Friday, February 28, 2014

The Durutti Column - LC (1981)

The Durutti Column are, according to their Wiki (I have no idea, I just got into them a couple of weeks ago through some weird internet K-hole) from England, and they revolve around one central member, Vini Reilly, who apparently was/is bros with Ian Curtis and Morrissey. For such a cohesive, simple-sounding album, LC brings some seemingly disparate artists and genres to mind -- early Cure (esp. "All Cats Are Grey"), Paul Simon, and a little krautrock, maybe? Lots of low-key instrumentals, echoing guitars, simple drumming, piano... pretty charming stuff. This reissue has twenty-three bonus tracks following the original ten, and they're great, so I'm including 'em.

Track listing:
-Disc One-
1. Sketch for Dawn 1
2. Portrait for Frazer
3. Jacqueline
4. Messidor
5. Sketch for Dawn 2
6. Never Known
7. The Act Committed
8. Detail for Paul
9. The Missing Boy
10. The Sweet Cheat Gone
11. Danny
12. Enigma
13. For Mimi
14. For Belgian Friends
15. Self-Portrait
16. Favourite Painting
17. Zinni
-Disc Two-
1. Mavuchka
2. Experiment in Fifth
3. Portrait for Paul
4. The Act Committed
5. Portrait for Frazer
6. Never Known
7. Untitled LC Demo
8. For Patti
9. Weakness and Fever
10. The Eye and the Hand
11. Party
12. One Christmas for Your Thoughts
13. Homage to Martinu
14. Sleep Will Come
15. Piece for an Ideal
16. Piece of Out of Tune Grand Piano


Thursday, February 27, 2014

John Martyn - One World (1977)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
John Martyn - Grace and Danger (1980) + Glorious Fool (1981)

...and my hellish week is over. Here's some laid-back, jazz-y, slightly funky folk rock from one of the world's all-time most under-appreciated musicians. I refuse to write any more, YOU CAN'T MAKE ME.

Track listing:
1. Dealer
2. One World
3. Smiling Stranger
4. Big Muff
5. Couldn't Love You More
6. Certain Surprise
7. Dancing
8. Small Hours

Love is coming

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd - After the Night Falls (2007)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Harold Budd - Lovely Thunder (1986)
Harold Budd - The White Arcades (1988)

Once again, I am too busy for this blog shit. But here's a gorgeous, shimmering pool of guitar, synth, and piano that is helping to keep me sane through all of this studying and essaying.

Track listing:
1. How Distant Your Heart
2. Avenue of Shapes
3. Seven Thousand Sunny Years
4. She Is My Strength
5. Inside, a Golden Echo
6. Open Book
7. And Then I Turned Away
8. The Girl with Colorful Thoughts
9. Turn Off the Sun


Monday, February 24, 2014

Al Gromer Khan - Divan I Khas (Visions of a Mogul Prince) (1984)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Al Gromer Khan - Utopia (1993) + Attar (1996)

Y'all. School just blew the fuck up in my face. Due to overconsumption of coffee and a bit of Adderall, I may actually be turning into an unfeeling, essay-writing machine. But I'm done for the day, so I'm off to the gym to blow off some steam, after which I will fall face-first into this beckoning, pillowy cloud of sitar, drum machines, and dated synths.

Track listing:
1. Visions Of Vilayat Khan
2. Hirubilal (Part 1)
3. Piz Pakiza
4. The Anahat Syndrome
5. Barhat Anga
6. Hirubilal (Part 2)
7. Zuban
8. Oiram Qarz

After the crash

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Creatures - Feast (1983)

The Creatures are Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Their first album, Feast is a brilliantly conceived and performed record -- lush, kaleidoscopic percussion, samples, and Siouxsie's powerful voice hanging overhead like the voice of an animal-obsessed prophet echoing from on high.

Track listing:
1. Morning Dawn
2. Inoa' Ole
3. Ice House
4. Dancing on Glass
5. Gecko
6. Sky Train
7. Festival of Colours
8. Miss the Girl / A Strutting Rooster
9. Flesh

Panoramic banana

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Graveworm - As the Angels Reach the Beauty (1999)

Holy shit, I forgot how great this record is! Epic, Italian symphonic black/gothic metal -- melodic, tremolo-picked riffs, high-pitched howls, and layer upon layer of REAL, not keyboard-made, orchestral elements. Plus, the bonus track is a Type O Negative cover! (I realize that most of you metal snobs don't like that band, but I fucking love 'em.) If you like frilly metal, this record is tops.

[2/25/19: Upon revisiting this post while I re-up the link, I can't help but notice that my Type O Negative comment no longer applies, as practically everyone loves them now. Funny thing is, I can't find anyone who got into them after Peter Steele died -- apparently everyone's been down since day one. Guess I must have been imagining all the shit-talk that used to get thrown my way whenever I tried to put on Bloody Kisses or October Rust back in the day. Weird.]

Track listing:
1. A Dreaming Beauty
2. Portrait of a Deadly Nightshade
3. Ceremonial Requiem
4. Nocturnal Hymns
5. Behind the Curtain of Darkness
6. Pandemonium
7. Prophecies in Blood
8. Into the Dust of Eden
9. Graveyard of Angels
10. Christian Woman (bonus)

Wolven screams of deepest hate

Friday, February 21, 2014

Brenoritvrezorkre - Vèrmyaprèb (1995), Nèvgzérya (1995), + Vasagraèbe éakr vatrè brenoritvrezorkre (1996)

Three psychotic demos by Brenoritvrezorkre, one of the finest projects associated with Les Légions Noires, a French black metal/dark ambient horde who, during the mid-90s, released countless limited cassette demos through a seemingly endless number of incestuous, perplexingly named bands and projects. Supremely deranged black metal full of knotty, dissonant guitars, ghostly rasps and howls, and almost completely indecipherable, off-kilter drums. As should be expected, it's all totally blown-out and lo-fi to the point of absurdity. To the ears of black metal nerds, these demos are invaluable gifts from the Dark Lord Himself; to everyone else's ears, they are utter dogshit.

Track listing:
1. Eápr Govépèrv
2. Borarp!
3. Voarmérpébre Uatr Vèrmyapre
4. Tsaévarya Vèrmyaprèb
5. Favoapr Uatr Zuflebre Oatr Bouarvtre Blehrurb
6. Eamkl Uatre Bervétrèmdre...
1. Voarmtre Zuèrkl Ndearbe
2. Tsaévarya Zurgtapre
3. Ezlèybdrèb Zuèrkl Bèrvétrèmdre
4. Morvbtre Urvdrèm Dlèfme
5. Abgvatrèb
6. Eamkl Eèpreb Dzélyambre
7. Abgzvoryatre Urvdrèm Dlèfme
8. Abgvatrèb
9. Nèvgzérya
-Vasagraèbe éakr vatrè brenoritvrezorkre-
1. Aaprab Vergz Varbadre
2. Eakre Uatre Zurgtapre
3. Berv Tre Mve
4. Vermyapre Zuerkle Uatre
5. Kloarbe Vurtrue Zuerkle Goebtre
6. Uatr Borvuatre Zuerkle Droer

I died from a vampiric grief

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Legendary Pink Dots - Chemical Playschool 1 & 2 (1981)

Early, duel-cassette release from the semi-legendary Legendary Pink Dots pink dots. It's essentially a quadruple album, as each side has over forty minutes of music, adding up to over three hours of warped, psychedelic, synth-based genius! Originally uploaded by/copped from Shards of Beauty.

Track listing:
1. Defeated
2. Voices
3. Ideal Home
4. Black Highway
5. Soma Bath
6. Doll's House
7. Louder After Six
8. Phallus Dei
9. Stand Firm, Damien
10. (untitled)
11. Dying for the Emperor
1. Peace Krime 1
2. Brighter Now
3. Peace Krime 2
4. Mpnmep Cptaha
5. Apocalypse Now
6. Professional
7. Donna's Blitzed Again
8. Brill
9. Witch Hunt
10. Break Day
11. Break Down
1. City Ghosts
2. Onward
3. Legacy
4. For the Pearl Moon
5. Sensory Deprivation
6. Temper Temper
7. Amphitheatre Shuffle
8. Misfortunes
9. Red Castles
10. Hanging Gardens
11. detaefeD
12. Before the End
1. Waiting for the Call / You'n'me
2. Amphitheatre 1
3. Frosty
4. Another Kind of Violence
5. The Wedding
6. Starch on Sunday
7. Caligula
8. Fin

To mourn the death of colour

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beggar's Opera - Act One (1971)

Tripped-out, organ-fueled, Scottish psych/prog rock. Awesome, tweaked, semi-croony vocals, and extended instrumental sections full of awesome harmonized leads and keyboard noodling. The last two tracks weren't on the original release. I have a bunch of writing to do for school, so that's all you get, buttface.

Track listing:
1. Poet and Peasant
2. Passacaglia
3. Memory
4. Raymonds Road
5. Light Cavalry
6. Sarabande (bonus)
7. Think (bonus)

She smiles as if she knows I'm there
I hold her hand, I touch her hair

Monday, February 17, 2014

Container - LP (2011)

Harsh, blown-out, yet highly listenable techno. Pulsing, red-lined drums; alarm-like screeches; distorted, amelodic basslines; short, warped, mantra-like samples. Do people dance to this?

Track listing:
1. Application
2. Protrusion
3. Dissolve
4. Overflow
5. Rattler


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Harold Budd - The White Arcades (1988)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Harold Budd - Lovely Thunder (1986)

Gentle, drifting synth and piano sound worlds from an American master. Put this on the next time you die and go to heaven in a little rowboat.

Track listing:
1. The White Arcades
2. Balthus Bemused by Color
3. The Child with a Lion
4. The Real Dream of Sails
5. Algebra of Darkness
6. Totems of the Red-Sleeved Warrior
7. The Room
8. Coyote
9. The Kiss

Ice floes in Eden

Friday, February 14, 2014

Grave Digger - Heart of Darkness (1995)

Cheese metal at its finest. Anthemic choruses, soaring leads, noodly solos, and subject matter that includes stuff like witches, magic, religious hypocrisy, and reveling in the death of fools and losers. Happy Valentine's!

Track listing:
1. Tears of Madness
2. Shadow Maker
3. Grave Dancer
4. Demon's Day
5. Warchild
6. Heart of Darkness
7. Hate
8. Circle of Witches
9. Black Death

Fools - I will lead you down
Losers - Your eyes will stud my crown
Bastards - I rule your life

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)

This blog has gone far too long without a post about Steve Kilbey and/or his band, The Church. Although they're pretty popular in their homeland of Australia, The Church are known everywhere else in the world, if they're known at all, for their only major hit: the immortal "Under the Milkyway". I think that this is really unfortunate, as their synthesis of new wave, goth, U2-like arena rock, and psychedelia makes for some of my favorite music.

No matter how lush and inviting the rest of the band sounds, though, Kilbey's surreal lyrics and spectral voice are the band's lifesblood, so it's not surprising that Unearthed, his first solo album, stands up nicely to comparison with his primary project's work. Although the dreamlike words and crystalline guitar work are in full effect, Unearthed leans more heavily on synths and drum machines than anything that The Church had recorded up to this point. Like many solo excursions, there's a sense of experimentation and spontaneity to this record, and thankfully, in addition to the cool, weird keyboard pieces, there are a bunch of great songs.

Track listing:
1. Out of This World
2. Guilty
3. Pretty Ugly, Pretty Sad
4. Swampdrone
5. Judgement Day
6. Rising Son
7. Tyrant
8. Transference
9. My Birthday, the Moon Festival
10. Design Error
11. Nothing Inside
12. Other Time
13. Heliopolis
14. Famine

It reminds me of the time I've told you about
Every voice in the world seemed to shout
I sank to my knees, hands over my ears
I could have heard what nobody hears

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Malcolm McLaren - Fans (1984)

One of the strangest records of which I'm aware. I first heard Fans in my dad's car when I was in high school, and while I really wanted to like it, because it seemed really smart, and because of McLaren's ties with the Sex Pistols, it was just too fucking weird. (Plus, the Sex Pistols were sellouts, man.) Gated drums, slap bass, twinkly synths, and other indicators that Fans was produced in the 1980s provide the musical backdrop for the vocals, which make apparent the album's raison d'être: treating famous opera songs to 80's R&B/dance makeovers. Yup. I'm not sure that it's any good, but it's a mindfuck that any music fan should experience at least once.

Track listing:
1. Madam Butterfly
2. Fans
3. Carmen
4. Boys' Chorus
5. Lauretta
6. Death of Butterfly


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

16 - Blaze of Incompetence (1997)

Tough, self-destructive, pro-drug, pro-violence, anti-cop sludge. Music by and for lowlives. If I had to pick a highlight, it would be "A Real Piece of Work", particularly the ending -- I've never heard a riff that's so disrespectful to its surroundings! One of my top-five sludge records.

Track listing:
1. Asian Heat
2. Burning Sensation
3. Flaming Head-On Train Wreck
4. Rob Someone
5. Thiothixene
6. Glowing Bowl
7. A Real Piece of Work
8. Wash Me
9. Ride the Snake
10. Sleep Forever


Monday, February 10, 2014

Sam Rivers - Contours (1965)

Contours served as my introduction to avant-garde jazz, and years later, it remains one of my favorite jazz records. Rivers plays sax and flute like he's out of his goddamn mind, seamlessly shifting back and forth between cohesive melodic themes to complete atonal chaos, and his excellent backing musicians (Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Joe Chambers) follow him down the rabbit hole. Through this record, I came to understand that there is no key to 'getting' jazz -- you just listen attentively, allow yourself to be responsive, and keep in mind that actual human beings and physical instruments are producing the otherworldly sounds that you're hearing.

Track listing:
1. Point of Many Returns
2. Dance of the Tripedal
3. Euterpe
4. Mellifluous Cacophony
5. Mellifluous Cacophony (Alternate Take) [bonus]


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Premature Ejaculation - Wound of Exit (1998)

Thoroughly unnerving soundscapes from the late Rozz Williams. A controlled, queazy, semi-rhythmic cacophony of tape loops, detuned guitars, and manipulated signals, sprawling across two discs. Although he's often remembered for his work with Christian Death, Williams supposedly (I didn't know the man, after all) considered Premature Ejaculation his 'main' creative outlet, and this is reflected in both the prolificacy and consistent high quality of the project.

[EDIT: Since this post has been published, I have rejected probably over 30 spam comments promising a cure for premature ejaculation. This is my favorite one yet:
"My name is JULIAN BUSH i am from USA, MOTHER once had the problem of premature Ejaculation. which affected her for years,i gave him different medication but there was no solution,i search the net and i found the contact of a doctor,who help me with his product on curing premature Ejaculation. ,he also assured me that it is a permanent cure,my MOTHER took the medication for just a week and he was back to normal. for two years now he has been doing fine.I give all thanks to Dr Dickson for helping me out of such problem now am the happiest person on earth for seeing my MOTHER doing can contact him on his Email Address: and get the product. he also have the solution many diseases such as. 1:(COPD) 2:Stroke 3:Cancer 4:Liver disease 5:Cirrhosis 6:Epilepsy 7:Weak Erection 8:High blood pressure. 9:HIV/AID 10:premature Ejaculation."
So to all my readers: if your mother has a problem with premature ejaculation, or cancer, Dr. Dickson is your man.]

Track listing:
-Disc One-
1. Alone with the Devil
2. Head
3. At the End of Every Day
4. Rope Trick
5. Two Thirteen
6. Wound of Exit
-Disc Two-
1. Alone with the Devil II
2. Ruptured Walls (7700 Volts)
3. Sick Swing
4. Purged and Destroyed
5. Flesh and Blood (You Are My)
6. The End Is Here / Exit

The nature of pain

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vladislav Delay - Whistleblower (2007)

Spacious electro-dub from prolific Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti (aka Luomo.) Echoing bass lines, stuttering drums, chopped-up samples, gauzy synths, and the odd clutter/rattle/whir/bleep/bloop. There's a real nervous tension to Whistleblower, in that it always sounds like something big and thunderous is just over the horizon, but it never arrives. Put this on the next time you're drowning in a swamp of warm maple syrup.

Track listing:
1. Whistleblower
2. Wanted To (Kill)
3. Stop Talking
4. I Saw a Polysexual
5. Lumi
6. He Lived Deeply
7. Recovery Idea

Slow dying places

Friday, February 7, 2014

Archgoat - Heavenly Vulva (Christ's Last Rites) EP (2011)

Beefy, dirty black/death blasphemy by way of Finland. 16 minutes of blasts, stop-starts, monstrous growls, burly riffs, and reverb-y leads, with some samples here and there to mix things up. 100% killer.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Blessed Vulva
3. Penetrator of the Second Temple
4. Goddess of the Abyss of Graves
5. Day of Clouds
6. Passage to Millennial Darkness

Await the judgement
of sodomatic rites

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Terje Rypdal - Bleak House (1968)

Norwegian jazz guitarist Terje Rypdal's first solo album, Bleak House is generally considered an outlier in his discography. It's a diverse, scatterbrained set of songs, only two of which ("Winter Serenade", "Sonority") are in line with the free-form, ambient jazz that comprises the rest of his discography. Otherwise, there's some post-bop ("Wes"), a big-band workout ("Bleak House"), a spine-tingling, vocal-driven, psych-tinged blues number ("Dead Man's Tale"), and a low-key, acoustic outro that reminds me of Milton Nascimento. I would say that it's not the best intro to Rypdal, but it was the first Rypdal record that I heard, and I eventually collected his entire catalogue, so...

Track listing:
1. Dead Man's Tale
2. Wes
3. Winter Serenade
4. Bleak House
5. Sonority
6. A Feeling of Harmony

I tried to live a good life
But now I know that I was wrong

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Today Is the Day - Today Is the Day (1996)

Today Is the Day, an ever-changing cast of musicians rotating around central member Steve Austin, is one of the most truly vicious, singular musical entities of our time. Their third album, Today Is the Day was their first to feature keyboards, a development that helped them to find the dense, disorienting, hallucinatory atmosphere that has accompanied their punishing, math-y, sludge-y noise metal ever since. Be warned: it gets really fucking psychotic towards the end. I get the feeling that if Austin hadn't started Today Is the Day, he would have been a prolific serial killer.

Track listing:
1. Kai Piranha
2. Marked
3. Bugs Death March
4. A Man of Science
5. Realization
6. Black Iron Prison
7. Mountain People
8. Ripped Off
9. The Tragedy
10. She Is in Fear of Death
11. I Love My Woman
12. Dot Matrix
13. Hands and Knees
14. Pipe Dream Zero

This is my life
I can't be changed
You can't win

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pärson Sound - Pärson Sound (2001)

Extended, hypnotic, drug-fueled musical ceremonies from a bunch of Swedish freaks. Performed between 1967 and '68, none of these recordings saw official release until 2001. They're all pretty lo-fi, and have a heavy, trance-inducing, highly underground sound that makes them feel, in some ways, more akin to the musical experiments of La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music than to the flowery sounds of many of their peers in the worldwide psych rock scene of the late 60s.

Members went on to form a number of projects, including Harvester, whose one and only album is one of the first things I posted on here.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Tio Minuter (Ten Minutes)
3. From Tunis to India in Fullmoon (On Testosterone)
4. India (Slight Return)
5. A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec-66
6. One Quiet Afternoon (In the King's Garden)
7. Sov Gott Rose-Marie
8. Skrubba
9. Milano
10. On How to Live
11. Blåslåten

You shouldn't take that away from me
I need it to live, you see