, very subtle drones flutter in the distant. Limited edition to 500 copies with the artwork being simple spot varnish lettering on a white cover.
ORGANUM Ikon (Robot / Siren) cd 14.98
It is quite plausible to propose that Organum is one of the many logical extentions of '60s minimalism. After all, Organum's David Jackman has maintained a longstanding friendship with AMM (whose Eddie Prevost joined Organum for a couple of records) and wrote several scores for Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra in the late '60s. Yet, Jackman has always resisted all critical categorizations of his work. During a rare interview, Jackman offered the observation that the '80s found Organum lumped in with the Industrial culture, and later in the '90s, his outfit found strange bedfellows in the Ambient revival. Despite this critical pigeonholing, the Organum sound has remained incredibly consistant. This is a re-release of the long out of print album "Ikon" which was originally released as a cassette in 1985, and later as an LP in 1987. Clocking in at under 17 minutes, "Ikon" is a mere sliver of temporal dronology in comparison to the massive compositions from LaMonte Young, Charlemagne Palestine, or even Terry Riley. Sonically, this stands as maybe the finest work from Organum. The extended screech of bowed cymbals fits perfectly with non-verbal deep vocal chants and the hovering wisps of a flute to create a timeless and ancient sounding music. As soon as Organum sastisfactorily meets the requirements for the drone supreme with complex interlocking timbres from various tones and abrasions, Jackman orders everything to cease. The shortened program of these beautiful sounds appears as a let down at first, but Jackman's fleeting constructions say everything that needs to be said with all of economy of a three minute pop song. If you disagree, the digital format will work in your advantage as you can simply repeat this album indefinitely for extended listens. Regardless, this is highly recommended!!!
"Crawl" RealAudio clip:
ORGANUM Omega (Die Stadt) cd 27.00
Omega is the final installment in a series of releases from Organum that vaguely deals with the notions of holiness. Like Sanctus and Amen before it, Omega is a composition for Hammond organ, gong, and tower bell, with the addition of a droning sitar replacing the monastic chants found on Amen. And again, the compositional structure is a simple drone from a Hammond organ gaping towards infinity, with the gongs and tower bells struck for dramatic punctuations. The raga-drone from the sitar is a nice touch, slanting Organum's gaze upon spirituality toward the East. Omega may be the most interesting piece in this trilogy and may even appeal to those fans of Aidan Baker's ambient atmospherics; but it has to be said that Organum's best work is not found here. For that, look to the Organum albums (e.g. Vacant Lights, Ikon, Sphyx, etc.) from the late '80s and early '90s, which continue to slip in and out of print.
ORGANUM Sanctus (Robot Records) cd 15.98
Up until recently, David Jackman has appeared to be more interested in digging through his archives to release albums of his classic material from the '80s, rather than working on new material. However, he's been slowly increasing his activities thanks to a couple of recent collaborations with Z'ev. Sanctus stands as the first proper full length album from Organum in nearly a decade. So for those of you who have been holding out for Jackman to finally release a full 45 minute recording, here it is! Jackman declared that this album is a variation on a theme, having composed four discrete parts from a single graphic score for grand piano, Hammond organ, tower bell, and gong. Despite these very specific acoustic elements (and claims to the contrary), the four pieces of Sanctus sound much more synthetic and plastic in nature, perhaps due to the excess of processing. As always, the Organum sound is turbulant and static at the same time, emerging as a slow motion expanse of dynamic drones. Due to the synthetic appearance of his sounds, Jackman comes across as much more Eno and much less, well, Organum.
"Sanctus 2" MPEG Stream:
ORGANUM Sphyx (Robot) cd 16.98
For the "Sphyx" sessions which evolved over a three year period from 1990 - 1993, David Jackman amassed an all-star line-up for his stellar drone ensemble Organum with a young Jim O'Rourke (freshly matriculated from Illusion of Safety), Christoph Heemann (HNAS, Mirror), Eddie Prevost (AMM), Dinah Jane Rowe, and post-production help from Robert Hampson (Main). The Organum templates for glittering cascades of scraped metal, bowed cymbals, and steel strung cellos with occasional flourishes from Jackman's shakuhachi (i.e. a Japanese flute) remain intact. While certainly attentive towards the shifts within the limited palette from coarse metals, Organum specializes in the density of those acoustic textures layering, swelling, and mutating upon themselves. However, the extended track 'Aurora' prominently features Eddie Prevost skittering across the drum kit punctuating the glistening textural drone with a rhythmic patter often found on the mid-period AMM recordings. For the CD reissue of this long out of print LP, "Sphyx" features two bonus tracks recorded around the same time. Unfortunately, this too has a limited run, with only 700 copies of the digipack CD available. As with all of the Organum albums, this comes highly recommended!
"Aurora" RealAudio clip:
ORGANUM Submission (Complacency) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This isn't anything new, though we have picked up a bunch of this Organum record not only because it is fantastic but also to give further insight into the earliest drone work from AQ-favorite Andrew Chalk (who also has been quite active in Mirror and the recently defunct Ora). While Chalk kept his residency in Organum for only a few records, his presence added patience and delicacy to Organum's textural actions for bowed cymbals, motorized vibrations, and scraped metal. With his lengthy tonalities from sampled bells and field recordings of birds, Chalk made an excellent addition to Organum's collective which for "Submission" includes the curmugeonly ringleader David Jackman, Dinah Jane Rowe (no relation to AMM's Keith Rowe), and Nurse With Wound's Stephen Stapleton on the production knobs. This incarnation of Organum provides the most elegant ensemble that Jackman has been able to arrange - with his own breathy flutes and aerated wisps of sound bathed in a glistening reverberation and surrounded by the complex textures of the aforementioned scraped / bowed metals. "Submission" was originally released on vinyl for United Dairies in 1988 and in 1994 Illusion of Safety's Dan Burke reissued it on his Complacency label.
ORGANUM Vacant Lights / Rara Avis (Die Stadt) 2cd 28.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Legend has it that Organum recorded Vacant Lights in less than an hour, yet the cover art took Organum's frontman David Jackman over six months to complete. While Vacant Lights has finally been reissued after its original publication back in 1988, the artwork that Jackman toiled over is nowhere to be found. But we do get the music, a text-book definition of what Andee would describe as a pipe fight, in which the sonic pugilists arm themselves with chains, glass bottles, pipes, a chainlink fence, or any other object that you might find in an abandoned lot or junkyard. Then for the course of an hour (or however long is necessary), the participants drag, scrape, and toss those objects around, building the composition either after the fact or purely along improvisational lines. While contemporary improv ensembles occasionally tinker with the pipe fight strategy with little or no success, Organum's Vacant Lights excels simply because all four members (Jackman, Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton, Dinah Jane Rowe, and Peter McGhee) are so intent upon listening to each other. While the other three quietly rattle and clink their objects, Jackman stoically plays his Japanese flute which interweaves gently with the environmental sounds of trucks passing by. As the interplay between all of the elements is so subtle, Vacant Lights often appears as a quizzical field recording. It's nonetheless magnificent. Disc two of this reissue campaign contains the Rara Avis single, which fits much more closely to the archetypal Organum sound of bowed metals, scraped gongs, and complex timbral dronings from acoustic sources. Die Stadt could have easily lumped all of this material onto one disc. Well it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to get the original on eBay.
"Vacant Lights" MPEG Stream:
ORGANUM Valentin (Equation) 7" 14.98
We've long championed the works of David Jackman's Organum, a long running drone project, whose modern take on classic minimalism, a gorgeous assemblage of bowed metals and collaged layered dronescapes, has managed to far surpass any of his/their contemporaries in terms of quality, originality, and sheer vision. While most of the Organum records do in fact share sonic similarities, each one is most definitely its own sonic universe, a fantastic(al) piece of musical art, that manages to soothe and entrance, yet still challenge and engage, as is the case with Valentin, the first Organum vinyl release in 7 years, a single track spread out over two sides of a 7", at 45 rpm of course, so like past Organum 7"s, this is about quality more than quantity, a bit pricey perhaps for just a brief glimpse into Jackman's unique soundworld, but as always well worth it. Valentin begins with a whir of what sounds like rainfall, a soft sheen of hushed white noise, punctuated by the occasional piano chord, minor key, ringing out mysteriously, soon joined by the clatter of crashing metals and shattering glass, those sounds are spaced out, letting that swirling hissing ambience drift and hover, before voices surface, a choir, a lovely chorale buried in the blurred background. There are some rumbling scrapes, some distant creaks, and while the sound seems to evolve over the course of the two sides, it also sounds looped, cyclical and mesmeric, the various sounds, recurring, perhaps subtly altered each time, perhaps not, the result though, how ever brief, is a gorgeous sprawl of haunting, elegiac, abstract minimalism. So fantastic. LIMITED TO 233 COPIES, pressed on ultra thick vinyl, housed in a heavy matte picture sleeve, with a printed full color insert, each one hand numbered.
ORGANUM Volume One (Robot) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This collection features remastered material from the LAYLAH anti-records Tower of Silence and In Extremis as well as their split LP track Rasa with Nurse With Wound on United Daries. Organum is masterminded by David Jackman whose intense acoustic layers of droning noise are generated from bowed metal and mysterious whisperings. It is certainly nice to see these recordings available again after being out of print for so long. Fans of AMM and/or Tony Conrad should definitely take note!
ORGANUM Volume One (Robot) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. FINALLY REISSUED!!! While it's always a pleasure to listen the classic recordings of Organum, I've resigned myself to the possibility that David Jackman has quietly ceased all of his current musical operations and has been merely reissuing much of the huge back catalogue of his solo work and Organum from the '80s (what no Monoplane?). "Volume One" was one of the first documents of the Jackman / Organum reissues, collecting material from "Rasa" (originally produced as a split with Nurse With Wound on United Dairies) and the L.A.Y.L.AH. anti-records "Tower of Silence" and "In Extemis." Like everything else Jackman released, "Volume One" quickly went out of print and began fetching hefty sums on eBay. Fortunately, this has come back into print (but probably not for long); so those without a disposable income can afford to hear the wonderful paradox that is Organum. The timeless, acoustic drones that make up the music of Organum could have been made for the beginning of the world or for its final breath; yet Jackman has always avoided assigning any specific metaphors to his work. Instead, this is music that attempts to exist purely within its own context, unconcerned with anything beyond its self-defined borders. Grinding motorcycle engines, steel strung instruments, bowed metal, and Japanese flutes are the instruments that continuously re-appear throughout Organum's recordings. However grim, Industrial, grating, dissonant, or punishing Organum could be with such instrumentations, Jackman always manages to arrange his work to emphasize the dynamic and often beautiful tonalities of those sounds. For those fans of Mirror, Andrew Chalk, Birchville Cat Motel, Oren Ambarchi, and other drone obssessed composers, Organum's recordings are required listening.
"[track 1]" RealAudio clip:
ORGANUM Volume Two (Robot) cd 16.98
FINALLY REISSUED!!! Just like "Volume One," Robot Records has discarded David Jackman's mandala-like collages of medical clip-art as well as any pertinent information in favor of an all black package, with the tracklisting printed on the cd itself. Fronted by the curmudgeonly Jackman (who previously worked with Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra, Nurse With Wound, and members of AMM), Organum has been an unwavering vehicle to compose unsettling drones out of the dynamic timbres of metallic scrapings. As heard on the first track "Valley Of Worms" - a collaboration with The New Blockaders from the Organum album "In Extremis" Organum's sound is a monstrous howl of dissonant acoustic noises, chugging Kawasaki motorcycle engines (!!!), and abrasive textural overlayering; yet upon the following tracks "Horii" (originally released on L.A.Y.L.A.H. and featuring noted Organum graduate Andrew Chalk), and "Ich Reiste Weit Und Verweilte Fur Einigezeit In Tring" (an unreleased track from 1989), Jackman's symphonies of noise begin to harmonize into a eerily beautiful drone. Very highly recommended work that probably won't stay in print for much longer in spite of the repressing!
"[track 2]" RealAudio clip:
ORGANUM & THE NEW BLOCKADERS Pulp (Robot) cd 16.98
Again, Organum and The New Blockaders have released archival recordings without providing any information about those recordings. Fortunately, we here at Aquarius can subvert the two outfits' willful mysteriousness by providing a bit of information to go along with this album. Along with "Pulp" (a 7" released back in 1984), this album also features the "Wrack" LP from 1990 and the "Raze" 7" from 1994. All of these recordings had been painfully limited when they came out and strangely short in duration (a tendency that is becoming rather annoying in the Organum / David Jackman catalogue), making a full CD of this material well worth the investment. When collaborating with the Rupenus Brothers (aka The New Blockaders), David Jackman (the ringleader for Organum) hedges for a punishingly abrasive tone to come from his arsenal of scraping metal and growling motors. The "Pulp" ep is no exception with multiple hand-grinders abusing piles of scrap metal. Yet, behind this noise, Organum and The New Blockaders offer a strangely calm organ sound that drones noxiously like the late-period, carcinogenic work of MB. "Wrack" find the two ensembles again grinding away at another pile of metal, but with Jackman's Kawasaki motorcycle humming in the background. I'm not kidding. "Raze" finds all of the textural grit collapsing into a blur of white noise. Still quite nervous in its construction. There is also a track given the unfortunate title of "No Title" that rounds out this album. Since Jackman has five or six releases with this name, it's hard to say what this is, exactly. Nevertheless, it fits within the harsh acoustic noise that Organum and The New Blockaders are masters in creating.
"Pulp 2" RealAudio clip:
"Wrack 2" RealAudio clip:
ORGANUM & THE NEW BLOCKADERS Salute (Robot) cd 16.98
Originally released as a cassette in 1984, "Salute" is an early collaboration between David Jackman (Organum's mastermind) and the Rupenus brothers (who outside of the anti-art noise in the New Blockaders, are also known as Masshitshaddu, Metgumbnerbone, Bladder Flask, Mixed Band Philanthropist, and probably a few other projects of esoteric hermeticism). While these two entities have crossed paths on a number of occassions (most notably being their speaker damaging noise collaboration "Symphony in X"), "Salute" makes for quite a listenable album, albeit one full of nervous claustrophobia. The tense analogue vibrations that buzzes incessantly with a flanged clatter of scraping/creaking metal put "Salute" in close proximity to the high-end squeal of Whitehouse, but fortunately without the embarrassing vocals. Most everything that Jackman touches is certainly worth listening to, and this is no exception.
ORGANUM & Z'EV Tinnitus VU (Touch) cd ep 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's been far too long since Organum (or the ensemble's mastermind David Jackman for that matter) released a proper full album. Instead, we've encountered a steady stream of short program EPs and seven inch singles, which is becoming an unfortunate tease, as Organum's work, with their beautifully sustained drones, mesmeric timbral interplay, and transcendent minimalism really requires extended durations for the Organum aesthetic to articulate itself. I would imagine that Jackman wants the audience to work for those ecstatic epiphanies that are potentially present throughout his entire catalogue. If this is in fact true, then I must resign myself to the fact that Organum records are going to continue to shorten, condense, and shrink. Tinnitus VU finds Jackman taking up the Organum moniker once again, but this time he's collaborating with the shamanistic percussionist Z'ev. As one could expect, Mr. Jackman is not an easy man to find; and, even a man as esteemed and talented as Z'ev had to put considerable efforts into contacting Jackman, much less arranging a studio session to record. When the two finally got together, they bowed gongs and prepared wire instruments, scraped large pieces of metal together, and dragged heavy wooden objects across the studio floor. Alongside these archetypal actions for the two artists, they also decided upon a series of gentle piano chords. When Z'ev got a hold of those recordings and began to render a number of digital treatments of the source material, this 18 minute EP began to blossom. The piano only serves as a punctuation to the timbral explorations which emerge at first as shimmering drones of densely layered metallic dissonance and later, as an ocean of tumultous rumbles. Even with the digital sheen that Z'ev grafts upon the Organum sound, Tinnitus VU is an immaculate document.
"Track One" MPEG Stream:
ORGANUM / DAVID JACKMAN Penguins Eat Fish / Little Dark Wing (Robot) 7" 8.98
ORGANUM / Z'EV Tocsin -6 Thru +2 (Die Stadt) cd 24.00
We have sung the praises of many a David Jackman record, including both his solo projects and his epochal drone project Organum; yet, Jackman doesn't make it easy for us to like him. In recent years, he has only released hyper limited edition 7"s and 10"s with a paltry amount of sound on each, and usually with a pretty hefty price tag. Even the cd reissues are a bit frustrating, for instance the Vacant Lights / Rasa Avis was inexplicably released as a double cd when a single disc was more than adequate to house all of the material. Yet, Tocsin -- which is the second collaborative recording between avant-percussionist Z'ev and Organum -- is a much meatier release with almost 50 minutes of soundsculpting. In all likelihood, Z'ev is the one we have to thank for the longer program of Organum's music. The source material for Tocsin came from a single studio session in which Z'ev bowed and scraped the surfaces of an unspecified steel instrument, and Jackman sat behind a piano offering sparse clusters of sound. Afterwards, the two went their separate ways to further process the recordings. Z'ev's material focuses on the sustained metallic klang of that steel instrument; and while the resonances of those scrapes are quite similar to Jackman's quintessential albums like Ikon and Sphyx, his production sensibility places a much greater emphasis upon digital signal processing over Jackman's very dry sound. When it comes to Jackman's take on the material, he unsurprisingly concentrates on his piano clusters, with Z'ev's scrapes relegated to the background.
"Tocsin Plus 2" MPEG Stream:
"Tocsin Minus 2"
ORGUES-A-BOUCHES RITUELS DES MURUNG s/t (Inedit) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. AMAZING! Sounds like experimental electronic or ambient beauty, yet it's done completely on mouth organs in Bangladesh. The Murung people are an isolated society from a densely forested region of Bangladesh. Just as their religion has remained a type of spirit worship, Murung's ritualist music has developed independently from the rest of the world. It is a hypnotic cyclical music which has preceded the minimalism of Terry Riley and Steve Reich (but done much better!!!) by eons. The Murung perform their songs on 'plung' - mouth organs built of gourds punctured by bamboo and reeds resulting in eerie sustained trills. It may be an irrelavent point, but during these rituals, the Murung get pretty drunk on rice beer - yet remain calm, mirroring the methodic pulse of the ecstatic sounds emanating from their mouth organs. An excellent documentation. Anyone who enjoyed the compilation of music by the Ede people of Vietnam which was one of our 'records of the month' back in February should check this out too!
"Piece Pour Orchestre De Plung"
ORIENT EXPRESS s/t (Fallout) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Huzzah! Another middle-eastern pop-psych gem! Like the John Berberian lps we featured last list, The Orient Express released their sole record on the Mainstream label in 1969. Played on electric versions of sitar. oud, melodica, and minitar, this trio comprised of French and Iranian musicians with deft skills of traditional instruments create an engaging fusion of east-west grooves. A little more than a third of the songs have vocals either in Arabic or English. Not as heavy as The Devil's Anvil, but more psych than the Berberian lps, these spellbinding pieces weave sitar funk and eastern pop like a sublime melding of Mogollar and The Byrds. The English songs may sound a tad naive at first, but there's not that many of them and on repeated listens have really endeared themselves to us. So Awesome!
"Layla" MPEG Stream:
"Caravan of Silk" MPEG Stream:
"Azaar" MPEG Stream:
"For A Moment"
ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Dedicated To The Bird We Love (Sunbeam) cd 16.98
Dreamy rare psych-folk from Norway 1970. Gentle, lilting female and male vocals singing through gauzy Eastern-inflected arrangements of sitars and flutes. There is a nice transported quality to the songs as they seemingly take you through imagined mythic geographies. The perfect soundtrack to float down the Nile in a boat made of reeds, or to prepare virgins for tribal sacrifices to erupting volcanoes.
"Across Your Life" MPEG Stream:
"Where You Went"
ORIENTAL SUNSHINE Dedicated To The Bird We Love (Sunbeam) lp 24.00
Now on vinyl!!! Dreamy rare psych-folk from Norway circa 1970. Gentle, lilting female and male vocals singing through gauzy Eastern-inflected arrangements of sitars and flutes. There is a nice transported quality to the songs as they seemingly take you through imagined mythic geographies. The perfect soundtrack music for floating down the Nile in a boat made of reeds, or to prepare virgins for tribal sacrifices to erupting volcanoes.
"Across Your Life" MPEG Stream:
"Where You Went"
ORIENTAL WHATEVER #7 zine 3.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Dan Wu's personal musings on Asian American-ness filtered through media, movies, and music. Film, music, and periodical reviews (including a full page on Genghis Blues), plus an interview with AQ's very own Windy Chien and also Mike Park of Skankin Pickle/Asian Man Records.
ORIGAMI GALAKTIKA Horizont (Jester) cd 14.98
ORIGAMI GALAKTIKA Live In Central Europe (Vendlus) cd 14.98
A beautiful live document from the msyterious Origami Galaktika. Four extended tracks mixed into one 36 minute seamless whole. A rich, dense, lush, organic assemblege of ambient drones and droning ambience. Distant fog horn moans, chimes blowing in the wind, rumbling glitch flecked hum, getting more and more ambient, until scratchy white noise fuzz adds the sound of rain beating on a roof or a distant steam engine sort of thrum to the proceedings, that eventually morph into a sort of bass driven groove, albeit a super minimal and subtly pulsing one, with the sounds of occasional passing trains and other found sounds. So nice.
"Live In Central Europe"
ORIGAMI GALAKTIKA Stjernevandring/ Eesti Lissed Silmad Suda (Jester ) 2cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. What is it with Garm from Ulver (who runs the Jester label)? He just seems dead set on alienating everybody. I mean Garm and Ulver defined black metal for a while, even going so far as to record a record IN THE FOREST! Then they released an experimental double cd based on William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell. And then a techno record. And then a weird sapcey sort-of-soundtrack with moody vocals and saxophone! And then an ambient drone record. Well, if that wasn't enough, he then started a label to release even weirder shit. Like the experimental sort-of-rock of Bogus Blimp and the avant ambiencee of When (see past lists), the Bjorkish neo-drum and bass of Rotoscope (see later in this list), and now the processed filed recordings of Origami Galaktika. Six extended tracks (ranging from 10 minutes to over 30 minutes) of rumbling drones and low end hum, looped machinery, sampled tablas, monastic chants and chirping vocal cut-ups, haunting distant melodies and samples mutated beyond recognition. Lush, alien, almost industrial soundscapes. Yet another out there release from the quite unpredictable Jester label and one of the cooler drone records we've heard this year. Highly recommended.
"Rannak Tahtede Vahel" RealAudio clip: