Thursday, May 31, 2018

Steve Tibbetts - Northern Song (1982)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Steve Tibbetts - Steve Tibbetts (1977) + Yr (1980)
Steve Tibbetts - The Fall of Us All (1994)
Steve Tibbetts & Knut Hamre - Å (1999)

Beautiful, elemental third album from one of my all-time favorite artists. Airy, delicate, fragmented acoustic guitars resonate into infinity, cushioned by kalimba, atmospheric tape loops, and percussion courtesy of Tibbetts' ever-present right-hand man, Marc Anderson. Often considered his masterpiece, Northern Song is the most clear early antecedent to Tibbetts' later, more minimal work -- including his achingly gorgeous new album, Life Of, which I've been listening to on repeat for the past week.

[Note: Some of my Zippyshare links are giving people warnings about the site trying to steal your info. I've seen this before and the problem has fixed itself -- I've always assumed that it's related to malware from one of their advertisers -- so if a link's not working, try to wait it out. If you can't and you need that shit right now, leave a comment on the post in question and I'll try to get a new link up.]

Track listing:
1. The Big Wind
2. Form
3. Walking
4. Aerial View
5. Nine Doors/Breathing Space

A clear day and no memories

You should also hear:
Terje Rypdal -
After the Rain (1976)
Bill Connors -
Swimming with a Hole in My Body (1979)

Robedoor / Husere Grav - Robedoor / Husere Grav [Split] (2008)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Robedoor - Devourer (2005)
Husere Grav - Haunted Tomb / The Great Empty (2009)

Excellent split cassette by raw dark psych/drone/noise/what-have-you band Robedoor and black drone project Husere Grav. Robedoor lead off with a slowburning monolith of eerie, ritualistic psych, followed by a murky cauldron of narcotizing black slime, courtesy of Husere Grav.

Track listing:
1. Robedoor - Terminal Abomination
2. Husere Grav - Awakening
3. Husere Grav - Heart Problems
4. Husere Grav - Silver Mist
5. Husere Grav - This Is Forever
6. Husere Grav - Falling from the Sky

Fog of God

More like this:
Equimanthorn -
Lectionum Anituquarum (1999)
Emit -
A Sword of Death for the Prince (2005)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Jan Bang - Frozen Feelings (1989)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré - Birth Wish (2000)

Synth-driven 80s pop from Norwegian singer/musician/producer Jan Bang. Big, shiny production and upbeat arrangements mask some pretty damn dark lyrics. Bang is better-known for his later work in the jazz world, making this sophisticated take on contemporary pop a curiously sugary addition to his discography. Reminds me of Tears for Fears, circa The Hurting.

Track listing:
1. Frozen Feelings
2. One Made Two
3. Fake Delight
4. Blindness
5. Merciful Waters
6. Dance Away
7. Is This Really True
8. Beyond
9. Come with Me
10. I Can't Forget You

Dive deep down

You'd also like:
Nona Hendryx -
SkinDiver (1989)
Eg and Alice -
24 Years of Hunger (1991)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Envy - Insomniac Doze (2006)

Fuck, I forgot how great this record is! On Insomniac Doze, these Japanese hardcore legends aggravated a good chunk of their fanbase by going the Isis route, crafting an album of expansive, passionate post-metal. Their take on this sound, however, still draws heavily from screamo, and feels more human, and less cryptic than their peers.

Track listing:
1. Further Ahead of Warp
2. Shield of Selflessness
3. Scene
4. Crystallize
5. The Unknown Glow
6. Night in Winter
7. A Warm Room

Farewell to words

You'd probably also like:
Sadness -
Somewhere Along Our Memory (2016)
Sylvaine -
Wistful (2016)

Jon Hassell - Vernal Equinox (1977)

Awe-inspiring tribal ambient from experimental American trumpet player Jon Hassell. Hand drumming, various exotic instruments, synths, jungle sounds, and Hassell's free-floating, jazz-influenced trumpet playing make for music that's as engaging as it is soothing. I started this blog over five fucking years ago, and it's absolutely criminal that this is the first time I've posted about Hassell -- between this era and his later ambient jazz stuff on ECM, he masterfully covers two of three of this dumb blog's primary concerns. Now he just has to put out a black metal album.

Track listing:
1. Toucan Ocean
2. Viva Shona
3. Hex
4. Blues Nile
5. Vernal Equinox
6. Caracas Night September 11, 1975

The surgeon of the nightsky restores dead things by the power of sound

Also of interest:
Barry Cleveland with Bob Stohl &
Kate Epple - Stones of Precious Water (1986)
Arve Henriksen -
Chiaroscuro (2004)

The Klinik - Face to Face (1988)

Intense, punishing Belgian electo-industrial. Rapid-fire beats and synths, harsh, scraping soundscapes, and snarling, nihilistic vocals.

Track listing:
1. Ring of Fire
2. Slow Death
3. Quiet in the Room
4. The Last Dance
5. Cold as Ice
6. Face to Face
7. A Sign
8. Time to Choose
9. Out of Line
10. Lies

It hurts a lot

Similar listening:
Hocico -
Autoagresión Persistente (1994)
Mentallo & The Fixer -
No Rest for the Wicked (1996)

Eternal Alchemist - Demon Summoning (2016)

German black metal. Not much else to say about it, and I'm sick so my brain isn't functioning correctly. It's just really good German black metal, OK? Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Death Over Europe Pt. 1
2. The Great Manipulator
3. Demon Summoning
4. A Secret Flame Inside
5. Prophets of the Black Shrine
6. Blood Cathedral
7. Underground Manifest
8. Traveler's Key
9. Death Over Europe Pt. 2
10. Empire of Suffering [Sargeist cover]

Invocation of the black flames

More like this:
Amnion -
Cryptic Wanderings (2008)
Graupel -
... Am Pranger (2010)

Monday, May 28, 2018

N.O.D. - Niggaz of Destruction (1996)

Tommy Wright III - On the Run (1996)

World-fucking underground Memphis rap with at least one foot in horrorcore territory. Pretty sure I've actually managed to track down a rip of a 10/10 tape that doesn't originate from the Mid 90s Memphis Underground Rap Tapes blog.

Track listing:
1. No Fear
2. Tini Lame
3. Fuck da World
4. Bud Keep Me Fiendin' Pt. 3
5. Niggaz of Destruction
6. Fugitive

We ain't scare to catch a case
And we ain't scared to D-I-E

Also listen to:
Money Click -
Ridin' High (1998)
Prophet Posse -
Body Parts (1998)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Vrolok - Resurgence III: Order of the Sphere (2007)

Sick - Filth and Ugliness (2005)
Vomit Orchestra - Void Paradigm (2005)
Vrolok - Void (The Divine Abortion) (2007)

Unsettling US experimental black metal. Dissonant, nauseous guitars, stuttering drum machines, anxious, distorted howls, and an album-ending monolith of pure, minimal, pitch-black drone that makes Sunn O))) sound lively. According to the liner notes, Resurgence III was recorded over the course of four consecutive sleepless days and nights, and that's exactly how it sounds.

Track listing:
1. Concerning the Human Entity and Its Absolute Denial of the Chaotic Spiritual
2. The True Elements of the Afterlife and the Elimination of False Hope Prevalent Throughout Organized Religion
3. The Machinery of the Inner Eye
4. Without Nomenclature
5. The Incarnate Form of Black Ecstasy and Rapture, Visual Purgatory

Infinite lucidity

You'd also like:
Malvery -
Mortal Entrenchment in Requiem (1999)
Sortsind -
More Days (2001)

Hospital Ships - The Past Is Not a Flood (2016)

Heartbreakingly beautiful, ornate, synth-heavy sounds from Jordan Geiger (of Shearwater, Des Ark, and more.) His thin, wavering voice and idiosyncratic songwriting is a bit reminiscent of the Flaming Lips, but without any of that band's over-the-top psychedelia or hamminess -- you're not gonna see Geiger rolling around in a giant bubble over any festival crowds. One of my favorite indie rock records in recent memory.

Track listing:
1. You and I
2. Long May You
3. Oh My Light
4. All in Time
5. Little Flower
6. Nothing to Hide

I loved you more than my little heart could stand

You'd probably also like:
Sparklehorse -
Distorted Ghost EP (1999)
No-Man -
Together We're Stranger (2003)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Wintermoon - Reh. Demo 1/1995 + The Mightiest Stand Above (1995)

Two lo-fi demos of warped, ritualistic Finnish black metal. Sounds like it kinda wants to be epic, melodic black metal, but someone shot them full of morphine. Watery keyboards, delay-heavy rasps, sparse interludes, disjointed songwriting, and generally slower tempos.

Track listing:
   -Reh. Demo 1/1995-
1. Under the Wintermoon
2. ... And Snow Covered Hills
3. Wind Through the Battle of Souls
4. Faunus
5. The Forest Calls Me
   -The Mightiest Stand Above-
1. First Journey... (Intro)
2. Night So Cryptic Is All Mine
3. Our Once Proud Northern Land
4. Final Journey... (Carries)

Whispers from the past

You should also listen to:
Lugubrum -
Winterstones (1995)
Asenheim -
Ahnenpfade (2007)

Horace Tapscott & the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra - Flight 17 (1978)

Mind-blowing avant-garde/free jazz performed by a 14 or 15-piece orchestra led by pianist Horace Tapscott. On the massive title track, discordant chaos reigns over warped, breakneck grooves, while elsewhere, a somewhat lighter approach takes hold.

Track listing:
1. Flight 17
2. Breeze
3. Horacio
4. Clarisse
5. Maui


You should also hear:
The Art Ensemble of Chicago -
Fanfare for the Warriors (1974)
Doug Hammond -
Spaces (1982)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Terje Rypdal - Terje Typdal (1971)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Terje Rypdal - Bleak House (1968)
Terje Rypdal - After the Rain (1976)
Terje Rypdal, Miroslav Vitous & Jack DeJohnette - S/T (1979)
Terje Rypdal - Descendre (1980)
Terje Rypdal, Miroslav Vitous & Jack DeJohnette - To Be Continued (1981)
Ketil Bjørnstad, David Darling, Terje Rypdal, & Jon Christensen - The Sea (1995) + The Sea II (1998)

Excellent second solo album from Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal. Abstract, dissonant, ambient jazz with overtones of dark, queasy psychedelia. "Electric Fantasy" is one of my all-time favorite tracks -- it just has this mysterious, haunting feel that's kinda beautiful, kinda dark, kinda trippy -- and I'd be perfectly happy listening to a two-hour-long version.

Track listing:
1. Keep It Like That - Tight
2. Rainbow
3. Electric Fantasy
4. Lontano II
5. Tough Enough

Silver bird is heading for the sun

Also listen to:
George Russell - Electric Sonata
for Souls Loved by Nature
John Taylor, Norma Winston,
& Kenny Wheeler - Azimuth (1977)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré - Birth Wish (2000)

Quietly stunning jazz with ambient electronic elements. According to the liner notes, every noise on the album was originally produced by either piano or trumpet -- from there, they're either left as-is or filtered through a sampler or any number of effects.

Track listing:
1. Drizzle
2. 1866 - 1925
3. Soaring
4. Birth Wish
5. Zero Visibility
6. Bliss
7. Waiting Room
8. Elegy
9. Dark Circle
10. Birth Wish 2

Lights in distant windows

You might also like:
Richard Thomas -
Shoes and Radios Attract Paint (1997)
Arve Henriksen -
Chiaroscuro (2004)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Avenging Disco Godfathers of Soul - The Ultimate in Authenticity and Musical Usefulness (2002)

Chaotic, math-y, all-in-all bonkers hardcore/screamo. A great deal of synth, as well as some other unorthodox instrumental choices, assure maximum mind-fuckery. As unfashionable as they may seem -- the cringe-y name, the wackiness, their style hasn't been relevant in almost two decades, etc. -- none of that stops TADGOS from delivering the fucking goods. Plus, go ahead, try to tell me that "Headache in My Ass" isn't a song title for the ages.

Track listing:
1. Somewhere in the Arteries
2. Caribbean KnifeFight
3. Invisible Jacket
4. Reflex Point
5. Revelations Part 2
6. Headache in My Ass
7. The Clone Chamber
8. Witch Hunt
9. Revelations
10. Burned at the Stake

I'm from hell, open a windle

You might also like:
Love Lost But Not Forgotten -
Love Lost But Not Forgotten (2000)
Curl Up and Die -
Unfortunately We're Not Robots (2002)

Paul Speer - Collection 983: Spectral Voyages (1984)

Lovely, soothing yet energizing sounds from American guitarist Paul Speer. Chiming guitars, a mantra-like rhythm section, subtle sax, and lush synths, plus some nature sounds for good measure. The songs almost sound like extended intros, riding single-chord ring-outs for the entirety of their duration, and relying on subtle shifts in instrumentation and intensity for movement.

Track listing:
1. Vivace
2. Lento
3. Allegro
4. Andante

I'm still here

If you like this, listen to:
Bearns & Dexter -
The Golden Voyage Vol. 1 (1980)
Leon Lowman -
Syntheseas (1980)

Megaptera - Near Death (1991)

Swedish raw industrial/dark ambient. Kick drum loops, minimal synth, samples, and yawning drones. My track listing doesn't seem to match up with either of the versions on Discogs, but it's what I'm used to so it's what you're getting.

Track listing:
1. My Lonely Brain
2. Illusion
3. Faith Is a Natural Life Force
4. Face the Pain
5. Horse Benediction
6. Power Failure
7. Immortality
8. Waste Inside
9. Fabrique
10. Kranium

And they were healed, every one!

Similar listening:
Lunus -
Monolilith (1993)
Schloss Tegal -
The Grand Guignol (1993)