Friday, January 20, 2017

Cress - Monuments (1997)

UK anarchopunk. Drum machines, keyboards, samples, and sharp, machine-like guitars give Monuments a cool, dark, almost industrial atmosphere. Def some Crass influence at work here -- they even sample some of the samples from Christ the Album -- but musically, they're a very different beast. The end times are upon us.

Track listing:
1. Earth
2. Prisons
3. TV Screen
4. Progress
5. Fear
6. Monuments
7. Beasts
8. One
9. DIY
10. Sirens
11. Machines
12. Illusions
13. Safe

Fear surrounds us on all sides

If you like this, listen to:
Misery -
Next Time (1995)
Counterblast -
Balance of Pain (1996)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Order of the Vulture - Christ Killer (2004)

L'Acephale - Malfeasance (2009)

First 7" of gnarly-as-fuck raw blackened d-beat from one of my all-time favorite Portland bands. In these troubled times, fighting back means keeping track of what's important: worshipping Satan, slamming dope, decimating the system, and committing suicide.

Track listing:
1. Christ Killer
2. Incantation
3. Relentless Drone
4. Der Krieg

Murder the shit god

You might also like:
The Shitlickers -
The Shitlickers (1982)
Ambulance -
The End of Our Time (2004)

Toru Takemitsu - A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1988)

Haunting modern classical by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden collects works written and recorded between 1961 and 1978, with four pieces for chamber orchestra, and two for full orchestra. Lush, beautiful, weird, dissonant.

Track listing:
1. Quatrain
2. A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden
3. Stanza I
4. Sacrifice
5. Ring
6. Valeria

The bird in the gravel

You might also enjoy:
Kaija Saariaho - Verblendungen - Jardin Secret I - 
Laconisme De L'Aile - ...Sah Den Vögeln (1985)
Michael Torke -
Color Music (1991)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mi and L'Au - Mi and L'Au (2005)

Precious, sparse indie folk from a French male-female duo who, as I recall, met in Paris, fell in love, then moved to a cabin in Finland where they recorded this, their first album. Either heartwarming or puke-y, depending on how you feel about that kinda thing. In case you're leaning towards the latter, I'll note that, content-wise, it's not ALL lovey-dovey-smoochy-smoochy -- there's plenty of darkness, anxiety, and existential dread to go around.

Close-miked acoustic guitars and breathy vocals serve as the base, with piano, harp, singing saw, strings, and lots of other stuff for color. Surely it has something to do with that album cover, but this sounds like the perfect soundtrack to holing up in a warm house, away from the ice planet hell that my city has become.

Track listing:
1. They Marry
2. How
3. Philosopher
4. I've Been Watching You
5. Bums
6. Older
7. Merry Go Round
8. Nude
9. A Word in Your Belly
10. Boxer
11. Andy
12. Christmas Soul
13. New Born Child
14. Study

When I feel empty

For more like this, try:
Lullaby for the Working Class -
I Never Even Asked for Light (1997)
Espers -
Espers (2003)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pharoahe Monch - Internal Affairs (1999)

Pharoahe Monch's 10/10 solo debut. Should have been a springboard to superstardom, but legal troubles over the Godzilla sample used in "Simon Says" forced the album out of print shortly after it came out, and there it remains to this day. Total bummer. The good news? It's still dope as fuck, and will stay sounding fresh 'til the end of the world.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Behind Closed Doors
3. Queens
4. Rape
5. Simon Says
6. Official
7. Hell (feat. Canibus)
8. No Mercy (feat. M.O.P.)
9. Right Here
10. The Next Shit (feat. Busta Rhymes)
11. The Ass (feat. Apani)
12. The Light
13. God Send
14. The Truth (feat. Common & Tali Kweli)
15.Simon Says (Remix) (feat. Lady Luck, Redman, Method Man, Shabaam Sahdeeq & Busta Rhymes)

I ain't living in hell, hell's living in me

More along these lines:
Yung Star -
Throwed Yung Playa (2000)
Gravediggaz -
Nightmare in A-Minor (2001)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spectrum - Soul Kiss (Glide Divine) (1992)

Experimental Audio Research - Mesmerised (1994)

Pete Kember's first post-Spacemen 3 album, Soul Kiss (Glide Divine) carries on that band's deconstructive musical legacy of droning, textural guitars and drug-addled love songs. Easily on par with Spiritualized records from the same era.

Track listing:
1. How You Satisfy Me
2. Lord I Don't Know My Name
3. The Drunk Suite (Overture)
4. Neon Sigh
5. Waves Wash Over Me
6. (I Love You) to the Moon and Back
7. My Love for You Never Died Away But My Soul Gave Out and Withered
8. Sweet Running Water
9. Touch the Stars
10. Quicksilver Glide Divine
11. The Drunk Suite
12. Phase Me Out (Gently)

Then I just drifted away

If you like this, you should listen to:
Teenage Filmstars -
Star (1992)
Nyogtha -
Origin of "I" (2011)

Sorcier des Glaces - Snowland (1998)

Frostbitten Canadian black metal. My entire city is coated in a thick sheet of ice that's topped with a sheen of packed down snow, and I just got stuck out in it for a disconcerting hour, so what better time for Snowland, right? Right.

Track listing:
1. L'Enchantment des Glaces
2. The Winter Nightsky
3. Pure Northern Landscape Desolation
4. Onward into the Crystal Snows
5. My Journey into the Black Forest
6. Darkness Covers the Snowland
7. L'Èternelle Majesté des Montagnes
8. Night Throne

Behold the halls of ice

More icy black winter frost:
Setherial -
Nord... (1996)
Obscure Lupine Quietus -
Bathing in the Blood of the Moon (2011)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Peter Mergener - Passage in Time (1991)

Software - Chip-Meditation (1985) + Electronic-Universe (1987)
Software - Digital-Dance (1988)

First solo album by Peter Mergener, who you might know as one half of Software. There's nothing on Passage in Time that would sound out of place on a Software album -- it's about 95% synth, with a bit of drum machine and some samples -- but given that they're one of the best synth acts ever, that's not at all a problem.

Track listing:
1. Voices of the Earth
2. Passage in Time
3. Mechanical World
4. Military World
5. Lost Paradise
6. Patience Nature
7. Harmony with Nature
8. Praise

Eternal flow

You also should check out:
Ron Boots - Detachment
of Worldly Affairs
Waveshape -
Zyklus (1995)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Kvalvaag - Noema (2014)

Epic, probably LOTR-obsessed (I have no idea, just using context clues) Norwegian black metal. Apparently Norway's got a pretty solid little black metal scene that they're trying to get off the ground -- who knew??

Track listing:
1. Vettenatt
2. Noema
3. Dystopia Naa
4. Nibiru
5. Naar Aske Farger Himmelen Graa
6. Kingdom Comes [Mysticum cover]
7. Delirium

Dissolve into impiety

More from Norway:
Helheim -
Jormundgand (1995)
Arcturus -
Aspera Hiems Symfonia (1996)

Robert Logan - Cognessence (2007)

Darkly lush electronic sounds from UK producer Robert Logan. Heavy, distorted beats, warped synths, and huge, cavernous atmospheres, with just a hint of glitchy-ness for flavor.

Track listing:
1. Lost Highway
2. Budapest
3. Sanza
4. Trip
5. Cloud of the Unknowing
6. In Suspension
7. Error Message
8. Pop
9. Morphs
10. Proto Lexicon

Spirit wars

You would also like:
Piquet -
The Faulty Caress (1996)
Eleven Tigers -
Clouds Are Mountains (2010)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Edith Nylon - Edith Nylon (1979)

French new wave/punk. Melodic and catchy, with a dark, melancholic edge.

Track listing:
1. Avorton
2. Edith Nylon
3. Tank
4. Chromosome X, Y
5. Herr Monde
6. Hydrostérile
7. Etre Automatique
8. Euthanesie
9. Ma Jolie Famille
10. Sado, Maso

We're so happy here

If you're into this, you'll like:
Björgvin Gíslason ‎-
Örugglega (1983)
Mercenárias -
Cadê As Armas? (1986)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Istidraj - Metafizika (1999)

Singaporean black metal. Total kvlt worship. The whole thing has a queasy, nauseating feel, largely due to the fact that these are the most out-of-tune guitars I've ever heard on record.

Track listing:
1. Inauguration
2. Odes of Aeshon
3. Kiss of Death
4. Agony in Purgatory
5. What Once Was... (Nostalgia)
6. De' Shining Ones
7. Woods of Eternity
8. Ngecongan Ngestabe

Morbid blasphemic cult

If you like this, listen to:
Striborg -
Mysterious Semblance (2004)
Masochist -
History (2007)

The Goslings - Spaceheater / Perfect Interior (2006)

Lo-fi experimental psych. Grainy, static-ridden guitars, tape hiss, and the occasional disengaged-sounding, delay-heavy vocal form the basis for pieces of formless drone and extremely abstracted ambient shoegaze.

Track listing:
1. In May
2. Statuette
3. Lillian
4. Summer for Spring
5. Landing
6. Bloom Again
7. Celestine
8. Sthenno
9. Herons

Pixelated blue flashes of past lives

Also listen to:
Jessamine -
Jessamine (1994)
Burning Star Core -
A Brighter Summer Day (2002)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Crimson Moon - To Embrace the Vampyric Blood (1997)

US occult black metal. Analogue recording equipment, plenty of keyboards, and a lack of high end on the guitars make for an unusually (probably unintentionally) warm sound. Cult as fuck music for invoking unspeakable evils.

Track listing:
1. Intro: Dirge of the Apocalypse
2. Kingdom of Shadows
3. Praise Be the Blood of the Serpent
4. Carpe Noctem
5. The Stormbringer
6. Sender of Nocturnal Visions
7. To Offer Thy Crimson Sacrament
8. The Eye of the Draconis
9. Outro: Embraced

Gaze into the dragon's eyes

You should also be listening to:
Frostmoon Eclipse -
Gathering the Dark (2001)
Nocturnes Mist -
As Flames Burn (2009)

Phil Western - The Escapist (1998)

Lush, textural electro-psych with an expansive, generally downtempo feel. Atmospheric, densely layered sounds made up of keyboards, samples, drones, hypnotic rhythms, and the occasional reverb-saturated vocal.

Track listing:
1. Hampi
2. No Help
3. Pleasures Gained
4. Last Moments
5. Maruti
6. Poison
7. Flashback
8. Mourning
9. I No Really
10. Sun Is Round
11. Kent the Fly
12. Full Moon
13. Getting Old
14. Stay Clean

Lost droid seeking owner

Similar sounds:
Divination - Ambient Dub
Vol. II - Dead Slow
Meat Beat Manifesto -
Subliminal Sandwich (1996)