I’ve been a bit neglectful of this blog of late – still some ‘shit’ to sort out in the real world. Consequently I haven’t had a lot of time to check out any new music. So, in the meantime I’d like to signpost all you lovely people in the direction of smilecoldanatomy.
smilecoldanatomy is another of my fave websites and has lead directly to me finding/listening/lurving some shit hot techno artists. It is thru this site that I first heard Smear, perc, Patrick Walker and many, many others.
The highlight of the site are his specially commissioned ‘Anatomy’ mixes, including ones by the above mentioned artists as well as the likes of Xhin, Obtane and Georgio Gigli.
The site is the brainchild of a gentleman who answers to the name of Brian, who also DJs under the name Patty (you can check his latest mix here (and I strongly recommend you do!).
On a regular basis the site highlights new tracks from established and new artists, and I’ve found it always worth checking out on a regular basis; it has become one of my ‘go to’ sites for new techno/electronica. So if you do one thing this weekend, check out smilecoldanatomy.
Fingers crossed I’ll have some more smilecoldanatomy posts coming soon…watch this space!!
First of all – sorry for no recent posts, I’ve had a few ‘things’ to sort.
Secondly – Cabaret Voltaire – yay!
Cabaret Voltaire were the first band I ever saw live – 1979 in a local YMCA. I was 14 years old and my cousin took me along. It was totally alien to anything I had heard before and it blew me away. There is much written about their Dada influences, but I knew nothing of that at that age, all I knew was the electronics, the cut-ups and the loops were hypnotic, vaguely disturbing and incredibly awesome.
Anyway, the upshot is that Mute have started on a cycle of remasters and reissues, starting with the excellent Red Mecca lp. Red Mecca was The Cabs 3rd , and the last before one of the founding members, Chris Watson, left the band. It was released in 1981, which is why many people lump The Cabs in with ‘Post-Punk’ but they are so much more.
Red Mecca is recognised as one of their best, and rightly so – it is chock full of effects, loops and cut-ups and there is barely a lull in proceedings…taut and horrific proceedings. ‘Sly Doubt’ and ‘Spread The Virus’ are standouts – with Richard H. Kirk’s synths and Watsons effects creating a dense and threatening ambience and Stephen Mallinder’s mostly incoherent vocals adding to the tension.
This reissue has been remastered by Stefan Betke ( a.k.a. Pole) and he has brought out the proto-industrial, proto-funk elements to the LP.
It can be purchased here
In November Mute will be released a box set entitled ‘#8385 (Collected Works 1983–1985)’ – can’t wait!
I love The Haxan Cloak – Bobby Krlic always turns out recordings rich in atmosphere and texture, and this is no different.
Excavation is Krlic’s vision of life after death, a post-mortem journey through soundscapes drenched in dread and pessimism. Don’t let this put you off though – it is an album that can immerse the listener in a digital world full of unexpected twists and turns, and the bass, when used, is deeeeep!!
Tracks like ‘Excavation (Part 2)’ and ‘Mara’ fully depict Krlic’s vision of life and surroundings falling apart (incorporating music-box notes was a stroke of genius, giving a real horrorflick vibe to proceedings).
The climax to the album ‘The Drop’ is a fitting one, fusing strings and almost industrial strength rhythm to produce a dynamically varied closer; from a more ethereal, pastoral and optimistic start until the track collapses on itself with drones, chains and the mood turning to fear, despair and hopelessness.
This album is epic, best listened to on headphones. It is the soundtrack to a hell that even our worst nightmares run away from.
Buy it here
The Outer Church comp brings together artists who have played at Joseph Stannard’s Brighton club night. On first listening it seemed a disparate collection of music, from homemade, creaky electronica (Ekoplekz), to folky darkness (Hacker Farm, Kemper Norton) via sunny 60′s pop (Hong Kong in The 60s) and the hauntological mainstays of Pye Corner Audio and Baron Mordant. However, if one immerses oneself in the album there is ‘something’ that connects all the tracks (don’t do what I did at first which was to listen to it in the car, this album deserves headphones, time and a small sherry or two!). This connection is not genre or ‘category’ based, but of a nagging unease or feeling of disquiet, albeit with a smile.
Stand out tracks include the aforementioned Hong Kong In The 60s whose ‘Summer’s Bird’ is reminiscent of Stereolab, and conjures mental images driving an E Type jag around mountain passes in Italy with Audrey Hepburn (maybe that’s just me!). Baron Mordant & Mr Maxted’s ‘Roehampton At Night’ is a masterclass in underlying dread, while Robin The Fog’s ‘Unnatural History’ is akin to a jaunt around the Twilight Zone.
A magnificent album; varied, thought provoking and well worth immersing oneself in.
Vakula, or Mikhaylo Vityk as his mum probably calls him, is a Ukrainian producer who has been releasing deep house classics for a few years now. This LP brings together ‘Selected Works 2009 – 2012′ and a varied treat it is too.
The LP itself is a thing of beauty, 3 x 180 g 12″ vinyl, all presented in hand-drawn silk screen printed artwork, a fine addition to any collection.
The 12 previously unreleased tracks, whilst all being lumped under the umbrella term of ‘Deep House’ are a great deal more varied than that. There is otherwordly feel to many tracks, and Vakula’s love of jazz and traditional folk songs can be heard in others, he utilises found sounds, snippets of human voice and field recordings. But the main feeling I took from it was a spacey, cosmic vibe, with some deep dubby gorgeousness. If there was such a thing as ‘Psychedelic House’, this guy has just invented it! The LP is a tribute to Vityk’s Ukrainian home town of Konotop, and the LP, when listened to as a complete experience, has a travelogue feel to it.
It can be purchased here or here, but be quick, there is apparently only going to be one pressing.
Brian Williams, AKA Lustmord, has been making ‘dark ambient’ records since his industrial roots in SPK. His output, though prodigious, has always dwelt on dark, foreboding symphonies of dissonance, drone and chest-pummeling bass.
The Word As Power marks a change from his canon in that it revolves around, and builds on, the human voice. To aid and abet he has attracted some big names: Maynard James Keenan (Tool), Jarboe (Swans) and Soriah (a specialist in Tuvan throut singing) – that being said if you are expecting Tool-like or Swans-like tracks you are in for a disappointment.
The voices, whilst being central to the records premise, are nicely balanced with the trademark Lustmord cavernous sub-bass and glacial atmospherics – neither detracts from the other.
The LP has a distinct ‘holy’ feel to it, in it’s strictest sense – some tracks are almost like meditations, soothing and reflective (‘Goetia’) whilst others sound like medieval Gergorian chants (‘Chorazin’ and ‘Grigori’). One cannot help but to immerse oneself in the ritualistic, religious feel to the LP. It’s not an easy listen, being both beautiful and harrowing and at times scary, but it is immensely satisfying and thought provoking.
This is Lustmord’s first release on the Blackest Ever Black, the label that is doing the most to promote ‘dark ambient’ work, and so it is fitting it is his most complex and adventurous release thus far.
It can purchased here.
Wagner eh? Very dodgy politics but could bang out a tune! To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth Recognition records have brought together Atom TM (also known as Uwe Schmidt aka Senor Coconut – check out his version of ‘Smoke On The Water’) and Jacek Sienkiewicz (label boss) to reframe Wagner’s work. They have taken themes from Wagner rather than just rework his canon, and the results are majestic!
Side A is Atom TM’s ‘Tristan Chord Studie’ in which he has taken as a theme a chord from the epilogue of ‘Tristan and Isolde’. The track is an almost dark ambient piece, building the tension and, at times, quite claustrophic atmosphere.
Side B is Jacek’s turn. ‘The Phantom of Bayreuth’ is a deeper techno track, starting with a modern classical string arrangement and a gradually building in an deep techno groove.
This really is one of the most interesting releases I’ve heard for a while, not least for the premise on which it is built.
The 12″ can be ordered or downloaded on the Recognition Bandcamp page here.