Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 10 Drone Albums Of 2009

I wasn't going to do a Top 10 list this year. I figured my Top 1 list was sufficient because that was so clearly the one thing that made such a life changing impact on me. But then the fine folks of Weirdo Records asked me to make a Top 10 for them. I couldn't turn them down, obviously, and it was an excuse to do something that I really wanted to do all along. I love making lists. And people love reading them. I don't know why I withheld from something that everyone so clearly wanted.

Once I made my list for Weirdo, though, I realized that about 75% of it was comprised of drone records. So to make things more interesting, I decided to make a Top 10 list of just drone records.

Links go to original reviews. Please check out the other lists at Weirdo because that's where this originally came from. Now, onto the heckling!

10. Gregg Kowalsky's Tape Chants (Kranky)
Minimal long form tape drone meant for deeeep sleep and/or meditation and/or my favorite kind of parties.

9. Nicholas Szczepanik's The Chiasmus (Sentient Recognition Archive / Basses Frequences)
Enormous drone, fills your house/head with wonderful smooth tones, mostly of the euphoric variety.

8. Ophibre's Approaching The Ionized Piezo Kiosk (Earjerk)
Simultaneously melancholic and blissful drone tearing you in two for a half hour. Literally stunning.

7. Keith Fullerton Whitman's Dream House Variations (Arbor)
4 tapes of differing length meant for simultaneous play and manual fucking around (fast forwarding, speed manipulation, etc) is encouraged. This is just fucking brilliant. Oh, and the music's great too.

6. Acre's Isolationist (Isounderscore)
Even though two of the three tracks on this were previously released (though unheard by me and therefor irrelevant), the brand new track is awesome enough to warrant being in everyone's top 10 list. It's the densest, warmest, drone ever and came right in time for winter.

5. Usputuspud's Live In The Shit (The Nafs)
Murky drone disco. That's why.

4. The Golden Sores' A Peaceable Kingdom (BloodLust!)
This is where drone is going. The is the new drone of the future. Everything about this record is utterly fantastic. Chill ambient style, guitar psych feedbackage, and everything else. This is how it's done.

3. Mountains' Choral (Thrill Jockey) (motherfuckers deleted my fucking review)
Unbelievably amazing ambient naturey organic drone. So life affirming. Put this record on and your stress is instantly zapped. Motherfuckers deleted my fucking review, so here's the same label approved mp3 I put up the first time.
Mountains - Choral

2. Jason Crumer's Walk With Me (Misanthropic Agenda)
This is the noisiest drone record I've heard all year. Sometimes it gets almost unbearably rowdy but it's the kind that gives you chills. The final two songs are probably the best sequenced tracks of the year.

1. Eluvium's Life Through Bombardment (Temporary Residence Limited)
This takes the number one spot with ease. Every Eluvium album on vinyl for the first time. It's like hearing each record anew and in the proper way. Plus, have you seen the packaging on this beast? It's gorgeous and epic. It's a fuckin BOOK. And it's personalized. TRL really went for broke on this and it's absolutely worth every penny.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Black (Metal) Mixmas

Merry Mixmas cards from the second best Gocco-er ever, Heather Jeany

I made you a mix that will bring holiday cheer to all those around you. Play it loud. Play it hard.

Black (Metal) Mixmas
1. Voltaic Omen - Scream For Fucking Mercy
2. Ash Pool - Penetrated Slave
3. V.E.G.A. - Kill Me
4. Mamaleek - I Wish I Was Dead
5. Flaskavsae - Blood For Their Idols
6. Nekrasov - Mountain Ash
7. L'Acephale - A Burned Village
8. Gnaw Their Tongues - And There Will Be More Of Your Children Dead Tomorrow
9. Striborg - Bleeding Black Tears Of Hate
10. Xasthur - Subliminal Genocide

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Am Here Today

Because there are records being sold. Come find me behind Argyle Whale's table because I'll be there too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

OOPs: Mamaleek - Mamaleek (self released, 2008)

Mamaleek - I Wish I Was Dead


I'm not entirely sure this one is out of print, but I wasn't able to find it for sale anywhere so whatever. Either way, if you end up finding this available, grab it immediately 'cause this shit is fucking awesome.

Yeah, this is more black metal, but it's so much more insane than any other BM record I've heard. Mamaleek is fucking all over the place with some old bluegrass sounds, jazz, spacey ambient, electronic, post rock, and anything else they wanted to throw in there. But even the "regular" BM sounding songs are anything but. Mamaleek is just absolute fucking chaos. Honestly, this is one of my all time favorite BM records. And don't just automatically write this off if you're not into BM because this is so fucked up that I'm sure it will appeal to even those of you just into really weird shit.

For the extra curious, here's the original review I wrote back in April '08.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Voltaic Omen - Hammer Of Witches (self released, 2009)

Voltaic Omen - Invert The Cosmos

I have a soft spot in my heart for the most fucked and wicked black metal out there, along with the equally fucked song titles. Voltaic Omen's Hammer Of Witches tape lends a helping hand royally thrashing my ears and brightening my day with names like "Scream For Fucking Mercy" and what might be song title of the year, "Crypt Fucker" (so concise, so evocative).

Voltaic Omen has some serious hatred in his soul, seemingly directed at me. And you. And everyone else who listens to his filth metal. What I love about this dude is his vocals. They're not the deep throated Cookie Monster growls, nor are they like the screeching eagle demons. He's found some middle ground that will probably please most black metal fans.

With the exception of "Dance Of The Corpulent Witches" and it's toe tapping synths, every song is pure brutality. Furious walls of buzzing guitars and relentless washed out drums. And, of course, some strange beauty emerges from the abyss of evil, which is what makes black metal so fucking enjoyable.

I'm usually torn about which song to put up with a review. My storage space and bandwidth are limited so I try to go for the shorter songs, but "Invert The Cosmos" is so fucking epic and gorgeously twisted that I'm putting that one up. Make sure you fuckers listen to the whole thing. And then if you can find one of the 24 remaining hand numbered copies of Hammer Of Witches, fucking buy the shit out of it.

P.S. Go to his Myspace so you can listen to "Crypt Fucker" then head to his MediaFire to download a brand new song 18 minute song "Kuru Blown" that fucking slays.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Year End Top 1 List

Nope. That's not a typo or a joke. There has been one thing this year that completely surpassed everything else in terms of sheer awesomeness. This has honestly changed my life more than anything else this year. I have already heaped endless amounts of praise on this the first time I posted it yet it still deserves more.

I can't even imagine how many spiders I killed in 2008. I think I killed one since I saw this video, which, by the way, is shamefully underviewed on YouTube, especially considering that I account for half of the 290,000 views.

I love everything about this song and video. Let me re-cap from my original post:

I love the rhythm. I love the flow. I love every single lyric. I love the story. I love the animation. I love the imagery. I love the dad. I love the dad's voice. I love the son's voice. I love the old timeyness. I love the (faux?) outsider feeling. I love the dad's long nose and weird hair and worm nipples. I love the opening line. I love the dad caressing the spider's delicate legs. I love the page turning. I love that the dad decided to teach his son a lesson about morals upon being woken up in the middle of the night. I love that it ends with the dad saluting the spider and wishing him "Godspeed." I love every single thing about this video. I love Garrett Davis and Kirsten Lepore for making this. I hate Garrett for not making more music.

I present to you Garrett Davis' & Kirsten Lepore's "Story From North America"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

King Kong Ding Dong - Youth Culture Index (self released, 2009)

King Kong Ding Dong - Distant Drums

I listen to King Kong Ding Dong a lot and have little to say about them. I decided to write this review when I realized why that was. Because their name is King Kong Ding Dong. Yeah. Say that out loud, please. There ya go. That's pretty much all I think about when I'm listening to them. That, and how fucking ridiculously fantastic this album is.

Youth Culture Index is about to blow up. Once people know it exists, it will literally explode. Some sort of self aware timer or something. I dunno. But it's got all the makings of a classic. Kinda tropical, kinda tribal, kinda fucked up, kinda 100% AWESOME... you get the idea.

Also, I just found out that this is available for free. FUCKING SERIOUSLY. Click here already. There isn't a single reason you shouldn't have at least 5 copies of this on your hard drive. And then buy it, too. It's only 7 bucks cheapskate.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bazaar Bizarre

Eluvium - The Motion Makes Me Last

I'm at Boston's Bazaar Bizarre today helping my wife sell her amazingly awesome Gocco stuff as Argyle Whale. We'll be at table 45 making friends and $$$ so stop by and say hello.

Even if you're not really all that into crafty handmade things (but why tf wouldn't you be? seriously...) this year BBB will have a whole separate room just for record vendors. Yes, now you can go to Baz Biz and buy records. Fucking sweet! I'm so stoked about this! So if you drop by table 45 and I'm not there, chances are you'll find me lurking around in the music room deciding what to spend my cash on. And if you wanted to get me a Christmas present, I can think of a good spot to go shopping...

And the Eluvium song is relevant because it's what I listened to while driving to BB last year. Also, it's a brand new Eluvium song. Get excited! It has vocals and percussion. It is not the Eluvium you thought you knew. It is Eluvium 2.0. And it is awesome.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Haiku Review: Corey Larkin - Body Tensor (Abrash, 2009)

Corey Larkin - Body Tensor

Corey Larkin
Body Tensor (download)

/barely there crackle/
/high end sea spray pixels float/
/low tide, clams skitter/

Friday, December 4, 2009

OOPs: Sons Of Magdalene - Ephemera (Waste Of Sound, 2008)

Sons Of Magdalene - Pourquoi Tous Les Hommes Sont-Ils Des Laches? (excerpt)


Sons Of Magdalene is Josh Eustis' (of Telefon Tel Aviv) solo project. Epically minimal organic tape loop drones like Belong or Basinski. I'm fairly certain this is the only release he's put out under this name. IT IS AWESOME. Seriously, if you have any fond feelings towards either of those RIYLs then fucking download this immediately. Here's what I had to say about it back in '08 if you're interested.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Umberto - From The Grave... (Sonic Meditations, 2009)

Umberto - Running Blade

Remember Gianni Rossi's soundtrack to Gutterballs? Remember how it was full of bass and synth and Italo horror disco awesomeness? Remember how much I loved it? Well Umberto's From The Grave is... BETTER than the Gutterballs Soundtrack. There. I said it.

Everything you ever wanted from an old school horror soundtrack is present on From The Grave. Super moody, driving disco beats, chilling synths, and speaker blowing bass. The tunes are the type where you'd be throwing it down on the dance floor if you weren't running for your life from the undead.

The special thing about Umberto's tape, though, is that even though there are song titles like "Opening Titles," "Dream Sequence," and "Shower Scene," From The Grave isn't the soundtrack to anything except your nightmares (or maybe your next Carpenter themed dance party). And that's one of the reasons this is better than Rossi's soundtrack. You can let your imagination run wild when listening to this tape. Like when "It Came From The Swamp" comes on. What came from the swamp? It's totally up to you! You could be lame and go with Swamp Thing, or you could summon your inner 3 grade self and conjure a wicked scary drippy, mud caked 10 horned beast with teeth made of alligator claws. That makes for a much better experience than when you hear "Theme From Gutterballs" and all you can see is the Gutterballs logo. Trust me.

Real soundtracks can eat it. Umberto is the king of fake soundtracks. And now everyone knows that fake soundtracks are the fucking coolest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Endless Endless Endless - Black Talisman (self released, 2009)

Endless Endless Endless - Distortions

Packaging shouldn't supersede the music, right? Well, it's hard when they name the record Black Talisman and you actually get a real honest-to-god black talisman with your purchase (etched with lasers). So I mean, obviously that's gonna be the first thing I mention.

Endless x3 aren't just about gimmicks, though. All of their brilliance wasn't wasted on badass kitsch. The music on Black Talisman is out of this world awesome. Think of the talisman as a prelude or a sign of the coolness to come.

Talisman is a noise drone record on it's intergalactic journey to a distant nebula. Tons of spacey synth blorps and glitchy star static that sometimes makes for a blissed out trip with cryogenic dreams or an unsettling paranoia filled nightmare. It all depends on what leg of the trek you're on. Like sometime going through the "Distortions" asteroid storm, shit gets pretty fucking hairy but by the time you've reached your destination on Planet "Washes" you're in fucking heaven and everything's as perfect as can be.

However, as super fucking cool as Black Talisman is, I have to fault E3 on the packaging of their packaging. My talisman broke in the mail. :(

I want to keep this review going just so I could write the name EENNNNDDLESSSSS in a bunch of different ways 'cause it makes me happy (good name dudes). But I don't really have anything else to say except Black Talisman is totally awesome and EEEndless are going places as long as they keep churning out ideas as sweet as this one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

S.C.E.N.E. In Salem

S.C.E.N.E. = Salem's Chiptune, Electronica & Noise Extravaganza = all day electronic festival in Salem, MA coming Fall 2010 (that's twenty ten, not two thousand ten)

This Friday the 4th at 8pm, the FREE, all ages second promo fundraiser party for S.C.E.N.E. is going down at The Gulu Gulu in Salem, hosted/presented/organized by Radio Scotvoid and Moon Climb The Wall (both of whom will also be DJing in between sets all night). And the lineup for this is pretty fuckin sweet.

Active Knowledge's solid sweet 8bit goodness from the Cape, Bubblegum Octopus's WTF insanity from Jersey, and my personal favorite, circuit bender extraordinaire Computer At Sea from Portland (the East Coast one). Also opening up is Burlington's minimal Nuda Veritas doin her electro-acoustic thing.

Gulu might not be the first place you'd think of to check out some crazy 8bit shit, but they're super kind and brave enough to host something as cool as this. My only complaint is that there's hardly any room to get your groove on/rock/spazz out/be a total nerd if the spirit moved you because the "stage" is right next to tables. This is a restaurant after all and people want to sit, eat, and enjoy some good tunes. Maybe there will be more partiers and dancers this time. Who knows. Either way, this should be a great fuckin time and certainly worth coming out of Boston for.

Here's a short video of a book Computer At Sea made. But there's a twist! Hint: It's not just a book.