Monday, February 29, 2016

The Gentle Waves - The Green Fields of Foreverland... (1999)

You motherfuckers ready to get TWEE?! The Gentle Waves was the name that Isobel Campbell, who at the time was still in Belle & Sebastian, used for this, her first solo record, before opting to just use her own name from here on out. The Green Fields of Foreverland... sounds, as one might expect, a whole lot like the songs she wrote for The Boy with the Arab Strap and Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant, but with generally sparser arrangements and a more lulling feel; one major exception is the upbeat late-album adrenaline shot that is "Weathershow".

Track listing:
1. Hangman in the Shadow
2. Evensong
3. Renew and Restoer
4. Emanuelle, Skating on Thin Ice
5. Rose I Love You
6. Enchanted Place
7. Tree Lullaby
8. Dirty Snow for the Broken Ground
9. Weathershow
10. A Chapter in the Life of Mathiew
11. To Salt a Scar

Be a girl
See how hopeless she can be

If you like this, try:
Lætitia Sadier - The Trip (2010)
Sean Nicholas Savage - Flamingo (2011)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Susumu Yokota - Sakura (2000)

Gorgeous, tranquil ambient compositions and gently pulsing minimal techno from Japanese electronic artist Susumu Yokota (RIP). Could soothe even the most feverishly anxious mind.

Track listing:
1. Saku
2. Tobiume
3. Uchu Tanjyo
4. Hagoromo
5. Genshi
6. Gekkoh
7. Hisen
8. Azukiro No Kaori
9. Kodomotachi
10. Naminote
11. Shinsen
12. Kirakiraboshi

Blue sky and yellow sunflower

If you like this, you should listen to:
David Sylvian & Holger Szukay -
Plight & Premonition (1988) + Flux & Mutability (1989)
Porter Ricks -
Biokinetics (1996)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Photophobia - Humana Fragilitas (2010)

Raw depressive black metal. Blown-out guitars repeating dreary melodies and two-chord progressions ad infinitum, and high-pitched (but not absurdly so) shrieks.

Track listing:
1. I Desire You... Wrapped in Plastic
2. Photophobic City
3. Rotting in This Putrid Life...
4. When Life Run on Razorblades
5. For a Taste of a Lightened Existence
6. If My World Ends Without You
7. Children of Tomorrow Are All Gone
8. Stockholm [Lifelover cover]


For more misery, try:
Basilisk - A Joyless March
Through the Cold-Lands
Vardan -
Lifeless Shadow (2013)

Björgvin Gíslason ‎- Örugglega (1983)

Icelandic new wave. Shout-out to Björk for singing on "Afi," as I likely would never have heard this little slice of heaven otherwise.

Track listing:
1. L. M. Ericsson
2. Í Takt Við Tímann
3. Tjútt
4. Lukkutröll
5. Hetjudraumar
6. Lukkutröll
7. Afi
8. Xylophone
9. Tunglskin Í Trjánum
10. Alþýðu Jón
11. Katla

Daring people to jump off roofs with me

You might like these, too:
Adrian Belew - Lone Rhino (1982)
Arto Lindsay - Noon Chill (1998)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Arckanum - Helvítismyrkr (2011)

Arckanum - Fran Marder (1995)

7th full-length from this longstanding Swedish solo black metal force. Nothing particularly groundbreaking at work here -- though the strings on "Svartr Ok Þursligr" are pretty fucking rad -- just beefy, melodic-ish, ass-kicking black metal. Arckanum has never released anything that's fallen short of stellar, and Helvítismyrkr is no exception.

Track listing:
1. Helvitt
2. Myrkrin vinna hefnt
3. Ór djúpum
4. In svarta
5. Nifldreki
6. Svartr ok þursligr
7. Þrúðgelmis hlaut
8. Sísoltinn

Wolven eyes

For those who like this:
Ofermod -
Mystérion Tés Anomias (1998)
Visthia -
Reditus Conscientia (2006)

Ordo Equilibrio - The Triumph of Light... and Thy Thirteen Shadows of Love (1997)

First-rate Swedish industrial-neofolk. Because, much like that of black metal, the neofolk scene is riddled with racist shitheads, it might please you to know that Ordo Equilibrio (now Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio) are quoted as stating that "nazis, racists, and homophobes [have] no place in [their] scene."

Track listing:
1. Victory Starts Here, in the Land of Completion
2. Walpurgisnacht in the Grotto. Dancing with Lilith
3. Marching Across the Stupid and Ignorant
4. Thou Cannot Love Them All, When the Trumpet Sounds
5. Entering the Masturbatory / Luxuria My Rubber Angel
6. This Absolute Supper, Second Consecration
7. Carnival (Festivity in Flesh)
8. Invocation ov Prosperity, Pleasure, Progress, and Love
9. Under the Rose, Cuitus Excelsi. Pain, Bondage, and Subjugation
10. After Reign Cometh Sun
11. Living By the Sword. Dying By the Sword. The Lustrous Banquet
12. And So Forth...

Stand alone

If you like this, try:
Steven Stapleton & Tony Wakeford -
Revenge of the Selfish Shellfish (1992)
Matt Howden -
Hellfires (2000)

Tenebrae in Perpetuum - Onori Funebri Rituali (2003)

Beatrik - Journey Through the End of Life (2002)
Tenebrae in Perpetuum - L'Eterno Maligno Silenzio (2009)

Tenebrae in Perpetuum's first full-length -- and one of my favorite black metal records -- Onori Funebri Rituali has a haunting, mysterious feel and sound, but never diverges from the path of purest, blackest metal.

Track listing:
1. Onori Funebri Rituali
2. Al Di La Della Nebbia
3. Verso L'Apocalisse
4. Oscure Presenze
5. Anime Silenziose
6. Delirio Nella Cripta
7. Quegli Occhi
8. Gli Abissi Di Pisorno

Ritual killing

You might also want to hear:
Onirik - Songs for the Apocalipse (2005)
I Shalt Become - The Pendle Witch Trials (2009)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rowland S. Howard - Teenage Snuff Film (1999)

Crime & the City Solution - The Bride Ship (1989)
These Immortal Souls - I'm Never Gonna Die Again (1992)

Rowland S. Howard's first true solo LP is as perfect a distillation of his gnarled, strung-out, post-punk Americana as any. As with my post on Adolescent Sex by Japan, I'm slightly concerned that this is gonna land me on some FBI watch list, so any government agents out there, please understand that this is not an actual snuff film.

Track listing:
1. Dead Radio
2. Breakdown (And Then...)
3. She Cried
4. I Burnt Your Clothes
5. Exit Everything
6. Silver Chain
7. White Wedding
8. Undone
9. Autoluminescent
10. Sleep Alone

Nodding dogs and valium
Let's make this whole world spin like a top
And then stop

You might also enjoy:
Fade to Black - Corridors of Gender (1984)
Chrysta Bell - This Train (2011)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. - Like a Duck to Water (1976)

Awe-inspiring synthesizer pieces from a group that included, among others, the great David Borden, whose solo work I really need to get around to posting. Truly topnotch stuff, right here.

Track listing:
1. Oleo Strut
2. All Set
3. Theme from After the Fall
4. Waterwheel
5. C-A-G-E Part II
6. Downtown
7. Harpsichord Truck
8. C-A-G-E


You might also enjoy:
Arlette Sibon-Simonovitch
& Sylvio Gualda -
Espaces Sonores No. 1 (1972)
Ian Boddy -
Elements of Chance (1981) +
Options (1982)

Mordor - Prayer to... (1993)

Polish gothic doom. Cheap-sounding keyboards, gnarled growls and strained clean vocals, some sweet harmonized guitar leads.

Track listing:
1. False Prayer
2. Why Me?
3. There's Nothing Left
4. Ice Bound
5. Nothing Makes Any Sense
6. Wind - Storm Song
7. The First One Will Be the Last One
8. Two Real Stories

Is the winter your mother?

You might also like:
Cryptal Darkness -
They Whispered You Had Risen (1999)
Procession -
Destroyers of the Faith (2010)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Velour 100 - Of Colour Bright (1997)

Here's a wonderful, almost completely overlooked album of sweet, fuzzy, low-key shoegaze. The brainchild of His Name Is Alive drummer Trey Many, Velour 100 put out just two records, of which Of Colour Bright is the second.

Track listing:
1. Bittersweet
2. Clouds
3. Pressed Flower
4. Sky from Underwater
5. Shine
6. Under Heaven
7. Tumble
8. Monochrome
9. Dolphin Grey
10. Toledo
11. Control Panel

I fell away

More like this:
Lilys - Eccsame the Photon Band (1994)
Duster - Stratosphere (1998)

Carpe Noctem - In Terra Profugus (2013)

Icelandic black metal. Definitely a 'modern' approach -- longer, more dynamic songs; cerebral, mildly psychedelic elements; huge, pitch-black atmosphere -- but thanks to unanimously dissonant guitar work, there's nothing pretty about In Terra Profugus. Members of Misþyrming, who put out one of last year's best black metal records.

Track listing:
1. Odium Somniferum
2. Ars Moriendi
3. Vitriol
4. Metamorphoses Maleficarum
5. Hostis Humani Generis

Nothing in his eyes

You should also check out:
Kozeljnik - Deeper the Fall (2010)
Tortorum - Katabasis (2014)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Derek Bailey - Aida (1981)

Solo acoustic guitar improvisations by English guitarist Derek Bailey. Though these are disjointed, largely dissonant pieces, there's a sense of purity and strange, queasy tranquility that, if you're a fan of difficult music, makes Aida an absolute joy to listen to.

Track listing:
1. Paris
2. Niigata Snow
3. An Echo in Another's Mind

Topography of the lungs

You might also like:
Harry Bertoia - Continuum / Near and Far (1980)
+ Swinging Bars / Vulcans Play (1980)
Eberhard Weber -
Pendulum (1993)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sorhin - I Det Glimrande Mörkrets Djup (1997)

God-tier Swedish black metal. Straight-up one of the most underrated black metal records in existence. Think In the Nightside Eclipse minus the keyboards and the audience. Definitely deserves more of a writeup than I am giving it.

Track listing:
1. Godhetens Fall
2. När Helvetet Kallar
3. Och Om Natten Min Själ Dansar
4. Svartvintras
5. Tills Döden Er Alla Tar
6. Åt Fanders Med Ljusets Skapelser
7. I Skuggan Af Nattens Herre
8. Sänd Mig En Ängel Att Dräpa
9. Skogsgriftens Rike
10. I Det Glimrande Mörkrets Djup

Wherever there is joy the hordes of the eclipse
Will pollute sadness and hate under the reign of fear

These are pretty great, too:
Setherial - Nord... (1996)
Lux Occulta - Forever Alone, Immortal (1996)

Rick Wakeman - The Seven Wonders of the World (1995)

Strawbs - From the Witchwood (1971)
Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection (1976)

Alright, that's it. Y'all thought I was fucking around when I said I was a nerd. NOPE. And it's time to separate the nerds from the boys. So here it is: the nerdiest thing I have ever posted on here. A new age concept album about the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Each Wonder is given a brief spoken introduction, then an extended, synth-saturated, noodle-packed instrumental that somehow is supposed to represent said Wonder. Written and performed by a man who enjoys wearing white capes. May God have mercy on our souls.

Track listing:
1. The Pharos of Alexandria: Narration
2. The Pharos of Alexandria
3. The Colossus of Rhodes: Narration
4. The Colossus of Rhodes
5. The Pyramids of Egypt: Narration
6. The Pyramids of Egypt
7. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Narration
8. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
9. The Temple of Artemis: Narration
10. The Temple of Artemis
11. The Statue of Zeus: Narration
12. The Statue of Zeus
13. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: Narration
14. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Meanwhile, thousands of years ago...

You might also wanna check out:
Al Gromer Khan -
Divan I Khas (Visions of a Mogul Prince) (1987)
Michael Shrieve & Steve Roach -
The Leaving Time (1988)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Grief - Torso (1998)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Grief - Come to Grief (1994)

More hateful, miserable, narcotized sludge from the masters thereof. As the guy who put out my old band's LP wrote in the lil' promo blurb: "Get high, burn down the system, and fuckin' kill yourself."

Track listing:
1. I Hate Lucy
2. Polluted
3. Amorphous
4. Life Can Be...
5. To Serve and Neglect
6. Beyond Waste
7. Tar

If there's life in outer space
Take me away from this place
Beam me up, I'll volunteer
It can't be much worse than here

You should also check out:
Fudge Tunnel - Hate Songs in E Minor (1991)
Iron Monkey - Iron Monkey (1997)

Dr. Strangely Strange - Kip of the Serenes (1969)

Stoned, pastoral acid folk from a bygone era in which you could call your band "Dr. Strangely Strange" and not get your ass kicked. Clearly indebted to the Incredible String Band.

Track listing:
1. Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal
2. Dr. Dim and Dr. Strange
3. Roy Rogers
4. Dark Haired Lady
5. On the West Cork Hack
6. A Tale of Two Orphanages
7. Frosty Mornings
8. Strings in the Earth and Air
9. Ship of Fools
10. Donnybrook Fair

The film's almost over, they're only showing clips

You might also enjoy:
Strawbs - From the Witchwood (1971)
Stained Glass - Open Road (1974)