Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Out the Robedoor

Rancor Keeper
Sure am missing Lala and the Robedoor/Pocahaunted collaborative-split, Hunted Gathering (2007), formerly linked here. This is becoming a pattern... old resources being disappeared. But let's finally talk about Robedoor!

"Empty Temple" from Rancor Keeper (2007)

I went with the more thundering opener, "Empty Temple," rather than the more atmospheric "Penitent Runes" or the more percussive and noisy "Abyss Whisperer." I will however make a two-parter for the epic closer, "Wendigo Psychosis." (I wish my LP had the staff-wielding Mind Flayer cover.)

This Pitchfork review struck a chord with me. I didn't realize there was so much Robedoor from before I showed up - but there is. I think I heard my first stuff soon after sampling, and dismissing, Sunn O))) - or maybe Earth. I probably lumped them together, because they are also drone. But to me (now), Robedoor can be variously psychedelic, haunting, scuzzy and ecstatic. Whereas Sunn O))) mostly evokes a lumbering boredom, and Earth a dry tedium. I keep saying I will revisit these bands and reevaluate my opinions, but I don't really wanna. And the swing (towards songs/doom) mentioned in that review is what's kept me from picking up either Raiders (2009) or Burners (2010) already. But I will.

"Dragon Fang Burnout" from Pagan Drugs 7" (2009)

Those have been the two major full-length releases since Rancor Keeper (2007), with an expanded line-up and supposedly more song orientation - plus this 7", which took me some effort to track down. Due to time, space, and that kind of thing, it's just the B-side to the single, so I skipped digitizing my own copy. That's just the .mp3 download audio - sorry. But I like this side better than "Pagan Drugs" anyway, maybe because it's less like a song?

Since Robedoor can be hard to understand, here's the lyric:
_dealer deals his only hand
i paid for more than this
shaky hands hide shaky eyes
i'd die for less than this

low low low low low low low
low low low low low low
i've been gone for far too long
no one dreams the same

O yeah, and here are two FREE earlier albums from net label [tanzprocesz] on!! I just discovered these yesterday, and haven't listended to them yet... Click titles to stream or download.

First up is Totem Hole (2006). Three untitled tracks, 10+ minutes each - so better than an EP.

The History of Rock Music, in Chapter 7. "The Digital Age (2001-2008)," puts the band under "Trippers" - sub-category "Droning psychedelia" - saying, "Los Angeles' hyper-prolific duo Robedoor epitomized the dark-drone movement, that borrowed from both droning psychedelia and doom-metal and produced countless lo-fi recordings..." On the band's own THoRM page, it calls this album "perhaps the most evocative of the batch." Just in case you wondered where Totem Hole fits into The History of Rock Music.

And then there's Greater Heresy (2007), which is a collection of live tracks from June-November 2006. One is a collaborative jam with Haunted Castle, at a Davis house party - another was performed in a "Valencia apartment." Lookin' forward to it!!

Rottenmeats blog said thusly:
"Dark magickal oscillations that work into you, sewing you up in a sinewy whine 'n' wail. Dronal landscapes full of scar tissue and the shadows of the eternally lost, oblivious to any salvation. Listening to Robedoor 'live' leaves me with an overriding urge to bask in that claustrophobic open wound of a sound first hand, but until then this CDr is a mighty fine substitute."

Greater Heresy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You! Back to Gong!!

Been listening to a little more of Gong's You (1974), third chapter of the Radio Gnome Invisible series. Of course it has "Master Builder," but the video linked in my previous Gong (vs. Magma) post has been removed. So, here's that again, plus some other groovy batty psych-prog weirdness.

"A Sprinking of Clouds" from You (1974)

Major discovery, at least for me recently. Appears right after the "Builder," so I guess I've just sorta overlooked it. No more!! If there's a typical Gong type of tune, these aren't it. That would be quirky and distinctly British, with odd vocals that do more for the overall narrative than the song itself. These are the jams, and there's no typical Gong style of jam. "Clouds" is really different, with a gradual build in the electro- vein, until the pulsewaves crash hard - then blast off entirely.

"Master Builder" from You (1974)

Freaktastic jazzcore, with some spacerock drone-groove.

"The Isle of Everywhere" from You (1974)

Sexy, funky psych from Gong?! Wha??

Great cover art as well!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Catch-Up Grab-Bag Mash-Up Mix-Post

Voice of the Seven Thunders
Like with The Books recently, sometimes I get ahead of myself. Just can't wait to get a preview out for something I don't have yet. (Or I don't have any better ideas for posting.) Back in early March, I hadn't even ordered the Voice of the Seven Thunders album yet when I posted 4 songs from it. Check out that post if you don't recall - those are some prime Side A cuts of guitar squall, folky tenderness, and drone-out bliss. Here's some more from Side B!

"Set Fire to the Forest" from Voice of the Seven Thunders (2010)

"Disappearances" from Voice of the Seven Thunders (2010)

Not sure why the awesome "Dalälven" isn't already there. Even the drone-hippy "Cylinders" has a video! No time now, got more to catch up...

Le voyage
Then in May, I kinda talked about Le voyage (2010) by The Alps (#9 Discovery of 2008). Which I've confirmed is terrific! If you like good music... Follow the former link to the whole album in streaming form. Or if you're too busy for that, here are the first two tracks in "YouTube" form:

"Drop In" from Le voyage (2010)

"Crossing the Sands" from Le voyage (2010)

And you should really, seriously, download the excellent "Summer Trips" Typecast mix, done up by The Alps themselves. Seriously. As I said at the time: "Includes some Agitation Free, Yoko Ono, George Harrison, a couple from Ashra, Japanese psych-rock from both Flower Travelin' Band and Les Rallizes Denudes, a Broadcast track, and an "Unknown Song" from The Pink Floyd..." Get it, for it is righteous!

Perdition Hill Radio
Finally, going all the way back to Drone-uary 2010, I only briefly touched on William Fowler Collins' Perdition Hill Radio (#8, Drone/Ambient of 2009). Nothing against New Mexico, but I continue to find it odd that he's from there. Not even to mention (again) that he cites Black Metal as a key influence on his post-apocalyptic ambience.

"Slow Motion Prayer Circle" from Perdition Hill Radio (2009)

The previous Soundcloud insert is expired - so here it is again:

William Fowler Collins - Perdition Hill Radio

And o yeah, Collins recently did up his own Typecast mix: "Surreal In Springtime." Anything that starts off with Patsy Cline into Lydia Lunch is sure to end up with Butthole Surfers leading into live Jimi Hendrix. You're probably going to pass through Gram Parsons country-rock, suicidal-depressive Black Metal icon Xasthur, and the majesty of Ennio Morricone. Plus, that Chris Watson really knows how to name a tune...

Now, that's how you mix it up!!
1. Patsy Cline "Sweet Dreams"
2. Lydia Lunch "The Drowning"
3. Lefty Frizzell "I Never Go Around Mirrors"
4. Helena Gough "Yolk"
5. The Flying Burrito Brothers "Sin City"
6. Maryanne Amacher "Tower"
7. Chris Watson "Vultures, Nine Birds Feeding On Zebra Carcass, Itong Plains, Kenya"
8. Giacinto Scelsi "Anahit"
9. Xasthur "In The Hate Of Battle"
10. Ennio Morricone "The Man"
11. Butthole Surfers "Whirling Hall Of Knives"
12. Jimi Hendrix "Machine Gun" [live]

Surreal In Springtime

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hell Ohno Never

Poor ol' Oneohtrix Point Never... I'm always stacking the deck against him. First with my multi-part companion tour of his Rifts and the 6xLP/3xCD Leyland Kirby set Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was.

Porcelain Opera
And now his latest draws comparisons to another recent album that I'm suddenly really excited about: Rene Hell's Porcelain Opera (2010).

Rene Hell - Porcelain Opera

Like I mentioned about The Books album and Temporary Residence Ltd., Type is a record label that I generally trust. So when I was ordering up some international Boomkat, they had this album - vinyl came with a ltd. bonus cd. At first, I was fairly cool to the whole thing... Then, after a few more spins, I started getting into it a bit more. Finally, I put it on when walking around the neighborhood, and wow. It is a headphone trip!

So over a few weeks, I went from "O well" to being really happy that I took a flyer. The sound palette is really diverse, and the production is mostly super-dense. The music's definitely abstract, but the occasional voices come back and sort of ground it - only to take off again. It just sounds very good to me. Now I'm going back to give the bonus cd Rogue Camera some more attention. Not sure anyone's going to top Emeralds in the 2010 synth-kraut-drone sweepstakes, but I think this one's getting overlooked in the analogue-psych-resurgence discussion. (Also, individual tracks are up on YouTube. Don't believe the free .mp3 hype!)

"Returnal" from Returnal (2010)

So, yeah. I do like Oneohtrix - cool stuff overall. About half of it great! Returnal was released by the same label as the Emeralds 2xLP (Belgium's Editions Mego), and it's got some fine stuff on there. But like Rifts, too much just doesn't move me enough to bestow the highest praise. And this one adds some noise action that I definitely don't really need (the opening track?!).

The sweet title track will be covered by Antony (of the Johnsons) on an upcoming 7" release, the single's B-side is a remix by Fennesz, with artwork by Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))). As Pitchfork says, 'That's a lot of out-music big dogs on one 7"!'

"Pelham Island Road" from Returnal (2010)

See? That's real nice. Awhile back, I also got the re-release of OPN's Young Beidnahga (2009 CDr). That's the one with this atypical track:

"I Know Its Taking Pictures from Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)"

Other than the title track, the opener is 13 minutes of "Continuous Smooth Jazz Trepanation" - which is nothing like how it sounds. Or maybe it is... Anyway, it's out there. Glitchy, kinda noisy, but also strangely jam-my - with a recurring (and sometimes spastic) flute-like melody.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Black Tar Renaissance

Grails... so good. Just released a new Black Tar Prophecies EP: Volume 4 (2010). It's pretty good, but at the same time they've re-released the Vol's 1-3 (2006) collection of previous editions. And it's even better. I was just about to seek it out, when I heard it would be re-released on the vinyl - classic Grails!

"Self-Hypnosis" from Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 4 (2010)

That's definitely the standout on the new EP. The rest is still nice, but lacks a certain mystical adventurousness. It's otherwise more quiet, experimental, keyboardesque... So let's go back in time.

"Back to the Monastery" from BTP, Vol. 2 (2006)

Grails (#6, 2008 and other greats) released two Black Tar Prophecy volumes in 2006, as they were regrouping from the mysterious disappearance of their violinist. I've still never heard their first two albums with violin. Apparently, the guy still has never shown back up. Anyway... monasteries, temples, ancient ruins, places of power - that's the kind of location Grails seek to transport you to.

"Belgian Wake-Up Drill" from BTP, Vol. 2 (2006)

Did I mention that they're psychedelically instrumental? Kinda post-rock, a little heavy?

"Smokey Room" from BTP, Vol. 2 (2006)

Black Tar is a kind of heroin.

"Black Tar Frequencies" from BTP, Vol. 2 (2006)

I made the video for this one, and thought about one other ("More Erosion"). But there were quite a few songs already there. I like the dubby, jazzy vibe to this one. Mellow but still swingin', with bonus ghost whispers.

"Stray Dog" from BTP, Vol. 1 (2006)

Here you get a little Fahey-style acoustics, then some banjo sounds, before the Orientalisms kick in again.

"Black Tar Prophecy" from BTP, Vol. 1 (2006)

And finally the epic series title track, which is a long drone exploration - with some unexpected twists and turns. Only recently got this, but it's already up there with Take Refuge in Clean Living (2008), if not quite at the level of Burning Off Impurities (2007).

Black Tar Prophecies

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ghost Box Study Series

Very nice new series of Ghost Box collaborations. You don't see 180g vinyl in a 7" too often... Here's the first, a collaboration between Moon Wiring Club and Belbury Poly (#4, 2004, and #17 of 2009). Kind of on the funky end of the Belbury spectrum, but I'm likin' it!

"The Young People" and "Portals and Parallels" from
Ghost Box Study Series 01: 'Youth and Recreation' (2010)

So sayeth the sleeve:
The first in the Ghost Box Study Series sees the result of a cultural exchange project between members of the Belbury Youth Club and the Clinkskell Orphanage Brass Band. 'Youth and Recreation' is an exciting experiment in sound and language transmission across briefly invoked hocus portals.

Belbury Youth and Recreation Wiring Club
(As with all the 7" series, my personal vinyl copy was the upload...)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Books' Know Way Out

You know how there are just some record labels that you kind of inherently trust? If they put out something that sounds interesting, you give it a shot? A long time ago that might have been Touch & Go. These days, for me it's about Type, Rocket, Kranky, and definitely Temporary Residence. Home of such luminaries as: Maserati, Grails, Mono, plus Zombi-related stuff! And now The Books.

"Beautiful People" from The Way Out (2010)

I don't know The Books - but this is their 4th album, and the first in five years. I do remember seeing the last one's cover back in the day. Anyway, I'm just hoping to get one of the special "MULTI-COLORED RAINBOW SPLATTER" vinyl and "36 full-color die-cut stickers for you to design and decorate your own unique record cover" that come with the "deluxe 2xLP format." And hopefully the music's good. Seems to be like quirky art-damage sample-orchestrated pop concrète.

I like that one above, because I like math. And "All You Need Is A Wall" is also pretty cool. I expect it to be a really interesting record - which can end up going either way as to actually liking something. We shall see...

"A Cold Freezin' Night" from The Way Out (2010)

The other official pre-release sample is more Art of Noise-y, with a childlike lack of innocence. Watch out for the epilepsy!!

The Way Out
Okay. So here are a couple of tracks from The Books' previous albums, selected based on whether there's official videos, info from the All Music Guide, stuff like that... I didn't have time to listen to all their music, but maybe later.

"The Owl With Knees" from Lost and Safe (2005)

"Be Good To Them Always" from Lost and Safe (2005)

"Take Time" from The Lemon of Pink (2003)

"Tokyo" from The Lemon of Pink (2003)

"Read, Eat, Sleep" from Thought for Food (2002)

"All Our Base Are Belong To Them" from Thought for Food (2002)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Better All The Time

Back in January, I was talking about Emeralds. A couple of things: (1) I wasn't "entirely sure yet," and (2) I had only got the What Happened cd (2009) at that point.

Then in May, I again revisited Emeralds - on the occasion of the 2010 cd release of their self-titled LP Emeralds (2009). I liked, and still do like, it better than the previous album.

Does It Look Like I'm Here?
And so now finally, we come to the newest one, a double-album: Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010). Best one yet! So great, there's even a YouTube playlist of the whole thing. And here's a few tracks for me to highlight now...

"Candy Shoppe" from Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010)

The opening track seems to be a big hit with the kids. I don't know if it's about some specific candy shoppe in Emeralds' hometown of Cleveland, OH. Or maybe a candy shoppe they visited on their tours of the world. Or maybe some kind of candy shoppe of the mind. Pretty sweet, though.

"Double Helix" from Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010)

This is my current theme song, when I'm a robot... A robot of DNA!!

"Genetic" [part 2] from Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010)

Massive ocean of synth layers, with deep currents and the occasional strong breeze, and a constantly rippling guitar. And like a huge sea voyage, it just keeps going and going...

"Summerdata" from Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010)

A slo-mo glitch meltdown, very much like a portion of the long-lost "Landlocked" (farewell, Lala). Although maybe faint on YouTube, the subtle bass pulses are very nice - as are the churchbell tones at the very ending.

"Now Do You See Me" from Does It Look Like I'm Here? (2010)

There's guitar in many corners of Emeralds, but rarely does it drive a whole song. But this is stately jam, with chaos enveloping a phased melody that kinda reminds me of Ween (a bit).

Those are some good songs, which I mainly picked due to having readymade videos of interest. There are more. O yeah, and the dearly-missed "Landlocked" from my original Lala free "purchases"? I downloaded in FLAC format from Boomkat... niiiice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Streaming Live Shows

Just discovered a bunch of stuff that I'd overlooked or is newly available.

Steve Moore 2600
Steve Moore (synths for Zombi), Live at Abrons Arts Center on May 10, 2010.

Live May 12, 2010
by steve moore

Light show videos here, here, and here:

Grails live!
[pic from Prefix Mag's photo gallery]

Brooklyn Vegan had offered a downloadable Grails with Silver Apples in 2008, doing "Silk Rd." Pretty nice add to your .mp3 collection! But now a NEWER POST makes that obsolete, by adding other Grails .mp3 downloads and some nice videos - check it out there.

"Silk Rd" (live 2007) from Acid Rain dvd (2009)

There's apparently a Feb 2009 Grails bootleg somewhere out there, but I'm not paying shady Russian download sites for the pleasure...

Baroness at Roadburn 2009
And finally, a ton of Roadburn 2009 audio streams!! Includes full shows streaming for: Ufomammut, Baroness, Orange Goblin, ZU, Wolves in the Throne Room, Farflung, White Hills, Mono, Dragontears, and Steve Von Till... How I wish I could have attended!

"Silver Shrooms" (live) by Farflung, Roadburn 2009