Saturday, February 27, 2021

dälek - Absence (2004)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

My favorite dälek record, and definitely in my hip-hop top 10. Impenetrably dense, shoegaze-like walls of noise, monstrous beats, and bleak, extremely pissed-off flows. One of the only rap records that's made me do the invisible pineapple. 

Track listing:
1. Distorted Prose
2. Asylum (Permanent Underclass)
3. Culture for Dollars
4. Absence
5. A Beast Caged
6. Koner
7. In Midst of Struggle
8. Eyes to Form Shadows
9. Ever Somber
10. Opiate the Masses

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The New Birth - Comin' from All Ends (1974)

Soul/funk perfection from the great New Birth, a band formed via the fusion of multiple instrumental and vocal groups. Equal parts party-starters, baby-makers, and reflective space-out sessions.

Track listing:
1. End to End
2. Take This Train to Freedom
3. I Wash My Hands of the Whole Damn Deal
4. Lady Love
5. Pretty Music
6. Patiently
7. Echoes of My Mind
8. Do It Again
9. Comin' from All Ends
10. Epilog

If you like this, listen to:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Abbey Lincoln - Abbey Is Blue (1959)

One of my absolute favorite vocal jazz records. Slow-burning, ethereal sounds for the late-night hours, addressing heartache and racial injustice in powerful, sorrowful terms.

Track listing:
1. Afro-Blue
2. Lonely House
3. Let Up
4. Thursday's Child
5. Brother, Where Are You?
6. Laugh, Clown, Laugh
7. Come Sunday
8. Softly, as a Morning Sunrise
9. Lost in the Stars
10. Long as You're Living

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Monday, February 22, 2021

Pablo's Eye - Pablo's Eye (1989)

First album by this under-appreciated project, a musical collective centered on Brussels-based artist Axel Libeert. Glistening guitars, sharp synths, Marie Mandi's understated, expressive vocals (which often remind me of 90s Joni Mitchell), a bit of viola, and very little percussion of which to speak. Not particularly representative of the group's definitive sound, but a great record nonetheless.

Track listing:
1. The Lord's My Shepherd
2. Mysteries Due To...
3. Winter
4. Burning Passion
5. Possession
6. Helen's Nose
7. A Duel
8. The Salmon Sings
9. Lullabye

If you like this, check out:

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sink - Ark of Contempt and Anger (2016)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:
Sink - The Process (2008)

In which Sink leave behind blackened drone-doom for a strange, unsettling concoction of avant-garde, neofolk-infused darkwave and vintage Goblin-esque psychedelia. It's starting to look like this might be Sink's last record, and if so, it's a fucking bummer that we'll never get to know where they might've gone from here.

Track listing:
1. Hunger
2. Pilgrimage
3. Dream Map
4. Consolation
5. Crystal Ship
6. Enchant
7. Terminal
8. World Asthma
9. So We'll Go No More A-Roving

Also listen to:

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Masabumi Kikuchi - Poo-Sun (1970)

First solo outing by Japanese jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi. Mesmerizing pieces that generally feature two pianists (both usually on electric), two drummers, a saxophonist, and a bassist. You're welcome.

Track listing:
1. Dancing Mist
2. Thanatos
3. E.J.
4. Yellow Carcass in the Blue
5. Puzzle Ring
6. My Companion

Similar listening:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Elm - Bxogonoas (2008)

Ritualistic drone from Jon Porras, who is probably known best as a member of Barn Owl (along with Evan Caminiti.) Dark and psychedelic, with acoustic instrumentation and an organic approach that points towards the more abstract realms of psych folk.

Track listing:
1. Dawn Unveils the Golden Thread
2. Offerings
3. Arboreal Lace
4. Blackened Horizon
5. Trails Lined with Turquoise and Silk
6. Guaquy
7. Warm and Still the Ground Keeps Our Frozen Hands
8. The Desert Speaks at Sundown
9. Lift Our Eyes to the Swelling Tides

If you like this, listen to:

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Escape the Day - Ghostless (2005)

Get the party started with some crushingly sad German slowcore/post-rock. Simple guitar and piano figures and barely-there, whispery vocals, and the occasional cathartic crescendo. Ghostless is devastating on its own terms, and even more so given that one of the project's two main members, Chrisoph Florian Rehse, committed suicide before it could be released.

Track listing:
1. Hallways
2. Ghostless
3. Days
4. The Hour Undone
5. If I Told You
6. Still
7. This Wave's Length

Also listen to:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Charalambides - Market Square (1995)


Heavily sedated drone/psych/folk. Consists almost entirely of warped, at times out-of-tune guitars and lonely, drifting vocals. Seemingly largely improvised. The sound of nodding off. (Not making any assumptions about the musicians involved, just a description of the sounds they made.)

Track listing:
 -Disc One-
1. Think About
2. Those Who Walk
3. We Live Like Pigs
4. Namaste / Lightning Walk / Hours / And So Danced the River
5. Bankrupt
 -Disc Two-
1. House with Three Sides
2. Silvatica
3. Saratoga Reel
4. Indianola
5. Magnolia at Last
6. Someday You'll Get Yours

Similar listening:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Bann - Æschatologia (2009)

Epic, symphonic German black metal with strong doom overtones. A beautiful, keyboard-heavy ode to medieval times (the era, not the dinner theater chain) colored by whispery-rasps that sound more like Golem than any other vocalist I've heard.

Track listing:
1. Der Geiger
2. Schwarze Bulle
3. Narrenschyff
4. Carmina Necrologia
5. Fraß der Flammen: I Póli
6. Die letzten Dinge (Æschatolog)

For fans of:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Gimmik - ?!Load-Error E.P. (1997)

First record by Gimmik, a project of Toytronic label founder Martin Haidinger. Distorted breakbeats and toy sound effects juxtaposed against texturally rich, often quite lovely synths, all tied up with a glitchy bow.

Track listing:
1. Little Computer People
2. Sister Moon
3. Soft Drink
4. Floppy Disk
5. Thing on a Spring
6. Floppy Disk (Load Error Mix)

Also listen to:

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Smoking Popes - Get Fired (1993)

Brilliant first album by one of the most distinctive pop punk bands to ever grace our dumb world. The Smoking Popes never really fit the pop punk label, as their vocalist has a somewhat arch, sarcastic croon akin to that of Morrissey, and their dynamic, rough-around-the-edges songs have more in common with bands like Dinosaur Jr. than Green Day. This is probably why I never dug them back in the day, and have only learned to love them over the past few years as a jaded middle-aged crank.

Track listing:
1. Let's Hear It for Love
2. That's Where I Come In
3. Let Them Die
4. Double Fisted Love
5. Don't Be Afraid
6. Can't Find It
7. Off My Mind
8. Not That Kind of Girlfriend
9. Days Just Wave Goodbye

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Gorch Fock - Lying and Manipulating (2005)

Texan noise rock. Barely-controlled chaos with blaring horns, unhinged vocals, and the occasional synth dropping in like a goddamn U.F.O. 

Track listing:
1. Prologue: Mexia Creek Crossover
2. Scott Jernigan
3. Bono
4. (Untitled)
5. Tap Is Crack
6. Message of Counter-Cultural...
7. Brazilian Whack Job
8. Penance / Giant Mast
9. Operational Thetan
10. Tampa Pentagram
11. Michael Kolhaas
12. Jefferson Davis Pinkus
13. Ohio
14. (Untitled)

More insanity:

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Lip Cream - Lip Cream (1989)

By request, here's a lil' Lip Cream. Classic, fist-pumping Japanese hardcore. Sometimes it feels like I've posted everything there is to post, and then someone requests something like this and I realize how wrong I was.

Track listing:
1. 罪 –Sin–
2. カモフラージュ
3. Fresh
4. Bloodsucking to Death
5. Into the Confusion
6. Fight Alone
7. F・C・D
8. From My Soul
9. Never
10. 紅蓮(光る風)
11. Trap of War
12. 無 –Nothing–

If you like this, listen to:

Monday, February 1, 2021

Skuggeheim - Vinterrikets konge (2007)

Norwegian raw black metal. A solo project of the main dude from Throne of Katarsis. All the incomprehensibility of a very lo-fi recording, but funneled through what sounds like a warped tape. Buried somewhere in all that, there's a really great, relatively traditional black metal album. Like a lost Blazebirth Hall project, but without the racism.

Track listing:
1. Med slipte oekser
2. Vinterrikets konge
3. Symboler i snoe
4. Avgrunnen
5. Ulvene drar
6. Doedens mellomakt

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