Saturday, November 27, 2021

Solex - Solex vs. The Hitmeister (1998)

Should-be classic debut from Solex, a.k.a. Amsterdam-based artist Elisabeth Esselink. Built on off-kilter drum loops; Esselink's cooing, at times kinda punk vocals; and heaps of dusty, fragmented samples, Solex vs. The Hitmeister is trip-hop by default, but is without a doubt its own strange, whimsical, woozy scene. One of those records that never failed to make me feel extremely hip when I'd put it on while getting stoned with friends in high school, even though none of my friends in high school really liked shit like this. And if you're one of the friends in question (I know at least one of you comes 'round here from time to time): don't lie, you know you only listened to anarcho-punk, NIN, and Weezer.

Track listing:
1. One Louder Solex
2. Solex Feels Lucky
3. Solex in a Slipshod Style
4. Waking Up with Solex
5. Solex's Snag
6. Rolex by Solex
7. There's a Rolex on the Run
8. Solex All Licketysplit
9. Solex for a While
10. Some Solex
11. When Solex Just Stood There
12. Peppy Solex
13. Solex Is Barely Dressed [bonus]

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Funeral Moth - Dense Fog (2014)

Japanese funeral doom. Minimal, miserable, and extremely down-tuned, with stark, completely unadorned production. Three songs topping 20 minutes -- one of which is pushing half an hour -- plus an interlude.

Track listing:
1. 盲目 - Blindness
2. Behind the Closed Door
3. 濃霧 - Dense Fog
4. 自害 - Kill Yourself

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Bill Frisell - In Line (1983)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

By request, here's Bill Frisell's first solo album. Lovely ambient jazz consisting entirely of Frisell's ethereal, gracefully layered guitars and, intermittently, standup bass from ECM mainstay Arild Andersen. Soothing, wistful pieces that suggest both solace and loneliness.

Track listing:
1. Start
2. Throughout
3. Two Arms
4. Shorts
5. Smile on You
6. The Beach
7. In Line
8. Three
9. Godson Song

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Saturday, November 20, 2021

Necrofilia - Sein Zum Tode (1995)


One-off collaboration between Italian noise artists Marco Corbelli and Devis Granzeria. Rumbling, often rhythmic noise, piercing electronics, and distorted, rasping vocals. More of a slow-burn than an all-out onslaught.

Track listing:
1. Essere per la morte
2. Reprise
3. Inside Ath
4. Tumescenza
5. Il Corpo
6. Distruzione e catarsi
7. Esame interno del tronco
8. Efil

If you like this, you should hear:

Friday, November 19, 2021

Jon Brion - Meaningless (2000)

First solo album by composer/musician/producer Jon Brion, who's composed scores for a whole bunch of movies, including Magnolia, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (my introduction to Brion), and Punch-Drunk Love. Tuneful, sweet-sounding, yet deeply bitter songs that will land like a long lost friend to any fan of Elliott Smith in Beatles mode. He's obviously stayed plenty busy over the years, but I really wish he'd put out another record like this one.

Track listing:
1. Gotta Start Somewhere
2. I Believe She's Lying
3. Meaningless
4. Ruin My Day
5. Walking Through Walls
6. Trouble
7. Hook, Line, and Sinker
8. Dead to the World
9. Her Ghost
10. Same Mistakes
11. Voices

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Vieo Abiungo - Blood Memory (2010)


Dark but colorful instrumentals from American musician William Ryan Fritch. Lands somewhere between freak folk and neoclassical, with some Afrobeat and Indian elements for good measure. There have got to be upwards of 20 different instruments are on this thing, and impressively, Fritch plays them all.

Track listing:
1. Borne Harshly
2. Nervous Laughter
3. In a Wash or Haze
4. White Faced Rotted Teeth
5. Cote d'Ivoire
6. Gaunt Wolves with Buzzard Beaks
7. Rust and Bile
8. Sweat. Thick Like Blood or Honey
9. Parading on Broken Glass
10. Red Earthen Mouths
11. Rain Like Burnt Sugar
12. Fugue
13. Blood Memory

If you like this, check out:

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Deadguy - Fixation on a Coworker (1995)

Classic early metalcore. Dissonant, gnarled, and very, very angry. The sound of frustration and stress boiling over into pure contempt.

Track listing:
1. Doom Patrol
2. Pins and Needles
3. Die with Your Mask On
4. Baby Arm
5. Makeshift Atomsmasher
6. The Extremist
7. Nine Stitches
8. Riot Stairs
9. Apparatus

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Cult of Daath - Slit Throats and Ritual Nights (2005)

Burly US black metal. A thrash-y, first-wave vibe and strong death/doom overtones. Extremely strong riffs. It's good, get it.

Track listing:
1. Bestial Atonement (Mountains of Burning Offal)
2. Conceived Through Black Mass Rape (Obscene Rites Part I)
3. Inhuman Sacrifice
4. Necrospells (Obscene Rites Part II)
5. Midnight Mutilation
6. Occult Obsession
7. Drink the Blood from the Skull
8. Transcending the Great Satan

If you like this, listen to:

Monday, November 15, 2021

Aspidistrafly - I Hold a Wish for You (2008)

Beautiful, earthy, texturally rich sounds from a Singaporean duo. Angelic vocals, shimmering drones, field recordings, plaintive acoustic guitars, reverberating keys, and feather-light percussion. My birthday was on Friday so I celebrated by going to the bar and drinking way more tequila than I should have, then I spent Saturday nursing an all-day hangover and, relatedly, a sprained ankle. Then yesterday I had some friends over and was given three bottles of tequila. Needless to say, I'm nursing hangover #2 today. I Hold a Wish for You made me feel less awful for a second.

Track listing:
1. Candlescape
2. Moonlight Shadow
3. Common Colors in the Air
4. Sampling Atmosphere
5. On the Summer Solstice
6. Porcelain Sky Wink
7. Sui
8. Endless Dreamless

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Life - Life (1970)

Swedish prog/psych. This band's only record splits its time between ornate proto-soft rock and heavy, bluesy psych, plus some more experimental diversions. Such an odd, sweet record -- excellent production, too. When I first heard it, I was a young, stoned music nerd combing the internet for every piece of Blue Cheer-worship known to man, and wasn't too fond of all the gentle, symphonic stuff, but it's really grown on me over the years.

Track listing:
1. Quo Vadis (I)
2. Nobody Was There to Love Me
3. Many Years Ago
4. Experience of Love
5. She Walks Across the Room
6. Sailing in the Sunshine
7. Quo Vadis (II)
8. Living Is Loving
9. Every Man
10. Experience of Life
11. One of Us
12. Yes, I Am
13. Once upon a Time
14. Quo Vadis (III)
15. Jag Färdas
16. To the Country
17. Tro pa' va'r värld

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Aanal Beehemoth - Forest Paranoid (2008)

Swedish raw black metal/hardcore hybrid. Echoing vocals over full-tilt, death-punk ragers and meat-and-potatoes, Gorgoroth-style black metal. As far as my tastes are concerned, one of the most successful black/punk fusions in existence.

Track listing:
1. Forest Paranoid
2. Dirty Soul
3. Kill for Money
4. Miserability
5. From Aanal with Love
6. Nuclear Hell
7. Penetrator
8. Frost in Head
9. Loaded Head / Empty Veins
10. Form of Satan
11. Sin Tonic
12. Witch Hunt

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Hex - Digital Love (1993)

Lulling, minimal ambient pieces performed on at times endearingly 90s-sounding synths.  Great album with a fucking atrocious cover. If only it was a nature scene, or just, like, an abstract blur instead of that swirly-font, pot-leaf-emblazoned photoshop nightmare. From the golden age of Ninja Tune.

Track listing:
1. Dear
2. Deep
3. Shiny
4. Felt
5. Dust
6. Sleep
7. Thred
8. Surf
9. Chants: Aum • Om Numo • Om Aim • Sitaram

If you like this, try:

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Last Exit - Last Exit (1986)


Discordant free jazz-rock madness from an incredible lineup of musicians. Sometimes feels more like no-wave than jazz. Also, just gonna disclose that I've struggled with attention/focus issues for my entire life, and the past week or so has been particularly rough in that regard. And around here, this has taken the form of things getting extra sloppy -- my last two posts were published with spelling errors in their goddamn titles (check the URLs) -- so sorry 'bout that. Onwards and upwards.

Track listing:
1. Discharge
2. Backwater
3. Catch as Catch Can
4. Red Light
5. Enemy Within
6. Crackin
7. Pig Freedom
8. Voice of a Skin Hanger

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Monday, November 8, 2021

Reusmarkt - Fortress Ungh (1998)

Ukrainian lo-fi symphonic black metal. Drum machine, buzzing guitars, audible bass, goblin rasps, and keyboards generally set to "Symphonic Strings 2" and "Orchestra Hit", I'm guessing.

Track listing:
1. The Hordes Are Pass By This Land (Тысячелетняя Тьма)
2. Wisdom of War (Наша Языческая Война)
3. Gods of Wolves Hordes (...И Волки Будут Мчаться Снова...)
4. Fortress Ung (Легенды Матери Верховины)
5. Войско Тьмы
6. Собирайтесь Волки, Будете Вы Мои Собаки...
7. Reusmarkt

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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Akira Rabelais - Spellewauerynsherde (2004)

Spellbinding sounds from American composer Akira Rabelais. Composed entirely of vocals that Rabelais sourced from a tape of Icelandic laments, then stretched, layered, and generally obfuscated until they assumed their true form as ghosts, wailing their grief from across the river Styx. Listening to this record feels like a visitation from the divine, or the immortal, or the damned. A true masterwork.

Track listing:
1. 1382 Wyclif Gen. II. 7 And Spiride in to the Face of Hym an Entre of Breth of Lijf.
2. 1390 Gower Conf. II. 20 I Can Noght Thanne Unethes Spelle That I Wende Altherbest Have Rad.
3. 1440 Promp. Parv. 518/2 Wawyn, or Waueryn, yn a Myry Totyr, Oscillo.
4. 1483 Caxton Golden Leg. 208 B/2 He Put Not Away the Wodenes of His Flessh with a Sherde or Shelle.
5. 1559 W. Cuningham Cosmogr. Glasse 125 Within Which Draw an Other Circle, a Finger Bredth Distant.
6. (Gorgeous Curves Lovely Fragments Labyrinthed on Occasions Entwined Charms, a Few Stories at Any Longer Sworn to Gathered from a Guileless Angel and the Hilt Edges of Old Hearts, If They Do in the Guilt of Deep Despondency.)
7. 1671 Milton Samson 1122 Add Thy Spear, a Weavers Beam, and Seven-Times-Folded Shield.

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Vision of Love - Lessons in Hate (Part One) + Lessons in Hate (Part Two) (2013)

Two EPs of anxious, repetitive, industrial-edged techno from this alias of James Shaw, who's best known for his other project, Sigha. Distorted beats up front, reverberating industrial emptiness lurking in the corners. Late-night, void-embracing vibes.

Track listing:
 Part One
1. Hate (2/6)
2. Black & Blue (For You)
 Part Two
1. A Modern Romance
2. Our Education

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Nychts - Denn... Nichts (2006)

Hypnotic Swiss ambient black metal. A swirling cloud of majesty and sorrow, made all the more impenetrable by the lo-fi wall-of-sound mix. FFO: Paysage d'Hiver, Darkspace. One track, just over half an hour of ugly beauty.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Jack DeJohnette featuring Lester Bowie - Zebra (1985)

By request, here's Zebra by drummer Jack DeJohnette and trumpeter Lester Bowie. Atmospheric, synth-y slow-burners comprising tastefully wandering solos over laid-back, sparse, at times African-sounding grooves. Not counting this one, I've posted at least 10 albums featuring Jack DeJohnette, so it's really about time that I did one of his solo records.

Track listing:
1. Ntoro I
2. Jongo
3. Aho
4. Kpledzo
5. Ntoro II

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Monday, November 1, 2021

Ron Geesin - Right Through (1977)

Queasily playful experimental pieces by Scottish composer Ron Geesin. A series of interconnected but distinct movements consisting of layered synths, dissonant guitars, noise-addled tape loops, field recordings, musique concrète, spoken word, demonic choirs, and more. I came to Geesin, as I'm sure many have, through his work with Pink Floyd -- in addition to arranging the symphonic elements of "Atom Heart Mother", he collaborated with Roger Waters for Music from The Body -- and was pleasantly surprised to learn that his work outside of those collaborations was just as bewildering, but with a greater sense of absurdist purpose, maybe?

Track listing:
1. Door-O-Plane Get Its Blades
2. Blades Spin Notions
3. Motion Above Rhythidoor
4. Four Guitars Did Laugh, Then Thought Again
5. Throb Thencewards Thrill
6. Hiding Haul of Voices, Hail!
7. Shut Out Hailing Calls Through You
8. Gong of Going Goes Right Through
9. Rhythiano Plonks the Plug Out, and We Follow

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