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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover 16-17 Early Recordings (Savage Land) 2cd 19.98
Long overdue reissue of the impossible to find early releases from Swiss extremist free jazz / outrock outfit 16-17! Because of using saxophone, 16-17 were always tagged as some kind of 'jazz' group, but if this was jazz, it was a kind of jazz no one had EVER imagined at the time, extreme and difficult listening for sure, like Borbetomagus filtered through the Swans or like a snake charmer high on PCP jamming with Prong's rhythm section. Or even a free jazz Whitehouse! 16-17 were a shrieking banshee, a pummeling behemoth, massive, ear shredding, primitive horn blasting freakout predating Zorn's extreme jazz (Painkiller et. al.) by at least seven years. This trio (saxophonist Alex Buess, drummer Knut Remond and guitarist Markus Kneubuhler) wove tight, tense grooves of pounding drums, pulsing thick ropy low end guitar throb, and atop it ,all Buess' wildly squealing, squirming, snarling sax. 16-17 sound was so intense and far out, and so much modern music can be heard in these tracks, Flying Luttenbachers, Laddio Bolocko, Aufgehoben No Process, Painkiller, a few years later and maybe Buess would be celebrating HIS 50th birthday with star studded NYC performances and multiple cd releases, but as it is, these guys remained a footnote, lurking on the periphery, making common cause with Kevin Martin's God and Alboth and the even the Digital Hardcore label, their legacy indisputable, modern music's debt unrepayable, so thanks to Savage Land we can all now genuflect before the Gods of ultra extreme hardcore free jazz post punk whatthefuck, hear where it all started, feel the same thrill folks must have felt stumbling into some dingy New York dive when 16-17 came over and toured with the Swans, and being fucking flattened by these guys.
Includes the first two albums, Self Titled (1986) and When All Else Fails (1989) as well as the ULTRA rare Hardkore & Buffbunker cassette (1984). Two discs wrapped in a cardboard slipcover. Transferred from the best available sources, digitally remastered by Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers) and this is the very first time ANY of this music has been available on cd!
MPEG Stream: "Kat"
MPEG Stream: "Speech"
MPEG Stream: "Hardkore 1"

album cover 16-17 Gyatso (Savage Land) cd 14.98
WARNING: You -should- play this loud. But still, be careful! Make sure any of your easily-aggravated housemates aren't asleep. Move breakable objects out of the way. Take your heart medication. All reasonable precautions before subjecting yourself to the might of 16-17's newly reissued Gyatso.
The music of Switzerland's 16-17 has been called industrial free jazz. And it's certainly got the swarming, squealing saxophones of the most freaked out free jazz we've heard. But with its industrial/metallic elements, the BRUTAL trance-inducing grind of martial drumming and guitar chuggery, maybe "free" jazz isn't the word. How 'bout "totalitarian jazz"? When we previously highlighted the two-cd Early Recordings collection of 16-17's '80s output, we described the band as the "Gods of ultra extreme hardcore free jazz post punk whatthefuck". Ok, that's about right.
Well, Gyatso, originally released in 1994 on Kevin Martin's long gone Pathological imprint (home to Martin's projects like Techno Animal, God, and Ice, as well as crucial discs by Oxbow, Peter & Caspar Brotzmann, Terminal Cheesecake, Zeni Geva, etc.) was even more insane than the stuff on Early Recordings, being to us the pinnacle of 16-17's recorded existence. The thing is, this album takes their earlier excesses into a whole new realm, finally getting their music the heavy duty production treatment it deserved. It's about the heaviest "jazz" ever! Basically, imagine Godflesh teamed up with Peter Brotzmann (Machine Gun era) and this is about what you'd get. The aggressive, constantly-escalating tension of machine-gunning opener "Attack-Impulse" pretty much wipes the floor with all other contenders, going beyond the likes of Zorn's Painkiller or fellow Swiss maniacs Alboth! It simply kills. Having done so, for the rest of the disc 16-17 make sure you stay good and dead with an expansive onslaught of repetitive, rigid rhythms and psychedelic skree-scapes, with brassy bass drone and high-end sax skronk swimming in an ominous electronic miasma. A couple extra-noisy remixes are included at the end to wrap things up in the most extreme manner possible. (These appeared on the original version too.)
The trio responsible for making this masterwork consisted of Alex Buess (screaming saxophones and bass clarinet), Markus Kneubuhler (guitar, electronics and tapes), and the relentless Knut Remond on drums. Also, this disc features a couple very special guests: on utterly sick, thuddering bass, there's Ben "G.C." Green of (indeed) Godflesh fame. And providing electronic samples, Pathological head honcho Kevin Martin.
This essential reissue has been digitally remastered by Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers), and comes with a thick booklet of extensive new liner notes based on interviews with Buess and Martin, discussing the history of the band. We were fascinated to learn that Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine was such a big fan of 16-17 that back in 1995, he actually invited Alex Buess to work with him on the (still unrealized) follow up to Loveless! Who would have guessed? Apparently Alex spent a month in the studio with MBV, without much to show for it unfortunately... though we'd be still interested to hear what they were up to..
But, it surely couldn't be anything like this, there's nothing better as far as "ultra extreme hardcore free jazz industrial" or whatever is concerned!!
MPEG Stream: "Attack-Impulse"
MPEG Stream: "The Trawler"

album cover AAIMON Amen (Klangverhaeltnisse) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It's easy to tell something very witch housey is going on with these guys, present are all the usual signifiers, the band name is actually spelled with a triangle instead of the first 'A' in the band name, the song titles are a mix of lower case and capital letters, as well as all manner of symbols, but the proof as they say is in the creepy, electronic gloom pop ambience, and so it is, as the band unfurls a haunting expanse of swirling ominous ambient synthscapery, before the beats kick, an awesomely distorted and blown out dream-drag groove, a little bit skitter, the beats crumbling in clouds of buzz and crackle, the opener is super epic, almost a sort of cinematic theme type vibe, you can almost imagine some backlit figures walking in slow motion through the ruins of some old Victorian ballroom. And so it goes, we're gonna stop feeling like we need to defend witch house, cuz separated from the blog hyped hipster championed genre signifier, there's very little NOT to dig about this stuff, and this tape in particular. The second track offers up a sort of decayed Portishead, a skittery slowcore downtempo creep, the vocals an almost death metal cookie monster growl, but slowed way down so it sounds even more demonic, the in-the-red synth stabs, that sound more like a malfunctioning dubstep bass wobble only add to the woozy off kilter feel. There are of course creepy angelic (demonic?) female vox, gloomy and gothy and dreamy, with later tracks almost sounding like bastardized gloom pop versions of radio ballads. For everyone into Zola Jesus, LA Vampires, Circuit Des Yeux, Esben And The Witch, as well as the usual witch house culprits like Salem, Mellow Grave and Mater Suspiria Vision. But again, unlike those outfits, Aimon deliver something more darkly dreary and fuzzy, gloom-poppy and bestially balladic.
Of course as these things always are, EXTREMELY LIMITED, includes a download coupon as well!
MPEG Stream: "Pure"
MPEG Stream: "Amen"
MPEG Stream: "Maasym"

album cover ADN 'CKRYSTALL Jazz Mad (Dark Entries) lp 15.98
One of two new Dark Entries titles this week is this bizarre French progressive synth obscurity from 1982, ADN'Ckrystall. Erick Moncollin, the man behind this one-man-band, recorded this in four days but it has as many ideas crammed into its six tracks as a candyland record store filled to the brim with Gong, Vangelis, Tim Blake and Bernard Szajner albums! Starting with the darkwave adrenaline pop of "Cocaina Vitamina", the lengthy mind-bending and genre-jumping tracks that follow employ spacey electronic synthesis, cavey dirges, occasional plodding new romantic vocals and a wonderful outsider sense of unbridled compositional experimentation. Every time we play this, we sell a copy. Weirdo French new wave prog is always welcome in our book and big thanks to Dark Entries for introducing this into our lives!
MPEG Stream: "Cocaina Vitamina"
MPEG Stream: "Pour L'Amour D'Un Cygne"
MPEG Stream: "Le Blues De La Fille Aux Jambes De Jeans"

album cover ALCEST Les Voyages De L'Ame (Prophecy) cd 14.98
Really, what can we say at this point about French shoegaze / post black metallers Alcest, that hasn't already been said, by us, and pretty much everybody else? Alcest are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to soaring emotional melodic shoegaze black metal (along with Amesoeurs, but they're both fronted by the same guy anyway), and with every record they move further and further away from actual buzzing blackness, but at the same time, they keep getting better and better (production, arrangement, songwriting) and in the process, their ability to blend their dreamy jangle and black buzz far surpasses any of the other groups out there trying for the same effect. There's no jarring shift from crystalline shimmer, and hazy dreamy drift to blasting buzz, it's totally organic, and sure, in the process, perhaps the black and the buzz becomes muted and less, well, buzzy and black, but the strange thing is, no one is complaining. Even the grimmest of metalheads seems to love Alcest (and Amesoeurs). It's the Depeche Mode principle again, like Depeche Mode, all metalheads love Alcest. Not that we can blame them, what's not to love? Especially here, on what is arguably the group's masterpiece, so epic, and melodic, and sweeping and soaring, lush and textured, alternatingly heavy and majestic, dreamy and drifty, heavy on the post rock and the jangle, with the black metallisims making up a relatively small part of the sound, and when the band do get into some buzzy blackness, the infuse it with an impossible melodic sense, and the fact that the sound is so lush and the record is so well produced, it makes it sound heavier than most proper black metal bands, not brittle and buzzy, or chaotic and furious, but epic and crushing and MASSIVE. It can only really be a matter of time before non metalheads catch on. There's plenty here that would not sound at all out of place alongside Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed You Black Emperor and M83 and Mogwai and all the rest, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if this had come out on Temporary Residence, or even Matador. Maybe that's in the cards, but for now, we can all continue to bathe in Alcest's glorious sonic glow, while they still remain, at least tenuously, in the underground. At this point, this can't really be a contender for black metal record of the year, cuz it's finally just too far removed, but it's still so goddamn good, we're having a hard time imagining very many records this year, metal or otherwise, will top it.
MPEG Stream: "Autre Temps"
MPEG Stream: "La Ou Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles"
MPEG Stream: "Les Voyages De L'Ame"

album cover ALCEST Les Voyages De L'Ame (Prophecy) lp 42.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Really, what can we say at this point about French shoegaze / post black metallers Alcest, that hasn't already been said, by us, and pretty much everybody else? Alcest are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to soaring emotional melodic shoegaze black metal (along with Amesoeurs, but they're both fronted by the same guy anyway), and with every record they move further and further away from actual buzzing blackness, but at the same time, they keep getting better and better (production, arrangement, songwriting) and in the process, their ability to blend their dreamy jangle and black buzz far surpasses any of the other groups out there trying for the same effect. There's no jarring shift from crystalline shimmer, and hazy dreamy drift to blasting buzz, it's totally organic, and sure, in the process, perhaps the black and the buzz becomes muted and less, well, buzzy and black, but the strange thing is, no one is complaining. Even the grimmest of metalheads seems to love Alcest (and Amesoeurs). It's the Depeche Mode principle again, like Depeche Mode, all metalheads love Alcest. Not that we can blame them, what's not to love? Especially here, on what is arguably the group's masterpiece, so epic, and melodic, and sweeping and soaring, lush and textured, alternatingly heavy and majestic, dreamy and drifty, heavy on the post rock and the jangle, with the black metallisims making up a relatively small part of the sound, and when the band do get into some buzzy blackness, the infuse it with an impossible melodic sense, and the fact that the sound is so lush and the record is so well produced, it makes it sound heavier than most proper black metal bands, not brittle and buzzy, or chaotic and furious, but epic and crushing and MASSIVE. It can only really be a matter of time before non metalheads catch on. There's plenty here that would not sound at all out of place alongside Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed You Black Emperor and M83 and Mogwai and all the rest, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if this had come out on Temporary Residence, or even Matador. Maybe that's in the cards, but for now, we can all continue to bathe in Alcest's glorious sonic glow, while they still remain, at least tenuously, in the underground. At this point, this can't really be a contender for black metal record of the year, cuz it's finally just too far removed, but it's still so goddamn good, we're having a hard time imagining very many records this year, metal or otherwise, will top it.
MPEG Stream: "Autre Temps"
MPEG Stream: "La Ou Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles"
MPEG Stream: "Les Voyages De L'Ame"

album cover ALOA s/t (Medical ) lp 19.98
Another fantastic obscurity rescued by the fine folks at Medical Records, this one from a German duo called Aloa, who were part of the Neue Deutsche Welle movement, and whose only record from 1982, this one actually, has been a long sought after rarity. Hearing this now it's easy to see why. A darkly dramatic electronic krautrock/new wave hybrid, with robotic programed rhythms, pulsing synths, playful melodies, sci-fi FX, and some super dramatic, almost over the top vocals, the opening track here an almost campy sounding electro-kraut cabaret. But it hardly defines their sound, which is really all over the map, from brooding futuristic electro, to strange spaced out minimal post punk, from fuzzy, dirgey, glammy cold wave, to synth, cinematic weirdness, replete with wild vocal ululations, it's a pretty twisted collection of Germanic electro cabaret weirdness and experimental synth pop for sure, sounding at times like some weird hybrid of the Residents and the Human League, or maybe Felix Kubin crossed with Roxy Music? Sounds weird, and cool, and it is definitely both. It's easy to see why upon its original release it was misunderstood and overlooked, cuz it's pretty damn far out, but it's also really cool, a dark gloomy avant synth wave gem, that we're seriously tempted to proclaim as one of the weirdest Medical reissues yet. And fast becoming one of our faves.
Pressed on 180 gram green vinyl, housed in a heavy full color jacket, includes insert with liner notes and interviews.
MPEG Stream: "Weisser Wal"
MPEG Stream: "Deutsche Begegnung"
MPEG Stream: "Banane Zitrone"
MPEG Stream: "Lebedndig Und Vital"

album cover ALPINE, FRANK s/t (Weird Records) cd 11.98
One of two new releases recently from Wierd Records, the other reviewed last list, the long awaited new one from Xeno & Oaklander, and then there's this, the debut from Los Angeles one man dread-dance coldwave synth wrangler Frank Alpine, aka Rich Moreno, an LA punk scene veteran, who channels all that pink energy into a bit of synthwave that's surprisingly grim and grimey, evoking images of the gritty LA streets, of squalor and filth, the sound shadowy and dark and sinister. The opening track has to be THEE synth jam of the year, all creepy crawly, but weirdly melodic, the synth sounds buzzy and thick, cool weird handclap rhythms and all manner of mysterious sonic embellishments. It actually reminds us of a cold wave reinterpretation of The Specials' "Ghost Town", that same sort of haunting moodiness, but wedded to a sound that's weirdly danceable. We've probably listened to that track about 20 times so far, and besides it being a great song, couldn't quite figure out why it resonated with us so much, until we learned a little bit more about Mr. Alpine, who apparently only uses consumer Casio synths to create the harshest, most lo-fi sound possible, which is exactly what that ineffable thing is, other cold/synth wave outfits sometimes sound like they went to Guitar Center and just charged a bunch of cool gear, but these tracks, you can imagine Alpine with a bag full of crappy synths, trudging down the Sunset strip, head down, middle of the night, headed for his dank basement of a practice space, where he creates THESE sounds. The rhythms are immediately recognizable, as those brittle skeletal beats, but hear, wreathed in synth buzz, and woven into gristly shadow epics, they become a weirdly propulsive pulse, driving these grim late night anthems. Just might be our favorite thing on Wierd yet, and definitely the best thing to emerge from this new wave of new (cold/synth/dark) wave in ages...
Packaged in a super striking red and black mini lp style jacket (or not so mini, in the case of the actual lp version).
MPEG Stream: "No Exit"
MPEG Stream: "Heart Is Grey"
MPEG Stream: "Painted Eyes"

album cover ALPINE, FRANK s/t (Weird Records) lp 17.98
One of two new releases recently from Wierd Records, the other reviewed last list, the long awaited new one from Xeno & Oaklander, and then there's this, the debut from Los Angeles one man dread-dance coldwave synth wrangler Frank Alpine, aka Rich Moreno, an LA punk scene veteran, who channels all that pink energy into a bit of synthwave that's surprisingly grim and grimey, evoking images of the gritty LA streets, of squalor and filth, the sound shadowy and dark and sinister. The opening track has to be THEE synth jam of the year, all creepy crawly, but weirdly melodic, the synth sounds buzzy and thick, cool weird handclap rhythms and all manner of mysterious sonic embellishments. It actually reminds us of a cold wave reinterpretation of The Specials' "Ghost Town", that same sort of haunting moodiness, but wedded to a sound that's weirdly danceable. We've probably listened to that track about 20 times so far, and besides it being a great song, couldn't quite figure out why it resonated with us so much, until we learned a little bit more about Mr. Alpine, who apparently only uses consumer Casio synths to create the harshest, most lo-fi sound possible, which is exactly what that ineffable thing is, other cold/synth wave outfits sometimes sound like they went to Guitar Center and just charged a bunch of cool gear, but these tracks, you can imagine Alpine with a bag full of crappy synths, trudging down the Sunset strip, head down, middle of the night, headed for his dank basement of a practice space, where he creates THESE sounds. The rhythms are immediately recognizable, as those brittle skeletal beats, but hear, wreathed in synth buzz, and woven into gristly shadow epics, they become a weirdly propulsive pulse, driving these grim late night anthems. Just might be our favorite thing on Wierd yet, and definitely the best thing to emerge from this new wave of new (cold/synth/dark) wave in ages...
Packaged in a super striking red and black mini lp style jacket (or not so mini, in the case of the actual lp version).
MPEG Stream: "No Exit"
MPEG Stream: "Heart Is Grey"
MPEG Stream: "Painted Eyes"

album cover ALTAR OF PERVERSION / MORDAEHOTH / DER BLUTHARSCH Tributo A Der Blutharsch (New Era Productions) cd 13.98
When you imagine a tribute to Austrian apocalyptic industrial / militaristic folk legends Der Blutharsch, you might not imagine it being black metal by way of Italy and the Netherlands, but that's precisely what transpired way back in 2005, when Italian black metallers Altar of Perversion and Dutch BM horde Mordaehoth each offered up their own sonic homage to DB, each taking up a side of the record with their own twisted take on DB's already twisted blackened sounds. While that slab of vinyl disappeared before we could manage to get a single copy, it's now been released on cd, with the original tracks from the 10", but with the added bonus of SEVEN Der Blutharsch tracks, over thirty minutes of grim grey sonics, the sounds which ostensibly inspired these blackened reworkings.
Altar of Perversion are up first, with a sprawling 11 plus minute epic, that blurs the line between lurching doomic creep, and frenzied black blast, the sound raw and lo-fi, the guitars murky and droney, the track a lumbering dirge for the first little bit, melancholic and depressive, the sounds seem to bleed and ooze, sometimes slipping into killer droned out stretches of blurred buzz, before slipping back into that doomy trudge. It's not really until maybe half way through that things get really black and buzzy, but even then, the production is so warped, brittle and weirdly spare, that it retains that doomy energy of the first half, while wedding it to blasting beats and soaring fast picked majestic melodies. Eventually the sound does explode into a more standard blasting blackness, still, the sound retains a sort of seasick lurch that lurks just below the surface. Hard to say if it's a cover, or just a song dedicated to the mighty DB, but either way, it definitely exudes the same sort of black energy.
Mordaehoth take up three tracks, starting off with what sounds like some wartime radio recordings, only to launch right into it, weaving pagan flute like melodies into an almost punky sounding crush, clean vocals add to the pagan vibe, lulling us into thinking there won't be much blackness until the song darkens considerable, the vocals transformed into a sinister demonic croak, the music following suit, blasting and buzzing, only to return to that opening lilting shuffling blackened folk. The second track is a bit more dirgey, and simultaneously more majestic, soaring melodies, over crumbling distorted riffage, buried lo-fi drumming, but it's the third track where the Der Blutharsch homage becomes way less subtle, after starting out with a blast of growled buzzing blackness, the song slips into a more folky buzzy sort of cadence, which is soon joined by a distorted voice, sounding like some sort of militaristic sloganeering, over loudspeakers, before the band explodes into some serious churning black buzz, still accompanied by those voices, transforming the black metal into an almost military sounding march, and then the metal is peeled away leaving, some old scratchy military propaganda record spinning, then what sounds like some super dramatic footage from a war film, all ominous horns and more mysterious voices. Pretty goddamn great. easy to imagine this is what DB might sound like if they were black metal.
But then come the DB tracks, worth it for the price of admission alone even if you're not into black metal, unclear if these tracks are exclusive, but they are fantastic, brooding and dramatic, haunting and cinematic, deep spoken vocals, all manner of samples, martial snares, woozy ominous strings, warped swirling black ambience, wheezing industrial crunch, blurred blackened melodies, darkly rhythmic apocalyptic folk, Caretaker-like fuzzy, faded atmospheric drift, mysteriously cinematic soundscapes, raga like drones, and of course plenty of military marches, snippets of propaganda films, all woven into DB's gorgeous, barren, blackened soundworld.
Gorgeous packaging too, all black on black and extremely subtle. LIMITED TO 999 COPIES.
MPEG Stream: ALTAR OF PERVERSION "Untitled"
MPEG Stream: MORDAEHOTH "Untitled"
MPEG Stream: DER BLUTHARSCH "Untitled"
MPEG Stream: DER BLUTHARSCH "Untitled"

ALUK TODOLO & DER BLUTHARSCH AND THE INFINTE CHURCH OF THE LEADING HAND s/t (WKR) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover AMBER ASYLUM Frozen In Amber (Neurot) cd 14.98
Reissue of the debut cd from this atmospheric local group, that uses classical chamber music instrumentation to create dark, beautiful sounds akin to a black metal Rachel's. Black metal? Well, this was originally released this by Elfenblut, an imprint of now defunct British label Misanthropy, famous as the home of Burzum! And, for further "heavy" credentials, we should mention that band leader Kris Force has played with both Neurosis and Swans. This was previously only an import, and now boasts three bonus tracks exclusive to this new version!

album cover AMBER ASYLUM Garden of Love, Autonomy Suite, Still Point (Bio-Fidelic) 10" 9.98
First we've heard from local moody metallic chamber ensemble Amber Asylum in quite some time. Rumor is there have been label problems, but you'd never know it from this amazing self released 10" (other than it being, um, self released). Three brand new tracks that take Amber Asylum's gothic strings and vocals soun even further out, having now expanded their lineup to include former members of the Gault and SF black metal legends Weakling. The opening track is quite possibly the best thing we've heard from them, a brooding dramatic soundscape of intensely moody strings, and anguished melodies. Locked in by simple almost programmed sounding rhythms with haunting operatic vocals drifting ghostlike through the mix. Sounds a bit like Skepticism with a string section, and you know that is a very good thing. The second track heads into almost Goblin territory at points with super aggressive pizzicato strings, bows sawing away at the strings emitting truly ominous melodies. Side B clocks in at a little over 12 minutes, and is far more tranquil, an expansive, romantic epic, melancholic yet hopeful, with delicate crystalline piano figures, very subtle strings and sweetly plaintive vocals. So nice. Available only on limited edition 10" vinyl!

album cover AMBER ASYLUM Still Point (Profound Lore) cd 12.98
Esteemed chamber music goddess Kris Force returns with what is quite possibly her most stark compositions to date. She's joined by some of the Bay Area's finest and most beloved of the indie metal and rock community including John Cobbett (Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra), Jackie Perez-Gratz (Grayceon), Tim Green (The Fucking Champs, Concentrick), Lorraine Rath (The Gault), and Sarah Schaffer (The Gault, Weakling). Still Point begins with three songs that slowly drift in on droning strings (violin, viola and cello) and ghostly choral vocals. From there the gothic proceedings build gradually with the entrance of minimal piano, guitar, flute, trumpet and percussion. As always, absolutely haunting and stunningly gorgeous!
MPEG Stream: "In The Still Point He Remains"
MPEG Stream: "Black Phoebe"
MPEG Stream: "The Summation"

AMBER ASYLUM The Supernatural Parlour Collection (Release) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Fourth album from this popular local chamber-rock outfit. Somewhere between Dead Can Dance, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and In Extremo (the more RenFaire parts). Gothic atmospheres created with cello, violin, drums, and wispy female vocals. Mournful instrumental acoustic string-drone embellished with electronic effects: a beautiful, depressive sound. The album concludes with their surprisingly straightforward cello-metal version of "Black Sabbath" (complete with rain and thunder intro). That cover, which seemed so suitable, is a bit disappointing, but the rest of the disc is quite nice and mood-inducing.

AMENTI SUNCROWN Zenith Pitch (World Serpent) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not your laptop processing from Mille Plateaux or 12K, Amenti Suncrown prefer the increasingly antiquated arsenal of multiple keyboards, samplers, and color flashing gadgets to achieve their dark ambient / electronic soundscapes. Aptly released by World Serpent, Amenti Suncrown reflects a number of the same ideas held by World Serpent staples Coil and Nurse With Wound, with an absurdist / sci-fi / occultist view of the seminal electronic synthesis created by Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler. For those of you current re-living New Wave through Adult, Fischerspooner, and The Faint, Amenti Suncrown will offer a slight detour back to the 'magick ov 23.'

ANCIEN REGIME The Position (Mannequin Records) lp 25.00

album cover ANENZEPHALIA Noehaem (Tesco) cd 17.98
This is quite possibly one of the scariest records we have ever heard. It's occasionally pretty, occasionally noisy, but always haunting and pregnant with the possibility of tragedy. Not sure how or why this particular record evokes such a strong reaction, but this most recent record by German ambient noise terrorists Anenzephalia pushes all of those buttons. Feeling like you're being followed, sensing you're about to die, knowing that there is nothing you can do about anything...powerful stuff.
First there are rumbling strings, reverberating in vast expanses of near silence. Like a twentieth century classical score to a horror movie, Lustmord plays Ligeti, with a dark sweeping romanticism tempered by slight unease. Soon, we're subsumed by a dense field of distorted crackle, over a simple militaristic clunk, like a mysterious stranger trudging up a flight of rickety stairs, while a super distorted voice buried in the shortwave struggles desperately to reach across from the other side. The record continues on in a similar fashion, a hair raising, lugubrious crawl through massive washes of low end throb, surrounded by a cracking field of interference, wth random distant clanks and clatter, all coalescing into a barely discernable rhythmic pulse, that mesmerises and leads you deeper. This sounds like the soundtrack to the scariest haunted house ever, but unlike normal 'haunted house records', Noehaem would have the neighborhood children having coronaries, soiling themselves, and sent soon afterwards to asylums to live out the rest of their catatonic days. This is some dark and doomy, creepy and dreary, and gorgeously frightening stuff.
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"

ANENZEPHALIA s/t (Death Factory) cd 17.98

album cover ANGELS OF LIGHT How I Loved You (Young God) cd 14.98
A few years back, Michael Gira dissolved the Swans, and effectively split his band's aesthetic in two, with the soiled ambient project Body Lovers / Body Haters on one side, and the orchestrated songs of Angels of Light on the other. "How I Loved You" is the second Angels of Light album and, as could be gathered from the title, is a collection of love songs. The album begins speaking of love with elation, as in "Evangeline," where Gira pleads to his object of desire with the wistful innocence of a school boy. The following "Untitled Love Song" is a strolling duet between Gira and ex-Pain Teen's singer Bliss Blood, both of whom seem uncharacteristically full of sweetness and light. With those being the most benevolent images of love that he has to offer, Gira then guides the album down a steep slope of sexual dependency, perverse lusts, and a gristled despair in which Gira's body continuously betrays his mind's wishes to never fuck again.
From here on, each track from "How I Loved You" begins with a simple languid melody that could easily be mistaken for anything from the recent Low record but steadily builds in complexity, driving into deeper, darker, and more intense realms.
RealAudio clip: "Evangeline"
RealAudio clip: "New City Of The Future"
RealAudio clip: "My Suicide"

album cover AQUARIUS BUTTONS 2 x 1" buttons 1.00
Hey, we just got another batch of AQ buttons made up...
Spread the word! Show the world your true aQ colors! COOL COOL COOL aQ buttons, now in 6 different vibrant color combinations. 5 new color combos (blue on pink, red on dark grey, dark blue on blue, orange on black, and yellowish green on dark green) and a popular one we had previously (brown on yellow).
TWO FOR $1!!! Colors are random, but buy enough and you'll be guaranteed to get 'em all! And of course all feature our spiffy James Gang style logo!! So stylish!

ART FINE Dark Silence (Dark Entries) 12" 13.98

ASSS August 2010 (self-released) cassette 5.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover AUDITOR Form Destroyer (Annihilvs) cd-r 14.98
We raved recently about Iron Forest, a one man band trafficking in gloriously bleak and blackened industrial noise, his disc a murky expanse of wasted beatscapes and zoner dub power electronics. Auditor is the same guy. Not sure if this record by Auditor signals the end of Iron Forest (we hope not), or if it's just another gnarled offshoot, either way, Form Destroyer (possibly named after the Skullflower record, which would make sense...), basically takes up where that last Iron Forest left off, unfurling a caustic sprawl of gristled dronemusic, grinding fields of electronic static, moaning heaving swaths of suffocating low end, dense roiling clouds of sinister chordal thrum, not to mention, glitched out sort-of rhythms, processed vokills, sheets of hiss and hum, and eventually, fragmented distorted beats, which comes together on the second track, a twisted bit of dance floor destruction, with a rhythm constructed from drum machines and jackhammers (literally we think), a sort of gnarled, blackened IDM, fractured industrial techno recast as grimly groovy lurch and lumber, which quickly (d)evolves into a harrowing black ambient epic, all grinding, pulses, crumbling rib cage rattling rumbles, staticky drum machines, and primitive programmed rhythms, straddling the line between dark and moody, and truly terrifying, ultimately, and seemingly impossibly fusing the two, into something heady and hypnotic, darkly hypnotic and strangely mesmerizing.
The last two tracks change tack considerably, with "Betrayer Of Sleep" slipping into seriously blackened doom territory, a heaving slo-mo-crawl, with crumbling distortion, and oozing downtuned riffage, a lumbering deathmarch that is constantly on the verge of blurring into a blackdronedirge, while the nearly 15 minute long closer "I Can Never Be Far Enough From You", adds some female vocals, a keening, mewling cry off in the distance, over a swirling tangle of wild hiss and static drenched churn, almost like a disembodied Diamanda Galas torchsong, smeared into a bleary, blackened drift, the sound pulsing and dynamic, moments of crushing malevolence aside moments of delicate shimmer, a bit cinematic for sure, the blackness and grinding distortion eventually receding completely, leaving just some muted murk, buried melodies, distant rhythms, and that female voice repeating the title, everything eventually enveloped by soft noise and blurred buzz, for one final, almost shoegaze sounding coda, before it's just that voice, and that mantra, wreathed in effects. A haunting, and surprisingly delicate finale.
MPEG Stream: "And Vomit As You Devour Them"
MPEG Stream: "Flea On A Dead Dog"
MPEG Stream: "I Can Never Be Far Enough From You"

album cover AUTHOR & PUNISHER Ursus Americanus (Seventh Rule) cd 11.98
We first discovered Author & Punisher via a super limited dvd, cuz really, as good as the music is, and it is amazing, you sort of have to see the music being made to understand just how fucking nuts this stuff, and this guy really is. A&P is one man, Tristan Shone, who builds his own instruments, which in and of itself is nothing new, but we're not talking cobbled together rickety speakers and Amps For Christ style plywood soundmachines (although we love that stuff), we're talking gorgeous, precision machined instruments, that look like modern art, huge smooth steel drums, strange handles that slide along metal rails, bizarre triggers and stainless steel mouthpieces fitted with multiple microphones, Author & Punisher's setup looks like some post modern Rube Goldbergian sonic mousetrap, all glimmering metals and smooth expanses of perfectly fitted machines, the live performance as physical as any normal instrumentalist if not more so, Shone spinning the huge metal; drum creating thick swells of rib cage rattling low end, slamming the strange handles along the steel rails producing booming bursts of percussion, the strange Cylon like microphone producing an inhuman alien bellow. Even sans sound, the performance is riveting. Mesmerizing. We were lucky enough to host an Author & Punisher instore, and besides being incredible to see up close, the sounds produced shook the old wooden building that houses aQ so hard, that our upstairs neighbors came down in a panic, explaining that the whole hose was vibrating, and things were falling off shelves and tables.
Now imagine that sort of physical energy, converted into sound, but not just any sound, but totally mesmerizingly epic, crushing buzz drenched post industrial heaviness. A sound that falls somewhere between the industrial crush of Godflesh, and the blown out electronic buzz and glitch of Digital Hardcore, but all blurred into a sort of abject blackened industrial doom. All manner of low end pulsing and buzzing, rumbling and whirring, the beats skittery and stuttery one second, pounding and Teutonic the next, and then there's the bass generator, which we assume comes from that huge metal disc, cuz a sound that thick and intense should really come from a massive 300 pound hunk of spinning metal, that impossibly dense low end, weirdly woozy and almost liquid, the tones being adjusted on the fly, so much so that it sounds like the speed of the recording is being messed with, the sound warbly and woozy, warped and darkly damaged and druggy. While at the same time being heavy as fuck, and pretty much WAY more brutal that bands with real drummer and a phalanx of guitarists in front of rows of amps.
It's amazing how much of the physicality is captured on the record, more so here than on past recordings, the sound managing the delicate balance between blown out amp destroying crush, and tightly wound, barely controlled chaos. The songs slipping from lumbering doomic lurch, to swoonsome skittery abstract dronemusic, from noisy metallic pummel, thick, sinewy digidub, and from thick almost metalgaze drift, to super spare haunting minimal skitter.
Ursus Americanus is definitely the culmination of past recordings and live performances, managing the seemingly impossible task of creating something that stands on its own musically, but that captures a soundmaking method that you're unlikely to experience from anyone else. Totally incredible. And obviously, if you get the chance, see A&P live, and have your mind (and ears) blown.
MPEG Stream: "Terrorbird"
MPEG Stream: "Lonely"
MPEG Stream: "Mercy Dub"

album cover AUTHOR & PUNISHER Ursus Americanus (Seventh Rule) lp 13.98
THIS FORMER RECORD OF THE WEEK, NOW ALSO ON VINYL FOR THE FIRST TIME! (We are also listing the brand new album from A&P, Women & Children, but that's cd only for now.)
We first discovered Author & Punisher via a super limited dvd, cuz really, as good as the music is, and it is amazing, you sort of have to see the music being made to understand just how fucking nuts this stuff, and this guy really is. A&P is one man, Tristan Shone, who builds his own instruments, which in and of itself is nothing new, but we're not talking cobbled together rickety speakers and Amps For Christ style plywood soundmachines (although we love that stuff), we're talking gorgeous, precision machined instruments, that look like modern art, huge smooth steel drums, strange handles that slide along metal rails, bizarre triggers and stainless steel mouthpieces fitted with multiple microphones, Author & Punisher's setup looks like some post modern Rube Goldbergian sonic mousetrap, all glimmering metals and smooth expanses of perfectly fitted machines, the live performance as physical as any normal instrumentalist if not more so, Shone spinning the huge metal; drum creating thick swells of rib cage rattling low end, slamming the strange handles along the steel rails producing booming bursts of percussion, the strange Cylon like microphone producing an inhuman alien bellow. Even sans sound, the performance is riveting. Mesmerizing. We were lucky enough to host an Author & Punisher instore, and besides being incredible to see up close, the sounds produced shook the old wooden building that houses aQ so hard, that our upstairs neighbors came down in a panic, explaining that the whole hose was vibrating, and things were falling off shelves and tables.
Now imagine that sort of physical energy, converted into sound, but not just any sound, but totally mesmerizingly epic, crushing buzz drenched post industrial heaviness. A sound that falls somewhere between the industrial crush of Godflesh, and the blown out electronic buzz and glitch of Digital Hardcore, but all blurred into a sort of abject blackened industrial doom. All manner of low end pulsing and buzzing, rumbling and whirring, the beats skittery and stuttery one second, pounding and Teutonic the next, and then there's the bass generator, which we assume comes from that huge metal disc, cuz a sound that thick and intense should really come from a massive 300 pound hunk of spinning metal, that impossibly dense low end, weirdly woozy and almost liquid, the tones being adjusted on the fly, so much so that it sounds like the speed of the recording is being messed with, the sound warbly and woozy, warped and darkly damaged and druggy. While at the same time being heavy as fuck, and pretty much WAY more brutal that bands with real drummer and a phalanx of guitarists in front of rows of amps.
It's amazing how much of the physicality is captured on the record, more so here than on past recordings, the sound managing the delicate balance between blown out amp destroying crush, and tightly wound, barely controlled chaos. The songs slipping from lumbering doomic lurch, to swoonsome skittery abstract dronemusic, from noisy metallic pummel, thick, sinewy digidub, and from thick almost metalgaze drift, to super spare haunting minimal skitter.
Ursus Americanus is definitely the culmination of past recordings and live performances, managing the seemingly impossible task of creating something that stands on its own musically, but that captures a soundmaking method that you're unlikely to experience from anyone else. Totally incredible. And obviously, if you get the chance, see A&P live, and have your mind (and ears) blown.
MPEG Stream: "Terrorbird"
MPEG Stream: "Lonely"
MPEG Stream: "Mercy Dub"

album cover AUTHOR & PUNISHER Women & Children (Seventh Rule) cd 11.98
It's difficult to review records by Author & Punisher, cuz as longtime readers of the aQ list know, the music is only part of the equation. A&P is in fact Tristan Shone, who builds some of the most beautiful musical 'instruments' we've ever seen. Instruments that look more like pieces of art, or the guts of some super advanced aircraft, massive steel drums, weird science fiction style triggers attached to tracks, that slide along steel strips like some futuristic weapon. He sings through a mask that looks a little like that weird mouthpiece Bane wears in the Batman movies. And the act of making this music is extremely physical. Watching Shone play, he's spinning that massive metal drum, and slamming those weird triggers, sliding pieces of steel into other pieces of steel, there are huge dials and knobs, and chains, and cords, it's like he's in the cockpit of some alien spaceship, the act of flying said spaceship just so happens to produce the music of Author & Punisher, at least, that's how we envision it. And it's these gorgeous machines that while integral to the sound are inherently not present on the record. So if you've never seen the machines, or seen A&P play, then it's all about the music. Thankfully, the music is fucking awesome. Granted, it's a lot better listening to this stuff, and imagining those huge machines grinding away and spewing out these sounds, but even sans the visuals, this stuff kills. At times it's like an even more blown out, more machine like Godflesh. Although this time around, there's a lot more melody, which gives some parts a sort of dark gloomy rock vibe. We hear a little Deftones weirdly enough, and some of the post Godflesh outfits (Jesu, JK Flesh), there's definitely a serious dub vibe going on too, the vocals doused in effects, and looped and layered, the drums too, pretty dubby, and the bass, holy shit, the low end on this A&P record is unlike anything you've ever heard, like the rib cage rattling wobble of dubstep, but times ten, even more blown out and cranked up, noisy and thick, subsonic, corrosive and caustic. The sound will be heavy and churning, when suddenly, the bass drops, and it's like someone snuck in and spun your bass knob to ten. And cranked up the volume too. We can vouch for the extreme bassiness. We were lucky enough to host an Author & Punisher instore a while back, and one song in, our upstairs neighbors came rushing downstairs to see what the hell was going on, as EVERYTHING in their apartments was shaking and vibrating and sliding off shelves. THAT part of the A&P sound is pretty accurately represented here, the sound MASSIVE, and thick, and dense, and utterly CRUSHING.
This time around Shone seems to have honed everything he was going for on past records. The production is huge, the bass is punishing, the arrangements are dense and intricate, the sound is equal parts dubbed out and electronic, super dynamic too, with long stretches of more skittery minimalism, the heaving slabs of skull smashing heaviness more spaced out, plenty of gothy and gloomy passages, the vocals slipping easily from effects heavy clean croon, to demonic distorted bellow, the beats flit from skittery to devastating pound and back again, the overall sound is more textural, more fully realized, heavy, and rhythmic, mesmerizing and seriously fucking brutal. Anyone into Godflesh, Necro Deathmort, JK Flesh, old Digital Hardcore, heavy dub, blown out beatscapery, and of course alien robotic metal-dub, this shit is unbeatable!
Cool small world aQ crossover postscript: Longtime readers of the aQ list are no doubt familiar with the comic Wuvable Oaf, we've reviewed several issues, and raved about it like crazy, our very own Andee even appeared in one issue, as did aQ, lots of big hairy dudes, cats, strange sex and plenty of METAL. Anyway, one of the imaginary bands featured in the comic, Ejaculoid, who is in fact a 'real' imaginary band (featuring some aQ beloved hardcore luminaries!), were given the 'real' remix treatment by a handful of actual real bands, one of which was Author & Punisher, whose Ejaculoid remix is included here!
MPEG Stream: "Women & Children"
MPEG Stream: "In Remorse"
MPEG Stream: "Melee"
MPEG Stream: "Fearce"

album cover AUTHOR & PUNISHER Women & Children (Seventh Rule) lp 13.98
NOW ALSO HERE ON VINYL!! Includes mp3 download.
It's difficult to review records by Author & Punisher, cuz as longtime readers of the aQ list know, the music is only part of the equation. A&P is in fact Tristan Shone, who builds some of the most beautiful musical 'instruments' we've ever seen. Instruments that look more like pieces of art, or the guts of some super advanced aircraft, massive steel drums, weird science fiction style triggers attached to tracks, that slide along steel strips like some futuristic weapon. He sings through a mask that looks a little like that weird mouthpiece Bane wears in the Batman movies. And the act of making this music is extremely physical. Watching Shone play, he's spinning that massive metal drum, and slamming those weird triggers, sliding pieces of steel into other pieces of steel, there are huge dials and knobs, and chains, and cords, it's like he's in the cockpit of some alien spaceship, the act of flying said spaceship just so happens to produce the music of Author & Punisher, at least, that's how we envision it. And it's these gorgeous machines that while integral to the sound are inherently not present on the record. So if you've never seen the machines, or seen A&P play, then it's all about the music. Thankfully, the music is fucking awesome. Granted, it's a lot better listening to this stuff, and imagining those huge machines grinding away and spewing out these sounds, but even sans the visuals, this stuff kills. At times it's like an even more blown out, more machine like Godflesh. Although this time around, there's a lot more melody, which gives some parts a sort of dark gloomy rock vibe. We hear a little Deftones weirdly enough, and some of the post Godflesh outfits (Jesu, JK Flesh), there's definitely a serious dub vibe going on too, the vocals doused in effects, and looped and layered, the drums too, pretty dubby, and the bass, holy shit, the low end on this A&P record is unlike anything you've ever heard, like the rib cage rattling wobble of dubstep, but times ten, even more blown out and cranked up, noisy and thick, subsonic, corrosive and caustic. The sound will be heavy and churning, when suddenly, the bass drops, and it's like someone snuck in and spun your bass knob to ten. And cranked up the volume too. We can vouch for the extreme bassiness. We were lucky enough to host an Author & Punisher instore a while back, and one song in, our upstairs neighbors came rushing downstairs to see what the hell was going on, as EVERYTHING in their apartments was shaking and vibrating and sliding off shelves. THAT part of the A&P sound is pretty accurately represented here, the sound MASSIVE, and thick, and dense, and utterly CRUSHING.
This time around Shone seems to have honed everything he was going for on past records. The production is huge, the bass is punishing, the arrangements are dense and intricate, the sound is equal parts dubbed out and electronic, super dynamic too, with long stretches of more skittery minimalism, the heaving slabs of skull smashing heaviness more spaced out, plenty of gothy and gloomy passages, the vocals slipping easily from effects heavy clean croon, to demonic distorted bellow, the beats flit from skittery to devastating pound and back again, the overall sound is more textural, more fully realized, heavy, and rhythmic, mesmerizing and seriously fucking brutal. Anyone into Godflesh, Necro Deathmort, JK Flesh, old Digital Hardcore, heavy dub, blown out beatscapery, and of course alien robotic metal-dub, this shit is unbeatable!
Cool small world aQ crossover postscript: Longtime readers of the aQ list are no doubt familiar with the comic Wuvable Oaf, we've reviewed several issues, and raved about it like crazy, our very own Andee even appeared in one issue, as did aQ, lots of big hairy dudes, cats, strange sex and plenty of METAL. Anyway, one of the imaginary bands featured in the comic, Ejaculoid, who is in fact a 'real' imaginary band (featuring some aQ beloved hardcore luminaries!), were given the 'real' remix treatment by a handful of actual real bands, one of which was Author & Punisher, whose Ejaculoid remix is included here!
MPEG Stream: "Women & Children"
MPEG Stream: "In Remorse"
MPEG Stream: "Melee"
MPEG Stream: "Fearce"

album cover AUTONERVOUS s/t (Cochon) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Autonervous are Jessie Evans of The Vanishing and Bettina Koster of Malaria -- bringing together two generations of post punk and new wave. Both Koster and Evans are hellions on the saxophone, so it's not surprising that that instrument is featured as prominently on the front cover as the ladies themselves. The two also share the synthesizer, bass and vocal duties on the album, but go it alone on guitar (Koster) and drums (Evans). It's clear they're having a blast together in producing their shiveringly cold marches, sharing an easy flair for dramatics with ample nods to their respective pasts.
MPEG Stream: "Ancors Aweigh"
MPEG Stream: "Still Kaltes"

album cover AUTUMN Synthesize (Minimal Wave) lp 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
For those who have been delving into the many minimal wave / synth punk reissues and anthologies that have been emerging in the recent years, the name Linear Movement should be familiar. They were a Belgian synth-pop outfit with a few art-disco-punk leanings, featuring Geert Coppens and Peter Bonne (Bonne would later found the EBM project A Split Second, but his earliest synth-wave work has stood the test of time much better than A Split Second). Unfortunately, much of this early work had only been released on small cassette runs, despite some exceptionally strong production values and some great song writing to boot. The aforementioned Linear Movement had an album slated for release in 1983, but the label dropped the album from their release schedule. It was rediscovered later by Minimal Wave who released that lost album 25 years later in 2008. While a few breathtaking gems of early OMD / Human League sequencing are found within, that album was admittedly an inconsistent listen.
However, Autumn's Synthesize fares much much better. This project operated on a parallel track, using all the same gear, but they come across as a slightly darker alter-ego of Linear Movement and with a bit more weird science thrown into the mix. Their catalog consists of four self-released cassettes and a single, with Synthesize being a best-of record in all the right ways. Tracks like "Night In June" have an uptempo, sing-songy melodicism amidst the squelchy analogue sequencing sort of like a more robotic incarnation of New Order, and then there's "Behind You" with its dark sequencing of vocoder driven proto-electronica, prescient of an Italo-disco / Model 500 sound, with a nod to Ruth as well.

album cover AVIAN BONES Only On The Surface (Chaos Of The Stars) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A few lists back we hailed the return of the Mausoleums, our coworker Andrew's band which had lain dormant for far too long, and who in that time seemed to have morphed into a completely different beast, trading in the schizophrenic black metal weirdness for something much more droned out and psychedelic. And apparently that sonic shift also inspired the formation of a new band, this one called Avian Bones, which traffics in a similarly murky psychedelic krautdrone sound, taking obvious inspiration from Spacemen 3, Loop and other purveyors of druggy hypnorock, the emphasis in AB seeming to be much more on propulsion, the rhythm mixed way higher and giving these songs some extra heft, and some propulsive momentum. And the murk being such that it often seems to blur the riffs and other instrumentation into clouds of shimmering sound, more of a textural backdrop for the rhythm and the fore, the sounds shifting melodically, but drifting dreamily into oblivion.
After a brief lovely reverbed guitar intro, AB launch right into a long droned out stretch of dronerock bliss, the shifting sounds subtle enough that it almost feels looped, the song trancelike and fantastically relentless. "Going Somewhere Else" is another slab of similarly murky mesmer, the drums a bit busier this time, a bit loose limbed which gives the track a more organic feel, as if it could derail at any point.
It's not until "Only You Will Know" that the songs shifts dramatically, the drums machinelike and skittery, the droned out noise of the first few tracks dialed way back, leaving the sound more low slung and slithery, but gradually building to another spacey psychedelic sprawl, and once it reaches that point, the song locks tight, and we're once again carried away by the endless riffing and motorik rhythm. "Anoxia" offers up a false start, before lurching into a strangely spidery abstract bit of psychswirl drift, the guitars spare, the drums simple and skeletal, the guitars over the course of the track's 8 plus minutes, growing more melodic, but not necessarily louder, the track remaining spares and spare, but building in intensity, which is a nice effect, and leads right into the caustic crunch of the closer, a heady chunk of Loop meets Jesus And Mary Chain, with most of the JAMC shoegaze noise pop blurred into Loop-ed expanses of soaring melodies, and swirling distorted murk, and again, the song locks into a lumbering groove, and proceeds to churn away, with the clouds of guitar overhead swirling and constantly shifting, a seriously blissed out drone-psych coda.
And like the Mausoleums record, this one too is cassette only, the low fidelity and tape hiss only serving to enhance AB's marvelous murk. And we'd be surprised if the psych rock obsessives who freak out over every Carlton Melton / White Hills / Wooden Shjips release, finally started getting hip to the newly (re)launched Mausoleums / Avian Bones sonic axis...

album cover AX Metal Forest (Cold Spring) cd 17.98
Finally! The long out of print nineties releases from legendary industrial / power electronics / UK noise / black drone one man band AX once again see the light of day. Longtime fans of the mighty Skullflower, will no doubt be familiar with AX, the project of one time SF member Anthony Di Franco, who also did time in a number of other bands you might also be familiar with: Ramleh, Novatron, Ethnic Acid, JFK. But we always had a soft spot for AX, whose first two vinyl lps (collected here), Nova Feedback and II, originally released in 1994 and 1995 respectively, were for some of us our first taste of power electronics, and unlike much of the more harsh, ear shredding power electronics, AX trafficked in something much more droned out, a sound that whether intentionally or not, seemed to foreshadow the sort of slowburn sludge, and crumbling slo-mo ultra-doom that would follow. It's hard not to hear hints of Earth and SUNNO))) and Bunkur and Khanate or even groups like Troum and Maeror Tri, for all of its noise, and it IS noisy, that noise is sculpted in such a way as to render it impossibly listenable, totally hypnotic, and utterly mesmerizing. You can almost imagine a primitive hybrid of Troum and SUNNO))), the dark trancelike dronescape of the former, fused to the impossible black hole heaviness of the latter, but then the whole thing doused in a haze of caustic industrial crunch, and liberal swaths of grinding howling feedback.
This collection opens up strangely enough with one track that is NOT from either of those two 12"s, but is instead plucked off AX's only proper full length cd, 1997's Astronomy, but that track, "Kortex", is definitely the perfect opener, and in some ways the perfect introduction to AX. The doomiest of the bunch by far, due in no small part to its plodding slow motion 'beat', a gristly metronomic crunch, that sounds like a snare hit slowed down a hundred times and run through a bank of dead distortion pedals, over which Di Franco lays down a churning layer of crumbling blackened distortion, wreathing those plodding squashed bug beats in squalls of overloaded powergrid buzz, it's a sort of primitive electron-level ultra doom, snakelike tendrils of hiss wrapped around sheets of grinding metallic buzz, all driven by that sinister blacknoise pulse. Which leads directly into "Nova Feedback 1", a swirling psychedelic wash of rumbling black buzz, and phased out thrum, evoking the whole guitar-against-the-amp style near-static minimalist doomdirge. Fans of the late great Vulture Club and other practitioners of that sort of doomdronedrift will be in heaven.
"Heavy Fluid" is near symphonic, a sprawling 11 minute soundscape of layered guitar buzz, gristly electronics, shards of static, clouds of hiss, some serious proto-SUNN extreme slo-mo heaviness, which had us thinking a bit of another recent aQ fave, Blackwolfgoat, unfurling an endless cascade of woozy guitar buzz and melting blackened psychedelic riffage, the tones shifting constantly, as if someone was continually fiddling with the pitch knob, or more likely, an endless fiddling with the tuners, letting notes morph into other notes, to dip down into an even murkier thrum, before slowing drifting into a near howl. The sort of track, that we could listen to ENDLESSLY, only really exploding about 8 minutes in, when the original detuned creep is barraged by scrapes and squiggles and an avalanche of still more roiling guitarnoise. There are moments of pure noise, "Theme One", is in fact pretty much a four minute blast of face melting, ultra corrosive, blacknoise blur, but it almost acts like a palette cleanser, as it leads directly into the title track, which might be the most tranquil jam here, again foreshadowing the sort of bleak black soundscapery of groups like Wolf Eyes or Blue Sabbath Black Cheer or Gnaw Their Tongues, a gorgeously abject stretch of haunting post industrial buzz and hum, super cinematic, laced with all manner of grinding guitar noise, and strange moans and creaks, slipping easily from hushed drift, to cavernous bellow, and back again.
We then move into the two tracks from AX's II 12", the first a 10+ minute of grinding power electronics bliss out, which after an opening blast of speaker destroying crunch, seems to gradually settle into something more spaced out and atmospheric, but really no less noisy, buried voices, shards of feedback, and all manner of metallic crunch, are blurred and smeared into a softly heaving sprawl of dense, droned out, psychedelic free-noise drift. The second part begins as a low level hum, distant heaving moans buried beneath layers of static and hum, super dense and tense, the perfect cue for the final shot in some long lost seventies horror movie, but soon the haunting elements are all but subsumed by the swirling noise, the result a roiling sea of hiss and howl, grinding metals and churning buzz.
Finally, the collection finishes off with the last two tracks from Nova Feedback, the first, a dreamily psychedelic swirl of prismatic deconstructed guitar shimmer, and process chordal whirl, pulsing and pulsating, easily the prettiest track here, those strange melodies a recurring theme throughout the track, but gradually pulled apart and recontextualized, drifting dreamily one second, chopped up, looped and layered the next, wreathed in delay and reverb, and sent swirling into the ether, keening melodies over soft focus background guitarnoise, here rendered a dreamlike haze, totally hypnotic, and strangely tranquil. And finally, "Cluster" finishes things off, with what sounds like a classic chunk of black metal buzz, but here looped and layered and stretched out into an endless stretch of guitarbuzz mesmer, again reminding us of Blackwolfgoat, or perhaps Mick Barr, if he was restrained to just using the lowest strings, but that sort of near symphonic buzz, a churning tangle of blackened riffage, but blurred into something much more amorphous, a dreamlike cloud of psychedelic black shimmer, that is the perfect finish, to a near perfect collection.
Needless to say EXTREMELY recommended, and not just for nineties industrial obsessives (although obviously, for those folks, this is a no brainer), but if you dig minimal guitar mesmer, psychedelic doom, abstract heaviness, post industrial soundscaping, all strains of drone, especially heavy guitardrone, this collection will blow your mind.
MPEG Stream: "Kortex"
MPEG Stream: "Nova Feedback I"
MPEG Stream: "Heavy Fluid"
MPEG Stream: "Metal Forest"
MPEG Stream: "II"

AYERS, NIGEL / JOHN EVERALL / MICK HARRIS Mesmeric Enabling Device (Soleilmoon) cd 14.98
Outside the morphological sounds of Nocturnal Emissions, Nigel Ayers has embarked on a few collaborative projects - one with Robin Storey and Randy Grief, and this one with Mick Harris (Scorn, Lull, Painkiller), and John Everall (Sentrax Records). Collectively, the trio delves into the deepest pits of the dark ambient, pioneered by the likes of Lustmord. Sublime.

album cover BAD NEWS (This Is Why We Can't Have) Nice Things (Sleep Genius) 7" 7.98
Another beefy dose of industrial rhythms and bad vibes from San Francisco's Bad News, who as we mentioned before have nothing to do with the British comedy troupe of the same name that brilliantly parodied all of the cliches of heavy metal back in the early '80s. This single takes up a Crash Worship frenzy of drums extracted from the pagans and programmed into the machines of the Hypo Luxa & Hermes Pan school of Wax Trax productions circa 1989. Clipped, machine-gun snare fills and metal-bashed samples stand at the foreground of the A side, with the vocals from Sarah Bernat warped from her already diabolical chant through a square-waved tremolo pattern. The B side is a remix, with the vocals pushed towards the foreground for more of a cold-wave feel buttressed by swarming synths provided by Marc Manning; and the aggression of the programmed drums certainly remain. Super limited pressing on lead-gray vinyl. Download code? Yes and thank you.
MPEG Stream: "(This Is Why We Can't Have) Nice Things"
MPEG Stream: "(This Is Why We Can't Have) Nice Things Remix"

album cover BAD NEWS No End (Chondritic Sound) lp 14.98
No, not the same Bad News which offered up a British version of Spinal Tap's heavy metal stupidity and awesomeness; although there is a certain incredulity about this Bad News as well. Of course, styles come and go with each season, and many of the sounds that defined the '60s, '70s, and '80s have eventually come back around through whatever cultural zeitgeist is spurning them on. So, this Bad News is one of several bands currently at the forefront of a minor movement that is pushing beyond the minimal wave aesthetic out of the early '80s and into the more aggressive, blustery sounds of industrial uttered by Wax Trax, PIAS, and Nettwerk from 1986 to 1990. Yeah, think Vivisect 6 era Skinny Puppy or Twitch era Ministry. Bad News is the work of Alex Lucas and Sarah Bernat, the latter being renowned for her work in the chairkickingly punk-as-fuck noise trio 16 Bitch Pile-up; and her bad-ass swagger on vocals and guitar is amply matched by the heavy sequencing and blister-popped electronics from Lucas. "Decay" sports a Missing Foundation / Skullflower guitar churn amidst a slow dive bomb squalor of electric noise and Bernat's gray-colored monotone vocals, with the rhythms and electronics embued with a heavy, machined plod. Sweaty. Smelly. Greasy. The title track throws a monophunk basskick into the foreground with hypnotically aggressive intentions matched by what could only be seen as an industrial strength / megaphone raga in which Bernat chants those titular words. "Typical Illusion" is Bad News' finest moment of post-hardcore riffage affixed to militantly double-timed rhythms and cluster bombs of heavy noise, electronic confusion, and ill will. If anybody remembers when Controlled Bleeding released a couple of really ho-hum records on Wax Trax in 1989, THIS is what Paul Lemos, et al. should have been doing.
We had this on cassette briefly, and we gotta say that the vinyl mastering job renders a truly superior product. Fucking rad.
MPEG Stream: "Typical Illusion"
MPEG Stream: "No End"

album cover BAD PSYCHIC s/t (Sygil) lp 12.98
From the always impressive Sygil label, who in the past has given us stunning releases from
Aurora Dorey Alice, Charnel House, Avakr, OS, Sky Projection and more, comes this gorgeous missive of witchy, washed out dark wave gloominess/dreaminess. Falling somewhere between the drifty murk of Grouper, and the gothic torch songs of Zola Jesus, Bad Psychic unfurls stately, hauntingly meditative gloom-ragas, with soaring, tranced out vocals, over a bed of roiling dark drones, and softly churning synths. Woozy loops, and layered melodies, bleed and blur into softly undulating sonic tapestries, sometimes tethered to a spare, skeletal rhythm, but often left to float weightless in a sprawl of blackened shimmer. Some tracks (like "Dance Spell") slip into a sound a bit more overtly new wave, but even then, it's still creepy, and hazy, and drowsily lo-fi. Opener "Fortune" sets the mood perfectly, with it's tranced out, almost chorale sounding mesmer, that druggy, drowsy vibe surfacing throughout the record, sometimes morphing into a grim kosmische sound, other times blossoming into near poppiness, but always shadowy, and grey, and darkly dreamlike. Even after just one listen, we were compelled to just lift the needle and put it right back at the beginning again.
Fans of witchy, dreamy dark pop, especially folks who were bummed on the most recent Zola Jesus record, will find themselves wishing that had sounded more like this. A dark, droney, hypnotic, gloom pop gem, that comes WAY recommended. Includes a download code as well. LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Fortune"
MPEG Stream: "Dance Spell"
MPEG Stream: "The Veil"
MPEG Stream: "Sister"

BAD SECTOR / CONTAGIOUS ORGASM Vacuum Pulse (Old Europa Cafe) cd 15.98
"Vacuum Pulse" is a collaborative effort between Japan's Contagious Orgasm and Italy's Bad Sector, both of whom have extensive catalogues of post-industrial rumblings. This was originally a cassette from Old Europa Cafe, who fortunately issued this again in a digital format with two extra collaborative tracks. Bad Sector's sound is typified by slow Wagnerian melodic progressions creeping out of tense John Duncan-esque data-crunched drones. Contagious Orgasm prefers to lace processed authoritative speech patterns with Eraserhead radiator sounds. Their collaborative efforts sounds a lot like a louder Main without as much bass and with a gilded aura surrounding all of the work.

album cover BARREN HARVEST Beautiful Flowers (Black Horizons) 3x7" 24.00
Somehow we managed to miss the debut full length on Handmade Birds from Barren Harvest, the duo of Lenny Smith from Atriarch and Jessica Way of Worm Ouroborus, and we're kicking ourselves now, 'cause this new release of theirs, on local label Black Horizons, reveals a compellingly mysterious soundworld, that owes more to groups like Comus and Death In June than it does to anything properly metal. While technically this is their latest release, what's on here are actually the earliest recordings from Barren Harvest, early demos, many of which would go on to be reworked and rerecorded for their full length, but they sound fantastic here just the way they are. Skeletal, minimal, bare bones, hushed and intimate, simple spidery arrangements of steel string buzz, delicate piano, moaning strings, darkly crooned male and female vocals, harrowing harmonies, almost liturgical at times, the sound a sort of neo-folk torch song, haunting, elegiac threnodies that seem to be emanating from those dark woods, or seem to be crooned by those robed figures surrounding that crumbling altar amidst the brambles by the seaside, the vibe windswept and overcast, grey, otherworldly and mysterious.
LIMITED TO 233 COPIES, fantastically packaged, three 7"s, each packaged in their own sleeve, each one adorned with a drawing of a flower on one side, a sigil on the other, and each with a little printed lyric sheet, all printed in metallic silver on black, all housed in an inner AND outer slipcover, each again adorned with metallic silver artwork, and inside a small printed piece of owl art, very very very nice.

BAUHAUS Burning from the Inside (Beggars Banquet) cd 12.98

BAUHAUS Crackle (Beggars Banquet) 2lp 16.98

BAUHAUS Crackle (Beggars Banquet) 2lp 16.98

BAUHAUS Gotham (Metropolis) 2cd 21.00
Documenting these Goth superstars' recent live reunion tour, two discs worth. At first listen, one thing we can say is that this is surprisingly damn HEAVY. Yes, this includes "Bela Lugosi's Dead" amongst other black eyeliner hits. And, this has a new studio track too, their first in like 15 years, a cover of Dead Can Dance's "Severance".

album cover BAUHAUS In The Flat Field (4AD) 2cd 21.00

BAUHAUS In The Flat Field (4AD) lp 16.98

album cover BAUHAUS Mask (Beggar's Banquet) 2cd 26.00

BAUHAUS Mask (Beggars Banquet) lp 16.98

album cover BAUHAUS Shadow of Light / Archive (Beggars Banquet) dvd 15.98
Both Shadows of Light and Archive had been made available in the '80s as collections of Bauhaus' videos and live recordings; and now they've been compiled onto a single DVD for your viewing pleasure. Shadows of Light originally featured all of the videos Bauhaus made, including the particularly grotesque chiaroscuro of "Mask" as well as four live tunes recored in stark black & white at the Old Vic in London. Archive fills in the remainder of the live material shot at that Old Vic show, albeit framed by a curious vignette of a Victorian gentleman being pursued by a couple of no-good thugs. Nonetheless, Peter Murphy stands out as a vampish hybrid of David Bowie and Iggy Pop during these outstanding live versions of "The Passion Of Lovers," "Dark Entries," and "Stigmata Martyr." Essential for anybody bit by the '80s revival bug.

BAUHAUS The Sky's Gone Out (Beggars Banquet) cd 12.98

album cover BE FOREST Cold (We Were Never Being Boring Collective) cd 9.98
Even better than their Earthbeat album that we recently ballyhooed about, here also is the debut album from Be Forest! Several of us here discovered this album a while back, forking over substantial sums of cash for the privilege of getting ahold of this Italian shoegazing goth quartet; but we've solved the distribution riddle, and now can happily offer this album to you, O beloved aQuarius customer!
Be Forest hails from the coastal village of Pesaro, whose cultural sleepiness seems only trumped by the substantial number of retired folk who live there. Such is the well-worn recipe for rock, punk, metal, goth, noise, aktionism, and whatever else might strike your fancy: take a bunch of bored teenagers with grandiose ideas / immaculate taste and give them instruments... interesting things should happen. Be Forest is the only band we've heard from what's been dubbed the 'Pesaro-scene', but on the strength of their albums, we're curious to hear what else might be happening alongside these Italian miserablists. In the aptly named album Cold, you'll hear the ghosts of The Cure, Slowdive, Modern English, The Chameleons UK, and pretty much any of the bands that would have inspired half of the Captured Tracks roster; but Be Forest pen songs and create an atmosphere that is WAY better. No drum machines to be found here; Be Forest's Erica Terenzi lays an impressive backbeat on every track, augmented by those gated-reverb tricks that Martin Hannett developed with Joy Divsion that are still being used today as necessary spaciousness and ethereal ghostliness within the goth songbook. Terenzi and Costanza Delle Rose share the vocal duties in Be Forest, with their darkly seductive inflections seemingly indistinguishable. Songs like "Dust" and "Thrill" sparkle with brightly ringing tones over tribal percussive patterns foreshadowing Be Forest's second album Earthbeat; but it's the gloom 'n' doom pop of "Screaming Prayer", "Buck & Crow", and especially the magnificent "Florence" that are the highlights here. The latter track follows the Robert Smith / Simon Gallup goth-pop formula of big thrumming basslines and majestic pop-hook crescendos that could have slipped easily on to Disintegration or Pornography. One of those albums that has been stuck in the stereo here at aQuarius, and for very good reason!

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