Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Ghastly Ones - A-Haunting We Will Go-Go (1998)

Tongue-in-cheek, old-school-horror-themed surf rock from sunny California. Pure camp, but they have the chops to make it a genuinely entertaining listen. I honestly don't know shit about surf rock, and am only aware of this band because "Hangman Hang Ten" was on one of those random comp CDs that used to sell for like a buck or two (I found it!) at Borders or whatever, and I ended up tracking them down on Napster.

Track listing:
1. An Invitation
2. Ghastly Stomp
3. Hangman Hang Ten
4. Thunderhead
5. Pacific Ghost Highway...
6. Haulin' Hearse
7. Lonesome Undertaker
8. Mysterion
9. The Boys Go Creeping...
10. Diabolo's Theme
11. Action Squad
12. Deadbeat
13. Spookmaster
14. Doctor Diabolo Speaks...
15. Attack of Robot Atomico
16. Los Campiones del Justicio
17. Hollywood Nocturne
18. Surfin' Spooks
19. A Final Warning...

Never posted a surf record before, so I dunno, try these:

Monday, October 3, 2022

Ami Marie - Verrückt Nach Glück (1981)

Excellent German minimal wave. Synths, vocoder, and weirdo-creepo vibes. Definitely first found this on the late, great Mutant Sounds, but tracked down a better rip a few years later.

Track listing:
1. Verrückt Nach Glück
2. Zartbitter...
3. Spiel mit Mir
4. Sehnsucht
5. Wir Sind Zufrieden
6. Der Seemann und die Rose
7. Licht Zerbricht
8. Reisen
9. Abschied
10. Epilog (Verrückt Nach Glück)

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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Fursaxa - Alone in the Dark Wood (2007)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

Spectral psych-folk composed of mostly wordless vocal laments and minimalist acoustic figures. A desolate forest trail lined with the spirits of the damned. Free/name your price via the Stench Ov Death bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Lunaria Enters the Blue Lodge
3. Bells of Capistrano
4. Drinking Wine in Yarrow
5. Black Haw
6. Clé Elum
7. Alone in the Dark Wood
8. Nawne Ye
9. Sheds Her Skin
10. In the Hollow Mink Shoal
11. Rattling the Calabash
12. Birds Inspire Epic Bards
13. Of Tubal Cain

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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Mysterious Art — Omen - The Story (1989)

[Crypt Keeper voice] Hello, creeps! As I'm sure you know, Halloween Season is always a special time here at Opium GLUM. And your old pal the Opium Keeper has just the twisted tale to start things off on the right foot [holds up severed foot, giggles.] It concerns a group of coked-up Germans who just couldn't get enough of the KNIFE life! [more giggling] So when they conspired to make an album of Hi-NRG bangers, they stuffed it so full of spooky samples, deadly drum machines, petrifying pianos, scary synths, and vampiric vocals -- people who heard it didn't know whether to laugh or DIE! [this one really gets me going, I absolutely laugh my fucking ass off for a full 15-20 seconds] I call this one... Omen - The Story.

Track listing:
1. In Nomine (Intro)
2. Das Omen - Teil 1
3. Requiem
4. Humunkulus (Men of Glass)
5. The Beyond
6. Carma - Omen 2
7. Fallen Angel
8. Don't Fly Too High
9. Heaven's Door
10. Requiem (Instrumental Mix)
11. Humunkulus (Dub Mix)

GORE like this:

Friday, September 30, 2022

SOM - The Shape of Everything (2022)

Absolutely beautiful doom-gaze. While so many of their shoegaze-infused post-metal peers still lean heavily on the drawn-out crescendos of mid-aughts post-rock, SOM keeps their songwriting concise while allowing their sound to remain proudly, passionately outsized. Like a more muscular, reinvigorated Jesu, or Deftones if they allowed their dreamiest impulses to reign. (I know there are a lot of Deftones haters out there, so please don't let that last part stop you from checking this out.) Free/name your price via the SOM bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Moment
2. Animals
3. Center
4. Shape
5. Clocks
6. Wrong
7. Heart Attack
8. Son of Winter

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Telefilme - Pocket Horror Symphony (1997)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

By request, here's the second and final album by this truly phenomenal duo. Somewhere between the electronic sounds of the mid 90s, the romantic depression of 80s new wave/pop, and the cluttered aesthetic of a burgeoning indie/post-rock scene, Telefilme struck a magic kind of musical alchemy on two 10/10 albums, then broke up because they were too good for this world.

Track listing:
1. Electric Farm
2. Hi-Fi Ghost
3. Shopping List Blues
4. Da Haus
5. California Punch
6. Jeremy
7. Catastrophe Baby
8. Fahrenheit
9. I Will Follow the Leader
10. Doll-House
11. Peter Pain
12. Ballad of the Droog

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Jega - Spectrum (1998)

Expansive, genre-omnivorous electronic music from UK producer Jega. Breakbeat, IDM, drum n bass, instrumental hip-hop, and downtempo all pop up throughout, but warm, crystalline synths secure a certain level of sonic cohesion through the chaos.

Track listing:
1. Phalanx
2. Kid Sista
3. Muzical Chairz
4. Red Mullet
5. NIA
6. DMC
7. Brad's Garden Maintenance
8. German
9. Intron.ix
10. Mai
11. Pitbull
12. Gemini
13. Ephem
14. Bikini Ski Boat
15. Manic Minor

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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Imperial Teen - What Is Not to Love (1999)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

This band's first record, which is linked above, is very special to me. I don't have the same kind of personal connection to their second record, What Is Not to Love, but I did listen to it a ton while I was living in my first apartment, which was also the setting for what turned into a pretty toxic relationship, so it does carry a certain amount of nostalgic significance. It's more focused than Seasick, which kinda plays more like a singles collection than a cohesive record -- but this is a reflection of a band that has learned to play to its own strengths: scruffy, guitar-driven power pop balanced by a few wistful, strung-out ballads, all from a decidedly queer POV. One of the ballads, "Crucible", is one of my favorite songs ever recorded. And the only song that doesn't really fit either camp, "Alone in the Grass", finds them in hypno-motorik territory, and it's one of the best songs on here.

Track listing:
1. Open Season
2. Birthday Girl
3. Yoo Hoo
4. Lipstick
5. Alone in the Grass
6. Crucible
7. The Beginning
8. Year of the Tan
9. Seven
10. Hooray (Live)
11. Beauty

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Friday, September 23, 2022

John Zorn - The Goddess: Music for the Ancient of Days (2010)

Painkiller - Execution Ground (1994)

The final installment of a trilogy of albums that found John Zorn at his most accessible by a very wide margin. (Actually, this man has about 4 thousand albums, of which I've heard maybe 20-25, so for all I know, he might have an album of vocal jazz standards sung by Norah Jones.) Ethereal but propulsive jazz fusion powered by a glimmering cloud of vibraphone, harp, piano, guitar, and more. Borders on easy listening at times. If, when you think John Zorn, you think chaotic jazz-grind or discordant avant-garde, this record might blow your mind a bit.

Track listing:
1. Enchantress
2. Ishtar
3. Heptameron
4. White Magick
5. Drawing Down the Moon
6. Beyond the Infinite
7. Ode to Delphi

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Eric Holm - Andøya (2014)

Massive, reverberating sounds from UK producer Eric Holm. Thunderous rhythms and static-ridden drones echoing through a vast, lightless expanse. From Holm's bandcamp: "Andoya [...] was made from contact mic recordings of pylons carrying communications cables that connected listening stations on an Arctic Norwegian island."

Track listing:
1. Måtinden
2. Stave
3. Åse
4. Kvastinden
5. Høyvika
6. Andøya

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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Adversam - Animadverte (1999)

Italian black metal. Choral keyboards and dramatic, symphonic-inspired songwriting in the classic In the Nightside Eclipse tradition.

Track listing:
1. Miasma Demou
2. Monument of a Legend
3. Awaiting
4. The Path
5. N.O.D.
6. Geisterfalle
7. Hypertemple
8. Lucifer, Crowned, Avenger and Conqueror

If you like this, listen to:

Thursday, September 15, 2022

School of Emotional Engineering - School of Emotional Engineering (2004)

The only album by this short-lived project, which mostly served as a live vehicle for experimental composer Ben Frost's solo material. An evocative, textural collision of classical minimalism, drone, and abstract post-rock. It's kinda fucked up that this is the first Ben Frost record I've posted.

Track listing:
1. To Be Continued...
2. ... Refrain
3. Falling for Sylvia
4. Of Angel Dust...
5. ... Refrain (Bloodline)
6. Redline
7. She Dreams in Car Crashes
8. Slicing the Skin Between My Toes

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Monday, September 12, 2022

The Resonars - Bright and Dark (1999)

Pitch-perfect Nuggets-style garage/psych pop worship, with a twist of Byrds worship. If my friend who hipped me to this had told me that it came out in 1969, I would have 100% believed him. They even have the severe stereo panning. Great cover of "I'll Keep It with Mine", too. This album and band are both completely new to me -- as I write this, I first heard it less than 24 hours ago -- so I can't really provide any context or information. But I very rarely rush to post something like this, so I obviously really like it.

Track listing:
1. The Golden Age
2. Bathyscope
3. Marina
4. Goodbye Melanie
5. Carrie Don't Care
6. Gina
7. Too Much Girl
8. Eden in Transition
9. I'll Keep It with Mine
10. If He's So Great
11. Under the Blazing Stars
12. Spider West

If you like this, listen to:

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Shara Nelson - What Silence Knows (1993)

Shara Nelson came up with Massive Attack, singing and/or cowriting almost half of Blue Lines, including "Safe from Harm" and "Unfinished Sympathy", their first two hits. Aside from one non-album track, that's where her involvement with The Wild Bunch ends, and I'm guessing it's because she started pursuing a solo career. What Silence Knows, her first solo record, is built on the same kind of danceable, soulful trip-hop that she made with Massive Attack, but skew more pop/R&B/soul. It's a great record, and I think it sold moderately well in England, but it didn't make much of an impression anywhere else, and seems to have largely fallen from pop cultural memory.

Track listing:
1. Nobody
2. Pain Revisited
3. One Goodbye in 10
4. Inside Out
5. Uptight
6. Down That Road
7. Chance
8. Thoughts of You
9. How Close
10. What Silence Knows

If you like this, listen to:

Friday, September 2, 2022

Arild Andersen - Sagn (1990)

Norwegian bassist/composer Arild Andersen's folk-jazz opus. Buoyed by an excellent band that includes the beautiful, dynamic vocals of Kirsten Bråten Berg and rock-leaning guitars of Frode Alnæs, Sagn succeeds where many others have failed: getting me to enjoy a fusion of jazz and Scandinavian folk.

Track listing:
1. Sagn
2. Gardsjenta
3. Eisemo
4. Toll
5. Draum
6. Laurdagskveld
7. Tjovane
8. Sorgmild
9. Svarm
10. Gamlestev
11. Reven
12. Nystev
13. Lussi
14. Rysen
15. Belare
16. Sagn

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