Saturday, August 27, 2016

Asmus Tietchens - Nachtstücke (Expressions Et Perspectives Sonores Intemporelles) (1980)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Club of Rome - Große Statik (1985)

Excellent first solo album from German avant-garde synth guru Asmus Tietchens. All warped, darkly whimsical synth pieces, with a deeply hypnotic cumulative effect. This guy's really been doing it for me of late, so expect more from him in the near future.

Track listing:
1. Erstes Nachtstück
2. Sieben Harmoniaturen
3. Falter-Lamento
4. Viertes Nachtstück
5. Intrada
6. Trekk
7. Lichterwald
8. Ultima Tundra
9. Nachtstück


You'll also enjoy:
Tim Blake -
Crystal Machine (1977)
Pascal Languirand -
De Harmonia Universalia (1980)

Prosanctus Inferi - Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations (2010)

US black/death. Every song sounds exactly the same as the last. My feet hurt.

Track listing:
1. Flayed Ecclesian Sophistry
2. Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonious Pyx
3. Scorching the Monad Firmament
4. Conjugal Orgy in the Sacred Heart of Vespers
5. Fumigating Portentious Sacrilegium
6. Priory Darkness of Choral Flesh
7. Cauterizing Unholy Lesions
8. Pontifical Undulations of Blasphemic Gesticulation
9. Burning Vestal Apocrypha
10. Fratricide in the Holy House of God
11. Depraved Machinations
12. Sacrilegious Desecration in Excelsis
13. Echoes of Pestilential Synod

Booming passion for the procurator's lashes of a sanctimonious whip

More like this:
Blasphemophager - For Chaos,
Obscurity, and Desolation
Knelt Rote -
Trespass (2012)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Guitar - Sunkissed (2002)

Dreamy, super-chill Japanese shoegaze. There's an undeniable MBV influence at work here, but the overall feel is way more laid-back, even kinda trip-hop-y.

Track listing:
1. Sunkissed
2. House Full of Time
3. See Sea, Bee and Me
4. Feel Flows Free
5. Hot Sun Trail
6. How So Bright of Universe
7. Melt
8. See Sea, Bee and Minimal Me

Moonlight makes me transparent

You'll also enjoy:
Swallow -
Blow (1992) + Blowback (1992)
Seefeel -
Polyfusia (1994)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lucia Hwong - House of Sleeping Beauties (1985)

Beautiful, dynamic sounds from American composer Lucia Hwong. She is better known for her Broadway scores, but Hwong's solo albums explore a unique fusion of synth-driven new age and stately, reflective Chinese classical.

Track listing:
1. Tibet Suite: In the Dream, Part 1
2. Tibet Suite: In the Dream, Part 2
3. Tibet Suite: Journey to Lhasa
4. Tibet Suite: Children of Johkan Temple
5. Tibet Suite: Sunset Over Sakya
6. Tibet Suite: Everest at Sunrise
7. Tibet Suite: Himalayan Twilight
8. Tibet Suite: Reflections Lunar Light
9. Virgin Dance
10. Midnight Lullaby
11. Dragon Dance
12. The Spell

Secret luminescence

Also of interest:
Andreas Vollenweider -
Caverna Magica (1983)
Barry Cleveland -
Mythos (1984)

Winter Funeral - Benis les Ténèbres, Ô Mon Âme... (2001)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Dark Sanctuary - Royaume Melancolique (1999)

French black metal. Aside from the weird, abstract epic that closes the album, there's very little to distinguish this from any other number of Darkthrone-worshipping bands, but if you're like me, you'll dig this, because generic black metal is one of your favorite things in the world.

Track listing:
1. Through My Eternal Winter
2. Here Lies My Throne
3. Litanie
4. Tenebrarum
5. Requiem for a Dying World
6. Missalis Liber

Curse of annihilation

You'll probably also like:
Akerbeltz -
A Wave of Darkness (2000)
Grond -
Winterkrieger (2000)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Steve Kilbey & Russell P. Kilbey - Gilt Trip (1997)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Steve Kilbey - The Slow Crack (1987)
Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)
The Church - Priest=Aura (1992)
The Church - Hologram of Baal (1998)

Abstract, lush instrumental psych from Steve Kilbey and his brother Russell. Though the overall feel is, of course, dark and dream-like, Gilt Trip doesn't really sound like anything else that Kilbey's done. It's certainly more stylistically diverse -- subtly so -- referencing at times Eastern and Western folk music, synth-driven new age, ambient drone, krautrock, and even horror movie music.

Track listing:
1. Gilt Trip
2. The Onset
3. Tragic Mandarin Love Story
4. Eyes Smeared with the Ointment of Love
5. Neither Sun, Nor Moon, Nor Electricty
6. Darkness and Gardens of Steel
7. Dress Circle Seats for Creation
8. Blowing Through the Mansion of a 1930s Films Star
9. Happy Endings

Ashes block out the sun

You should also listen to:
Alesini & Adreoni -
Marco Polo (1995)
Ben Reynolds -
Earth and Space Magics (2005)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Chrystal Belle Scrodd - Belle de Jour (1986)

Been at the beach for the past week or so, where I've been living the good life and listening to, if anything, ridiculous bullshit that has no place on this blog. But I do remember a time when I listened to difficult, experimental music, such as this industrial record by Chrystal Belle Scrodd, a.k.a. British musician Diana Rogerson. Inscrutable and at times quite disturbing, such as on "I Death", which could be likened to a WAY more fucked-up and over-the-line version of "Flower" by Liz Phair. Elsewhere you have sparse, atmospheric krautrock-post-punk fusion ("Deadroads"), unsettling spoken word ("The Demon Flower"), and plenty of dissonant, spacious drone.

Track listing:
1. Source
2. Muse
3. Immanence
4. I Death / Soup of the Day
5. Scapegoat
6. Deadroads / A Gothic Western
7. The Demon Flower
8. Riding the Red Rag

Blank capsules

You might also wanna hear:
Holy Toy -
Panzer and Rabbits (1984)
Dave Phillips -
? (2010)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kimiko Kasai - Kimiko (1982)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Kimiko Kasai - Butterfly (1979)

Shimmering, smooth-as-butter disco/soft rock from Japanese singer Kimiko Kasai. Known best as a jazz singer, Kimiko probably represents an attempt to garner a broader American audience. However, regardless of the album's immaculate arrangements and deft pop songwriting, her complex, idiosyncratic voice just wasn't meant for a pop audience, so here it is, three and a half decades later, on a nerdy music blog.

Track listing:
1. The Right Place
2. Looking for Love
3. Steppin' Outside Tonight
4. I'm So Much in Love
5. I Felt You Glancin'
6. Love Is All We Need
7. I Wish That Love Would Last
8. Over You

I felt you glancing

Give these a spin, too:
Adrian Gurvitz -
Sweet Vendetta (1979)
Teena Marie -
Starchild (1984)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Urban Sax - Urban Sax (1977) + Urban Sax 2 (1978)

By request, here are the first two LP from this incredible experimental ensemble consisting, at the time of recording, 30 (!!!) saxophonists, a choir, three percussionists, and a bassist. Think of the man at the center of the ensemble, French composer Gilbert Artman, as the Glenn Branca of saxophone. Two albums, four rich, darkly hypnotic pieces.

If you're one of those poor, misguided souls who don't like the saxophone, Urban Sax might just be the band that helps you to find the light. Not just from an immersion therapy angle, either -- the haunting sounds contained herein couldn't be further from the bleating, overbearing, "It's Saturday Night Live!"-style solos that probably turned you off of the sax in the first place.

Track listing:
-Urban Sax-
1. Urban Sax (Part 2)
2. Urban Sax (Part 1)
-Urban Sax 2-
1. Urban Sax (Part 3)
2. Urban Sax (Part 4)

Gate of paradise

You might also like:
The Art Ensemble of Chicago -
Fanfare for the Warriors (1974)
Univers Zero -
Ceux du Dehors (1981)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Avsolutized... - Den Svarta Våndans Genealogi (2008)

Japanese depressive black metal. Musically, it's a goddamn riff-fest, but the truly bizarre, psychotic vocals -- which include low growls, high-pitched howls, midrange rasps, whimpers, whispers, and fully belted out quasi-operatic singing --  really steal the show. I definitely appreciate their cover of Setherial's "My Veins Are Open", a song that was released as a bonus track on a compilation of demos. Very kult of them.

Track listing:
1. Det Tysta Fallet
2. An Everlasting Circulation of Void
3. My Veins Are Open [Setherial cover]
4. A Lament for You There
5. Utan Död...

My blood, a key to their door

You'll also like:
Vorkuta -
Into the Chasms of Lunacy
Funeral Ghoul -
Ancient Darkness (2015)

Ingleton Falls - Absconded (1994)

Trance-like dub techno. Airy, spacious sounds with just enough of a driving, borderline-industrial edge to keep things out of ambient territory. Each song features a (generally very short) dialogue sample that serves as a sort of mantra or thematic center.

Track listing:
1. She Felt Love (Barbara Cartland Mix)
2. Glossolalia (St. Paul the Evangelist Mix)
3. High (Howard Marks Mix)
4. 113 Dub (John Wyndham Mix)
5. Turn Off (Robert Anton Wilson Mix)
6. It's Just a Hobby (Edgar Allen Poe Mix)
7. Suddenly... (Arthur Conan Doyle Mix)
8. Marley Hill (Daniel Defoe Mix)
9. Outta Space (Sid Meier Mix)

Self-transforming machine creatures

You should also check out:
Meat Beat Manifesto -
Subliminal Sandwich (1996)
Etienne Jaunet -
La Visite (2014)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Counterblast - Balance of Pain (1996)

Heavy, inventive, doom-infused Swedish crust with a thick, industrial atmosphere. One of the few records from my crust days that I might actually like more now than I did in high school. And I absolutely love Counterblast for referencing Black Adder ("In League with Baldrick".)

Track listing:
1. Prelude Pain
2. Independence
3. Disembodiment
4. Balance of Pain
5. Depression
6. In League with Baldrick
7. The European Empire of Capitalism
8. Beneath the Surface

He's been drinking his for weeks. He says he likes it.

You should definitely also listen to:
Ambush -
Lach! (1994)
Damad -
Burning Cold (2000)

Patrick Gleeson - Rainbow Delta (1982)

Synths here, there, and everywhere from American composer Patrick Gleeson. I'll avoid using words like "arpeggiating," "pulsing," and the like (except I just did, shit!) and just say that as far as the synth-y stuff that I post goes, Rainbow Delta is juuust a bit on the more propulsive side.

Track listing:
1. Rainbow Delta A: Frank Stella by Starlight
2. Rainbow Delta B: Unacceptable Dance Styles
3. Rainbow Delta C: Take the 5:10 to Dreamland
4. Rainbow Delta D: La Grange Point Five
5. Draconian Measures A: Arrival Music
6. Draconian Measures B: Ravel Goes to Germany
7. Draconian Measures C: Hobbits Are Dancing
8. Draconian Measures D: Clouds / Blue Skies

Flowing forces

You will also like:
Ron Boots - Detachment of
Worldly Affairs
Waveshape -
Zyklus (1995)

Dark Sanctuary - Royaume Melancolique (1999)

French ethereal darkwave/neoclassical. Acoustic and clean guitars, deep, lush keyboards and cellos, and vocalist Dame Padora masterfully unleashing the reverb-drenched drama like some kind of operatic Gothic goddess. Members of Dark Sanctuary are/were also in a number of great black metal bands, including Bekhira and Sacrificia Mortuorum.

Track listing:
1. L'Autre Monde
2. L'Ombre Triste
3. Night Rain
4. Le Reve de la Nymphe
5. Miserere
6. Valley of the Pain
7. The Final Battle
8. Maze
9. Anatheme

Black paradise

You'll also like:
Lisa Gerrard -
The Mirror Pool (1995)
Lycia - The Burning Circle
and Then Dust

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gloom - 撲殺精神破綻者 (2003)

Japanese noise-encrusted d-beat. Cacophonous, destructive anti-music.

Track listing:
1. I Believe in Way I Live
2. Answer = Chaos
3. Escape from Reality
4. Absurd System
5. Scum
6. Nuclear Annihilation
7. Disgust
8. Disturbing People, Disturbing Media
9. Defector
10. Morbid Education
11. Death Earth
12. Warning
13. Ugly Society
14. Narcissist
15. Future Never Show
16. Anti Straight Edge
17. Right for Left
18. Wargasm
19. Striken with Terror
20. Never
21. No Pose
22. The End
23. Decay

Final bloodbath

More along these lines:
The Shitlickers -
The Shitlickers (1982)
Decrepit - Tired of Licking
Blood from a Spoon