Thursday, January 16, 2020

Not Breathing - Time Music of Quazars (1995)


Dark, heavily layered ambient techno from American musican David Wright. Pulsing beats, droning synths, field recordings, and more map out a vast, assumedly stoned inner landscape. The booklet notes that the album was recorded "at home late at night with the lights out." That checks out.

Track listing:
1. The Amoebic Sea
2. Space Between
3. 3-Legged Beetle Eater
4. Dhyana
5. No More Rainbows
6. Combustion
7. Birth of Rotorhead
8. Aether Traveler
9. Cloud Modulation
10. Darth Vader Disco Luv

Mindsweeper

You should also listen to:
Source -
Organized Noise (1993)
Delerium -
Spheres II (1994)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Ro70 - Ro70 (1995)


Atmospheric IDM that generally lands somewhere within the realm of dub-techno, from German producer Roman Flügel. Jittery rhythms, echoing synths, and uneasy drones.

Track listing:
1. Einklang
2. Gog
3. Alma
4. Room 385
5. Visible Speech
6. Magog
7. FM Rhythms
8. Balloon Above Java
9. 10 to 10
10. Künstlicher Ausklang

4-door body cell

If you like this, try:
Black Faction -
Internal Dissident Part I (1999)
Claro Intelecto -
Neurofibro (2004)

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Buddy Guy - Sweet Tea (2001)


My knowledge and enjoyment of the blues has always been largely limited to the rawest, most minimal form of the genre -- one man, one guitar, and 99 problems. But a while back I worked briefly with a blues aficionado, who put on Sweet Tea and said it was some of the greatest electric blues ever recorded. I didn't (and still don't) really know shit, but about two minutes into the hypnotic, menacing fuzz of "Baby Please Don't Leave Me", I was inclined to agree.

Track listing:
1. Done Got Old
2. Baby Please Don't Leave Me
3. Look What All You Got
4. Stay All Night
5. Tramp
6. She Got the Devil in Her
7. I Gotta Try You Girl
8. Who's Been Foolin' You
9. It's a Jungle Out There

I got something on my shoulder
Just waiting for you, babe


Also listen to:
Lightnin' Hopkins -
Lightnin' Strikes (1963)
Dr. John -
Babylon (1969)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Poison Girls - Hex (1979)


For every great 70s/80s peace punk record, there are twenty unlistenable 90s ones. And there is very little middle ground. This is why every time I post an anarchopunk record, I heap on the praise. And this one's no different: Hex, the first record by a band whose vocalist was a middle-aged mother (see: "Jump Mama Jump") at the band's inception, is explorative, even playful at times, but always weighed down by the demands of society, and always seething. As brilliant an anarchopunk record as you're likely to find.

I'm also including "Persons Unknown", their side of a split with Crass, because it was my introduction to Poison Girls way back in high school, I really, really like it, and I want you to hear it.

Track listing:
1. Old Tarts Song
2. Crisis
3. Ideologically Unsound
4. Bremen Song
5. Political Love
6. Jump Mama Jump
7. Under the Doctor
8. Reality Attack

HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX. HEX.

More like this:
Omega Tribe -
No Love Lost (1983)
Lost Cherrees -
All Part of Growing Up (1984)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My 20 Favorite Black Metal Records of 2019: At-Least-Two-Weeks-Too-Late Edition


Bet y'all thought I wasn't gonna make one of these this year, huh? I ended up starting it just last week but quickly gave up, because honestly, these lists are a pain in the ass to put together and ultimately hardly anyone gives a shit. Also, whenever I look at my lists from past years, they look all fucked up and wrong. Take last year's, for example. Why in the fuck is Spectral Wound all the way down at #35? That's EASILY a top 10 pick. Meanwhile, Cultes des Ghoules is sitting pretty at #3, and I haven't listened to that record once all year.

All that said, though, I have all day to do nothing before this absolute hangover shit of a decade is flushed into the void, so let's finish this. I'm really trying to get this one right, and I'm doing so by narrowing my focus, and basing my ranking solely on how much I've listened to and enjoyed these records, as opposed to some kind of objective view regarding quality or value, because there is no such thing. That oughta help this list echo into the halls of eternity.

As always , find download links somewhere else, I'm not trying to get deleted quite yet.





20.
Darchon
Οἰωνός

Darchon shifts their focus from the stygian black beyond to more earthly concerns, landing on some killer Paysage d'Hiver worship.

Previously:
Darchon - The Stygian Black Beyond (2015)





19.
Make a Change... Kill Yourself
Oblivion Omitted

I've always enjoyed this project most when he's embracing the hypnotic, droning impact of his endless, minimal riffing. So, in my book, this is one of the best albums ol' Ynleborgaz has released under this moniker.





18.
Rotting Christ
The Heretics

Fuckin' phenomenal production on this one, y'all. Must be nice to have a budget. Sounds more like a studio project than a band, really, but that's probably for the better, as this is the most inspired they've sounded since the 90s.





17.
Devil Master
Satan Spits on Children of Light

Devil Master aren't the only band combining deathrock and black metal, but their extremely dialed-in, spot-on 80s sound -- as well as an openness to camp -- place them at the head of the pack.





16.
Deus Mortem
Kosmocide

Pissed-off black metal mastery. Rips as hard as anything they've done before, but with a heightened sense of composition and melody. Honestly, should probably be higher on the list but it's too late now.

Previously:





15.
Akasha
Canticles of the Sepulchral Deity

Definitely didn't expect Akasha to make the jump from raw vampiric black metal outfit to head-banging riff factory, but here we are.





14.
Vargrav
Reign in Supreme Darkness

Vargrav was valedictorian of their class at the In the Nightside Eclipse school of black metal, after which they went on to become a tenured professor, as well as a leading expert in the field of "Black Metal That People Refer to as Symphonic Black Metal But It's Really Just Traditional Second-Wave Black Metal with Keyboards."





13.
Dreams of the Drowned
Dreams of the Drowned I

Lysergic weirdo French stuff from the guy who gave us Smohalla.





12.
Svartelder
Pits

Norwegians can get psychedelic, too. Love dem synths.





11.
Mayhem
Daemon

The follow-up to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas that never was. A major return-to-form after two (slightly) less interesting albums.





10.
Midnight Odyssey
Biolume Part 1: In Tartarean Chains

Beautiful, richly layered, widescreen atmospheric black metal by one of the all-time greats of the subgenre. The fact alone that the opening theme sounds like one of the songs from Big Trouble in Little China is enough to put this record in my top 10.





9.
Departure Chandelier
Antichrist Rise to Power

Old-school French black metal worship from members of Ash Pool and Akitsa. Generated enough hype to lead to a backlash from cranky dorks, but don't believe the anti-hype, this record's tight af.





8.
Grafvitnir
Venenum Scorpionis

Classic Swedish black metal in near-perfect form.

Previously:
Grafvitnir - Semen Serpentis (2014)





7.
Blut Aus Nord
Hallucinogen

Finally the two Blut Aus Nords -- the industrial one and the melodic one -- made a record together. It's a thing of strange, uneasy beauty, and easily some of their best work to date.





6.
Mork
Det Svarte Juv

Phenomenal riffing. Just pure, dark, epic black metal. I must have listened to this thing like 25 fucking times.





5.
Belenos
Argoat

This dude couldn't stop making masterpieces if he tried.

Previously:
Belenos - Errances Oniriques (2001)
Belenos - Kornôg (2016)





4.
Drastus
La croix de sang

Heavy, weirdly groove-y, French-y. Is this list over yet?





3.
Gardsghastr
Slit Throat Requiem

Gee I sure am surprised that this collaboration between members of Chaos Moon and Bekëth Nexëhmü turned out so great.

Previously
Chaos Moon - Origin of Apparition (2007)
Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Dunkla Herrarna (2011)





2.
Schammasch
Hearts of No Light

Despite the band's best efforts to throw us off the scent with that experimental EP they put out in 2017, Hearts of No Light was destined to be overshadowed by its incredible predecessor, which placed at #1 on my list back in 2016. However, there's really been no decline in quality, just in scope, as Schammasch continue to craft some of the best black metal of our time.

Previously:
Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx (2010)






1.
Sühnopfer
Hic Regnant Borbonii Manes

Usually I reserve the top spot for an album that I feel is really pushing the genre forward, but to return to a metaphor I've used many times before, you really can't beat a perfectly cooked steak, you know? Utterly relentless, uncompromising, and passionate, with a haunting sense of melancholy drifting in the peripherals at all times. I can already hear angry nerds telling me how wrong I am about this one. Happy New Year, you fucking ding-dongs!

Previously:
Sühnopfer - Nos sombres chapelles (2010)