Thursday, June 30, 2022

Marion Brown - Sweet Earth Flying (1974)

Sublime, meditative free jazz by saxophonist Marion Brown. Explorative, far-out sounds that are currently making my cat Peepers extremely nervous.

Track listing:
1. Sweet Earth Flying, Part 1
2. Sweet Earth Flying, Part 3
3. Sweet Earth Flying, Part 4: Prince Willie
4. Sweet Earth Flying, Part 5
5. Eleven Light City, Part 1
6. Eleven Light City, Part 2
7. Eleven Light City, Part 3
8. Eleven Light City, Part 4

If you like this, you should hear:

Monday, June 27, 2022

Maestus - Voir dire (2015)

Atmospheric funeral doom from sunny Portland, OR. At the start, a mix of ethereal female vocals, drifting keys, and death growls immediately brought to mind Shape of Despair circa Angels of Distress. Then the more sinister, death-doom-influenced riffs hit, followed by some quasi-operatic male vocals and blackened tremolo picking, and it became apparent that Maestus has forged their own depressive path through the misty Cascadian mountains. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Shrouded by Peaks, Valleys Speak
2. Weeping Granite
3. Tears of Sky
4. Algid Lungs
5. I: Overcast Fields Ridden with Dew
6. II: Specie Æternitas
7. III: Water Sifting Though Iceladen Veins
8. IV: Per Æternitas 

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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Kill the Man Who Questions - Sugar Industry (1999)

Philly political hardcore. I first heard Kill the Man Who Questions through the great Punk Uprisings Vol. 2 comp, on which their song "Your Backlash Against a P.C. Hysteria Is a Fucking Joke" was a personal favorite. I tracked down Sugar Industry via mail order, and it became something of a formative record for me. One track in particular felt like a revelation to me: "You Say It's Your Birthday", a haunting, seething spoken-word piece about the brutal hypocrisy of the pro-life movement delivered over an uneasy, stuttering instrumental. Also, I put "Good Cop, Bad Cop" on a bunch of mixtapes. It's the kind of vaguely arty, anarcho-90s-hardcore that at this point is hopelessly unfashionable, but fuck off, I'm old.

Track listing:
1. Sugar Industry
2. A Study in Elitism
3. White Face
4. You Say It's Your Birthday
5. Where's the Alternative
6. I Apologize for My Hunger
7. Coatrack
8. And You Say You Own It
9. Senior Portrait
10. Census
11. Work Ethic
12. There Will Be No Amnesty
13. Because I'd Probably Fucking Wet Myself
14. Good Cop, Bad Cop
15. Preaching to the Converted

Squeezed out of a crotch, slapped twice on the ass, and cut from the womb. Nine months after conception, you'll start to learn that the political vigilance paid to your so-called rights is now lost as an abstract idea in a sea of hectic human shit. Those that rallied for your birth now offer their sincerest "who-gives-a-shit"s in all your post-natal endeavors. You may not learn the names of those that bravely fought for your rights as a fetus. Perhaps one day, forget the selfless men and women who through prayer, blockade, and clinic harassment you owe your life. So will they conveniently forget you when you're starving in government housing? No, better yet, jail? No, better still, abused by foster parents, totally unemployable with a $200 a day addiction? No, best yet, bleeding to death in a bathroom, clutching a coat-hanger while their war wages on.

Records that had a similar impact on me around the same time:

Friday, June 24, 2022

Atavist - Atavist (2006)

Crushing English drone-doom/sludge/post-metal. Strikes a great balance between the raw, abject misery of sludge and the melodic aspects of post-metal, including a few surprisingly effective major-key sections, like the one towards the end of "31:38" that's very reminiscent of the big payoff riff in Boris' Flood. Yes, those track titles are also the track lengths, so get comfy.

Track listing:
1. 31:38
2. 20:11
3. 14:12

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Gomorrha - Gomorrha (1969)

Here in PDX, it seems that summer might finally be hitting. So to mark the occasion, 'bout some hard-driving German psych-pop? After this record, Gomorrha decided that hard prog was where it was at, and re-recorded their debut with a more pronounced psych/blues sound and English lyrics, but I prefer this rawer, less self-conscious version.

Track listing
1. Lola
2. Totes Land
3. Flammenhände
4. Reise
5. Regenbogenschein
6. Gestern
7. Kreiseltanz
8. Sommer
9. Trauma

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Jennifer Warnes - Jennifer (1972)

Third and easily best solo album by American singer/songwriter Jennifer Warnes, whose career trajectory is weird enough to briefly summarize here. She started out in the late 60s as a folk-rocker singing slightly overwrought covers. Sometimes in the early 70s, she caught the attention of some pretty cool people: her third album (this one) was produced by John Cale, and she joined up with Leonard Cohen, playing in his band and contributing to a bunch of his records over the course of the next five decades. Her ensuing solo records, on the other hand, while moderately commercially successful, were as middle-of-the-road as it gets. In the 80s, she briefly carved out a niche for herself singing the female part on massive hit duets written for movies. First, it was the dreadful "Up Where We Belong", then it was "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", both of which went to #1. Like I said, weird career. [EDIT: Thanks to a commenter, I now know that she also sings on Arthur Russell's "That's Us/Wild Combination", literally one of the best, most beautiful songs ever recorded.]

Anyway, the album. Her best solo record by a wide margin, it consists of the kind of folky pop-rock that dominated the charts in the early 70s, but there's stylistic range beneath the surface -- over the course of three tracks, she jumps from sunny country rock to an ethereal take on Donovan's "Sand and Foam" to a  smoldering, soulful rendition of Free's "Be My Friend" without missing a beat. This can probably partially be attributed to Cale's pitch-perfect production; Warnes' pristine vocals, which are far more subtle and expressive than on her previous efforts; and great songs, which include a Cale original ("Empty Bottles") and Warnes' own take on the now-iconic "These Days". It's not gonna change your life, but it's a really nice listen.

Track listing:
1. In the Morning
2. P.F. Sloan
3. Empty Bottles
4. Sand and Foam
5. Be My Friend
6. Needle and Thread
7. Last Song
8. All My Love's Laughter
9. These Days
10. Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)

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Friday, June 17, 2022

Wedard - Ein Leben in der Ewigkeit (2006)

German depressive black metal. The sound is raw but big, the guitars are beautiful but slightly out of tune, the vocals sound like lost ghosts, the keyboards are eery and pretty -- everything in its right place. One of those bands who doesn't do anything particularly innovative with a style, but they just do it so well, it feels weirdly fresh.

Track listing:
1. Lifeless (Intro)
2. Der letze Tag
3. Am Ufer des See's
4. Ein Leben in der Ewigkeit
5. Mein letzter Traum
6. Einsam end Verlassen (Outro)

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tipsy - Uh-Oh! (2000)

Second album by the great, inscrutable Tipsy. For those unfamiliar, Tipsy pairs electronic/IDM with mountains of samples from old easy listening, exotica, and lounge records. While Esquivel-fueled 'electronica' was fairly popular around the turn of the millennium, Tipsy's dense, manic, unrelentingly imaginative take on the microgenre was unparalleled. Their first record's the classic, if they have one, but Uh-Oh! is equally worthy imo.

Track listing:
1. Hard Petting
2. Papaya Freeway
3. Hey!
4. Sweet Cinnamon Punch
5. Neon Tetra
6. Wig Out
7. Reverse Cowgirl
8. Swallowtail
9. Moisture Seekers
10. Kitty Takes a Ride
11. Fur Teacup
12. Pink Mood
13. Bunny Kick
14. Suez Motel
15. XXXmas
16. Seaweed
17. Zombie's Mood
18. Eclipse of the Sun Virgin

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Eclipse - Eclipse (1976)

Quebecois prog excellence. A heady journey through majestic, Floyd-ian space rock, synth-fueled prog-funk, angelic choirs, and driving, earthy psych. And that's just the A-side.

Track listing:
1. Vision intérieure
2. Le rêve de John W.
3. T'aime (voix)
4. Le dernière fois
5. Pleine lune
6. T'aime (moog)
7. Qu'attends to de moi
8. Jusqu'au premier ciel
9. Pensée pour Barbara

If you like this, listen to:

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Photophob - Your Majesty Machine (2004)

Debut full-length from Austrian producer Herwig Holzmann. Gauzy, emotive synths hovering over glitchy, jagged breakbeats. 

Track listing:
1. The Starlight Eater
2. Her Sexy Circuits
3. Floating Near Zero-Zero-Zero
4. While Venting
5. In the Hands of the Space Pirates
6. Two Beeps Means Yes
7. A Little Lesson in Robotic Love Part 1
8. Anger Reduction Control Center Unit
9. Nav Patrol
10. Brain at -273.14C
11. Nomad's Theme
12. Hired Hunter (Killbot)
13. A Little Lesson in Robotic Love Part 2

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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Flesh Grinder - S.P.L.A.T.T.E.R. (1999)

Brazilian goregrind with overt death metal leanings, particularly in the lead guitars. Choice early Peter Jackson movie samples, killer riffage, and cool little touches like the slimy, echoing midsection in "Cutaneous Anaphilaxis" and the completely unexpected, surprisingly pretty acoustic interlude. Shit, now I gotta watch Bad Taste for the 50th time.

Track listing:
1. Intro (Stomachal Emanation)
2. Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis
3. S.P.L.A.T.T.E.R.
4. Thecnics to Extract the Female Reproductive System thru Anal Canal
5. Cutaneous Anaphilaxis
6. Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis
7. Granulomatous Inflammation with Elliptical Macrophages
8. Acute Syndrome Resembling Infectious Monucleosis
9. The Amorphous (Nonfibrous)
10. Chronic and Recurrent Regurgitant Lung Disease
11. Adverse Effects Seen in Immunologically Compromised Hosts
12. The Adagio of Pathologist
13. Developing Malignant Cancerous Tissue in the 8th Inch of the Large Intestine

More blood, intestinal fluid, and horror movie samples:

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Rafael Toral - Sound Mind Sound Body (1994)

Great news: post-vacation depression is sinking in, so I'm back on my sadboi shit. Here's ambient composer Rafael Toral's first album. Spacious, drifting drones and abstract, glistening minimalism, almost entirely sourced from electric guitar.

Track listing:
1. A E R 4
2. Loopability I
3. A E R 7 E
4. Soft Energy I

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Friday, June 3, 2022

White Sea - This Frontier (2010)

Just got back from one of the best vacations of my life, and I'm not ready for regular life. This includes writing for this dumb blog, which tends to revolve around darker, sadder sounds that stand in stark contrast to the fun, crowd-pleasing types of tunes I've been playing for the past week-plus. So here's the debut EP from an artist who I first heard through her contributions to M83's Saturdays = Youth. Anyone who enjoyed that album's gated drums, big synths, and 80s-throwback vibe will find plenty to love here.

Track listing:
1. Mountaineer
2. Ladykiller
3. Overdrawn
4. Cannibal Love
5. Oljato

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