Saturday, April 30, 2022

Digitonal - Save Your Light for Darker Days (2008)

Lush strings (plus a bit of harp and clarinet) meet downtempo beats and glimmering electronics. The second of just four full-lengths that this collaboration-friendly London project has produced over the course of the last two-plus decades.

Track listing:
1. Ana Kata
2. Silver Poetry
3. Wide-Eyed, Wrapped in Love
4. 93 Years On
5. Nothing Left to Say
6. Emberkreiss
7. A Lighter Touch
8. Gone
9. After the First Death
10. The Beating of Her Heart

Similar listening:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht (1972)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

RIP to Klaus Schulze, the synth GOAT. Schulze changed electronic music, and as a result, the larger musical landscape, by helping to pioneer sounds that would form the basis for not just ambient/progressive electronic music, but trance and techno. He also created some of my all-time favorite records. So to send him off, here's one of them: his very first solo album, and the first one I ever heard. A piece of pure, foreboding, cosmic drone for the ages.

Track listing:
1. Satz: Ebene
2. Satz: Gewitter (Energy Rise - Energy Collaps)
3. Satz: Exil Sils Maria
4. Dungeon [bonus]

Also listen to:

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mincer - Demiurge of Gore Abomination (2015)

Wall-of-sound Italian brutal death metal/goregrind. Pitch-shifted growls and clanging drum machines blast away over a writhing mass of dissonant guitars, with dense, distorted production that'll envelop you like a swarm of locusts.

Track listing:
1. In the Realm of Flesh & Blood
2. Addicted to Rotting Abortion
3. Entrapped into Cursed Hive
4. Desaster in a Shapeless Brain
5. Feeded by Perverse Beautiness
6. Blasphemous Sadochistic Sweaty Embrace
7. Demiurge of Gore Abomination
8. The House of Carnivorous Living Dead
9. Engulfed in the Putrid Pit
10. Morbid Incest Possession
11. Coprobaptized in Gore Again
12. Your Pathology Is Called God

If you like this, you should hear:

Monday, April 25, 2022

Lullatone - Little Songs About Raindrops (2004)

Sweet, chiming, minimal electro-acoustic lullabies from a Japanese husband-wife duo. Woke up at 4:30 AM with my mind racing, immediately knew I wasn't getting back to sleep. Came downstairs to try to shake it off, just ended up sitting on the couch with my heart pounding, putting on a new album every 10 minutes because everything was making me more anxious. Two hours later, this record is the only one that's stuck and actually helped to bring me down a bit. It's fitting because supposedly the project started with the husband recording instrumental lullabies while the wife slept, and I'm down here listening to this because I don't want to wake my wife up. (Don't worry, I'm fine, it happens.)

Track listing:
1. My Petit Prelude
2. Yesterday
3. Wake Up Wake Up
4. Leaves Falling
5. Puddles on the Playground
6. Morning Coffee
7. Afternoon Nap (For Pets)
8. Pitter-Patter Interlude
9. Drip Drops Jumping on an Umbrella
10. A Miniature Finale

More like this:

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Darkflight - Perfectly Calm (2008)

Atmospheric symphonic funeral doom with a lightly blackened finish. Drifting strings, majestically mournful leads, reverb-drenched drums, the occasional dramatic brass melody, and hoarse, rasping vocals.

Track listing:
1. Indifferent
2. Dissolving into Nothingness
3. Distant Pain
4. Perfectly Calm
5. Yet Here I Stand
6. Better Than Real
7. Regard d'outre monde
8. L'ether astral

You should also hear:

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

KÁRYYN - The Quanta Series (2019)

A stunning piece of experimental electro-art pop from this LA-based composer-producer. Acrobatic, expressive vocals over abstract, glitchy production. The Quanta Series compiles a series of EPs released throughout 2018, but its flow as an album could not be better. From its depictions of emotional damage ("Ever"), courage ("Purgatory"), love and lust ("Binary"), and dystopian grief ("Cytokinesis"), this record spoke to me through one of the worst periods of my life, and ended up an all-time favorite.

Track listing:
1. Ever
2. Yajna
3. Purgatory
4. Binary
5. Ambets Gorav
6. Un-c2-See
7. Mirror Me
8. Cytokinesis
9. Aleppo
10. Today I Read Your Life Story 11:11
11. Segment & the Line

You might also enjoy:

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Malaria! - Emotion (1982)

Excellent German coldwave from an all-female group that never really got their due. I've had a number of time-consuming projects over the past few days so I really don't have the energy to do a proper write-up at the moment. But this is what I'm listening to right now, and it's really, really good.

Track listing:
1. Geld - Money
2. Leidenschaft - Passion
3. Eifersucht - Jealousy
4. Einsam - Lonesome
5. Macht - Power
6. Tod - Death
7. Mensch
8. Slave
9. Traum - Dream
10. Gewissen

Also listen to:

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Dope Body - Nupping (2011)

Baltimore noise rock. False-harmonic-heavy anti-riffs, spastic but in-the-pocket drumming, and shouted, chant-like vocals. If Lightning Bolt is a fistful of uppers, Dope Body is a speedball.

Track listing:
1. Enemy Outta Me
2. The Shape of Grunge to Come
3. Bangers & Yos
4. Chain Link
5. Falling Down
6. City Limits
7. Mr. Black
8. 100 Mile
9. Loner Stoner
10. Force Field

Also listen to:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Apostle - Dusk for Convenience (1999)

Swedish leftist vegan straight-edge death metal. Guest vocals by Rikard Wermén of Deranged.

Track listing:
1. Fallen Angel
2. Carnage Generation
3. Entangled in Disgust
4. Crestfallen
5. Convenience Is the Decay of Morality
6. Code Red
7. The Final Regret

If you like this, check out:

Monday, April 11, 2022

Yair Elazar Glotman & Mats Erlandsson - Negative Chambers (2017)

A collaboration between Yair Elazar Glotman & Mats Erlandsson. On their own, both artists tend towards experimental drone, but this collaboration finds them generating a fascinating, utterly transfixing take on ritualistic, instrumental psych-folk that's as transportive as it is mysterious. Drone still figures heavily into the equation, of course, but it's a fully organic drone filled with chimes, zither, gimli, and more.

Track listing:
1. Cornelian Cities
2. Orchid Sedation
3. Turn Roots in Iodine
4. Aspirations
5. Ceramic Relic
6. Libra Index
7. Desacrelasation
8. Format and Formalize Desire

Other nodding classics:

Friday, April 8, 2022

Tripping Daisy - I Am an Elastic Firecracker (1995)

Previously on OPIUM HUM:

Tripping Daisy and I Am an Elastic Firecracker are irrevocably wrapped up in three major milestones in my life, thus I will always see them through a refracted lens of youthful exploration and awe, and have no ability to gauge the band or album's quality. So this post is going to be much more autobiographical than music-related. 

I met my first "girlfriend" Becca at summer camp over a conversation about "I Got a Girl", Tripping Daisy's one quasi-hit and adult-me's least favorite song on the album. Later that day, things escalated over a game of spin-the-bottle, then that night, I snuck out of my tent and asked her to be my girlfriend while we laid on our backs looking at the stars. She said yes, and we smooched. One of the most magical nights of my life. When camp was over, it turned out that she lived an hour away, so over the course of the next few months, we went on a total of three dates -- one to see Batman Forever, one to see Waterworld, and one to see an Al Gore speech (L O fucking L) -- before she dumped me and I cried for a week.

Somewhere in there, I went to my first show, and you guessed it: Tripping Daisy, motherfucker. Hagfish opened, so technically they were the first band I ever saw live, and it was literally the loudest thing I had ever heard. I was completely overwhelmed, and bought their CD, which I still think is pretty great. But Tripping Daisy blew my fucking mind -- I just remember headbanging the entire time because I thought that's what you did at a show, and getting the sense that the people next to me were making fun of me. Fuck 'em, I kept headbanging. Then Reverend Horton Heat played and we left a couple songs in because even then I could tell that psychobilly was corny af. My ears were still ringing the next day, but I was in the cool club now. (Just googled the show, and unbelievably, there IS evidence of it on the internet courtesy of the Washington Post. 9/23/95 at Lisner Auditorium. I'm reminded that Supersuckers also played, although I have no memory of their set.)

The following spring, my grandmother died. My grandfather on my mom's side had died when I was 5, but this was the first time I'd really had to reckon with death on a meaningful, existential level. One night before bed, I asked my mom what happened when we die, and she told me that no one really knows for sure, but it's probably just like going to sleep and never waking up. Her answer and her obvious unsureness were both very tough pills to swallow. With my limited musical palette, "Motivation" was probably the saddest song I knew, so I just listened to that on repeat for weeks, including on the way to the ashes-scattering ceremony.

So that's a snapshot of the life of a 12-13-year-old DEAR SPIRIT. Listen to the album, too. Sugary alt-rock with splashes of starry psych, possibly of interest to Smashing Pumpkins fans. I threw in their cover of Harry Nilsson's "Jump into the Fire" from The Craft for bonus nostalgia. Also, I'd love to hear your stories of firsts and their musical associations, if you'd care to share them.

Track listing:
1. Rocketpop
2. Bang
3. I Got a Girl
4. Piranha
5. Motivation
6. Same Dress New Day
7. Trip Along
8. Raindrop
9. Step Behind
10. Noose
11. Prick
12. High

More coming-of-age tunes:

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Clifford White - Spring Fantasy (1987)

Magical new age from London artist Clifford White. Gentle, playful pieces full of whimsy and wonder, built on simple, repeated synth figures.

Track listing:
1. First Born
2. April Showers
3. Daddy Long Legs
4. Anemone
5. Evensong
6. Into the Blue
7. Dandelions
8. The Rainbow Makers
9. Spring Fantasy
10. Merlins Cave
11. Ballet of the Ripple Skaters

Also listen to:

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Purplene - Purplene (2004)

A near-perfect swan song from this short-lived Australian group. Elements of emo, math rock, and post-rock coalesce in a warm, strangely meditative sound powered by tasteful, angular guitar work, understated vocals, skittering drumming, and subtle, thoughtful compositions.

Track listing:
1. Love: Western
2. Swords Down
3. Lyonhardt
4. The Battler
5. Second Shift
6. Scares for Sores
7. Cahoots = 1
8. Watch the Watch

If you like this, you should hear:

Friday, April 1, 2022

Misery - Revel in Blasphemy (1997)

Extremely beefy, dark OSDM from the land down under. Asked my old band's group thread for workout music recommendations, and my dude fucking delivered.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Godspeak
3. Act of War
4. Plague of Humanity
5. Dark Inspirations
6. Infinite Hate
7. Morbid Dreams
8. All That Is Evil
9. A Song Before Dying
10. Rememberance
11. Altered States
12. Revel in Blasphemy