Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Barış Manço - Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı (1981)


Turkish progressive folk rock with coke-y, synth-y production. Honestly, this album's too stylistically diverse for one of my signature one-sentence write-ups, but I am a lazy writer and I refuse to budge.

Track listing:
1. Alla Beni Pulla Beni
2. Arkadaşım Eşşek
3. Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı
4. Şehrazat
5. Gülpembe
6. Adem Oğlu Kızgın Fırın Havva Kızı Mercimek
7. Ali Yazar Veli Bozar
8. 2025 (Üçüncü Ve Son Yolculuk)
9. Dönence


More Turkish delights:

Monday, July 26, 2021

Jack Frost - Jack Frost (1991)


Related:
Steve Kilbey - The Slow Crack (1987)
Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)
The Church - Priest=Aura (1992)
Steve Kilbey & Russell P. Kilbey - Gilt Trip (1997)
The Church - Hologram of Baal (1998)
The Church - Untitled #23 (2009)

First of two albums from this fruitful collaboration between Steve Kilbey (The Church) and Grant McLennan (The Go-Betweens, who I still haven't really given a good listen). Jangly guitars, drum machines, gauzy synths, and heavy-lidded vocals. Way better than an obscure side project of this nature has any business being.

Track listing:
1. Every Hour God Sends
2. Birdowner (As Seen on T.V.)
3. Civil War Lament
4. Geneva 4 a.m.
5. Trapeze Boy
6. Providence
7. Thought That I Was Over You
8. Theshold
9. Number Eleven
10. Didn't Know Where I Was
11. Even as We Speak
12. Ramble
13. Everything Takes Forever


Also listen to:

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Hakuja - Legacy (2007)


Phenomenal Japanese black metal. Icy, off-kilter riffs, engaging bass-lines (that are actually audible!), thoughtfully programmed drum machines, tortured vocals, and tasteful keyboard layering set this record well apart from the pack.

Track listing:
1. Dropped on Inferna
2. Amakakeru
3. Baal
4. Black Desire
5. Kanata
6. Dew of Blood
7. Rasen


Friday, July 23, 2021

Framtid - Under the Ashes (2002)


Red-lining Japanese d-beat. Total fuck. Probably the band that I tried to ape most when I was briefly in a generic d-beat band.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. The Total Arse
3. Over Population
4. Scapes of Tragedy
5. Tomorrow
6. Consuming Shit and Mind Pollution
7. Centuries of War
8. Death Protest
9. Curse
10. No Installation
11. Life's Hard
12. We Must Impart
13. Bomb Blast


More like this:

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Steve Grossman - Terra Firma (1977)


Related:
Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer - Like Children (1974)
Jan Hammer - The First Seven Days (1975)

Sweaty, hard-driving fusion led by saxophonist Steve Grossman. Everyone’s firing on all cylinders, particularly the great Don Alias, whose percussion gives every song a major ass lift.

Track listing:
1. Katonah
2. In It
3. 37 Willoughby Place
4. Enya
5. Inmate Man
6. Relentless Lady
7. This Way Out


Also listen to:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Hamza El Din - Eclipse (1978)


Utterly mesmerizing sounds from this Egyptian-Nubian musician. Nothing but his voice, oud, and tar. Partially due to his association with Mickey Hart (who produced this and his previous record, the equally great Escalay: The Water Wheel), and partially because he's supremely talented, El Din achieved as great a level of success in the US as one could possibly expect from an Egyptian-Nubian artist with seemingly little-to-no interest in catering to Western tastes. Eternally grateful to him for his music, and to the random yuppie-hippy who years ago sold his entire CD collection at my old work, inadvertently exposing me to this gem.

Track listing:
1. Helalisa (Nubian Song)
2. The Visitors
3. Ollin Azageed
4. Your Love Is Ever Young
5. Mwashah


You might also want to hear:

Monday, July 19, 2021

Dover Trench - Exhibition of Speed (1991)


Killer US thrash metal. Runs the gamut from ambitious, tech-y epics to crossover mosh-bait.

Track listing:
1. Acid Test
2. Trench Death Gestapo
3. Most Holy
4. Married Murderer
5. Punishment (A.S.D.)
6. Forcing House
7. Face Plate Removal
8. Bonecreature
9. America First
10. Friction Burns
11. Lurch
12. The Immortal Few


Also listen to:

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Chicken Bowels - Chicken Bowels (1987)


Japanese puuuuuuunk. 6 songs and 11 minutes of full-tilt, spazzed-out hardcore, plus a yolked chicken.

Track listing:
1. Keep Our Fire Burning!
2. You Live in Dream
3. Real Beauty
4. No Control
5. Lie and Truth
6. Fuckin' Crime


Also:

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Three O'Clock - Sixteen Tambourines (1983)


An early gem from the Paisley Underground, i.e. an L.A. band making 60s psych pop by way of 80s pop rock. Apparently some people get annoyed by vocalist Michael Quercio's high-pitched, reedy voice, but I love it; he pretty much just sounds like Susanna Hoffs.

Track listing:
1. Jet Fighter
2. Stupid Einstein
3. And So We Run
4. Fall to the Ground
5. A Day in Erotica
6. Tomorrow
7. In My Own Time
8. On My Own
9. When Lightning Starts
10. Seeing Is Believing


If you like this, try:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Blood Storm - Pestilence from the Dragonstar (1999)


US black/thrash excellence. Front-to-back annihilation. Why this band doesn't get more love is absolutely beyond me.

Track listing:
1. Wrath and Vengeance
2. Death Thunder
3. The Chaos Magician
4. The Angel Web
5. Sirius Rebellion
6. Successor to the Plague Gods
7. Oruthaaht Xun Xihron (The Intellect Devourer)
8. Nibiru Assassins
9. Invader of Darkness


Keep this pit going:

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Udumbal - Sarcis (1998)


Belarusian experimental raw black metal/ritual dark ambient. The first song starts abruptly with a lo-fi flurry of drum machine blastbeats, tremolo-picked bass, and throaty rasps before dissolving into a chasm of minimal synth, then it's back to the blasting, a bit more synth drone, and it's over. It's a strange, disorienting introduction that sets the stage perfectly for the otherworldly sounds that follow.

Track listing:
1. Pathan
2. Anadinidhana
3. Rudra
4. Apakar
5. Chatal Hujuk
6. Abhitapa
7. Sarcis Lokagarbhagrham
8. Nirdeva


You might also like:

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Marc Almond - Violent Silence (1986)


Murderous vocal ballads from the great Marc Almond (Soft Cell). A dark, gothic sonic palette of piano, horror synths, and synthetic orchestral sounds, with Almond's voice echoing front and center. If your only exposure to Almond has been via Soft Cell, you're in for a shock.

Track listing:
1. Blood Tide
2. Healthy as Hate
3. Things You Loved Me For
4. Body Unknown

If you like this, listen to:

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Struggling Harsh Immortals - 死 (2015)

Anthemic, thrash-y Japanese hardcore colored by programmed drums and serrated industrial noise. The brainchild of Katsunori Nishida, who's been in a bunch of notable Japanese punk/hardcore bands. I'm too lazy to do another "new records that I've been listening to" post, but if I did, the new S.H.I. record would definitely be on it.

Track listing:
1. Theme
2. Green Horse
3. Rejection
4. Empty Inside
5. Lucifer Rising
6. Suicide Solution
7. New World Order
8. Enter the Hell
9. Suicide Solution (Dub Version)


Also listen to:

Friday, July 9, 2021

Wally Badarou - Back to Scales To-Night (1980)


Related:

Debut solo record from synth/keyboard session man Wally Badarou; I'm not even going to try to start naming all the great artists he's played with. Laid-back, synth-fueled, reggae-tinged lite funk/pop-rock/R&B that's positively perfect for summer nights. Yes, his second album, Echoes, is his masterpiece, but DO NOT sleep on this record.

Track listing:
1. Back to Scales Tonight
2. Sing Me Your Song
3. One Day, Won't Give It Away
4. Dream on the Sand
5. London Town (Instrumental)
6. He Was a Rasta in London Town
7. She Turns Me On
8. Lady Finger Blue (Instrumental)
9. Preachin'


If you like this, listen to:

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Uncurbed - Peacelovepunklife... Andotherstories (1998)

Classic, fist-pumping Swedish d-beat/hardcore. As you can tell from the album cover and song titles, the band's presentation and vibe is very 'punks-is-hippies'; however, the delivery is a whole different story -- it's beefy, ripping, and tight. "A Taste of Tomorrow" and "Forget the Future - Live in the Past" were among the first mp3s I ever downloaded, in 1998, off of some random, extremely primitive punk website. So you can thank Uncurbed and whoever uploaded those files for kicking off my obsession with downloading every piece of music ever recorded.

Track listing:
1. Tomorrow Rebels
2. System Stinx
3. Welfare or Hellfare?
4. Anarchy and Peace (Brothers and Sisters)
5. If I Need I Make!!
6. A Taste of Tomorrow
7. Passed Away
8. Breakout
9. Realize
10. Living in a Squat (So What!!?)
11. Forget the Future - Live in the Past
12. Never Change
13. Celebration to the Losers
14. Liberation Hippies
15. Government Education
16. Party Punx


More like this:

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Leda - Welcome to Joyland (1978)

Related:

A really great one-off synthpop project helmed by the great Peter Baumann, under the alias Hacoon Mail. Disaffected, ethereal vocals (courtesy of an uncredited, anonymous female vocalist) drifting over energetic, minimal, precise synth arrangements. Kinda Baumann's Ann Steel Album.

Track listing:
1. Welcome to Joyland
2. Endless Race
3. White Cloud
4. Movin' On
5. City of Light
6. Space Ride
7. Caroussel
8. Future
9. Stardust


Also listen to:

Friday, July 2, 2021

Pierre Bachelet - Pierre Bachelet (1975)


Excellent debut (not counting soundtracks) solo record from Pierre Bachelet. Cinematic, exploratory, romantic, and very horny art rock/chanson -- as you might expect from a prolific composer of scores for French soft porn films.

Track listing:
1. L'Atlantique (Toi, moi et la musique)
2. À longeur de temps
3. Ils y croient tous
4. Avec Satan
5. Hello Darling
6. La connierie
7. L'amour démoniaque
8. V'la le printemps
9. Seulement voilà
10. Petite soeur

You might also enjoy:

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Anonymous - Inside the Shadow (1977)


West Coast-style 70s rock from Indianapolis. Lovely male-and-female vocal harmonies and acoustic-driven arrangements that undoubtedly harken to the sound of classic Fleetwood Mac, making for a bright, breezy record with shadows in every corner. They truly just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Track listing:
1. Who's Been Foolin'?
2. J. Rider
3. Up to You
4. Shadow Lay
5. Pick Up and Run
6. We Got More
7. Sweet Lilac
8. Baby Come Rising


If you like this, you should listen to:

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Wolfgang Bock - Cycles (1980)


First album by German synth-man Wolfgang Bock. Lots and lots of synthesizers, live drums, and production by (obvious predecessor/possible mentor) Klaus Schulze. According to my 5 minutes of research, Bock wrote the book on synthesizers, released 4 albums over the course of 17 years, then gave up music in order to devote his life to sailing. 

Track listing:
1. Cycles
2. Robsai Part 1
3. Robsai Part 2
4. Changes
5. Stop the World


Similar listening:

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Twine - Twine (2003)


Previously on OPIUM HUM:

My favorite record by this unfortunately slept-on group. Warped, druggy sounds for late night listening. It's been almost 20 years since I last took the plunge, but as I recall, being extremely high on DXM (aka "Robotripping") makes all music sound a lot like "Girl Song". However, with Portland going through one of the worst heatwaves in the city's recorded history, this whole record also handily works as a simulation of the impact that extremely high temperatures have on the brain.

Track listing:
1. G_R_V
2. Plectrum
3. Piano
4. Girl Song
5. Kalea Morning
6. Pendant
7. Asa Nisi Masa
8. Counting Off Again
9. Strobe


More albums that sound like drugs:

Friday, June 25, 2021

Black Menace - Drama Time (1995)


Gangsta rap from New Orleans. Violent, paranoid, pissed-off flows over funky, sleek (on a budget) production. Pure underground sounds with zero commercial ambitions.

Track listing:
1. Drama Time
2. See You Lat'a
3. Hit 'Em Get 'Em
4. Run Up on 'Da Menace
5. Az Real Az They Come
6. Pull 'Da Plug
7. Boot Camp IV Life
8. Family
9. All Loced Out
10. Feel What They Feel
11. Faces of Death
12. Tonight's the Night


More like this:

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Solid Space - Space Museum (1982)


Analogue-heavy, space-themed British synth pop with dreamy krautrock overtones. A lo-fi minor masterpiece that had more or less completely fallen off the map before receiving a long overdue reissue, which was followed by a bunch more.

Track listing:
1. Afghan Dance
2. Spectrum Is Green
3. Destination Moon
4. The Guests
5. New Statue (Morning Song)
6. A Darkness in My Soul
7. Radio France
8. Tenth Planet
9. Earthshock
10. Contemplation
11. Please Don't Fade Away...


You'd also like:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Booker Newberry - Love Town (1984)


A great set of soulful disco/boogie from the largely unsung Booker Newberry III. There's even a little new jack in there. The title track is the only hit record Newberry had a solo artist, but the entire record's a funky, synth-y joy to behold.

One caveat: digitally speaking, I've only ever been able to find the 2005 CD reissue version, which omits two tracks and adds a whole bunch of others. It's cool because the bonus tracks are almost all total bangers, but there are some questionable sequencing choices -- for instance, slow-jam "Island" is the second damn track, killing the album's momentum just as it gets going -- and with 6 original album tracks intermingled with 9 bonus tracks, it plays more like a greatest hits collection than an album. So basically what I'm saying is, don't download this. Sike, get it, you won't regret it.

Track listing:
1. Love Town
2. Island
3. I Get Romantic
4. Handle with Care
5. Attitude
6. Shadows
7. Love Drums
8. Teddy Bear
9. Shower of Love
10. Lovin' on Borrowed Time
11. The Way You Do It
12. You and I
13. Doin' What Comes Naturally
14. Love Town (Foggy Mix)
15. Shadows (12" Mix)


Also listen to:

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Opiate - While You Were Sleeping (2002)


First off: I've been off the internet because my parents have been in town. I hadn't seen them since Christmas 2019, so it was absolutely wonderful, thank you for asking. Really wish we lived closer.

Second: I've been watching more TV than I normally would over the past, oh, year and a half or so, and I only recently noticed that one of the more prevalent trends in advertising is playing off of the viewer's anxieties around insomnia. Tons of ads in current rotation do this, and it's a real bummer because that means that focus testing/surveys/etc. have found that we as a society are having trouble sleeping, and it's probably because everyone's approximately one bad news story away from a panic attack at all times.

So with that in mind, here's a bit of glitchy, low-key, mostly downtempo IDM that is perfect both for sleeping AND lying in bed worrying about the future. Whatever fits your lifestyle. You'll recognize the opening track as having been sampled in "Undo", which might be my favorite Björk song.

Track listing:
1. 1% in 2/3 Speed
2. Srain
3. Late
4. Drømte mig en drøm
5. Last Dr. Pepper
6. GM Memory
7. Opto File 1
8. Insert


You'll also wanna hear:

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Keshavan Maslak - Loved by Millions (1981)



An oddball gem of an album from American saxophonist(/flutist/clarinetist/more) Keshavan Maslak, who I believe is better-known under his free-jazz moniker, Kenny Millions. Backed by two other phenomenal musicians, Maslak ventures from post-bop to noir-lounge to free jazz and elsewhere.

Track listing:
1. Compulsive Lust
2. Lovely Friends
3. Loved by Millions
4. Dida
5. Bukowski in Love
6. Romance in the Big City
7. When You Look at Me, I Want to Vomit
8. A Thrill a Minute


Also listen to:

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Corpsefucking Art - Splatter Deluxe (2003)


Nasty Italian brutal death. Short, frantic songs with the kind of raw, unadorned recording quality that, despite making for an even grosser sound, is pretty much unheard-of in the world of today's tech-y brutal death. Also, they sample both South Park and the theme from Dawson's Creek, and it's that kind of blatantly dumb shit that pushes records like this over the top.

Reminds me of one of the worst shows I've ever played: in Tijuana, on the third floor of this huge bar that was on a super-busy strip and had no parking out front, so we had to lug all of our shit for three heavily-trafficked blocks THEN up two flights of stairs to the show room, where maaaybe 15 attendees awaited a night of shitty grind. We and the band we were touring with were supposed to go on second-to-last and last out of 9 goddamn bands, but the show got started a few hours late and had so many technical difficulties that the second band didn't start playing 'til after midnight. So we told the promoter that there was no fucking way, and we'd either go on next or not at all, finished off our two complimentary pitchers of warm beer (which doubled as our pay, of course), played for a handful of utterly uninterested people, and left. Oh and this fat, sweaty, wasted dude kept trying to wrestle me all night. Terrible. The kind of show that makes you want to swear off of touring for good, which is essentially what I did.

Anyway, none of the bands were anywhere near the level of Corpsefucking Art, but one of them did sample Family Guy a bunch of times.

Track listing:
1. The Freezer's Monster
2. Necromantic
3. Splatter Deluxe
4. Pet(ting Sematary)
5. Robocorpse
6. Gore Mon Amour
7. Suck My Corpse
8. Dawson's Crypt
9. Corpsex II (The New Menu)
10. All You Need Is Gore
11. Four on a Meathook
12. Oblivious to Evil [Deicide cover]
13. Demented
14. Pig Pong


You'd also like:

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Juno - A Future Lived in Past Tense (2001)


Adventurous, expansive indie rock/post-hardcore/post-rock from Seattle. Juno probably was very important to a number of people, and I can only imagine how hard they would have blown my mind if I'd seen them live, but unfortunately, I only found out about them a few months ago.

Track listing:
1. A Thousand Motors Pressed upon the Heart
2. Covered with Hair
3. When I Was in ________
4. Help Is on the Way
5. The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow
6. The French Letter
7. Up Through the Night
8. Things Gone and Things Still Here (We'll Need the Machine-Guns by Next March)
9. We Slept in Rented Rooms (The Old School Bush)
10. You Are the Beautiful Conductor of This Orchestra
11. Killing It in a Quiet Way
12. [untitled]
13. I'm Sorry You're Having Trouble... Goodbye

If you like this, check out:

Monday, June 7, 2021

Trinacria - Travel Now Journey Infinitely (2008)


First and only album from what essentially amounts to a collaborative project between the mighty Enslaved and Norwegian experimental/noise duo Fe-Mail. Dense, harsh, psychedelic post-black metal slow-burns layered with serrated sheets of noise. Now that I think about it, Travel Now Journey Infinitely kinda predicted the future of black metal, as by the end of last decade, everyone and their mother was making atmospheric, noise-infused post-black metal. Enslaved's creativity cup was really overloweth-ing, huh?

Track listing:
1. Turn Away
2. The Silence
3. Make No Mistake
4. Endless Roads
5. Breach
6. Travel Now Journey Infinitely


Also listen to:

Matt Mitchell - Fiction (2013)


Related:
MadLove - White with Foam (2009)

The proper solo debut of jazz pianist Matt Mitchell. Features just Mitchell on piano and percussionist Ches Smith, who's been involved with a million different projects, including Secret Chiefs 3, Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant, and the above-linked MadLove. Anxious, discordant, arhythmic pieces in pursuit of a resolution that never quite comes. Over an hour of this stuff might be a bit much for some, but no one said that avant-garde jazz was supposed to be easy.

Track listing:
1. Veins
2. Brain Color
3. Upright
4. Singe
5. Wanton Eon
6. Dadaist Flu
7. Commas
8. Id Balm
9. Ohm Nuggets
10. Diction
11. Tether
12. Action Field
13. Specialty Hug
14. Nightmare Tesseract
15. Narcotic Bases


You should also hear:

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Fanger & Kersten - Interkosmos (1999)


A perfect piece of Berlin-school, progressive electronic magic from a coupla Germans. Utopian, synth-driven space music ripped, complete with vocoder, straight out of the 70s, but with a few elements -- slightly crisper, cleaner production, a breakbeat here and there -- that betray the fact that it was all written, recorded, and released in 1999.

Track listing:
1. Interkosmos
2. New Times (Betazoid Woman Mix)
3. Deep Sleep
4. Nightshift
5. Searched
6. Black Hole


Similar listening:

Friday, June 4, 2021

Flesh World - Flesh World (2013)


Deathrock/dream pop hybrid from SF. Echoing drums, reverb-washed guitars, creepy keyboards, and vocal melodies/guitar leads/overall songwriting approach right out of the punk rock playbook. Dream punk, maybe? I really thought this band was gonna take off, but haven't heard anything from them since 2017. And since I always hate on Pitchfork, I'm thinking it's only fair to mention that, regardless of how wrong they are sometimes, I have found a lot of great music through that site, including Flesh World.

Track listing:
1. Sturdy Swiss Hiker
2. A Trip to the Living Ice Age
3. Church of Flesh
4. Reckon and Know
5. Lost My Heart in Transit Thru the Post
6. Are We Saved Or Are We Damned?


You should also listen to:

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Maladie - ...symptoms... (2016)


Excellent German avant-garde metal. A single, 8-part suite (that they call an EP, despite its 41-minute runtime) encompassing black metal, post-metal, and prog, and incorporating saxophone, piano, strings, and choirs.

8 tracks, titled "Divinitas - A Journey Part I" through "Divinitas - A Journey Part VIII"


If you like this, you should hear:

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Eluvium - Lambent Material (2003)


The wonderful debut of Portland's own Eluvium, aka musician Matthew Cooper. Lambent Material introduced the world (or whoever was listening) to Eluvium's beautifully grainy, organic, guitar-originating abstractions, and, along with The Pearl, introduced me to the world of ambient music. Will always remind me of driving with a few friends through suburbia at like 3 AM to pick up a bag of weed that I'd left sitting by my bed; before deciding to make the trek, we called information and asked for "Towson, MD, weed dealer," then hung up and laughed hysterically for like 20 minutes. Good times.

Track listing:
1. The Unfinished
2. Under the Water It Glowed
3. There Wasn't Anything
4. Zerthis Was a Shivering Human Image
5. I Am So Much More Me That You Are Perfectly You


You should also hear:

Friday, May 28, 2021

Stereolab - Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (1999)


Related:

There I am, watching a YouTube video about underrated albums, and of course, there's a lot in there that I disagree with. For instance, in what fantasy land is Darkness on the Edge of Town underrated? It's one of the most acclaimed albums by one of the most famous rock musicians of all time, and features at least 4-5 of Springsteen's signature songs. 

More relevant to this post, though, is the inclusion of Dots and Loops by Stereolab. EGREGIOUS. Everyone loves that record. If you're gonna talk about underrated Stereolab records, Cobra and Phases should be first on your list. It's maybe their most challenging, experimental record -- sonically layered to the point of impenetrability, full of awkwardly clipped grooves and angular melodies, and boasting an 11-minute drone-rock centerpiece that rides a single chord, in various forms, for its entire runtime. Essentially, Stereolab made their most Stereolab-y album, practically every critic took a big shit on it, and it's never really gotten a reassessment, even though it's a masterpiece imo.

Track listing:
1. Fuses
2. People Do It All the Time
3. The Free Design
4. Blips Drips and Strips
5. Italian Shoes Continuum
6. Infinity Girl
7. The Spiracles
8. Op Hop Detonation
9. Puncture in the Radak Permutation
10. Velvet Water
11. Blue Milk
12. Caleidoscopic Gaze
13. Strobo Acceleration
14. The Emergency Kisses
15. Come and Play in the Milky Night


Tonight I'm gonna make ornate indie rock like it's 1999:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pighead - Rotten Body Reanimation (2012)


German brutal death, definitely on the more composed, technically proficient side of the subgenre. Disgusting and violent, but refreshingly devoid of the pointedly misogynistic violence that is generally par for the course with brutal death metal.

Track listing:
1. Dead Flesh Alive
2. Atrocious Determination
3. Radioactive Death Trip
4. Grub into Addled Meat
5. Rotten Body Reanimation
6. Kill the Living, Eat the Dead
7. Japanese Nuclear Holocaust
8. Resurrected Malignity
9. Ragged and Fractured
10. Breed of Genuine Destroyers

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mark Dwane - The Monuments of Mars (1988)


Thanks to everyone for the killer workout music recommendations, keep 'em coming! (They don't have to be tough-guy stuff, if that's not what floats your boat.) But since it's been getting so intense around here, let's cool off with some synth-tastic new age. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, and become the alien.

Track listing:
1. Eternity
2. Pyramids of Mars
3. Metamorophosis
4. Solstice Ritual
5. Cydonia
6. Water Age
7. Pyramids of Mars (Reprise)
8. The Martian Sphinx
9. Another Eternity


Also give these a listen:

Monday, May 24, 2021

Benchpress - Stay Hated (2012)


6 tracks of tough, extremely heavy hardcore seemingly built for pumping iron. As I mentioned in a recent comments section, the breakdown in the title track is a frontrunner for greatest hardcore breakdown of all time, and it has seen me through countless planks. This is a fitness blog now, post all your favorite iron-pumping jams in the comments. Free/name your price via Bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Hellbound
2. Out of My Mind
3. Better
4. Grudges
5. Misery

Other stuff on my playlist:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Inverted - The Age of Harvest (2015)


Stellar, slept-on Italian death metal. Despite having released two excellent, fat-free albums that expertly split the difference between OSDM brutality and modern precision and atmosphere, I have never heard anyone mention Inverted in any context. Pretty sure that I only know about them because I accidentally clicked on them while searching for the Swedish Inverted on Metallum. And I have zero hope that this will amount to anything, but if anyone has a digital rip of their first album, PLEASE put a link in the comments because I only have the cassette and I can't find it.

Track listing:
1. Abiura
2. Across the Snow to Nowhere
3. Caves
4. Vexilla Prodeunt Regis Inferi
5. E.R. Weapons
6. Tunguska
7. Towards the Summit of No Return
8. Clear Sky


Also listen to:

Friday, May 21, 2021

Excruciating Terror - Expression of Pain (1996)


Classic LA grind. Sick vocals that jump back and forth from low grunts to reverb-heavy howls, a burbling mass of guitars, fuzzed-out bass. Perfect 90s grind. First heard Excruciating Terror way-back-when via the great Reality Part #2 comp, which also hipped me to Gasp, Dystopia, Noothgrush, and Spazz.

Track listing:
1. Self Destruct
2. Look at the World
3. Expression of Pain
4. Keep on Screaming
5. Suspense
6. Extortion
7. Cutdown on Life
8. Mental Prison
9. Life Ends
10. Think Again
11. Last Act of Man
12. Nothing to Lose
13. Stupid War
14. Crippled
15. Under the Burning Sky
16. 3rd Aftermath
17. A Technicality

As you excrete

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Silo - Alloy (2001)


Mesmerizing Danish post-rock colored by shimmering electronic elements -- I think that combination is where they get the "alloy." As hypnotic and groove-based as this album is, it's written almost entirely in odd time signatures, which makes it all feel uneasy, like it's a beautiful, intricate piece of architecture built on quicksand. A front-to-back excellent album that would still sound fresh if it came out tomorrow.

Track listing:
1. Bulk
2. Prime Movers
3. K2
4. Motor
5. Contrast
6. Evolved as into Vertical
7. Foliage
8. Those Adopted by People
9. Repose


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Monday, May 17, 2021

Machinedrum - Now You Know (2001)


First album by Machinedrum, one of the more influential figures in the world of glitch hop. Fragmented vocal samples, rich synths, and sharp, bass-heavy beats coalesce into some positively massive grooves.

Track listing:
1. Big Booty Hose
2. Wishbone Be Broken
3. Drums of Steel
4. Hello My Future
5. In Between
6. Thanks Very Much
7. My Visuals
8. Monique
9. Hihowareyoudoingiamfine
10. Reel Cleer
11. Fury
12. Are I
13. Liquid Thursday
14. Jewlea


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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Traumatomy - Transcendental Evisceration of Necrogenetic Beasts (2013)


Mostly Russian (their vocalist lives in Japan) brutal death. Chugging, blasting, guttural carnage. Been working out regularly for the past few weeks, and it's been really good for every aspect of my life aside from my taste in music, which has come to incorporate a lot more brutal death metal, alt metal, and tough guy hardcore, which I've been doing my best to protect you from.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Disintegration in Suffering
3. Domination of Impulsive Perversions
4. Transformation into a Putrid Mass
5. Wretched Antropogenous Simulacrum
6. Transcendental Evisceration of Necrogenetic Beasts
7. Impregnated with Pus
8. Strategic Dismemberment
9. Grown in the Mold Sores
10. Extraterrestrial Mutilated Torture
11. Outro


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Friday, May 14, 2021

Alpha Stone - Stereophonic Pop Art Music (1996)


First record from Alpha Stone, a grouped formed by Pete "Bassman" Bain, who you know and love as one of the non-Pete Kember/Jason Pierce members of Spacemen 3. A hazy, droning star-world of synth, drum machine, heavy-lidded vocals, and fuzzed-out guitar.

Track listing:
1. Special One
2. Destiny Angel
3. Transfixed
4. Farmer C
5. Astro
6. Fall on Me
7. A Hard Day's Fun
8. Martian Interlude


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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Sonic Sum - Films (2002)


Arty hip-hop from the Bronx. Features the extremely abstract flows of Rob Sonic (frequent Aesop Rock collaborator) backed by heady, psychedelic beats courtesy of a trio of producers. Affiliated with Antipop Consortium. 

Track listing:
1. Oscillator
2. Moth
3. Choking Victim
4. Films
5. Marathoner
6. Negatives
7. Novelty Model A
8. Chopper One Slow
9. Rocket
10. Medicine Motto
11. Circuit Breaker
12. Ordinary Mower


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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Stratosphere - Lost in Unity (1992)


Minimal ambient/dark ambient pieces from Belgian composer Ronald Mariën, a.k.a. Stratosphere. From the preset keyboard voices to their dark, dramatic tone, some of the songs on Lost in Unity end up feeling an awful lot like predecessors to the so-called "dungeon synth" sound. Elsewhere, it's pure, underground ambient bliss.

Track listing:
1. Lost in Unity 1
2. Lost in Unity 2
3. Lost in Unity 3
4. Far Beyond Imagination
5. Lost in Unity 4
6. Lost in Unity 5
7. Lost in Unity 6
8. East of Heaven
9. As Night Falls


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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Andrea True Connection - More, More, More (1976)


A nice, generous slice of disco nirvana. Airy, laid-back workouts full of big hooks, locked-in grooves, and extended solos. True got her start as a porno actress, which somehow eventually led to her being hired as commercial spokesperson for a Jamaican real estate firm. While she was in Jamaica, the government banned asset transfer to the US, meaning that in order to return to the States, she would have to either forfeit all of her earnings or spend them; she opted for the latter, demoed "More, More, More", the demo got remixed, the remix became a surprise hit, and she landed a record deal. I love that story.

Track listing:
1. Party Line
2. Keep It Up Longer
3. More, More, More
4. Fill Me Up (Heart to Heart)
5. Call Me


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Monday, May 10, 2021

DEAR_SPIRIT Tells You About 5 New Records That He Likes


Welcome back to me! My absence has been due to two factors. One, I got out of town for a few days for the first time since the pandemic first hit. But more importantly as far as this blog is concerned, nothing that I've been listening to has been right for posting on here -- keeping in mind that I don't post new releases or stuff that's too well-known. So instead of leaving y'all hanging indefinitely, I figured that in the meantime, I'd just talk about some of my favorite new/newish releases. If you like them, please consider buying them, and helping the artists (and labels, etc.) to continue to make our world a little less hellish. I hope to do more posts like this going forward, but regular posting should resume shortly as well. 


Casper Clausen - Better Way

The solo debut of Casper Clausen, who you might know as a founding member of Danish post-rock group Efterklang. Released just 9 days into 2021, Better Way kicked the year off on a dreamy, cautiously upbeat note. Clausen takes cues from krautrock, 80s art pop, James Blake-style electro-ballads, and more, drawing them all together with the understated power of his voice, which, although I'm not sure it's fair, has drawn at least one comparison to Bono.






Illuvia - Iridescence of Clouds

Illuvia is one of a few projects by Swedish producer Ludvig Cimbrelius. The project's second record, Iridescence of Clouds, combines the worlds of ambient-electronic and drum n bass to breathtaking effect. Although every song essentially follows the same pattern -- clouds of ambient synth gather, breakbeats fade in, then eventually recede back into the ether -- it's as immersive, beautiful, and compelling a drum n bass record as you're likely to hear, especially over 20 years removed from the genre's heyday. Pro-tip: anything and everything that comes out on A Strangely Isolated Place is worth listening to.




Steel Bearing Hand - Slay in Hell

Just in time for beer season, it's an absolute fucking ripper of a death/thrash record from Dallas, TX. Throw in a bit of lysergic death-sludge and a lightly blackened finish, and we're looking at one of the best, most fun metal records I've heard in a while. Additionally, it has accompanied some pretty intense iron-pumping sessions around OPIUM HUM headquarters, so that means it's fun AND it's good for you! One of a few new thrash records that have really pumped my nards.






Karima Walker - Waking the Dreaming Body

From Tucson, AZ, Karima Walker makes music that combines hushed, homespun indie folk with grainy, analogue ambient via an evocative ebb and flow that plays like a conversation between the two styles, each one learning from and building off of the other. Synths drone, tape loops stutter, acoustic guitars whisper, Walker sings, and our cluttered world melts away.






Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon

Lastly, here's one that's sure to be on some year-end lists: the long-awaited third full-length from Genghis Tron. They made their name with spazzy, chiptune-infused art-grind that amazed some and irritated others, but Dream Weapon leaves all that behind in favor of a driving, psychedelic, drum-heavy sound that alludes to 70s synth and post-metal. Sometimes it sounds kinda like Black Moth Super Rainbow made a beard-metal album. I'm trying to avoid using the word "hypnotic" -- can't believe I made it through that Karima Walker writeup without dropping it -- but this is some seriously hypnotic shit. Damnit!