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

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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...

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Matt Mitchell - Fiction (2013)

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

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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

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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?

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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

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