mercredi 29 juillet 2015

Marching church - This world is not enough (2015)

Marching church is a project with Elias Bender Rønnenfelt from Iceage. It's rooted in post-punk (stripped out composition, basslines put forward and sharp guitars). The album called This world is not enough was released this year by the excellent Sacred bones records. As
Rønnenfelt , who composed and sings, said it sound "half-asleep" and it's a quite hypnotic and trippy listening experience. The vocals especially sound half-asleep and always on the edge. those vocals, with some piano parts, plus the post-punk based music, reminds a bit Nick Cave or maybe even Tom Waits. it's as much spoken as it is sung. there's also female vocals adding more melodies, some very good "jazzy" parts with the piano, drumming and also a bit of sax. It sounds a bit like some decadent cabaret post-punk in the end of the night. It doesn't sound like the hundreds post-punk bands trying their best to sound like Joy division. It's really interesting stuff, with a very loose and spontaneous feel.
And yes this world is not enough...

The Bandcamp page.

samedi 25 juillet 2015

Laike - Fången i Det Senaste (2014)

Laike started as the solo project of Christofer Ståhle, from Sweden. I completely fell under the charm of the first album, released in 2012 (read HERE my review, going with an interview with Christofer Ståhle). I discovered recently that the second Laike album was released in november 2014. It is called Fången i Det Senaste (which means Trapped in the Latest) and it is another marvel. What kind of music is it? We could say it's folk rock with roots in the 70' and elements of prog' and psychedelia. Christofer Ståhle composes, sings and plays the flute. And maybe this use of flute (and how it is played) explains with it's great expressivity and delicacy the richness and subtility of the atmospheres created. The songs really develops rich moods and feels, sometimes very quiet, sometimes more upbeat, very lively and joyous, often with a very subtle balance between slight melancholy and wonder (at least that's how I feel it...). The singing in swedish is very good and adds (at least to non swedish ears!) to the uniqueness of the music. There's also a nice use of piano (or Moog or Wurlitzer, Mellotron and stuff like that), clean guitars, drums and percussions plus some harp, violin, vibraphone, etc. but mostly flute, guitars, keys and drums, and singing. If you're into 70' folk / prog / psych rock Laike will sounds nicely familiar, but without never sounding boringly retro, it really has it's very special personnality, its own kind of melodies and moods (it's all about melodies and moods). The main difference between the first and this second album is that the new one is more a collective effort (with musicians from Lisa o piu and Me and my kites, among others) and sounds like it is. The songs are more complex and there's less parts with an introspective feel. Maybe some would regret the more mysterious and nearly mystical feel of the first album but I think it's great that the two albums are different, with a different global atmosphere and character. The new songs sounds enriched with more subtilities that you'll discover after a few listen, also it sounds, overall, more "positive", upbeat and groovy. I really love both albums, and hope the third one will bring another taste as well...

Very special and highly recommended stuff!


vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Organ dealer - Visceral infection (2015)

Organ dealer is a death / grind band from New Jersey and Visceral infection is their first album. They already get some attention last year with a two song demo that was excellent. Are they confirming the good impression they made then? Yes they are, Visceral infection is a solid and enjoyable album for anyone into death / grind.  It has some old school grind elements, parts with hardcore riffing and groove, but the massive production and the parts with more complex riffing and death metal brutality and groove put them in the modern grind category (yes "gory" indeed!). What I like is that they keep a good balance between very fast and the grooves, and between more straighforward crust / HC riffing and more complex parts. It's never sounding like a heavier math rock band or super techy metal. It still is grind. And while borrowing good elements from death metal (riffing, groove) they avoid the gore vocals extremeties, in favor of more "classical" grind vocals (which I prefer). They did a really strong first album and I really hope I'll be able to hear them perform it live.

Their BC page.

mercredi 22 juillet 2015

The Body & Vampillia - Xorohabin (2015)

The Body are always experimenting and are never afraid of radical contrast (like their use of choir vocals in their grim indus / drone sludge) so their new collaboration with Vampillia, or anything they would do, shouldn't be such a surprise.  Still, among the different bands or people they have done music with, Vampillia is the most surprising, the farthest from their own musical universe. Vampillia comes from Japan (Osaka) and plays some versatile kind of post-rock with neo-clasical elements (with piano, chords, etc.) it's not possible to describe what they do because it's always changing anyway but most of the time their music is not really dark. So how does sound their collaboration record called Xorahabin? As expected it's interesting, we find elements from both bands but it's not just a juxtaposition of the music of the two bands. It succeeds to sound as a whole. So what do we have? noise, or even harsh noise, heavy beats, desperate screams and a bit of more melodic choir vocals, melodies with chords or strings, a bit of piano, a dark & ominous atmosphere that is quite cinematic. Four songs in a bit less than half an hour. If you like The Body you'll probably like this one, if you like Vampillia you'll like it if you also like rawer & darker stuff and you should give it a try anyway. It's a really good record, not just original & interesting but also "enjoyable" in it's special way. Not a realease you listen one time and say "ok, it's interesting" but dont listen to it twice, not I 've already listened to it quite a lot and each time I find something more in it. Recommended stuff.

samedi 18 juillet 2015

The Haunting Presence -ST MLP (2015)

The Haunting presence is the solo project of Ghastly apparition from Nocturnal blood. He released this year this self-titled MLP with Hells headbangers records. THP is part of The Black Twilight Circle. This record is evil & barbaric death metal at is best. Ferocious and raw, it evoques armies of demons marching to war or grotesque rituals. I especially like the drumming (not especially "technical" but good) having enough diversity to stress every twists in the songs. And it really stress the war & ritualistic feel of the album with it's focus on percussive power more than on speed. My only complain would be that this record is just six tracks, four songs and two instrumentals. I would have liked more...

The BC page

mercredi 15 juillet 2015

Sundays & Cybele - Gypsy house (2015)

Sundays & Cybele is a japanese psychedelic band. Their music is rooted in 60' psychedelic / garage rock, and more specifically there's a strong Hendrix influence in the melodies and guitar playing. The closing instrumental reminds Can. But they're not just trying to recreate music of the past and the fuzzy tone of their guitar is not out of "space" in 21th century stoner / space rock. But, in addition to the high quality of the songwriting and playing, what makes them sound so unique is the singing in japanese, showing how fitting this language can be for psychedelic music.
Their album called Gypsy house (another nod to Hendrix!) was released in march by Guruguru brain, a yery good label specialised in japanese psychedelia. It is a very wel crafted and enjoyable album. Recommended!

The Bandcamp page

dimanche 12 juillet 2015

Nightslug - Loathe (2015)

Is it sludge? is it noise? It's both and more importantly it's awesome. Loathe is the second albul from the german trio Nightslug. They really managed to develop a thick and dirty hypnotic groove. The rhythm element is really important in their sound, more like in noise rock or in Unsane than in the usual sludge band. but the slow paced tempo, the heaviness, plus some riffing sound sludge. But there's no faster hardcore parts, they keep it slow / mid tempo all the way (bordering funeral / drone doom at times). well, it's beak, slow, heavy, drenched in feedback, with a strong focus on the bass guitar. And they really does a good job in playing this kind of music. it's been released by Lost pilgrims records, Broken limbs and Dry cough records. This album, with the Rectal hygienics one, are my two favourite sludge (or noise!) albums this year so far. recommended!

The album on the Lost pilgrim Bandcamp page

mercredi 8 juillet 2015

People problem - Examinations (2015)

Coming from Perth (Australia) People problem is a new (first demo in 2013) powerviolence band. Examinations (released on 50 tapes, as a digital release and as a 7' later this year) is their fourth release. 10 songs in less than 7 minutes. yes short songs, played fast. their powerviolence is closer to old school hardcore (let's say Minor threat) than to grind, but it's still quite wild, especially the screamed vocals . the atmosphere is bleak and breath violence and despair. wait... no it does not breath! it's oppressive and relentless. If you need a quick fix of scary intense hardcore / PV this will do perfectly!

Their Bandcamp

lundi 6 juillet 2015

T'ien Lai - Da'at (2013)

Ready for some polish analog electro / psych / kraut / noise? In any case you should try this album, yes it's weird but also excellent, very trippy. T'ien Lai is Łukasz Jędrzejczak and Kuba Ziołek are also part of other bands from the Milieu L'Acéphale collective. On this recording they used : radio sets, guitar effects, voices, synthesizers, guitar loops, amplifiers. The music is noise / drones with synth' trippy melodies with an oriental touch, plus sounds from radio, guitars etc. and a bit of incantation like vocals at times or vocies from radio. Overall it's quiet / meditative but there's also a mysterious feel of danger. I think there's a big krautrock influence but Sunn))) or Bong comes to mind as well. Psychedelia comes in many forms indeed. This album is called Da'at and was released in 2013 by Monotypes records and Milieu L'Acéphale. This is a very recommended trip!

The Bandcamp page.

dimanche 5 juillet 2015

Magnolia - Svarta Sagor (2015)

Don't know what they had in mind with this cover art, but it doesn't matter, the album is really enjoyable. Svarta Sagor is Magnolia's  fifth album and is released by Transubstans records. The swedish band (singing in swedish) is playing some good ol' 70' inspired heavy rock but often manages to sound different from all the other "retro rock" bands. First the singing in swedish implies different vocal melodies, those vocals melodic and powerfull at the same time are a strenght for the band. Also if they're good at Sabbath riffing, it's clear it's not the only heavy rock band they get their inspiration from, their songs can reminds also bands more on the heavy blues side of proto heavy metal like Cream or Mountain or also the most rocking moments of Jimi Hendrix. The quality of the guitar playing helps making that possible. They also displays at times some slight prog/ folk rock influences. So if you like all the different tastes of 70' heavy rock I really recommend this album to you.

the Transubstans soundcloud page

samedi 4 juillet 2015

Interview with Adam Sommer (Sommer & Sygil records)

After his previous band, Charnel house, ended Adam Sommer started his solo career with a really good album called On waking and dreaming (That I reviewed HERE).He also runs an interesting label called Sygil records (check its website and its Bandcamp). After reviewing his solo album I wanted to know more about his music and his label so I sent him some questions by mail. Thanks to him for taking the time to do it. I think it makes a very interesting read. Read his answers below :

-On waking and dreaming is your first solo album, you did it after your previous band Charnel house ended, I suppose it is linked? or is it something you planned to do anyway? tell us more about the birth of this album.

For a moment I had considered continuing on as Charnel House. When it came down to it, I knew that the essence of Charnel House was the collaboration of Hellfire and myself. CH began to dissolve, the general feeling during writing and practices was cumbersome. I began writing compositions for solo performances using two 4-track cassette recorders. This led to more experimentation with incorporating guitar and voice and the songs for "On waking and Dreaming" began to emerge. There was a freedom and creativity I had not experienced before and I wound up locking myself in my small studio for several days at a time writing, forgetting to eat, and creating the album almost stream of conscious, or the automatic style, as described by A.O. Spare.

-I really like its title "On waking and dreaming" and think it goes well with the atmosphere created by the music. Can you tell us more about this choice of title?

I had been through alot in the previous year with personal relationships and the like, I found myself in a place totally liberated from my hang ups and my negativity.  The album is a reflection of a new psychic space where the incredible and mysterious parts of life intertwine harmoniously.  So many incredible things that I can't even describe were occurring, fortune had been smiling upon me.

-What about the making of the album, were some parts written originally for Charnel house? what were your guiding ideas for the album?

I knew Charnel House was ending months before it happened. We have an entire album of songs that will have to rest comfortably in the universe somewhere.  When I was ok with letting go of those songs, I began thinking of my next move as far as writing was concerned. The aesthetic of On waking and Dreaming came over a period of several months. Reshaping and rethinking how I had approached music, the album came to be a celebration. I wanted it to have a good feel but just something sinister underneath, like the opening scene of Blue Velvet.

-how did you get into this kind (s) of music and which bands influenced you the most?

I have always been obsessed with music, I remember spending most of my pre-teen years in front of my dad's record player listening to Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Floyd, but what really made me realize that music could be an extension of myself and what I wanted to express was Jon Mueller's Metals, and Stephen O'Malley's projects:  Sunn 0))) and KTL. After that, it felt like the whole world opened up.

-If I'm not mistaken it's your first album where you are the main singer, was i something difficult for you? what was your approach regarding the vocal part of the album?

Yes, I am very reluctant to sing, but am starting to get used to it and starting to enjoy it. I definitely wanted to have  vocals so I just figured out how to present them in a way that I enjoyed. I love the languid approach to vocals that I hear in Pink Floyd's meddle, so I tried to do stuff like that, it just seems like such a cool delivery, so laid back. 

-what about the lyrics?

I try to express the things that I enjoy about magick and other philosophy, but I also want to express myself simply. I love Syd Barret's lyrics, so simple and playful, but it just feels so genuine and great. While sometimes the subject matter can be a bit heavy in my music, I don't want it to seem like expressing this idea is the most important thing, I enjoy expressing the sentiments that tend to sit on my brain for a long time.

-can you choose a song you especially like in the album and comment on how it was written, its lyrics, etc. ?

The song "Wall of Reason", the lyrics especially. I like the idea that there is an infinite realm inside all of us and it is totally unique. The relationship between that infinite realm and this identity that makes us who we appear to be, is difficult; it's a journey to try and reconcile that relationship. 

-Seems to me there's an experimental and psychedelic, in a way, element in your music, is that correct? Psychedelia is often associated with, metaphorically speaking, opening gates and discovering new paths and territories, and as a musical movement coincided with questionning the dominant values and experimentating new ways of living. How do you relates to that and what does psychedelia means to you personnaly

Definitely psychedelic and experimental. I like the way you express it... it seems that many look at the terms and consider them to be merely an aesthetic.  Personally I have attempted to alter my own perception and understanding through psychedelics and challenging accepted concepts of my surroundings. I practice an exercise of magick every day where I subtly change any routine that I may have established. This may include anything from looking at how I drink my coffee to altering a usual route to work, or even changing a method on which I greet someone. I do this to exercise my will. By being conscious of my activities, even the mundane, I have an awareness of my actions and stave the insatiability of complacence. This translates into my music and into my approach to writing.

-If think your music could be a good movie soundtrack, what kind of movie would it be? Do you like the idea?

I love the idea! I'd be into Von Trier hearing my music and allowing me to do an entire soundtrack.  I have also been enjoying Nicolas Winding Refn who did Drive

-Do you intend to play the album live (with other musicians), or have already done it?

I have played the album live with a full 5-piece band and it was really incredible.  While I enjoyed the experience, the project will, for right now, be performed solo with cassette tape effects for rhythm and noise.

-You're releasing it on your own label, Sygil record. Is it a practical decision? would you contemplate having your music released by another label or do you prefer being in full control of it and handling yourself every aspects related to your albums?

I enjoy doing my label and I am open to working with other creative individuals.  I think the opportunity to work with people who have anything to do with the music that I worship would be an incredible opportunity.

-I saw you did a painting going with one album on Sygil records, can you tell us more about this aspect of your creativity and how you relates it to music?

My paintings are perhaps ways for me to meditate while I am in between writing music.  I can hit a dry spot and if I take a break and paint or even go for a long bike ride, I can come back and feel more engaged in the music writing process.  

-Tell us more about Sygil records, how did you get to form it, and what is it's "concept"?

I was in a project called Os and we were Khanate worshipers. We ate a bunch of mushrooms one night and we put on the 220 gm s/t album and we all just kind of had a sudden realization of how we should make music together. We put out our record "12 Truths" and decided that putting out artifacts of this nature was fun.  I named the label Sygil after being inspired by the incredibly archived book Dictionary of Occult Hermetic and Alchemical Sigils.

-Are you releasing only music from people you know or would you release the music of any band you like? What kind of band have a chance to collaborate with your label?

While the artists that I have put out are from around my area, I really came to know them from the experience of recording them. That is paramount to the Sygil records' ideology. There must be an intimacy established between the recording, playing and putting out of the work. If one is so inclined to come and work with us, and we dig what they are doing, then we will work together.

-On the website of the label you wrote that "Sygil records is dedicated to promoting artists who explore magick", can you elaborate on this aspect?

There are many ideas of magick and I am looking to learn and explore more ideas of it when I can. There are many forms that have nothing to do with the word as well. I am looking for those who follow some idea of esoteric philosophy, or have taken some journey that resolved in creating incredible sounds. 

-What are the most recent releases and what can we expect in the coming months from Sygil records (and from yourself as a musician as well)?

Most recently we have Normanoak's "Ancient Friends" 12", then Bad Psychic's "Soon" 12"  and right before that was the final Charnel House album, "6"  We have a pretty slow release schedule as each release requires a time commitment. This summer I will be traveling with Sommer to promote the record then work on more music i when I return. 

-Which evolution would you like to see for underground music in the future?
I hope it provides even more of a healing force for the coming age.

-Something to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my project and label, I really appreciate it!

jeudi 2 juillet 2015

Triac / Sacridose split EP (2015)

Triac and Sacridose thogether on a split, sounds like a good idea isn't it? Just listen to it and you won't be disapointed, the good idea definitely turned into a good 7 ' vinyl (released this month  by Nerve altar). 3 songs from Triac, 6 from Sacridose (but the Triac ones are a (tiny!) bit longer.

This is Triac's first release since their split with Disciple of Christ in 2012. A pity it's just four minutes of music because the trio from Baltimore is still a really good powerviolence raging beast.

Sacridose, also a trio, are from Florida, they are two guys from Cellgraft (which was a really awesome grind band) and a girl doing the vocals (and doing it well! in a merciless hardcore / PV vein).Sacridose also plays on the punk / powerviolence side of grindcore, and also does it extremely well (at THIS LOCATION you'll find the review I did for their first release and the interview we did in 2013)

This is an excellent split that lets you wanting for more from both bands. It's so intense and adrenaline charged that when it stops you feel the need and press play again...

The BC page